Shortsighted

President Donald Trump is, IMNSHO, misunderstanding the role of diplomacy in a shooting conflict. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said,

He’s (Trump) not seeking to go to war.  He has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts…until the first bomb drops.

Of course, war should be a last resort, not a never resort, and Trump understands that.  But to say that diplomacy ends when the shooting starts, is mistaken.  Diplomacy doesn’t only shape the coming battlefield during a prior period of peace and during the runup to the fight.  It also shapes the battlefield during the fight: both directly with its (however minimal) impact on the enemy belligerents, but also on the periphery and the far field surrounding the battlefield through its impact on our allies, our enemy’s allies, and on neutrals.

Integration

It seems a New Jersey high school, Cliffside Park High of the town of Cliffside Park, has a teacher who insists English—or as she put it, American—be spoken in her classroom.

…men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American[.]

Of course, she’s being called a racist for insisting that folks assimilate into American culture rather than our culture be bent into the home country’s—every home country’s—culture.

Laziness

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC, banks allegedly involved in rigging the erstwhile international debt interest rate benchmark LIBOR, are going to pay $132 million in aggregate to “settle” a court case over that alleged involvement.

The proposed settlements…include no admission of wrongdoing.

The banks are paying the money for—as the plaintiffs plainly agree by their own acceptance of the settlement—not doing anything.

This is a bad deal. If the banks didn’t do anything wrong, for what are they paying? If they deserve fines, why aren’t they being kept in court for an on-the-record public recitation of their wrongdoing and punishment?

Must Be Dead Broke Again

The money’s already spent, and the Clinton Foundation has no other money to send back to Harvey Weinstein.

That’s the excuse that the Clinton Foundation is using (I’m deliberately eliding Hillary Clinton’s fatuous excuse for not returning Weinstein’s donations to her campaign—”there’s no one to return the money to”) for refusing to return Weinstein’s donation of somewhere between $100,000 to $250,000 to the Foundation.

The money’s gone.  And since money is eminently fungible, as all of the management of the Clinton Foundation—Chairman Bill Clinton, Vice Chairman Chelsea Clinton, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Craig Minassian, et al.—all know full well, by implication the Foundation has no other money with which to make the returns.

On Whose Side Is He?

[Steve] Bannon has been recruiting and promoting challengers to GOP incumbents and the party’s preferred candidates in next year’s midterm elections.

And

…it could also imperil Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

Indeed.  He’s trying to get farther right candidates nominated in place of incumbents, but he’s likely to drag the party too far right to suit a center-right population of Americans, force serious candidates to expend resources on frivolous primaries (rather than primaries involving serious Conservative candidates), even get candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, or Sharron Angle nominated—which in their time cost the Republicans entirely winnable Senate seats..

One More Reason

…for charter and voucher schools, this time provided by the Biloxi (public) School District.  They’ve banned Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from its 8th grade classrooms.  Why?

…some of the book’s language “makes people uncomfortable.”

Never mind that proper education must make people uncomfortable because it challenges their preconceived notions, it makes them think, it makes them think for themselves.  It even confronts students with uncomfortable aspects of our history, like Atticus Finch explaining to his daughter, Scout, the term “nigger-lover.”  Or Tom Robinson referring to himself, ironically, as a nigger.

Threats

The German government now is stooping to naked threats in an effort to keep President Donald Trump from not renewing certification of Iran’s compliance with ex-President Barack Obama’s (D) Executive Agreement with Iran on the latter’s nuclear weapons program.

The threat begins with the distortion that decertification constitutes withdrawal from the EA—of course it does not, and the members of the German government know that full well.  The threat, though, is made naked by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel:

It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue.  We also have to tell the Americans that their behavior on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA.

Duties

President Donald Trump’s decertification of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA—because they’ve not been, and after two certs (six months) of data collection reasonably free from Obama administration bureaucrats’ fogging, the data are clear.

The Wall Street Journal headlined their piece earlier in the week that forecast that decision with this:

Trump Leaves Thorny Issues at GOP Lawmakers’ Doorstep

This is entirely appropriate. Our elected representatives should be handling the thorny issues instead of cowering under their desks avoiding “hard choices.”

Projecting

KKK robes are on display as part of Baltimore artist Paul Rucker’s installation entitled “Rewind,” now installed at York College’s Wolf Hall in York, PA. The college barred the public from seeing the art exhibition on slavery, white supremacy and racist violence against blacks, deeming it “potentially disturbing to some.”

York College spokeswoman Mary Dolheimer issued this statement, and she actually was serious:

The images, while powerful, are very provocative and potentially disturbing to some. This is especially the case without the benefit of an understanding of the intended educational context of the exhibit[.]

Protests

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that NFL players should voice their concerns about racial injustice without “alienating” people.

Whatever the players were trying to do in drawing attention to these issues, it’s gone another way now in that people have stopped listening to each other.

Indeed, the players’ “protest” could go no other way since their path centered on attacking our nation’s flag and anthem and insulting those who fought for what these symbolize.