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Much has been written, including in this blog, of the threat to America posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Not so much has been written abo...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Note to Conservatives: Making Democrats Happy is Bad for America

A little over a year ago, I wrote a little piece titled, "Thinking Aloud About Conservatism . . . " I noted my growing angst over modern American conservatism, in particular over conservatives' reaction to the candidacy of Donald Trump, and stated that,
I find more than a little boring and even irritating the ongoing and intense debate over whether somebody or another is a "true" conservative. Much of it reminds me of the debates one saw in communist-socialist movements as different factions argued over which held truer to St. Karl's vision. These debates often turned bloody as various factions of the left, e.g., Stalinists, Trotskyites, Anarchists, Fascists, turned on and murdered each other. 
Conservatives now appear doing some of the same--no murdering, however, at least not yet. I tire of the virulent tweets, the purple-prose articles, the angry televised debates, and the vile insults to-and-fro in arguments over the conservative credentials of, say, Trump vs Cruz vs Rubio vs whomever. It does little in terms of practical politics but to benefit the progressives busily destroying our country day-by-day, institution-by-institution.
Watching the unfolding of the debate over the "repeal and replacement" of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare, I was reminded of that post. We can argue all day and all night over whether Ryan's proposed replacement, "The American Health Care Act" was ideologically pure and whether it wasn't just Obamacare-Lite. I, for example, would have preferred a radically simple one line bill which stated, "As of (pick a date) 'The ACA' is no longer the law of the land, and as of that date health care shall be shaped and guided solely by the free market."

I know, I know, that's too simple. Nothing politicians do can be that simple. Look, I, therefore, was not a huge fan of "Ryancare," but it did do away with some of the most intrusive and anti-market features of The ACA. It still left, for my taste, too much government involvement but, but, BUT it was much, much better than the horrid Frankenstein's monster we now have. So thanks to conservatives in Congress, we do not have Obamacare-Two Percent, we have Obamacare-Whole.

How do we Americans benefit from that? The Democrats are happy with the result, that should give you a solid clue that it is bad for America. That is a Diplomad Iron-Rule, "That Which Maketh Democrats Gleeful, Bestoweth Only Misery to America."

Perhaps this was Trump thinking long-term, setting up Ryan for failure, bringing him down a notch, making him more pliable and subservient for further efforts on taxes, immigration, and even health care. Maybe. But in the meanwhile, we are stuck with Obamacare and the gloating images of Pelosi and Schumer and, apparently, a halt to the Trump "winning" narrative.

This better not be the pattern on topics such as taxes and immigration, or we are in deep, deep trouble.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"These are the days of miracle and wonder"

A lot of stuff going on around the world, so, of course, I won't have too much to say.

Did FBI Director Comey's testimony on Russia-Trump make any sense to you? If so, please explain it to me.

He certainly did not clear up entirely the conundrum (great word) raised in this humble blog some days ago, and which I now see other commentators raising (I am sure they read it here first),
The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? Presumably from the official intel services which then it would appear were monitoring Russian contacts with Trump's people. If there was no surveillance order given to US intel, from where did the intel on Russian contacts come? "The British," is apparently the Trump answer. I have a more plausible one. I think there was surveillance of Russian activity, probably by the NSA, and it found nothing to show that Trump had contacts with the Russians; the Obamistas and the Clintonistas then made up the accounts of Russian interference. In other words, they lied.
Comey acknowledged that there was no evidence showing a Tump-Moscow connection or that the Russians had thrown the election, but then said there is an ongoing investigation of Trump-Russia! So then there was some sort of FBI investigation/surveillance of the Trump campaign! Since, however, it has found no evidence of wrong-doing, that means, it would seem, the "leaks" pointing to such were, ahem, fabrications, Democratic dirty tricks, inoperative statements, or what is commonly called, lies. Comey would not, however, commit to investigating the "leaks."

Director Comey should go home for the good of the FBI's credibility, and for the good of the country. If Trump has made a mistake in these early days, it was keeping Comey on; firing him now, of course, would give the DNC a whole new set of talking points and the left a new martyr along with a host of US Attorneys. Riding the tiger.

Bottom line: President Trump was right about his campaign being under surveillance by the Obama administration. As I have said before, don't bet against Trump, unless, that is, you like to lose.

In France, we see a growing revolt against the Muslim invasion. Whether this will prove enough to halt the Islamization of France, we don't know. Certainly the same "folks," to use Susan Rice's endearing term for the terrorists who killed our people in Benghazi, who savaged Farage, Orban, Trump, and Wilders, are now gunning for Le Pen. Will she succeed in winning the presidency of France? I don't know; the odds and the polls seem to be against it, but, then look at Brexit and Trump--the polls certainly didn't get those right. Speaking of "right," the media and the global elites, of course, seek to delegitimize Marine Le Pen and her movement by labeling her and it with the catch-all phrase "far right." Looking over her party's platform, I don't see anything there that is "far right." She just seems to be somebody who wants France to be France, not the Islamic Republic of Gaul. I guess that makes her horrible.

Leftist Dreamland Venezuela continues its increasingly violent implosion. Socialism, the collapse of oil prices, horrid mismanagement of a bloated state, persecution of the opposition, and rampant official corruption and drug trafficking have put paid to Chavismo and its horrid successor Madurismo. There is no way out for the Maduro regime. It's over. The issue now is how much more suffering he and his shrinking circle of followers are willing to impose on the people of what should be one of the world's richest countries.

EVEN, yes, EVEN the Secretary General of the OAS, leftist Uruguayan politician Luis Almagro, has called for Venezuela to be suspended from the OAS unless new and democratic elections are held. For those of us who have worked at the OAS, that is nothing short of revolutionary. Proving that we do live in Paul Simon's "days of miracle and wonder" EVEN the Washington Post has acknowledged that Obama mishandled Venezuela and has called on President Trump to take a tough line with Caracas. Sean Penn call your office . .  .

Ah, what would we do without leftists?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.

Hard to believe.

Day before yesterday, I had a Chuck Berry attack. I must have listened to ten of his songs in a row while at the gym. I can listen to "Johnny B. Goode" and "Back in the USA" all day. The guitar work on those gems is amazing. Then yesterday, I read he had died at the age of 90.

For anybody growing up in the 1950s, the 60s, and beyond, Chuck Berry was the father, the emperor, the god of Rock-n-Roll. His tunes were catchy, brilliant, and, above all, fun. Everybody else since seemed to be just a Berry derivative. Nobody could sing better than he about a car race, cruising around, an unfaithful girlfriend, or his patriotic opus,
Oh well oh well I feel so good today
We just touched ground on an international runway
Jet-propelled back home from overseas to the USA
New York, Los Angeles
Oh how I yearn for you
Detroit, Chicago, Chattanooga, Baton Rouge
God I long to be at my home back in old St Lou
Did I miss the skyscrapers
Did I miss the long freeway
From the coast of California
To the shores of the Delaware Bay
You can bet your life I did
Till I got back to the USA
Looking hard for a drive-in
Searching for a corner cafe
Where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day
Yeah, and the jukebox jumping with records back in the USA . . . 
I always thought this song, "Back in the USA," would have been a great national anthem. Imagine that belting out at the Olympics! The stadium would have rocked! Everybody would have wanted the US to win a gold.

I know there's all kind of stuff out there about how Berry was a difficult man, erratic, not too nice to other artists, etc. Who cares? He was a genius who made our lives better because he made them more fun.

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.

Friday, March 17, 2017


One more time, I hope the last one, let's VERY quickly take a look at spying and US politics.

As part of the Democrats' desperation move to delegitimize and perhaps even abort the Trump presidency, the obedient and well-trained progressive national media took up the theme of Russian hacking of our election and of Russian intel efforts on behalf of Trump's candidacy. Please see the many pieces I have posted on this if you want more details of my views on this.

The Democrats, trying to avoid discussing that their terrible candidate used an illegal private server for classified work while she served as SecState, and to distract from the steady and corrosive drip-drip of information coming out of Wikileaks re a range of Democratic shenanigans, hit on the story of the Trump campaign being in bed with Putin and his agents. A series of "bombshell" "leaks" from what was claimed were intel sources alleged that the Russians were working to get Trump elected and that the Trump campaign not only knew this but was collaborating with Moscow. President Obama, awakening from his eight-year slumber re foreign intel operations against the USA, expelled a number of Russian diplomatic personnel and closed two Russian facilities in New York and in Maryland. As time passed, the Russian story took some different paths: one was a relatively short-lived effort to claim that Russian hackers could have gotten into our voting machines to rig them for Trump; the other, still with us, was to claim that key Trump personnel had meetings with Russian diplomats, including the "spy master" Russian Ambassador. A poor choice of words when testifying before the Senate ended up costing National Security Advisor Flynn his job, and nearly killed off AG Sessions's term before it had even begun. The AG agreed to recuse himself from any DOJ/FBI investigation into Russian involvement in our elections.

Editorial aside: I think Trump's personnel made a mistake. Flynn resigning and Sessions recusing appeared to give credibility to a massive Democratic hatchet job carried out by people who had little to no history of concern for US security. End editorial aside.

As the ceaseless "leaks" and demands for an investigation continued, President Trump angrily tweeted that Obama had placed him and his campaign under surveillance. This unleashed another torrent of abuse from the Dems, their media, and the RINOs demanding that Trump provide the evidence of this spying. They demanded a level of proof not demanded from those claiming Trump was in cahoots with Putin. Well, we now have the Congressional intel oversight committees reporting that they have found no evidence of Obama-ordered surveillance of Trump. Trump's spokesman countered that Obama asked British intelligence to do the deed to avoid American fingerprints. The British have denied that they did any such thing.

Editorial aside: I have worked with British intel folks, and would be very surprised if they had agreed to spy on Trump, at least on an official level. While PM May certainly expressed no love for Trump before the elections, getting Britain involved in US politics in this manner would provide little potential reward as a counter to the many, many liabilities of this sort of behavior being uncovered in our very Wikileaky times. This is not to say that ex-British intel personnel or some sort of once removed type of personnel, e.g., contracted hackers, might, perhaps, maybe, possibly have done something along those lines. Let us not forget that as Hollywood has established, anybody with a Russian or a British accent is almost certainly a villain, so there is that. End of editorial aside.

OK. We are left with the following.

The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? Presumably from the official intel services which then it would appear were monitoring Russian contacts with Trump's people. If there was no surveillance order given to US intel, from where did the intel on Russian contacts come? The British is apparently the Trump answer. I have a more plausible one. I think there was surveillance of Russian activity, probably by the NSA, and it found nothing to show that Trump had contacts with the Russians; the Obamistas and the Clintonistas then made up the accounts of Russian interference. In other words, they lied. That's the most charitable explanation I can develop. There, of course, are harsher ones which I hope are not accurate, ones that would show, once again, Obama's misuse of the nation's intel and enforcement capabilities.

My two roubles and three pennies worth of analysis.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taxing Stupidity

I was reluctant to write about this since there's been so much coverage, but I couldn't resist.

Yes, I refer to the BREAKING NEWS!!!!!! about Trump's tax returns! The intrepid Rachel Maddow of MSNBC announced via Twitter that she had the elusive returns! The returns that Trump has refused to divulge! The very ones! Well, of course, as the 9 o'clock hour drew nigh, she gradually modified her claim and clarified that she had just part of his 2005 federal return, but, hey, it was still a scoop. It came to her by way of a NYT reporter who "mysteriously" found it in his "box." (Who has a "box" these days?) At the appointed hour of 9 pm east coast time, she would reveal it.

I gave up listening to her go on and on for some twenty minutes laying out all sorts of weird conspiracy theories. My son told me, "Something's up. She must have nothing." He was right.

When she finally got around to her great "reveal," the return showed that Trump had a taxable income of some $152 million in 2005--after legally allowed deductions of some $103 million. On that income he paid $38 million.

I don't know what world you live in, but in mine, $38 million is still a lot money. He paid, in other words, nearly 25% of his taxable income to the IRS. That does not include what he paid in income tax and other taxes to the state and city of New York and to other states and cities where he owns property. That doesn't include, of course, all the taxes paid by his businesses around the country and the world.

I am old enough to remember the Hillary campaign speculating that Trump had paid no taxes.

I heard a woman at the gym loudly saying that the returns do show that Trump is not as rich as he claims since $152 million is not a billion and Trump claims to be a billionaire. I guess progs don't know how an INCOME tax works. Math is hard for them.

Anyhow, all this goes to show that you should not bet against Trump.

You will lose.

Laugh, yes, laugh without mercy at Rachel Maddow and the absurd class she represents. I certainly am.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More Craziness from the Anti-Trump Clique

After a long, long time of ignoring my 1973 Mach-1, I took her for a spin this sunny and warm morning here in southern California. Hadn't started the ol' beast in some three months; I was sure the battery would be dead. But, no! I forgot that Trump is president, and things all around are much better. She fired right up, and with a bit of choke, and after some fits, was soon running like a champ.

Drove on some rural roads, and the V-8 sound of the 351 Cleveland cleared my head so I could think about the continuing insanity aimed against that very president.

Where to start? Just a sampler.

How about the "outrage" over the Trump administration replacing the US Attorneys? You can look up the media coverage of this and it seems like a replay of the Night of the Long Knives, of Stalin's Purges, of the Mexican Revolution's war against the Catholic Church, of . . . well, you get the point. It is, in fact, a supreme example of a Nothingburger with an extra order of Nothingfries. These US Attorneys are political appointees; an incoming administration, especially of the opposite party, is not required to keep them on anymore than it is required to keep on Ambassadors, Cabinet Secretaries, White House staff, and a host of other officials.

In the Department of Justice regulations governing the appointment of these Attorneys, we read (Section 3-2.120),
United States Attorneys are subject to removal at the will of the President. See Parsons v. United States, 167 U.S. 324 (1897).
If you want more, you can go ahead and read Parsons vs United States (also here) in which the Supreme Court affirms the power of the President to remove US Attorneys. I guess this 120-year-old ruling was not included in Attorney Preet Bharat's legal education, since he seemed to think that the job of US Attorney for the Southern District of New York belonged to him by right of, well, by right of his wanting the job. He refused to resign as requested by the Attorney General, and got fired. The press, forgetting that Obama and Clinton had done the same thing, had a field day, bemoaning the "politicization" of justice, praising Bharat, and wondering what would happen to all the cases he was working.

Two observations: 1) if the press is full of praise for a prosecutor, it's time to get rid of him/her; and, 2) the cases will continue. Not hard. Nobody is irreplaceable. The President has the right to name his people to key slots, and the Senate can accept or reject them. When I got pushed out of the State Department by the Obamistas, foreign policy continued . . . just saying. Fake crisis. Fake news.

The wiretap story. This one is getting confusing and both sides have muddied the waters. The Obamistas, however, are the more guilty party.

Remember all that Russia is hacking our election stuff? Here for example. The Dems seemed to have "proof" that Trump's people were in constant and close contact with the Russians, who were actively working to get Trump elected. That "proof" included evidence of contacts between General Flynn and AG Sessions with the Russians. Flynn got so fed up, he quit. Sessions recused himself from any investigation into the matter. There were stories of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) requests to monitor a server in Trump Tower that was in communication with a Russian bank. Lots of leaks from the intel bureaucracy implying there was all sorts of evidence of Trump-Putin collaboration.

When Trump exploded--ill advised?--that Obama had him wiretapped, the press suddenly shifted gears saying there was no such evidence and demanded Trump provide it--unlike the fact that the other side never provided any evidence of Trump-Russia links. One might ask, if there is proof of such links, it must come from surveillance, no? Or is it just made up? Can't have it both ways, unless, of course, and I fear this is where we are actually, there was surveillance, it found nothing, AND results are being made up via anonymous leaks.

Anyhow, Txiki is barking up a storm in the backyard and my wife is convinced it is another attack by the reptile brigade. Must go check.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Diplomad vs. Godzilla

Let's take a little break from the usual writing about the heavy-hearted silliness that is destroying Western civilization. Let's, instead, discuss light-hearted mortal combat (sorta) at the Diplohouse.

Your humble servant and the Diplowife were in the process of loading dogs and a few other odds-and-ends into the ol' Silverado truck for the weekly 65 mile drive to our other home. I was in the garage getting the dog leashes and just coming into the adjoining Diplomancave when I saw Txiki, our goofy Shepherd/Dane mix, sitting in the middle of the room staring at something on the carpet. I thought Txiki had made a dog mess on the carpet, something he has never done. I yelled this piece of what turned out to be CNN-type fake news to the Diplowife who was in a corner of the cave tending to Hartza, our grumpy Akita/Shepherd, who was grumpily trying a new dog bed--he doesn't like change.

The Diplowife walked over to Txiki and the focus of his attention. A soul-piercing scream followed. The Diplowife backed up and breathlessly reported, "A giant lizard! Txiki has killed a giant lizard!" Regular readers of this little blog will recall that the Diplowife has a different measuring standard than most of us when dealing with wildlife (here, here).  It must be that she thinks in metric. That aside, a new drama had commenced!

Sir Txiki, Slayer of Dragons
Diplowife retreated to the Diplomancave's newly redone Diplobathroom from whence she continued to emit vows and screams and issue orders. "I am leaving this house and never coming back! Get that monster out of my house! Don't flush it down the toilet! They crawl back out! Is it dead?" You get the idea.

While I am not a person generally given to panic, I confess to having what you might consider a near-Biblical aversion to reptiles and amphibians. I do not like those creatures. Even as a lad I never shared my friends' love for snakes, lizards, frogs, and toads. With my many years in the tropics, my aversion for the cold-blooded ones grew stronger. I have never considered cobras, kraits, gators, crocs, etc., as my friends; they are magnificent, awesome survivors from another age, but I do not find them cuddly or want them around me. I have never been enamored of the various geckos, iguanas, and water monitor lizards that at various times shared our Diplodigs with us. I wish them no harm, but I wish them to go away (my motto for progressives, too).

With that said, you would rightly conclude that I was not perfectly cast to play the hero in this play. The setting? Well, we had a rather chubby lizard, I think either an alligator lizard or a fence lizard, belly-up on our carpet presided over by a very proud Txiki. I got a dust pan and wrapped my hand in a plastic bag and gently prodded and slid the beast onto the pan. I was not going to touch it. The thing, of course, only played dead, as I could see some breathing action. I walked past the hysterical Diplowife, out of the house, through the garage, and out to the front of the house where I tossed Godzilla into some bushes. It immediately scampered away. Thinking my job done, I proudly returned to the house to report "Mission accomplished!" only to find the Diplowife pointing at the floor and yelling, "The tail! You left the tail!" More plastic bag and dust pan action, and the tail, too, departed the premises. Txiki was not amused at the poor reception his trophy had elicited from us.

While the rest of America was focussed on the increasingly absurd wire-tapping scandal, this is what I was doing. At least, I can understand this . . .