- "Iraqi protesters pour into Green Zone, storm parliament"--Los Angeles Times. The protesters were Shia (the majority Muslim sect in Iraq ... and Iran), allegedly protesting government corruption resulting from patronage. A couple points. First, in a tribal society, patronage (and its attendant corruption) is a given because of the duties and obligations owed in such societies to members of one's own tribe. (I don't necessarily agree that a professional civil service is better; in many ways, I think it is worse, because such systems are completely unaccountable to the electorate). Second, this appears, in many ways, to be a direct challenge to the government system designed by the Bush administration for Iraq (I merely note this because it is a challenge to the American order, not because I think the political system established by the Bush administration was workable or even advisable).
This could turn much worse. From the article:
Iraqi security forces initially responded by tightening security across the capital, sealing off checkpoints leading to the Green Zone and halting traffic on main roads heading into the city, according to the Baghdad Operations Command.
But Iraq's elite counter-terrorism forces, who have in the past been called on to reinforce security in the capital, said they are standing down for now.
"We still view this as a demonstration," said Sabah Numan, spokesman for the counter-terrorism forces. "We aren't taking any part in this as it's not something regarding terrorism."
He added, however, that if the unrest escalates his forces may be forced to intervene to "protect the legitimacy of the government."
"The legitimacy of the government"--a term that should be familiar to those who have followed any of the writings on 4th Generation Warfare. It can be ephemeral in the age of You Tube and Twitter.
- "Latino activists vow more Trump protests as tensions heighten"--Los Angeles Times. Because riots and waving Mexican flags merely underscores the need for a wall.
- Related: Ed Driscoll notes the connection between the Latino anti-Trump protesters/rioters and ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)--an umbrella organization for anti-war and so-called civil rights organizations that has been described as an front organization for the Workers World Party. Essentially, they appear to be one of the various leftist organizations that fill the same purpose as the Nazi brown shirts. Of course, to intimidate voters, you need to make sure that voters feel defenseless. Thus, we see the left's continued push to restrict access to firearms and ammunition.
- "Venezuelans Face a New Threat – a Beer Shortage"--Bloomberg. "Empresas Polar SA, the country’s largest privately-held company and biggest brewer, said Wednesday that it will be forced to stop producing beer because it can’t get the foreign currency it needs to purchase malted barley." Stratfor has a short article outlining some of the principle political players in Venezuela.
- "Police arrest 400 left wing protesters after violent clashes erupt with the far-right in Germany as demonstrators burn tires and throw fireworks and flares"--Daily Mail. As we see elsewhere, it is the leftists that are violent in their quest to enforce conforming political opinions.
- "House defense policy bill would require women to register for draft"--Fox News. I'll probably get flak on this, but, given the current political and social state of the nation, I believe that requiring women to register for the draft is appropriate. The reason women have not been used for military service in the past comes down to two basic facts (both biological): (1) women are not as physically capable at fighting as are men (lower strength, less endurance, smaller bone structure, etc.); and (2) females are more valuable than men from the perspective of a species' reproductive strategy (crudely speaking, sperm is cheap, but eggs are expensive). However, neither of these are any longer factors. First, we now live under a legal and social fiction of physical gender equality where it is verboten to acknowledge that women are less physically capable than men. Second, given the low fecundity rates in the United States, women (speaking generally) are failing at their reproductive role. Thus, there is no reason to not draft women.
- The natives are getting restless: "Fire ravages Muslim prayer hall in Corsica"--AFP. The article indicates that government officials believe it to be arson. The article also mentions that the area was the scene of anti-Muslim protests around Christmas.
- "Americans haven’t gotten a raise in 16 years"--New York Post. The author writes:
This sort of statistical noise has been going on for years, mostly because the Great Recession threw off normal adjustments. And this will continue to happen. US economic data today is untrustworthy. Even worse, it is causing the Federal Reserve and others to make bad decisions.
This unpredictable, inaccurate data is causing politicians and others to incorrectly understand the mood of the nation.
Americans are angry because they don’t care about the statistical noise — they care about what they see with their own eyes.
True, there may have been 15 million new jobs created during the Obama administration — which, on the surface, is laudable. But that’s about half what was needed to both absorb newcomers to the workforce and those who were laid off over the past decade and would like to return.
And that drop in the unemployment rate that everyone likes to point to? Even the Fed doesn’t trust it and has formulated its own replacement gauge.
Here’s why: When you count all the workers who have been stuck with part-time employment or who haven’t searched for work in a year, the jobless rate is twice the official 5% level. And many of the full-time jobs created have been in the lower-paying service sector of the economy.
When you include those people who haven’t sought a job in more than a year, the unemployment rate jumps much higher.
How high? Washington doesn’t even bother trying to calculate what it is.
One last statistic, from Sentier Research. Median annual household income in the US reached $57,263 this past March, which was 4.5% higher than in March 2015.
But — and here’s where the anger comes in — this March’s figure is still slightly below the $57,342 median annual income in January 2000.
Americans haven’t gotten a raise in more than 16 years.