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The Democrats Resurrect Stalin and Beria

Sitting in my hotel room in Manhattan while the Diplowife and the Diplodaughter spend what's left in my bank account, I was reading a gr...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

To the Year 2016: Let's all hope that it's better than the past seven or eight, but . . . who knows?

I am going to try not to think about politics for a couple of days--although I am working on a much-too-long post on oil and terrorism: unless I can shorten it, it won't see the light of day. I bore even myself after a bit.

Bought a car yesterday to replace the one totaled December 6. The Diplowife is very happy with it, so I am happy, too. She did her usual "no prisoners" negotiations with the car dealers. It was masterful; she should have negotiated the Kerry "deal" with the Iranians. Nukes? They would have been lucky and grateful if she had left them candles to lighten their Mediaeval darkness.

The car, you ask?

A truck, really. It is a huge vehicle: a steely grey Ford Expedition EL Limited with all the bells and whistles one can imagine. Remember, I like my cars from 40-plus years ago, hence, I am truly frightened by the cockpit of this beast; it requires Bill Gates to fly co-pilot. Press the wrong button . . . and who knows what will happen? The whole space-time-continuum-Dr. Who-Isaac Asimov-PK Dick thing, you know, a story with an alternate implausible universe where Emperor Barack rules over us taking away our rights and wealth, couldn't happen . . . . This new machine even has drink holders; lots of drink holders. I guess people in the modern age are much more thirsty than when I was a young'un.

Drink holders?

Drink holders, yes, that's where I draw line. That's where I go toe-to-toe with modernity. Up to here and no more! Drink holders? Really? That's why God gave you two hands! One to shift and drive with, the other to drink with . . . You can have my drink when it you pry it from my cold dead fingers! {Note From Management: The Management of Diplomad 2.0 in no way condones drinking while driving. All drinking should be done PRIOR to driving to avoid possible damage to the upholstery from spilled drinks.}

Anyhow, I hope to pass a quiet evening as my cars depreciate. The Diplowife is talking about pizza and binge watching Broadchurch--we just got through binge-watching a wonderful and weird Romanian crime series, Umbre, kind of an offbeat Sopranos or Breaking Bad in a post-Ceausescu world. I certainly have spent New Years' Eves in worse ways . . . yes, I remember, there was that time in Pakistan, when . . . nah. . . I bore even me . . . 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Quiet Christmas

Not much doing.

Couple of the kids came in from out of town to hang out at one of our places in Southern California. And, of course, as I have noted before, since the climate cultists declared we are in a drought, it has been raining off and on, and we have had some nice crisp weather.

Today, however, the weather was dry, still a bit on the cool side, but sunny, and, mercifully, the freeway traffic light.

Perfect day for a cruise. I uncovered the 1973 Mach 1, and fired up the 351 Cleveland, shattering the serenity of the 'hood.

The scarlet beast is running and looking great, especially since I had installed a new but retro-looking instrument cluster with a functioning tach, functioning clock, and a fiery red glow. All worth the considerable money I poured in. Well, the Diplowife doesn't agree with that, but since her beloved Ford Expedition got totaled a couple of weeks ago by some woman who ran a red light while texting, she has soured on the topic of cars. Have a police report that backs up our story, but still am spending lots of time going back and forth with the insurance companies involved, and that's always a joy . . . a joy in which I did not partake today.

Anyhow, I took the Mach 1 Red Sled on a little Christmas Day jaunt through the Temecula wine country, and it was splendid. The new Hurst shifter worked flawlessly as did the rebuilt four-speed transmission. The new wheels and tires gripped the road superbly; the premium-fueled V-8 pounded out a wonderful American tattoo that echoed over the vineyards, valleys, canyons, and highways. I am sure the local wines will be much benefitted.

The only fly in the ointment was that the new retro radio had trouble hanging onto FM stations; I might have to take the beast in for a new antenna. We'll see.

Bottom line: Freedom is good. The nannies of this world don't understand freedom and joy, and have declared war on both. A V-8 is a great expression of freedom and joy--almost right up there with a .357.

I tried to avoid seeing, hearing, or thinking about politics, but without complete success. My number three son, who works in DC, came home, and, of course, we started talking about the insanity that rules there. He was quite disturbed by the packs of feral youths he must confront on his commute on the DC subways; all, cops included, seem to turn a PC blind eye to these "youngsters" loudly shouting obscenities at each other, engaging in mock combats, and threatening, pushing and hurling insults at other passengers. A scene from Clockwork Orange. It was all rather infuriating, and made me glad not to be young anymore or living in DC. A great argument, however, for concealed carry. I wonder how much of that activity by these coyote youths would go on, if they knew that a good portion of the passengers was packing?

Well, back to watching a marathon of British detective films, including a very good one with the always terrific, although odd-looking, Martin Clunes, A is for Acid. The kids are off Ubering around Old Town Temecula, the dogs are napping, and the Diplowife is engaged in a hearty texting exchange with various friends and relatives. A perfect day. I will ruin the mood tomorrow when I start paying attention to the news again.

Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Delusional Season

Christmas is here and before I go on a (Diplo)mad rant, let me wish one and all a Merry Christmas. For anybody following the news, and thinking about the state of our country and of Western civilization, having a Merry Christmas is a tall order, but try you should, and succeed you must!

Our delusional President gave another one of his little adolescent, narcissistic, arrogant, and illiterate--but at times devilishly clever--homilies just before he jetted off to Hawaii on his eighth millionaires' vacation to the Aloha State since he graced us with His Majestic presence in the White House. I would note that he seems to have given little thought to the "carbon footprint" reduction objectives of the Paris Climate Deal, to the Christmas plans of his staff and guards, or to government debt--check out those digs in Hawaii! It's way above first class all the way for the Champion of Progressivism! Forward! Put some caviar on that arugula!

As noted, before he departed on his sumptuous journey, he gave an interview to the toady progressive Stephen Inskeep at the toady progressive NPR (America's toady progressive response to the toady progressive BBC.) You can click HERE and read and hear the whole interview for yourself.

Let me characterize it: progressive delusions ALMOST all the way through. There is one tiny corner of the interview in which Obama gets something half-right--and we should give him credit for that. To wit,
INSKEEP: Let me follow up on a couple of things you mentioned. You mentioned slavery. Among the many protests this year are two small but symbolically interesting ones at Ivy League universities. At your alma mater, Harvard Law, there is a seal for the school that is based on the family crest of a slave owner. At Yale there is a school named after John C. Calhoun, who was a great defender of slavery. 
The call is to get rid of those symbols. What would you have the universities do? 
OBAMA: You know, as president of the United States I probably don't need to wade into every specific controversy at a ...
INSKEEP: But you can do it. We're here. 
OBAMA: But here's what I will say generally. I think it's a healthy thing for young people to be engaged and to question authority and to ask why this instead of that, to ask tough questions about social justice. So I don't want to discourage kids from doing that.

As I've said before, I do think that there have been times on college campuses where I get concerned "and that, you know ... 
INSKEEP: Meaning listen to people that you might initially think are bigoted or ... 
OBAMA: Yes, there have been times where you start seeing on college campuses students protesting somebody like the director of the IMF or Condi Rice speaking on a campus because they don't like what they stand for. Well, feel free to disagree with somebody, but don't try to just shut them up.
Notice how Inskeep seems to express shock-and-awe that kids on college campuses should listen to other points of view, even "listen to people that you might initially think are bigoted." Modern "journalism" in action! You mean listen to the other side? Oh, Dear Leader you provide such wise counsel! Please, a rousing rendition of Anna's song!

"Yes, Your Majesty;
No, Your Majesty.
Tell us how low to go, Your Majesty;
Make some more decrees, Your Majesty,
Don't let us up off our knees, Your Majesty.
Give us a kick, if you please, Your Majesty
Give us a kick, if you would, Your Majesty
Oh, That was good, Your Majesty!"

Now, before we praise The One too much, we must stress, of course, that he says "that the unwillingness to hear other points of view can be as unhealthy on the left as on the right." Oh yes, those nasty people on the right shutting down discussion and debate! I will bet you that Obama could go to Liberty University--as did Bernie Sanders--and speak in total safety and meet only politeness and respect. Let's have Donald Trump try to speak at Yale . . . plus, of course, Obama might want to talk to his own AG who seems determined to stifle criticism of Islam. By the way, as expected, he doesn't name Islam as the source of the "troubles," nor does he accept any blame for his own policies for the foreign policy disaster we are now experiencing. 

The rest of the interview is pure progressive delusional-speak. Lots of nonsense about "change," and a Hollywood-esque version of the American economy with "men going to factories." Objections to Obama, of course, are rooted in racial animosity, etc.

Obama's ramblings on ISIS/ISIL are too painful to repeat. I note, however, that he dodges Inskeep's opening attempt to compare his dealing with ISIS/ISIL with Eisenhower's dealing with the USSR. Inskeep thought he was serving up a softball to Obama, but Obama--not a fool--realized that the last thing he wanted was to have ISIS/ISIL compared to the USSR, since he has repeatedly called ISIS/ISIL the JV, and for political correctness reasons must continue to minimize the threat they pose to the West. He is at pains to attribute ISIS/ISIL's success to the media coverage they have gotten. He seems of a piece with Hillary Clinton in thinking that a video or some other social or mass media venue is responsible for the rise of ISIS/ISIL. He can't even grant our enemies the courtesy of recognizing that they believe in something quite independent of any movie we make, or statement by Donald Trump. They believe in Islam; it is from Islam that they derive their hatred of the West, and their dream to enslave the world.

Merry Christmas.

Oh, and follow me on Twitter at Lewis Amselem@TheDiplomad

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Democratic "Debate": Leaks, Lunacy, Lies, and Fake Videos

Very quick and broad reaction to the DNC debate of December 19.

Another snoozefest punctuated by lies and blather, and providing revealing insights into the delusions that crowd the progressive mind.

Sorry for that outburst.

I had a very hard time listening to the three Democratic Party candidates "debate" the issues.

The boring "inside baseball" data leak issue came up right away. Clinton got Sanders to apologize, and Sanders got in a few shots at the whacky DNC leadership. The whole thing can be summed as follows: Hillary is OK with the Russians, Chinese, and who knows whom else, reading her classified emails from her time as SecState--when she was illegally using a private server--but she wants off with Bernie's head if he sees her unclassified voter data! It all showed that Clinton is a disgrace, Sanders a wimp, and that the DNC is in the tank for Clinton.

For once, most of the questions were pretty good. The interrogators, at times, seemed to get exasperated with the candidates' evasive answers. I found surprising the relative toughness of the questions on "gun control." The questioners noted that most Americans did not seem to agree on a need for more gun control, and, in fact, had voted with their dollars by pushing gun sales to record highs. None of the three did a good job of explaining what he or she would do to reduce gun violence--none, of course, noted the steady decline in violence precisely as gun sales have increased. Clinton repeated her misleading statistics, claiming that gun violence takes some 33,000 persons/year in America--not noting, of course, that two-thirds of those are suicides and a good chunk of the remaining are accidents, acts of self-defense, and police shootings. Sanders, who represents gun-owning Vermont, was particularly obtuse in discussing the issue and fell back on vague bumper sticker phrases. O'Malley kept jumping in to brag about the great "success" he had as Governor of Maryland in imposing new restrictions on gun ownership--the fact that he can't show that these restrictions did anything to reduce violence in Maryland doesn't seem to dampen his enthusiasm.

All I can say is, I hope the Dems run on gun control as a major issue in the general election--oh, yes, that and Obamacare.

Bernie Sanders continued to work on his long-term objective: Destroying the stereotype that all Jews are smart. He is succeeding quite admirably as we see from his simply bizarre economic and foreign policy prescriptions.

All three were extremely weak on foreign affairs with Clinton giving only a desultory defense of her abysmal foreign policy record. None could come up with a strategy for defeating ISIS, and none could bring himself or herself to identifying, at the very least, radical Islam as the problem. Both Clinton and O'Malley went out of the way to court the Muslim vote with lachrymose tales--True? Who knows?--of looking into the eyes of patriotic Muslim Americans worried about the "backlash" against Islam in the USA. It was in this discussion that Clinton told the whopper of the night.

Let me quote Politifact. She said,
"We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don't fall on receptive ears . . . He is becoming ISIS's best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists."
It seems our ex-SecState has an obsession with videos.

She blamed a video by a Christian Egyptian for the Benghazi disaster and now blames a "video" of Trump for the ability of ISIS to recruit to its evil cause.

Well, guess what? There ain't no such video.

As even the above-cited Politifact concluded,
Clinton said that ISIS is "going to people showing Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists." 
We were unable to find any evidence to support this. The Clinton campaign did not provide any evidence that this is already happening -- only that it could be happening, or that it may in the future. If ISIS was using Trump for recruitment videos, we would expect a frenzy of media coverage over it. We rate this claim False.
This obsession of Clinton's is a manifestation of the progressive mind-set; she and her co-religionists do not, can not acknowledge that ISIS and "radical" Islam do not recruit based on any particular event or person in the West. They recruit from the Koran, a book full of hatred for the non-believer and of instructions for Muslims on how to deal with infidels: conversion, enslavement, or death. This shows that these progressives cannot be trusted to defend the nation against the jihadis who now assail us all over the world, including in our own homes.

Another debate performance like this, and Trump will be our next President.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Latest GOP Debate

Very quick one on the December Republican Debate on national security and foreign policy.

In terms of substance, I think it was the best debate so far. The questions were good and generally fair, although, as will be mentioned below, there is a Trump obsession---i.e., trying to get the other candidates to say something negative about Trump. And that just goes to show how Trump is setting the parameters for discussion in this election.

In terms of pure debating, I think Rubio put in the best performance, followed by Cruz.

Kasich and Bush--both of whom I like--were hopeless and should call it quits. Fiorina was a bit tiresome and not as good as she has been other times. Carson did better than in prior debates, but still does not inspire a lot of confidence in me that he would know what to do in a crisis situation. I find Rand Paul confusing and am not at all clear how his policies overseas would differ much from Obama's. Christie? OK, but does he have to keep telling us he was a federal prosecutor?

And Trump? Well, I think he actually won. Not because he was a brilliant debater, but because nobody--not even master debaters such as Rubio and Cruz--could really land a punch on him. They certainly threw a lot of stuff at him, but he managed to deflect or dodge it all. For example, in responding to the question about whether he would be willing to kill women and children in his pursuit of the war against ISIS, and Rand Paul's nonsensical rambling about the Geneva Convention, Trump simply said, something along the lines of, "Let me get this straight. They can kill us, but we can't kill them?" Boom! For the public, end of issue. Lawyers and bien pensants can go on and on, but for the average American that's the issue. It was a bit of brilliant politicking by Trump.

So, Rubio won the debate, but Trump won the night.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Obama's "War" Speech

I held to my long-standing practice of not listening to Obama's speeches. As noted before, I can't stand his delivery composed of equal measures of condescension, ignorance, falsehoods, and just plain ol' way off the mark. I read the texts later and, thus, avoid getting distracted by the presentation.

OK, I read the text of his latest speech presenting his latest strategy for defeating ISIS or ISIL or IS or Daesh or whatever you want to call it.

My reaction: That's it? That's a strategy?

Let's start with this remarkable statement,
I just had a chance to meet with my National Security Council as part of our regular effort to review and constantly strengthen our efforts. . .
I see.

He "just had a chance" to get together with the NSC.

That sort of sums up the urgency with which our President takes the job of defending the nation from the violent thugs of ISIS, ISIL, whatever.  He just had a chance . . . last week, of course, he was all excited about his Great Climate Change Deal in Paris, and hoping against hope that this would make us all forget about the Muslim crazies out there .  .  . and forget about his other Great Deal, the one with the Muslim crazies in Iran . . .

From there the whole thing goes downhill.

There is nothing new, nothing tangible in his "strategy." The speech is just a stale recycling of all the other nonsense he's said about this topic since the start. There is no passion, no conviction; just a word salad. The address certainly contains no accepting of blame by the misadministration for the disaster we now face all over the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. It was the Obama/Clinton mishandling of the withdrawal from Iraq; it's disastrous policies in Egypt, Libya, and Syria; and its insistence on political correctness when dealing with threats that have put us into this position. He can blather on about destroying this cache, killing this guy or that one over there, and containing the "terrorist group ISIL." The fact remains the killers can strike us anywhere in the world. They can kill us not only all over the Middle East, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa, but in Paris, Boston, London, New York, Sydney, Ottawa, Brussels, Copenhagen, Mumbai, Ft. Hood, Merced, and even in obscure San Bernardino.

They are not contained, Mr. President, and you have no clue about what to do, or are just lying about wanting to defeat these murderers.

Why? Because there's one word that appears nowhere in the speech.That word is ISLAM.

The issue is not ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, IS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Jamyat Islamia, or the Taliban. There is nothing complex or difficult in identifying the problem: Islam and how it's taught and practiced in the modern world.

As I wrote (October 23, 2014) after the killings in Canada,
As this humble blog has noted re the horrid Lee Rigby beheading in England (here and here), the Kenya Westgate mall massacre (here and here), the Boston Marathon bombings (here and here) the shootings at Ft. Hood, the DC Beltway Sniper (What was his name? Oh, yes, John Allen Mohammed), the Oklahoma beheading and so many more incidents in the US and elsewhere, media, "experts," and officials prove so reluctant to place the blame where it belongs that it is almost comical, well, comical in a horrible sort of perverse manner. 
We have the inevitable statements about there not existing a "link" between the particular incident under discussion and international--code for Muslim--terrorists. We have the desperate search for a culprit who is not Muslim: e.g., in the Ottawa shooting we had initial press reports of a Native American gunman. The press gleefully jumps on the fact that many of these crimes were by people born in the countries where they carried out their crimes: e.g., lots of coverage of the Ottawa shooter being Canadian-born. 
When some gutsy Western country, such as Australia, pre-empts the killers and breaks up their plot--one strikingly similar to what happened in Canada--well, the "experts" immediately "raise questions" about the ability of ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or some other group to carry out such long-range activities. 
Increasingly I am coming to the conclusion that "expert" is just another word for "naive fool." <...>
Whether these killers were born in England, Canada, Australia, Russia, the USA, or elsewhere, they all had one thing in common. Guess. Can you? Try. Yes, they were all "radicalized" to use the oh-so delicate PC phrase in vogue among the progressive bien pensant. In other words these thugs were Muslim, many of them social losers and recent converts to that totalitarian creed. 
There is no need for an ISIS indoctrination, logistics line, training, or other support. The Quran and the local mosque provide all that is needed.
 Islam is the word missing from your "strategy," Mr. President.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Progressive "Lists" and Gun Ownership: Another Bit of Weirdness

This one will be quick.

Listening to the radio last night, I heard a very earnest progressive commentator talk about "sensible gun control." The number one item on his list was, of course, the mental health issue. Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, but of course! I have dealt with that before, and you can go HERE to read my pearls of wisdom on the fallacy of that approach. This little excerpt from that piece sums it up pretty well, in my humble opinion,
If you think the science of global climate whatever is up in the air, wait until you delve into the looney world of mental health. The mental health profession is full of quack "therapists" and quack theories; few things there are settled science; and that profession is as subject to the vagaries of the winds and tides of fashion and politics as any other. Let us not forget the uses of psychiatry in the dead and unlamented Soviet bloc. Even, however, without going back to the USSR, I would point out that my father was a psychiatrist, and in his old Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals (DSM) homosexuality was listed as a disorder, "a sociopathic personality disturbance" to be precise. It was a disorder or mental disturbance until it just wasn't--you can read the account of how that change happened here
Would then those persons treated for homosexuality, and have that on their medical records, be denied their second amendment rights? This, in turn, leads to the raising of many other questions: What standards would be used to determine mental illness for the purpose of gun denial? Who would make those standards? How would authorities running a background check gain access to those medical records? How would we redefine the ancient notion of patient-doctor confidentiality? How would those mental health sessions be flagged in the Great Database? How would one prevent that information from leaking and from being used for political or blackmail purposes? How would this not dissuade people who need some help from getting it? I am sure you can think of dozens more questions.
The progs have added a couple of new twists to their "common sense" approach to gun control. One of my favorites, brought up by the commentator mentioned above, would ban what Obama has called "weapons of war" from ownership by civilians.

Weapons of War! As we gun nuts call them, WOW! What a great phrase: conjures up images of noisy smoky tanks, armored vehicles, Maxim guns, land mines, etc. But, no. Our progs are not talking about those. They, apparently, are talking about the sort of weapons used by the Muslim murderers in San Bernardino. Progs love coming up with catchy bumper sticker phrases. I hate to burst their little bubble, but what is the definition of a WOW? Which war, for example? As my son noted to me today, at one time a musket was a WOW. Am I denied the right to a musket? How about swords, knives, chains, rocks, sticks, fists, and feet? All of those have been used in wars. The weapons used by the Muslim murderers, in fact. were not WOWs. As far as I can tell, the military do not use AR-15s. No. The progs don't care about that; they, clearly, are going to define whatever they want as a WOW--much like they have with "assault rifle." In other words, if it's scary to a prog, then, by definition, it's a WOW. I have served in countries where 9mm and .45 are declared military weapons (parabellum, for war) and are denied to civilians. In one country, 9mm was forbidden for civilians, but not .38 or .357. I don't pretend to understand those sort of calls. To repeat, any weapon at any time can be declared a WOW, and, hence, banned under prog "common sense" gun control.

Yet another cry has gone up: Ban people on the "terror list" from buying weapons! Common sense, no? I am not exactly sure what "terror list" the progs are bandying about. I know of "no-fly" lists, and as a DCM in some rough places, I helped put together Visa Viper lists of people who should be denied visas to the US. The process of making up these lists is highly inexact and subjective. Just getting names right is a major ordeal. The process consists of coffee-drinking bureaucrats sitting around a table with incomplete and perhaps inaccurate information from a variety of open and covert sources of varying reliability making judgement calls. There is no due process; no elevated standards of evidence; and it is almost impossible to correct mistakes. At least our Visa Viper list was aimed only at pesky foreigners. The sort of list the progs are talking about is aimed at American citizens--and, by the way, the Muslim murderers in San Bernardino were on no list.

So should a list drawn up in secret by bureaucrats responding to who knows what political agendas and masters with no due process, no right of appeal, be used to deny Constitutional rights? I wonder about that, eh? Tough call . . .. Let's put it this way: Do you trust Obama, who has used the IRS and EPA, for example, to go after political opponents, to draw up a list to deny people their rights? We all know, of course, that the list-makers will be tasked with ensuring that the list is diverse and does not overly target any protected group . . .  If the government is so sure about this "list," why not arrest and try the people on it? What's next? Lists to deny freedom of speech and religion? Why stop with guns? So many questions.

Amazing, ain't it? The same crowd who get weepy over a handful of blacklisted Communist screenwriters, and outraged over Trump's call to halt Muslim immigration to the US, now want government drafting secret lists to deny people their rights. Progressives . . .


Monday, December 7, 2015

France and Venezuela: A Couple of Bright Lights in the Progressive Night

I could not listen to The One's speech on his "anti-terror strategy." I can't stand the cool, aloof, infuriating arrogance in his voice as he delivers vapid bromides, and speaks down to the little people. I, subsequently, read his speech, and I was right not to have listened to it, as well. Absurd. Our country, our way of life, our whole Western civilization is under assault from Islam, and this stupid little presentation is all he can come up with? Maybe some other time I will go through it, but I can't right now . . . it's just too easy to rip it apart for the progressive claptrap that it is.

Instead, let's quickly look at a couple of bright spots--and believe it or not, there are a couple, and both involve exercising the franchise and defying the progressive orthodoxy!

France.

I have written before about Marine Le Pen (here, for example) and the sort of terror she provokes in the comfortable elites that now rule and ruin the West. She has been labelled "far-right," fascist, xenophobic, etc., and threatened with legal action because she and her party, the FN (National Front), have dared question the progressive orthodoxy that dominates France's politics, elite media, universities, and entertainment industry.

It appears that the FN has won big in the first round of France's regional elections. Per the BBC,
The triumphant leader of the far-right National Front (FN), Marine Le Pen, says French voters rejected the "old political class" in regional elections that put her party top.
Nearly one-third of voters backed the anti-immigration FN, which won in six out of France's 13 regions. <...>
The nationalist FN got about 28%, ahead of the centre-right Republicans party led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, which polled just under 27%, and the governing Socialist Party (PS), trailing with 23.5%.
We'll see what happens in the second round as the traditional parties seek to form alliances and come up with strategies to block the surging FN. In the meanwhile, I agree with POLITICO that,
The far-right National Front’s victory in the first round of French regional elections on Sunday will have an impact far beyond the composition of local governments and the shock it will have sent through the French political establishment. 
In every single European capital, politicians will ponder the results and wonder how an anti-immigration, anti-European movement could become France’s first political party. They will also worry about what it means for Europe in a time of crisis — economic and existential.
From Europe, we turn to the Americas.

Venezuela.

The past many years have been a dark time for the people of Venezuela.

I have written a great deal about the plight of Venezuela (here, here, here, here, here, for example) under the Chavez/Maduro evil clown circus. In one of those posts, I referred to a "slow motion coup" underway in oil-rich Venezuela by which Chavez/Maduro take apart the institutions of democracy bit by bit in the name of fighting "imperialism" and giving a level playing field to the poor (Bernie Sanders, are you there?) Opposition leaders who were too pesky suddenly found themselves afoul of the tax authorities, or accused of participating in vague gringo-backed plots against The Revolution. The opposition had a hard time getting its act together: first, because of the oppression aimed against it; second, because of the lack of international support--especially from the US--for democracy in Venezuela; and third, of course, because of its own bad strategy and tactics. It seems this time the opposition got its act together just as the regime implodes along with oil prices. Maduro simply does not have the loyalty of the "revolutionary" elites--e.g., in the military, in Hollywood, in Cuba--in the same way as did the much more charismatic, smart, and devious Chavez. The Congressional elections held yesterday have produced a sweeping victory for the opposition which has taken at least 99 of the 167 seats in the legislature. Pre-election polls had shown some 85% of the population fed up with the direction of Venezuela and dissatisfied with Maduro.

The economic outlook for Venezuela is extremely dire. What the opposition-dominated Congress can do to reverse the Chavez/Maduro decline is an open question, and one I leave to those more versed in Venezuelan politics than I (check the excellent Fausta's Blog). The Venezuelan Congress has lost a great deal of power, and the Maduro regime remains a lawless one. That regime, however, I think, will be more constrained than in the past as the military and other power brokers, clearly, did not support any potential move to suspend the elections or to engage in wide-spread vote rigging to favor Maduro. I repeat, this is a spot of light in a very dark picture, but . . . you never know, freedom and liberty have a way of winning the day.

Just a little bit of hope . . .

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Join the NRA

I had for years belonged to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Some time while overseas, I let my membership lapse. In the wake of the nonsense being spouted  by Obama and the New York Times re gun ownership, I just renewed my membership.

I normally don't advocate for any organization but will now: If you are a member of the NRA, renew that membership; if you're not, and are concerned about the steady erosion of individual rights, then join America's oldest civil rights organization and a highly effective, well-run lobbying outfit, the NRA.

That is a great rebuke to the progressive anti-gun propaganda to which we are all being subjected.  

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Yes, Indeed, Let's Revise Our Gun Laws

I am sitting in a hotel room in northern California. On the nearly five hundred mile drive yesterday from my home in southern California, of course, the radio was almost non-stop dealing with the unfolding horror in San Bernardino. I was delighted that the cops in the field did an exemplary job in the wake of the mass murder and took out the two murdering Jihadis who killed 14 people and wounded many more. The world is better without these Jihadis.

The progressive media, as expected, couldn't wait for the facts, and launched a variety of rants about white men, gunshow "loopholes," need for better mental health care programs, and other familiar prog talking points. It was all quite nauseating. As the facts slowly, slowly, slowly--despite the efforts of the PC crowd--started to emerge, to wit, the killers were a couple of Muslims who shot up an office Christmas party, the progs and their Commander-in-Chief in the White House began beating the gun control drum. It was all the fault of the NRA and Republicans who have allowed terrorists to buy guns! We need more gun laws! Let's make our laws as tough as in France! Terrorists can't get guns in Fra--OK, OK bad example . . .

Yawn. For a moment, let's  pay back the progs with their own coin. I blame the Democrats and their media enablers for this massacre. Their immigration laws have allowed Islam to establish a foothold in our country. They have prevented us from rational profiling. Thanks to progressive rules, the facility where the massacre took place was a "gun-free zone." The victims, most of whom I am willing to bet were of progressive mind sets, were not able to defend themselves. In addition, of course, California has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the U.S. The killers in San Bernardino not only violated the "gun-free zone" they also had illegal high capacity magazines in their weapons, and of course, they violated the law against pipe bombs and IEDs.

Now, we have the cry going up about people on the "terror list" being able to buy guns. Progs such as Sen. Feinstein are pushing for laws to ban people on that list from buying guns. Ah, yes, let's have some administrative procedure substitute for legal due process. Do people know how people get put on that list? I can tell you from my experience working on visa "watch lists" that it is a highly subjective and hugely inexact process. I can also tell you that once you get put on one of these lists, it is almost impossible to get off. Let's just cut to the chase: let's have it so that the government can execute anybody on any terror or visa watch or no-fly list. That would be better all around in terms of paperwork and pesky due process . . . Now, of course, the San Bernardino murderers were not on any government list, but that's a minor set back.

So, yes, I agree, let's revise our gun laws. I, for example, live in a county in California where it is virtually impossible to get a concealed carry permit. Any killer knows that in that county the odds are overwhelmingly that his intended victim is unarmed. Time to allow open and concealed carry, I think, on a national basis. If we're not going to deal with Islam as we should, i.e., label it a violent totalitarian creed, then let's at least give our citizens a fighting chance.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Paris Plays Host to King Canute Society

The science is settled: We are ruled by those who think us idiots.

Without doubt you are all aware of the huge international meeting underway in Paris at which some 150 heads-of-state and government and their staffs have gathered to declare war on, nay, to defeat the "greatest threat" to man's existence since the Flood. No, not nuclear war. No, not Islamic terrorism. No, not hunger or poverty. Yes, I refer to man-made, oops, human-made global climate warming, er, uh, change, er, disruption. You know that stuff on which there is a broad scientific consensus, well, except for all the scientists who don't buy it, or better said, haven't got bought by it and its well-heeled money backers.These thousands of delegates, by the way, have not walked to the conference or ridden their bicycles or their electric cars to get there. No they have come in large fossil fuel gulping aircraft and limousines, belching out huge quantities of "green house gases," you know, that evil CO2. They are also heavily protected by lots of gun-toting men and women; yes, guns, the things they want to take away from us but which they rely upon to protect them.

Yes, it is in Paris. The same Paris that just suffered a grotesque event in which 130 persons were killed, not by melting ice, or hungry polar bears, but by suicidal assassins of the death cult known as Islam. But then those dead, well, they were a "setback" but, of course, progressivism must march on in its ceaseless quest to save the planet from real threats, e.g., Rebel flags, "offensive" speech, and my four SUVs. It must seek to protect children not from the mosquitos that give them malaria and dengue but from the DDT that will kill those mosquitos. It must protect children not by ensuring they don't go hungry, but by protecting them from the horrid industrialized agriculture that could feed them. It protects us from terrorism not by killing the terrorists and waging war on their bankrupt ideology of Islam, but by claiming that global climate whatever has caused terrorism and that holding this massive gab-fest is the strongest rebuke imaginable to the terrorists . . . right.  ISIS is just shaking in their sandals, fearful of having their HUMVEES taken away.

So progressivism has seized on one of the greatest scientific-social-economic-political scams to come down the pike since, oh, I don't know, since Karl Marx took pen to paper, perhaps. It has all the hallmarks of a progressive cause: demands for an end to prosperity; an end to free markets and individual choices; a demand for ever greater resources and power going to governments and the bureaucrats who run them; a demand to shut down opponents as kooks or "deniers." And as we see the "science" behind the whole mishmash of stuff that is supposedly The Theory of Global Warming Climate Change Disruption fall apart almost daily, the advocates of "doing something" about Global Whatever get more and more desperate and turn away from science and turn to the brute power of government. Their "theory" can predict nothing and explain nothing except for how to increase their power over all of us.

The science is settled: We are ruled by those who hate us.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Quick Gloat on the Iran "Deal"

This humble blog's five or six readers will recall that I labelled the "historic" nuclear deal with Iran as fake (here, here, here, and here, for example) and predicted that Obama would call it a treaty when convenient and a Joint Plan of Action, or something else, when not. I specifically called for somebody to show us the signatures on the "treaty." I strongly suspected there was no signature.

Go ahead, check my comments on this "deal." I'll wait for you right here.

I now refer you to this article  in the Daily Mail which reports that,
The Obama administration has disclosed to Congress that this summer's controversial nuclear arms agreement with Iran was never signed and is not legally binding, according to a new report this week. 
The State Department made the disclosures in a letter to Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, a Republican, who had written the department to inquire why the agreement as submitted to Congress in July did not bear the signature of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 
'The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,' Julia Frifield, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs wrote Pompeo last Thursday.

How about that? Who coulda seen that coming? I mean besides this little blog, of course.

Just thought you might want to know . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thoughts On Cultural Appropriation: Eat Tacos or the Terrorists Win!

Lots of threats out there to our beloved Anglosphere and to the Western Civilization it has so ably represented, advanced, and defended for the past many, many, many years. This humble blog has discussed several of those threats, such as Islam's reinvigorated 1400-year war on the West, and has even dealt with the GREATEST THREAT TO HUMANITY Global Cooling Global Warming Global Climate Change  Global Climate Disruption, in mocking terms, of course, but has failed to appreciate fully the next Greatest Threat, Cultural Appropriation! 

Our Canadian friends have led the way in countering this threat by canceling some imperialistic Yoga classes given, for free, at the University of Ottawa. For you see, my benighted six or seven friends,  
[A}s many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures. 
But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” according to the group that once sponsored it. <...>
You just gotta understand that,
“Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures (which are often sacred spiritual practices) they are being taken from . . . Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”
Being a culturally insensitive sort, I thought maybe the classes had been canceled because the wrong sort of people were walking around in yoga pants. But, no, the reasons are much more serious, and woe to he/she/ze who makes mock of them. The brave student federation at UniOtt took to heart the progressive definition of cultural appropriation,
Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture's dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It's most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects. 
In the United States, cultural appropriation almost always involves members of the dominant culture (or those who identify with it) “borrowing” from the cultures of minority groups. African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and indigenous peoples generally tend to emerge as the groups targeted for cultural appropriation. Black music and dance, Native American fashions, decorations and cultural symbols and Asian martial arts and dress have all fallen prey to cultural appropriation.
They not only took it to heart but, as fierce Social Justice Warriors, struck a mighty blow by preventing handicapped students who benefited from the free classes from continuing their evil theft of Indian culture. The Indian High Commission in Ottawa had no comment, well, except for their June 21 announcement of International Yoga Day, but I am sure some imperialist forced them to do that . . .

Ah, yes, all this at a time when the State Department issues a WORLDWIDE travel advisory to Americans because of the threat from the JV squad, er, I mean,
Extremists [who] have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
Yes, my old outfit is issuing a worldwide advisory, just after the President said ISIS was "contained"--I guess he meant to this planet--and never once using the words "Islamist," "Jihadi," much less "Islam" or "Muslim." Just be careful of some vague extremists out there; they might be Mormon missionaries, or truck-driving-Rebel-flag-waving sorts, you just don't know from where that "extremist" threat might come. The State Department, of course, is behind the times and needs to step up its game in confronting the evils of cultural appropriation. No more speaking English at American embassies lest we offend the English people from whom we appropriated that language . . .

"Cultural appropriation" terrorists share some common features with "Global Climate Whatever" terrorists. They ignore the history of mankind. Just as mankind has struggled ceaselessly against the brutalities of Mother Nature--Gaia is a blood thirsty goddess--mankind (oops, can I still use that word?) has advanced by borrowing ideas across cultures, ideas that provide solutions to the common problems faced by people regardless of culture. Who built the very first house? I don't know, but I am grateful to him/her/zat/zim/bim.

Can we assert that cultures influence and get influenced by other cultures? Otherwise, I guess, Africans should not get polio vaccines because those did not originate in their cultures?

This "appropriation" nonsense, of course, is of a piece with just about everything else being done by progressives. The idea is to sow confusion, doubt, self-censorship, and, above all, confusion--did I mention confusion? The poor benighted speaker, writer, thinker is thrown into a tizzy whenever he/she, etc., tries to come up with a thought. The poor unenlightened one must then turn to the progressives for a guide to lay down a path out of the quandary, and avoid giving offense.

I, for one, intend to have tacos for lunch tomorrow. If I don't, then the Social Justice Terrorists have won.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Obama & Kerry: Such a Fine Line Between Stupid & Clever

I was watching (for the 100th time, at least) what I consider one of the two greatest modern Hollywood comedies ever produced, the 1984 "mockumentary" This is Spinal Tap (TISP)--the other being, The ProducersTISP, of course, is a fake documentary about "Britain's loudest band" as they attempt an American come-back years after their expiration date has come and gone. They are not only loud, but possessed of little talent, even less self awareness, and all the while exceptionally self-centered and pompous. While watching this classic, I came to realize that our beloved and beleaguered Republic is now governed by Spinal Tap.

There is a bit of dialogue in the "mockumentary" that is particularly applicable to our current group of "leaders." In a wonderfully inane discussion with band member Nigel Tufnel (played by the great British-American comic, Christopher Guest), band leader, David St. Hubbins (played by the superb American actor, Michael McKean), makes the following stunning observation, "It's such a fine line between stupid, and, uh . . . clever."

I thought of this brilliant observation hearing SecState John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry discuss the most recent Paris atrocity and compare it to the Charlie Hebdo massacre of last January. Listen as the clever Kerry finds that fine line mentioned by St. Hubbins and crosses it firmly into the land of stupid,

There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, OK, they’re really angry because of this and that.

Just cogitate a spell on what the allegedly most important foreign affairs official in the world has said. Let it sink in. Let it take you on a magical mystery tour of the Land of Stupid. 

Let's put it bluntly: Kerry tells us that certain acts of mass terror are not as bad as others if the terrorists have a "legitimacy" or a "rationale" understandable to your average progressive elite moron, one that said moron "could attach to." You find encapsulated here the self-loathing that progressives feel for Western society, a loathing so deep that they could  "attach" themselves to those who would kill us in cold blood as long as the killers had an understandable reason, of course. This is the same sort of "cool detached intellectualist logic" at work, say, as Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland, as Stalin conducted his murderous purges, as Castro and Che ran their firing squads 24/7, as Chavez/Maduro dismantle democracy in Venezuela, or as thugs take over universities in the name of "tolerance" and "black lives" etcetera, etcetera  . . . 

For the progressive, the victims at Charlie Hebdo, of course, had committed the crime of treating Islam to almost the same level of mockery to which they subject Christianity, Judaism, Israel, and conservative politicians. They violated the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop Pact that exists between Islam and progressivism. It was too bad they had to die, but it was understandable. The massacre this month in Paris presents a bit of dilemma to the progressive because as the roster of dead clearly implies, most of those killed were undoubtedly highly tolerant progressives who did not like Bush, Thatcher, NATO, the CIA, or water boarding; they were mostly young people out partying in Paris, one of the  most progressive cities on earth. This was akin to the Boston marathon bombing where, again, the attack took place at one of America's most progressive cities. The progressives, ably represented by Kerry, ex-ally of the Viet Cong, are searching for an explanation as to why their third world brothers would randomly kill throngs of progressives. 

To highlight further the point about crossing that fine line, we have the alleged President of the United States make it all infinitely worse at his November 16 press conference in Anatalya, Turkey

In Turkey, The One made some breathtaking statements,
We'll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it's entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I'm too busy for that.

How about that? Anybody opposed to whatever the hell his strategy is, is just "popping off." He makes it quite clear that he has no interest in "pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning." How about that? Just too busy, doncha know, to pursue "winning."  And he goes on,
There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were a terrible and sickening setback. Even as we grieve with our French friends, however, we can’t lose sight that there has been progress being made.
There you go. Right up there with our dead in Benghazi being a "bump in the road" the atrocity in Paris comprises a setback. He can't even muster some faux outrage, some bluster. He can't bring himself to utter the words "radical Islam." His anger and passion, well, that he saves for discussing Rebel flags, or Republicans. He, otherwise, adopts that condescending, dismissive, cool attitude so beloved in the universities and among the faux intellectuals in the ranks of our progressive overlords, "Oh, those crazy conservatives think you can solve a complex problem by bombing, just like they think you can solve our oil dependency by drilling . . . pass the arugula bowl would you?" 

Unfortunately for Western civilization, the Obama misadministration is not a fictional mockumentary. This is real. The disaster is real. The blood being spilled by Muslim crazies is real. The Islamic world is at war with us as it has been for the past 1400 years. They attack us from the outside and the inside, taking advantage of our open borders, open societies and natural generosity--and our refusal even to identify the enemy.  Meanwhile. our putative leaders are either delusional, stupid, malevolent, treasonous or all of those.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Refugee Policy, or Assisted Suicide?

The political fall-out from the Paris massacre continues.

Here in the USA, we have seen some tentative battle lines drawn as over half of the nation's governors have announced that their states will not accept the so-called refugees from the Middle East. While I welcome this defiance of progressive political correctness, I have no idea whether that is a legally tenable position. Can a state refuse to accept an alien person that the federal government has deemed fit for residence in the USA? We certainly see the progressives arguing that cities and states can refuse to turn over for extradition aliens deemed unfit, but . .  . well, you know how it is with progressives. Yes for me, but not for thee, and they do control the federal bureaucracy and much of the court system. So we'll see what happens as the lawyers bash it out.

The state-by-state strategy, of course, has one big flaw. If just one state, e.g., California, announces the "refugees" are welcome, then--presto!--they're in. We have no border controls among the states, so somebody arriving in California, will soon have freedom to move about freely throughout the rest of our beleaguered Republic.

This is clearly an issue for Congress. That raises other issues, the first being how quickly can Congress move to draft effective legislation to ban the "refugees," overcome a likely veto, and withstand the mau-mauing from the elite progressive media and the "intellectuals"? Another issue is that we have a lawless president, one who has shown disregard for Congress and the Constitution, and is more than willing to get his way by executive fiat. Is impeachment a realistic option? 'Tis a lovely thought, and if ever a president deserved it, this one does, but I have doubts that will work. That said, Congress must act to show that at least one branch of the government still sees America as worth saving.

One more time, let's visit some basic facts. The vast majority of these "Syrian refugees," is neither Syrian nor refugee. We have no realistic way of vetting tens-of-thousands of arrivals--more on that below. We have no vast and accurate data base against which we can compare, names, fingerprints, DNA, stories, etc. We have no idea who these people are, from whence they come, or the intentions they have. Our immigration system is already broken by the crush of years of illegal aliens from elsewhere, and the confused and often contradictory policies and legal attitudes we adopt towards them. No way can the immigration lads and lassies handle this new wave. If the "Syrians" come, they stay.

As I have said so many times before, vetting is nonsense.

First, as noted, we have no way of checking the bona fides of these arrivals. Second, more important, as I have said repeatedly, the most serious issue is not whether this or that "refugee" belongs to ISIS, Boko Haram, Jamiat Islamya, Hamas, Al Shabab, and on and on. It is the Islam he brings with him--and most are men. Setting up tens-of-thousands of Muslims in a tolerant, democratic Western country sows the field for a later harvest of radicalization and terror. We have seen it repeatedly as "home grown" Muslims get "radicalized" in their local mosques and become jihadi crazies. Go to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, or Dearborn, and see what I mean.

Islam is not a religion like any other. Where Islam establishes itself, freedom disappears. It is a violent, totalitarian, political-social-economic creed which abhors independent thought, sees women as essentially worthless, murders gays without a thought, and sees non-believers as worthy only for conversion, enslavement, or death. There is no tolerance, no peace, no love for the other preached or practiced in Islam. It has had no enlightenment and what reformation it has had has pushed it back ever closer to its 7th century origins in the Arabian peninsula. As I have seen throughout my career abroad, a person born in a Muslim culture has the choice of becoming either a good Muslim or a good person. The two sets do not overlap.

We need a total ban on these Muslim "refugees." We need to treat Islam as we have treated Communism, Fascism, and Nazism in the past, to wit, as a totalitarian threat to our national security. Practitioners of totalitarian creeds, including Islam, should not get security clearances, certain jobs, and certainly not immigration visas.

This week's horror in Paris is just one more example of what happens when the West does not stand up for itself and its precious values and civilization.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris, the Murderous Cost of Progressive Delusions

As I write this the death toll in the Paris attacks, according to press reports, is well north of 120, and climbing. Those media reports are overwhelmingly reluctant to label the murderers as Muslim. The politicians, including our own President, are equally reluctant to label the murderers as Muslim and, of course, refuse to blame the dictates of Islam for the atrocities we have seen on the streets of Paris these past 24 hours.

I have written so much about this topic that I don't know what more to say.

One more time: the murderers are Muslims acting in accord with the dictates of Islam, the second most lethal creed on the planet. Islam is a belief system that demands total obedience from its followers ("submission"), and has a sneering disregard for the rights and sufferings of non-believers. On second thought, that is a grotesque understatement: I should say, Islam sees nonbelievers as worthy only for conversion, enslavement, or death. It does not matter if a nonbeliever is kind and generous in his or her dealings with the Believers; so long as that person remains a non-believer he or she is worthy only for the treatment I just mentioned. The treatment we saw, yet again, in Paris.

While our "leaders"prattle on about climate change (including from Paris the day of these attacks) and "safe spaces" and taking in "refugees, the practitioners of the Religion of Peace, murder us. As I wrote long ago, we are not at war with Islam but Islam is at war with us. Are we going to get yet another bone-head peace march in response?

I see articles arguing over whether the attack is Al Qaeda or ISIS. Whether this attack is typical of this group or that one. I have said this so many times that I am reluctant to say it again. The issue is not Boko Haram, Hamas, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Jamyat Islamia, or any other terrorist band. The issue is not Islamist "extremism," or a nutty fringe of Islam. The threat we face comes from Islam and the progressive delusions that have allowed Islam to plant itself in our midsts and flourish, grow and operate with near impunity. My friends, as I have written many times (here, for example) progressivism will get you killed. Progressivism, also a totalitarian belief system, is clearly now the deadliest creed on the planet, and has formed a Molotov-Ribbentrop-type pact with Islam. Progressivism, above all, is about denying reality and promoting delusion.

The cost of progressive delusions is seen every day. The people of Paris just paid that cost, yet again, yesterday.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Latest GOP Debate

Sorry for the delay. Had a defective keyboard in in which the letters "e," "i," and "w" would not work. Try writing this blog without "me," "we," and "I." Impossible!

Re the debate: A good one. Lots of substance and, once again, proving that the Fox reporters are far superior to their progressive counterparts at the mainstream media outlets. The questions were good, there was a sense of humor throughout, and the replies were all--almost--pretty good.

I thought all the candidates, with one exception, did well. Let's start with that exception. Governor Kasich blew it. He is a decent politician with a good track record as governor of Ohio and in Congress. He, however, has run a bizarre campaign which I would label as seeking to become the "progressive conscience" of the Republican Party. At this debate, his comments on immigration were, frankly, foolish. He gives rather lachrymose speeches and throws out lines, e.g., "not an adult argument," which will come back to haunt the GOP in the general elections next year. He should run for Democratic nominee and swap with Jim Webb. He doesn't belong on the stage with the other candidates.

The winner? Tough to call, but in my view it was Rubio with Cruz right behind him. I would even accept an argument that Cruz won. Maybe a tie? Both Senators were on fire. I scored it for Rubio because of his foreign policy and defense comments--I am prejudiced that way, you see--and his simple explanation of how raising the minimum wage raises unemployment. Cruz's response on illegal immigration was brilliant, to wit, journalists would write a different story if the illegals had journalism degrees and were driving down the wages of journalists. Either Rubio or Cruz would eat Hillary Clinton alive in any debate setting.

The others? Nobody did badly, although I thought Trump's comment about Fiorina interrupting was childish and unnecessary. Carson's closing statement was excellent: a 30-second piece of prose poetry not commonly heard in political debate. It reaffirmed his standing as a man of integrity, compassion, and patriotism.

Any one of the big four--Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz--would be a far preferable alternative to Hillary Clinton or the current calamity in the White House.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Hunting We Will Go; Prog Media Go Gunning for Dr. Carson

Full disclosure. Dr. Ben Carson would not be my first choice for Republican candidate in the 2016 Presidential elections. I think there are other Republican candidates better suited for the job of President than Dr. Carson. Would, however, I vote for him over looney Bernie or lying Hillary? You bet. In a flash. He has intelligence, patriotism, a record of accomplishment, and decency going for him; I have serious doubts on all those measures when it comes to Bernie "Moscow Honeymoon" Sanders and Hillary "What Difference Does it Make?" Clinton.

I was wondering when the media would turn its full wrath on Carson. You see, he has committed the ultimate, unpardonable sin: he is a black man who has refused to be confined to the progressive intellectual ghetto.

Well, we don't have to wait any longer. The attacks have begun.

Politico has been leading the charge with a distorted account (slightly corrected in subsequent Politico updates) of whether or not Carson claimed to have been offered a full scholarship for West Point, whether he claimed to have ever applied for West Point, and whether he was an angry man as a youth. I am just waiting for the next shoe to drop, e.g., pull some (white) has-been political intern, nurse, or starlet out of the shadows to claim she was sexually abused by Carson. That will come if Carson continues to do well in the polls. Do not forget that the USA's Democratic Party, one of the world's oldest political parties, specializes in lynch mobs and accusing black men of raping white women. A simple glance at the party's history will confirm that. Atticus Finch, call your office . . .

Carson joins the distinguished ranks of CEO Herman Cain, Col. Allen West, Justice Clarence Thomas, Senator Tim Scott, Sheriff David Clarke, and others, as a black man who does not toe the orthodox progressive line laid down for black people, especially men, by the white overlords of American progressivism. Any black person who deviates from that line is open to attack. The usual labels of "racism" are not applied to critics of these black people. If, however, one finds the policies of Obama or Holder injurious to the nation, well, then one is a racist. We still don't know almost anything about Obama's early years except for what he wants us to know.

We have a similar phenomenon when women stray off their assigned progressive talking points. We have seen that with the vicious attacks on former SecState Condi Rice, Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Mia Love, Kentucky's Lt. Governor-elect Jenean Hampton, Carly Fiorina, Michelle Malkin, etc. The progressives aim for conformity. Diversity of views is not welcome and not allowed in progressive world--see your local university for proof of that.

The media which ignored Obama's past and still ignore the lies and crimes of Hillary Clinton are now getting into gear to pore over any detail, no matter how inconsequential, that will throw dirt on the remarkable record of Carson's life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

For The West . . . And Then There Was . . . ?

A constant theme of this inconsequential blog has been that the Anglosphere forms the core of Western Civilization, OK, OK, Civilisation for those in some parts of the Queen's realms. In modern times, at least, it overwhelmingly has been the hardy lads and lassies of the Anglosphere who have suited up and gone to battle to protect Western Civ from power-hungry monarchs, Fascists, Nazis, Communists, and "religious" totalitarians be they Shintoist or Islamist. These Anglophones also have provided much if not most of Western Civ's economic, moral, intellectual, and creative firepower (see this charming piece, for example.)

When that core is weak, then Western Civ ain't in good shape.

Well, friends, that core is in very serious trouble, perhaps the most serious since, at a minimum, the 1930s and perhaps ever.

As we have discussed many times, the United States under the current misadministration of The One is rapidly becoming a non-player on the world scene. The most powerful country ever to exist has become a joke. Our economy is a shambles and headed for more trouble as spending, taxation, new "rights," and new programs grow like weeds. Key institutions, e.g., education, government bureaucracy, courts, the media, have fallen into the hands of the progressives and been transformed into churches of progressivism. Freedom of speech has become ever more constrained as progressivism demands uniformity in thought and action. Even a bedrock conservative institution such as the military must divert increasing attention and resources away from the core mission, i.e., defending the nation and its interests, and must fuss with transgender, gay, and ecological issues. The White House and all its appendages have fallen to an anti-Western cabal determined to reshape the United States into something unrecognizable--and doing so.

The result of the progressive take-over has been a post-United States world. What was once a "what-if" intellectual exercise and the subject for alternative history books and films, has become a reality. We now know what the world looks like without the United States. It is a horrid place. It is a place where petty tyrants such as Putin can assert themselves and do as they will. It is one where rag-tag bands of Islamic terrorists and gangsters can terrorize large swaths of the planet. A place where Islam, almost unimpeded, can launch the most amazing thing I have seen in my life, the large-scale invasion of Europe. The Muslims now stand not far from achieving what once seemed a forlorn mad dream: the Islamization of Europe, the achievement of the Great Caliphate. The Gates of Vienna have been breached, thrown open from the inside.

Britain, most emphatically England, overall perhaps the most important and consequential country of the past 500 years, has just about become a non-entity. It is, in fact, in danger of disappearing completely. There are some glimmers of hope (as described here, for example) but the trend line is overwhelmingly negative. English and British greatness did not come from the Empire. That Empire could have disappeared long before it did without affecting the UK's claim to greatness. It came from that special combination of arrogance, stubbornness, eccentricity, creativity, and curiosity, combined with intellectual and physical courage that has long characterized the British, especially the English. That Britain that I so admired is disappearing first under the "homogenizing" influence of the disastrous EU monstrosity--why did Britain sign up for that?--and now even more precipitously under the increasing tidal wave of hostile immigration. Britain's current government is made up of nominal conservatives who, at best, assume the deer-in-the-headlights stance when confronting the threat to the nation's very existence. The train is coming at full speed. Britain's "conservative" government stands frozen on the tracks.

I have written before about my appreciation and admiration for Australia. More so than many other countries, common sense has characterized Australia. It seems, alas, no longer. I have made no secret for my admiration of gutsy PMs such as Howard and Abbott. Australia's government, for reasons best known to the Aussies, has come under new management via a Liberal intramural battle which left Abbott out and "moderate" billionaire Turnbull in. The new PM seems a decent sort but, and Australians can fill the large blanks in my knowledge, he reminds me of establishment Republican politicians here in the USA, such as Jeb Bush: probably a little too quick to make a compromise with the progressive agenda. For now, however, he appears holding firm, for now, on refusing to kill Australia's coal industry as demanded by the "climate changer" clangers and seems to be keeping, for now, Abbott's tough immigration stance.

Turnbull, nevertheless, does not inspire great confidence over the long haul, and, as with our own establishment "conservatives," likely will not provide a strong international voice of defiance as the West faces destruction from the Ribbontrop-Molotov pact between Islam and progressivism. He will get beaten down by the ceaseless progressive attack and begin to compromise. That is my bold prediction.

Now Canada has joined the ranks of mush-mouths. Justin Trudeau, really? Again, I liked Harper a lot. He seemed like a tough sort who knew how to stand up for his country's interests and that of the West. He was particularly defiant in his defense of Israel, rejecting the nonsense put out by the Ribbontrop-Molotov sorts. Harper got put out, again for reasons Canadians can provide, but certainly Obama and his absurd Keystone policies must have had an effect. A lot of progs at the State Department did not like Harper and his stance on global climate change and his positions on Israel. If this Trudeau does not fall far from the tree of the previous Trudeau, we are all in serious trouble. As with our own Obama, he comes from a highly dysfunctional and leftist family. As with Obama, he seems to have a meager resume but talks a good prog game. The media, of course, fawn all over him writing puff pieces about his youthful good looks, his hair, his shirt buttons (here and here, for example) which makes me very queasy. The West is in dire straights and Canada's leader is what? Well dressed? Who knows? And that is not a useful thing as we have found out from our experience with "good looking, charismatic" zero accomplishment Obama.

There are voices, such as in Israel and Hungary, warning the West of the impending disaster. But are those enough? No. The Anglosphere is the core of Western civilization. When that core is absent  in the struggle to save that civilization, the barbarians win. We are facing a new age of barbarianism and our leaders talk about global warming and the need not to insult the people who are out to destroy us.

There is no replacement for the USA and its hardy band of Anglophones.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Cars and Stuff . . .

Been taking a break from blogging. At times, I find the exercise too depressing. We are seeing the gravest crisis to face Western civilization at least since WWII, and perhaps much before that. We have no Churchill, no Thatcher, no Reagan to rally the West to bestir it to defend itself.

At times, I just can't keep going over the disaster, again and again. So, I retreat to other undertakings: my dogs, of course, who are an inexhaustible source of optimism, loyalty, and plain ol' fun, and, as I have bored my six or seven readers for some time, to old cars. Big, gleaming, noisy hunks of American chrome, glass, and steel. Cars with heart and soul from the nation that brought you rock-and-roll.

My latest acquisition arrived home yesterday from some six weeks of major surgery: 1973 Mach 1 Mustang with a 351 Cleveland, new four wheel disc brakes, rebuilt Holley four barrel carburetor, rebuilt transmission, all new hydraulic piston clutch, new Hurst four-speed shifter, new electronic ignition, new front and rear suspension, new exhaust system, new 17 inch rims and tires, new headlights, new differential, new steering wheel and new . . . oh, never mind.

Here she is:













I got her registered quickly thanks to a local car registration service which dealt with the despicable DMV; for a small fee, they got all the paperwork straightened out in a matter of minutes instead of the hours it would have taken me at the despicable DMV. Did I mention that the DMV is despicable?

I'd say the car is about 7/8's restored. It's got a few little things--e.g., non-working radio, clock, and tach--and, perhaps, a couple of bigger things--e.g., fuel injection, headers--I could have done had my budget and the Diplowife's patience held out. Considering, however, the near-death shape the beast was in when first acquired, I should call her Fenix, Lazarus, or Harold Stassen. Things that just do not give up and die.

Well, she looks pretty good, but can she run? That was the question the entire world was asking yesterday--OK, OK, I was asking. The answer came back a thunderous, gut-rumbling, "Yes!"

I fired up the Cleveland, shaking windows throughout the neighborhood, and getting thumbs-up and cheers from passing school kids, "Look at the fat old guy with the cool car!" Let's face it, fellow car-lovers, collecting and restoring old classic cars is largely about impressing the impressionable and boring everybody else to tears.

Under the terms of my insurance policy, I must keep her in a garage. I've run out of space at house number one, so I had to drive her some 70 miles to house number two where she will reside with my 2015 GT Mustang. Off we went onto the California freeways! She did great in our night-time run on the I-15. Hit 85 mph in no time before I backed off a bit just in case the CHP were around. This, after all, was a shake-out cruise, and, of course, since the enviros have declared us to be in a severe drought, it was raining heavily. Southern California drivers do not do well even in the most mild of drizzles. A little water on the road, and your life is in great peril!

Hard to believe we drove cars like this 40-60 years ago: no cup holders; no a/c; no concern for ergonomics with gauges and switches in odd, hard-to-see and hard-to-reach places; uncomfortable seats; smell of fuel; lots of vibration; and the noise! The Noise! THE NOISE! Still, a lot of fun. More fun than reading or writing about world events . . .

I promise to write something very depressing this week as penance.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quick Take on the Debate

Watched the GOP debate last night on the execrable CNBC network.

Why do Republicans frequent such dives? Why give loser networks such as CNBC and CNN, the Pan Am and TWA of the media world, the ratings and ad revenues bumps? Why not have Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton host the GOP debates and cut out the middle men?

This was, by far, the worst performance by the "mainstream" media, so far, in the debate cycle.  I was delighted when Sen. Ted Cruz, taking a page from Newt Gingrich's famous response in the South Carolina primary last cycle, tore into the moderators and ridiculed their questions,
The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media. This is not a cage match. You look at the questions — Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain? Ben Carson, can you do math? John Kasich, will you insult two people over here? Marco Rubio, why don't you resign? Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen? How about talking about the substantive issues?"
 . . . "The contrast with the Democratic debate, where every thought and question from the media was, which of you is more handsome and wise? … The men and women on this stage have more ideas, more experience, more common sense than every participant in the Democratic debate. That debate reflected a debate between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. And nobody watching at home believes that the moderators have any intention of voting in a Republican primary. The questions that are being asked shouldn't be trying to get people to tear into each other. It should be, 'What are your substantive solutions?'

I thought it ironic that Cruz took the opportunity to tear up the moderators one of the few times that he actually got asked a substantive question, i.e., his position on the just-concluded budget deal.

Sen. Marco Rubio had the best line about the media, “The Democrats have the ultimate super-PAC. It’s called the mainstream media.” Rubio also got in some good shots against Hillary Clinton, pointing out that despite the media's chorus of "Hillary's best week, yet," this was the week that America found out formally and on TV that she had lied about the causes of the Benghazi attack. The media, of course, have just yawned.

I thought that Gov. Kasich, whom I like, looked desperate, angry, and dying to get attention. In his desperation and anger, he might have done damage to the GOP in the general election. His line about "fantasy tax plans" could come back to haunt the GOP candidate next year. It is somewhat akin to Gingrich's unfortunate line re Romney about "vulture capitalism." That hurt Romney in the run against Obama.

Winners? Losers? Afraid you would ask.

The biggest losers, of course, were the dopey, ill-informed, blatantly biased CNBC moderators. On stage, I think the biggest losers were Kasich, Bush, and Paul--all three need to call it quits. Jeb Bush, whom I like, especially needs to pack it in: it just ain't happening for him. Governors Christie and Huckabee? They had some good stuff on social security but did not make much of an impression. They, also, should consider hanging up their spurs.

The winners: Rubio, Cruz, and perhaps Fiorina, who handled herself well substantively and with a sense of humor. Trump was more subdued, but did OK, just not earth-shaking. Carson needs to pep it up a bit. He is smart and genuine and has some good policy prescriptions but is so subdued that at times he seems half asleep.

What comes across strongly, however, is that any one of these GOP candidates would make a better president than the calamity we now have in the White House or the calamity that the DNC is about to crown as its choice for the 2016 elections.