Archive for the 'Mark Steyn Sucks!' Category

Jul 10 2014

Recent Reading

On the trip over to Normandy-I had forgotten to charge my I-Pad. So I grabbed a book from the shelf to read on the train. Boy am I glad I did. It was an honor to re-immerse myself in this book.

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Schlesinger, a life long liberal, was also an outstanding historian. And a superb writer. He never struck a mismatched key. For the writing alone-this book is worth a read, but more importantly, it is a stirring defense of humanity in government, and the willingness to adopt a creed other than that which inhabits the current GOP: " I got mine, fuck you!"

One of the most interesting things about reading the letters of Arthur Schlesinger is the quality of the discussion between him and those like Joseph and Stewart Alsop and many others. They held differing view points-but because they had the shared experience of a demanding education, and having to actually earn their way onto a writing staff-and live under an editor, the quality of what they produced was far superior to what the intellectual children, who presume to even think they have a right to sit at the grown ups table, produce now. The Krauthamers, Chunky Bobo, the plagiarist Malkin, all the members of the Liars Club-cretins like William Jacobsen, John Hinderaker, Mark Steyn, 3/4 of the blogosphere ( especially the mil-blogs)-what they produce is trash when held up in comparison to the quality of the writing that went forth from the great writers of the 50's and 60's. Near the end of his life Schlesinger saw this decline of intellectual rigor-and rightly chastised it, particularly those who fell for the shame that was what he called "Gingrichism" in the mid 90's. Altogether great history-a story the above listed children can not even begin to appreciate.

This is worth the money to buy.

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Jun 03 2014

Sideshow Bowe

It is with sad and undisguised disgust that I watch the collective conservative freak out of the release of SGT Bowe Berghdahl, the only prisoner of war held by the Taliban. In the early morning of June 30, 2009, Berghdal went missing from his unit's small outpost in Mest, a restive area in Paktia province. Within several hours, radio chatter from the Taliban indicated that they'd captured the soldier.

He spent the next five years in captivity, growing gaunt in the numerous propaganda videos that the Taliban trickled out to the press. On numerous occasions, they publicly threatened him with execution. Many Afghans and some Westerners in similar positions had been tortured, decapitated, or shot to death.

This passed weekend he was released by his captors in exchange for 5 prisoners being held in the concentration camp prison in Guantanamo Bay. And then the hounds of hell came rushing loose from the caves of the Glibertarian Kingdom.

And who was leading the way? Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods and The Town Hall Harlot herself.  She is pretty much setting a record for hysterical posts screaming about the man, which is a lot considering that this little specimen of female self loathing is always hysterical about something. But in this case-she has her well oiled plagiarism machine working till all hours of the night.

Over on Facebook or any of the normal blogs its no better either. The ranting is especially virulent. It runs along a consistent set of themes:

1) Obama negotiated with terrorists.Which is an interesting whine considering it simply makes him well, President, and is doing the same thing that Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush did.

2) Second, he released some bad guys.  People say he should not have done that. However, as the Christian Science Monitor points out-they were going to have to be released soon anyway:

But dealing with people you find odious – your enemies – is how most wars end. And with the US set for full withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2016, the prospect of a crushing defeat for the Taliban is pretty much nil. Getting POWs back, whatever the circumstances of their capture, a crucial goal.

Did Obama just swap five dangerous "terrorists" for Bergdahl, as Sen. Cruz alleges? It depends on your definition of "terrorism."

Four of the five men released into Qatar's custody, where they are supposed to remain for at least a year before being allowed to return home, were indeed senior members of the Taliban movement. The Taliban have been seeking the release of the five in exchange for Bergdahl since 2011, and there had been fitful progress in that regard, with Qatar acting as a mediator, since at least 2013.

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sought in recent years to find a reconciliation deal with the Taliban, and the release of the "Guantanamo Five" has been a part of those efforts.

 

Boo fucking who. The guy is home and that is the main thing.

3) And of course now we come to the real turd in the punchbowl-the guy is alleged to be a deserter. Soonergrunt over at Balloon Juice addresses this in a quite logical fashion:

I don’t know if SGT Bergdahl voluntarily walked off his camp and surrendered to the enemy or not. Just because a few fellow Soldiers in his unit say that doesn’t make it so. The most powerful communication system in an Infantry company is what we used to call “S-5–rumor control.” I’ve never been in a unit that wasn’t essentially a knitting circle with automatic weapons. Young Soldiers, for whom boredom is an almost constant companion (punctuated by moments of sheer terror) can give the most catty junior high school girls’ clique a run for their money. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong, but I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in it without some corroboration. So I’ll hold off judgment on that. It’s also been brought up that he supposedly sent some emails to one or more people expressing doubts about US military actions. So did I. So have a lot of guys who then went out and did the very best they could do for their buddies and their country. It’s irrelevant anyway.

We’re getting out of Afghanistan, and the treaties to which this nation has repeatedly pledged itself require that we release Prisoners of War and repatriate them home. Taliban are distinct from Al Qaeda in this respect because Taliban could be considered the government forces of Afghanistan (whether legitimate, loved, respected, or not) while AQ isn’t anything but a bunch of thugs under international law. So this idea that we gave up valuable prisoners for one guy and that makes it a bad deal is bullshit on its face. We were going to release them. We were REQUIRED to release them under international law that we largely wrote. Whatever intelligence value they had was long since wrung out of them, in some cases literally. One of them had laid down his arms and pledged to work with the new government of Afghanistan prior to the Pakistani government taking him prisoner more as a propaganda tool and removing a potential political problem than anything else, I am given to understand. So we got something we wanted for doing something now that we would have done in a few months for nothing anyway. That’s not exactly brilliant poker, but it was pretty well played.

We don’t leave our people behind. That’s an Army value. The people ranting about this whole thing either don’t understand or don’t care about that simple concept. Whatever SGT Bergdahl may have done or not done, we don’t leave our people behind. If it hasn’t already, the Army will shortly start a 15-6 investigation, so called in reference to the Army Regulation that describes such things. You’ve probably heard the term “Board of Inquiry.” They are essentially the same thing. When the Army has concluded what the circumstances of SGT Bergdahl’s capture and captivity were, then they’ll make some decisions, but I’ll just note for the record that US POWs have rarely been punished for their actions or inactions while in enemy hands. Many, many of the POWs in Viet Nam, including John McCain signed documents created by their captors confessing to war crimes and indicting their fellow POWs and the US. Former CW4 Michael Durant, taken prisoner by a Somali warlord after being shot down in the battle of Mogadishu (Blackhawk Down) made problematic statements to a TV camera that were subsequently shown around the world. None of these men were ever subjected to disciplinary action upon repatriation to my knowledge.

So I’m glad that SGT Bergdahl will be reunited with his family, at long last.

David Graham over at the Atlantic points out much the same thing-pointing out too, that Obama made clear that he was not going to be bound by a stupid Congressional obstacle if it conflicted with his powers as Commander in Chief.  So much for the "he broke the law argument".

Obviously there is going to be an investigation. The Army will make a decision one way or another. And it will have to weight all the factors including what he suffered in captivity.  And somehow it will have to prove its case in court, if it has one. Personally,  I think all this public outrage is doing the defense attorney's job for him-it will make it impossible to prosecute, even if the Army did want to.

Clearly, however, the collective stupidity shown by all the usual suspects makes me wonder about how screwed up the land of my birth is becoming. Everyone needs to chill the f*ck out and remember this little tidbit of advice:

 

 

Nuff Said.

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Sep 16 2013

And while we are on the subject……

Of Mark Steyn-a completely useless man.

Here's another point of view that highlights my steadfast belief that Mark Steyn should just go fuck himself:

“Had we rolled out something that was very smooth and disciplined and linear, they would have graded it well, even if it was a disastrous policy. We know that, because that’s exactly how they graded the Iraq war,” – President Obama.

So take that-you worthless Canadian turd.

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Sep 15 2013

True to form

I hate Mark Steyn. He is once again proving himself to be the worthless piece of shit that he is.

Over at the National Review, the resident loony bin of the crazed zealots in America, Steyn is crying because he did not get his "splendid little war".

For generations, eminent New York Timeswordsmiths have swooned over foreign strongmen, from Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer-winning paeans to the Stalinist utopia to Thomas L. Friedman’s more recent effusions to the “enlightened” Chinese Politburo. So it was inevitable that the cash-strapped Times would eventually figure it might as well eliminate the middle man and hire the enlightened strongman direct. Hence Vladimir Putin’s impressive debut on the op-ed page this week……….

This is what happens when you elect someone because he looks cool standing next to Jay-Z. Putin is cool mainly in the sense that Yakutsk in February is. In American pop-culture terms, he is a faintly ridiculous figure, with his penchant for homoerotic shirtlessness, his nipples entering the room like an advance security team; the celebrities he attracts are like some rerun channel way up the end of the dial: Goldie Hawn was in the crowd when Putin, for no apparent reason, sang “I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill,” which Goldie seemed to enjoy. In reality, Putin finds his thrill by grabbing Obama’s blueberries and squeezing hard. Cold beats cool.

Maybe someone should remind this douchebag guy of the facts.

1) The majority of the American people do not want to go to war over Syria. The President has to deal, unlike a smug Canadian pundit, with that stark fact.

2) Our own Congress doesn't support it. Except for Daddy Warbucks McCain and Lindsey, "I never met a war I didn't like". Graham, most Congressmen are hearing and heeding the desires of their constituents to stay the hell out.

3) The US has already wasted a lot of its military, economic, and political capital on two failed wars in the Middle East-which in turn sets the back drop by which any military intervention in Syria will be judged.

We'll not even get to the fact of the lives wasted-in these wars that douchebags like Steyn advocated from the safety of their Canadian Citizenship-never having to serve or take any risk themselves.  Like William "The Bloody" Kristol-Steyn is always willing to sacrifice other people's children for the long lost idea of American global hegemony.

See, guys like Steyn can't seem to make up their minds. On the one hand he and his gang of deluded neocon wannabes bemoans the fact that Obama has usurped the Constitution on many issues. ( Soon we will hear the asshole Steyn screaming BENGHAZI for the thousandth time). On the other hand, "If you follow the Constitution, the power to make war resides in the Congress. Period. That the Congress has allowed that power to drain away, and/or that the Congress has allowed its constitutional authority to atrophy, is beside the point. If it wishes to reassert those powers, it is perfectly within its constitutional mandate to do so. Yet that seems to be the very thing that some of the more serious critics of the president's recent actions are arguing against. It is at the heart of every proxy argument being raised about the president's "waffling" or the country's "credibility."

Which is what is really at the heart of Steyn's whining. He could care less about the people of Syria, anymore than he cares about the majority of people in America. He just wants another cudgel to use on Obama, who he has made clear repeatedly he regards as an illegitimate President. What he fails to realize is that it does not cost the US anything to try Putin's proposal-if it fails the option to use force is back on the table, and maybe, just maybe, we might actually stumble onto the real use of force that makes the most sense: a Turkish Invasion of Syria. Which would go a lot farther towards changing the situation "on the ground" and putting the fear of God into Assad.

Syria has a problem-but it is a Syrian problem. US does not have to “own” Syria or Putin's  proposal. That is something that Steyn cannot imagine – because he is so trapped in his stupid dreams of American exceptionalism. An idea whose time has long passed. 

I have a better idea. Let's lob a couple of cruise missiles at Mark Steyn's house. That would provide a decisive result, one that literally thousands of cruise missiles into Syria cannot. It would rid the world of a worthless muck raker-providing him the exit from this mortal coil  he so richly deserves.  It would be a positive result-by eliminating someone or something that is sucking all the positive ideas out of American society.

 

 

 

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Mar 26 2013

Some things remain constant in the universe

Such as the fact that on any given issue, Mark Steyn will be wrong about it. How do you know Steyn is lying? His lips are moving or his fingers are touching a keyboard.

Over at The Atlantic. Conor Friedersdorf points out the latest example of Steyn's hypocrisy by examining his unaplogetic defense of the decision to invade Iraq. You should read Steyn's self serving blabber first, then read Friedersdorf's skilled dissection of it.

He exposes Steyn as the complete hypocrite he has always been.

What neoconservatives never seem to understand is that you go to war with the citizenry that you've got. Urging a war of choice that requires more years of fighting to win than the citizenry will permit is itself an error. If guys like Steyn didn't realize, when they were calling on the U.S. to invade Iraq, that Americans would tire of fighting there after a decade of conflict, thousands of troops killed, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, they should blame themselves for missing the obvious. If America looks weak for failing to win the war, we have Iraq hawks to blame for urging a war that required far longer to win than a democratic citizenry was ever likely to want to fight (and that might well have been unwinnable regardless of how long we remained an occupying force).

The Iraq hawks would be culpable even if they'd encouraged war without making any predictions about its likely cost. Instead, the hawks spent the pre-war period assuring Americans that victory would be sure and swift; proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" soon after the invasion; and started speculating in those heady days about regime change in Iran and Syria. It isn't ADHD that caused so many to support the invasion only to turn against the occupation. Many of the Americans who changed sides were misled by the faux-assurance of writers like Steyn, who puffed themselves up as if they were speaking obvious foreign-policy truths, openly mocked academics and pundits who warned of impending calamity, and most incredibly, continue all these years later to act as if subsequent events have vindicated their analysis. The hawks who say we'd do well to stay in Iraq and secure Bush's victory aren't winning converts in part because their predictions about how the war would unfold have been proven so spectacularly wrong by events — without their admitting it — that no one takes them seriously.

Some things just never change can always be counted on.  The sun coming up every day, for example, and the fact that you can always count on Mark Steyn to be a douchebag.

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Nov 08 2012

After action report.

Its Thursday now, and after 13 hours of sleep last night-I went to bed at 6:15 PM- I feel much better.

Meanwhile, the post mortems on the election have begun. And as I expected, some people are learning all the wrong lessons. Writing off the results of the election to a bunch of parasites doesn't get you any friends. Giving your pompous speeches on self sufficiency won't either. I already work hard as does just about every member of the 60,000,000 who voted for Obama. The more you guys delude yourself about this misguided idea of "dependency"-the more it makes the rest of the country want to kick your ass. People don't want handouts-they want a level playing field. They want the incredibly rich to understand that decently compensating and benefiting one's employees is not an act of kindness-its an obligation of being part of the civilized world. And they don't want pompous bastards telling them what to do with their bodies-and what they should do if they are raped.

John Cole has it right, "  when you insult folks and dismiss them, they tend to get mad and they tend to want to kick your ass.". That had a lot to do with my feelings on the election-the more I heard that because I felt strongly about decent benefits and wanting what I was entitled to, that I was a "moocher" the more emotionally invested in Obama's victory I became. Well played wingnuts-well played. 

So what are the lessons learned here?

First for the Democrats, they should heed Jon Chait's warning:

Democrats will not keep winning forever. (In particular, their heavy reliance on young and non-white voters, who vote more sporadically, will subject the party to regular drubbings in midterm elections, when only the hardiest voters turn out.) Eventually, the Republican Party will recast and reform itself, and the Democratic Party’s disparate constituencies will eat each other alive, as they tend to do when they lack the binding force of imminent peril. But conservatives have lost their best chance to strike down the Obama legacy and mold the government in the Paul Ryan image.

Which of course begs two important questions. 1) How effectively will the Democrats use that time they have before the day of defeat comes? And 2) How well will they be prepared to persevere when the day of defeat comes? More importantly, will they heed the message that came from the stridency of the folks who didn't vote for Obama? The unspoken message is that admit it or not-steps will need to be taken to get America's financial house in order. The real challenge will be to do so in a responsible fashion that does not resort the Draconian-and quite evil-methods of Romney's running mate, the "zombie eyed granny starver" Ryan. Spending cuts are going to have to come-as is the repeal of the Bush tax cuts. Finding a good middle ground will be hard. And much as he might rightly be able to point to the immensity of the damage done by the idiot who preceded him, in the second term, Obama will own everything that happens, for good or bad.

For the Republicans the lessons are more stark: "Being in bed with extremism doesn't work-it just pisses people off".

Alas I fear that the GOP won't learn this lesson but will learn exactly opposite. The forces of lunacy, who say that the party should be even more conservative are already gearing up their efforts.  The slime is already starting to crawl out of the woodwork, like Herman Cain advocating the creation of a third party. I find this more than a little amusing-since its clear that the GOP could probably have won this election, just as they could have won in 2008,  if they had not gotten so off the deep end groveling to people who are not worthy of anything but utter contempt. The Teabag wing has to be put out of its misery, like Old Yeller,  taken out back and dispatched quickly with aid of a loaded shotgun.

Will the Republican Party mature, reach out, and bring in the old guard centrists who were/are the adult voices in the room so that they can be competitive and work for the Common Good? Or will the Tea Party GOP dig in, become even more extreme, and further obstruct the Common Good in order to advance their increasingly narrow partisan agenda? Does Romney's defeat lead to a more reasonable Republican Party or one that is even more extreme and intransigent? 

 

 

The answer should be a definitive yes-the party has to go back to its roots. Unfortunately this requires and honest understanding of the facts and the truth-and the information machine of conservative American is quite ill equipped to do this. Connor Friedsdorf, writing at The Atlantic points out very well how the right is not served well by its insistence on living in an echo chamber. One big reason that so many conservatives are disappointed today-is that they had no one telling them the honest truth. They believed they could live in a world where they made up the "facts"-and they bought those lies hook line and sinker. In a proper world, it should lead to a massive loss of revenue for Fox and a decline in readership for  Hinderaker and the rest of the swine like William Jacobsen who inhabit the Liars Club. But it won't:

Barack Obama just trounced a Republican opponent for the second time. But unlike four years ago, when most conservatives saw it coming, Tuesday's result was, for them, an unpleasant surprise. So many on the right had predicted a Mitt Romney victory, or even a blowout — Dick Morris, George Will, and Michael Barone all predicted the GOP would break 300 electoral votes. Joe Scarborough scoffed at the notion that the election was anything other than a toss-up. Peggy Noonan insisted that those predicting an Obama victory were ignoring the world around them. Even Karl Rove, supposed political genius, missed the bulls-eye. These voices drove the coverage on Fox News, talk radio, the Drudge Report, and conservative blogs. 



Those audiences were misinformed.



Outside the conservative media, the narrative was completely different. Its driving force was Nate Silver, whose performance forecasting Election '08 gave him credibility as he daily explained why his model showed that President Obama enjoyed a very good chance of being reelected. Other experts echoed his findings. Readers of The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and other "mainstream media" sites besides knew the expert predictions, which have been largely born out. The conclusions of experts are not sacrosanct. But Silver's expertise was always a better bet than relying on ideological hacks like Morris or the anecdotal impressions of Noonan. 

Sure, Silver could've wound up wrong. But people who rejected the possibility of his being right? They were operating at a self-imposed information disadvantage.

Conservatives should be familiar with its contours. For years, they've been arguing that liberal control of media and academia confers one advantage: Folks on the right can't help but be familiar with the thinking of liberals, whereas leftists can operate entirely within a liberal cocoon. This analysis was offered to explain why liberal ideas were growing weaker and would be defeated.


For all the conservative whining about the "main stream media" they missed the main point-those folks understand the profession of journalism far better than their conservative counterparts. Jon Stewart pointed this out a couple of times last year when interviewed by Fox. The media as a whole is not biased politically-it is biased towards sensationalism .Still, even with that handicap they for the most part kicked the right wing news media's ass:

In conservative fantasy-land, Richard Nixon was a champion of ideological conservatism, tax cuts are the only way to raise revenue, adding neoconservatives to a foreign-policy team reassures American voters, Benghazi was a winning campaign issue, Clint Eastwood's convention speech was a brilliant triumph, and Obama's America is a place where black kids can beat up white kids with impunity. Most conservative pundits know better than this nonsense — not that they speak up against it. They see criticizing their own side as a sign of disloyalty. I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there's no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit. In fact, it's often very profitable. A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption. On the biggest political story of the year, the conservative media just got its ass handed to it by the mainstream media. And movement conservatives, who believe the MSM is more biased and less rigorous than their alternatives, have no way to explain how their trusted outlets got it wrong, while the New York Times got it right. Hint: The Times hired the most rigorous forecaster it could find. It ought to be an eye-opening moment.

It would be nice if folks would learn the right lessons from this and move back to a more balanced seeking of information-but they won't. And ass rockets like the National Review and Michael Barone are determined not to let them. Which leads to one final point, this cycle of self destruction cannot continue. Americans have to figure out how to have political conversations without them devolving into a shouting match. I tried to have one at work today with my incredibly still pissed off co-workers. It failed miserably. The Economist writing in a post yesterday points out I am not alone in this dilemma.

 

AFTER a panel discussion on the US elections hosted by a Dutch radio station the other night, I got to talking to a fellow American who's looking for work stateside. His Dutch government-funded job had been eliminated by austerity measures, so he was trying to convince his wife of the virtues of moving back to America. The main reason he was hesitating was the mood of vicious and increasingly entrenched political animosity. "Do you get the feeling," he asked, "that it could get violent?"

I said I didn't know. But it's certainly not a silly question. A recent broadcast of "This American Life", which focused on people who have lost close friends in recent years over politics, seemed to capture the mood pretty accurately. One sequence portrayed a student with a life-threatening pre-existing condition that until recently rendered him uninsurable, who has stopped talking to a conservative friend who refuses to support ObamaCare because he said it felt as though the friend didn't value his life. A conservative man describes being unable to continue talking to a former friend who supports a president he is convinced is destroying the country. Two sisters can't agree on who is being rude and condescending to whom after a furious falling-out over political philosophy.

Barack Obama has just won re-election, but America remains a country bitterly divided, as it has been for well over a decade. The divide is simultaneously very narrow in numerical terms, and gaping in ideological or partisan terms. This is what strikes one most strongly looking back at America from across an ocean: the country seems repeatedly embroiled in savage 51-49 electoral campaigns, and it seems to be increasingly paralyzed by irresolvable rancor between right and left.

And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support. That situation ought not to be stable. Adherence to these two ideologies ought to shift enough just due to demographics that the 50-50 split should deteriorate. And yet the even split seems to be stable. What's going on?

 

I'm not sure-but I blame a part of it on my tea sniffing friends who have decided that there are moral absolutes in politics. There are not, and it would be better if we stopped pretending that there were. Realistic arguments over policy don't happen any more especially in places that are rather backward to begin with,  like it was in Alabama. After enough bad starts you quickly learn to avoid politics altogether, since it is impossible to have a political conversation. Every conversation one tries to have risks a descent into Republican talking point hell. When I try to refute those points with facts, it falls on deaf ears. This has to change.

Setting aside the policy issues we're facing over the next four years, I think the most immediate need is for Americans to find a way to live civilly with each other. "This American Life" brought on a pair of writers, liberal Phil Neisser and conservative Jacob Hess, who've written a book ("You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong)") about their efforts to find a way to talk to each other and agree to disagree on fundamental philosophical and moral issues. There need to be a lot more similar efforts along these lines. This election has put Barack Obama back in office, and returned him a Democratic Senate and a Republican House. Over the next four years, legislative battles are going to continue to be savage and hard-fought. Neither conservatives nor liberals are going to change their minds en masse about fundamental issues of political philosophy. The top priority is for Americans to figure out a way to keep these divisions from dividing the country into two hostile armed camps that are incapable of talking to each other.

The extremes have gotten too much influence on both sides of the aisle. The biggest lesson learned is that the center has to come back to the fore and the extremists have to be marginalized so we can go back to having the national conversation that must be had-what kind of a nation does the citizenry want to build and how do we work together to achieve it?

That's a lesson we all should be able to learn. But, alas, I fear the US just won't want to.

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Oct 20 2012

Looking for someone to blame

Whenever I get depressed about the sad state of American politics-which in the month of October is just about every day-I don't have to look far for people who should be held to blame for polarizing our politics.

The collective group of idiots who populate the Liars Club.

To review, the Liars Club is that group of conservative bloggers,who no matter what the subject is, will ensure that whatever story they post on their blog is casting the current President of the United States in the worst possible light-and casting themselves in a light of "brilliance". Or at least that is how they want you think they are. They consist of the National Review, Powerline, Gateway Pundit AKA Jim Hoft, also known in saner circles as the "dumbest man on the internet", William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, Weasel Zippers, Jammie Wearing Fools ( the last word is a correct title-they are fools),  any Town Hall author-but especially Hugh Hewitt. And last but not least, the emotionally crippled children who carry on the legacy of their thankfully expired namesake-Andrew Breitbart.

All of them are quite useless and all of them to figuratively to be beaten to death with a Louisville Slugger.

When they can't find anything news worthy to tar and feather the President or any other Democratic Party member about-they just make shit up.

What probably depresses me the most is that -one can just know when one reads a tag line by them on Memeorandum, that they are completely and certifiably insane. While they all have different day jobs-some are professional   hacks "journalists", others are part time writers-but they are all certifiably stupid. I hate them all with a well deserved passion.

They are as John Cole describes it, Serious Persons:

Serious Person- Also frequently appearing as “Very serious person,” this is applied to a person held in great esteem by The Village, who is repeatedly entirely wrong about everything, usually with tragicomic results. Conversely, those who have pretty much been right about everything the last twenty years are referred to as “not serious.” Serious persons believe the only solution to any foreign policy issue is bombing brown people (preferably Muslim, when at all possible), and the only solution to domestic affairs is cutting entitlements and demanding that the poor and working poor “sacrifice.” 

 

 

In other words, they have no fucking clue what they are talking about. Nor do they have any idea at all the world has changed and its not going back to the 80's-EVER.

Why do I hold them to blame? Because they write for an audience that clearly is as ignorant as they appear to be. Notice I say appear to be-because deep down they know what they are doing. They have no desire to have an honest discussion about anything. Their sole purpose in writing is not to celebrate the joy of communicating a well thought idea. And to take the time to do some research about it. Or to even pause to write about the truly beautiful things in life that have nothing to do with politics.

No they do what they do for the purpose of getting people angry. They want their supporters to be angry at the nasty black man in the White House. They want people like me-smarter than any of them-to get angry in return. And then if I write something that actually catches them in their lie-or points out again how they love to lie-they will simply turn up the volume and make it about me and/or some aspect of my personal life.  They truly are reprehensible people.

They exert too much influence in American politics today-and sadly the news media by and large seems to take cues from them. In the case of Fox News, they appear to get story lines from them.

And they get away with it. They shouldn't but they do-because too many Americans are stupid. Right Charles Pierce?

The threat to the country, and to its commitment to self-governing democracy over the previous decade, and especially at the end of it, when the institutions of self-government seemed powerless to stop a cascade of destruction brought down on all of us by the institutions of private capital, the strength of which most of us never had begun to guess. That, through lassitude and a nearly bottomless thirst for snake oil, we had been complicit in the coring out of the strength of the institutions of self-government seemed terribly beside the point at the time, given the ruin that seemed to be looming to all points of the compass. But now, in the first real election conducted entirely after the crisis, and after the depths of the recession that it caused, we do not have that luxury anymore. The stakes are plainly clear. The decision, at this point, may well be irrevocable, and the first opportunity to make that decision is in the simple act of voting, and of explaining to ourselves why we vote. We vote because it is something we do together, for one another. We do not vote to take something back from someone else. We do not vote in a bubble, even if we think we do. Voting is communal, whether we want to look at it that way or not. We will have a self-governing political commonwealth or we will decide not to have one. And, right now, 20 days out, you'd have to be crazy or Nate Silver to think you know what which way that decision will fall.




The lies of the aforementioned members have a lot to do with that. And so I place the blame squarely on them-and hate them with a fervor that will be a flame unrequited until they are exposed as the charlatans they truly are.

10 responses so far

Sep 19 2012

The violence in the Middle East……..

I was in Israel when the attacks on the embassies occurred-and rather busy. I did not learn of the actual event until I got home to my hotel and had a chance to digest both Haaretz and the TV news. Thanks be to God-one cannot watch Fox at my hotel. But it absolutely appalled me how quickly all the usual suspects in the Liars Club came out to pounce on this tragic set of events-and as is typical,  misrepresent it. So I have waited till I came home to comment on it.  I regret the tragedy that occurred-but truth be told-I am not very surprised by it.  It was going to probably happen eventually and was inevitable-especially as long as the United States persists with the myth that it can somehow change the course of history among a group of people who have proven themselves so unworthy of help as the Arabs. 

By and large-your average American, and in particular your average conservative douchebag commentator-like Mark Steyn, is pretty ignorant about the long and short term history of the Middle East. That, by the way, is one of the things that makes Steyn so called"great writing" so hard to tolerate. In particular what is hard to accept that Americans have such a one sided view of events, decrying the violence which is right to do, while being perfectly ignorant of the American actions that lit the fuse. As Connor Friedersdorf points out,  imagine what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot:

If a dozen French-Algerians gathered in Paris next year on Easter Sunday, erected side-by-side crucifixes painted red, white, and blue, flew a remote-control plane into them to evoke the 9/11 attacks, and afterward gave a press conference about how American Christians are filth who orchestrated the attack on the Twin Towers as a pretext for a Crusade-like campaign against Muslims, I wouldn't want the organizers of the protest arrested or charged with a crime. I wouldn't want them harassed by police either, being a partisan of free-speech rights, though I can't imagine that American conservatives would be bothered if French police questioned them.

(Am I wrong, conservatives?)

I myself wouldn't be bothered if the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., released a statement saying, "Although the right to free speech is inalienable, the insensitive jerks who conducted that anti-American protest on the Champ de Mars yesterday don't reflect the beliefs of the French government, or the vast majority of French people." Those conciliatory words would be accurate. It might still be a bad idea to release a statement like that. Once French diplomats establish the precedent that they render value judgments about the speech of French citizens, they might be pressured to do so in instances when the truth would not in fact prove conciliatory. 

Americans would be outraged-or at least conservatives would be. Whether they would riot or not, is probably another matter. They probably would not for not only with being in the aggregate quite ignorant-are mostly to lazy to take the streets. They didn't even do so in large numbers when their own civil liberties were being stripped from them in the last decade.

Which is where the good Mr Steyn comes in. Issuing his talking points and marching orders to the wingnuts-he asserts that the violence is….wait for it………..all Obama's fault. Because he too was "lazy". And as is usual for him and the rest of his ilk-was perfectly content to get an insinuation in that the President does not care what happened. Even though he does and its been clearly demonstrated. That's never good enough for Steyn and his sycophants. They start from the premise that everything is always Obama's fault. Its a ludicrous proposition and down the page I will tell you why. But lets hear the little asshole say his piece: ( I won't link to him as a matter of principle-go read over at the National Review Online yourself-if you can stomach it).

 

The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.

The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion. So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken . . . ” Yeah, it’s totally obvious.

And he’s even more drunk on his celebrity than the fanbois, so in his slapdashery he winds up comparing the sacrifice of a diplomat lynched by a pack of savages with the enthusiasm of his own campaign bobbysoxers. No, no, says the Broadway director; that’s too crude, too ham-fisted. How about the crowd is cheering and distracted, but he’s the president, he understands the gravity of the hour, and he’s the greatest orator of his generation, so he’s thought about what he’s going to say, and it takes a few moments but his words are so moving that they still the cheers of the fanbois, and at the end there’s complete silence and a few muffled sobs, and even in party-town they understand the sacrifice and loss of their compatriots on the other side of the world.

 

 

Interesting-albeit more than a little untrue. First of all -not that Steyn would note it-but Libya is 6 hours ahead of the United States. The attack in Benghazi occurred in the evening on Tuesday, Libya time — about midafternoon on the East Coast in the United States. This is important because it plays into the later events that followed.  I suspect there was a lot of misunderstood reporting that goes on-and no prudent President reacts immediately to the first reporting. However only about 6 hours elapsed between the attack and the first Statement by the White House.  Which was followed up by a statement the very first thing the next morning.  Contrary to Steyn assertions its a quite respectful tone:

 

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

And subsequent to that event a whole host of violence has broken out all over the Middle East-somehow Steyn thinks that Obama could have prevented all of that himself. Well I hate to tell you something, you arrogant little prick, they may see it coming, but for the most part they are powerless to prevent it without the cooperation of the local government.  And to put it simply the local government in Libya is not that strong. And contrary to Steyn's logic-that has very little do with us, and everything to do with how truly worthless your average Arab is.  Or it also ignores the corrosive effect of 30 years of a way too large presence in the region.  Even Reagan recognized that for the most part we needed to give the area a wide berth.  And contain it. Not so Mr Steyn and current crop of neocon cheerleaders. It  is kind of sad they are so ignorant of the region's history

The success or failure of a democratic experiment is almost wholly reliant on the historical circumstances under which it is carried. Egypt's recent history, like that of the entire Middle East, is ghastly and suggests that democracy can only produce more war, terrorism and hatred, not less.

After the war, the British adopted the monarchy as a figurehead government and trained and funded its secret police to destroy their enemies, among them, the then-moderate Muslim Brotherhood. After the 1952 revolution toppled the monarchy, the Soviets filled that role for Nasser. And then Sadat and Mubarak became the puppets of the Americans.

One thing that never changed was the foreign sponsorship of government terror and the regime's political enemies. Any organized, democratic opposition was jailed, tortured, murdered or exiled years ago, which was not only tolerated by the West, but funded by it as well. That leaves the dangerous radicals as the only organized alternative to the Mubarak regime.

The example of the Iranian Revolution is also instructive. The Revolution was actually a coalition between the Islamists and various Marxist groups. Within a year of the Shah's exile, the Mullahs simply had the democratic Marxists killed. Organization isn't just the most important thing in the aftermath of a revolution, it's the only thing.

Assuming that what's happening in Cairo and Alexandria is a democratic revolution, it almost certainly won't stay that way for very long.

For the moment both Egypt and Libya seem to be proving that statement wrong-but only just. Steyn seems to forget the turbulent forces that are in play in both Libya and Egypt. And the mechanics by which people get themselves elected. And the simple truth its not American "weakness"-but its rather, so called American strength that have gotten the Arabs all stirred up. And they all started before Obama became President:

 

 As the Muslim protests subside, more and more people have come to realize that what seems to have sparked them–one of the worst YouTube videos ever, which is saying something–isn't what they were mainly about.

But what were they about? Here theories differ, and some of the best theories haven't been getting much attention, because they're not on the talking-points agendas of Democrats or Republicans–which means they won't be occupying much airtime on network or cable TV during an election campaign.

Ross Douthat, writing in Sunday's New York Times, embraces a theory that's true insofar as it goes: these protests often got a boost from local political jostling. For example, in Egypt the struggle "between the Muslim Brotherhood and its more-Islamist-than-thou rivals" is what led those rivals (Salafis) to call protestors onto the streets.

Fine, but since people aren't sheep (though they sometimes do a good imitation), we have to ask why the protestors responded to such calls in Egypt and elsewhere–and why sometimes the crowds swelled.

 

…..when a single offensive remark from someone you've long disliked can make you go ballistic, the explanation for this explosion goes deeper than the precipitating event. What are the sources of simmering hostility toward America that helped fuel these protests? Here is where you get to answers that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney wants to talk about and that, therefore, hardly anybody else talks about.

 

Below are three examples, but first the customary disclaimer: I'm not excusing any violence that American policies may have helped cause and I'm not blaming America. But when American policies have bad side effects, Americans need to talk about them.  

1) Drone Strikes

2)Israel Palestine

3) American troops in Muslim countries.

 (Skippy-san note:Robert Wright goes into more detail on all of these-read the link for more details).

Of the last bullet, most long time readers know where I stand. In the Middle East-less is more. Our presence there is provocative in its numbers and appearance. Just ask anyone who has been to Ft. Apache in Bahrain.

Furthermore-Steyn, as usual, misses the obvious point-there is no evidence whatsoever the government of any of the nations are involved in this. Certainly not in Libya, not in Egypt or any of the other nations in the Middle East. So what exactly does he expect to gain by his so called "get tough" approach? They are still going to hate us-and as I suspect is the case-quiet efforts to strengthen our security posture in the area are being undertaken.  People like Steyn are talking nonsense.

I saw a post up on another blog pointing out that when Americans died in 1986-the President bombed Libya. Yea,  he did.  But that same said Ronald Reagan also endured over 7 incidents of violence at the hands of extremists where he bombed no one. And he only bombed Libya after there was clear cut evidence the government was involved and thus had certifiable targets to go after.  And in hindsight there is a clear cut link between his funneling arms to terrorists and the harm inflicted on US citizens in 1988. Steyn and his little band of moronic followers forget that.

But I'm not surprised. Steyn cares for no one but himself. And he makes money and fame for himself by being an ill informed liar. He does not care about Libya or the people who died. All the little prick wanted was yet more stupid way to attack the President. Steyn is as much a part of the problem as any Muslim-only he gets a free pass on his stupidity by the moronic conservative set. In a perfect world-Steyn deserves to suffer as much as any Muslim does.

7 responses so far

Feb 21 2012

So its about the children, eh?

 

Also known as-Why Mark Steyn sucks.
 
Phib presumes to lecture me on what issues are really about-sadly I missed most of his lecture because I was having a good time over the weekend-sightseeing and practicing not procreative sex with the S.O. In a recent post, he asserted that he was tired of discussing:
 
This totally contrived non-controversy has almost left me looking to either retreat to my country acreage to wait out the rioting of the unworthy, or join James Cameron in the undying lands to watch to new Dark Age take hold.

 

The fact that some are trying to bring this non-issue up at this time in our republic makes me feel at times that this nation is not worthy of the generations of sacrifice that brought us here … but that is crazy talk. This nation has gone through worse, and in the end all will be well.

 
The issue is not putting a sheep's bladder on your John Thomas; it is what legacy we leave to our children. This is an economic crisis we cannot fix with a peace treaty or a post-war boom; no, nothing that simple – but we need to fix it sooner more than later.
 
Well, jolly good and dandy-it’s for the children is it? Well, on that you are right-but it’s also about telling those same children the correct story-not just the parts that suit your narrative. I’ve got some suggestions about some things you might want to tell your children to warm their hearts as they struggle to keep their heads above water in the multi-polar world you are going to bequeath them, but I’ll do that at the end of this post. One should leave with the things that need to be remembered.
 
And something that is not worthy of any brain memory space are the silly words of that pompous twit, Mark Steyn.  Not the master-as Phib would present him-but just another worthless piece of Fox News paid excrement. Quoting another worthless piece of excrement-Paul Ryan, Mark Steyn has the balls to assert that the discussion about demanding that all employers provde a standard level of preventative care, is somehow a clever ruse to divert public attention away from the President’s recently released budget. ( As a matter of policy here at Far East Cynic HQ-we do not link to idiots, thus you will have to Google what I am about to quote to you). 
 
This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. “Birth control” is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable,one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
But where is the compelling societal interest in the state prioritizing and subsidizing it? Especially when you’re already the Brokest Nation in History. Elsewhere around the developed world, prudent politicians are advocating natalist policies designed to restock their empty maternity wards. A few years ago, announcing tax incentives for three-child families, Peter Costello, formerly Timmy Geithner’s counterpart Down Under, put it this way: “Have one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for Australia.” But in America an oblivious political class, led by a president who characterizes young motherhood as a “punishment,” prefers to offer solutions to problems that don’t exist rather than the ones that are all too real. I think this is what they call handing out condoms on the Titanic.
 
Statements like these are why Steyn needs to be held down and have his smirk and beard dry shaved off of him. Besides the fact that the prophylactics are not under discussion here-a clever dodge by many of Phib’s commenters to not discuss the real issue-the standardization of services provided by insurers, something they solved a long time ago here in Europe. The services that Steyn and others say “just pay for it yourself” can actually be rather expensive: contraceptive services and related counseling, a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. Some of those items can run up a fairly healthy bill-more than just the cost of a box of condoms. Not a great deal for a wealthy man like Steyn-but some 800-1800(cost of screenings and prescriptions) a year in prescription costs can be a lot for someone making less than 25K a year. And what’s more –it’s clear that GOP candidates want to expand what the definition of contraceptive services means, if the “testimony” of that well known douchebag Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has any bearing:
 

Rick Santorum opposes all mandated coverage without co-pays. Rick Santorum is linking mandated coverage to abortion because it’s politically beneficial to him to do so. It doesn’t matter if the mandated coverage without co-pays is screening for gestational diabetes or amniocentesis, so this is (of course) not about abortion because screening for gestational diabetes without a co-pay (for example) has nothing to do with abortion, and Santorum opposes that, too. I know that because that’s what he said.
There’s really no reason to discuss amniocentesis specifically, other than the fact that media swallowed Santorum’s carefully calculated and misleading framing whole and thus discussed only what he wants to discuss. How about this headline: Rick Santorum is protecting large employers and health insurance companies, and he’s using disabled children to do that. The conservative opposition to mandated coverage in insurance policies is about opposing federal regulation of health insurance companies and large employers, not abortion, because conservatives oppose all mandated coverage without co-pays. All of the rest of this over-heated nonsense is misdirection. No one ever asked the religious leaders what other sections of the health care law that apply to large employers they opposed, and that’s a shame, because that would have been a very good question.
 
But then again-misdirection and avoidance of telling the entire story are Steyn’s trademark.  Steyn writes with "a shrill, mocking tone of moral certainty that consigns those who disagree with him to the status of appeasers or even terrorists; and a willingness to distort, misrepresent, and omit facts in order to advance his argument." One should expect nothing more from the man and his column linking the controversy over coverage to the deficit proves it yet again.
 
Which brings us back to the children. When you sit them down and tell then the story of the decline of a once great nation that failed to live up to its potential-make sure you tell them all the facts. Don’t leave out the important ones like pompous moral zealots like Steyn do. Make sure you tell them about the fact that:
 
The great majority of the debt that you so love to rail about-was racked up by a combination of spending on wars that we could not afford, and should probably have never gotten involved in, in the first place. And then tell them that –even for ones that were brought upon us, we failed to mobilize all of our potential strength and power to fulfill the first obligation to win quickly and decisively-because a presidential appointee wanted to prove some outdated theories on “transformation”. The other part was hinged on tax cuts that never should have been made.
 
And then tell ‘em that the President that appointed that same Secretary of Defense, refused to raise the necessary revenue to fund these wars. And decided to double down on not funding those wars when-as many critics had predicted-energy costs rose and impacted growth rates across the world and within the United States.
 
Tell them that in the end-both countries we went in to “save”-were hopeless basket cases, primarily because of the failings of the citizens of those countries. We, however, refused to pin any of the blame on those same tribally motivated people-even when it was clear that we could stay for 2 or 20 years and nothing would change. But we were able to send their aunts and uncles to die in the dusty corners of the far reaches of the American empire.
 
Then tell them tell them that the government-their government, pushed a policy of tax cuts for the richest one percent combined with a systematic dismantling of the regulations that were in place to prevent those same one percent from bringing down the house through unbridled greed.  Tell them that the lure of easy profits distracted the banking industry from its core mission: providing an efficient payments mechanism and assessing and managing risk. That instead of focusing on lending to small businesses and creating jobs-they concentrated on creating increasingly risky securities all so they could reap huge bonuses and transaction fees.  Don’t treat them to tired old explanations about the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie and Freddie-without first pointing out that these criticisms are sheer nonsense. They had nothing to do with the 200 billion dollar bailout of AIG-which was based solely on derivatives, nor did Fannie or Freddie have anything to do with the massive overinvestment in commercial real estate.
 
Tell them about the money the banks were supposed to have used to restart credit. But didn’t.
 
Remind them that the so called “productive class” became so obsessed with short term returns-on which their bonuses and pay were based- that they engaged in repeated and reckless accounting gimmicks-that hid the truth.
 
Tell your children that because of your devotion to American Exceptionalism-they remain just one major illness or job loss away from bankruptcy and poverty ( assuming they aren’t there already)-that in the first decade of the 21st century, when faced with a clear moral and economic incentive to reform the healthcare system and in the end drive down the overall cost of a major driver of the government expenditures you love to lecture them about. Tell them that the rest of the advanced world solved this problem during the 80’s and 90’s offering the US some good ideas to pick and choose from-these countries providing equal or better care than the US,  but spending less than the US does-your country turned its back on literally millions of its fellow citizens in the name of “freedom”.
 
When you tell them the story of Greece-make sure you highlight the role the major banks and funds played in 2010 assaulting the Greek economy when they sold Greek bonds short. Be sure and tell them that the austerity doctrine that you and other “conservative” economic theorists pushed on them –simply created a death spiral that never increased aggregate demand. The banks and funds who demanded all this never got hurt-but the average middle class or lower Greek paid a terrible price. Tell them about the inherent Greek laziness-never too early to have them remember American superiority. But when you do-be sure to point out that the “people” who don’t pay taxes in Greece are mostly big corporations and professionals who can afford to hire people to help them evade taxes. ( Kind of like the GOP wants it to be over here). Remind them that banks got away with it and that linkage of the world economy made a default by Greece a nonstarter from the word go.
 
Tell them too-that companies that could well afford to invest in their companies failed to do so-but instead sold literally thousands of their workers down the river, to make a huge profit for one person. ( Insert well known CEO of a major corporation walking out on pension obligations).
 
Remind them that the banks pulled off one of the biggest frauds in history-but not one banker went to jail for it. Tell them too of the unbridled commodity speculation in 2008 –that literally starved people to death-but made a lot of people rich.
 
And then finally, tell them the God’s honest truth, that their country-a once great nation that still has great potential-frittered away the first decade of the 21st century by failing to recognize the changes that had taken place in the world. And in failing to adapt to those changes-it brought itself to the point where it failed at home and abroad. And in the end it had no one to blame but itself-because it let itself be seduced by an illusion: that things would stay the way they were some 30 years ago, because we were a great power.  We could have still been a great power had we made the necessary changes to fix our society and balance our budgets-but we were too easily fooled by our corporate masters, who were more than willing to write off some 90% of the American population to make sure they were comfortable.
 
Just like the Chinese.
 
 
 
 
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