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the presidency

“These Are Sick, Evil People”, Says Trump, Obsessed with Revenge

”From the Beer Hall Putsch to the Night of the Long Knives”

That Donald Trump chose Waco, Texas, in March of last year for the first rally of his 2024 re-election campaign was not accidental. It was the 30th anniversary of the Branch Davidian cult's battle against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Trump sees himself as the victim of unjust persecution by federal agents. It was there that he said,

“I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution.”

"If you go after me, I'm coming after you", he has said, and he shows every intention of following through, of appointing an attorney general who will do his bidding once re-elected, of using the department and its article illustration
FBI to seek revenge against a broad spectrum of judges and prosecutors, journalists and television commentators, politicians who have incurred his disfavor. One of his former lawyers, Ty Cobb, sees Trump “angrier now than he was before because he is convicted now". On Sean Hannity's Fox News show he said, "Look, what I’ve gone through, nobody’s ever gone through”, and he said it on the 80th anniversary of what our troops went through on D-Day.

“Based on what they’ve done, I would have every right to go after them, and it’s easy, because it’s Joe Biden, and you see all the criminality, all of the money that’s going into the family and him”.

To Dr. Phil he said, “Sometimes revenge can be justified. These are evil people. These are sick, evil people”.

CREW (Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) analyzed some 13,000 Trump posts on Truth Social across the year and a half since Waco to find him "vowing revenge, retaliation and retribution against his foes", increasing as a consistent fixation…


Supreme Court Goes All In For Trump

The nation is devoting rapt attention to a trial in New York that will likely end in a hung jury and mistrial and come to nothing. A far more serious "trial" took place in D.C. a week ago in a hearing on presidential immunity that has delayed the Justice Department's four-count criminal indictment against Trump for the attempted overthrow of the 2020 election.

The conservative members of the Supreme Court left no room for doubt that, as in its 2000 Bush v. Gore ruling, they want to decide another election. In 2000 the Court stepped in to halt the Florida vote count, which handed the presidency to George W. Bush. This time they have gone to lengths to make sure it goes to Donald J. Trump.

first, go fast

When the Colorado Supreme Court ruled last December 19th that Trump could be banned from the state's ballots, the U.S. Supreme Court heard that case only 45 days later, which is a sprint for a court that normally goes by geologic time. It reversed Colorado less than a month after that on March 4th. That’s two-and-a-half months start to finish to make certain Trump would be on the ballot…


AI, the Newest Technology, Is No Help With Climate Change

There are those who say artificial intelligence will lift humankind to unimagined heights. "It's more profound than fire or electricity”, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. (parent of Google) actually said. Others fret that it will possibly run amok and do us in.

Just how is not explained, but possibly it will get rid of us by quickening climate change because we are learning that AI is a article illustration
ravenous consumer of energy. Rene Haas, chief executive of the U.K. chip design company Arm, thinks that by the end of the decade AI data centers will need as much as 20% to 25% of U.S. power needs.

Estimates vary widely. Some suggest hysteria is setting in. Maryland-based Constellation Energy, which has contracted to supply Microsoft with nuclear energy for its data centers, projects that AI's insatiable need for power could exceed by five or six times the amount needed to charge America's electric vehicles.

Driving demand is that the bigger the data sets that "train" AI, the better the results, but ever bigger data sets consume ever increasing power. The International Energy Agency said in a January report that a request to ChatGPT uses ten times the amount of a Google search, and that the power demanded by AI will increase ten times by just 2026. Digiconomist Is a company that tracks world digital use and exposes its unintended consequences. Founder Alex de Vries estimates that, thanks to AI alone, the amount of electricity required to power the world’s data…

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What Would War With China Look Like?

President Xi Jinping has made it clear that China's conquest of the island nation Taiwan is "unstoppable" and has instructed his military to be ready to invade three years from now. He intends the annexation of Taiwan to be his legacy.

President Joe Biden has dropped our deliberately vague "strategic ambiguity" policy and has four times said the U.S. will "defend" — not just assist, as with supplying weapons — but defend Taiwan. He may soon be replaced, but we don't know what Donald Trump would do.

Dark clouds loom on the horizon, and yet, as in the title of Part I — "Focused on Ukraine and Israel, the U.S. Neglects the China Threat" — far too little attention is being paid to a cataclysmic storm approaching just three years out — or possibly less.

We'd better wake up.

Is Taiwan Prepared?

Part I compared the assets the U.S. and China could bring to the fight. What about Taiwan?

article illustration
Since 2017, the Taipei government has been raising its defense budget by meager 5% a year to arrive at only 2.5% of GDP currently. With a budget less than a tenth of China’s ($19 billion versus $231 billion), Taiwan's military prefers to buy big-ticket conventional hardware — airplanes, tanks, submarines. Frustrated American advisers see that China can readily bomb the island's runways, rendering expensive jet fighters useless. Nevertheless, Taiwan will have more than 200 F-16 fighter jets by 2026, including almost 70 of the newest Block 70 aircraft at $63 million apiece.

In contrast, American strategists wish for Taiwan's emphasis to be… Read More »


The Students, the Media, and the Israel-Gaza War. Comments?

The protests on America's college campuses, at first laudatory for speaking out for the benighted and butchered civilian populace in Gaza, quickly devolved into extremes that told us how little students at even the élite schools know or choose to. Critical thinking, the ability to sort through complexity, is no longer taught apparently. Instead of staying with protests against Israel for its military policy, student factions took up support for Hamas, eliding its barbarian attack of murder and rape of innocent Israeli citizens and the cowardly taking of hostages to bargain with their lives.

Unseen and unreported, their generation had developed an ethos of anti-colonialism in which everyone is either the oppressed or the oppressors. The only Israel they know is its over half a century of occupation of the West Bank, the "open air prison" of Gaza, the progressing annexation of the West Bank, the increasing attacks of Palestinians by settlers there who sought to drive them out. That, for them, justified the Hamas atrocities.

the campaign

Republicans Say You Should Believe Their Version of the Truth

Last year's word of the year for Merriam-Webster was "gaslighting". It is still going full force in this year's election season. Politicians and their parties are working to persuade usarticle illustration
to doubt ourselves and come to believe the opposite of what we had supposed to be true.

Mail from The Conservative Caucus asks us to sign and mail back a card thanking former President Trump for saving the Constitution. It reads in part:

"Dear President [sic] Trump
…As a patriotic American I’m appalled and angered by the phony indictments against you. Our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution based upon the principle of equal justice under the law, not a two-tiered justice system: one for arrogant liberal elites and another for patriotic conservatives."

The Caucus knows that…

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