Just in time to provide a smokescreen for the news that, surprise surprise, President Trump and Vladimir Putin really aren’t best buds after all, the internet is coming together in outrage over the treatment of some guy on a United Airlines flight who was bumped to make room for a United flight crew. As usual, 90% of the details we’re getting about this story don’t matter, 90% of what we’re seeing all over the place (like the picture of him being dragged out with his face rearranged) are meant to generate anger, and as a result 90% of the opinions and declarations being shouted out are more or less malarkey. Here’s what really matters: the practice of overselling airline seats is more or less bogus. I’m not going to stand up and defend it and I don’t care if the airline does it to make good on cancellations, half the time you can’t change your ticket at the last minute without paying a massive overcharge and you don’t get the option to pay a premium to make sure you’ll get where you’re going, so don’t try to defend this to me based on market principles. I have taken the market alternative plenty of times and made drives overnight, which is your only option when the airlines have a racket going on. That said, everyone knows what they’re signing up for when they buy a plane ticket, and if you’re told you have to get off the plane, you get your behind off the plane or you make reasonable efforts to work with people. If this doctor had patients’ lives at stake then I’m sure that he could have made some arrangements with the airline, but if he just had appointments to keep then well son, so does everyone else. He’s on audio (possibly video) not being reasonable and in fact explicitly says the police will have to drag him off the plane. Bumped or not, that’s grounds to get him off the flight right there.
Also neatly flying under the radar while United Guy provides cover is the special election in Kansas to replace Mike Pompeo, the congressman whom President Trump appointed to run the CIA. Apparently the Democrats and the dinosaur media had pinned their hopes for a repudiation of President Trump and the GOP on this first bellwether race and were optimistic that they’d have a win not just in a solidly GOP district but as a symbol that voters were saying NO to Trump. Well, to make a long story short, it didn’t happen–the GOP replacement trounced the Democrat by over six percentage points. So with some grumbling about how it was a “narrow win” (a 6% spread is not narrow) this one gets quietly swept into the dustbin.
I’ve had some more thoughts about Sean Spicer and what he said the other day about chemical weapons and Hitler. Look, he wasn’t denying the Holocaust. Period. But what he was doing…wasn’t so awesome either. Invoking Hitler is a bad move no matter what you’re trying to do (and God knows everybody does it), because even when you’re 100% right it looks desperate. But I’m still nowhere near sold on the idea that killing your enemies in a civil war using chemical weapons is somehow worse than killing them with bullets, much less makes you worse than Hitler. I can see myself jumping to Sean Spicer’s defense in a lot of situations, especially with the raw arrogant stupidity and bald-faced unrepentant lies that we had to deal with from Jay Carney (who I figured had to drink himself into a stupor before he could even cry himself to sleep each night) and Josh Earnest (who I pegged for just so purely evil that he didn’t mind) for the past eight years. Not here. This was an unforced error made for bad reasons. The only reason I am not completely ambivalent about whether he stays or goes at this point is that I’m sure the dinosaur media and the Democrats would declare a holiday upon claiming his scalp.
As for Syria in general, I think it was Rex T. who observed recently that he just did not see a peaceful future for Syria where Bashar Assad was still in power. Without being too critical of the Secretary of State, no flippin’ kidding, Sherlock. That’s kind of what it means when there’s a civil war. Syria’s at the point where the only kind of leader who will be able to clean up the mess and get the country headed back towards something resembling civilization would be a strongman like Assad, and that’s going to result in little pissant terrorists and insurgents causing periodic trouble and probably getting themselves smacked down by the government and engineering it to take as many innocents with them as they can. That’s how asymmetric warfare works. If it’s not Assad it’s either going to be another dictator or it’s going to be absolute anarchic chaos (see: Libya after Dr. Pantsuit got Muammar Khaddafi killed, even when Khaddafi had wised up from his decades of antagonizing America because he didn’t want to become the next Saddam Hussein).
On that same subject, however, consider for the moment the arguments made on both sides. The point has been made, and ably, by many who are skeptical of intervention in Syria that there was no good reason for Assad to take this action, which he knew was in defiance of international “rules of warfare” (setting aside whether said rules are even sensible, let alone enforceable), when the United States had just declared that we were going to let Syria handle its own business and when it looked like Assad was on the final push to final victory. That taken into account and understood, what about the possibility that, insane as it may have seemed, this is precisely what Assad did. He looked at the situation at hand, saw the United States (whom he has every reason to believe is bumbling and incompetent) wanting to take our hands off the whole mess, and concluded that he was indestructible. I am not concerned about using chemical weapons. I AM concerned about an overblown punk dictator deciding that he’s untouchable because he’s got big powerful friends and the Americans are too weak-willed to intervene. Given the recent murmurings about a Russian drone in the area and the distinct possibility that they knew about what Assad was up to, combined with whatever the military knows that the public does not, I’m beginning to think this is the real story here. Using chemical weapons on the rebels does not concern me and it frankly doesn’t concern America, but flipping us off just when it looks like we’re walking away? That’s a new Saddam Hussein in the making. As Paul Joseph Watson, Stefan Molyneux, and others have observed, for Assad to actually do this would be stark madness. They are 100% correct. But just because it would be stark madness does not in any sense mean it did not happen. And that’s the kind of stark madness that makes this our problem. The missile strike hopefully slapped some sense into Assad and demonstrated that we’re not going to draw pointless lines and unleash the hashtags, you know where the boundaries are and you cross them at your peril.
I still don’t like the possibility being kicked around that we hit Syria because Ivanka Trump had a case of the sads after seeing the images from the attack. Just so we’re clear.
Addendum: we actually used a GBU-43 (also known as the Mother of All Bombs, or MOAB) in Afghanistan on ISIS. This is awesome. Lefties are freaking out. Um…this is why we have bombs, people. It may be the largest non-nuclear bomb ever made but notice the operative phrase non-nuclear? It’s got less than 1% (in fact less than one-tenth of one percent) of the explosive force of the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima. There’s no reason these things shouldn’t be popping like corn in the Afghan desert. Peace through superior firepower works, people. And let’s not forget, how many tons of bombs did Whatshisname drop after his Nobel Peace Prize?