I’m Worried About War (plus Tweets)

You haven’t heard from me for a few days except in Third Month Mania posts, so I thought I’d check in with a Tweets Post. I’m writing a Proper Post, but it’s not going that well. I’m sick again, so Deep Thought is not something that I’m doing very well. Also, I’ve come across some pretty shocking things that I feel the need to post about. You’ll find them in the tweets below.

Another thing I’m extremely worried about the appointment of former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton as National Security Advisor. That’s what I’m hoping to write a Proper Post about that, so I won’t go into too much detail here.

Bolton couldn’t get confirmation for his ambassadorship the last time there was a Republican president. He finally made it via a recess appointment. As National Security Advisor he doesn’t need confirmation, though it’s my opinion he’d find it even more difficult today.

The main reason is his warmongering talk. There are plenty of hawks in the Republican Party, but Bolton is in the extreme. He still thinks the Iraq War was a good idea, and I can’t find any record of him admitting that Saddam Hussein didn’t have WMDs. He’s written an op-ed suggesting that the way to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb is to bomb them first. He also opposes the Iran nuclear agreement and is likely to advise Trump to pull out. Such a move would be disastrous. And he’s written an op-ed in favour of a preemptive strike on North Korea. Bolton is also a supporter of Trump’s announcement he’s moving the Israeli consulate to Jerusalem.

Even worse, joining Bolton will be Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Rex Tillerson has plenty of faults, but he was a dove and always went for diplomacy first. Further, he tried to keep the US as part of the international community. Bolton and Pompeo won’t do that. Both have views in line with Trump’s own. In addition, both are good enough at the political game that they can make what they want to happen, happen.

From Vox:

Vipin Narang, an MIT political scientist, estimated in a tweet that Bolton’s appointment raised the risk of war with North Korea by four times. Michael Horowitz, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, responded by saying he had revised his estimation upward by a factor of five.

Later in the same article:

Jeremy Bash, a former chief of staff at both the CIA and the Defense Department, said on MSNBC Friday morning that Trump is “assembling a war cabinet” — and it’s hard to argue with him.

It used to be prevailing opinion that men like General Mattis could control Trump. However, those who think like Mattis are leaving and the new men coming in are much stronger Trump supporters. It’s not looking good.


Political Tweets

Times: they are a-changing in Alabama. This is what happens when you go too far, as the GOP are currently doing, and it’s wonderful!


Trump wants his pet wife-beater back.


Mueller Time Tweets

Nunes is trying the Fake News defence. It didn’t work! The trouble is, Trump has called so many things Fake News that have turned out to be true within a couple of days that even his supporters are realizing what he calls Fake News is often The Truth.

In response to this tweet:


Came this tweet:


Why am I not surprised?
(Via Ann German.)


Economics Tweets

Self-styled Ayn Rand acolytes are now in charge of US foreign policy, so it’s interesting to reintroduce Christopher Hitchens’ ideas back into the debate.
(Via Ann German.)


Gun Safety

This is the #1 reason I felt the need to do a Tweets Post, though this is from Facebook. I’m assuming it’s genuine, but, of course, it could be fake. It’s not just the far right that fakes stuff. I put it on the Heather’s Homilies Facebook page, and some of you have seen it there, but I want as many as possible to get a gander.


I saw ‘State of the Union’ on CNN yesterday and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Rick Santorum thinks the kids agitating for change should he learning CPR instead, so they can maybe save their classmates lives if they are shot. FFS. SMH.

(By the way, I wish CNN would cover something else besides Stormy Daniels. There is real news happening.)


This Vox video is excellent.


So, is this bigger than Trump’s inauguration crowd?


Pussy Power!


Religion Tweets

The link in the tweet goes to a post by William Hounslow aka Rosa Rubicondior. It’s about a Christian religions cult in Germany where beating children is part of the cult’s beliefs. When this was exposed by a journalist, the children were, thankfully, taken away. Their parents went to the European Court of Human Rights to demand their children back so they could continue beating them. Go to William’s post to find out the result of their lawsuit!


Putting people in a position where their morality is assumed because of that position leads to abuse. Men in particular become priests etc because they want to be abusers and know there is a better chance of getting away with it as a religious leader. (Of course, there are also many good people who become religious leaders, but they could do good without the prop of religion.)


There’s an ongoing issue in New Zealand of religious instruction in schools. A small group are working tirelessly to try and get rid of it, but religious privilege is still a thing, and we don’t have a First Amendment to support those trying to uphold the law.


Another group of Muslim men convicted in Britain for grooming, raping, and sexually abusing young women and girls. Religion is the reason for their appalling attitudes and behaviour.


Science Tweets

Another cool replay of a Victorian science experiment by Brian Cox.


Apparently, it actually chewed through an electrical cable, but this sounds better. There’s some fun about Toast Stoat if you have a look at the thread too.


Very cool!


This is so cool!


History Tweets

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know this is currently my pinned tweet:


Ann German found this one, which I think is brilliant!


Manuscript artists and illuminators had wonderful imaginations! Look at these …





Puss ‘n Boots!


Marine Tweets

More fascinating info from the Natural History Museum via science communicator Amy Carparelli.


Poor turtle!


Other Animals Tweets

This is lovely!


Another cool video from BBC Earth. (Trigger Warning: Animal predation.)


Some of the great work being done to reintroduce red squirrels to Britain.


Bird Tweets

This was on WEIT this morning. Even though I knew it was a duck, it took me a long time to see it!


Cat Tweets

What a lovely cat!


Awwww …


So cute! What a fab one to finish on!


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24 Responses to “I’m Worried About War (plus Tweets)”

  1. Ann German says:

    Well, we’ve gone from the Stormy Daniels’ obsession to the Repeal the 2nd Amendment shit show . . . still not talking about the real news, such as how in the hell did Bolton end up in the White House. Thanks for your lovely summation of events. Sorry to hear that you’re not well.

    Your friend, Ann

  2. Brujo Feo says:

    I offer Geoghegan’s Fifth Corollary:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to misquote Santayana.”

    (Santayana’s famous dictum first appeared in Volume I of The Life of Reason, published in 1905 when Santayana was a philosophy professor at Harvard. Note that he did not say that anyone is doomed to anything; further, the constant butchering of this phrase cannot be ascribed to any error in translation. Despite his Spanish birth, Mr. Santayana wrote in English.)

    • You’re right of course. I do know he never said “doomed”. There have been a lot of versions created from his original, and if I’d mentioned him, I would have used the proper quote. At the moment, “doomed” feels appropriate, which is why I didn’t credit him. However, his words – Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – don’t quite fit here. One of the biggest problems with someone like Trump is nof remembering the past, it’s the fact he knows so little about it. Further, anything that doesn’t fit his narrative becomes Fake News.

      I was watching a CNN reporter interview a group of women who are Trump supporters yesterday. They had just watched the 60 Minutes/Stormy Daniels show. It made absolutely no difference whatsoever to how they felt about him. These same women condemn Hillary because she’s married to a man who was unfaithful, but with Trump it’s between him and God. The level of cognitive dissonance in their comments was amazing.

  3. Randall Schenck says:

    I will agree with your concern with the addition of a real nut job in Bolton but would also go with the idea of – watch what they do, not what they say. One of our problems with the media as it follows everything that comes out of Trumps mouth, it is far more dangerous than some of the actions. I would also caution all followers of the internet platforms of face book and twitter and all the rest. Be aware that some of what you are seeing and possibly passing along to others could be bogus stuff and propaganda from the Russians. Their manipulation of these platforms continues and grows due to their own capabilities and our Putin like govt. that does little to stop it.

    • Those are excellent points. We shouldn’t imagine that because some Russians have been caught out that the information warfare isn’t still happening. It is, and not just from the Russians. China and North Korea are doing their best to destabilise the West too.

      And, as you say, not all the rhetoric is being followed up with concrete actions. Where funding is needed, Congress is often putting the brakes on, for example.

  4. Yakaru says:

    I also fear war, but it may also be that Trump is too stupid to know how to start one. What worries me most is that Americans seem to either be cheering him on or (still) deluding themselves that the end is nigh for him.

    Nothing about NZ’s fine performance against England? Or the unraveling of the the Aust test team?

    (Hope you’re starting to feel better!)

    • Actually, while I was writing about this, I forgot about it. But I’m naturally very pleased that NZ did so well. And, sorry mate, but I’m loving seeing the Aussie cricket team get their comeuppance!

      • Yakaru says:

        I disowned the Aust team quite some time ago because of their behavior. (I missed the Waugh years because I was traveling, and had already quit playing because of the dreadful culture in the game in Aust.) They certainly deserve some recognition for services to Shadenfreude though!

        • Yakaru says:

          Ach – missing c: -Schadenfreude-

        • Steven in Tokyo says:

          I hated cricket from as early as I remember. Not as bad as Aussie Rules, but close.
          (An Australian in Japan, happy to be away from all those team sports!)

          • Their attitude always made them hateable (auto correct wants to change that non-word to “have a blessed!”). I never even feel able to enjoy their skills because I feel such antipathy towards them. With most other teams in most other sports I can appreciate, enjoy, and even cheer skillful play, even if it means NZ losing.

        • The head of Aussie cricket is apologising to Aussies, especially the kids. That’s good, but the issues should have been addressed years ago. A lot of top sports teams have entitlement issues and it’s something all in management need to be aware of imo. It’s not just an Aussie cricket problem to be fair.

        • nicky says:

          Yes, I guess the Australian team had it coming sooner or later, but I would have thought it would have been about their sledging, which was hardly ‘gentleman-like’. However, this blatant ball-tampering is really kind of sordid. Must admit I did not expect that from them. Sad.

          • nicky says:

            On the other hand, I find the punishments by CA a bit harsh. After all, ball tampering to varying degrees is as old as the game.

          • They had to be seen to come down hard and not condone the action, and I suspect anything less would have been seen as taking it easy on them. They might have got away with less if it wasn’t for the involvement of Warner, who has already made himself and the team look pretty bad.

            Besides, ball tampering is wrong. It’s cheating. I think the ICC needs to toughen up it’s punishments for it, though not to what these Aussies have suffered.

            Imo, all those saying “everyone does it,” which seems to be the mantra from some sections of the cricketing world, is like saying “everyone in cycling takes drugs.” That doesn’t make it okay, and it’s not true that everyone does it anyway. Several NZ and English players are pretty pissed off by those making those statements because it impugns the reputations of all bowlers and they want to make it clear that they don’t do it.

          • nicky says:

            I did not mean to imply it is ok, just that it is nothing new.
            There is also a kind of sliding scale: shining the ball rubbing it on your leg or groin is completely accepted, I think spitting on the ball is too, although not when you’ve been eating a mint (😆), working the ball over with sand paper is on the other extreme of the spectrum, of course.
            Warner must be a difficult character, it is not easy to pick a fight with Quinton de Cock, reputedly one of the more quiet and equanimous players.

          • Sorry – I didn’t mean to imply you were saying that. And I think shining the ball on one side is fine.

            I think Warner’s character was doubly exposed when he got back to Australia and emerged from customs with his wife, and each of them carrying one of their young daughters. Of course the press couldn’t ask him hard questions in that situation. It was his human shield. Then he put out a written statement to say he would respond in a few days, obviously when he had worked out what to say. And when he did front up, what he was crying about was not what he’d done wrong, but the effect he’d had on his family. It’s good that at least he realizes how much his actions have hurt them, but I’m not sure he really sees he’s done anything wrong. I can accept the apologies and remorse of the others, but he’s got a bit of work to do in my eyes. As you say, you’ve got to be a real a$$hole to upset some of the people that Warner gets a rise out of. He clearly goes well beyond normal sledging.

  5. Mark R. says:

    I see Trump’s ill-advised recent appointments as a sign of weakness. This guy is surrounding himself with delusional war-mongers and he thinks that somehow they are his ticket out of Russiagate: a war cabinet. I fear he’s thinking by now…”Fuck! If I wasn’t the prez, Mueller would have never been appointed to catch what I and my Oligarch cohorts are/were doing and/or are still doing…maybe I’m in financial trouble here. Gonna have to start a war to keep my stolen position…hell, Putin would be proud, as long as the war doesn’t affect his interests.” He can’t parse reality at this point; his preferred information is still faux Fox propaganda…in other words, beyond reckless and outrageous. I’d bet a dead ancestor’s life that while sitting on the toilet some days, Trump truly wishes he never got what he wished for. A con gone too far…made for Hollywood.

    I vacillate on the importance of Stormy Daniels’ story. I think it’s important to point out that Trump is a sleaze bag, but that has no real political merit because his base doesn’t care. Regardless, by now, anyone with half an objective brain knows he’s a sleaze bag. But there are so many other pressing issues, and the media loves sex and politics and Trump; now we get this sordid story front and center for a few news cycles…and it’s spiced by McDougals’. Sign of the times. But could you imagine if this came out about Obama?!! My Ceiling Cat, they’d be tearing their eyes out. Obama earned his privilege, he wasn’t born with it. Trump is the epitome of American privilege…not an epitome, an anomaly…privilege squared since he got the riches along with the whiteness, just by being born! Sad that has never registered for him.

    So why do I vacillate and think this Stormy story might be more important than it is? Because of this: listening to Stormy’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti. This could perhaps reach into the breaching of election finance laws. Stormy’s lawyer and his firm are a very smart and capable group of counselors. On MSNBC, talking to Daniels, he said something like: “we’ve played against some powerhouse legal teams where it was a long game of chess…dealing with these (Trump’s) lawyers is like playing tic-tac-toe.” No surprise there. For any “on the fence Trump voters”…and let’s be real, that’s who won him the election…this is just another “death by a thousand cuts” PR nightmare for the immoral, and finally unlucky president. What happens to those who have sided with him?

    • The only really important thing about the Stormy story is, as you say, the breaking of electoral finance laws. But sex + politics = ratings, so we get it wall to wall instead of for about fifteen minutes at a time. Yesterday, the whole of AC360 was Stormy Daniels, and I was basically watching that as I wrote the post, so it was on my mind.

      Avenatti is very good, and on TV he’s making the Trump crew look incompetent, He’s won public opinion. However, the problem remains that she accepted the $130K, so the court case may see it differently as regards to whether she has breached the NDA.

      Maggie Haberman at the NYT thinks that the reason Trump is surrounding himself with these people who agree with him is that he feels newly emboldened. After a year, he’s starting to feel like he knows what he’s doing, and is more confident in his judgement. I think he was probably more terrified than he ever admitted when he got the job, It’s better if he stays that way because it means he’s more likely to ask advice. We don’t want him confident he knows all the answers! He simply doesn’t think deeply enough to realize there’s stuff he doesn’t know and that he needs information from a lot of sources before he makes a decision. He just trusts those who reinforce his opinion or who suck up to him. That’s the main thing that makes Bolton so dangerous. He’s good at intellectual manipulation. He can make Trump think things like, “There are good people on both sides.”

    • nicky says:

      IIRC, a president cannot start a war all by himself, doesn’t he need approval of House and Senate? I know there are ways around that (Tonkin incident), but still.

  6. Mark R. says:

    Lawrence O’Donnell, not Daniels. Voluminous on the brain, lol!

  7. nicky says:

    Pity Damien Kempf does not give info where these illustrations come from or some more info.
    The first one is undoubtedly referring to some fable or proverb.
    The second one appears from a painting (Hieronymus Bosch?) rather than a manuscript. would really have loved some more info.

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