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Friday, February 28, 2014

Mitt Romney was Right about Russia: The Cold War Redux

Still not feeling 100% so I will keep this short.

Given recent events in Ukraine and the growing number of reports of a stealthy Russian invasion of Crimea, one has to recall how the smug progressives and their leader Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for his stating that Russia was our number one international opponent. They made snarky oh-so-clever little smirks along the lines of, "Hey, Mitt. The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back!" This was meant to cast Romney as a hopeless retrograde unable to keep up with the times, and to make themselves seem to have supported our foreign policy in the 1980s--something patently not true if you recall how they depicted Reagan and Bush--but ready to move on.  

Well, how about that? Mitt Romney was right about the disastrous impact of Obamacare, including the lie "if you like your insurance plan and your doctor you can keep your insurance plan and your doctor," and about foreign affairs. He bemoaned the Obamista gutting of our military and pointed out that Russia was doing the opposite with its own military and was preparing to go on the offense. Russia is our number one geopolitical foe.

In this vein, let me report something I wrote January 7. It might be more valid now than when written.

Proud Owner of a Cold War Mentality


Twice, yes, twice in one day I was "accused" of having a "cold war mentality." Once in a Twitter duel, and the other time in some weird Craig's List site which excerpted a couple of my posts, and let the lefties have at them. I also got called a "blithering idiot," which seems overkill since if you are blithering, then presumably you already are an idiot and vice versa; anyhow, it must have been a blithering idiot who made the accusation. It reminded me of my closing days at State when a senior guru in HR, informing me that my second ambassadorial nomination would follow my first one down the sewer, told me the same--not the "blithering idiot" thing, the "cold war mentality" thing. "Lew," she said, "you won't make it to the top because you won't let go of your cold war mentality."

Well! What an insult! How is it bad to have a "cold war" mentality (CWM)? Would it be an insult to tell somebody, "Sorry, you can't make it here because you can't let go of your anti-fascist mentality." This CWM accusation seems to be a meme (may we still use that word?) of the left. During one of the Obama-Romney debates, Obama snidely told Romney, "The 1980s are calling. They want their foreign policy back." The lefties thought that was so very clever. It is of a piece with other lefty "zingers," to wit, "I guess you watch FOX News," the oldie, "Cowboy," and, of course, "Racist!"

Let's look at these "insults," starting with the one about FOX News. I watch FOX off and on, as I do the other TV news outlets, and have not found FOX wrong about the major events of the past few years. FOX called it right, for example, on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the IRS scandals, and, of course, the horrendous disaster known as Obamacare. The FOX pundits, in other words, people who come on expressly to opine, seem to range all over the place, with, admittedly the largest bunch gathering somewhere in the range from establishment GOP to Tea Party. I, however, see lots of "progressives" on FOX who state leftist opinions and keep coming back on. I have not heard the slime-ball language, gutter-level insults, and race-baiting on FOX that I have from MSNBC "progressives" such as Bashir, Baldwin, Sharpton, Maddow, and Harris-Perry. We owe a debt of gratitude to Rupert Murdoch, who similar to another Australian, General Sir John Monash, nearly 100 years ago saved the day for the West.

Cowboy. What a weird insult. I thought the lefties were for the common working man? I guess once you get an expensive degree from an expensive university that specializes in content-free education, you can ridicule people who work for a living. I always thought of a cowboy as an honorable, hard-working, independent-minded sort who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. On second thought, I now realize that I know why lefties would find a cowboy frightening; just compare a cowboy to pajama boy . . . best to demonize the cowboy before that happens.

The racist tag is so overused it is losing its impact. When all else fails, however, the left still drags it out. It is the flare gun you fire in the air as the global warming-formed ice floe rips your ship to shreds; the one-shot derringer as a pack of giant corporation-created zombie werewolves rushes your campsite; the soundless scream in the void of space as the multi-headed GMO monster prepares to eat you; the, well . . . you get the idea. It's what's used when there's nothing else in your kit. Anybody who expresses doubts about the liberal policies that have made generations of African-Americans wards of the state is a racist. Anybody who questions the wisdom of essentially open immigration as long as an entitlement bonanza awaits those immigrants is a racist. Anybody who works hard for his or her money, and wants to keep most of it for his or her family is a racist. Anybody who thinks voting should be for citizens is a racist. Anybody who watches FOX News or is a cowboy is a racist, and on and on.

Cold war mentality. My favorite. To be called a cold warrior--brrrrrr--how horrible, not. I do not understand what is meant by that "insult." It seems a cousin of the old label "Red Scare," or "Witch Hunt," or "McCarthyism." The implication is that somehow you are deluded, delusional, wacky, insane, laughable if you have a CWM. Excuse me, my low-information lefty friends, there was a real and frightening threat from the Reds, the "Witches" were quite real. McCarthy might have had a face made for radio; maybe he was crude and rude; maybe he was not elegant and refined. As the historical record shows, however, he was right: pro-Soviet Communists had infiltrated State, the White House, and other branches of government; the Soviets were conducting an aggressive campaign of espionage inside the US, Canada, and the UK.

To have a CWM, means, therefore, to root and work for the victory of Western ideals of liberty and freedom. It means to oppose totalitarian ideologies and regimes. It means finding, for example, the Soviet Gulag, and the horrid North Korean and Cuban regimes repellent in the extreme and worthy of being opposed and, if possible, destroyed. It means celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire, and opposing efforts to undermine our system of liberty and checks-and-balances at home. It means being appalled by the resurgence of the "dead" Al Qaeda; being furious over this Obama misadministration's giving away our hard-fought victories in Iraq and Afghanistan; its sabotaging of our long-standing network of international alliances; its sell-out of our friends; its misuse and destruction of our intelligence agencies; and its deliberate sabotage of economic liberty at home.

We can safely conclude, therefore, that this misadministration certainly does not have a Cold War Mentality.

As for me, guilty as charged. I am proud to have a Cold War Mentality.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Face of Goofy, Happy, Guilt-free Defiance

Working on something more serious and less fun, but in the meanwhile, contemplate the face of goofy, happy, guilt-free defiance.

My daughter came home late from work and school, and found Hartza awaiting her on her bed--strictly forbidden--and in no mood to take orders to make way.

Here is the defiant 90-lb criminal's face as captured by our highly sophisticated defiant criminal face capturing thing.


I will not accept your species-based discrimination.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Limits of Progressive Cultural Relativism and "The Urgency of Now!"

Universities, if they pound one message home over any other in the "progressive" dominated fields such as anthropology, sociology, political science, and history, it is that we in the West must stop assuming our culture is superior and must accept what has been called the idea of "cultural relativism." We, for example, must respect regimes such as the ones set up by Castro, Mao, and others of that repellent ilk, and we must NEVER assume that the West has any greater knowledge about human nature than anybody else. We, in fact, must acknowledge the deep, deep flaws of the West which undermine any claims by it to moral superiority over or even equivalence to other cultures.

Well, not really. There is a big loophole. If one of those cultures makes the mistake of attacking a bit too loudly whatever group happens to be that month's progressive poster boy . . . all bets are off!

We have as Example A, Uganda.

That African nation is a strange and wonderful place. I am no expert on Uganda, having visited it only once many years ago, but I remember the people as exceptionally good looking, generally well-disposed to the US, and many of them quite religious. The politics, in the wake of Idi Amin, were standard "Third World," i.e. issues of corruption, nepotism, ethnicity--you know, things that would NEVER happen in Washington DC. Anyhow, for a time Uganda was held up as a model for the rest of Africa, and got lots of attention from the US. Now, however, the attention they are getting is of a different sort. It seems the President of Uganda has not read the Diplomad, or at least not the post in which I noted that when dealing with President Obama one must keep up with shifts in the official dogma --the bolded words are for President Yoweri Museveni,
If you question [President Obama], you are a racist, insane, a danger to democracy, hate the poor or all of the aforementioned. If you still hold the same views that he purported to hold up to a few weeks ago, e.g., the traditional definition of marriage, and failed to "evolve" when he did, then you are a hopeless homophobe; your business should be banned and ruined, and your employees bullied. This is not unlike Orwell's 1984, "We have never been at war with Eastasia . . . " You must keep up with the changes in Dear Leader's views. He will tell you when you can favor gay marriage; when you can raise closing Guantanamo; when the war will end; when the deficit must be cut with more spending. New Think is here.
It appears that President Museveni did not get the memo, signed into law anti-gay legislation, and made "non-approved" comments about homosexuals. It also seems that President Musevini and most Ugandans hold the same view on homosexuality that prevailed in the West, especially in the Anglosphere, until just a short time ago. Remember it wasn't until just after the 2012 elections that our Dear Leader gave us permission to favor same sex marriage; before then, he had spouted the same definition of marriage as had Romney, Bush, Reagan, and the Pope. Now, of course, if you hold President Obama's pre-2012 views, well, you are scum.

One wonders what the reaction of the White House, academics, and the official media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC would have been had Musevini said he found Christianity disgusting and an artifact of imperialism. Outrage? Doubt it. Condemnation? Nah . . .  We would have been lectured on cultural relativism and the need to respect other cultures and societies and the decisions they make based on their histories . . .

"We have never been war at with Eastasia!"

Sunday, February 23, 2014

That's Entertainment: Some TV, Some Books and Good-bye Piers Morgan

Let's keep this a little light.

Sitting home over the weekend, not feeling great and trying to catch up on TV shows I have missed. Did a marathon session of the episodes of "Spies of Warsaw." OK, but not as good as the Allan Furst novels. Also marathoned my way through a two or three year old British show, "The Hour." It was a pretty good yarn about an effort in the 1950s to bring the BBC news service into the modern age by putting on an "edgy" news hour once a week. The effort runs into big and little politics, as well as a cleverly told story of Cold War espionage, the Suez crisis, and the 1956 US elections. Although it falls apart a bit in the last couple of episodes, it is worth watching, the acting is excellent, and surprisingly the show is free of the glib and tiresome anti-Americanism one finds in many British shows.

I am also in the process of plowing through the American version of "House of Cards." I liked the British original, with the superb Ian Richardson, and was wary of anything dealing with Congress and starring well-known lib Kevin Spacey. I, however, was pleasantly surprised. It has its politically correct moments, of course, but provides a very well acted and scathing look at Democrat party operatives and activists, and an unrelentingly grim view of Washington, D.C. At times the writers get D.C., at times they don't; they focus on weird things that would not be scandals and miss ones that would be--and the stories built around foreign affairs are, well, quite laughable. Again, however, despite its flaws, worth watching.

Also want to catch up on HBO's "True Detective" which seems headed for the status of classic TV along the lines of "The Wire," and "Breaking Bad." Again, superb acting, writing, directing, and cinematography.

In between all this ROKU madness, I am reading two books. Between Man and Beast, by Monte Reel, tells of the impact on mid-nineteenth century scientific and religious thought and popular culture of the "discovery" of the gorilla in Africa. Good stuff.

The other book is very creepy. Death in the City of Light, by David King, tells the true story of Dr. Petiot, a notorious serial killer who operated in Paris during the German occupation. He promised his 60 or more victims, many of them desperate Jews, safe passage out of Paris to South America, but would instead rob, torture, and murder them. There have been a couple of films made on Petiot, but none captures the true weirdness of the case, and none provides a look at the French police in Paris during the occupation trying to conduct regular police work. Again, worth picking up.

While in this popular culture sort of mood, I ran into this article in the NY Times. In it we learn that CNN has decided to pull the plug on the low-rated Piers Morgan's talk show--the one he took over from Larry King. Read the article: it is surprisingly non-PC for something in the Times, with some surprisingly prescient comments, for the Times, on why Americans got fed up with Morgan going on and on about gun ownership in the US.

I don't think, however, as the article semi-implies that people tuned out Morgan because he had an accent--that hasn't hurt Swartzenegger or a zillion other foreigners on American TV and cinema--nor was it because Americans are provincial. If anything, I think Morgan is the provincial one; he just assumed he did not need to know anything about American history or culture before chirping away with lots of advice and condescension. I like and admire Britain a great deal, and am fortunate to have counted lots of British diplomats, military, businessmen, journalists, academics, students and others among my friends during my many years abroad. That said, when you run into the classic anti-American Brit--OMG!--it becomes very, as noted above, tiresome; you quickly realize that much of it is driven by ignorance and envy. Getting back to Piers, he clearly has a deep streak of anti-Americanism, and a sense of entitlement, but above all, is just not very interesting nor apparently all that smart. I tried watching his show, but found it unbearable, as he kept seeking to be the star instead of letting his guest have the limelight-- or, the limey light?  

OK, where is that remote?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yet Another Devastating Blow to the Drug Gangs! Another Decisive Victory in the War on Drugs!

The good guys have won yet another stunning victory in the never-ending "war" on drugs. They have captured the creepy, violent, murdering chief of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. According to the press, Mexican Navy special forces, supported by the US DEA and Marshal Service, cornered and caught "El Chapo" at a luxury condo in the Mexican resort and vacation city of Mazatlan,
Guzman faces multiple federal drug trafficking indictments in the U.S. and is on the DEA's most-wanted list. His drug empire stretches throughout North America and reaches as far away as Europe and Australia. His cartel has been heavily involved in the bloody drug war that has torn through parts of Mexico for the last several years. 
His arrest followed the takedown of several top Sinaloa operatives in the last few months and at least 10 mid-level cartel members in the last week. The information leading to Guzman was gleaned from those arrested, said Michael S. Vigil, a former senior DEA official who was briefed on the operation.
This victory follows on the heels of the other great victory about which I wrote when the head of the Zetas was arrested. 

As I have said before, I am glad when these creeps are caught or otherwise neutralized. They are murdering pigs who have killed countless numbers of people all over the world. The problem, of course, is that it is our policies and laws which have built the pigpen for these swine, and which continue to provide them the nutritious slop they need to survive.

If we legalized drug use, the pigpen would begin to disappear as would the flow of slop. Once the idiots who use drugs could get them at their local Walgreens, Ralph's, Tesco, Costco, Woolworth's, Corte Ingles, etc., the "El Chapos" of the world would be out of business.  There are, of course, many details that need to be worked out in legalizing drugs, but I would rather we work on those, debate those issues, and find commonsense solutions for those issues than continue this endless and pointless and bloody "war."

To use a different animal analogy, we are akin to a man who breeds large rats in his basement. He complains about those rats moving into his living room; celebrates every time he catches or kills one; and then sends food down to the rats in the basement. Some advice: Stop feeding the rats!

Re the stated objectives of the drug "war." Do a simple test. Ask, what medium to long-term effects will the arrest of "El Chapo" have on illicit drug availability, prices, or violence?    

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Who Put These People in Power? Really? Obama Draws Another Red line?

Unlike many others around, I don't pretend to understand fully events in Ukraine. It is a country beset by many problems including a murky Constitituion, ethnic and language issues, a history of subordination to Russia--a tradition Putin does not seem eager to give up--and the usual issues of corruption and incompetence seen in countries trying to emerge from decades of dictatorship and foreign domination. It is quite a cauldron of political stew; usually the last thing those kind of boiling, overflowing pots need is meddlesome foreign cooks running around, giving advice, and siding with one chef or another. Russia, the EU, and, of course, the US all have been involved to varying degrees, and often at cross-purposes.

Our semi-Francophone Secretary of State John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry put out a salt-free, low-fat  statement on the crisis and hasn't done much more other than send his inept Assistant Secretary of European Affairs to say stupid things on the phone, have them taped, and released to the world by any one of many intelligence services with the capability to intercept phone calls, or, for that matter, by any one of about 35 million teenaged hackers with that same ability.

Seeing that Ukraine and Venezuela are now aflame, joining his other diplomatic successes in the Middle East and North Africa, Kerry has decided to focus his languorous "energy" on the greatest threat of all, "global climate change." The threat to ordinary people, apparently, does not come from poverty, tyranny, jihadis, corruption, and political megalomaniacs, no, not all: It comes from your SUV and home thermostat setting.

President Obama, resolute leader that he is, has decided to fill the power vacuum created by the absence of John "I Married a Zillionaire" Kerry. His White House has put out the following statement on Ukraine, which I reproduce in its entirety because it is such a liberal classic,

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people. We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully. We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means. The use of force will not resolve the crisis -- clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people. The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future.
Ok, then.

That pretty much should settle it. 

Maybe not. 

Note that the White House is "outraged by images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons." Our leaders, apparently, sense no outrage over the actual firing of automatic weapons, but only the images of such firing. (I guess they're not outraged over the firing of semi-automatic weapons?) In progressive speak that might be called giving the Ukrainians a hint, i.e., don't allow those images to come out. Or, to be kinder to our White House, it might just be pure, simple stupidity that comes from the reliance on boilerplate phrases with no thought given to what is being said, including equating the protestors to the people shooting them--a minor quibble.

Even more important is that the US and the EU will "hold those responsible for violence accountable." Really? Who believes that? Who believes that statement and the President's comment that "there will be consequences" for those who do bad things in Ukraine by "stepping over the line"? I can't believe Obama would even dare utter "line" given his use of that word in the not-too-distant Syrian crisis (Whatever happened with that? All fixed, I guess.) Wonder when he will say he never said that, and the "line" was the world's and not his? And what consequences? No IPod with Obama's speeches?

If we had a real President, and a real foreign policy backed up by a real deterrent, these would be challenging times, but times full of opportunity for the United States and our allies. The Venezuela regime is cracking; the Castro farce is gasping for breath; Russia is being challenged in Ukraine and by the advent of fracking; the Mad Mullah Iranians' economy was on the ropes; we had stunning victories in Iraq and Afghanistan; and on and on, but the USA throws it all away.

Who the blazes put these people in power? Can we blame some evil foreigners? Can I blame Canada? I need to blame Canadians or maybe Australians for something because they are both doing much better than we, and I am envious.

I fear the answer to my question .  . .

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Venezuela: Slow Motion Coup Engenders Slow Motion Implosion

When serving at the OAS, I wrote and gave several speeches in Washington, and at OAS gatherings in Lima and San Pedro Sula regarding the situation in Venezuela. I referred to the Chavez take-over of Venezuela as a "slow motion coup." He used the tools of representative democracy to disassemble bit-by-bit Venezuela's admittedly already rickety IKEA-like democratic structures. As the dismantling proceeded, as I wrote over two years ago, finding little resistance from the United States, the EU, the rest of Latin America, or from Venezuela's own rather confused opposition, Chavez
sped up the process, now repressing his people quite overtly. He is imprisoning democrats such as Alejandro Peña Esclusa on trumped up terrorism charges, shutting down the media--including using exile and murder--destroying the independence of the judiciary, and making Congress irrelevant as he rules by Presidential decree. He has engaged in ever more strident anti-Israeli and anti-semitic behavior, another staple of leftist dictators. Although the Venezuelan government has stopped publishing figures, reliable reports show Caracas now has the world’s highest homicide rate, in excess of 233 homicides per 100,000. Not to worry, Chavez recently has announced a gun control program--an excuse to take even more power from the people. We should note that in gun-toting, capitalist Utah, the homicide rate is 1.3 per 100,000.
Chavez is turning Venezuela into an economic wasteland. Despite huge oil reserves and rising oil prices, Venezuela’s GDP “growth” is in negative territory. Despite those negative numbers, the corruption, and declining oil production by the nationalized oil industry, the high price of oil still gives Chavez lots of cash to use on mad imperial dreams. The supermarkets might not have any food, but he is buying modern military equipment from Russia and Iran, building an AK factory, and allowing the Iranian Mad Mullahs to set up shop in Venezuela. He backs terrorist movements, such as the FARC in Colombia, and Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East. With oil money and military bluster he is buying the slavish backing of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, several of the Caribbean island nations, and Ecuador--where another leftist loon with drug ties, Rafael Correa, is running that country into the ground both politically and economically.
Chavez is trying to buy the elections in Peru, and has set himself up as one of the arbiters of whether or not Honduras returns to the OAS. He has Brazil frightened and cowed into an indecisive, equivocating, quivering bowl of Jello, even more so than is their pathetic norm. Brazil, a superpower? Right.
With the departure of Chavez, the situation in Venezuela has gotten even worse. I wrote on the occasion of Chavez's replacement by the thuggish clown Maduro that,
since Chavez's death, Venezuela's currency, the bolivar, "has lost 62.36% of its value on the black market." Venezuela's official inflation rate now exceeds 54% while, "The implied annual inflation rate in Venezuela is actually now in the triple digits, coming in at a whopping 283%." That puts Venezuela in some very bad historical company as the country nears a hyperinflationary rate. Maduro and his backers have decided to make the situation even worse by continuing and even "doubling down" on the policies that got the country into this mess.
Some (pre-fracking) estimates have put Venezuelan oil reserves as the world's largest. Due, however, to corruption, nepotism, and mismanagement, all of which have stifled investment and driven out high quality technicians, Venezuela's nationalized oil production has gone into a slump. The Venezuelan regime, naturally, has resorted to what leftist governments do all over the world when the economic data do not correspond to their fantasy world. Reminiscent of the fake jobs data put out by the Obama misadministration just prior to the 2012 elections, the Venezuelan government lies, overstating oil production by over 420,000 barrels/day. The money from oil sales goes into unaccountable funds, and gets used for a variety of things many of which have nothing to do with reinvestment, and, as noted above, have everything to do with enriching the inner cabal and promoting lunatic economic schemes to keep that cabal in power. 
Venezuela faces critical shortages of even basic consumer goods, such as toilet paper. Its retail sector is adopting the look I saw long ago in Guyana as a result of similar economic policies: stores look like they sell shelves. For political reasons, the government insists on maintaining an artificially low bolviar-dollar exchange rate of about 6.2 bolivars to the US dollar. The black market rate, in other words, the real exchange rate, is easily ten times that. The government strictly controls who can buy dollars at the cheap rate, forcing most businesses onto the black market. Combine that with government price controls, out of control government spending, and the fact that Venezuela depends on imported consumer and other manufactured goods, and, well, you don't need a PhD in economics to see what will result: shortages and inflation. Even big multinationals have had to suspend operations in Venezuela because they cannot get dollars to buy critical components.
I went on to note that,
The response of Maduro to the mess he inherited from Chavez and to the declining economic fortunes of Venezuela? More of the same but on steroids.  <. . . .> Maduro simply does not have the pull that his predecessor had, and does not inspire the same sort of fanatical loyalty. He needs to show the Chavez base that he can deliver the goods--literally. He, therefore, has taken Chavez's war against free enterprise, liberty and democracy to another level < . . . > [H]e has begun ordering troops into popular electronic stores and forcing the owners, often opponents of the regime, to sell their imported goods at cut-rate prices, in other words, at the prices the goods would have if the merchants could buy dollars at the official rate. Maduro has gotten the Chavista dominated legislature to give him economic dictatorial powers.  
It, of course, took no great powers of observation and analysis to see what would come in Venezuela, what all this economic and political madness would produce. You can Google and pull up the press stories, not as many as this deserves, or go to the always excellent Faustas Blog and get a pretty clear idea of what is happening. Increasingly the people of Venezuela are saying "Enough!" and are taking to the only venue still open to them, at least partially so, the streets and squares of the country.

The now undeniable crisis in Venezuela--Maduro can spin it however he wants, nobody is buying his story anymore--is immensely serious and will have ramifications throughout the region. We are going to see the start of the disintegration of the ALBA network, an alliance of countries bought off by Venezuela's money and Chavez's undeniable leadership skills, and major social upheavals in those countries as the madness of leftist economics finds that it can deny economic realities only for so long. We are seeing the development of an "arc of instability" in the region that will seriously affect much of the Caribbean, including Cuba, as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Brazil, and will have lesser but not negligible effects on Paraguay and Peru. Those countries such as Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Chile which kept their minds and eyes clear, and their economic policies sensible and adult will be much less affected and, in fact, will provide the economic hope for the region.

A question for us, of course, is where is the United States? Nowhere. While our incompetent Secretary of State dashes about trying to convince Assad to give up power, and the Palestinians to stop being Palestinians, and the Iranians to stop being Iranians, and to convince us that "global climate change" is the gravest threat to our security, our neighborhood is on fire. Events are now transpiring in friendly and hostile Latin American countries with little or no regard or concern for the views of Washington. For the first time in some 150 years, the United States government (not so the private sector) is essentially irrelevant to much if not most of Latin America. In essence, we have no official views of any consequence re Latin America coming out of the White House, no functioning Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at State, and no active and calming US Southern Command at the Pentagon.

The immediate future for Venezuela is grim. The repression is growing in intensity with one of the most prominent opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, now in custody and facing trumped up charges. How the regime, the opposition, and the international community handle the Lopez arrest and trial could prove decisive in determining the fate of the madurismo variant of chavismo.

The consequences of the slow motion coup appear to be a slow motion implosion; that implosion, of course, could well gather force and speed, akin, say, to a collapsing star, particularly if the rebellion spreads into the ranks of the poor. With luck, and if the military keep their heads, the end result, in the medium to long term might prove positive. In addition, if we Americans of the United States variety can get rid of our own Maduro Mini-me, our government might again become a force for stability and democratic rule in the region.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That: Random Weekend Thoughts

Still not feeling anywhere near 100%. Lots of sleepless nights. The pain just doesn't stop, and I hate painkillers. My blogging, therefore, might be a bit erratic, more than usual, let's say. Here are some random observations on stuff I contemplated during the night. 

Movies of the Diplomad

My faithful Akita Shepherd, Hartza, and my trusty Roku keep me company in the long gloomy hours. Hartza and I end up at 3 am watching all sorts of odd films we normally would not--some garbage, e.g., "Ender's Game" (ugh!), but some very good.

Hartza, silently debating whether to watch a movie or play with the ball.
We saw an outstanding Danish film called "A Hijacking" (Kapringen)--Hartza gave it the coveted four paws up award, and declared it better than a belly rub on a warm night.

It deals in a cold, somewhat detached, almost docudrama fashion with a fictionalized Somali pirate hijacking of a Danish merchant ship. Yes, sure, of course, it has some errors, and some slow moments, but overall it's a very grim, accurate, and powerful exploration of what happens during prolonged captivity and negotiations, and, most notably, the toll it takes on all involved. The film--Oh, the Horror!--features as the hero a white, male CEO in a suit who drives an expensive luxury car! No! He is portrayed as an honorable, hard-working man committed to saving his company's ship and people from the pirates! This is revolutionary cinema! The film also, perhaps inadvertently, provides a good look at what happens when a ship is taken, and there is no US Navy around: A striking contrast in approach to the issue of hijacking between this film and that of "Captain Phillips." Worth watching.

Those Crazy Auto Workers!

I normally don't write about labor union activities (OK, sometimes), but was struck by the blatant bias in press reporting on recent efforts by the UAW (United Auto Workers) to unionize a car plant in Tennessee. I refer to the vote last Friday by the roughly 1550 hourly workers at the VW factory in Chattanooga. I won't link to all the stories as they are easy to find. I was particularly struck by the reporting done by CNN. That once interesting "inventor" of the 24 hour news cycle and developer of some of the now standard techniques and technologies used by cable news channels has become a dull, dopey, predictable, MSNBC "Mini Me." Instead of trying to stake out a more-or-less centrist, objective reporting stance, it has biased, poorly written, and badly researched articles more worthy of the execrable MSNBC, or the hopeless "The Guardian." Its reporting on the VW plant vote was, yes, of that low of a quality.

The pro-union hype throughout was so blatant it was almost comical. Media outlets, especially CNN, were full of warnings about the tactics of Republicans who frantically sought to stop the unionization of the Chattanooga plant. The Republicans, it was alleged, wanted to block the UAW's effort despite support for it by VW and by the giant German metal workers union, IG (Industriegewerkschaft Metall.)  The IG gave advice to the UAW on how to unionize the plant, and set up Workers' Councils; VW provided the UAW the venue for union organizing. It seems that for the press pro-union activity by outsiders, even foreigners, is OK, but not the expressing of concerns about the UAW by people in Tennessee.

VW is an odd company, at least when seen with American eyes. Its ownership is split primarily among Porsche, the government of Lower Saxony, and a Qatar sovereign fund. Since its founding in the 1930s by two Austrians, Hitler and Porsche, it has enjoyed the protection of the German government in many ways, including prohibitions on foreign take-overs and limitations on voting rights by stockholders. It is a prime example of a hybrid government-private company--GM take note. On a personal note, I never cared for VWs; I briefly drove a Beetle in my college days--I remember that it had no working first gear for some reason, and had to start moving in second. Today's VWs I find, well, just plain boring. They seem the automotive equivalent of gluten-free, no preservative, no dye, no-cholesterol, low-fat, sugar-free vanilla pudding--might be good for you, but the heart does not race for a helping. Clearly millions of persons don't agree; VW is a very valuable and successful company that makes and sells cars around the globe, and, apparently, is a good employer. So, not for the first time, I am in a minority in my views.

The unionization of the Chattanooga plant was to be the watershed, the bursting of the pent-up reservoir of demand for unionization, the unleashing of a relentless UAW drive, the (insert your tired cliche here) to unionize the large numbers of non-union car plants that have sprung up mostly in the South where they have fled Detroit and the terrors of Blue Rule. VW apparently was advised by its lawyers--and/or, perhaps, threatened by the NLRB in the US and the IG in Germany? Hmm?--that it could not set up Workers' Councils unless a legally recognized union represented the workers, otherwise and supposedly, the company would run afoul of the Wagner Act of 1935, and find itself charged with running a "white union," i.e., a company or sham union. I am no labor lawyer, and don't play one on TV, but friends who know this legal stuff better than I, say this is not at all settled, and that depending how structured, a Workers' Council would not be necessarily tantamount to a "white union." All that aside, this was the line peddled by the Democrats, the IG, the UAW, the NLRB, and, quietly, by VW. It is obvious why those organizations wanted the UAW to win the vote: the Democrats need labor union support in the South; the IG is afraid German car makers find it a little too convenient to move production offshore, especially out of Germany and the EU and to the US; the struggling UAW needs the money; the NLRB, along with the IRS, EPA, and DOJ, is a major electoral arm of the Obama administration, and charged with punishing firms that do not please the administration, e.g. the stunt with Boeing's South Carolina plant; and VW just wants whatever is easiest and less disruptive.

Well, of course, those silly American workers do not know where their interests lie, so they rejected the UAW. For some reason, some unfathomable reason, American factory workers seem, just seem, mind you, not to trust the UAW too, too much--hard to understand given the UAW's stellar record in promoting job growth and prosperity in paradises such as Detroit. So again we see how the rednecks let the GOP, the Tea Party, the NRA, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Fox News, the Koch brothers, etc., scare them off from the loving embrace of the UAW. Inexplicable.

The EU: Saving the Internet from the Americans

Seems that Merkel and Hollande want to find some way for the EU to fend off America's dominance in the internet. They want to protect Europe's data from the prying Americans. OK, OK, seems we have an intramural spat among believers in government solutions. The world's big socialists, Merkel, Hollande, and Obama are having a row. The Europeans are unhappy because their American counterpart has at his service an apparatus that is much better at spying on Europeans (and on Americans) than do they. Let's not get into all the nuts and bolts of the issue but look at what this story reveals about the EU. Its leaders are looking for some sort of big government solution to a problem created by big government. I am sure next steps will include creation of some private-public panel that will draft some EUish report--the NSA will get it before Merkel and Hollande do--that will recommend some multi-billion Euro program, excuse me, "programme," to do something very bureaucratic and elaborate to promote a European based internet. Yawn . . .  wake me up when you got something.

Gay Celebrities

Is it only me, or does it seem that every day some new brave celebrity comes out with a tearful "confession of being gay and proud? Come on guys and gals and others. Face it. Proclaiming gayness in Hollywood today takes about as much courage as a North Korean proclaiming his love for the Dear Leader. Enough already. Who cares? Besides, what exactly is there is to be proud about when it comes to sexual orientation? I don't want to know about it. You're boring me, you're boring me.

European Euthanasia

A disturbing development out of Belgium. The Belgian legislature has voted through a law that will allow the "practice" of euthanasia on children regardless of age.  The BBC tells us that,
When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice. 
It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent. 
Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision. 
It is 12 years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults. 
In the Netherlands, Belgium's northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.
There are so many troubling aspects to this that I cannot begin to list them. One, of course, is giving this sort of power to some panel of professionals and bureaucrats. The whole thing is too repulsive to write about. We now have a Europe which allows abortion on demand, is OK with euthanizing children, but opposed on high moral grounds to the death penalty for mass murderers.

Disgusting example of the decay of western civilization.

Undocumented Workers?

How many "undocumented workers" are actually workers? I suspect that a significant proportion of illegal aliens in the country are not workers, at all. They are probably in their majority children, single mothers, and sick and old folks living on the dole. They aren't only taking your jobs, they're also taking your money.

Wonder if you could even get stats on this? Probably not. Very, nay, way too non-PC.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Mexico: A Different Kind of Gun Story

Just a quick post as I get ready for another doctor's appointment.

Of the many, almost countless Obama misadministration scandals, if I had to pick just one--ONE, mind you--as the epitome, as the single and clearest example of this misadministration's arrogance, brutality, illegality, and sweeping falsehood, it would be "Fast and Furious."

Having written a great deal about this horrid affair (for example here, here,  here) I won't repeat it all, but to remind . . . The Obama misadministration took office with a very strong anti-gun drive; the Obamistas sought sweeping "gun control" whether we wanted it or not, and whether we needed it or not. They seized on the much-publicized and rampant drug violence in Mexico and Central America and on the notion pushed by the Mexican government and Hollywood that the guns used in that very lethal violence came from Red State gun stores and dealers or from US gangs. Those of us who actually served in Mexico and Central America, and who knew something about the "war on drugs" and guns, knew that the guns used in Mexico and Central America overwhelmingly came neither from American manufacturers nor from US sources. As with "global warming," however, the facts could not get in the way of the story and the development of a policy to "stop the guns." At the Foreign Service Institute and via talking points memos sent all of our Missions, we diplomats were told that "at least" sixty percent of the guns used in Mexico's drug violence came from the US; Secretary Clinton on more than one occasion said it was ninety percent. We were to push the line that "drugs flow north and guns flow south."

It, of course, was nonsense, criminal nonsense. The US-origin guns that entered Mexico and Central America had been sent by the US government; the Obama misadministration, Eric Holder's Department of Justice sought to "prove" guns could go to Mexico and Central America from the US. The DOJ, working through the bizarre ATF, set up smuggling networks, forced law-abiding gun dealers to sell to those networks, and ensured guns went south into the hands of some of the most violent, sadistic, and well-organized criminal gangs in the world. In the paws of these cartel thugs, the ATF guns killed hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two US federal agents, one in Arizona and one in Mexico. The Obama misadministration used the presence of guns it smuggled into Mexico as "proof" guns were smuggled into Mexico. It argued for vast new controls on gun ownership in the US, and that the US should support international gun control treaties to prevent the violence we saw in Mexico. It would prove hard to imagine a more cynical and criminal use of power in a democratic country. Obama and Holder ran an undeclared, covert, and illegal war against the government and the people of Mexico, and blamed it on the second amendment to the US Constitution. The media, as a whole, remained passive in the face of this huge crime--some tried to blame Bush.

It seems, however, some smuggling from the US to Mexico has occurred: the idea of self-defense.

We see press reports, still largely garbled, incomplete, inchoate, even, and full of "liberal" bias telling us that,
The two dozen men standing guard on a rutted road that cuts through these lime groves and cornfields are just one small part of a citizen militia movement spreading over the lowlands of western Mexico. But as they told their stories, common threads emerged: Los Angeles gang members. Deported Texas construction workers. Dismissed Washington state apple pickers. 
Many were U.S. immigrants who came back, some voluntarily but most often not, to the desiccated job market in the state of Michoacan and found life under the Knights Templar drug cartel that controls the area almost unlivable. They took up arms because they were financially abused by the extortion rackets run by the Templars. Because they had family killed or wounded by their enemies.
Villagers and townspeople in parts of Mexico have begun to fight back against the drug gangs, and the corrupt government and police officials that make life hell in much of Mexico.

Slate, not exactly a conservative publication, reports that,
The vigilantes have a clearly defined mission: ridding the community of the Knights Templar and stopping their extortion and kidnapping. Manuel argues they need to take up arms because the government didn’t do its job of protecting citizens, “We have to take care of ourselves because the people who were supposed to be taking care of us were treating us like shit.”
The Mexican government, apparently, has reacted in a confused manner. It seeks to disarm the "vigilantes," and to legalize them. According to the LA Times, the Mexican government now also plans to pour money into poor Michoacan state to buy them off and appear responsive to their concerns,
President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that his government would invest the equivalent of about $3.4 billion in social and infrastructure programs for the beleaguered Mexican state of Michoacan, where armed vigilante groups have been clashing with a drug gang.

The program, which Peña Nieto announced in Morelia, the state capital, represents a significantly larger investment in Michoacan than the one unveiled last month by his social development secretary, Rosario Robles, who promised to spend about $225 million. The funding will go to scholarships for students, pensions for the elderly and credits for small business owners, as well as for infrastructure projects such as highways and a new hospital. 
The plan, Peña Nieto said, was meant "to recover security, establish conditions of social order and spur economic development." 
Trouble in Michoacan boiled over last month as vigilante “self-defense” groups went on the offensive. They took over communities around the city of Apatzingan, a key stronghold of the Knights Templar drug cartel, and threatened to march on the city. That forced Peña Nieto to send in thousands of troops and police, who continue to patrol many rural communities. 
The spending is the federal government’s most significant acknowledgment that a long-term strategy is required in Michoacan, which has long suffered from poverty and lawlessness.
None of these articles, however, mentions the role played by the Obama misadministration in arming the drug gangsters who wage war on the Mexican people.

Not exactly The Magnificent Seven, but a story worth following, and one which has some clear lessons for the future of democracy in Mexico and here at home.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Thought on Sochi

I have never cared for the winter Olympics.

As a kid, I liked some of the summer Olympics' games, especially field and track where the US and the USSR competed in events I could understand and to which I could relate. I, however, soured on those Olympics, too, after seeing the limp reaction of the "world community" to the slaughter of Israeli athletes at the Munich games.

In sum, do away with the whole thing and I would not care. The Olympics remind me of the UN: full of anti-US and anti-Israeli sentiments and maneuvers, e.g., removing baseball, not dealing with Muslim countries anti-Israeli behavior at the games, biased judging by allegedly impartial judges, etc., at the same time that the US media market keeps the things alive. They are full of government intervention, which ensures cost overruns, corruption, cheap politics, and hypocrisy. I could never understand the desire to play host to the monster. When the games came to Los Angeles in 1984, we made sure to be on leave in Morocco.

Be gone!

So after years of campaigning and palm greasing, the 2014 winter games were awarded Russia and based in Sochi. I never have been to Sochi either under Soviet or Russian rule. I don't know for a fact if it's a genuine winter wonderland or a third-world socialist idea of one--I, of course, have my suspicions about which. Anyhow, the Russians apparently spent tons of petrodollars getting Sochi ready for the games, including hiring stray dog killers which gives some indication of the type of "wonderland." The web and other media are full of stories--Google them, I won't link to them--about how disastrous those preparations have proven. The journalists, having a blast, ridicule the Russians for lousy hotel rooms, bad water, a pillow shortage, erratic electricity, crappy food, lack of internet and phones, and all the other usual stuff that Western journalists go on and on about.

Is it true?

The press lies about so much that it proves difficult to tell. I, nevertheless, am sure that since the USSR morphed into Russia, et al, we have not seen an overnight burst of efficiency. I can believe that, and that corruption probably ate a lot of the money laid out for the games and the accommodations. I am taken aback, however, by the savagery with which the journos have attacked. It makes me wonder, and I am just speculating, if there is not an element of payback for the Russians being so politically incorrect. Putin--and I am no fan of his--has been quite open about his antipathy towards Muslim jihadis and gays. That seems an unforgivable "crime" in the eyes of the NY Times, the BBC, the wire services, etc.

This also ties in with another phenomenon I have noticed in the past 15-20 years. Russians and East Europeans, especially Serbs, comprise the last big group (along with Mormons) one can insult openly in movies and on TV. Slavs inevitably get cast as prostitutes, drug dealers, human traffickers, nuclear weapon smugglers, sadists, torturers, and murderers. When Hollywood needs a terrorist, it is likely a Russian or a Serb--you know, just like the ones who flew the planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. They are white, Christian (and Jewish), and anti-Communist (wonder why?) so, of course, they are despicable human beings. When Communism held sway, I don't recall seeing so many Russians portrayed as villains.

In closing, let me just note that the town in California where I sit much of the time, has lots of Russian immigrants. Maybe I just meet a select group, but the ones I have met are polite, kind, hard-working, well-educated, family-oriented, religious, knowledgable about the world, and--horrors!--very much enamored of the USA and worried about its future. We mustn't have those sorts around, now must we?

Maybe I am out to lunch, and still not fully recovered, but, that's how I see it.

Friday, February 7, 2014

More "Smart" Diplomacy: The US and The EU Spat over Ukraine

Can anybody doubt that the Western world--with the notable exceptions of Israel, Canada, and Australia--is captained by incompetents? Led by people with no understanding of how the world works? Is it a surprise that hoods and charlatans such as Rouhani, Putin, Abbas, Castro, Morales, Correa, and Kim Jong-un--to name but a few--run circles around our "leaders"?

The latest example is The Phone Call.  Our incompetent Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland, who earned her job by being an incompetent spokesman for the State Department, got herself taped talking trash on the phone with our Ambassador to Ukraine re EU efforts to end the political crisis in Ukraine. The tape was uploaded onto the World Wide Web for the enjoyment of millions World Wide. This got the EU upset, and, in a growing sign of how we have lost allies, it went public with that distress: German Chancellor Merkel said Nuland's comments were "completely unacceptable." Nuland came back with the pro forma apology, and a lame comment, which I guess passes for wit, describing the leak--probably from the Russians--as "pretty impressive tradecraft. [The] audio quality was very good."

Idiocy.

Let's forget about the basic issues involved and that the EU is most likely being incompetent when dealing with the crisis in Ukraine--incompetent, after all, is the default setting for the EU. Our senior people haven't learned anything? They don't know that everybody is out there intercepting phone calls? Have they heard of Snowden and the NSA and Merkel's previous upset over having her calls intercepted by the US and the UK?

On our very first day at the Foreign Service Institute, we were told in no uncertain terms that phone calls are not secure; that we should always assume that whatever we say on the phone is getting heard by a herd--and that was 1978, when the technology for call interception was positively of Fred Flintstone vintage compared to what now exists.

We do not have serious people in charge.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Out of Action for a Bit

On Thursday, I go in for my long-delayed shoulder surgery. I have been putting this off for about, oh, uh, almost 40 years. I originally wrecked the shoulder in 1975 in a skydiving accident.

Isn't that dramatic?

I, unfortunately, am kinda telling a lie.

It wasn't really skydiving. It was a pathetic static line jump in Massachusetts from about 1200 feet out of an old Canadian-built De Havilland Caribou. I came down kind of hard on my left shoulder and it has never been right (no pun intended) since then; I blame Canada, in case you are wondering.

It got further aggravated when one of my sons and I got into a weight-lifting competition with each other a few years ago in Miami. I was bench-pressing way too much weight when I felt a "crack!" in that shoulder, and was basically left with only a right wing for about 18 months--I did, however, win the contest and that's what's important.

It gradually healed, or so I thought, and then about six weeks ago, reaching up to a top shelf for a small box--wham!--the shoulder went out again. I haven't been able to raise my left arm above my waist since; I would make a lousy Communist.

So, off to arthroscopic surgery I go. I want to do it before Obamacare turns my local hospital into a Dickensonian DMV, or, anyhow, how Dickens would have imagined a DMV, if they had had DMVs when Dickens was around.

I hope to resume writing by the weekend and will be in a foul mood, more foul than ever, so maybe I actually will write something interesting and good for a change. One can only hope and change.



Sunday, February 2, 2014

GOPsmacked! What are Republican Leaders Doing?

I profess no supercalifragilisticexpialidocious expertise when it comes to military or political strategy. A few basic principles, however, I think I do understand. One, for example, seems to avoid fighting on the opponent's turf and terms--the US military are superb, as they put it, "at shaping the battlefield" to make an opponent fight the kind of war the US military want. It would seem particularly important not to fight on the opponent's turf and terms when you have the numerically inferior force. The smaller force, I would imagine, should not want to go head-to-head, toe-to-toe with the bigger opponent; it certainly should not get into a civil war within its own ranks; and most assuredly not conduct recruitment for the other side. Sounds pretty basic to me. But, guess I have it wrong.

The GOP (Note for foreign readers: A term meaning Grand Old Party, used for the Republican Party since about the mid-1870s)  seems determined to lose every election it can by ensuring that it not only fights on the opponent's turf and terms, but engages in internal warfare, and avidly recruits new voters for the Democrats. Is the Republican Party, as GOP Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal once labelled it, "the stupid party"? Seems so. Nothing else can explain the insistence on playing the other guy's game, using his rules, his playground, and his referees. If this continues it will be the terminally stupid party.

A few examples should suffice.

We have in power the most incompetent, corrupt, anti-Western, anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-individual, anti-Constitution government in the nearly 240-year-history of the Republic. The rotten fruits of its policies are easy to see and smell. The "New American Normal" is a horrendous state of affairs, one we have never before seen. Perhaps over one-third of our workforce has dropped out of the labor market with little prospect of returning. Close to fifty percent of all "Americans"--I include illegal and legal aliens--receive some sort of government taxpayer support. Government spending and deficits are at levels never before seen, and unsustainable. The government has underway an expensive, destructive, and hugely wasteful bid, Obamacare, to take over our health care system and replace it with . . . well, nobody really knows with what except that it will make hospitals and doctors' offices look like the Department of Motor Vehicles. We have a government that in the name of bogus environmental and climate change "science" works to stifle domestic energy production, block imports of oil from Canada, and institute a byzantine regulatory structure that drives manufacturing and well-paying skilled jobs overseas.

In a criminal effort to deny Americans their second amendment right to bear arms, our government has deliberately and illegally exported arms to ruthless Mexican and Central American drug cartels, which have used them to kill hundreds of people including two US federal agents. That same government then sought to blame those weapon exports on law-abiding American gun stores and gun shows. Once neutral agencies of government, such as the IRS, the FBI, the EPA, and hordes of prosecutors target and suppress dissent and discredit opponents.

Wherever one looks in the world, our foreign policy and intelligence operations are in tatters. We have alienated life-long friends such as the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Israel, and have reduced the scope, reach and credibility of American power, e.g., note the disasters underway in Latin America, Libya, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq. Our intelligence agencies are used more to spy on Americans than to counter the real threats we face from Muslim jihadis, and resurgent Chinese and Russian nationalisms. Our President lies about it all.

The political environment for the opposition is a target-rich one. The Republicans should be rejoicing at the prospect of a clean sweep in November's mid-term elections and the Presidential ones in 2016.  Instead GOP leaders engage in attacks on Tea Party activists--who have been consistently right on policy issues, by the way--and let the Democrats set the agenda and tell us what is and is not open for discussion. Bengahzi, IRS, EPA Solyndra, Fast and Furious, those are all phony scandals; what we must discuss is whether Governor Christie knew about, allowed, or ordered the closing of two lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge to punish a political opponent in Ft. Lee, New Jersey.

Even worse, we have prominent, once conservative and common sense politicians such as Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan going along with and promoting the Obama misadministration's push to undo what is left of our immigration system, reward lawbreakers, and spit in the face of the overwhelmingly majority of American citizens who reject yet another amnesty for illegal aliens. As I wrote before, the Democrats seek nothing less than to make US citizenship meaningless and, of course, bring in millions of new votes to the party from alien lawbreakers who will receive amnesty to go along with the public benefits many already enjoy. The plan is as it was in the UK: Labour deliberately sought to encourage huge immigration from poor countries to transform British society permanently and create a lock on power for Labour. It, in essence and without fear of hyperbole, means putting an end to the United States as we know it.

These are grim times.