Sunday, July 5, 2015

One Last Word on Greece (Well, Maybe)

As I write, Greeks head to the polls to vote on a referendum which asks the very clear and understandable question,
“Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal be accepted? 
The first document is entitled “Reforms For The Completion Of The Current Program And Beyond” and the second “Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis.”
OK, OK, yes, it's all Greek to me. Nobody really knows what is being asked (read the press accounts--everybody has a different view) especially since the "plan of agreement" has been withdrawn.  Nobody seems to know what either a "YES" or a "NO" result would mean.

Insofar as I can tell, we're down to symbolism. A "YES" vote means, apparently, that Greeks want to keep trying to work things out with the EU, the ECB, and the IMF; a "NO" vote means, apparently, that Greeks want to keep trying to work things out with the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, but with a nasty tone in their collective negotiating voice.

Stock markets are going nuts; bureaucrats are setting their hair on fire; chickens are quacking; ducks are roaring; lions are barking; horses are mewing; Democrats are owning up to their racist past and present; Obama loves America; global warming is real; Australians have given up cricket for crochet; the world has stopped spinning; and I am going to watch the Women's World's Soccer Cup. Go USA!

P.S.: Given that the MSM is calling it too close to call, I guess that means the "NO" will win . . .

Friday, July 3, 2015

Our New and Smart Diplomacy at Work

Words fail me . . . Our Ambassador in the Dominican Republic having a big gay pool party in honor of the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.

The New Face of the USA

ISIS must be trembling . . .

I am so glad not to be in the Department now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence for Greece . . . and Puerto Rico

I have written so much about the Greek financial crisis (here, for example) that I don't know what more to say except, "told ya." Now, of course, one need not be the Great Amazing Kreskin or Nostradamus to have foreseen the disaster that has befallen Greece. When you spend what you don't have, you end up with nothing but debt. Not hard to understand unless you're a pandering politician living off the crowd's adulation and the taxpayers' money.

The press is full of stories about Greece, about last minute deals, about an impending economic explosion or implosion, the stock market is jumping around, and the European and the international political classes and clowns that control money and finances are issuing about as many statements about the crisis as they do debased currency notes. The bottom line is a painful one, but one best confronted sooner rather than later. Greece must drop the euro, get out of the EU, and regain its independence. The Greek economy and currency must have its value set by market forces and not by bureaucrats in Brussels and Athens. This will prove, as I have written many times, a very painful and disruptive process. Greece will have to become a responsible world citizen and not depend on the German ATM which has bankrolled its spendthrift ways until now--tough, I know. When the EU went from a trade zone to an attempt at creating the United States of Europe, it wrote its death warrant.

Lest it appear that I only ridicule Europe's pretensions, let me turn to something closer to home: Puerto Rico, a great place, with a great history, and some truly fine people--many of whom are proud veterans of the US military. In the past, I had thought about retiring there, but it has become a financial and economic mess thanks largely to progressive policies which have saddled the island's 3.6 million people with a public debt in excess of $72 billion. Puerto Rico's Democratic Governor Garcia Padilla (note: most news stories do not list his party affiliation) has announced that Puerto Rico cannot pay back the debt and needs help of various types. Neither he, nor most media accounts, however, go into how Puerto Rico got into the hole in which it now finds itself: e.g., huge transfer payments, corruption, unrealistic minimum wage, heavy taxation, bizarre federal restrictions on which ships can traffic goods to and from the island, etc. Those wiser than I will have to deal with all those issues . . . right. I am sure the "experts" will come up with some sort of paper-over "solution" that will solve nothing but kick the can down the road until the ultimate dead-end looms.

The long-term solution, however, is independence for Puerto Rico. Just as is the case with Greece and the EU, Puerto Rico is not a good fit with the rest of the US economy, and has become a ward of the federal government. Puerto Rico should go it alone and, as with Greece, let the international market set the value for Puerto Rico's economy.

Borders serve a purpose. The progressive obsession with doing away with such borders can prove very destructive--as we see in Greece and Puerto Rico and in the US Southwest.

Now, to California . . .

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meanwhile, Back in the Real World . . .

Well, well, and well, again.

We've had quite a couple of weeks touring the always exciting theme-park known as Progressive World. Our visit to the Liberal Maze of Mirrors in the Progressive Delusional State has shown us our brave heroes doing battle against marriage; against a 150 year old battle flag; and, of course, in favor of dependency on government subsidies for "health care." These heroes have won all three battles; it is no surprise to see them dancing in the streets waving their own gayly-colored and politically-approved battle flags, and engaging in same-sex hugs and kisses. Somebody else will pay for everything! Hurray! You can marry anybody! The Christian white guys in pick-up trucks are defeated! Gay marriage is in the Constitution but not the right to fly a Rebel flag!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Real World, we see something else.

In Tunisia, our old Sunni acquaintances do what they do best: prove Islam is a Religion of Peace by carrying out a massacre of at least three dozen mostly British tourists on the beach. In France, the practitioners of the Religion of Peace, have conducted a beheading at a factory. In Kuwait, Sunni "warriors" have bombed a Shia mosque killing over two dozen fellow practitioners of the ROP who didn't agree with the Sunni interpretation of how to be a Muslim.

Happy Ramadan everybody! Yes, let's COEXIST in one big happy gay commune!

So, again, while the silly prancers prance and the idiotic dancers dance on the streets of DC, San Francisco, and Seattle, the White House bathes in the gay colors of the rainbow flag, our President lectures us on the evils of the Confederacy, and the Rebel flag gets ripped down from monuments across the South, ISIS & Co. continue their march toward an Islamic Caliphate--one in which, please note, gays do not get married, they get thrown from tall buildings or hanged from cranes. While it apparently takes a delusional white guy shooting up a black church to get our President concerned about the deaths of Christians, or as he once labelled them "bible clingers," ISIS and pals such as Boko Haram have no problem slaughtering hundreds of Christians and bragging about it. Nary a peep from the Obama misadministration, but as long as the Islamists don't fly the Rebel battle flag, I guess it's OK . . .

In the end, of course, if we are lucky, those guys in the pick up trucks will suit up and save us all, again. Yes, the hated villainous "rednecks" of progressive scary fairy tales will get out of their Ram trucks and fight the Ramadan goons. The hard young men of our armed forces will need to save the soft prancers and dancers from the evil Islamists.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On Rebel Flags and Progressive Targets

In the wake of the Charleston mass murder, apparently carried out by a piece of delusional and racist scum from a highly dysfunctional family, we saw some of the usual gun control blather, but without any real energy behind it. Most progressives, pace the idiotic foreign millionaire Piers Morgan, have learned that their usual factually incorrect nonsense about needing "more gun control" tends to fall on deaf ears, and, politically, is going nowhere. In fact, the trend seems running in the opposite direction, with many states--and Puerto Rico, I might add--scrapping anti-gun legislation and regulation. So, in keeping with their tactics outlined in my June 5 post, the progressives have launched an attack on a different target, the Confederate battle flag which flies over the South Carolina State Capitol building in Columbia since 1961 (here is one version of the history of that). Let us not forget, of course, that the Confederate flag is not the real target either.

Full disclosure: My view on the Rebel flag and other Confederate symbols is clear. I do not, never have, and never will fly or paste any Confederate symbol, flag, battle or otherwise, over my house, or on my vehicles, clothing, or coffee mugs, etc. I spent my professional life representing one flag, that of the USA, and have no loyalty to any other. I admire the courage and fighting spirit, as well as the tactical and strategic talents of Confederate Generals and soldiers, love reading about the Civil War and visiting battle sites such as Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I, however, am pro-Union, pro-Stars-and-Stripes, anti-slavery, pro-Lincoln, pro-Grant, pro-Sherman, pro-Frederick Douglass just about all the way. I do not share in the sympathy for and romanticism of some for the Southern cause in the, ahem, "War of Northern Aggression." Slavery was an inherited curse on our nation which we should have dispelled long before it came to war--and, yes, I do see slavery as the overriding reason for the great 1861-65 war, and, of course, as the proximate cause for the creation of the Republican Party shortly before that war. Men such as Washington and Jefferson, both slave owners, knew slavery was evil, but compromised with that "peculiar institution" to our long-standing misfortune. Great men, great flaws. I fully understand why black Americans could and would find Confederate flags and other symbols offensive. We, of course, can debate all this in saecula saeculorum and never reach consensus. End of Full Disclosure

OK, back to the issue at hand. All that said, I also think that the issue of the Confederate battle flag and whether to fly it over State properties is a decision for the people of South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas or anywhere else it flies. It has nothing to do with gun violence, and, let us remind the progressives, it was the Republican party that defeated that flag and for what it stood in the first place. In addition, the greatest practitioners of gun violence, of course, are found in liberal Democratic constituencies, e.g., Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, east Los Angeles, etc.

Understatement Warning: The practitioners of gun violence tend not to be whites. Whites, racist or otherwise, killing blacks is a rare phenomenon in the USA. The shooting in Charleston proved a horrid exception to that; so, of course, the progressives and their echo-chamber media seize on the exception, ignoring the many black on black killings that took place the same day, and look for ways to use it to advance The Agenda. They also pervert history by trying to tie the Confederacy to the Republicans--a grotesque distortion made possible by the low-information consumers of media and Hollywood nonsense. End of Understatement Warning.

While we should not forget it was Democratic governors who hoisted the Rebel flag, and that the KKK was the armed wing of the Democratic Party, and that Jim Crow segregation was instituted and maintained by the Democrats, and that it was a Republican President, Dwight Eisenhower, and a Republican Chief Justice, Earl Warren, who began dismantling the Democratic party's segregation policies, let's put all that history aside, for now. Let's, instead, look at the shooting in Charleston. The alleged killer, whose name I will not reproduce here, had a website (I won't link to it) on which he published a "manifesto." One of the things that comes through most clearly is that he could find no other male, Southern whites to go along with his plan to murder black citizens. He complained that all he heard at school, yes, school in "racist" South Carolina, was talk about getting along with all races. Yes, "racist" South Carolina which has elected the daughter of Indian immigrants as Governor. His hatred for black people came from somewhere else in his twisted mind. He adopted the symbols of the Confederacy, Rhodesia, and apartheid South Africa, and posed himself burning the US flag--much as do many of the progressives who demand the elimination of the Rebel flag. He was no Tea Party "radical"; no member of the GOP; no fanatical supporter of Mitt Romney; no ardent follower of FOX News. Nope, none of that. The Confederate battle flag did not drive him to murder anymore than I, assume, the Black Panther flag drove the black mass murderer at the Washington DC Navy Yard nearly two years ago.

None of this, however, stops the progressives when they get a bone in their toothy jaws. They drove the media into a frenzy about the Rebel flag. As I said before, whether States remove the flag or not from their public properties is an issue for those States; but the crowd was whipped up and South Carolina's Republican Governor and legislature gave in. Democrats are very good at lynch mobs. That's not the way I would have liked to see the issue decided. The more important point, of course, is that progressives aren't stopping there. They already have Mau-Maued big retailers, e.g., Walmart, EBay, Amazon, into pulling merchandise with Confederate symbols. A major flag maker has announced that it will no longer make and sell Confederate flags.

No gun deaths will be averted by all this. Racism will not decrease because of this. Neither of those is the real target. The real target is attacking white male culture, especially the hated "Redneck" culture, which progressives cannot stand. The real target is trying to stigmatize white males and cowing them into politically correct submission. For you see, in the Hollywood movie that runs in an endless loop inside the heads of progressives, white males, especially in the South, are all Rebel flag-waving, pick-up driving, gun maniac racists just dying to kill black men and rape black women.

BOLD PREDICTION: THE NEXT STEP WILL BE TO DEMAND THAT CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS BE DECLARED HATE SPEECH. We will see kids sent home from school for having Confederate flags on their shirts; cars with Confederate decals will be banned from certain areas; and we might see the expunging of CSA symbols from movies and books and prohibiting Confederate flags at re-enactment events, etc. History must conform to the Progressive dictate of the day. END OF BOLD PREDICTION.

If that is to be--and it will--I, in turn, demand progressives stop wearing Che t-shirts. I insist they stop waving the "Palestinian" flag. I propose that we all demand that Maryland alter its flag which consists of the heraldic banner of Lord Baltimore. I find offensive the yearning for royalty and feudalism. The Union Flag must be struck from the flag of Hawaii. I find offensive this paean to colonialism. The Alabama flag has troubling similarly to the Scottish flag and might prove offensive to those of Welsh descent. Will Walmart stop selling items made in China, an offensive state if ever there was one? Will there be a ban on Mexican flags considering the horrid history of human rights in that country? What about the Japanese flag? Why should Japan be able to keep the flag under which millions of Chinese, Malays, Filipinos, Koreans, Pacific Islanders, Indians, and whites were tortured and murdered? I am sure we can turn this into a drinking game.

Meanwhile, the people of Charleston showed real class as they honored the victims and sought to promote unity rather than division.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Original Social Justice Warrior! Me! Well, Sorta . . .

I have posted below a page from the Congressional Record of Sept. 14, 1994. You will see that it has Senator Helms introducing the text of a cable I wrote. That cable had been run as an article titled "Undiplomatically Yours" in the July 1994 issue of Washingtonian magazine. I don't know who gave the unclassified message to the Washingtonian. I did not. I don't remember exactly when I wrote the cable but it must have been a couple of months earlier. I have the original in one or another dusty box, but--Horrors!--looking through all that stuff is much more than my old man allergies and knees can bear. You will see that I make references to some earlier cables I wrote re the Department's "Affirmative Action and Diversity" policies. I am sure those cables are also in some box, but, well, see previous sentence.

Some context: Throughout 1993 and 1994, the Department was besieged by the proponents of "Affirmative Action." It seemed not a day went by without some missive or speaker coming our way on the need to fight sexually inappropriate behavior, how to avoid giving offense to minorities, and on the need to hire more women and minorities. I had taken a stand which was that this was destructive bunk that introduced conflict and division into the ranks. I also had asked to be shown the numbers. The progressives running these racial/gender programs never wanted to provide numbers. How many women and minorities were enough? Who was getting hired and how? Some of my superiors had taken offense to my noting that AA programs were largely benefitting white middle and upper class women; very few blacks were getting hired. It was a major "no-no" to point that out. By the time I wrote the cable below, I was thoroughly fed up with the non-answers to my questions. My irritation shows through, as does my belief that that the Department's leaders were creating strife which would only get worse (See here for what I was worried about).

The proximate cause of the cable was an article in State Magazine, the in-house journal of the Department, in which the Legal Advisor, who was black, walked into different offices and stated that the personnel did not look like him. I asked, as you will see, whether a criterion for employment at State was to look like the Legal Advisor.

The flurry that this cable set off, subsequently, had me declare myself a black woman and defy the Department, using its own rules, to deny that. It was hilarious. It also left me with a huge cloud over my head. Torrential rains were only prevented by my good relations with Helms' office. The words "Senator Helms" made even the most senior Department officials quiver.

Let me just add that I knew people were out to get me, especially in the DG's office, so I made it my policy never to meet women employees in my office with the door closed or without a trusted witness. Progressive "healing" has that sort of effect.

Anyhow, there's lots more but for now this will do. Enjoy the cable that nearly ended my career . . . well, there were other things, too, but this is enough, now--you can look up some of those other things under my name (often misspelled with 'n' replacing 'm' as is the case in the Congressional Record piece below) and the word "Guatemala." Some day I will write about that stuff, but not today--my stomach is not up for all that recollection.

Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 128 (Wednesday, September 14, 1994)

                       STATE DEPARTMENT'S QUOTAS

Mr. HELMS: Mr. President, we are left to suppose, in horror, that the 
Serbs are ``ethnically cleansing'' the former Yugoslavia of both 
Moslems and Croats. In Rwanda, Hutus and Tutsis are slaughtering each 
other. The world has always been polarized but it now has become 
violently so.

Meanwhile, the State Department is drumming up a new brand of 
polarization called diversity. Foggy Bottom would rather fulfill ethnic 
quotas, thereby creating divisions and resentment, than choose the best 
qualified people to tend U.S. interests abroad.

 The State Department's problem is that the American people reject 
ethnic and gender quotas. It is an absurd policy and it is unfair. It 
is an insult to basic American precepts and principles.

I hope Senators will take note of a cable written by Lewis Anselem, 
the political counselor at the United States Embassy in Bolivia. This 
cable, highly critical of the State Department's quota policy, was 
published in the July edition of Washingtonian magazine. Mr. Anselem 
raises a number of significant questions about the Clinton 
administration's pursuit of ethnic quotas at the State Department.

 Mr. Anselem deserves forthright answers to his questions but I 
recommend that nobody hold his or her breath until answers are 
forthcoming from the State Department.

I recall Hubert Humphrey's asking the Senate 30 years ago, ``Do you 
want a society that is nothing but an endless power struggle among 
organized groups? Do you want a society where there is no place for the 
individual?'' If Hubert were still around he would instantly recognize 
that this administration has made clear that it values special interest 
groups over independent individuals. And Hubert would discover that the 
``politically correct'' crowd in charge today is making the ground 
fertile for polarization.

  Mr. President, the State Department should reject its misguided 
efforts to enact quotas. I ask unanimous consent that W. Lewis 
Anselem's cable, published by Washingtonian magazine, be printed in the 
Record at the conclusion of my remarks.

                  [From the Washingtonian, July 1994]

                         Undiplomatically Yours

       (A cable from W. Lewis Anselem, political counselor in the 
     United States embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, on diversity within 
     the State Department has been making the rounds in Foggy 
     Bottom. Here is the text of the cable.)

     1. I am taking advantage of your call for a full exchange 
     of views of personnel issues to send you this message on 
     ``diversity.'' I probably should use the ``dissent channel'' 
     but given my prior experience with that channel on a 
     different issue (i.e., eight months to get a reply), I have 
     chosen to address you directly. A previous cable I sent the 
     Director General (93 La Paz 15382) on diversity issues was 
     replied to six weeks later by the acting DIRGEN (State 
     384875) in a ``form letter'' which ignored the bulk of the 
     issues I raised. A follow-up cable (La Paz 734) was ignored.

     2. I realize senior Department officers cannot provide 
     personal answers to all cables they receive; I certainly 
     don't expect that. But given repeated calls by those 
     officials for a full and frank exchange in diversity and 
     other personnel issues, those officials should be ready and 
     willing to address such issues in a full and frank manner 
     somewhere and somehow. That has not happened. What statements 
     these officials have made on diversity reveal a lack of 
     understanding of basic issues, are contradictory, deceptive, 
     condescending in the extreme, insulting, and, above all, 
     confusing. It is that sort of behavior, I think, which led 
     the Department to be the target of prior lawsuits and creates 
     an unease in the ranks today that could result in new ones 
     tomorrow. Current AFSA leadership seems to be management's 
     pet puppy on diversity, eager to please its master (I urge 
     everyone I know to stop paying AFSA dues).

     3. I won't repeat what I stated in previous cables on 
     diversity. I want to discuss two articles in the February and 
     March issues of ``State Magazine.'' Those articles contain 
     statements by the Director General and the Legal Advisor that 
     need clarification; anything you can do would be 
     appreciated. I apologize for this cable's length, but the 
     topic has many facets.

                             Role of Exams

     4. In the February ``State Magazine'' report on the January 
     11 ``townhall meeting'' the Director General (pg. 2) is cited 
     as stating on the issue of FS [Foreign Service] employees who 
     enter without taking the exam, that ``while some `assume that 
     we want to give a free pass to people who couldn't pass the 
     exam' it is rather the opposite, she said, explaining there 
     are persons who are so highly sought after that State could 
     never hope to recruit them if it had to wait for the lengthy 
     exam process.''

     5. Is this an accurate characterization of the Director 
     General's position on the exam issue? If so, is that an 
     accurate reflection of Department policy? Who are these 
     persons ``who are so highly sought after"? What special 
     skills do they bring to the promoting of American overseas 
     interests? Does the Department consider those who took the 
     exam and put up with the lengthy exam process as second-class 
     citizens? Why have exams if they only draw second-raters such 
     as myself? Will a warning label be placed on the exam so that 
     potential test-takers know they are not "highly sought 
     after"?' Perhaps something similar to what we have on tobacco 
     goods: Warning: The Director General has determined that if 
     you take this test you are second-rate.

     6. Will the same attitude of disregard for the exam extend 
     to the EER [employee evaluation report]? Can we anticipate 
     that certain persons will be promoted outside of the EER 
     process (because they are so ``valuable'') while only we non-
     valuable ones need worry about EER ratings?

                           The Evils of Merit

     7. In the same issue of ``State,'' the Department's Legal 
     Advisor (identified as black although no one else's race is 
     mentioned, a matter which should be taken up with the editor) 
     is portrayed as claiming the following (pg. 3): ```We must 
     get rid of the notion that merit has been such a success that 
     we don't have a problem . . . It just doesn't do to walk into 
     a bureau and to see no one or only one person who looks like 
     me.' The fact is, he added, that white males are 
     overrepresented in the Department . . . He continued:
     `We shouldn't assume that because a woman or minority winds 
     up as a DAS [deputy assistant secretary], that this was 
     reserved for a woman or a minority. What we should assume is 
     that the person was qualified for the job.'''

       8. Is this an accurate characterization of the Legal 
     Advisor's position? Can we conclude that, under this 
     administration, merit is no longer the basis for employment 
     and advancement in the Department? If, indeed, merit is no 
     longer the basis of assignment, advancement, etc., why should 
     we assume a person holding a particular job is qualified for 
     the job? Why shouldn't women and minorities feel stigmatized, 
     as the Director General rightly worries they are? How can the 
     Legal Advisor's statements be reconciled with repeated 
     assertions (including in that same article, pg. 2) by the 
     Director General and others that no dichotomy exists between 
     diversity and merit?

      9. Is it Department policy that white males are 
     ``overrepresented?'' What others does the Department consider 
     ``overrepresented?'' Are there too many Jews in the 
     Department? How will the Department solve the ``Jewish 
     problem?'' Too many Catholics? Too many Baptists? Too many 
     Asians? Too many Mormons? Too many left-handed Protestants? 
     What else is there too many of? Is the Legal Advisor out to 
     cull the herd? What is the Legal Advisor's position on the 
     Chicago Bulls? That organization doesn't have too many people 
     who look like me, but as a team based on merit, not 
     diversity, they play great ball. Should we lower the net 
     and shorten the court so short, fat, cigar-smoking white 
     guys can play? What about the engineering school at UCLA? 
     Not many folks who look like me there, either, but they 
     sure are good engineers. From the charts provided in the 
     Director General's article in the March ``State'' it seems 
     minorities are ``over-represented'' in the government 
     workforce in general (see chart on pg. 20). Will the 
     Advisor propose minorities in other agencies be fired to 
     bring down their representation to the ``proper'' level? 
     Or is it only OK to insult and degrade white males?

    10. The Legal Advisor is also quoted as saying (pg. 3) that 
     litigation is ``a blunt instrument but one that gets our 
     attention.'' I predict that if the Department adopts the 
     attitude apparently held by the Legal Advisor, a lot more 
     ``blunt instruments'' will get your attention.

          On Definitions and the Plastic Medium of Statistics

     11. In the March issue of ``State'' (pp. 18-25), the 
     Director General presents a number of statistics on the 
     Department workforce. Most of these are partial and 
     misleading. I note, however, that the second chart on pg. 21 
     clearly makes the point that there is ``gender bending'' 
     going on in promotions. Since 1989 female officers are 
     consistently more likely to be promoted than are their male 
     colleagues. The 1993 figures are very telling. In that chart 
     alone, I suspect there is enough for a lawsuit. What that 
     chart doesn't show (but previous stats laboriously squeezed 
     out of the Department do) is that women are much more likely 
     to cross the FS-1 to senior officer threshold than are men. 
     In addition, they are much more likely to get DCM [deputy 
     chief of mission] or P.O. [principal officer] jobs in 
     desirable postings than are men (a glance through the ``Key 
     Officers'' book shows that). And, please, despite what the 
     Director General claims, we all know some positions are held 
     as long as possible for applicants of the ``right'' sex, 
     race, or ethnicity; it's one of the worst kept secrets in the 

     12. Nowhere in the article does the Director General 
     provide a definition of ``minority.'' This is a critical 
     failing I have noticed throughout the discussions of the 
     diversity issue. What is a minority in a country of 
     minorities? From what I can tell if you don't file a lawsuit, 
     you ain't a minority.

    13. The issue of defining ``minority'' is a critical one. 
     When we join the Foreign Service we have to auto-declare 
     ourselves Hispanic, black, white, Native American, etc. Is 
     this the only means we have? Surely this is not very 
     accurate. Many Americans (myself included) are of mixed 
     background. How do we know who is ``truly'' white, black, or 
     Hispanic? How many white ancestors must you have before you 
     are no longer another race? What if you have one black great-
     grandmother? Would a person with one European-origin parent 
     and one African-origin parent be white or black? What about 
     one with an Asian and an African parent? How does the 
     Department know it is not being conned by unscrupulous race 
     and ethnic jumpers? What if you are currently a man but 
     ``feel'' you are really a woman? Can those of us who listed 
     ourselves as in one group get reclassified?

    14. If you are serious about racial labels, then Department 
     medical services should be brought in to determine degrees of 
     racial ``purity.'' You can hire phrenologists and other 
     experts on racial traits. There are lots of those people now 
     unemployed in South Africa or under false names in Paraguay 
     (better move on this last group fast, they're getting old).

                   Ah, Yes . . . One More Definition

     15. In the whole debate on diversity, including in the two 
     articles I mention, I have yet to see a definition of 
     ``diversity.'' I just can't believe personnel officers would 
     launch a policy without knowing what it is. Please provide a 
     definition of ``diversity.'' How will we know when we have 
     it? What are the exact quotas established? Once those are 
     reached, will the Department have a ``diversity maintenance'' 
     program to ensure old devil merit doesn't upset the correct 

     16. Will only race and gender be considered? What about 
     regional diversity? Are there too many Californians? Too many 
     Alaskans? What about elderly Americans? What about those of 
     Albanian descent? I have an Albanian-American friend from 
     Chicago; I would like him to know what his quota is. Would 
     Albanian-Americans from Philadelphia have a different quota 
     than those from Chicago (my friend has a brother in 
     Philadelphia)? What's the point system?

          Oh Yes, I Want my Country to be Just like Yugosalvia

     17. I find diversity's obsession with race and gender 
     repugnant and potentially dangerous. Despite what the 
     Director General claims, it is not those who object to 
     diversity who corrode efficiency and morale in the service, 
     it is those who promote diversity who do so. I might add, the 
     Director General takes a cheap shot in her March article (pg. 
     18) by implying that those opposing diversity so do either 
     out of fear of change or resentment over diminished promotion 

     18. There are many legitimate and idealistic reasons to 
     oppose diversity. Not the least is that qualified women and 
     minority officers are being stigmatized by diversity and the 
     obvious ``white man's burden'' mentality behind it. The 
     assumption is that women and minorities (however defined) 
     can't compete unless the Great White Father designs a 
     ``special program'' for them (what would the Bulls say about 
     that?). Diversity is causing serious, perhaps permanent 
     damage to a service already battered by years of abuse as a 
     playground for unqualified political appointees (not always: 
     I've served under some very fine political appointees). Can 
     you imagine a used car salesman commanding a nuclear aircraft 
     carrier? No? How about one as ambassador of the world's most 
     important country?

     19. My parents did not immigrate to America so their kids 
     could face quotas. They came to get away from prejudice. The 
     social engineers in the Department and its AFSA sidekick have 
     forgotten that the idea of America is to let people be their 
     best and in that way we all benefit. If engineering schools 
     have an ``overrepresentation'' of Asian-origin students, it 
     doesn't bother me. If for whatever reasons one group or 
     another has a greater tendency to go into one sort of 
     business rather than another, that doesn't bother me at all. 
     Diversity zealots are toying with explosive issues; no matter 
     how ``civilized'' we think we are, eventually, as we have 
     seen in Yugoslavia and only God knows how many other places, 
     we all will come out to defend our ethnicity, race, religion, 
     etc.--and at times violently. Call it tribalism or whatever 
     you want, but it's there under the surface. Let it stay 
     there; don't stir it up with misguided polices.

     20. Thank you for this opportunity to express my views.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Repost on Guns & Mental Health

I originally posted this a bit over a year ago in reaction to calls for gun control for the "mentally ill." Given the horror in Charleston, I expect this call will go forward again. As I have noted, repeatedly, however, when progressives announce they are aiming at a target, their real target is something else.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The War on the Second Amendment: the Mental Health Gambit

Whenever we have a "mass"--a word with a highly flexible definition--shooting in the US, we have the predictable calls for more gun laws, for more gun "control." All the usuals put out their tweets, go on the talk shows, pontificate from the legislative floor, issue editorials, etc. The anti-second amendment crowd, generally the sort who can find the right to abortion in the US Constitution but can't find the right to bear arms, are getting more and more desperate. Despite years of anti-gun propaganda and false statistics, gun sales are at a record high in the US with manufacturers barely able to keep up with demand. More people now own guns in the US than at any time in our history; the courts have struck down bucket loads of anti-carry legislation so that concealed carry is now a possibility in every state; and, worst horror of all, the homicide rate continues to decline.

At times I get the feeling that the anti-gun boys and girls hope for mass shootings, which are actually quite rare, and for the shooter to be a white, good ol' boy Tea Partier who uses the n-word, hates women, gays, and liberals, and denies the "settled science" behind the theories of evolution and global climate cooling warming change  disruption. The shooters in reality, of course, happen to be far from that, and give credence to Ann Coulter's long-ago stated observation that violence in the US comes from the left. The "mass" shooters, including the Santa Barbara creep, come from liberal/progressive backgrounds, and fall on the left end of the political and cultural spectrum. They are often well-off economically, and generally come from the sort of dysfunctional families that form a core component of the Democratic party electorate.

The gun issue in the US is much more than about guns. It is about culture and about the role and scope of government in our lives. The gun controllers want more government in our lives and want to suppress America's gun, aka individual freedom, culture. They want to make it sound that gun violence is rampant and that we all face horrible deaths in a cloud of gunpowder. They want us to ignore that homicide, including with guns, is not equally spread among all sectors of our country. Homicide rates are much, much higher among Democratic constituencies--I have written aboutthis before--than among Republican constituencies--compare Detroit with Utah, for example. Above all else, there is an enormous racial component to murder in the US. Please note, for example, that 3/4s of those arrested for murder in Chicago is black, while blacks only comprise about one-third of the city's residents; the overwhelming majority of murder victims is also black. Nationwide, even when "white" is loosely defined, black homicide rates are some 8-10 times those of the white population. All that presents a dilemma for progressives. Instead of trying to deal with the real problem, i.e., that the most likely victim of a murderer is an unarmed black person, the progressives find distractions on which to spend their efforts. As I have written endless times, the progressives don't give a hoot about our black citizens trapped in situations where they become prime candidates for murder--those situations, after all, have been created by decades of progressive policies implemented by progressive urban political machines. The history of the Democratic party, one of the world's oldest political parties, is one of constant warfare against black people: slavery, segregation, the KKK, opposition to black suffrage, making generations of black people wards of the state, are all Democratic party contributions to race relations in the USA. The progressives want power for the state and they intend to control that state.

Progressives focus on bogus issues such as "assault" rifles and magazine capacity. The latest bogus distraction is the mental health one. The argument goes something like this, "We don't want to take guns away from law abiding citizens but want to put into place laws, regulations, and procedures that keep guns away from criminals and mentally disturbed persons." They are quite vague about what exactly those new constraints will be, and we just have to take them at their word that they are not really out to stifle gun ownership at large, and that the new constraints will work better than the old ones.

Mental health, really? If you think the science of global climate whatever is up in the air, wait until you delve into the looney world of mental health. The mental health profession is full of quack "therapists" and quack theories; few things there are settled science; and that profession is as subject to the vagaries of the winds and tides of fashion and politics as any other. Let us not forget the uses of psychiatry in the dead and unlamented Soviet bloc. Even, however, without going back to the USSR, I would point out that my father was a psychiatrist, and in his old Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) homosexuality was listed as a disorder, "a sociopathic personality disturbance" to be precise. It was a disorder or mental disturbance until it just wasn't--you can read the account of how that change happened here.

Would then those persons treated for homosexuality, and have that on their medical records, be denied their second amendment rights? This, in turn, leads to the raising of many other questions: What standards would be used to determine mental illness for the purpose of gun denial? Who would make those standards? How would authorities running a background check gain access to those medical records? How would we redefine the ancient notion of patient-doctor confidentiality? How would those mental health sessions be flagged in the Great Database? How would one prevent that information from leaking and from being used for political or blackmail purposes? How would this not dissuade people who need some help from getting it? I am sure you can think of dozens more questions.

We live--alas!--in a time that I never thought I would see in the USA. We see the IRS used to stifle political dissent; we see the ATF used to sell guns to Mexican cartels and to make it seem that lax US gun laws are to blame for the violence in Mexico; we see the NSA and FBI used for purposes for which they were never intended; we see local police forces with more firepower and sophisticated combat training and gear than most armies in the world.

Given the progressive track record, should we trust their "good intentions" when they seek to protect us from armed "crazy" people? I don't. I would rather rely on my old friends Messrs. Smith & Wesson.