October 2019 Archives


Everyone is up-in-arms over President Trump's decision to stop supporting the Kurds on the border between Turkey and Syria. On the face, it seems both morally wrong and a geopolitical mistake. However, John Robinson points out that the Kurds are our partners, not allies, and we've been playing fast and loose in the region for a long time.

We partnered with the enemy-of-my-enemy in Syria to fight the son-of-a-son and we made some friends. We confused that partnership with an alliance and that partnership grew to be as strong as an alliance.

But the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs reminded everyone on Thursday that our actual ally, Turkey, had been a NATO ally for the past 70 years. On Sunday, the new secretary of defense gently corrected his Sunday news show host, when she casually referred to our YPG partners as allies. "The Kurds have been very good partners," the secretary affirmed. There's a difference between a 70-year ally and a regional partner, no matter how distasteful you find your ally's actions to be or how loyal you believe your partner to be.

In 2001, the commander in chief declared, "You are either with us, or with the terrorists." NATO invoked Article 5, which states that an attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members, for the first time, in response to the 9/11 attacks. NATO allies, including Turkey, aided the coalition effort in Afghanistan.

What if Turkey should invoke Article 5 now, in response to what it sees as a terrorist threat? US forces are withdrawing from areas of combat in northeastern Syria now, but can we see ourselves obligated to a fight on the sides of the allied Turks, against partner Kurds?

Rather than threatening sanctions, Congress should update an AUMF they've been dithering on for 16 years. Better still, let Congress declare war on Turkey, on behalf of the Kurds, as Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution authorizes them to do.

I'm not expert enough in these matters to offer my own opinion, but I think Robinson's is worth sharing because it goes against the conventional wisdom.


Disney and the NBA sacrifice liberty for profit after employees voice support for Hong Kong protesters.

"Now to trouble brewing for the NBA this morning. The general manager of the Houston Rockets upsetting China with his tweet supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Now Chinese businesses are pulling support for the team," announced GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts Monday morning. ...

After sharing Morey's ridiculous apology to the repressive Chinese government, she shared NBA's public apology. "And the NBA putting out a statement this morning saying, 'Morey's comments have deeply offended our fans in China which is regrettable,'" she read. ...

It's easy to understand why ABC would side with China. With the arrival of Disney+ in November, they're likely unwilling to anger the government which controls internet access for billions. As The Hollywood Reporter published back in April, "[Disney CEO] Bob Iger has been building relationships in the Middle Kingdom for years (...) but cracking the world's second-largest VOD market could require big concessions."

Meanwhile Democrat and Republican politicians seem united behind free speech in this instance.

Meanwhile, CBS and NBC noted the groundswell of bipartisan, American condemnation of the NBA for cowering to the Chinese dictatorship. On the CBS Evening News, correspondent Jim Axelrod quipped that the situation made "strange bed fellows" out of Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) and former Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D). "Normally you can't even get those two to agree on what color the sky is," he joked.

"It's un-American to gag people when they're speaking out on behalf of freedom," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a soundbite on NBC Nightly News.

Blizzard has eliminated a competitor named Blitzchung for supporting Hong Kong and fired two sportscasters who let him speak.


Climate activists are advancing an argument that is incoherent for a leftist: we have to save the climate for the benefit of future generations -- future generations we are free to kill in the womb if we so choose.

Can a court find that the government's climate policies have violated the constitutional rights of "future generations" when, to legalize abortion, our courts already have explicitly denied that unborn human beings possess those rights at all?

Consider, too, that most climate activists are concerned with what they call an overpopulation crisis, suggesting that people ought to have fewer children to conserve environmental resources. Some even say that abortion might be a necessary means of curbing population growth: Asked about overpopulation and "climate catastrophe" at last month's climate-change town hall, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders said the U.S. ought to provide funding for abortion and contraception "in poor countries." His comment was hardly the first time someone has suggested such a policy.

Once again, we are faced with the incoherence of the modern progressive movement, which advocates both more stringent climate regulations for the sake of the children and the unlimited right to abortion throughout pregnancy, both consideration for the rights of future generations and a willingness to kill the unborn to enable a cleaner future.

If unborn children have no rights, then what rights can rationally be had by "future generations" whose members haven't even been conceived yet? This incoherence illustrates the fundamental logical failing of group-based morality. You can't claim that a group has rights as a whole while denying the same exact rights to individuals of the group.


The title is my prediction for the next year.

  • Trump will be impeached. Now that Pelosi has given an inch to her caucus, they'll take a mile. It's virtually impossible to conceive of a sequence of events that doesn't see Trump impeached by the House. Probably along a part-line vote -- there may be some GOP defections, but the Republican base will be deeply hostile to any defectors.
  • Trump will remain in office. It's virtually impossible to conceive of a sequence of events in which Senate Republicans will vote to convict Trump. Another party-line vote, except maybe for a Romney defection.
  • Trump will win re-election. The impeachment will drag on -- McConnell won't be able to force a quick vote because Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts will preside over the trial. Both sides will call a zillion witnesses, but none of it will matter for electoral purposes. Impeachment will dominate the year, and voters will punish Democrats for it. Democrat voters will be discouraged and demoralized by the foregone conclusion, and Republican voters will be motivated and angry over the debacle. Biden is a dead man walking, and Elizabeth Warren couldn't be Trump even in a normal election year.

We'll see how these predictions play out!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2019 is the previous archive.

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