Friday, May 31, 2019

Kim Yong Cool, Harvard Angela Merkel, Disruption Trump visit, Democrat tax plans

Kim Yong Chol's demotion would be very good news for America. If the hardliner-in-chief adviser has been sent to a gulag, that's a ray of hope for U.S. diplomacy.

Harvard entertains the delusion of Angela Merkel's liberal world order. The Chancellor's words are of shallow meaning.

Democrats want to tax the wealthy but not in blue states. It's a tale of two hypocrisies.

Expect low-level disorder during Trump's state visit to Britain. The protective environment will be impressive, but the protests will be significant.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Everest, Chernobyl, HOI4

Everest the mountain of heroes is becoming the monument of fools

HBO's Chernobyl offers five lessons. From statecraft, to the Cold War, to history

Hearts of Iron IV is broken by its new naval system

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Illinois tax, Chris Cillizza, Avigdor Lieberman

Illinois plans to self-destruct. The state’s new tax plan is quite mad.

Why, in 50 words, Chris Cillizza is wrong about Mueller’s statement. Mueller wrote a long report.

Avigdor Lieberman is right about ultra-orthodox military service. Israel requires full conscription.

And finally, my Special Report appearance yesterday: 


And on UFOs...

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

UFOs, Tariffs, Idlib, Michigan

Why the UFO story is more interesting than you think. Here are four reasons to pay close attention and an open mind to what is going on.

Tariffs on China will cost Americans but Americans must suck it up. The US government has a responsibility to challenge Chinese aggression.

Trump must threaten Putin with sanctions over Russia’s bombing of Idlib governate. The Russian attacks are evident war crimes.

Conservatives need John James to run in Michigan. The former Senate candidate represents a much needed brand of young, dynamic conservatives.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Huawei trapped, UAE arms, Next PM, Yoga Iran, Mike Pompeo, Theresa May

Trump traps Huawei between Beijing and the marketplace. Huawei can’t abandon its patron and director, but nor can it function effectively as a business.

Trump is right to skip around Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and UAE. The interests of American realism are clear here.

Who should be Britain’s next prime minister? Rory Stewart or Sajid Javid.

Yoga, oil slicks, and the hypocrisy of Khomeinism. The Iranian rhetoric does not fit with any semblance of moral leadership.

Paul Whelan: Mike Pompeo should summon the Russian ambassador. The treatment of Whelan by Russian authorities is FSB evil.

Theresa May did a good job. She led a party that is absolutely fractured.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Modi America, Israel China, good policing, Venezuela Grenada

Why Narendra Modi’s win is great news for America. The Indian prime minister is an increasingly close American partner.

Mike Pompeo is wrong to give Israel a pass on China. The Secretary of State has rightly taken other allies to task over their enabling of Chinese espionage.

Officer Corey Pitts deserves your salute. He is a fine example of professional policing.

Sorry, Lindsey Graham, Venezuela is not Grenada. The comparative ease of a military operation is not applicable here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Australian reelection, Infrastructure's demise, Trump pardons, Golfing costs, RDR 2

Scott Morrison’s reelection as Australian Prime Minister is good news for America. Morrison’s challenger is pro-China, Morrison is pro-American.

Infrastructure week appears to be dead. Good. Trump and the Democrats were taking Americans for a stupid ride.

Dempsey, Joe Dunford, and the right response to Trump’s possible pardons. The U.S. general officer corps have a responsibility to avoid absurd politics.

Stop whining about Trump’s golf costs. The need for presidential survivability, protection, and happiness means that costs are a non-important concern.

15 ways to improve Red Dead Redemption 2 online. The game can be a lot better.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Russia F-22, Theresa May, Nigel Farage, Huawei

America reminds Russia who owns the Alaskan skies. The Russian air force’s little jaunt met an F-22 overmatch.

Trump neuters Huawei. The executive order poses problems for China’s spy firm.

Theresa May announces her last ditch Brexit deal. The prime minister is banking on earning some Labour votes.

Nigel Farage needs British government bodyguards. The Brexit Party leader faces a threat that demands adequate protection.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Robinson's revolution, Far-right, Star Trek

The immorality of Nathan Robinson’s American revolution call. Writing for the Guardian, the editor suggests that it would be righteous for blood to be spilled to destroy the Constitution.

How a far-right British politician aims to win election to the European parliament. It’s about matching the language of victimhood to the failures of establishment policing.

Star Trek is cooler than Game of Thrones. The latter show is defined by mad violence. The former by the pursuit of realistic possibilities.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Iran policy, Israel Iran, Boulder officer, Canada Mexico

How Trump must bring clarity to his Iran policy. The president risks Iranian hostile action in the gap of understanding.

Why Israel doesn’t want an American war with Iran. Israeli security strategy is predicated on deterring Iran, not inviting an unpredictable war that creates havoc.

Boulder should have fired this police officer. He betrayed his oath to the people. He deserved immediate termination of employment.

The US tariff deal with Canada and Mexico is good news. It shows the mutual interest in free trade and nations that respect rules.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Iran war, Steve Bannon, British generals, Bill Blasio, Terrorist responses

We’re not about to go to war with Iran. Here’s how you’ll know if we are.

How Steve Bannon really pissed off China. The former White House official upset Beijing with his rebuke of Xi’s imperialism.

Be wary of British generals on Iran. The recent history of the British Army in Iraq is not one of extraordinary glory when it comes to Iranian-related concerns.

Bill de Blasio’s announcement: a sad American story. The New York City mayor has a lot less charisma and a lot less intellect than he thinks.

During terrorist attacks too many rules are stopping British first responders from saving lives. The problem is repeatedly evidenced.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Todd Buchanan, Christchurch call, Overtaxing wealthy

Ron De Santis should give Todd Buchanan a second chance. For this flawed but good man, 105 years is an excessive sentence for a crime that left no critical physical harm.

Why the Trump administration was right to reject the Christchurch call. The First Amendment demands that rejection.

Sir Alan Sugar explains the stupidity of overtaxing the wealthy. To do so is to entertain capital evacuation.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

From my correspondence with Todd Buchanan, Florida DOC #X80882

Related to my Washington Examiner article, here is some of my correspondence with 
Todd Buchanan.

On the night of his crime
I'm not sure what I think about that night. It doesn't exactly make sense. I'm glad nobody was hurt any worse. I'm glad everyone is walking, no canes or wheelchairs or colostomy bags. I'm glad the door was closed. I wasn't a violent person before and I'm still not now (which isn't a very helpful trait in prison). And it's not like that's an act or anything. I'm uncomfortable with it. So none of that night makes sense. Everything I've experienced, from then to now, has been so far outside anything I have previously experienced it just still seems surreal. I don't know exactly why it's still hard to digest, but it still is. You'd think I'd have acclimated, but I have not.

On whether Buchanan sees himself as a good person.
I don't know that I'd call myself 'good.' When I think of good I think of Mother Theresa or perhaps Gandhi. I suppose you mean, why am I not as bad as some of the guys in here. 
To the extent I am 'good,' even as a result of grading on a curve, it doesn't feel like something I have much choice in. I think most people need certain things from life and one of the things I believe I need is what you might call goodness or beauty. Those two words aren't a great description, so let me give some examples. The kid from 'The Kite Runner,' the protagonist's friend, he was a great example of goodness or beauty as I mean it. (If you haven't read it I recommend it. Great book.) If you've ever read a book or seen a movie that has given you goose bumps or that has made you cry, in a good way, those are moments representative of what I mean. There are guys that come here, to prison, and give up time from their life to do little outreach programs or teach something and I think that's a pretty kind thing to do since they aren't getting any money or anything out of it. I was speaking with my boss today, the librarian, and he was talking about decorating for Christmas and Thanksgiving, etc. He said he knows it's not much, but he hopes something like that might make someone feel just a little bit better, feel a little bit more human. That was kind of touching. That's the type of stuff I absolutely need and I'm not sure I could explain why. Maybe it's my coping mechanism for the ugliness in life. I realize that might seem ironic given the circumstances of my case. In any event, I'm no psychiatrist so I could be way off base. I do know I have to have some goodness around me or I'll go crazy. (This might explain why I gravitate toward people like your dad.) And having good people around me of course means I cannot be a scumbag. 

On a prior conviction. 
I do have a prior conviction. It is for a concealed weapon, which sounds terrible I'm sure. I hate that the following is going to sound like the typical excuse-making/blame shifting from the typical inmate, but it happens to be an accurate account. I was pulled over on the way to work.The 'concealed weapon' was a belt buckle in the shape of brass knuckles. The brass knuckles were permanently melded to a square background making it impossible to actually use as a weapon - your fingers couldn't go into the little holes. (This was a belt buckle phase I also had a chalkboard one and a Batman symbol one.)The belt buckle was attached to a belt which was on top of a change of clothes sitting on the passenger seat for after work. My true sin was asking the officer who pulled me over if he could hurry up because I was late for work. A dumb thing to say but said without arrogance - I believe. He took exception. Why didn't I fight such a ridiculous charge? I was naive and incredibly scared and the judge offered me an affordable fine or something. So now I have this ridiculous story and a conviction for a 'weapon' that couldn't actually hurt anyone unless maybe in the event I were to throw it at them.

What Buchanan would do if released.
Prison - much like a near death experience - will rearrange your priorities. There is no doubt that I would spend much more time with family. Nurturing the relationships of those who are true friends and those that truly care. I admit that may sound cheesy. But being here is to be in the most vulnerable position, almost as low as you can be in life. This gives me a unique insight into, and appreciation for, those that will be there for you when you don't have much to offer back in the way of remuneration or career advancement, etc. While before I was incarcerated I did some volunteer work from time to time and, as explained in the previous answer, I've always needed to be around do-gooders and such, I realize now that this element is more than just kind of important -- this idea of genuinely good people and goodness in general are both absolutely crucial to life for me and I want it to be a much more pronounced part of my life. Before, I couldn't see myself doing permanent volunteer work or running some nonprofit. Now it seems like it would be incredibly satisfying to help people when they're down and out. At the very least, I desperately want to be out of prison to help my mom and her husband. I'm terrified of being in here when they get too old to take care of themselves. 

On proportion in sentencing.
The most frustrating aspect of a judgment based on one moment is the permanence of that judgment. In ten years from any offense, most people will have changed. In twenty, everyone will have changed. This isn't to downplay the gravity of the one moment, but it is to take a frank and honest look at what 105 years means. There is also the impossible to ignore the incredible disparity in what constitutes a just and appropriate sentence from one person to the next. 
It's frustrating when I think of other life sentences: Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, Whitey Ford. I can't help but believe that there's a difference, a big difference, between serial killers and myself. I found one case where the guy had a similar sentence: Cameron Hooker kidnapped Colleen Stan (back in 1977). He repeatedly raped her, keeping her in a coffin-sized box for 22 hours a day. This went on for 7 years. His sentence was 104 years. Mine is 105 years. He'll be up for parole actually in 2030. 

In other states, based on my very unofficial poll of guys from other states, the crimes for which I've been sentenced would have merited a 15-20 year sentence, more or less, further reduced by good behavior credits. (Many states have a substantially higher reduction for good behavior, requiring that 65% of the sentence be served if their are few disciplinary infractions. Florida is one of the few remaining states that require 85%.) 

Sergey Lavrov, Iran, Warren campaign, Human rights

In Russia, Mike Pompeo plays Sergey Lavrov at his own game. The Russian foreign minister tried and failed to play America in front of the cameras.

Relax the New York Times report on US military forces to Iran doesn’t mean war. It reflects an OPLAN contingency.

Elizabeth Warren: making campaigns ironic again. Warren doesn’t seem to realize her campaign strategy is utterly contradictory with winning votes.

Cuban homosexuals and the intellectual vacuity of Democrats human rights record. The Democrats talk a good game but don’t walk the walk.

Monday, May 13, 2019

China tariffs, Theresa May, GoT, Viktor Orban

America will pay for it if Trump backs down to China now. Xi Jinping must know that he cannot out escalate America on critical issues.

Theresa May’s new Brexit anguish: the prime minister faces growing pressure to resign. But it’s not clear what that resignation will do to move Brexit forwards.

Daenerys must die in Game of Thrones. The queen has burned her credibility with the civilians of King’s Landing.

Democrats are wrong: Trump was right to host Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban at the White House. It’s all about Russia, Russia, Russia.