Loose Ends (58)

About the “government shutdown,” a few questions and observations: Are the police and fire departments in your city still on patrol? Will city hall and the county courthouse be open for business next Wednesday after the Christmas holiday is over? Will your local public school open up again after the holiday break? Then “government” isn’t really shut down now, is it? If you count all the way down to local mosquito abatement districts, there are something like 50,000 government units in the U.S. Only one of those units is “shut down.”

And the federal government is not really shut down. Are your Social Security checks still in the mail? (Yes.) Is the military still on watch? (Yes.) Is the IRS still withholding income tax from your paycheck? (Yes.) In fact, funding bills for much of the federal government were already passed in recent months, by way of the normal budget process that Congress seldom follows any more. Who is hurt by this partial government shutdown? Mostly bureaucrats. Who are overwhelmingly Democrats.

So let’s see if I have this straight: Trump holds out for modest funding for a border barrier, and the Democrats’ refusal to give it to him means thousands of Democrats will go without paychecks, and will have their ongoing mischief against the American people put on hold for a few weeks. What’s the downside here? If Trump is really as good a negotiator as he always says, he should now up his wall funding demand to $10 billion, and raise it $1 billion a week for every week the Dems hold out.

This could be a “civil war on the left” entry:

Female tennis great, feminist, and gay rights activist Martina Navratilova may have just compromised her status as an LGBTQ icon with a Tuesday evening tweet. Navratilova criticized current transgender policies in sports, stating “you can’t just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women.” . . .

Navratilova, long considered to be the greatest female tennis player of all time, and one of the “first openly gay sports figures”, engaged in a Twitter debate prompted by BBC Sport writer Alistair Magowan’s article about criticism leveled at trans athletes who compete at a high level.

Magowan posted the article titled Transgender Women in Sport: Are They Really A ‘Threat’ to Female Sport? and captioned it with a tweet lamenting the “100,000 hate messages” received by Cyclist Dr. Rachel McKinnon “since winning her world masters title in October.” The prevailing message that Magowan was pushing is that those who think it’s unfair for men to become women and compete in sports are encumbered by some sort of misunderstanding.

Navratilova has since deleted her tweet, but in any case I doubt she’ll be making an appearance at this year’s Academy Awards gala.

If you want to see just how much Trump can mess with the hive-mind of the left, consider this: Noam Chomsky is opposed to Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Noam Chomsky!?!? 

NEW YORK – On Monday, the New York Review of Books published an open letter and petition aimed at securing Western support for putting pressure on Turkey to end its occupation of Afrin, opposing further Turkish incursions into Syria, and backing autonomy for Rojava — the region of Northern Syria that has functioned autonomously since 2012 after its administration was taken over by U.S-allied Kurdish factions. Authored by the Emergency Committee for Rojava, it has since been signed by well-known progressive figures such as Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler in its bid to organize efforts for the fulfillment of the group’s demands. . .

Yet, beyond the impractical nature of the petition’s first three demands, the final demand – that the U.S. continue military support for the Syrian Democratic Forces – is by far the most unusual, in the sense that well-known progressive figures, in signing this petition, are asking for the continued U.S. occupation of Syria and for increased military and financial support for the U.S. proxy forces, the SDF.

I’m starting to think Trump really is a stable genius. Or that he’s actually is playing eight-dimensional chess. Because if the Middle East completely falls apart, you just might see the Mother of All American Interventions. And Chomsky will approve! It was a neocon plot all along, and the left has fallen for it.