Heads Up

As the People’s Republic of China responds to President Donald Trump’s tariffs, motivated in part by the PRC’s cyber-theft of American technology and proprietary information and the PRC’s extortion of the same and its demand for backdoors into foreign business’ (including especially American) core software as a condition of doing business in the PRC, buckle up, indeed, as the article at the link above suggests.

The PRC will do far more than this, though, as it attempts to coerce the US in the pursuit of its Warring States strategy.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is….

The ranking Progressive-Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warren (D, VA) has a thought on the DoJ IG report on the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton email scandal.

He says the authors of the IG report found no evidence of bias in the FBI’s handling of that investigation.  Then he says that that handling “benefited the Trump campaign more than one time’.”

That other benefitting, though, wasn’t bias at all.

Hmm….

YGTBSM

Two examples of felony stupidity.

The Putnam County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office was asked by a man to test the meth sample he brought in.  It seems he’d had a bad reaction to a batch he’d bought, and he wanted to press charges against the person who’d sold him the “wrong narcotic.”

They did, it was, and they busted him.  And no, he didn’t get to press charges; although presumably he IDed the seller to the deputies so they could “press charges” in the county’s name.

And this, also from Florida.

Non-NATO Defense Spending

President Donald Trump often decries Europe’s NATO nations for their lack of seriousness about their defense, and he zealously insists that they honor their commitment to spend 2% of their national GDP on defense.  It’s arguable that Trump could ease off (a little bit) and acknowledge the progress he’s made in getting Europe’s NATO members to boost their spending.

But only a little bit because those nations don’t appear to be stepping up in any serious way, as these numbers from a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed demonstrate.

Overall inflation-adjusted military spending by every NATO member excluding America grew 1.8% in 2015, 3.1% in 2016, and 4.8% last year.

Virtual Attacks on Disapproved-of Businesses

That’s what Facebook is planning to allow regarding merchants that advertise on Facebook.

The social-media giant is rolling out a new feature that lets people leave feedback about their shopping experience after viewing a Facebook ad. The company said it is warning businesses that receive a high volume of negative feedback to give them a chance to address the grievances. If feedback doesn’t improve over time, Facebook will reduce the number of ads that businesses can deliver and could eventually ban them from the platform.

With this, Facebook is allowing “customers” to harm a business of whose ideology they disapprove simply by flooding that business with “negative feedback” on Facebook’s pages.

Norway Gets It

Norway is asking us to double the number of troops we have stationed there and to move them closer to its border with Russia.  It’s a pittance—700 Marines vs the 330 we have there now—but we need to work with Norway very seriously to figure out how to do this.

Norway said the invitation was about NATO training and improving winter fighting capability.

“Allies get better at training together,” Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told reporters.

Yewbetcha.  And joint training is especially important in the face of demonstrated Russian aggression and its stationing of nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad.

What Hath Socialism Wrought

This image, from a Deutsche Welle article on Venezuela’s inflation rate—which last month reached 24,571% year-on-year—says it all.

The word drawn on the 100 bolivar note (and yes, it’s a real note, and it’s actually that big) translates to “hungry.”  In the context, it means more broadly, “a widespread, intense, and prolonged shortage of staple foods that a population suffers.”

Hungry indeed, too.  A bit over two pounds of meat cost about 2 million bolivars (or did once, daily inflation is running at 2.4%), or €16.9 or $20, against a surgeon’s monthly salary of not even 6 million bolivars.  Meat, not steak in particular.  That’s some expensive hamburger or shank cut.

NLMSM and a Summit

I watched CNN‘s coverage of the President Donald Trump-Baby Kim summit, following which they signed a document wherein they agreed on four steps to carry out on the path forward, including Baby Kim’s commitment to denuclearize “the Korean Peninsula.”  That last, especially, is a Big Deal, albeit hard details like on what schedule and what Baby Kim wants in return are yet to be discussed and agreed.

It’s Time

…for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to go.  He

threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year [January], according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a “personal attack.”

In a notification to the House Office of General Counsel about the incident, the House Intelligence Committee’s then-Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism Kash Patel (now the Committee’s National Security Advisor) wrote

Taxpayer Money

This is how the citizens of Missouri are seeing their tax money being used, this time by the University of Missouri.  You remember the U of M, the place where a professor demanded students attack a student reporter because he was covering a student protest.  The place where little discipline was applied to the students who answered the professor’s call. The place where the president and chancellor were forced to resign because they weren’t coddling the snowflakes enough.