Learn or Impugn?

Trump Is Smarter Than the Generals. Christopher Roach – “His forthrightness is commendable, but in the remainder of his letter, Mattis only repeats the globalist conventional wisdom out of the pages of the New York Times.” The wailing and gnashing of teeth in the media about adults in the room and other Trump derogatories should be indicative that it is ideology at hand. Mattis’ letter shows true colors. He can’t just disagree, he has to impugn. Today are several articles taking the Syria withdrawal issue seriously and looking at the merits. Here is one.

“A bipartisan consensus among the foreign policy elite holds that America needs to maintain its de facto overseas empire. This includes both preserving stability, as well as fomenting deliberate instability, including regime change in places like Syria. This consensus among elected officials, defense contractors, general officers, talking heads, and various experts is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, who elected Barack Obama and Donald Trump on their promises to end “stupid wars” and put America first.

The American people have good instincts on these matters.

When we look for answers, we should look beyond our parochial and conflicted elite to the wisdom of the past. For all the study of Clausewitz in our military academies, one wonders if our strategists have forgotten his advice on the general superiority of defensive measures as a strategic matter: “What is the object of defense? To preserve. To preserve is easier than to acquire; from which follows at once that the means on both sides being supposed equal, the defensive is easier than the offensive.”

In other words, we are better off securing our border, building a wall, limiting immigrants from hostile lands, and avoiding the Middle Eastern cul de sac, than playing whack-a-mole with terrorists. Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is the most courageous and controversial manifestation of his broader promise to put America first.

The Most Important Thing About Michael Flynn Is Not His Guilt, But His Politicized Prosecution. Margot Cleveland – “For many, the criminal case against Flynn was never about Flynn; it was about our country abandoning the precept of equal justice under the law.”

Name That Criminal Defendant! John Hinderaker – “I am so old, I can remember when intelligence officials leaking top secret information to women they were sleeping with was frowned upon. At one time, the fear was that such women might be Russian spies. Now, it is reasonable to assume that they are Democrats.”

Mundia and Modia. Luboš Motl – “Modia is a world of consensus, envy, love, hate, admiration, gratitude. Mundia is a world of gravity, electromagnetism, string dualities, supply, and demand. ;-)

“Right-wingers, farmers, engineers, men, and natural scientists tend to live in Mundia; left-wingers, academics especially in social sciences and humanities, Hollywood, people doing P.R., women, and similar folks are more likely to be in Modia.

As I said, there are very clear correlations between Mundia vs Modia on one side and parts of the societies (and age groups) on the other side. More seriously, there’s a trend. The Western civilization is becoming brutally Modian while Mundia is almost being eradicated. Boxenhorn reminds us of some optimistic old Mundian facts, however. Companies that become completely Modian, non-meritocratic (and all about nepotism and human preferences for allies etc.), generally fail soon.

That’s perhaps good news but it may be very expensive, too. To a large extent, whole nations of the Western civilization are becoming fully Modian. So what will fail may be these whole nations or the civilization as a whole. Our nations may be replaced with some other nations that stay more Mundian, perhaps the Chinese, Russians, or Persians. There’s a part of me that says that those are also members of homo sapiens so if they dominate the world in 2050, that’s just fine – and an example of the selection at a higher level in action. There’s another part of me that cares about those people’s “not being quite us”, not being sufficiently biologically or culturally related to “us”. Why can’t our nations be the right ones?

What Makes Trump Run. Robert Weissberg – “Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.” Remember the 1965 Arthur Hailey book Hotel [Wikipedia]?

“We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.” Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience.

Melania Trump’s topiary trees prove a hit at Christmas parties. “Melania Trump’s cranberry topiary trees may have left some of her critics seeing red, but they turned out to be a Christmas hit — one of several new ideas the Trumps introduced this holiday season.”

“The red trees featured on a green carpet along the East Wing colonnade turned out to be quite the attraction: Pedestrian traffic jams formed as Trump’s many party guests clamored to be photographed in front of the unusual holiday landscape.

Largely absent from the festivities this year was the traditional opportunity for guests to have a picture taken with Trump and his wife, a time-consuming process that requires the president and first lady to stand for hours, grinning, posing and making small talk with hundreds of guests, some of whom they hardly know.

Trump retained the photo tradition for members of the U.S. Secret Service, law enforcement and the military, as well as staff who work in the residence, according to a White House official who declined to be identified discussing details of the private receptions.

Meanwhile, another effort to make Trump’s tax returns public was turned down by a judge and the Senate Democrats are holding the country’s budget hostage.

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