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"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Thursday
Feb232017

What Is the Job of the Media? 

Here is the answer to the question posed in the title.

 

Of course Ms Brzezinski misspoke—but there is such a thing as a Freudian Slip. Or maybe she was channeling her father:

 

 

Noam Chomsky tells us how it works:

Wednesday
Feb222017

Bill Kristol on the Deep State

What is the Deep State? Infogalactic tells us

State within a state is a political situation in a country when an internal organ ("deep state"), such as the armed forces and civilian authorities (intelligence agencies and police), does not respond to the civilian political leadership. The term, like many in politics, derives from the Greek language (κράτος εν κράτει, kratos en kratei, later adopted into Latin as imperium in imperio[1] or status in statu).

So what did Kristol say on Twitter

Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state.5:36 AM · Feb 14, 2017

In other words, Kristol would rather have unelected bureaucrats run the country. And people say that Trump is undemocratic! The elites, like Kristol, will do whatever they have to do to achieve domination over the country. 
Tuesday
Feb212017

Zero Town

This is a rather odd Russian movie with english subtitles. It was the period in Russian history when everything was odd and things were changing, a lot like today. 

Monday
Feb202017

Why Trump Will Lose: The Economy

As Trump himself said during the election, no matter who is elected, the next president will have to deal with an economic crisis. Trump used the adjective "massive." I think it will happen this year or early 2018. I predicted this in 2014. Of course I could be wrong and there are a number of things that might delay it. But unless the business cycle has suddenly been abolished, it will happen. The only question is when and how bad it will be. 

Trump's tax plan might delay it as massive tax cuts will be a strong, but temporary, stimulus. But the best outcome for Trump is for the slump to come sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, massive tax cuts and spending increases would delay the inevitable, and make it worse. Some are predicting that the recession will be delayed until 2019. 

My update on my 2014 prediction is that it will not be as bad as 2008, but there are plenty of things Trump could do to make it a lot worse. I know the perception is that I am pro-Trump, but in fact, it seems likely that Trump will screw this up badly. I do agree with his policy not to have a war with Russia, and stop mucking around in other countries, but beyond that I do not agree with him. 

Here is David Stockman, Reagan's director of OMB, Office of Management and Budget, on the coming crisis. I am not as pessimistic as he is, but I think he is right.

 

Sunday
Feb192017

Why Trump Will Lose: Wars and Rumors of Wars

One reason Trump was elected is that he indicated that he would not go to war with Russia. But he made no such promise in the Middle East. Trump did say that the US would stop interfering in other countries, but seemed to exempt Islamic terrorists from this. To a large decree this makes sense, but the execution of it is paved with difficulties.

The Intercept tells us

The New York Times yesterday reported that military officials had been planning and debating the raid for months under the Obama administration, but Obama officials decided to leave the choice to Trump. The new president personally authorized the attack last week. They claim that the “main target” of the raid “was computer materials inside the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots.” The paper cited a Yemeni official saying that “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13, had been killed in the raid,” and that the attack also “severely damaged a school, a health facility and a mosque.” 

Trump has an opportunity to be a different kind of president. So far, we are not seeing that in the area of foreign policy in the Middle East. No one voted for Trump to continue Obama's foreign policy. (The whole article is worth reading if you are interested.) 

Of course the phrase "Why Trump Will lose" is subjective. The idea I have in mind for winning or losing in these posts is the idea of electoral success. Mucking around the Arab world might actually help Trump with most voters. 

I am not one of them.