Friday, June 24, 2016

What Brexit means for the US

The British people have spoken and the UK is leaving the EU.  As a result, the unpopular Prime Minister David Cameron is stepping down.  Many blame his pro-immigration policies for the spike in violent crimes being committed by immigrants.  The immediate fallout has been the price for UK stocks has plummeted creating panic for the rest of the European stock markets.  There will be an even stronger push now for Scottish independence.

Mr. Obama hasn't had a great few days either.  The vote for Brexit is widely seen as the UK telling Washington in typical British manner to "Piss Off!".  At the same time, the US Supreme issued a one-sentence ruling shutting down all of Mr. Obama's executive actions on immigration.  Given that we are likely to see more, not less, attacks and other acts of violence committed by "immigrants" (illegal as well legal or native born), the widespread feeling that opening our borders is a bad idea will be THE issue that will help elect the next President.

If you are warm and well-fed, it is easy to lament about the plight of those that are cold and hungry.  If you live in a nice house in a good neighborhood it is easier to worry about those who don't have homes.  All of this empathy starts to evaporate however when you feel your own comfort or safety being threatened.  If you are focused on staying warm, getting food or paying bills empathy for others is just time wasted you need for other things needed for your survival.  It is that duality, comfort versus discomfort, that places liberals and conservatives at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Liberals don't see threats to their comfort or safety so they are able to focus on the needs of others.  Conservatives see their safety and comfort being threatened and don't care about those that they see as being part of the problem.  Former PM Cameron and his cronies live very comfortable lives protected by Scotland Yard.  Meanwhile, average British citizens are being mugged, assaulted and raped by immigrants.  You can argue that this may not be reality but it certainly was the perception by those who voted in favor of Brexit.

Similarly, Mr. Obama has this view of the US as a welcoming land and the final bastion for those fleeing oppression in their native lands.  Protected for the rest of their lives by the US Secret Service, the Obamas (as are all of the former Presidential families) are able to focus on the plight of others since they don't have to worry about themselves.  Contrast this with the typical working class American.  Who cares about some foreign slob fleeing oppression in his country, he is taking a job from me by working for a lower wage.  Americans see crime rates are skyrocketing because of immigrants such as MS-13. Each terrorist attack on American soil has been by an immigrant or the first-born of immigrants.

Oh and here is dirty little secret Mr. Obama and his cronies would rather you didn't know…more African-Americans disapprove of his pro-immigration and pro-transgender policies there you may think.  Black Americans care about their children just as much as any white American and aren't really into having their kids exposed to transponders making a statement in public restrooms.  Black Americans don't want to lose jobs to immigrants any more than any white American does.  In fact Black Americans and more identify with Republicans than Democrats on issues such as family, jobs, economics and immigration.  Yet the Republican party will never be the choice of Black Americans because it is seen as the party of choice for racists.

Keep all of this in mind as we close in on November.  No matter how much Hillary brags about her expertise and credentials to be the next President, it rings hollow against a huge part of the population that is worried that immigrants are pose a clear and present danger to their livelihoods.  Trump for all of his bad hair and gaffs in front of the cameras is staying the course on immigration and may just ride this all the way to the White House.

Some reading this may be gasping in horror at merely the thought of a "President Trump" and are thinking to themselves that they can't name even one person who will vote for "that guy".  True but it pays to remember something about polls and voters.  Whenever someone answers a poll, it is much like the adage "Let me be the person that my dog thinks I am".  People answer polls the way they think they should, not how they truly think or feel.  Likewise, your buddies will tell you they are going to vote for whoever your circle of friends most identifies with but that may not be who the vote for…if they vote at all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Brexit anyone?

While the world (or at least the world according to the US media) focused on the shootings in Orlando, another shooting occurred that may have a far greater impact.  Member of Parliament Jo Cox was shot and stabbed to death on June 16th.  Her support of Muslims seems to be why she was targeted, however her death has had a much larger impact by muting discussions on the UK pulling out of the European Union (the so called "Brexit").

If the UK does still vote to get out of the EU, the economics impact will be devastating to both the rest of the EU as well as the UK.  Which makes the timing of Cox's murder all the more suspicious.  Was it truly motivated by anti-Muslim sentiments or was a dupe found to mute dissension?

Looking back on some of my predictions, we see that Syria and Turkey continue to hate one another but it has led to any further escalations on a global scale (despite Turkey blasting a Russian fighter out of the sky).  The US Navy continues to harass China (and the Chinese Navy continues to harass the Navy right back).  It seems to be leading to a new type of Cold War but with no real acknowledgment by either side.

Russia has continued to play "Top Gun" with US reconnaissance aircraft (taking some time off to harass NATO aircraft as well).  Again sort of a return to Cold War type shenanigans but without any announced intentions.

Brazil is falling apart before our eyes and on the eve of the Olympics.  The governor of Rio de Janeiro has declared a state of emergency because they can't pay their public employees (including the police)!  If zika virus doesn't manage to create a disaster, the lack of security and infrastructure just might.

It seems like any of these situations could be escalated by ISIS but they seem to be content with popping off attacks in the US by supposed "lone-wolf" terrorists.  

All of this provides an uneven backdrop for our Presidential candidates.  I truly did not Hillary's health would allow her to run again but thus far, she has maintained the necessary tempo towards November.  Meanwhile, Trump seems to have decided that the campaign staff that got him the nomination is the wrong combination to get him elected.  Neither Hillary nor Trump have named their VP candidates as of this time.

It makes me even more certain though that something major is going to happen before November elections.  Perhaps a cyber attack or worse, an attack on our power grids during the peak month of August.  If zika virus does what ebola failed to do, we see large areas of the US under quarantine.  Most of the scenarios that seem likely to me also imply the possibility for martial law.  

Then again, the best fighters are the ones who know how to get you to drop your guard right before they deliver the knock-out.  So we may cruise right into the elections, end-up with a new President and then the bottom gets dropped out from under us.

2016, a very interesting year indeed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fucking Hypocrites

Oh wow, has the media worked it's magic (again)!  As of today, 49 people were killed by the ISIS-linked terrorist who attacked a night club in Florida.  As the victims were all members of the LGBT community, the left has come completely apart over this massacre.  People are figuratively as well as literally crying their eyes out over social media, the chant becoming "What we've been doing isn't working!"  Oh the horror, if only we were to have more gun control!  I even read one my articulate social media colleagues posting a very heartfelt "fuck you" to all owners of assault rifles challenging their "right" to own these instruments of death.  Oh my!

Except I have a small problem with all of this new found outrage at assault rifles and those that own them.  For where was all of this righteous indignation when 69 people were killed in Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend?!  Oh, and let's not overlook that the Windy City has the most restrictive laws on private gun ownership in the country.  Yet not one single post appeared on any of my social media feeds bemoaning the Chicago shootings from the very same people that are going apoplectic about the Florida shooting.  A little hypocrisy tinged with some latent racism perhaps?  See I can't help be feel that the mostly light skinned, LGBT victims are far more "acceptable" to the media than the mostly dark skinned victims of the Chicago shootings.  Both sides falling victim to media bias and manipulation.

I was getting ready to run down the same rabbit hole and engage in some social media fencing with my colleagues about some of their comments when I realized, this is exactly what the media campaign has been all about.  Take our minds to some place else, let us squabble amongst each other and ignore the real culprits.

When President Obama first took office, everything was Bush's fault.  Well yes, regardless of your politics Bush did invade Iraq and ousted Saddam Hussein.  Nature abhors a vacuum so the US military had to fill in the maintain the peace between the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites.  But what the current narrative forgets is that it was President Obama's insistence on PUBLICLY announcing a timeline for troop withdrawals that stet the stage for the formation of ISIS.  Again, nature abhors a vacuum.

President Obama's speech on the Florida attack was lauded by not only the usual suspects but even by some of the more even-minded conservatives who recognize that immediately going down by the rabbit hole of calling the shooter "a radicalized Muslim" may do a lot more harm than good.  I tend to agree that Mr. Obama declaring "radical Islam" doesn't change things and could very likely escalate matters.

However, before we heap too much praise on Chicago's finest let's not forget a little history lesson involving another Illinois native.  About 5 years ago, there raged this little thing commonly called The Arab Spring.  Starting in Tunisia and sweeping through North Africa, the citizens of these nations had had enough the of status quo and starting to overthrow the governments.  Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton (and I believe with the encouragement of Valerie Jarrett and Susan Rice) decided to let it run rampant.  Qaddafi along with the problematic Mubarak would become just part of the narrative.

Clinton and Obama especially wanted Syrian President Assad ousted and the Arab Spring seemed it would take care of him as well.  Unfortunately for Obama and company, Assad had no such desire to go the way of of Qaddafi (executed) or Mubarak (tortured and imprisoned).  By attacking Assad, Obama and Clinton turned those opposing the Syrian government into ISIS.  Oops.  I suspect none of Team Obama realized the resiliency of Assad as well as the impact of Syria's relationship with Russia.

Now 5 years later, ISIS has continued to figure out new and better ways to recruit Americans to their cause.  One idiot from West Chester last year was stopped before he could act.  The psychopath in the Florida shooting is just the latest.

So if you are on the side that wants to blame the shooting on the fact that civilian's own assault rifles, you are too busy listening to your own conscience to read the record.  For that matter, if you are on the side defending gun rights by quoting the 2nd Amendment, you are too busy listening to the NRA instead of remembering 49 Americans were killed by an American with a rifle.  You both are too damn to involved in your side of the politically spectrum to even mention Chicago.  Fucking hypocrites.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts on the latest terrorist attack

When ISIS terrorists shot-up Charlie Hebdo, France unified in their condemnation of ISIS and sent their   Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie national or GIGN.  When a terrorist linked to ISIS shoots-up a club in Florida, the US fractures with leftist blaming the NRA and conservative Christians blaming the victims lifestyle.  A pox on both of you.

Despite what your political views tell you, the US is a rather open country politically.  We can still freely move around the country whenever we want, we can vote for whomever we want, we can write all manner of crap on blogs and social media, we are free to associate with whomever we want (unless convicted of a serious crime), and we all pretty much take these and other freedoms for granted.

One of our biggest freedoms is though our legal system which is based on the principle "innocent until proven guilty".  Yes, yes I know you are going to flood my inbox with example of example of where the legal system is "rigged" or has "failed" but have you ever compared it to other "modern" countries? The United Kingdom still follows the principle of "guilty until proven innocent" and France does not use past precedence in legal cases.  In France, you get what you get regardless of what happened to the other guy who did the very same thing.

But all of the freedoms comes with a price.  The price is we typically can't, even under the US PATRIOT ACT, lock someone up for just looking like a terrorist.  We can't ban people from freely associating even if their countries of origin are hotbeds for terrorist activity.  We can't stop anyone who has travelled to the US legally from moving freely around the country once they arrive.

If you dumbasses on the right and left don't stop arguing with one another, we are going to start to lose these freedoms under the guise of "protection".  Americans were shot and killed by a American-born terrorist who had turned his allegiance to a movement set on destroying this country and you morons have allowed the conversation to revolve around gun control?

For those of you with short-attention spans, allow me to remind you of this psychopath;

He shot dead 69 young people at a youth camp (plus killed another 8 with a bomb he had planted) in 2011.  See that mall-ninja crap he is rocking?  He purchased all of it legally, in Norway, a country where private gun ownership is restricted.  You have to demonstrate the need to own a firearm which is typically hunting or sports shooting.  Even then, there are restrictions on the type and caliber.  The psychopath above did all of the things in a country with the same rules the US left are pushing for in an hopeless attempt to prevent future mass shootings.  You can't legislate hate away.

Oh and those on the right need to sit down and shut-up as well.  There are over 158 million guns in the US.  Most gun-owners own more than one gun already.  How in the hell does more restrictions on the purchase and sale of firearms equal confiscation?  We are talking about a country with an estimated population of 322,762,018 at the beginning of the year.  The government can't even seem to do a good job inspecting all passengers boarding airliners yet this same government is suddenly going to be able to develop the wherewithal to confiscate all of your firearms?  Stop with the paranoia, it's not helping to make your case.

Now both sides, stop bitching and moaning and pay attention.  Just under 15 years ago this country was attacked by a group of people that don't like us.  As a result, we went to war in two countries which also means we generated a whole new group of people that hate us.  They don't care if you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, male of female, gay or straight…you are an American and they are going to kill us whenever and wherever they get the chance.

One more thing, notice how when the Charlie Hebdo attack happened everybody turned the background of the Facebook profile picture to the French flag?  Interesting how I don't see the rest of the world doing that for the Florida attack.  Pay attention people, if we don't stand together in this crap we will fall.