Ooobie on Everything

Trump Sucks Up to Mad Man McCain

Let me open with this announcement: I don’t believe that Assad (much less Russia) carried out a chemical weapons (cw) attack in Syria. This was an act of provocation, with or without US involvement, that was carefully calculated to draw the response it did. I believe that this action was based on a judgment that Trump was a foreign affairs neophyte whom his domestic and other foes could push to a rash and poorly considered action to prove his boasts of toughness and his leadership. Faced with an endless and ugly barrage of fake news and false accusations, he fell for whatever he was being sold and grabbed the chance to assert himself as president.

This latest US violation of international law happened only days after the announcement by Trump’s highest reps that unseating Assad was not our primary goal in Syria. We wanted only to defeat ISIS and the jihadists. I thought, sanity prevails. But John McCain was beside himself, or outside himself, or wherever people beyond all utility hang out. I’ve heard he flew to Syria to consult with his tiny proxy army. If so, who knows what wise advice this old white guy gave to those “rebels” living in a complex of tunnels in the side of a mountain. All we know is soon afterwards, an attack by the Syrian Air Force occurred at the same time chemical weapons were released on the ground. (The US insists it was aerial release, but as former Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford said, “[there is] “no proof that the cause of the explosion was what they said it was” and that for Assad such an attack would be “totally self-defeating.”

Here’s what I do believe: Trump, tough guy in business, doesn’t have the political judgement of gravel outside of an appeal to the voters. He should have hung tight and continued to reject the Russian Fairy Tale in which the Witch, Vladimir Putin, gets the innocents (DNC and Clinton Campaign) into his ovens and then serves up Trump; he should have fought those who think the Russian Bogeyman can cover up the crimes of our political class. Instead we have had the recusal of Sessions (innocent of any crime or misbehavior whatsoever and with no earthly interest in helping Russia); the recusal of Nunes who revealed the heinous surveillance by Obama of political opponents; the removal of Bannon from the NSC; and the promise to work with the Dems to get some piece of crap supposedly better than the current piece of crap called Obamacare. Trump obviously isn’t getting politics. And frankly, I’m not getting him, either.

And now this incredible blunder and horrible crime. A nation not at war with the US, not even posing a threat to the US, is once again being assaulted by the United States. Why? I’ll venture this. Because Trump is getting all shook up over the assault he is being subjected to by our own Commies. He can’t fight internal enemies and external enemies, too, and external is easier. Obama promised to honor an idiotic red line, so Trump will make good on the promise. Precisely as his political enemies calculated. And now he gets his reward, in Pavlovian style, which is CNN opining that he’s finally president. All it took was the start of WWIII.

Trump would never erect a building without all the facts about the job. So how could it be that he committed an act of war on the basis of an unproven claim of responsibility? How could he fall for such a ruse by the enemy? If we end up at war with Russia, and China and Iran, will anybody remember it was the Democrats pushing him there?

But hold on. Let’s take a closer look and offer information on Syria from other sources that the USG will not give you.

“Russia’s defence ministry has argued that Syrian planes were destroying chemical weapons, not deploying them, and said the airstrikes targeted a rebel storage depot for toxins.”

Absurd, say the Americans.

“Khan Sheikhoun, where the attack happened was a hewn mountain with tunnels and impenetrable bunkers. Definitely a major hiding place for manufacturing weapon supplies for the Islamist rebels on a major scale. It is a “warehouse used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas” as Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.”

Why aren’t the western media showing the photos that make clear this attack was on a military target, not a simple village living peacefully? And why is nobody looking at the opposition? Here is what UN rep Carla del Ponte said in 2013 about the results of the UN investigation into the use of cw in specific attacks in Syria:

Ms Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general and prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), did not rule out the possibility that troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad might also have used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was needed. “I was a little bit stupefied by the first indications we got… they were about the use of nerve gas by the opposition,” she said.

Ms. del Ponte’s seasoned judgment was spurned by “most western governments” who insisted it was all the work of the Assad government. The final report laid all the attacks at the government’s doorstep by insinuation without actually having the evidence to do so, as it admitted.

Today’s America seems to be hurtling toward some apocalyptic scenario of war abroad and at home. So far I lack any confidence that Trump will hold the line on his campaign promises for a new American foreign policy. So far it looks like he is so desperate to be loved that he plays the eager sap for the warmongers and the military-industrial complex. So far, I’m concerned he is going to take us to the brink of a massive conflict. Russia now and urgently is going to seriously beef up Syrian air defense systems with Russia’s latest hardware and technology, so the next time a jet flies over a Syrian airbase they will probably come down in flames. Then what will happen?


Sedition and treason stalk America

I watch astounded at the audacity of ignorant thugs hired by the left wreaking havoc on our nation. They are the paid hounds of hell, loosed on our society to force confrontation between the Marxist-Leninists (aka socialists) and the deplorables, also known as right-wingers, Nazis, neo-Nazis, fascists, and so on. (Did you ever notice how communists is never a dirty word for these guys?) I see that the unhinged Sarah Silverman became terrified by the neo-Nazi symbols painted all over New York. Those were, of course, utility markings that actually bore very little resemblance to a swastika. A woman contemptuous of Israel on a daily basis, she used her Jewish card to excuse her stupidity. Everything, including the tracks of slalom skiers, reminds her of swastikas, like the hiss of a snake is ingrained in a bird’s brain. Another tweeter skewered her stupidity with a series of tweets featuring “neo-Nazis” (utility workers) doing various neo-Nazi things, like raising the Iron Cross (a utility pole) that bore an obvious resemblance to “T” for Trump. He’s funny. She’s just, well, stupid.

Let’s be frank. There is a paid and coordinated effort to create public hysteria (the Russian menace; the Nazi regime) in order to feed approval for acts of subversion and treason against an elected president and the USG. They want to bring down Trump, and are happy to tear down the Constitution, individual rights and public order to do so. I worked for years for the USG, as did my husband. I have never seen this kind of open sabotage by people paid out of public funds. There was always a Democrat preference, but never the deliberate undermining of superiors. This is scary and shameful. This is unprecedented. These people want permanent power and we are the mote in their eye.

Regime change has come home to roost. You better believe all those who suffered it at our hands are cheering. They’re scared, but they’re cheering. The hand of God and all that.

Trump has to move much more rapidly to remove removable officials suspected of being opposition activists, what we should rightly call moles and saboteurs. It isn’t enough to take out the top political appointees, he needs to dig deeper into the hierarchy and start rooting out those who have violated their oath of neutrality. The bureaucracy will otherwise bury him.

Another issue: the Russophobia. The degree of hysterical coverage of Russia has surpassed anything I have ever seen, which includes the entire Cold War. It is not a coincidence that this rise in public fear happens months after the USG funded a major program (under Obama) to counter Russian propaganda with US propaganda aimed at Russia. There was even a press conference to announce the start of this Big Lie program. And Russia is such an easy sap to set up as the Arch-Enemy of America. Only problem is this: today’s America is spelled “Amerika.” The people pressing the anti-Russian line are either insane (McCain) or uninformed, or making big money on our mounting military aggression against Russia (the military-industrial et al complex). Then there is the Democrat Fifth Column. The anti-Russian crusade was triggered by the contempt heaped on Hillary Clinton by Putin, who much preferred the pragmatic anti-regime change Trump to the bellicose airhead who thought she was born to lead the world. Much like Obama, but less successful.

This is sheer madness. Furthermore, it is being promoted, whipped up, by our intelligence agencies who nevertheless fail to provide us any proof. So much of this slop they are serving up is pure lurid imagination, like the slimy story sold to his business patrons by the ex-spy (and now we know why he is an ex-spy) Steele. Real intelligence analysts scoff at the entire “Russia hacked the DNC and Podesta!” story. There isn’t a shred of credible proof that was ever presented; the original source of this dope was some shadowy character on the black side of the CIA; the FBI never examined the DNC servers. They took the word of some private company, and used this to spin out a fantasy. It is repugnant. Our intelligence services are corrupted and seriously.

The two memes, that Russia is a major threat to the world and that they stole the US election for the evil Donald Trump, could bring an end to our system of government. We have reached a point where the rotten brats brought up in our indoctrination camps, aka public education, think a one-party dictatorship is a good thing, but only if they are it. Otherwise, “by any means necessary.”

Here is what I want to see. I want to see the immigration raids continue relentlessly. I want to see the leakers tracked down and arrested and held without bail pending trial. I want an investigation of John Brennan and Mike Morell. I want an investigation into Soros funding of the rampant violence. I want both the Clinton server crimes and the Clinton Foundation crimes investigated. And I want to see the back of the Clintons (despite those ugly big saggy asses).

I usually have been a few years ahead of the curve in my predictions, although this year is a real drag on my average. But I’ll venture this. We are headed into a deliberately provoked civil war. Prepare for it.

For Christ’s sake, the Preppers were right.

 

 

 


Rogues in the Rogue State

He left out, “we lie.”

There are many people in this world who are celebrating as our country collapses around us, egged on toward civil war by the far left that now controls the Democrat party and most of our youth through the educational system. These proud socialists were deprived of what they think they deserved, and know they wanted — the election of that crook Hillary Clinton. They wanted and were thwarted from having enough time in power to change the whole US landscape and make it the new USSR. This transformation was to have been Obama’s real legacy. The Dems didn’t care if Clinton was a monstrosity of corruption, the voice of Goldman Sachs “for eight years,” dressed for free by Ralph Lauren, a hateful greedy woman who despised almost everybody and certainly Barack Obama, a manipulator and liar extraordinaire. So what if she was the dread One Percent? So what if she was selling US foreign policy? She was one of the People, much like  Princess Diana. She would do what the People needed done for them. She would move forward the Obama legacy. She would punish the Deplorables in first order. Reeducation. Deportation. Execution. Ridicule.

One Party. One State. One Mind. Heavenly images were wafting around in the marijuana fumes when, kaboom, reality smacked the brats right in their smug, rich faces, or smug poor ones (the latter being by far the majority and the ones supposedly helped by the policies of the former). And now the grief-stricken, many would say maniacal, losers, having rolled around on the floor, having broken up many a political event with their tantrums and screams of fury, and having held their breath until they were blue in the face and NOBODY CARED — these miserable spawn are going to make us sorry.

They’re going to make us sorry by setting up a means of never again allowing a day to go by without casting doubt at home and abroad about America’s…tenability. They will do this through select intelligence agencies and what we formerly called, tongue-in-cheek, mainstream media, a non-stop barrage of scandals directly involving Trump. Trump being handed stolen election by Putin. Trump romping with whores, Trump romping with Putin, and Trump’s and Putin’s RUSSIAN WHORES PISSING ON OBAMA AND BUBBA’s love sack in Moscow! The more salacious details came thanks to a British ex-spy named Steele, who initially offered his claims to the Never Trumpers and likely John McCain, who in fact went flying off, little legs pumping, to give them to his dear friend Comey. The FBI inexplicably added that piece of absolutely unverified and unlikely “raw intelligence” to their report on Russian hacking, and then somehow it was leaked to the press, who amazingly ran with the story regardless of its lack of credentials. BuzzFeed said it wanted to “Let the public decide.” What idiots. FBI dossiers on innocent and guilty all contain massive amounts of rumors, malice and innuendos, supplied by your office mates, ex-spouses, and neighbors, which is why the files are not open to the public, which is not allowed “to decide.”

Mr. Steele obviously was passing off literary trash as intel to rich western businesses wanting to trade with Russia, when he could have been making millions in Hollywood’s light porn industry. Instead, he is now in hiding. It adds a nice Jason Bourne-ish touch to the CIA ruse. The rumor is that the Brit thinks Putin will assassinate him. But personally, I think the lawyers and his clients are who he’s hiding from.

As another bit of bile, the Dems, also referred to as the “Disloyal Opposition,” are going after the FBI director, the OTHER reason Hillary Clinton turned up such a huge loser. The Dems will do as much damage to Comey as possible in the hope he will do the “patriotic” thing and resign or commit suicide from shame (à la Vince Foster). At a minimum, they can cook up an “impeachment” campaign that will dog Comey until the end of his term. This is nuts, since I too wanted to give Comey a kick in the ass for helping Hillary Clinton. How could both sides think Comey was against us?

(An aside: how on earth can the FBI seriously claim all these things relating to a hack of DNC servers when it was denied direct access to the DNC’s compromised servers? That was where all the conspiracy theory started, with claims from a private company that were never verified by any intelligence agency through direct examination. All the rest of the accusations spring from the initial “conclusion” that Russia hacked the DNC. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t proven. Nothing they are claiming is proven. And worst of all it smells like special ops, black ops, lies and misdirection.)

So what is the overall picture? At home, the Dems have passed from mere annoyance with Wikileaks revelations (“recycled rumors that aren’t impacting Hillary’s polling numbers or her chances to be the next US president”) to claiming these revelations threw the election and were stolen and made public by none other than Arch Villain Vlad Putin. Everything to prove it can be found on the dark side of the CIA, which means it’s too secret for Americans to see.

Even worse, now we’re sending quite large troop contingents to Russia’s border, which is called “Poland’s border” in NATO-land. This is window-dressing to help the stupid American public realize how imperiled we are by ONE MAN — us and all the Europeans too.

And the end result — you can hear it starting already, only less tentative than ever: Donald Trump is not a legitimate president. Any action to keep him from the White House is justified.

Let me put it on the record here: if somebody tries to assassinate Trump, I’d put all of Hollywood under arrest. And then I’d build that wall going up around a house in Kalorama a little higher.

 

 


Domestic and international politics

There’s so much to talk about. First, that mad pilot Andreas Lubitz, taking so many other innocent souls to their deaths while he was ending his own life. If you’ve ever seen Annie Hall, you’ll get why I thought of Annie’s brother Dwayne confessing to Woody Allen’s character that he feels a compulsion to drive his vehicle, at night, straight into another car’s headlights. Only this wasn’t funny. Here’s what I don’t get: why didn’t the doctor who obviously thought he was a dangerous dude behind any wheel only put a note in the file. Huh? Who reads a file before filling his duty roster? The seriously deranged Lubitz  no doubt was”advised” by his shrink to stay home for the day (or a lifetime, he did not add but may have thought, as he cancelled next week’s flight to France and booked a train ticket). If he thought Lubitz should not be flying, why wouldn’t he pass it along to somebody responsible for allowing him to board the flight? Was it his assumption that any sane man would jump at the chance for a day off, paid?

Well all I can say is, good luck, Lufthansa. I really like that airline, but it is going to be facing crippling judgments against it financially. Not that Germanwings is any worse than any of the budget airlines that scrimp here and there to survive at the low fares, and don’t do due diligence all the time. I remember when Jet Blue blew up over the Everglades. That’s something I had trouble even thinking about. If you didn’t die outright, there you were, bloody, tempting, in the middle of thousands of acres of snakes and gators. And bugs. Ugh.

What else? Oh, yes, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton wiped her server clean of any trace it was ever used for anything other than decoration, and then wiped it about one hundred times more. She doesn’t really care if it looks prima facie as if she were trying to destroy subpoenaed evidence, which of course she was. I try to pray to God only for serious things, like people’s lives, but then I think people’s lives depend on this woman not getting in the White House. Just imagine Hillary and her best friend, John (The Maverick) McCain behind the wheel. Andreas Lubitz times a million. And I’m not even going to wade into the muck of corruption involving her brother and others standing to reap rich rewards from a direct line to the US official/political appointee who can override every other officer’s judgment and issue visas necessary to the general enrichment of parties involved.

Ted Cruz came out as a candidate for the presidency, and while I love the man and his ideas, I thought his performance was not as inspiring as it could have been. There was a lot of awkward pauses (for applause, I thought) and that never looks good if somebody has to wave a sign. His ideas are still great, but he has to pour on a little more True Ted. A little more Cuban, or Texan, or something other than Supreme Court clerk. I hate to agree with Peggy Noonan on this, but he did come across too packaged. So far, he hasn’t supplanted Rand Paul in my heart. Paul has enough of Daddy in him to cheer me up, and his ideas on foreign policy are almost the only sane ones around. His curls are cute, too.

So who will win among the Republicans? I sure hope it isn’t Bush, just because it is too much Bush. Just as Mrs. Clinton is waaaay too much, like the Clintons boiled down to their putrescent essence. I say, we have a clash of two philosophies; why not run those who best exemplify our divergent ideals? For the GOP base, unlike its leadership, that would not be Bush (who is nevertheless a good and decent man). And for the Democrats, it sure doesn’t seem to me that this old retread Hillary (I’ll be president by hook or by crook) Clinton does much for that all-but-in-name socialist party. What’s wrong with Warren? She is the new face of the Dems, no kidding either. Give her a chance to strut her stuff.

I’d love to see a Paul-Warren face off. It would be so novel. Then I’d like to see Paul win, and then I’d like to see him tear apart this edifice of stifling nanny-ism that Obama has created with the help of the GOP elite.

In foreign policy the US House has voted a resolution (non-binding, of course) to arm Ukraine. Nothing surprising here, the hawks are ascendant and gloating, even — and they are pretty relentless. Let’s see if Obama will continue to defy them on this latest lunacy. I’m hoping. I have a suspicion the unwillingness to play along with the hawks was behind Obama’s refusal to receive the head of NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg, during the latter’s visit to DC on other errands. Obama no doubt figured that the McCain Cadre wanted to get a meeting so that Stoltenberg could use the press conference to play up what a scary threat Russia is. If that was his reasoning, it gives me new hope that Obama is not entirely brain-dead.

I am really amused by the headlines emanating from the countries of the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe about Russia’s militarization. It’s true, Russia is re-arming at triple time and in line with all the requirements of modern warfare, but since it is a reaction, rather than an action, it is no more significant than night following day or a rash developing after contact with progressives. It is NATO that provoked all of this with its “jihad” for democracy in which international law was highly elastic or entirely dispensable and the use of force was only for the victims’ own good. Now we have all the provocative little former Russian duchies and possessions crying foul because Russia is flying in international waters over the Baltic but “very close” to their borders.

Here’s a news flash for anybody impressed by those claims. While flying close to Latvian airspace, let us say, Russia is also flying very close to its own borders. They are neighbors and not friendly ones, either.

Now, let’s take the US as the example of aggressive patrolling of others’ borders: the US air force, flying a “NATO” flag, are patrolling very close to Russian borders, but halfway around the world from our own.

Just a thought.

 

 


The Hawks (?) of War are Flocking

The entire time I have been writing about the US sliding into war, I was certain that somebody of supreme common sense would intervene to stop it. Boy, was I ever wrong.

But my predictions have not been wrong. Today we see Russia taking the land bridge that it so obviously needed to secure Crimea. It is widening the territory it controls. It is re-arming. It is, in sum, reacting the way any great nation reacts when threatened by another great nation or, in this case, an entire aggressive military bloc.

I don’t want to hear how good NATO is and how bad Russia is. It isn’t the Russian border that encroached on NATO since the collapse of the USSR, is it? NATO has vastly expanded its territory and every time it expands it needs more expansion, because the newest members also want a buffer zone between them and Russia. That is the very definition of expansionism, which NATO expansionists claim this process of expansion is NOT. Russia is the only country that doesn’t get a buffer zone, and how do you figure that? How likely is it that Russia agrees that Poland gets a buffer zone (Ukraine) and Russia gets none? Or that Romania, or Hungary, or Bulgaria get buffer zones, but Russia gets none? I am guessing there is zero likelihood.

And I also don’t want to hear that lame excuse that these other countries want to be NATO members. How is it that NATO ceded its authority to determine who is a member to any country that wants to be a member? How about if Russia said, we want to be a member of NATO too! Would NATO say, “what can we do, Russia wants in!” Fat chance. So we assume that NATO expansion was a deliberate policy with a specific goal, that of hemming in the beast, Russia.

It isn’t Russia who is putting missiles, tanks and other sophisticated weaponry into place along the US-Mexican border, or Russia who is sending specialists to make their proxies assault-ready in Mexico, or Canada, or both. It is the US via NATO, with a powerful dose of manipulation by NATO’s eastern members, that is driving us toward a nuclear war with Russia.

Take that knucklehead, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that air-headed little Danish puppet who declared Russia an adversary for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Having declared Russia a foe, Rasmussen now is enraged that Russia is acting as if it has been challenged by a … foe. Rasmussen, thought to be long gone, surfaced just today with a story about how Russia is going to try to move militarily against the Baltic states. The man is totally certifiable, and yet he is greeted as an oracle among the militarists of the west.

Rasmussen’s hysteria indicates the level of Russophobia in the west, which is reaching an alarming level among the political elite. The latest stupid drivel to emit from this government was a Pentagon report, prepared by some low-level drones without a shred of evidence, that Putin is autistic. How the hell did those morons suppose the autistic Putin survived in Cold War Berlin and in that vicious group of aspiring spies, the KGB? There was nobody less tolerant of any kind of weakness or flaw than the KGB. This is an example of the psy-ops that are now actually being practiced on US citizens by their own government to convince them to support a mad policy of militarization and confrontation that is going to cost the entire globe dearly.

John McCain for me is the face of that hawkish mob. A man who never saw a war he didn’t like, a mean-spirited, deliberately rude and aggressive man without much in the brains department. He tried to fob a PhD student off as a doctor of great experience who no doubt earned a hefty salary on his committee seeking to overthrow Assad in Syria. Now he’s looking to overthrow Putin in Russia and heaven only knows what kind of charlatans he has advising him, since he personally is totally ignorant on the subject. It is typical of the thickness of such so-called leaders that they have no comprehension whatsoever of Russia, it’s history, its sufferings. McCain doesn’t care! America Rocks! Bring on the jets!

This attitude provokes the exact same attitude in Russia. Russia is going to survive one way or the other and it isn’t going to be under NATO’s boot. The Russian people are now far more fully engaged than the American public, and every bit as angry at both the US and NATO, who represent The Enemy for them. And NATO and the US certainly haven’t seemed friendly ever since they carried out that coup in Kiev a little over a year ago. Suddenly NATO and the EU and the US seem to think they have ownership rights in Ukraine.

But the drums of war are reaching a crescendo now. The steps the US is taking are a direct threat to vital Russian national security interests. I don’t know about Putin, but here’s what I would do. I would send in my army and take the entire Donbass and Lugansk regions under occupation. I would let NATO deal with that de-facto partition of Ukraine, thus short-circuiting NATO plans for eastern Ukraine. I would say, let your lousy sanctions roll. You have pushed us against the wall and this is step one of pushing back. If you want eastern Ukraine, you must take it by force.

Well, that’s just a guess. Putin, that autistic idiot polyglot, might be more subtle, but time is a-wasting. NATO is fully under control of its malicious little Russophobes in eastern Europe and there are enough useful fools among the rest to allow them to work their mischief. I expect things are going to heat up.

Message to world: is there a sane leader in the West who will stand up against this There should be a prohibition against any further expansion of NATO and a declaration of guaranteed neutrality for the rest of the former Soviet Union. I am one American who doesn’t want to go to war for the west Ukrainians, or for Moldova or Georgia.

 


Madhawk on the Loose

Finally something worth writing about, and I am talking about The Man, John McCain. Today he showed the whole word how close to dementia he truly is when he declared that a NATO ally is headed by a modern-day Hitlerite and chastised said Storm Trooper for having friendly relations with Russia. Speaking with regard to the pitiful nomination of another Obama entertainment hack as US Ambassador to Hungary, McCain declared her unfit to hold that position when “Hungary is on the verge of losing its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dicator Victor Orban, who is in bed with Vladimir Putin.” Wow. I’m gasping in amazement. In one sentence, McCain managed to link his favorite boogie-man Putin (much scarier than any ISIS beheader) with someone edging up at the rail, Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, alleged fascist. McCain also managed in that one sentence to mortally offend the Prime Minister’s supporters and many others in NATO’s ex-Warsaw Pact group of members who think their countries gave up one master for another (and resent it). He is becoming the poster child for a nation very ill with regime-change-itis and thrashing around the globe like a wounded beast. The US eagle is in danger of morphing into McCain’s gloating ancient mug. I know a lot of people who would give him credit for Vietnam but I’m afraid Vietnam was only the beginning of his readiness for war. Only  problem is, the next one he could drag us into isn’t going to be nice, like Vietnam.

Here’s another good bit. Putin pulled the rug out from under the EU, which was running around twisting the arms of Russia’s supposed partners in central/eastern Europe on the South Stream oil pipeline. One of those subject to extreme pressure is not even an EU member (Serbia). The EU is insisting that no EU member (or anybody who even dreams of one day being a member) is allowed to participate in a pipeline that is owned by the same source as the energy (in this case gas) that flows through the pipeline. In reality, this is about checking Russian influence in Europe and hurting Russia financially. It is about opening a market for the US shale oil industry. Back in June of 2014 the EU used threats to block South Stream to force Russian recognition of the Kiev government. Seems clear that Europe’s primary interests are other than the stated ones and involve a desire to dictate to Russia it’s foreign policy and to subordinate it to the US/EU axis. Russia’s partners looked set to make a fool of Russia, hemming and hawing, promising a decision but never giving one. The Serbian President only recently gave two interviews back to back, in the first stating that Serbia was not an EU member and would do what was in its interests vis a vis South Stream; and in the second stating that Serbia had to do whatever the EU told it to. Russia had enough of the waffling and decided to cut its losses.

Putin unexpectedly announced with deep regret that Russia was jettisoning the project as a result of the great pressures brought to bear by the EU on the countries involved. Even though Austria and Turkey said they would cooperate, other countries were over a barrel. He said it would be a blow to those countries that had been counting on the income and the jobs, but that Russia had no choice. How could it be expected to invest the billions needed in a project that could never be completed? Russia would be directing the gas that would have flowed via that route (paying out fat transport fees to the partner countries) to other buyers (sub-text: never to return). It is rich in irony that one of those upgraded customers is Turkey, which has wanted to be a member of the EU forever and has been a member of NATO forever, and at last is able to thumb its nose back at the EU. As a non-member with no likelihood of entry into the EU in the near future, it is free to follow its self-interest. I am sure that the spineless political leaders in more than one NATO country look on in envy. In fact Putin’s decision has been like an explosion in the countries concerned. For a good glimpse at what is going on, I recommend a Financial Times article, Anger and Dismay as Russia Scraps $50bn gas plan.

Serbia provides another example of the things countries give up with their membership (even potential) in the EU. Serbia is not a Union member and there is no guarantee when it might be invited to join. If ever. But the EU did not hesitate to threaten Serbia’s prospects for membership and other Serbian interests should Serbia not concede on South Stream. It is clear that the Serbian government did not manage to resist the threats and it was at that point that Putin made a command decision. Russia won’t be asking again for cooperation from Europe. It will build its interests away from Europe with the bulwark of Russia itself between them and the EU/NATO. The idea of not relying on the other guy cuts both ways.

On another subject, I note that the government of Ukraine, so-called, has now given over-night citizenship to three foreigners to help them run that so-called government as top officials. One is an American of Ukrainian parentage who worked in the US State Department and is a west Ukrainian zealot. As my better half has noted, not exactly the best type to have sent to the US Embassy in Kiev (but the Statement Department did send her there, perhaps while Victoria Nuland was handing out cookies to the Maidan mob). The other guy is a Georgian who just finished serving in the Georgian government, so I guess it is musical governments on an international level. The third guy is a Lithuanian businessman who will now be minister of economics. This all sounds like some hare-brained US/EU scheme to salvage a failing state. What other self-respecting state picks its top officials from foreigners? (Yes, I know, the Lithuanians and Latvians, but they had the decency to make them all ethnic Lithuanians or Latvians.) Ukraine is getting to look a lot like Chernobyl.

And back to US politics. I’m not sure what is going on. It’s pretty much back to smokey room politics, with cozy meetings between our new Senate majority leader and the President. I know  immigration is right up there among the top ten priorities for the GOP, but I don’t have any idea what they are planning. My guess is it will be amnesty for millions, with some window-dressing along the border. The stationing of US troops along our own border would probably be considered too Rand Paul for most of them. Same on Obamacare — do they have a plan? We’re waiting. I really hope they do some good work, and they are under the gun. In two years, if the GOP has failed at major tasks, it’s back to ground zero and the return of the zombie left.

 


A Few Words to Those Who Represent Us

rolling pinI found myself getting so angry over the collapsing rule of law in the United States that I began imagining what I would say if I had five minutes with a certain group of Republican membersof Congress who were trapped in a force-field where they could neither move nor speak.

First I would say, I’d like you to meet a real middle-class American, one of those whom you claim as your special focus of concern. But I can’t see a thing that you’ve done for us not only over the last five years, but for the eight before that – and you’ve been living high off the taxpayer for that long and longer. You are supposed to represent what the voters want. Here is what I want:

I want a US president who doesn’t use the word “I” more than the word “the” in every sentence. I want a president who doesn’t try to shatter the United States by setting sub-group against sub-group. I want one who isn’t racist. I want a First Lady who at least likes being First Lady, even if she doesn’t respect the United States but only her race. I want a First Lady who knows that liking doesn’t mean soaking the taxpayers for every over-the-top vacation you feel like taking.

I want government based clearly and fully on the constitution. Officials take an oath of office, why not make them take classes on the Constitution (and pass) before they can take that oath. Maybe it would refresh their minds on what it is they are supposed to be doing. We test aspiring drivers, and attorneys, and doctors, why not the people who will be our voice in government? I want the US Congress to be subject to every single law in the country and I want a legal prohibition against self-exemption. I want to see an end to the kind of abuse of power we see every day in Congress. I want my representatives to represent me, not their parties. And one word to Sen. McCain: you ought to have to pay the salary of that young woman you brought on board as an advisor to the Syrian advance invasion team. We have a right to a minimum of integrity among employees whose salaries we pay, and she doesn’t meet the standard.

I want the US courts at every level to base their decisions on US law and US law only. I want an end to the Supreme Court’s abuse of authority seen in the rewrite of Obamacare legislation to enable it to stand. That law was the result of entirely partisan political and judicial trickery and the Democrats ignored half of the country’s population, at a minimum, who did not want the law. It should be repealed. Why don’t the Republicans start writing replacement laws on the big issues like tort reform and insurance competition across the 50 states? Show us what could replace that monstrosity, keep yourselves busy so you’re not wasting so much taxpayer money. Be active or get out of the way!

creepy teacherI want schools to teach what really happened and not offer up fabricated crap. I want an end to teachers preying on their students, for which they should be fired with loss of pension, at a minimum. Then there’s the jail part. I want the elimination of sexually-oriented education in our schools from K through 12. And I’m tired of the social and cultural trash the schools are feeding our kids, indoctrinating them in frankly. This is pure hedonism, the doped-up generation teaching the kids that everything is free, everything is owed them, that they are special, and anything permissible. They suffocate the talented and the hard-thinking, they ostracize and ridicule them and they enforce an ideological orthodoxy over all our students. Often they are incompetent, as well.

We’ve had it. Let’s start weeding those people out of the school system entirely. I want an end to the tyranny of the State over education and their animosity toward home-schooling and the conservative agenda in general. They need to keep their politics out of our schools.  I want an end to the use of the public school system to socially-reengineer our youth. I want an end to violence in electronic games and at the movies and especially on television. These idols have twisted the minds of our rapidly changing younger generation. Look around you and see what your refusal to defend the rights of parents has wrought. Our children are giving meaning to the term “freaking out,” not only in their hedonism but masochism as seen in tip-to-toe tattoos.

I want the university system subjected to rigorous review to insure that there is no liberal lock-out of conservative thought and conservative activism. They have damaged our children by refusing to teach them to freely exchange ideas or to respect genuine discourse and by creating an ideological one-party state in their minds.

great wallI want right-to-work made national law in all the fifty states. I want our immigration laws enforced and a Great Wall of the US built across the southern perimeter. I want a national review of voting information to identify illegal voters, multiple voters, dead voters and cross-state voters. I want the polls purged of those voters and I want the guilty prosecuted.

I want our troops out of other people’s civil wars. Tom Harkin, that Lenin of the Midwest, was right when he said we have a civil war on our own hands. So let’s bring the troops home, secure the borders and let us take our grievances into the public arena and fight for them.

Unfortunately, you are constitutionally incapable of doing that. You concede the battle to avoid the fight.

And finally, I’m sick of the snotty attitude you jerks have toward the people who elected you into your unearned power. You are a living example of “government for the people,” not “government by the people and of the people.” You work for us, not the other way around, so you’d better start showing us you really, really get it. Because otherwise your legislative sinecure is going to be a thing of the past.

Adios, dear representative. You just don’t measure up. So my vote is going to a third party candidate or a local conservative with courage. And we’re going to take away your pensions, too, so at some point you’ll  have to leave Congress and go out and earn your Obamacare.


The US Turns Clausewitz on His Head

war and truthThe Prussian Karl von Clausewitz is a favorite philosopher for those who deal in war; he was something of a romantic and, like the Americans, felt it necessary to imbue the use of force with moral content. One of his most famous sayings is that “war is a continuation of politics by other means.” Alas for America, we have turned Clausewitz on his head and appear to believe that diplomacy is something we turn to when our will to war is thwarted. But we still believe in dressing up every act of violence in morality.

The hapless president of the United States was bested in his most recent attempt to demonstrate his manhood and unparalleled goodness by launching waves of bombers over the heads of Syrians, one and all, good and bad. His heroic Secretary of State, the one who fought in Vietnam for four months before skedaddling with a minor injury and a Purple Heart, inadvertently threw his boss off-stride by tossing out a one-liner about how the Syrians would never agree to turn over all their cw in one week. “Impossible” he huffed and of course that was true. It is impossible for Syria to turn over the weapons in a week, or a year, and probably not in a decade. After all, the US has spent years trying to dispose of its own massive cw stockpiles and it isn’t done by a long shot. (I have a feeling that we, too, have secret caches of the stuff, because you never know…)

kerry and lavrovContrary to Kerry’s expectations, the Russian president intercepted that groan-inducing fumble. “Let’s ask the Syrians,” Vladimir Putin suggested reasonably. “Oh, of course we will hand them over,” said Bashar al-Assad graciously, “why didn’t you just ask?” And Kerry, thinking about how dopey he appeared, assured us that he actually believed it was possible before he thought it wasn’t possible, and it was all a clever ruse to sucker Russia and Syria. Putin and Assad were obviously acting in their own interests, not those of our incompetent Commander-in-Chief and his cast of clowns, but it temporarily saved Obama’s bacon — if that isn’t an offensive term to the son of a Moslem, and even if it is. Obama came that close to having his left-wing base rise up against him in anger, not to mention the small fact that a vast majority of Americans in general were deeply opposed to his war plans and would have like nothing better than to storm the White House.

I guess the world had given up hope that they could ever again cut America down to size, its ego had grown so bloated and its military power so overwhelming. But suddenly those tired of America’s preening had their chance. Without appearing to be in the least racist, people all around the globe were able to note for public consumption that the American president was a goofball, not a serious player, not smart enough for the rough-and-tumble of real international politics. Even those who were happy to see America’s incessant war-making shut off for a moment couldn’t resist sticking the knife in and watching a bit of Obama’s hot air seep out. But do not underestimate America’s War Wing. It’s war they want, and by gum, it’s war they will have.

How are they going to manage this? Through diplomacy. Here is how this works: the deal with Russia and Syria was that the chemical weapons stocks would be turned over to international control. If Syria reneges, then the matter of bloody retribution from an avenging angel may come up for further consideration. The Russians know there is no way that Syria’s cw stocks could be rounded up in the unrealistic time-frame the US insisted on, and thus they made time for Assad to wipe out the jihad-riddled opposition while staying the US from bombing their way into WWIII. The American goal, by contrast, is to set impossible conditions for a peaceful outcome and to get Russia to accept a UN resolution with sufficiently flexible wording to allow the US to bomb Syria at its leisure while claiming the blessings of “the international community.” Then the US can install its own puppet government — the kind of doofuses that now hold the reins in highly unstable countries like Libya and Egypt and Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama would once more appear to the world as a heroic figure. And equally important to all those jingoists in the War Wing who are not Barack Obama, the US will have defeated Russia and Iran in the zero-sum game they mistakenly believe is diplomacy.

Bah. Humbug. No sooner was the deal made than the war-mongers led by John McCain and Lindsay Graham began wailing that it was a bad bargain. Like Cassandra crying out her warnings to the deaf, they and others — many from the GOP’s neo-con wing — insist that Russia can never be trusted, communist or not, and that official Syrians — not the guys on our side who are chopping the heads off Christians and summarily executing prisoners — are too brutal to be allowed to hold power. Obama, they say, lost the game to Putin and hamstrung American war-making. The War Wing wants to make it truly impossible for Syria to comply with the terms of the agreement, maybe by insisting it all by wrapped up by sunset tomorrow, so they can claim that peace failed and war must rule. Their game is largely about the creation of enemies, real and imagined, which is essential if you are going to make people think your recourse to force is unavoidable and “morally good.”

So the game continues for the moment in that useless arena called the Security Council, the place where aggression is never averted and only rarely actually agreed to. The US wants a resolution against Syria much like the ones that were churned out year after year against Iraq before becoming the banners under which America invaded. Russia, needless to say, will not approve such wording, having seen time and again the way in which the US has used such resolutions to do exactly as it pleases, all the while claiming the whole world is at its back (rather than on it).

Sit back and relax. If you want war or you don’t, you don’t have a thing to say about it. Your views are as meaningless to our decision-makers as they are on things like health-care or the Constitution. The game is afoot and the chances are pretty good that America will find (or create) whatever it needs to work its will. And in the process, we will have churned out millions of new critics (and enemies,too) who think that America’s days of glory are long past, and its moral authority nothing more than thin gruel. And that will, in turn, lead to greater challenges in the future. Some of them might even be challenges to real American interests.


It’s Howdy Doody Time

howdy doody blackWhen Barack Hussein Obama first appeared on the national stage, along with his empty resume and blank history, I commented to someone that Obama looked like a Howdy Doody who spent a very long summer on the beach. The ears, I guess, along with his inability to speak without a script. But now that he’s been running the US into the ground for five years, doing things that strike sensible Americans as totally inexplicable, I think there is a much deeper resemblance. What I’m referring to is  the hidden hand moving the parts and hidden lips speaking the words.

Obama’s bowing to the Saudi king or emperor or sheikh or whatever he is was only the most obvious give-away. Even ordinary Americans know better than to bow to foreign princes, but for a US president to do so was like a slap in the face to our very history. It was deliberate and offensive and he enjoyed every second of it.

Then there is Obama’s record of rampage in the Middle East. Sure, he deigned to let our Navy Seals zap Osama bin Laden, but that was for show. Even if he was too scared to watch the killing (he probably had his fingers in his ears and his eyes squeezed shut), he loved the adulation that poured in upon news of the Arab Rasputin’s demise. The real story, however, is the way he has used and abused America’s military forces to sweep secularist leaders from power in the Middle East and North Africa to install the most radical foes of America in the Moslem world. Osama bin Laden would have been proud of our president, I’m sure. He would gladly have flown off to paradise and all those virgin adolescent girls, his body filled with lead, in order to see his fondest dreams become reality. Haven’t you had that sneaking suspicion that somebody over there, some emir, is putting billions of dollars in secret accounts every time Obama orders a military strike? Wouldn’t you like to get your hands on that secret coded message that said “Syria’s next”? Too late, the prez has no doubt swallowed it.

Ihowdy 2t’s been an exciting few weeks in that usually dry-as-dust foreign policy field. First we had Obama’s dithering over whether to make good on his thoughtless threat to wreak havoc on Syria should it cross a chemical weapons red line that it turned out he never set at all, you dumbos. The ridicule reached such a pitch that Obama decided to show us that he meant what he said and he said what he meant, or perhaps it was “I yam what I yam and I yam what I yam.” You can put those guffaws where the sun doesn’t shine, Obama let us know — it’s curtains for Assad. No matter what Americans wanted or didn’t want, he was going to blow Syria to smithereens, or perhaps just do a teensy-tiny little destruction that nobody but the kids evaporated into thin air would even notice. And for sure he wasn’t looking to topple the Syrian leader, he just had to smack his knuckles so he would pay attention. And Obama had such incredibly good intelligence that it was Assad and not his motley crew of “Freedom Fighters” who used the cw that he couldn’t possibly share it with us. “Believe me,” was his plea, even as we approached the year’s anniversary of Benghazi when Americans died in a disastrous effort to sneak big-time weapons to the Islamic jihadists whom America supposedly was not arming and fiercely opposed. Yes, indeed-y, we certainly have every reason to trust Obama’s word.

As anti-war sentiment was reaching a wild crescendo at home and abroad, Obama’s knees were trembling but his will was firm. It was time to dispatch one of the last remaining obstacles between the jihadists and total power in the Middle East and anybody who questioned his right to send our men off to war and risk a terrorist spree in the US could just sit down and shut up. “I am the Emperor,” Obama said, if only implicitly. Despite every indication that he was going down to defeat in Congress and in the country, Obama let us know that he had only asked for the opinion of Congress on the assumption it would agree. Any other outcome would be null and void and not redeemable for cash. He assembled his confederacy of dunces to swear to America that failing to take out Assad would be the end of civilization as we know it. And it was so convincing, wasn’t it? I mean — we had the world’s most inept Socialist, Francois Hollande, who was already slapping on his plumed hat and strapping on his sword to fight by Obama’s side. And there were some other countries, like Moslem Albania, that said they agreed and were ready to do some cheerleading if not actually spend money or fight with the dumb Americans. But not to worry. Those emirs, sheikhs and despots of the Middle East were ready to pay American soldiers to die on their behalf.

howdy doody 5Finally the dunderhead currently heading up the State Department, where he sinks into the hole Hillary’s butt made in the Secretary’s chair, tossed off one of his clever lines written by his wife. Sure, he said, Syria could avoid being bombed into the Stone Age, if it gave up those chemical weapons within one week, give or take 45 minutes. But that is impossible, so it is war.

At which point the guy with the brains leapt at the Golden Ring and ran with it. “Syria will give up its chemical weapons,” Vladimir Putin announced, echoed by Bashar al Assad, who said, “of course we’ll turn over those weapons.” I don’t know if Russia is going to take those weapons to dispose of them, or if they will be buried in New York’s harbor where the UN can keep an eye on them.

And the funny thing is, Kerry’s mouthpieces at State scoffed at the idea that his suggestion was more than a joke, an idle comment from an idle brain. It threw a spanner into the whole works. How could it possibly be that the US made a demand and Syria agreed? How was America to get around that one? The fighter jets were already gassed up, our pilots ready to die, and suddenly it isn’t necessary? Whoa, Nellie.

Never mind. Now that everybody and his brother has lauded this fantastic bit of diplomacy from Russia, both Kerry and Obama are tripping over themselves to claim it was all their doing. Why that idea had already been raised (by whom?) in Russia in a chat our president had with Putin. In fact, said Obama, Putin’s proposal was a mere “continuation” of something that no doubt was stewing in Obama’s empty head, even if he didn’t tell us. You see, there are lots of things Obama doesn’t tell us. It’s more convenient that way, because it’s tough to change your story once you’ve opened your big mouth (not that this has ever stopped Obama).

And here we are. To bomb, or not to bomb, that is the question. Already our Dear Leader and his flunkies are setting the bar higher and higher, so that he can use the line “they gave us no choice.” Obama is willing to wait a few weeks, he says, but not months. (How many years did America give Saddam Hussein before the hated Bush said “enough”?) You just watch. Howdy Doody has his heart set on getting rid of Assad and we can already see that the cw issue was a red herring. His  masters, the ones with all those petro-dollars, want Assad gone and the jihadists in charge, and Israel’s security — of no actual concern to Obama — provides a convenient pretext. And he can always count on those useful idiots from the Republican Party to help him out. Why even now, John McCain is telling us all we have to do is let this cw turnover thingy “play out.”

And Howdy Doody is waiting for his next lines to arrive by encrypted message as the hidden hand moves his lips. I wonder what the dummy will say next.


Dying for Peace

madhouseI swore I wasn’t going to write another word on Syria for the time being. I was just going to keep an eagle eye on how the Republicans in Congress were behaving vis a vis Obama’s mad proposal to wage war on Syria. I was just going to make a list and check it twice. But the news surrounding this Great American Blunder is so bizarre and the ironies so intense that I have to comment.

Fox News website has a great picture of Obama and Putin. Obama is heading out of the picture frame with that characteristic pursed lips expression signaling that His Eminence has had his feathers ruffled. The pout is usually provoked by a question he doesn’t want to answer, or one that implies he is a liar or ignorant, or a suggestion he is not all he’s cracked up to be, or anything else that is irksome. Following behind him is a cheerful looking Vladimir Putin, chuckling to himself, who actually has a lot to be chipper about these days when it comes to the USA. My guess is he shook Obama’s hand, grinned and whispered to him: “Please, make my day — bomb Syria and put those boots on the ground!”

Remember when Jimmy Carter was in office and the Soviet Union was sending its highly limited quantity of sons to die in Afghanistan? We were so smug back then, boycotting the Olympics to show our moral dander was up and denying the Soviet Union the gas turbines for their oil industry. We watched with some degree of satisfaction as the Soviets were sucked deeper and deeper into that morass. But back then we had morals and a little smugness was in order when battling the Evil Empire. Of course, what good did our morality do us? We took Osama bin Laden under our wing to screw the USSR, hand-fed and nurtured him. Wow, was that ever a good decision.

chuck hagelI then read that Chuck Hagel, who has obviously been into the magic mushrooms, accused Russia of giving the chemical weapons used on August 21 in Syria to the Assad regime. There are two problems with Hagel’s charge. The first is that it assumes Putin is as stupid as Obama; what on earth would Russia get out of encouraging and enabling long-time ally Assad to provoke the Moral Conscience of the World into bombing? Unlike the US or Germany, Russia has not provoked a single war since the last Tsar shuffled off his mortal coils and it is unlikely they would choose to do so over Syria.

The other problem is that it blithely assumes that Assad’s people used the weapons. You will probably have noticed that, unlike the BBC, neither the USG nor the US media refer to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons as alleged, but instead follow Vladimir Lenin’s maxim that if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth. Hence you will hear from every side that “Assad’s brutal use of chemical weapons against small children and old ladies” demands a military response. Well of course, if your objective is to get an excuse for bombing the hell out of Syria, you’re not going to admit that your claim is only an unproven allegation and not even a very convincing allegation at that. I’m going to give Meat-Head Hagel a break here and make an assumption of my own: he’s being fed the same disinformation from the same agencies as John Kerry (my face! my face! I can’t feel my face!). Neither of them has the native intelligence to sniff out cooked intel.

Then there is the insidious Senate draft resolution that was passed out of Committee with the help of John McCain, who had only the same day sworn he wouldn’t vote for it because it didn’t allow us to lay waste to Syria. But I think I know what changed his mind. In addition to giving the president three months to spend billions and billions of dollars we don’t have bombing Syria, the resolution has a clause that prohibits the use of military personnel for combat purposes — but leaves gaping loopholes that would allow us to invade Syria to “secure chemical weapons” or for other unnamed purposes that we don’t consider war-making. Anybody with at least several active brain cells will ask himself: you mean there won’t be any fighting if we send in troops to secure the chemical weapons? Old McCain knows better; it’s blood he wants, and he plans to keep pushing for it.

Another bit of news that ought to make us sit up and pay attention is Putin’s threat to give Syria S-300 missile shield defense systems (for which it has already delivered certain components) should the US attack. But that’s not an end to it. Russia also suggested these systems might be transferred to Iran, which had signed contracts for the weapons that Russia suspended in 2010 in response to Security Council resolutions. So now this confrontation that the US has been champing at the bit to start has gone from being the Big Bully against the much weaker Twerp, to being Big Bully against Twerp and Big Brother. That doesn’t even take into account the other bruiser in the neighborhood, Iran. Or China, which also sells Syria weapons.

I see that the Congressional Research Office has put on it’s green eyeshade and come up with a figure of 75000 US troops needed to “secure chemical weapons” in Syria. I think they need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how many soldiers we are going to have to march into the mouth of hell if they have to secure the chemical weapons, defeat Assad’s army, fend off Russian missiles and fight Hezbollah. I hope somebody has stepped up production of body bags in the US.

john kerryOne last observation: John Kerry has sworn to the American public and to certain heroically skeptical members of Congress that Assad will definitely use chemical weapons against civilians again if they don’t let the Pentagon create mayhem in Syria. Hoo-hah. I would normally say, “how can you be so sure of that?” Except I am pretty sure how he can make such a hard-and-fast prediction. Because the same people who carried out the August attack no doubt have plenty of supplies to do it all over again. As I said before, if dozens of Syrians dead from chemical weapons doesn’t earn support for an American attack, then it will have to be a thousand. And if a thousand dead Syrians isn’t enough, I guess they will have to use the cw somewhere more heavily populated. Eventually, so the thinking might go, there is bound to be the desired reaction.

jackboots_editedYou know, when a government becomes so contemptuous of the people it supposedly serves that it can lie, spy and oppress them routinely, what hindrance is there to that same government using the same tactics against the world? Especially when they have big, bad military technology to hold over the world’s head as a threat.

I think we all know the answer to that one.