Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Fun Online Polls: USA military spending & "gifts for Islamists"

The results to last week's Fun Online Poll were as follows:

Without Googling first, how much is the USA's annual military spending?

$100 billion - 3%
$200 billion - 4%
$300 billion - 7%
$400 billion - 14%
$500 billion - 19%
$600 billion - 52%

You are surprisingly well informed, more than half got it correct. When I first read that figure in an article or reader's letter somewhere, I assumed the person was wildly exaggerating for effect, I had to look it up to believe it.

IF you want to put that sort of insanely large figure in context, it's about equal to the entire military spending of the rest of the world put together, or three-quarters as much as the UK's entire government spending in a year (schools, hospitals, pensions, welfare, the lot).
This week's made-to-order Trumpage was the travel ban.

Did he do this purely as an ineffective stunt or does he genuinely think it will reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks? The thinking man's Katie Hopkins points out that Trump was merely enacting something that the previous president had already set in motion.

The vocal minority promptly jumped on their chairs and started shouting. Britain's leading Muslim politician (or the Muslims' leading British politician, as they like to see it) said the international community must show “moral leadership” by speaking out against Donald Trump’s travel ban and even the normally temperate Amber Rudd said Trump travel ban is a 'propaganda opportunity' for Isis.

Ho hum. What bothers me is the asymmetry of all this.

Mrs Merkel in Germany tried the opposite tactic and welcomed in a million Muslims. She was rewarded with an overall increase in crimes against women and spate of terror attacks, culminating in the Berlin Christmas Market attack.

Merkel's policy looks like a "gift to Islamists" to me, so how can Trump's polar opposite policy also be a "gift to Islamists"? Or is the world so f---ed up that both are?

It's a tricky question, so I will turn it round for this week's Fun Online Poll and ask which policy people would prefer for this country.

Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.


DBC Reed said...

The problem is anti-immigrant prejudice is the other bum cheek of the balanced Daily Mail world view: the other being ,of course, "If we get the average house price up to £1 million we'll all be millionaires. Stands to reason, don't it?"
I feel we should avoid BUM theory on both sides: leave it to the wedgies.

Bayard said...

"culminating in the Berlin Christmas Market attack."

Funny how these attacks always occur right on cue. The moment any country is seen to be wavering on the War on Terror (which is, of course, the War on Muslim Terror), along comes one of these atrocities to stiffen the pols resolve.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, you are off topic.

B, WTF does Germany have to do with "war on terror"? I can see how Arabs might blame the UK and the USA, or even France, for the mess they are in, but Germany? Germany, like most other European countries tried to keep out the whole pile of shit.

I like a conspiracy theory as much as the next man but the correlation here is simple. Merkel generously let them in and this was the direct cause of these attacks, end of.

Bayard said...

The "War on Terror" is a war prosecuted by the US and its allies (who include Germany) against, almost exclusively, Muslims. Germany may have tried to stay out of the whole pile of shit, but they are still an ally of the US and the point I am making is that whenever one of the US's allies stops toeing the party line on the War on Terror, (such as being nice to people from the Axis of Evil countries), one of these attacks conveniently occurs, usually with a passport left as a calling card so that the media can be in no doubt who was responsible. We can't have the Germans getting the wrong idea and thinking it was some far-right Nazi group who was responsible, can we? Luckily the police rapidly caught on and arrested the nearest Muslim before they even found the convenient passport. Pity they had to let him go for lack of evidence later, but hey, you can't fault them for trying.

Bayard said...

"I like a conspiracy theory as much as the next man but the correlation here is simple."

But correlation is not causality. The rise in global temperatures since the C19th correlates very exactly with the rise in US postal charges. Are you saying that one causes the other, plus too many others to mention at .

In addition, the man suspected of the Berlin attack (he was conveniently shot, so we will never know if it was him or whether his ID was stolen). Had been refused asylum in Germany, so would a) have been equally pissed off and likely to commit an atrocity if Germany had not had an "open door" policy and b) wasn't one of the "Arabs" that Angela Merkel had generously let in. Indeed, if the Germans had let him in, (which wouldn't have been a good idea, because he does seem to have been a nasty piece of work), the attack, on the official face of it, might never have happened.