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Castro and the Nazis: Makes Perfect Sense

As we come up on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we see newly declassified German intelligence documents reporting that Fi...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Progressive Heads Continue to Explode

Sitting in my hotel room in NoCal listening to the news. The progs just can't help themselves. I am going to file a complaint with OSHA and EPA as I am starting to go deaf from the sound of prog heads exploding.

Where to start? How about with air conditioning?

The progs can't stand that Trump-Pence got Carrier to keep over 1000 jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico. Suddenly the progs are concerned about government interfering in the decisions of private companies. OK. Got it. The progs who have written an infinite number of  laws, regulations and programs that do precisely that, are now concerned that Trump used the power of the progressive state to benefit 1000 workers and do something that Obama and company did not have the creativeness or gumption to do. The bottom line is that over 1000 American workers who were seeing their jobs shipped away, now will see those jobs stay. The progs and the libertarian purists can argue all they want about the interference with a private company's decision but the bottom line remains that 1000 working and taxpaying Americans have had their jobs saved by a man who is not even yet president.

The progs have created a political and economic system that is increasingly hostile to free enterprise here at home while at the same time, with conservative Republican support, have established an international trade regime that encourages those companies to leave the country. Companies have been forced to make a rational decision within an irrational system. Trump promises to restore our system so that it is one that restores our country to its once formidable position as the home of free enterprise and creativity. We'll see, but for now I remain guardedly optimistic.

Meanwhile, I am going to get some good sound suppressing headphones. Got to save what is left of my hearing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Hitting the Road

Our annual road trip to northern California is coming up. We will be loading up the ol' Expedition and heading up to the Sacramento area to hang out with my son, his wife, and their daughter. Somewhere I read that that makes me a grandfather, but I believe nothing in the media since I consider myself still 25 years old . . . .

I will have the ancient IPAD with me, for what good that does. So might write something or another, but can't promise it. Don't worry you'll get a refund.

Before I sign off, I must say, yet again, that I am feeling optimistic about Pres-elect Trump. He has picked some good people--I think Pence, in particular, is showing his worth--and he seems bound and determined to live up to his promises on Obamacare, tax reform, etc. I was impressed with how he followed up with Carrier and got them to stay in the USA instead of moving their plant to Mexico. I also think his "thank you" tour is a superb idea and shows that he has not forgotten the folks who elected him. He also shows a remarkable ability to troll the left with his tweets and to expose them for the hypocrites and low-info people they are. Masterful.

OK. On my way . . . well, in a couple of hours--after I watch some sic-fi on TV. Since I met the inventor of the time machine, I have been hopelessly addicted to time travel movies and books.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tough Times to be a Progressive

Progs are having a hard time with their narrative.

Events, i.e., facts, conspire against them.

Let's start our happy trip with November 8, although we really should start with Brexit (and here), but let me keep it close to home, for now.

Trump won the election for President, "fair-and-square," as once was said in this country. He followed the rules of the game, and won. He has 306 electoral votes; well over the required 270. For those progs and other low-info whiners crying about the popular vote, let me make a couple of points. In our country, the country established way, way back in something called the 18th century by really, really smart and brave Brits, we have a unique system of electing our presidents--and it works.

Our presidential election system has, in effect, 51 elections--46 states, four Commonwealths, and one District of Columbia. Each one of those "little" elections has electors assigned to it equal to the number of representatives it has in both houses of Congress; each state (in general) grants it electors to the winning candidate within its boundaries. Since we currently have 538 members in that Congress, a winning candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win. The idea of the now much-maligned electoral college is to serve as part of the intricate system of checks-and-balances that this band of really, really smart Brits instituted to avoid tyrannies by either a minority OR by a majority. Everybody gets a voice, regardless of whether they are big or little. Dear progs, please look at the UN that you love so much: every country there gets the same vote regardless of size: Luxembourg gets the same vote as China. Should we change that?

The gross popular vote is irrelevant. Back on October 28, 2014, I wrote a piece about how the Democrats would try to skew the popular vote. All that came to pass, and in spades. We had a President, no less, calling for undocumented people to vote and assuring them that there would be no legal consequences; Hillary's campaign, of course, included "outreach" to the "undocumented" and even hired "dreamers" for that outreach: All part of an effort, as I wrote, to make citizenship meaningless. I noted that we would see demands for citizenship as,
a smokescreen for electoral fraud. Citizenship is under assault from another direction, as well. Voting I.D. Yes, that is the main weapon being used and the one which reveals what is really going on. Our Attorney General Eric "Fast and Furious" Holder tells us that his agency will be very vigilant re attempts by states to use voter identification requirements to "suppress" turn-out. The DOJ has been filing lawsuits against states with voter I.D. requirements (here and here, for example.) The justification? The progs conjure up an imaginary poor rural black too stupid, too poor, and living in such a remote place that he or she just cannot afford or otherwise get valid state identification. Nonsense. Many states offer free identification cards, and, more important, poor, middle class, and rich black people have valid identification documents for driving, buying property, getting bank loans, voting, etc., just like everybody else. Progs have a Hollywood version of race in America which they sell to the willing media, and seek to turn into public policy.
Easily some three to four million illegal and legal aliens voted with an additional 2-4 million dead and multiple voters. Those votes went to . . . surprise ... the Democrats. I love how they are now criticizing Trump for saying this "without' evidence.  For years, the progs have conducted a successful campaign to destroy the evidence, and now they point to the lack of it. Nice try. No cigar.

Despite all that, the progs still lost. So now we see calls for a recount by "third party" Castro-admirer Jill Stein but only in states critical for Trump's victory. She has mysteriously raised millions of dollars for this effort, and has, it seems, roped in Hillary into backing it--assuming Hillary wasn't behind it with her friend Soros from the start. All part of the effort to delegitimize Trump as much as possible before inauguration. It will fail. The progressive narrative will take another hit.

Speaking of hits, the death of Fidel has shattered yet another icon in the prog pantheon. They can heap all the words of praise they want on the old tyrannical monster, but the fact remains that Cuba is infinitely less free, less prosperous, less happy, and less habitable than it was on January 1, 1959. Once the wealthiest country in Latin America, Castro's Cuba is now among the most irrelevant, poorest and most miserable in the region--although Fidel and family managed to squirrel away hundreds of millions of dollars and properties for themselves. Not long from now even the dodgy statistics produced about Cuba's miraculous literacy rates and its stunningly low infant mortality rates will be shown for the lies they are. I remember when the same stuff was said about Romania. Facts will not support the prog narrative.

As I wrote this, news reports of a "mass" shooting on an Ohio university campus had been coming in. The progs, including the execrable Tim Kaine, came out with their tweets and press releases blaming Ohio's "lax" gun laws for this "shooting." Lots of tweets implying white male, Trump supporting racists as the shooter(s). OOOPS! The only gun involved, it turns out, was in the hands of a good guy, a campus cop, who shot the thug dead with three well-placed rounds. The thug used a car and a machete to hurt several people (exact number is changing).

Oh yes, just by the way, the thug turned out to be a recently arrived and "vetted" Muslim Somali refugee . . . now we will see the search for a "motive" and demands for solidarity with the oppressed and fearful Somali community. Let's help the cops and guess what the motive might be . . .

Tough days to be a prog . . . love it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro, RIH

Hard to believe that the old tyrant has finally died. I will write more about Castro later on but just want to record my initial reactions.

As bored readers of this blog might note, I have written quite a bit about Castro and Cuba. Much of my career at the State Department involved dealing with the Castroites at the UN, in South and Central America, and even in Asia. At the OAS, I spent much of my time on various efforts by certain Latin countries to get Cuba readmitted to the organization. In addition to my work, many of my dearest friends came from Cuba, and I often felt like an honorary Cuban. I visited Free Cuba (Guantanamo) twice while I was at SouthCom, and lived for nearly three years in Miami, a city made magical and wonderful by the Cuban migration.

The global left will fall all over themselves in tributes to this hideous mass murdering monster. We will hear nonsense about how he defeated illiteracy, brought medical care to the masses, established income equality, defeated imperialism, outlived his enemies, and on and on and on. None of those is true except for his living a long life--thanks, that is, to the Spanish doctors who saved him from the tender incompetent mercies of the vaunted Castroite medical system.

Cuba, yes, was a dictatorship in 1959, when Castro took over. The country never successfully established a stable, honest, democratic political system. Cuba in 1959, however, was far, far from being the shabby hell that the left and popular media have portrayed. It was a country with a highly educated and entrepreneurial middle class, full of doctors, lawyers, writers, artists, engineers, businessmen, etc., and was a haven for political and economic refugees from Europe. Cuba was a net importer of migrants; Cuba had a standard of living higher than much of Europe and higher than any other Latin American country. In sum, Cuba had a promising future ahead of it, a future wiped out by nearly sixty years of brutal Castroite dictatorship.

I hope, please God, that our inept President Obama will restrain himself and not go to the funeral or send the Veep, the SecState or anybody else. We owe at least that much to the millions of victims of Castro, and to the brave men we abandoned on Playa Giron.

¡Socialismo o Muerte! Socialism or Death! That was Castro's tiresome slogan for decades. Under his rule, however, that did not prove a choice. The Cuban people got both socialism and death, and now so has Fidel Castro, RIH (Rot in Hell.)

More to follow.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ringing in Black Friday

Our Thanksgiving Thursday passed without major drama. We violated our recent tradition and had a turkey meal ordered from a local supermarket. It was OK. The Diplowife, of course, restricted herself to mashed potatoes and yogurt and stayed away as far as possible from the bird. We had all the kids together for the first time in a long time, and they and my father seemed to enjoy the day. Afterwards we drove south to our other house near San Diego. The three boys and I stayed up until all hours watching endless documentaries and YouTube clips of progressives melting down after the Trump victory. Lot of fun.

Today, the fear inducing day known as Black Friday because of the requirement that we engage in mindless shopping, saw the three boys and your humble servant at the gun range in Poway. It was packed! We, however, had reserved a couple of lanes on the 100 yard range and had a grand old time blasting away. We took a couple of 45s, a .357 Mag revolver, a .44 Mag revolver, the Henry Big Boy, a bazillion rounds of ammo, and lots of targets. Good time was had by all.

My ears are still ringing as the folks in a lane next to us had some monster rifle that shook my innards and my brain every time they fired it. Not even my high-tech electronic sound suppressing headset managed to kill that blast. So, I sit here ringing in Black Friday, waiting for the boys to come back from their run, and head off to the local Indian casino to compensate Native America for Columbus, Pilgrims, Custer, and the Department of Interior's policies.

Life is still looking a lot better since that November 8 result . . . Wisconsin recount be damned!

Hillary is Not My President!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Thanksgiving Repost: Feathers!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all, and a repost from The Diplomad's Thanksgivings past . . . .

Feathers 

Yes, feathers. Not the figurative kind that fill leftoid heads, but the real kind that cover birds. We are going light today. Our topic is feathers and how they nearly produced a civil war in the Diplomad clan, and how echoes of that strife apparently will reverberate on the 4th of July.

As the six regular readers of this blog are painfully aware, during the Reagan years I served for a time at the UN in New York. We loved New York City, even with all its inconveniences especially with two rambunctious boys. Schooling was a problem as the local PS was, well, pretty bad. When two of the vastly overpaid teachers at the school told us that they would never send their own kids there, we decided to yank our boys out and send them--at considerable cost to the Diplomad bottom line--to private schools. One went to a school run by Irish Catholic nuns, who wanted no parental involvement, "Thank you very much, but we know how to do this." The older son went to one run by strangely liberal, yet oddly conservative Jews who wanted lots of parental involvement in the school as long as the parents did what the school wanted. Hey, it's New York. Live with it.

Well, as it does every year, the Thanksgiving holiday rolled around. You must understand we had spent most of our lives overseas. The boys had been born in Spain, and hardly had been in the US. Educated abroad, they--God help me--had grown to love soccer football soccer with both of them becoming (and remaining to this day) rabid fans of Spain's La Furia Roja. Their grip on Americana was a bit weak. Please remember that as this saga proceeds.

Another piece of background you will need. My Spanish wife hates, detests, abhors, loathes, etc, feathers and any creature sporting them. She shows a special wrath for chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. She cannot stand the thought of fowl on the meal plate. I have seen her blanche and break out into a cold sweat at fancy diplo dinners when served quail, duck or some other feather-bearing beast. It is not funny; better said, she has no sense of humor about this matter. My efforts to convince her that chicken tastes just like iguana have had no positive effect. Whenever we go to a restaurant, regardless of what she orders, she insists on, ahem, grilling the waiter on whether any foul fowl was involved in the making of her pending meal, "Uh, no ma'am, our salmon is, uh, salmon. It's a fish, not a bird." "Yes, yes, but the rice and the vegetables, were they cooked with chicken?" I am used to it by now.

Thanksgiving Day in New York, 1985. My older son, then about six was in a bad mood. I asked what was wrong, "You have no school today. Mom is making a nice Thanksgiving meal. What's wrong?" He glared at me, "The Pilgrims did not eat paella! They ate turkey!"

Explanation. Given the Diplowife's aversion to feathery creatures, our overseas Thanksgiving Day meals consisted of seafood paella. My wife had, ahem, implied in some way . . . oh, heck, she flat out told the kids that the Pilgrims ate paella with the Indians. Maybe she was thinking about Cortez and Pizarro, I don't know, but anyhow the kids had gotten into their heads that paella was the meal on Thanksgiving. Now in NY, the older boy had been asked the previous day to make a presentation at school on Thanksgiving. He, of course, reported that the English Pilgrims sat down and shared paella with the Native Americans. This caused a bit of a commotion and, I guess, led to some considerable ridicule, or what the politically correct nanny-staters now would label "bullying."

He was furious with us. He refused to eat paella and demanded a turkey. Even my wife was shocked into submission by the uncompromising fury coming from the tyke. It was Thanksgiving Day. I had to find a turkey in Manhattan! I dashed out of our building on the upper east side. All of the supermarkets were closed. A turkey! My kingdom for a turkey! I wandered the cold, darkling desolate concrete canyons, my despair growing and threatening to overwhelm me. I had let down my kids! The wages of sin, the consequences of falsehoods! God give me a sign that You will allow me to redeem myself . . . Wait! A deli! Still open but about to close! I ran in! Turkey sandwiches! They must have a turkey somewhere! A bizarre negotiation followed in which I finally convinced the suspicious Pakistani owner of the "Jewish" deli to sell me a whole kosher turkey at the price per pound of the sliced sandwich meat. I paid him a fortune--in cash--for a small bird about the size of a Chihuahua, and ran like the Grinch with my turkey under my arm.

My kids had turkey that day, and every other Thanksgiving since then has featured a big bird on the table. My wife refuses to sit anywhere near it, and has her own separate fish-based meal.

This will be an issue on the Fourth of July. The Thanksgiving paella got moved to Independence Day. The kids, now grown, of course, alas, are starting to make noises of impending rebellion against paella and in favor of hot dogs and other beast meat. The Diplowife mistrusts hotdogs, even the kosher all-beef ones, as stealth chicken missiles. She does not want anything with the potential of bearing fowl touching our BBQ grill or being anywhere near anything else that might be cooking. It appears that we might have a split Fourth meal. One side of the family eating chicken wings and hotdogs, and the other with the paella. Now that I think about it, this seems an appropriate metaphor for what is happening to our country.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Could that be Optimism?

Regular readers of this little blog know that its aging and grumpy owner is not prone to optimism. The word "pessimism" is my default setting, much as my predictive text's default setting for that word is "possums."

I, however, might have to move off that default setting a few degrees and, at least, for a time. Look, and I hate to admit it, but I think things are getting better since that November 8 election.

We see the improvement in little things and some big ones. We have Mexico expressing willingness to take another look at NAFTA; Ford announcing that because of Trump's plans to make America more competitive, it is not moving part of its Lincoln production to Mexico; Apple is exploring moving IPhone production out of China and to the US; vast new oil discoveries in Texas just about guarantee US oil independence for years to come and prove a major blow to the already crumbling Saudi energy empire; consumer confidence is up; and, almost best of all, we see the Democrats, along with their media and Hollywood allies in something close to a total meltdown--reduced to rioting in the streets by paid brainless anarchists and hurling insults at the Vice-President-elect by overpaid brainless actors on Broadway. To my Democratic friends, let me say that I heartily encourage more of all of this. And, of course, lest we forget, we can almost certainly see the beginning of the end for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Crime Family's money printing press. Hey, Qatar, no point in giving money to losers, right?

Trump has made some good choices for the National Security Council, the CIA, Chief of Staff, and Chief Strategist. I hope he continues on that quality glide path. I am further encouraged by the fact that all the sounds coming from the transition team seem to indicate that we have a president-elect who intends to keep his core campaign promises. We might see the end, relatively quickly, of the hideous Obamacare monstrosity; a scrapping of hundreds of Obama executive orders on immigration, environment, education, and other fields; a new tax regime; a new conservative Supreme Court; and a more common sense approach to foreign affairs. All good.

If this keeps up, I will have nothing to write about . . . anyhow, we might, might just have a Thanksgiving full of genuine hope and thanks for the first time in many years.

I shall try to restrain my possums.