Presidential Daily Brief: Trump Determined to Strike in U.S.

found online by Raymond

From Jon Perr at PERRspectives:

As more details surfaced this week about the extent of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, its winner Donald Trump shocked intelligence leaders from both parties with his announcement that he only receives briefings once a week. “I’m, like, a smart person,” Trump declared last Sunday, “I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

After Trump brushed off as “ridiculous” what former acting CIA director Michael Morrell called “the political equivalent of 9/11,” a stunned Michael Hayden responded “to have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions–wow.” For his part, former Obama CIA chief Leon Panetta warned Trump that in the event of a future attack by any enemy of the United States “the responsibility for that attack would fall on the president.”

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He’s the King of the World!

found online by Raymond

From Capt. Fogg at Human Voices:

Is this the kind of message that an inclusive political party about to take over the reigns of the USA should be sending or is this a somehow mislabeled missive from the Vatican?

“Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King…”

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Racism is Alive and Thriving on the Left

found online by Raymond

From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:

The op-ed was originally published for the Los Angeles Times (12/29/15) under the title, “The new racial generation gap.”

“America needs to invest” means, of course, the government needs to seize your money through taxes, and spend it according to the politicians’ criteria. But that’s not the worst of it.

The message to the young of this explicitly racist article is: Your identity is not your self-made character or your chosen values, goals, ideas, actions, or accomplishments. Your identity is your racial tribe. You as an individual are irrelevant. You do not have an independent mind and the capability of exercising it. You are not capable of taking care of yourself. You are nothing beyond what is expected of you by your tribal leaders. Your destiny is tied up in your genes or your blood, not your personal moral character, choices, values, and dreams.

Welcome to the Left’s “diversity” movement.

And you’re entitled: The world owes you a living.

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5 Charts On “Trickle-Down” Economics

found online by Raymond

From Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger:

These charts are from the Economic Policy Institute. They published their 13 best charts of 2016, and all of them are interesting. I picked these five charts to show you because they illustrate how disastrous the Republican “trickle-down” economic policy (initiated about 1980 and carried forth by Republicans since then) has been for most Americans.

The GOP’s economic policies have been great for the top 1%, and even better for the top 0.1% — but they have not been good for the rest of the American population.

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2017 — looking ahead

found online by Raymond

From Infidel753:

Once again, I’ll venture a few predictions.

1) The enemy’s attempt to destroy (or to change in a way constituting de facto destruction) Social Security and Medicare will fail, for the same reason as in 2005 — some Republicans will vote against doing so, knowing that the huge unpopularity of such a move would destroy their re-election hopes. Remember, if all Senate Democrats stick together they need only three Republicans to block something, even without the filibuster.

2) Culturally the US will continue becoming more liberal and less religious despite Republican efforts to reverse progress — recall how things like secularism and acceptance of gays and gay marriage kept advancing even during the Bush years.

3) The Paris climate agreement will be effective even if Trump repudiates it.

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Outlasting Them All

As most of the world awoke that day, we did not know the astonishing number of lives that were about to be extinguished.

In Northern Ireland, on the outskirts of Lisburn, 38 prisoners had successfully escaped. They had a shared history of shootings, hijackings, bombings, and assassinations. Their targets had included officials and civilians. Government buildings and tourist hotels had been blown up. Hundreds had died.

The escape was violent. Dozens of guards were injured. One died of heart failure. Thousands of police and military personnel were in pursuit.

Nobody, not the prison guards who were shot or stabbed, not the 38 escaped prisoners, not the thousands assigned to capture them, knew that all of them, guards, escaped prisoners, soldiers, and police were about to die.

In the United States, at a Philadelphia arena, a series of wrestling personalities put on a furious show of violence for an enthusiastic audience. Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura were there. Neither they, nor the arena audience, realized that they were all minutes away from an explosive death.

A technologically based disaster movie was winding down from an unexpectedly successful run. The company that had produced the visual effects had won the Academy Scientific and Technical Award. Theater showings had been going on for three months. Moviegoers pretty much knew the plot as they walked in. The ending had not stayed a secret for long. But they cheered at the climactic scene.

The theme was humanity on the brink of catastrophe. In the movie, a runaway computer system did not recognize the difference between a between a nuclear attack and the simulation it had generated itself. Giant screens flashed one nuclear scenario after another in a dazzling display. Then screens went dead.

In theatres around the country, audiences waited for the flat computer voice.

A strange game.
The only winning move is not to play.


How about a nice game of chess?

The cheering from theatre audiences combined that evening with that of onscreen military and civilian personnel. The world, in the movie, was saved.

In all those theatres, among all of those audiences, not one patron knew that, within moments, they would all be dead.

It was turning to morning in Moscow. Outside the city, in the Serpukhov military base, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov had been on duty for only a few hours. He was one of a handful of military people who realized that moviegoers and arena audiences, prisoners and police, children and parents and school teachers, embezzlers working at night, and couples making love were all about to join in a baptism of nuclear fire. All were minutes away from death.

Three weeks before, a Soviet pilot had shot down a passenger jet, Korean Flight 007. President Reagan was outraged and vocal. The Soviet Union would pay. Russia’s intelligence agencies told Soviet officials the Americans were serious. A nuclear attack was likely, and it would happen soon.

Stanislav Petrov could hardly believe what he was watching on screen. The American attack had begun. One US missile headed toward Moscow was joined by four others. Hundreds more were known to be ready and would soon be added to them. In Moscow, other screens showed the same American missiles on their deadly journey. The order came. Lieutenant Colonel Petrov was told to fire Soviet missiles before it was too late.

The American attack did not make sense to Stanislav Petrov. There were still only five missiles carrying nuclear destruction to Russian cities. Why so few?

He decided to wait for a few minutes. If more US missiles appeared on his screen, he would fire enough missiles to end the lives of virtually all Americans.

Even if no other missiles appeared, and any of the missiles that could be seen were about to reach their targets, he would fire and worldwide nuclear war would take its course.

In the meantime, he would defy the order to launch those retaliatory nuclear missiles. He would wait a few moments.

Military nuclear operations in both countries had long been based on the same brutal strategy. If incoming missiles took out responding missiles before they could be fired, the aggressor would win. So deterrence depended on fast reaction. If we were attacked, they had to know we would fire ours before theirs could reach us. And we knew the reverse.

The strategy had been around for decades. In the early 1950s, US missiles were aimed only at military targets. So were Soviet missiles. Both sides boasted about the humanitarian effort to avoid population centers. And both sides tried hard to produce more nuclear capability than the other.

Experts in the new field of nuclear strategy warned that this so-called “humanitarian” tactic was not humanitarian at all. And it was not strategically sound. Aiming weapons at weapons meant that both sides had an anxious incentive to fire first. The side that did not fire first would not be able to fire at all. Attack or be attacked. The world was about to become like two scorpions trapped in a bottle. Even if they did not want to strike, they had to.

So weapons were redeployed to aim at population centers. And it was done openly. If we fired at you, your people would be destroyed. But you would be able to fire back, so our people would be destroyed as well. The reverse was also true. If you attacked, destroying our people, your people would die.

It was called Mutually Assured Destruction. MAD. Seemed fitting. But it also seemed stable.

The arms race went on, then accelerated. As long as we kept up, we would be safe. And as long as they kept up, they would be safe. The more nuclear firepower, the more incentive everyone would have to keep missiles in their silos.

It didn’t seem to be working out that way.

In a world of continual confrontation, and technology that was sometimes … well … uncertain, MAD turned out to be not so stable after all.

The Cuban missile crisis, the crisis that occasional high ranking Republicans confess to never having heard of, brought us right to the edge of nuclear war. Two very angry nuclear powers coming nose to nose made the world acutely aware of how close we remained to worldwide hellfire.

During the crisis, when a rogue Soviet missile operator in Cuba shot down an American reconnaissance plane, US generals demanded full-fledged military retaliation. President Kennedy held off.

At about the same time, a stray US military plane headed straight into Soviet airspace. If the USSR had mistaken the plane for a missile, or even suspected it was armed with nuclear weapons, the response could have been a worldwide holocaust.

We had come very close before the Soviet Union backed away.

The nuclear arms race meant that every minor confrontation could easily become mega-deadly. Nuclear proliferation, with more and smaller countries getting those weapons, meant local disagreements could make large parts of the world glow in the dark.

Every US President from Eisenhower onward has tried to reduce the danger of too many weapons in the world, and of too many hands holding those weapons. Negotiating the danger downward has been a priority for Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

So when our new, incoming President sent a message by internet, it was a departure from 60 years of policy through 11 Presidents of every ideology.

Aides to the President-elect scrambled to reassure citizens of the United States, citizens of the world, that he meant something different than he said.

The about-to-be leader of the most powerful nation in history helped out with a clarification.

Let it be an arms race, we will outmatch them at every pass. And outlast them all.

Donald Trump, December 23, 2016

Only five missiles appeared on the early warning screen of Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov just after midnight, Moscow time, on September 26, 1983. Those five missiles disappeared before he responded with a counter attack on the US. The missiles were not real after all, phantoms produced by a systems flaw.

38 prisoners in Northern Ireland were re-captured, alive. The thousands of authorities in pursuit went safely to their homes. One prison guard had died from heart failure. Fight fans in Philadelphia had an exciting night and left safely. Theatre patrons across the United States saw the end of a thrilling movie. They lived to hear the words about nuclear war:

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

That is how there came to be an October in 1983.

We can imagine what may have gone through the mind of a sole military officer in the Soviet Union, as he closed in on launching the missiles that would end virtually all human life.

He apparently knew what we can hope will penetrate the zero-sum “we will outlast them all” thinking of an incoming American President.

Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov realized that the nuclear game is not a game at all.

When we do outlast those who lose in that war, it will not make us winners.

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Letters From the Earth by Mark Twain Part I

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Letters From the Earth was written by Mark Twain. Published posthumously, Twain details eleven letters written by Satan to the archangels Gabriel and Michael. These letters provide deep insight into Twain’s view of Christianity. Atheists and secularists will find much to like in Letters From the Earth, whereas Christians will likely be offended. Enjoy!

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Actual Research – Limits of Medical Usefulness of Tic Tac Toe

found online by Raymond

From The Journal of Improbable Research:

The game of tic tac toe is not useful for every medical situation. This paper makes that clear:

Tic-tac-toe does not provide lessons for appreciating the HLA–rheumatoid arthritis relationship: Comment on the editorial by Bridges et al.,” A.H.M. van der Helm-van Mil, T. W. J. Huizinga, R.R.P. de Vries, and R.E.M. Toes, Arthritis and Rheumatism, vol. 58, no. 11, 2008, p. 3635.

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Trump Says He Would Have Beaten Obama! Seriously?

found online by Raymond

From Michael J. Scott at MadMikesAmerica:

Regardless of what the short-fingered vulgarian or his loyal henchmen say, Barack Obama would have destroyed Trump in an election match-up say several informal polls. Quite frankly, had Clinton not been such a flawed candidate and a regular and constant target of the press, she would have destroyed Donald Trump, before he had a chance to destroy us.

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