It’s a crazy world out there

When commenters asked me why I worried about Trump’s foreign policy, I used the Iraq Gulf War analogy.  In that case, the US had sent Saddam mixed signals about his “border dispute” with Kuwait.  Saddam wrongly took that as a green light for invasion—the US didn’t seem to care about the issue.  But he was wrong; the US did care.  We ended up capturing Saddam and he was executed. Of course lots of other people also died.  In retrospect, it would have been better if we had been crystal clear about our intentions from the very beginning.

Update:  I botched the first paragraph.  I meant to refer to the first Gulf War.  This is what happens when you write a blog post while heavily medicated.

Last week, the administration suggested that was up to the Syrian people as to whether Assad could stay in office.  (Which is kind of silly, given their don’t have anything like free elections.)  Assad took that as implying that we didn’t care about Syria.  So he was emboldened to launch a chemical attack on civilians.  But just like it turned out that Bush did care about Kuwait, today Trump tells us that he does in fact care when Assad kills babies with chemicals.  (It’s a pity Trump didn’t say that before all those babies were killed.) Trump said that lots of red lines were crossed.  I don’t know where all this leads (or what our policy should be), but we are learning the costs of ambiguity in foreign policy.  Ambiguity leads to misunderstandings which leads to war.  Trump’s buddy Putin provides logistical support for Assad’s attacks on babies, and so any US retaliation could result in us confronting Russia, perhaps unintentionally.  (My criticism applies equally to Obama’s “red line” fiasco.)

Back in January, I pointed out that Trump’s appointment of nuts like Flynn and Bannon to the NSC was very worrisome.  So today I should be happy that they are both off the council. The grown-ups are taking charge.  And I am happy.  I’m also happy that today Trump admitted that I was right about Assad, and that my Trumpista commenters were wrong.  But I still think it’s dangerous to have a ignorant idiot like Trump as President.  Basically we are continually hoping that the experts can prevent Trump’s mistakes from doing great damage.  Maybe they can, but I’d rather we had someone that didn’t require this constant babysitting.

Fortunately, American presidents have far less power than most people believe, we have a “deep state.”  But let’s not push our luck—they still have some power.

And of course lots of other typical Trumpisms today—accusing someone of a crime without providing any evidence, and then suggesting Bill O’Reilly was innocent despite a mountain of evidence against him (as he had previously done for Roger Ailes.)  But then we all know that sexual predators like to stick up for each other.  You can find occasional examples of this with other Presidents (such as Obama in the policy brutality cases), but with Trump it’s a firehose of idiocy every single day of the week.

I haven’t had much time recently, but a few comments on other things I’ve come across recently.

This caught my eye:

New York Federal Reserve Bank President William Dudley said Monday it may be time to consider making college tuition free because of the impact of student debt on the economy. Dudley said during a press briefing the burden of student loan debt has a negative impact on household spending power.

The comments followed the Federal Open Markets Committee decision last month to hike short-term interest rates by 0.75 percent to 1 percent, pushing rates to their highest level since 2008, with expectations for at least two more hikes this year.

This is wrong on so many levels that I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

The Atlantic reports that very liberal feminist professors no longer think somewhat liberal feminist professors should be allowed to speak at Wellesley.

The Guardian explains why Stalin was not such a bad guy:

No one, not even Stalin, ever became a communist in order to do evil, whereas that’s the whole point in becoming a fascist.

And people tell me that the Guardian is the NYT of Britain.

According to Inc., we now live in a world where this is considered a defense of intolerance:

From Buytaert’s statement, it is clear that Garfield’s expulsion was based on his ideology–or assumptions about his ideology–not his actions.

The National Review tries to imitate The Onion:

Do conservatives — or, for that matter, non-leftists — appreciate just how terrific Donald Trump has been as president? And how lucky we are that he won the presidency?

I don’t know the answer.

What I do know is that they ought to be deeply appreciative of him, and deeply grateful to luck or Providence, and certainly to Trump himself, that he was elected president.

If you read the links in this passage from a Scott Alexander post, you’ll learn a lot about the relationship between science and the left:

Jerry Coyne’s negative review of Cordelia Fine’s new book on the biology of sex/gender. Stuart Ritchie’s negative review. Greg Cochran’s negative review. Positive reviews from PZ Myers (though he possibly admits he gets his science wrong while also criticizing “the humanity” of anyone who points it out?) and of course the New York Times.

I’d like to end on a more positive note.  If you are a fan of G.K Chesterton (and if you are not you should be) then I recommend this, also from Slate Star Codex.

I also recommend Ezra Klein’s interview of Tyler Cowen

There is one country that does not seem to be going completely insane, at least when it comes to education:

The Singapore curriculum is more stripped down at primary level than in many western countries, covering fewer topics but doing so in far greater depth — a crucial factor in its effectiveness, according to the OECD’s Schleicher. “When you look at England and the US, [their curriculums] are mile-wide and inch-deep,” he says. “They teach a lot of things but at a shallow level. Mathematics in Singapore is not about knowing everything. It’s about thinking like a mathematician.”

In contrast, my daughter is forced to memorize massive quantities of trivial information.  I guess the new trend in American education is getting students to pass standardized tests.

 


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75 Responses to “It’s a crazy world out there”

  1. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    5. April 2017 at 15:32

    Nice post but your history is a little bit jumbled.

    The first Gulf War (1990-1) under President Bush Sr. was in response to the Iraqi invasion of the monarchy of Kuwait. Bush Sr. restored the crown.

    The Iraq war started in 2003 under President Bush Jr. presumably because Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks and had weapons of mass destruction. Neither turns out to be true.

    So, who is worse Trump or the Deep State?

    Well…

  2. Gravatar of Philippe Bélanger Philippe Bélanger
    5. April 2017 at 16:02

    The first paragraph seems to conflate the two Iraq wars, unless you see them as “part of the same war”, which IMO you shouldn’t, the Gulf War was successful in large part because of the restraint exhibited by Bush, a trait I am afraid he did not passed down to his offspring.

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    5. April 2017 at 16:02

    Ben, Thanks, I meant Gulf War, not Iraq War.

  4. Gravatar of bill bill
    5. April 2017 at 16:09

    This chart does a nice job showing that student debt is not a problem.

    https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ESChart4-1.png

  5. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    5. April 2017 at 16:57

    What a surprise, not a single comment about the massive news of Susan Rice and the spying on the Trump campaign, which dwarfs Watergate

  6. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    5. April 2017 at 17:04

    It’s “impossible” that Assad used chemical weapons. Obama made this “great deal” with Putin and Assad, remember? Destroying all the chemical weapons, remember? You love those extremely stupid deals, remember? It’s the same bullshit deal as with Iran, remember? Syria got no chemical weapons and Iran does not built a nuclear bomb, remember? It’s all in the great Obama deals that you and the media love so much, remember? What happened to your brain? Sudden memory loss? I’m helping you restoring it, no problem, you’re welcome.

    I agree that Trump’s strategy is wrong but it’s nothing new as well. I’ll give you another example: Kerry said already in 2015 that Assad can stay. There’s no relevant change at all. It’s the same wrong bull that Obama did.

  7. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    5. April 2017 at 17:10

    Philippe, Yes, of course you are right. See my update.

  8. Gravatar of Andrew Clough Andrew Clough
    5. April 2017 at 17:15

    Please, America has a reactive entrenched bureaucracy, not a proactive deep state. :)

  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    5. April 2017 at 17:31

    Christian, I criticized Obama at the time. I see you are continuing with your recent history of moronic comments. No apology for your previous mischaracterization of my views (a few days ago)? Decided to do it again? Pathetic.

  10. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    5. April 2017 at 17:41

    So you are on drugs.

    Cowen and Chesterton are badly overrated; the whole Sarin thing smells fishy. I call for more investigation. The Syrian Army is known to have used Sarin in August 2013, but those weapons have been removed long ago. In any case, the U.S. should pay attention to Yemen, the outcome of which it can impact far more than anything the Syrian government does or doesn’t do (and I do not believe the evidence regarding the attribution of this event is conclusive; this happened in al-Qaeda controlled territory).

    In any case, guys, instead of reading the above garbage and trying to argue with it (there is no point; Sumner is immune to reason), take my quiz of political/economic knowledge. I will show you the results from the responses later in the week. I have fortysomething responses so far.

    https://goo.gl/forms/mvJv0Ga66Y6jBw7y2

    “The grown-ups are taking charge. And I am happy. I’m also happy that today Trump admitted that I was right about Assad, and that my Trumpista commenters were wrong. But I still think it’s dangerous to have a ignorant idiot like Trump as President. Basically we are continually hoping that the experts can prevent Trump’s mistakes from doing great damage. Maybe they can, but I’d rather we had someone that didn’t require this constant babysitting.

    Fortunately, American presidents have far less power than most people believe, we have a “deep state.” But let’s not push our luck—they still have some power.”

    -Truly, you are a sick, sick evil fucker. Your love for al-Qaeda and the Saudi invasion of Yemen makes my blood boil. Fuck you and your sick, degenerate, mulatto family.

    Trump has only made mistakes when he has listened to the “experts”.

    That’s not a message to Sumner. That’s a message to you, dear reader.

  11. Gravatar of Chuck Chuck
    5. April 2017 at 17:44

    “What a surprise, not a single comment about the massive news of Susan Rice and the spying on the Trump campaign”

    It would be news if the Trump campaign WASN’T spied on. Did everyone just pretend that Snowden never happened?

  12. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    5. April 2017 at 17:44

    First off, chemical weapons are not really weapons of mass destruction. They are hard to control (half the time the wind blows them at the friendly forces). Second off, more babies died in Syria with conventional artillery than chemical weapons. Thirdly, Trump is simply trying to score political points by saying he’d do something different than Obama. Fourthly, being clear about intentions does not guarantee peace: the UK, France had a defense treaty with Poland (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Polish_military_alliance ) in March 1939 that did not prevent Germany from invading Poland in September of that same year. Finally, Sumner is heavily medicated while blogging? You wouldn’t trust a heavily medicated man with heavy machinery, so why would you trust what Sumner is saying? Likely he’s stark raving mad, under the influence of Vicodin, Oxycodone, opium, heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, magic mushrooms and who knows what else. Is this the next man we want as president of the Federal Reserve? Maybe so; maybe he can be ‘credibly irresponsible’ to show markets he’s committed to debasing the money supply.

  13. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    5. April 2017 at 17:44

    BTW, Sumner is lying, as usual:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Athemoneyillusion.com+syria&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US%3AIE-Address&biw=1304&bih=683&source=lnt&tbs=cdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A2013%2Ccd_max%3A2013&tbm=#tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:2013,cd_max:2013&q=site:themoneyillusion.com+Syria&*&spf=597

    Enough with the drugs, Sumner.

  14. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    5. April 2017 at 17:45

    Likely he’s stark raving mad, under the influence of Vicodin, Oxycodone, opium, heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, magic mushrooms and who knows what else. Is this the next man we want as president of the Federal Reserve? Maybe so; maybe he can be ‘credibly irresponsible’ to show markets he’s committed to debasing the money supply.

    -I don’t normally agree with Ray, but he is correct on this count.

  15. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    5. April 2017 at 18:52

    Sumner much like most socialists, lives by a double standard

    When he sees people criticise the existence of the Fed, he pooh poohs it because he doesn’t believe they have any “credible” alternatives for right here and now, that they are being anti-pragmatic

    Yet he criticises Trump but doesn’t have any alternatives for Presidents

    Johnson, the guy who doesn’t know where Aleppo is, and Clinton, who is as corrupt as you can get, cannot be President because they were not elected

    What alternative to the President position is Trump proposing? If nothing, why can’t people criticize the existence of the Fed without offering any planned solution for everyone?

  16. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    5. April 2017 at 18:56

    Sumner wrote:

    “I criticized Obama at the time.”

    99.99% of the time leftists who say this didn’t actually criticise Obama at all, but only say that to make it appear they aren’t biased hacks.

    I bet Sumner didn’t criticize Obama at all about this.

  17. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    5. April 2017 at 18:56

    Nevermind the bet, I just saw E Harding’s post

  18. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    5. April 2017 at 19:38

    ‘Last week, the administration suggested that was up to the Syrian people as to whether Assad could stay in office. (Which is kind of silly, given their don’t have anything like free elections.)’

    Elections are not the only way to get rid of a ruler, as Nick Maduro might be about to find out in Venezuela.

  19. Gravatar of LC LC
    5. April 2017 at 20:58

    On medication? Hope it’s nothing serious, and whatever it is, have a quick and full recovery.

  20. Gravatar of rob rob
    5. April 2017 at 23:56

    I really don’t see where people can justify the limits of monetary policy. Does anyone believe we can’t increase inflation by printing money and buying up assets? Or if after we have done that what if we used that money to directly buy stuff? Also are there credible arguments we are currently demand constrained? How does any of this relate to a welfare program for some of the richest luckiest people around, American college graduates. This kind of stuff honestly baffles me.

  21. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    6. April 2017 at 02:58

    “Fuck you and your sick, degenerate, mulatto family.”

    Whoa, Harding finally takes off the mask and flies that alt-right flag in all its glory. He should now get back to the trailer and carry on with the inbreeding program.

  22. Gravatar of MP MP
    6. April 2017 at 03:08

    Scott, are you sure you criticized Obama back then? I did a quick search, and the closest I found was a throw-away reference in the context of empty threats around the Affordable Care Act.

    Not this is really any kind of ‘gotcha’. Back then, this was a blog about monetary policy.

    Anyway, you tellingly say “IN RETROSPECT, it would have been better if we had been clear about our intentions from the very beginning.” But is that always so clear ex ante? Sometimes you want to bluff. Sometimes you want to maintain some strategic ambiguity so that if your bluff is called, you can preserve some credibility as you back down. Possible example, Ukraine. (Then again, maybe if we’d been clear from the start that we would let Russia carve them up, they would have kept their nukes, and it wouldn’t have become an issue.)

    To be clear, I don’t actually think Trump is playing any kind of four-dimensional chess. I share many of your concerns about him in particular. I’m just not sure that “always be crystal clear about your intentions” necessarily follows.

  23. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 03:52

    Sumner of course falls hook line and sinker for anything the MSM tells him.

    They lie about Iraq

    They lie about Benghazi

    They lie about 9/11 (seven out of the ten commission members have since said there was some government coverup)

    Now all of a sudden they’re telling the truth about Syria today?

    Is Sumner so out of touch that he cannot see the Syrian regime change movement in the MSM?

    Check this out:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/VeraVanHorne/status/849406377055453188/photo/1

    That is an anti-Assad “reporter” tweeting about the gas attack supposedly used by Assad THE DAY BEFORE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED

    The gas attack was clearly a false flag

  24. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 03:54

    Typo: not the day before, just before

  25. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 04:00

    Susan Rice (and Obama) were spying on Trump and his staff in such detail they were going into their private lives:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/05/reports-in-unmasking-controversy-were-detailed-had-info-about-everyday-lives.html

  26. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 04:05

    Also in the news that this blog won’t touch:

    $500 billion, that’s billion with a b, fraud uncovered at the HUD:

    https://investmentwatchblog.com/ben-carson-just-uncovered-500-billion-in-fraudmismanagement-in-hud-us-housing-urban-development-department-done-by-julian-castro-and-other-obama-minions/

  27. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    6. April 2017 at 04:51

    Harding, You said:

    “Truly, you are a sick, sick evil fucker. Your love for al-Qaeda and the Saudi invasion of Yemen makes my blood boil. Fuck you and your sick, degenerate, mulatto family.”

    You Trumpistas are just bitter that I was right, that he will not enact your agenda.

    mbka, You said,

    “Whoa, Harding finally takes off the mask and flies that alt-right flag in all its glory.”

    He’s done this before.

    MP, I could only find this one, from 3 months back:

    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=32248

    But in comment section I’ve been using this example for years. I don’t know how to search comments. The point is that Christian lied when he suggested I favored Obama’s policy, I called it the worst foreign policy mistake of his presidency.

    Christian even left a comment after the post where I disagreed with Obama’s policy.

    I agree that there are costs and benefits to ambiguity. But I believe the costs are greater, the downside risks of an accidental war are much greater.

  28. Gravatar of bill bill
    6. April 2017 at 04:59

    Dock Ellis once threw a no hitter on LSD. : -)

  29. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    6. April 2017 at 05:05

    Being insulted by Trumpistas is a compliment. They are setting the stage for a big move leftward. They’re the best thing that ever happened for the agendas of people like Bernie Sanders. They are hardening and radicalizing the left and even leftists like me are concerned about the more ignorant fringe leftists gaining power.

  30. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    6. April 2017 at 05:15

    That Julie Burchill piece from the Guardian is from 1999, but they probably still think that way. It’s almost irrelevant that it’s factually wrong. I.e., Hitler thought he was doing something that would be ‘good’.

  31. Gravatar of Mike D Mike D
    6. April 2017 at 05:15

    “Also in the news that this blog won’t touch:

    $500 billion, that’s billion with a b, fraud uncovered at the HUD:”

    What kind of idiot do you have to be to think that an organization with a ~$30b annual budget is capable of committing $500b of fraud?

    Try getting news from places other than r/the_donald.

  32. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    6. April 2017 at 05:24

    I’m not trying to lie at all and I did not lie. I actually searched your site before leaving the comment. I do this quite often because around 80% of your posts are really good (at least when you talk about economics).

    Several times you supported lifting the sanctions on Russia. You also supported the deal with Iran as well. So from this alone and your whole blogging in general it’s totally fair to assume that you supported the chemical weapons deal with Syria and Russia as well. Why wouldn’t you?

    I totally know that you never supported the “red line”-comment of Obama but it’s not really clear why. It doesn’t make that much sense to be honest. It seems that you are just unhappy with the comment but happy with its implications (= no military actions). Either way from your dealing with the “red line” there’s no evidence that you were against all those deals with Putin, Assad and Iran. And again, why would you be against it? It would be against your world view.

    And like Ray I will never get the fuss about chemical weapons either. They are highly ineffective weapons. So far I also never really understood why Syria/Russia/Iran are using them in the first place. They know very well that the Western world does not like them at all and will be pretty hysterical about it, when somebody is using them, so that makes them even more ineffective. Sometimes it’s really hard to figure out what goes on in the minds of those dictators. It’s like Assad, Putin and Iran are asking for it.

  33. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    6. April 2017 at 06:59

    “You Trumpistas are just bitter that I was right, that he will not enact your agenda.”

    -I am very bitter you are even partially right, and that he’s only half-implementing his agenda. But your arrogance of ignorance in regards to matters outside econ also makes my blood boil.

    Sumner, 2013, not 2017, was “at he time”. If anything, you could have just picked that up from Trump during the second debate.

    Google picks up comments, too.

  34. Gravatar of Robert Ferguson Robert Ferguson
    6. April 2017 at 08:57

    Referring to Trump as an idiot just makes me think that the probability of your emotions overcoming your intellect is high enough so that I cannot trust you. Stick to objective analysis, please.

  35. Gravatar of Cameron Cameron
    6. April 2017 at 09:36

    Indisputable evidence Sumner has been entirely consistent on this issue and the “Trumpista’s” are wrong.

    From the October 2014 comment section:

    http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=27758#comment-367548

    “Vivian, I certainly agree he’s made serious mistakes, such as the red line in Syria. However I think foreign policy should be transparent. If Bush’s policy toward the border in Kuwait had been transparent in 1990, Kuwait never would have been invaded. Also see my answer to Gordon.”

    You guys owe Sumner an apology.

  36. Gravatar of Travis Allison Travis Allison
    6. April 2017 at 10:00

    Talk about burying the lead: what’s the health issue?

  37. Gravatar of Cooper Cooper
    6. April 2017 at 10:41

    E. Harding,

    If you hate Sumner so much, why do you continue to follow him and comment on every single post? Aren’t you going to be late for your Klan meeting?

  38. Gravatar of Richard A. Richard A.
    6. April 2017 at 10:55

    Another Dangerous Rush to Judgment in Syria
    by Robert Parry
    https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/05/another-dangerous-rush-to-judgment-in-syria/

  39. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    6. April 2017 at 12:11

    2014 wasn’t “at the time”, but whatever, Sumner, you get a break on this one for being consistent (though not for being right).

  40. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    6. April 2017 at 12:36

    Let’s see when Trump says: “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew the Middle East could be so complicated.”

    Compared to that Reagan kept things simple: Evil empire. Tear this wall down. Begin bombing in five minutes. STFU. Thank you. –> Simpler times and better times?

  41. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    6. April 2017 at 15:58

    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. It’s funny how the extremely authoritarian Singapore is supposed to be the great role model amongst some self-declared neo-liberal writers these days. First Douthat, then Cowen, now Sumner. It’s really odd.

    This aside, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that Singapore does teach their children “to think like a mathematician”. So where are their great mathematicians? Where are their Field medallists? This applies to all of science and culture by the way. Where are their Nobel Prize winners? They got none. Zero, nada, niente. I have the strong feeling Singapore simply sucks. And not only in this regard but in many others, too.

  42. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:05

    Mike D,

    Go back to sleep, the $500B fraud was an accumulation, not just from 1 year

    Yes math is hard isn’t it

    Go back to HuffPo

  43. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:06

    Syrian gas attack = FALSE FLAG

    https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/02/27/massive-white-helmets-photo-cache-proves-hollywood-gave-oscar-to-terrorist-group/

  44. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:07

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/04/04/president-trump-has-it-wrong-on-syria-assad-did-not-use-chemical-weapons-deep-state-neo-cons-misleading-the-president/

  45. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:10

    FULL quote from Rex Tillerson that the deep state / MSM is manipulating:

    “The process by which Assad would leave is something that requires an international community effort both to first defeat ISIS within Syria, to stabilize the Syrian country to avoid further civil war and then to work collectively with our partners around the world through a political process that would lead to Assad leaving.”

  46. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    6. April 2017 at 16:11

    Young homeowners in China and Mexico have the U.S. beat.

    A recent report from HSBC found that 70% of millennials in China and 46% of Mexican millennials own a home versus 35% of young adults in the U.S. Young people in China are benefiting from wage growth that is projected to outpace the rate of home price appreciation set last year. And the U.S. doesn’t just fall behind China — France (41%) also came out ahead.

  47. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:19

    /pol/ is actually a very effective platform for “weaponized autists” to share and analyse intelligence

    Shia LeBoef placed a “HWNDU” flagpole in the middle of nowhere, with a 24 hour camera pointed upwards to the flag

    4chan autists tracked the flight patterns of passing planes, they analyzed the ambient noise, and within 24 hours found the flag and replaced it with MAGA memorabilia

    They are now researching the Syrian gas attack false flag:

    http://i.imgur.com/Of5waFU.jpg

    The truth will come out

    Again

    And again blockhead bloggers will will just parrot what the deep state / CIA liars tell them

    Just like the lie of WMDs in Iraq , that ended up costing the lives over 1 million people, literally genocide

  48. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:20

    This is strange, or maybe not at all

    https://i.imgur.com/MXPRo3U.jpg

  49. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:52

    “You don’t handle sarin-saturated bodies *without gloves* – unless you’re a Syrian rebel trying to pull off yet another hoax.”

    https://twitter.com/JustinRaimondo/status/849747752300838912/photo/1

  50. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:53

    Video of White Helmets acting as corpse removal for Al Qaeda:

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fd8_1430900709

  51. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 16:56

    Leaked footage of White Helmets staging photo-op rescue:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HCFol7g-FU

  52. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 17:03

    The ‘White-Helmets’ behind the Syria chemical weapons attack are an al-Qaeda PR Group that have been caught faking humanitarian efforts in response to fake Assad/Syrian army attrocities that never happened.

  53. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 17:06

    Journalist telling the truth about Allepo Syria and fake news:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V2H4FPmJVU

  54. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 17:10

    Why the MSM is so horrible:

    https://i.imgur.com/zq90xIg.jpg

  55. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    6. April 2017 at 17:13

    Christian List,

    funny how in “authoritarian Singapore” I feel a lot less likely to be shot by some errant cop than when I lived in the US. Come to think of it, I see police around once a month, at best. It’s been 15 years and I have yet to be pulled over. And immigration officers at Changi airport are actually polite. Not to mention that passing immigration inbound takes 3 minutes on average (due to the 5 ppl in the queue ahead). Outbound it’s probably 30 seconds and I never had to take my shoes off yet. But hey, your mileage may vary.

    This aside, re:
    “…let’s assume for the sake of the argument that Singapore does teach their children “to think like a mathematician”. So where are their great mathematicians?”

    You assume that the purpose of math education is to produce medalists? Singapore tends to be pragmatic. Since my son goes to school here, I know what he’s being taught. The math until primary 6 was very heavy in real world problems where you’d want to use algebra. But you’re not supposed to use algebra, that’s for later. You’re supposed to think it through in terms of proportions of various reservoirs and where they go. Many times it feels like the questions you’d expect at an IQ test. It’s of the type of: “Johnny and Ahmed both buy melons and rice. Johnny bought 3 bags of rice for each melon and Ahmed bought 2 bags of rice for each 3 melons. Rice is $3 a bag and melons are $2 a piece. When you buy 5 melons, you get one free. Johnny spent $25 and Ahmed spent $18. How many bags of rice and melons did they each buy?” (I made this example up just now, this will not solve). So that’s a typical math problem for an 11 year old. To solve w/o equations.

  56. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 17:56

    The reason city states like Singapore are consistently among the world’s most wealthy and peaceful countries, is precisely because of the limited government

    Imagine the whole world being cities like Hong Kong, Singapore, etc

  57. Gravatar of Mike D Mike D
    6. April 2017 at 18:21

    “Go back to sleep, the $500B fraud was an accumulation, not just from 1 year”

    Ah, ok, so HUD has been allocating ~80% of their budget to “fraud” for the last two decades, and no one noticed until now, or something like this?

    I ask again: what kind of idiot do you have to be to believe this? Genuinely curious here. Has your lack of cognitive ability been diagnosed or are you just of the normal mouth-breathing variety?

  58. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 19:18

    Mike D, if you don’t understand basic math, there is no helping you

    GO BACK TO SLEEP

    ——————-

    Trump just showed proof to me that he is a stupid moron:

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/04/06/trump-orders-strikes-syrian-regime-airbase-response-chemical-attack/

  59. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 19:21

    Mike D:

    Educate yourself:

    https://www.hudoig.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017-FO-0005.pdf

    “The total amounts of errors corrected in HUD’s notes and consolidated financial statements were $516.4 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively. There were several other unresolved audit matters, which restricted our ability to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to express an opinion. These unresolved audit matters relate to (1) the Office of General Counsel’s refusal to sign the management representation letter, (2) HUD’s improper use of cumulative and first-in, first-out budgetary accounting methods of disbursing community planning and development program funds, (3) the $4.2 billion in nonpooled loan assets from Ginnie Mae’s stand-alone financial statements that we could not audit due to inadequate support, (4) the improper accounting for certain HUD assets and liabilities, and (5) material differences between HUD’s subledger and general ledger accounts. This audit report contains 11 material weaknesses, 7 significant deficiencies, and 5 instances of noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations.”

  60. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    6. April 2017 at 19:24

    Mike D:

    Fraud doesn’t just derive from “annual federal budgets”

    Did you fail first year accounting? Actually, it looks like you have never taken an accounting course in your life

  61. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    6. April 2017 at 19:39

    MF,

    re: Syria strikes. Not too hard to predict no? Trump failed at his key domestic initiatives. Nothing like a good old foreign enemy to shore up support. That or a Reichstag fire. Wait for those ratings to pick up.

    Putin will be aghast that he got exactly what he wanted – the unpredictable, destabilizing one. On the other hand, seems like the US tipped off the Russians ahead of time, so the Syrians knew it was coming too and it’s all smoke and mirrors anyway.

    But there is a silver lining – all this madness may be really putting people off the European right in the upcoming elections.

  62. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    6. April 2017 at 20:07

    Scott, You were right about how Trump would betray his base. I was wrong. I feel foolish. Another middle east war….is this real?

  63. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    6. April 2017 at 20:40

    Damn! This site is good. Some of the commenters here seem to have anticipated a Syria strike by the US, which happened at 8:45 PM Thursday, EST, add five hours for Greenwich time.

    @Christian List – from what I’ve heard, using chemical weapons (besides being stupid, crossing the red line, and ineffective) is only used as a ‘last resort’ when you don’t have manpower to inflict damage. So the speculation from a TV pundit (don’t know if this is militarily true) is that the Syrian forces were weak in using chemical weapons, not strong. Only weak losers play with these weapons. Recall the Sarin attacks in Tokyo did not do that much damage, and destroyed that doomsday cult there. It’s really an act of desperation.

    I’m in favor of taking out Assad, but not in trying to replicate democracy in the Middle East. Just take out Assad, leave, and let another Assad come in, and be a kindler, gentler version. Also Russians won’t mess with the USA over a token client state like Syria as long as they save face (notice they were given advance notice, just for that reason). Russians are good bluffers but they know their limits. Not worth a WWIII over a stupid “Serbian” type client state like Syria, who doesn’t even export much oil (387 M bpd petroleum exports is I think about 1x to 2x the daily consumption of lowly Greece, nothing).

  64. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    6. April 2017 at 20:57

    Harding, is it your 97 IQ that caused you to need Sumner to point out the most obvious thing in the world, that Trump is an unprincipled buffoon?

    Even people with 97 IQs have eyes and ears.

    Also, you need treatment for your bipolar disorder. Man you whipsaw fast.

  65. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    6. April 2017 at 22:54

    I’ve been saying for a while (not on this forum) that Democrats are going to force the US into a war with Russia out of spite for Gorsuch and Trump.

    Infinite McCarthyism comes with a price tag, especially when Obama’s NSA is still running ABC and CBS news. Literally, since those organizations are run by close family members of Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes. The number one problem in America is that the “news” media needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt from scratch.

    That said, I’m hopeful this operation is a tactical success in terms of deterring chemical weapons and re-centering the policy debate, both in the Middle East and domestically. Neither ambiguity nor perfect predictability is a magic elixir. So I’m hopeful, but not optimistic, that this sends a message.

  66. Gravatar of bill bill
    7. April 2017 at 03:46

    Lots of strategic thought obviously went into this Syria bombing [sarcasm].

  67. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    7. April 2017 at 03:49

    mbka,

    Since I think the evidence shows the chemical attack was a false flag, I don’t see the Tomahawks as deriving from Trump’s imagination to distract.

    The deep state wants Assad out because of disagreements over an oil pipeline (sound familiar?). The chemical attack also serves as a distraction from all the anti-Trump forces and events (spying on Trump campaign, HUD fraud, Pedogate, etc)

    Given Trump only destroyed an airbase, with zero casualties, I don’t see this as Trump trying to distract, but just being stupid for falling for the false flag.

  68. Gravatar of Mike D Mike D
    7. April 2017 at 05:33

    “Did you fail first year accounting? Actually, it looks like you have never taken an accounting course in your life”

    I’m an actuary who works in financial reporting for a TBTF insurance company, you idiot. I literally eat accountants for breakfast. What exactly is your qualifying experience here? Running the excel workbook for your uncle’s ebay trucker hat store does not make you an expert on accountancy.

    Do you understand that the word “fraud” has actual meaning? Do you understand that this meaning is distinct from “bookkeeping errors”? Do you understand that when your lack of knowledge causes you to misuse basic terminology that you create incorrect impressions among other uninformed people reading your word vomit? E.g, when you incorrectly claim “MSM is ignore $500b of fraud!” people will naturally assume that this implies $500b of cash or financial assets have illicitly changed hands. Do you understand that isn’t what has happened here? When we talk about bookkeeping errors, we are talking about numbers on a ledger. Do you see how this is extremely different than “fraud”?

    I often wonder how people as easily confused and misled as yourself manage to clothe yourselves and tie your shoes in the morning. Maybe you should focus on these simpler things first and try to avoid the confusing stuff that involves big complicated words and math.

  69. Gravatar of Jim Glass Jim Glass
    7. April 2017 at 07:20

    No one, not even Stalin, ever became a communist in order to do evil whereas that’s the whole point in becoming a fascist.

    Of course. But there’s nothing new about this. It’s why in Manhattan, NYC, there is a KGB Bar that is a favorite of the literary set, complete with its own literary journal, but no Gestapo Bar.
    ~

    “Dearest Harald … Our splendid concept is perishing and with it goes everything beautiful, admirable, noble, and good that I have known in my life … I have brought the children here. They are too good for the life that will come after us…

    “Harald, my dear, I give you the best that life has taught me: be true — true to yourself, true to mankind, true to your country – in every respect whatsoever.”

    – Magda Goebbels, expressing her commitment to evil while writing to her son at fighting at the front from the Fuhrerbunker.

  70. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    7. April 2017 at 13:15

    Christian, Those are not my views. I’d suggest you just give up–you are in over your head.

  71. Gravatar of Bonnie Bonnie
    7. April 2017 at 15:27

    @E. Harding

    Your quiz is humbling. But very fun. Thanks!

  72. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    9. April 2017 at 00:33

    Here is what happened?

    “Here is what happened:

    The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.
    The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.
    The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.
    There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.
    We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.”
    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/04/donald-trump-is-an-international-law-breaker.html

  73. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    9. April 2017 at 00:36

    “The deep state wants Assad out because of disagreements over an oil pipeline (sound familiar?).”

    “You can’t understand the conflict without talking about natural gas
    By Maj. Rob Taylor
    Much of the media coverage suggests that the conflict in Syria is a civil war, in which the Alawite (Shia) Bashar al Assad regime is defending itself (and committing atrocities) against Sunni rebel factions (who are also committing atrocities). The real explanation is simpler: it is about money.
    In 2009, Qatar proposed to run a natural gas pipeline through Syria and Turkey to Europe. Instead, Assad forged a pact with Iraq and Iran to run a pipeline eastward, allowing those Shia-dominated countries access to the European natural gas market while denying access to Sunni Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The latter states, it appears, are now attempting to remove Assad so they can control Syria and run their own pipeline through Turkey.”
    http://armedforcesjournal.com/pipeline-politics-in-syria/

  74. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    9. April 2017 at 05:28

    Postkey, I see you get your information from reputable sources.

  75. Gravatar of Postkey Postkey
    10. April 2017 at 00:30

    “Postkey, I see you get your information from reputable sources.”

    Still playing the man and not the ball?

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