Archive for November, 2020

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Oh is that you Norman? ‘Walkies’.

Yes Prime Minister One of Us 1986

As a rule I don’t like posts with question marks in the title as it means people are guessing but something hit me in the middle of work that made a lot of sense.

A lot of people were shocked at the VERY early Fox call in fact I recall reading how at the time of the call the 8-1 betting odds favoring Trump suddenly plunged to 2-1 which got a lot of bookies thinking something was up.

That’s when I remembered the 1919 World Series.

In the first game of the 1919 World Series, Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox went to the mound and promptly hit the first batter he faced, Cincinnati’s Morrie Rath, square in the back.

Too much adrenaline, most in the crowd thought, or perhaps a case of butterflies.

But for others more decidedly and deviously in the know, the 35-year old’s first delivery was deadly accurate.

It was a signal that the World Series was on its way to being fixed.

Cicotte’s beanball was the public signal that the game was on and when I remembered it it struck me that if you were going to have that meeting I speculated about a while back where everyone agreed to get blood on their hands

No each of them had to have blood on their hands so to speak. Each of them had to be sure that the other bosses necks would be on the line. Each of the had to be sure that they would be all in on the steal (and I suspect each of them had to be sure that the media and the tech giants would back them up, I would not be surprised if there was coordination with those folks during the pause in the count.) and I suspect only when they agreed to hang together rather than risk hanging repeatedly did the counts resume.

…then you need a public signal to get the ball rolling. Something out in the open that everyone could see to be sure nobody backed out and of course something for the foot soldiers who would have to get the ballots ready, fill them out and ferry them to the various places knew things were on.

I submit and suggest that the most logical way to send such a signal would be through the media and the best type of signal would be a move that would be considered inexplicable from a source that would not be expected.

Even better the call of Arizona also fed the narrative that would be necessary to sell the fraud, although to be fair, the media would have been more than happy to buy it for any reason.

Again I am just speculating and have absolutely no proof of this, but if I was the guy in charge of getting the word out on election night that the fix was in, that’s how I’d do it.

By John Ruberry

More than once President Donald Trump–and as most recently as this morning in a telephone interview with Maria Bartiromo–President Donald J. Trump has called with media “the enemy of the people.”

And for the most part he is correct. On the national side most writers are propagandists for the left. Things are slightly better on the local level, which the president noted in that discussion with Bartiromo. After all only local TV stations were pressing Joe Biden during the presidential campaign about whether he’d pack the court with liberal justices. This is a very serious issue as it would upend and transform one of the three branches of the federal government. Eventually Biden, like a typical liberal, punted the decision by announcing he’d form a committee to explore issues of injustices in the legal system. And the elite media once again practiced the sin of omission in their reporting.

Last year Warren Buffett–although excluding the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal–said of newspapers, “They’re going to disappear.” And this year Buffett disappeared from the newspaper business

Old line magazines such as New Yorkthe Atlantic, and the New Yorker are dominated by left-wing journalists. You know, the smug-elitists who got their jobs by way of nepotism and their attendance at an elite university, which probably admitted them because of one of their parents also attended that college. Actually these publications might not have any conservative writers. The last one, the New Yorker, offers a newstand price of $8.99. In my opinion it’s not worth 99 cents. All are behind an internet paywall. All of these publications are intellectually irredeemable and likely doomed to insolvency. 

Let’s get back to newspapers. I cancelled my print subscription to the Chicago Tribune years ago and although I toyed with the idea of subscribing online,being the enterprising sort I learned that the only thing, outside of an occasional sports story, that I cared to read in the Tribune was John Kass’ column, which I discovered I could find on other newspapers sites or Real Clear Politics for free. 

Buffett is right. Newspapers are dead men walking. And magazines. Mostly. Oh, Chicago’s other major daily newspaper, which was purchased by a consortium a few years ago that included the Chicago Federal of Labor for $1, isn’t going to make it. You can bet on it. 

The Tribune, once a strong conservative voice in heavily Democratic Chicago, has been drifting lefward for years. Now it’s “woke.” Except for columnist John Kass. And the Trib is a shell of its former self. Like Warren Buffett–and here the similarities between us end–I’m a former newspaper delivery boy. I hated Thanksgiving Day editions because the papers were jammed with Christmas shopping ads–making the delivery of those bulky papers take three times as long. I have this year’s Thanksgiving Day Tribune lying right next to me. It’s thinner than the Saturday editions–a low readership and therefore a low-advertising day–that I used to deliver. 

Here’s my idea for saving and perhaps transforming daily newspapers and magazines out of the liberal echo chamber that they are now. For instance, the cost of a Tribune subscription, once the promos end, is $3.99 a month. For a dollar more you can have the print edition delivered to your door too. Now, and union rules may have to be changed for this to happen, but I propose for subscribers to have one-quarter of their subscription fee to go directly to the columnist of their choice. If there’s a sports writer or a movie reviewer who you really like, then of course choose that person. And of course I have all newspapers, magazines, and online-only publications in mind. 

My selection at the Tribune would of course be John Kass, a strong conservative voice who suffered a demotion of sorts by seeing his column moved from the coveted page 2 location to the innards of opinion section. The impetus for that move was a rebellion by his leftist co-workers about a column explaining how George Soros funded the campaigns of far-left prosecutors such as Kim Foxx in Cook County, Illinois. Those propagandists called Kass’ column anti-Semitic, even though Kass never mentioned the faith of Soros in that article. Soros is a secular Jew, not a religous one, by the way. Kass was attacked by his colleagues not because he was wrong about Soros–but because he was right.

Kass on a personal level is the antithesis of the media elites of you find elsewhere on the Tribune or at the New York Times and the Atlantic and their ilk. He attended–but did not graduate from–Columbia. That is Columbia College in Chicago, which my daughter once also attended, not the “other” Columbia in New York. The mainstream media of of course is always calling for more diversity within its ranks. But never for more intellectual diversity. Or class diversity. 

So my proposal has two obvious merits. It can save newspapers and it can up the conservative presence at the legacy media. Before it becomes the extinct media. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit and is available for hire by a legacy media publication.

There is a reason why the left / academic / media / social media has gone all in on both censoring people who talk about election fraud and magic ballots.

That reason is they needed us to fear.

They needed us to decide that this is just the way it is and that we are fools to push back against the Dem machines in Philly, Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Vegas. They need us to think that not only is it a losing proposition but that to do so will put us in severe social, financial and personal danger (and to some degree that is true). The need us to decide to run away and accept what they have done to the country in general and to us in particular by their attempt to steal this election.

I think this quote from my double down and re-endorse Trump piece after the release of the Billy Bush tape applies here.

No this is about convincing those who still have to values to allow the election of someone who not only is directly opposed to all you hold dear but will persecute you on every level.  This is about tricking you into letting go of your one chance to stop your own destruction.  They want you to lose your nerve. Furthermore they want the GOP to lose their nerve and the press will do all they can do enable it.

That’s why despite attempts to minimize what is happening in Pennsylvania noting losing PA is not enough to bring Biden under 270 this is huge.

Once one legislature and state decides to stand up to the attempt to steal the election other legislatures that has to potential to install courage in others. Like the GOP legislatures in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia may follow suit.

Just as the willingness of the reporter in the Daredevil comic I quoted from the 80’s broke open the Kingpin’s plot to destroy his alter ego (Daredevil 225-233) Pennsylvania has the potential to blow this thing wide open.

If I’m write and they keep their never then the next few weeks will go badly for the left in general and the Obama administration in waiting particular…

…and yes I said the Obama administration

It’s not secret that Jim Mattis and Donald Trump had issues working together. I was surprised to read that Mattis wanted to scrap Trump’s “America First” policy, and while I couldn’t get the full article from Foreign Affairs, the snippets I read said his main criticisms were:

  • Characterizing Afghanistan and Iraq as “forever wars”
  • Undermining our allies
  • Bad views on China

Let’s give the man his due and ask the question: is he right?

We’ve been in Afghanistan (officially) since 2001, and Iraq since 2003, although we withdrew all forces in 2011 per our Status of Forces agreement, and were invited back again in 2014. The Iraqi parliament has been working since early 2020 to get US troops to leave. In sum total, we’ve been in Afghanistan for 19 years (and counting), and Iraq for 8 plus 6 years, total of 14 years, assuming we leave this year.

In comparison, World War Two was from 1939-1945 (6 years), Vietnam was 1964-1975 (if you pick Gulf of Tonkin as the start, 11 years), Korea was 1950-1953 (3 years). The longest of these, Vietnam, has been characterized as a “forever war” before, so its no surprise that to the average American, Iraq and Afghanistan look like forever wars.

But are they investments in peace and stability? I’ve heard them compared to our time in Germany and Japan shortly after World War 2. We’re still technically stationing military in both countries. In Germany, our occupation started in 1945, but by 1949 we had already formed West Germany, and by 1955, West Germany was a member of NATO, and our forces were no longer “occupying” Germany. Japan was similar, with our occupation ending in the Treaty of San Francisco in 1952. While we are still in those countries today, we aren’t there to occupy or provide security. In fact, we expected significant insurgency issues (such as Germany’s Werwolf program), yet they never materialized.

Contrast that to Afghanistan and Iraq, where our troops are providing significant combat support and basic policing. That’s a massive difference between the two, and not dissimilar to Vietnam, where we still had to provide basic protection against an insurgency because of the host government’s inability to perform it themselves.

So to recap, if you militarily stay in country and have to fight an insurgency inside the borders, it feels like a forever war. If you stay and the country does its own policing, it doesn’t feel like a forever war. Or, from a military perspective, if you can’t bring your family to your new duty station, it might feel like a war zone.

What about undermining our allies? President Trump has been on record saying a lot of mean things. The Foreign Policy article argues that he is “undermining the foundations of an international order manifestly advantageous to U.S. interests, reflecting a basic ignorance of the extent to which both robust alliances and international institutions provide vital strategic depth.”

So the question is, has Trump undermined our alliances? Is the international order we have now worse off than before? The United States has mutual defense pacts with NATO, Australia, New Zealand, The Phillipines, Japan, Republic of Korea and the Rio Treaty with a smattering of South American nations. It also supports Taiwan, but the treaty is a bit vague as to whether we would respond to a PRC invasion.

Here we’re probably batting 500 at best. President Trump has worked to expand relationships with India and Japan, and has maintained a normal course with Australia and New Zealand. Trump’s push to pull out of Korea isn’t new, we’ve asked the Koreans to own their defense before. His attempts at directly negotiating with North Korea put us on a much better path to peace…I never thought I’d see a sitting President shake the North Korean dictator’s hands ever. Our relationship with South America hasn’t expanded much militarily or economically, and I’d call that a negative. The economic treaties throughout the world are mixed. In some cases, it got better (USMCA), in other cases, it stagnated (TPP).

NATO is a mixed bag. On one hand, he pushed for and got much needed investment by NATO nations in their own defense, something that nearly every previous Secretary of Defense and President has been asking for years. On the other hand, Europe wanted an Iranian deal so they could get back to buying oil, while Trump wanted to stop Iranian aggression in the Middle East. There’s no resolution to that short of Iran dropping its nuclear weapons program (it didn’t) or Europe or the US dropping their arguments (neither side has). Trump’s response of neutralizing the Israeli issue, first with the UAE and Bahrain and (maybe) with Saudi Arabia is some out of the box thinking. I would argue that NATO is stronger now than before, but some of the individual countries like Germany aren’t happy with the US.

Overall, point to Mattis on this one. Negotiating hard makes sense, but it could have been done with some more finesse, and creating hard feelings isn’t worth it in many cases.

Mattis’ comments on China are odd, given his time as Secretary of Defense and his shift towards Great Power Competition. From the Foreign Affairs article:

“Crucially, the United States should not press countries to choose outright between the two powers,” they said. “A ‘with us or against us’ approach plays to China’s advantage because the economic prosperity of U.S. allies and partners hinges on strong trade and investment relationships with Beijing.”

So, we should work with China? I’d be all about it, and so was William Cohen, opening up US military relations with the PLA in 1999. How did that work for us? China continued to steal technology, threaten its neighbors, build fake islands in the South China Sea, bury US industry with practices illegal to the WTO, and in general act in ways completely at odds of the US. The only difference between Russia and China is that China is happy to pay for this influence. When they needed a port in Sri Lanka, the Chinese invested their own money and worked with Sri Lanka, right up to the point the Sri Lankans couldn’t pay back a loan. China is happy to flex its muscles on every deal it makes, from the one-sided Vatican recognition to its territorial dispute with India. Unlike most other countries, there is no good faith in any of the past deals China made.

The Cohen Group has been happy to look the other way. Yes, there is a ton of money in China. Plenty of Americans are making money in China. Our hope in 1999 was that as China grew, it would naturally democratize. That wasn’t a bad call back then. It’s a terrible call now. The Cohen Group continues to look past this however. It’s founder, William Cohen, not only sided against Trump in 2016, he also has personal connections with the late John McCain and was his best man after he dumped his first wife.

Jim Mattis joining a group of academics that are already naturally anti-Trump and pro-China, and then coming out with a pro-China statement, isn’t that surprising. If we continue to view China like we did in 1999, then yes, everything Trump is doing is a terrible idea. But the last 20 years have shown that Afghanistan is not Germany, NATO wasn’t ready for high-end conflict, and China’s One Party system is happy to crush the United States if we let it do so. If the Cohen Group is happy to make money from this world view, good for them, but don’t be surprised when it doesn’t jive with the average American.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.