Bad Guys in Retreat

By Lloyd Graff

Sometimes the bad guys lose.  Lately, it seems like the bad guys are on a losing streak.

Look at Iran.  Not only did the fiendish master terrorist in a general’s uniform, Qasem Soleimani, get his just due at the hands of an American drone, but people who hate the despotic regime have been emboldened to engage in mass protests against the government.  A month ago the police and army put down demonstrations by mowing down hundreds, if not thousands, in Tehran but also in other cities.  They imprisoned many more, but they haven’t silenced the people. The economy is gasping under American sanctions.  The disgust for the religious regime in a country of millions of secular, educated people is widespread.  The Persian culture has not always been oppressed by mullahs and terrorists.  Persia had a wonderful history of tolerance, art, and peace before the religious crazies took over in 1979.

Thankfully, for the moment at least, the Iranian bad guys are in retreat.

*    *     *     *     *

Hans Gruber of Die Hard 1

For China the story is somewhat similar.  In Hong Kong the weekly demonstrations, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of people, continue against the local government and the communist regime in Beijing.  The original spark, an extradition law to the mainland, has been rescinded, but the hatred of the communists by young and old, and the fear of the bad guys in Beijing crimping the traditional freedom fostered by British rule, keeps the multitudes coming out in masks week after week to brave tear gas and worse.

The beauty is that the authorities appear to be at a loss to figure out how to deal with the protests.  They fear that they will spread to the mainland and Macau and pose an “existential threat” to the communist regime that can seemingly accept capitalism in a controlled fashion but abhors political freedom in the 70th year after Mao’s revolution.

Another jab in the face to China occurred over the weekend when the strongly anti-communist candidate won by a landslide in a free election in Taiwan.  Modern Taiwan was founded in 1949 by Chinese who fled Mao and settled in Taiwan, still claimed and coveted by Beijing.

*    *     *     *     *

Closer to home in Venezuela, the country which is even richer in oil than Iran and is so poor and corrupt under incompetent socialist dictators that people are hungry, millions head to the borders to escape as the pathetic Nicolas Maduro clings to power.  The Cubans, Russians, and Chinese are sending in assistance, but the dictator’s hold appears very fragile.

*    *     *     *     *

Why are the bad guys reeling?  The details are different in each country, but one theory that makes sense to me is that Internet access, which brings most people information about how other people live and provides the possibility of change for a better life, fosters discontent with dictators and oppression.  Young people in Iran, Hong Kong, and Venezuela all know that their parents or grandparents once had a much better life.  In Hong Kong and Taiwan, they know how their relatives are living in China, even though the last 25 years have brought relative prosperity to China.  They don’t want to give away their freedom, and they are willing to fight for it and vote for it.

It is hard to assess the role of the United States.  President Trump has pressed economic sanctions against Iran and Venezuela but has been cautious militarily.  He has stayed on the sidelines with Hong Kong.  He appears to be hoping stupidity, corruption, and tyranny will sew its own destruction.

Let’s hope so.

Question:  Can you imagine voting for Bernie Sanders for President?


Share this post

18 thoughts on “Bad Guys in Retreat

  1. Rod Hatcher

    I only vote for people that have worked for a living, believe in capitalism, and support smaller government. So no to Bernie.

  2. Val Zanchuk

    He’s identified real issues (some imagined ones, as well), but only superficial ways of addressing them. As we all know, the devil is in the details, and he’s lacking these. I think he would fail in the implementation, if he ever could get to do the dozens of things he’s proposed (same goes from Sen. Warren). I wish we had the Republicans of old saying yes, there are real issues, and here are the priorities and the steps we can take to address them responsibly. We only get knee jerk and extreme reactions from both sides.

  3. Another Canuck

    Can you imagine a blog about machining that talks about machining? I did at one time, but unfortunately it doesn’t exist anymore.
    Where is the unsubscribe button? When I find it I will surely click on it.


    No Bernie or any of the other Democrat’s in this field would be able to help people help themselves. Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats everyday.

  5. Get bent

    I don’t ask my representatives for CNC tips. I don’t expect my CNC sources to talk to me about politics. It should have been a sign that I had to disable three different adblock and tracker devices to access your unsubscribe button; clearly I should have done so years ago.


    Thank you for your honesty and common sense. The USA is the greatest nation on the face of the earth and we don’t need people like Bernie Sanders or the rest of the Democrats trying to drag us into socialism.

  7. Lloyd Graff

    Glad to wake you up, friends. Regarding talking about the world situation, I did not write a particularly argumentative piece. On the machining issue, Noah’s podcast interviews have been very machining oriented with a lot of innovative, articulate shakers in the industry. Nobody else that I am aware of is doing the stiff he is doing and his reach is stunning. We will be getting our first advertiser aside from Graff Pinkert. Comments are coming in from countries like India, Ausrralia, New Zealand and Korea as well as North American folks. I asked about Bernie Sanders because I thought it was time in the cycle to get a feel for the thinking in the community. I thank you for your comments

  8. Greg Anderson

    We have a President who isn’t afraid to take stand for us, something past Admins have not done. Taking out Qasem Soleimani just puts a target on the next guy and I’m sure he’s not too comfortable with it. The longer these guys roam the earth the more people get killed. The law of war was not ever followed by this man so he is a terrorist and a murderer. Besides the the BS media bluster more are happy he’s dead than alive. Trumps no angel for sure but he’s a tough guy against incredible odds and keeps pushing like no other President
    against terror countries to squelch them.

    Bernie Sanders? Ha, Bernie & Liz should skip off to Wonderland with Alice and never come back.

  9. Steve Adams

    In today’s political climate, the opposition feels the need to take a position as far opposite as possible, regardless of the sanity in the concept, of which there is none. So no.

  10. r in nyc


    I love free stuff – where do I sign up? {sarc}

    If we get a winning Bernie / Fauxcahontas ticket we could become Venezuela in less than eight years.

    And I am sure they would immediately install AOC as the new environmental green czar.
    She would blow through the estimated $93 TRILLION cost in a Brooklyn heartbeat.
    Shutting down all air travel and printing the trillions of dollars would do wonders for the economy. Rolling blackouts when the sun don’t shine. Rickshaws and bicycles, along with empty shelves like in Venezuela may bring down our obesity rates.

    The “free” government healthcare would reduce our population.
    (don’t talk about the “Death Panels – shhhhhh)

    Can you say soylent green – yum…

    Robert F. Kennedy said:

    There is a Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times.” Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.

    But fear not, weather it is Bernie, Creepy Joe, or Fauxcahontas, President Donald J. Trump with defeat them with a greater electoral college victory, as well as squeaking out a popular vote victory.

    OBTW – check you 401k & investments
    Dow just hit another record
    unemployment hit another record low

    I’m not sick of winning yet 😀

  11. A Morse

    What does any of this have to do with machining? Perhaps you should stick to what you know, stay out of politics.

  12. Kevin Finch

    I’m a machinist for 37 years, also High Performance Work Team Coach and I am interested in all opinions/ideas. I find it interesting that people choose to unsubscribe when someone talks about something and they don’t agree. How do you work with others? This is an issue in todays workforce!! Isn’t it okay to disagree and still respect the author? Keep writing my friend!!!


Comments are closed.