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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Political Stuff

Dealing with two sick dogs. When my dogs get sick, that's it. All other activities get suspended. I am wracked with guilt whenever these guys get sick or hurt in any way: I feel that I have violated a key tenet of the ancient pact between dog and man, to wit, man shall protect dog from harm. The Diplowife (ret) and I took them to our very good South African vet who determined that they had picked up a nasty intestinal infection at the dog park; he has put them on antibiotics, probiotics, and a special high fiber diet. The boys, of course, refuse to cooperate; they will not allow me to stuff the meds down their throats.

Ssshhh! They're finally napping after eating a bit of the new diet, but without much enthusiasm.  That leaves me a few minutes to comment on stuff, just stuff . . .

OK, the GOP debate.

Meh . . . it was bland. I don't say that because The Donald did not attend, but because by now we all can do the Great Kreskin routine of predicting what each candidate will say in response to the predictable queries. The Fox moderators did not play at the top of their game; their questions seemed a rehash of stuff we've heard before. I have to wonder if we do not have too many of these debates. As with even the best blogger--ahem--a politician in a long campaign finds that he or she repeats lines. That was probably OK back in the day when we did not have millions of different mass media outlets picking up and apart anything said anywhere at any time. In these days of info-overload, frankly, it's hard to remain fresh.

That said, I thought Rubio did best; he came off as articulate, passionate, and as somebody who has thought things through. Cruz, normally quite good, was flat, and his jokes did not go over well. The others? We've heard it before.

Did Trump make a mistake by skipping the debate because of his feud with Megyn Kelly? I have no idea and don't think anybody else does. Nearly every prediction or observation made about Trump--including by this humble blogger--has been wrong. He does and says things no other candidate dares, and that does not hurt him and often, in fact, helps him. Really quite remarkable. Would he make a good President? I don't know. Would he be better for America than Obama, Clinton, Sanders, Biden? I would have to answer in the affirmative--but that's a low bar. Is he the best candidate? I don't know. I, personally, fluctuate among Walker, Cruz, Rubio, even Fiorina. By the way, I thought Carly Fiorina had the best line: "Hillary Clinton has escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo." Brilliant! Heads all across the progressive universe exploded in outrage. Quite funny. Progressives have such a hard time with truth-telling.

As noted before, it does not appear Hillary's email troubles will go away. In fact, they look to be getting worse. We learn today that at least 22 emails on her private server cannot be released--even in heavily redacted form--because of the very high classification of the material they contain. The Clinton response? Stuff is over classified. Kinda missing the point, no? That's not Hillary's call. I might think it ridiculous to have a 70 mph speed limit on the freeway, and that I alone should be allowed to do 90 mph, but . . .

The American public, therefore, will not see emails already seen by foreign intelligence officers and rulers in Russia, China, and Iran, along with several hundred teenaged hackers from Brazil to Singapore to Nigeria. Maybe Kerry can ask his friends in Tehran to free the Clinton emails. Bottom line, and in all seriousness, Clinton belongs in jail. Joe Biden put on your spurs! You have to save the Dems from themselves . . .

The boys are awake. The little guy, if you can call a 100-lb dog little, has run to the back fence to argue with the obnoxious neighbor. Now, the big guy has joined him on stage. I have to go break up that debate . . .


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Giving Hillary Clinton a Pass on Fast & Furious?

I know, I know. You don't need to tell me.

There are so many big scandals featuring Hillary Clinton and husband that it is hard to keep track of them all. She and the spouse have been caught up in mess after mess of their own creation, but, somehow, have managed to find enough well-connected loyalists to pull them out and let them move on and prosper. It is really quite amazing how scandals that would have sunk any other politician--pace Kennedy--bounce like canon balls off ol' Ironsides, leaving nary a mark. Not only are the scandals numerous, it is very difficult to rank them. That would make a good TV game show: Rank the Clinton Scandals!

In my humble opinion, one of the scandals for contender in the top two or three, is one that barely gets mentioned anymore. I refer to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's actions during and after the "Fast and Furious" gun-walking scandal. I have written quite a bit about F&F and you'll find the posts in the archives.

I want to highlight one posting in particular. On June 22, 2012 (here), I noted that,
Under Attorney General Eric Holder, the Department of Justice declared war on the people of Mexico. 
Using the ATF, the Justice Department carried out a covert operation that violated the laws of the United States, supplied thousands of weapons to the enemies of the government and people Mexico, and killed hundreds of Mexican citizens. The operation also produced the collateral damage of one or possibly two murdered US federal agents, and put at risk the lives of other US citizens on this side of the border. In other words, Obama and Holder have lied, and hundreds have died in a war against our southern neighbor.

Never mind Teapot Dome, Checkers, Chappaquiddick, Watergate, or Iran-Contra: "Fast and Furious" is arguably the greatest scandal in American political history. It most certainly is the greatest scandal never reported by the main media outlets. Obama's misadministration sought to launch an attack on the second amendment by "proving" that lax US gun laws led to Mexico's drug-fueled violence. It decided to "prove" that by providing the guns. It was the ultimate in cop weapon throw-down or evidence planting.

I went on to state that,
So, then, what did Hillary Clinton know and when did she know it? She herself went about saying that 60-90% of the weapons in the hands of Mexican drug gangs came from the US, which, of course, meant we needed stronger gun laws in the US. All of us worker bees in the State Department got "mea culpa" talking points to use that said the same thing. 
So was Secretary Clinton in on the DOJ/ATF fraud or was she a victim of it? What is her position? If she was bamboozled by Holder, has she taken the matter up with the President? Does she have a position on the fact that our government was waging a covert war against Mexico? Shouldn't the Secretary of State have a position on this matter? Shouldn't she be demanding the AG's resignation or offering up her own in disgust? 
Why no questions for the Secretary of State? 
None of those questions has been answered or even asked. The issue has gained some renewed urgency in light of reports that,
A .50-caliber rifle found at Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman’s hideout in Mexico was funneled through the gun-smuggling investigation known as Fast and Furious, sources confirmed Tuesday to Fox News. 
A .50-caliber is a massive rifle that can stop a car or, as it was intended, take down a helicopter.
We, therefore, have evidence, yet again, that Obama's deranged war against the Second Amendment led him and his bonkers Attorney General to send thousands of weapons, including .50-cal Barretts, to a mass murderer such as El Chapo. All of this was done as a "false flag" operation to blame law-abiding gun dealers for the guns in Mexican drug dealers' hands. It formed part of the progressive meme of "the drugs flow north, the guns flow south." Secretary Clinton, of course, acted as a major promoter of that false narrative.

You would think a Secretary of State would have an interest in a secret war against our neighbor, a war which killed hundreds of innocent Mexican citizens. When did she learn about it? Did she ask about it? Did she say anything to Obama or Holder about it? What did she say to the Mexican government? What has the Mexican government said to us about it? None of this is asked.

Giving the Clintons yet another pass . . .

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hillary's Emails: This Ain't Going Away (I Think, Maybe, Possibly)

I am not good at calling US elections. During my long career in the Foreign Service, I was great (modest, eh?) at calling foreign elections and spotting new political actors and movements. Not so good in my own country. We've gotten kinda strange, and there are just so many unknown factors in the equation, that I can't do the political algebra too well.

With that disclaimer, I am with trepidation going to make a tepid prediction, always conscious that words live forever on the internet.

Here goes.

Hillary Clinton's email problems are not going away. She does a very good job of putting on a poker face and dishing out a loud and aggressive "word salad" whenever some journalist has the rare temerity to raise the matter, but the issue is a serious one, much more serious than she lets on.

I have written before (August 13, 2015) on the Clinton email scandal but the issue is getting worse for her. Press reports show that my old friend and then Executive Secretary of the Department Steve Mull (and here) warned Clinton's personal aide, Huma Abedeen, of problems with  Clinton's use of a personal email system. He offered to get the Secretary of State a government email address and Blackberry, but was shot down by Abedin. Mull's emails clearly show that people at the top of the State Department, including Undersecretary Kennedy, were aware of Clinton's use of a private email server.

This batch of revelations and that the FBI is now investigating Clinton's relationship with the Clinton Foundation SHOULD put the brakes on the Hillary bus. Is that going to happen? I don't know. I have written before  (and here) of how Hillary and Bill manage to dodge the consequences of their corruption, will they be able to do it again?

My crystal ball just lost reception . .  .


Monday, January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King

I was going to write about the pathetic Democratic debate, but decided, instead, to re-post a little something I wrote a couple of years ago on the legacy of Martin Luther King. I think it still holds up as we mark another MLK Day here in the US. I will try to deal with that "debate" a bit later on . . . maybe.

The Legacy of Martin Luther King (January 21, 2014) 

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the US; TV and other media were full of stories about King and his times, and what it all means today. He has been compared to Gandhi and Mandela, become an icon for American "progressives," and, of course, a historical symbol of the nonviolent civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, almost every major American city has a thoroughfare named for him, and, as noted, we have a national holiday in his honor--making him and Columbus the only ones to have such holidays. Gunned down in 1968, at the age of thirty-nine, he left the civil rights movement to less capable and less visionary successors who undermined his legacy and his goal of a color-blind nation.

Was he a great man? He certainly showed great courage, commitment to his cause, insistence on nonviolence, strong political and leadership skills, patriotism, and became a highly eloquent spokesman for civil rights. "I Have a Dream" is one of the great speeches in the English language. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" more than equals any Thoreau or Gandhi writings, and is not something that today's civil rights leaders, such as they are, could match, nor could the typical graduate of almost any university in the world today. (The letter's pacing, erudition, and, above all, the surgical preciseness with which it takes down opposing arguments bring to mind General Sherman's letter to the Mayor of Atlanta.) King's life made a difference to millions of people. The answer, therefore, to this paragraph's question is yes, he was a great man.

That said, serious problems exist with some of the narrative spun about King, in particular, and the civil rights struggle, in general. Part of the problem, of course, is that King died young, enabling others, as happened with the two Kennedy brothers, to fill in the rest of the story, and use it to further certain political agendas. King died short of his fortieth birthday; had he lived longer, presumably, he would have evolved and, possibly, become a very different man than he was when he died--we will never know. What we do know is that the Democratic Party and their "progressive" media and education machines have rewritten the history of the civil rights struggle. This was driven home to me some years ago while visiting a college campus. The students assumed King was a Democrat, and the segregationists confronting the peaceful marchers, and using fire hoses, snarling police dogs, and truncheons, and wearing white hoods were Republicans. They assume a Republican killed King--today's college kids probably believe the Tea Party had him killed. That the exact opposite is true, shocks many. King came from a staunchly Republican family--his father, a prominent leader in his own right--openly endorsed Richard Nixon against JFK in the 1960 presidential election.

The Democrats had a one-party lock on the South. The party of slave owners and secessionists, had become the party of Jim Crow, school segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, poll taxes, and on and on. Many Americans, not to mention foreigners, do not realize not only that the Republican party was formed in opposition to slavery, and that Lincoln was a Republican, but that the famous Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, whose rulings dismantled the legal basis for segregation and put serious limitations on the power of police, was a former Republican Governor of California. It was, furthermore, war hero and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to Arkansas to enforce court-ordered desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. Congressional Republicans were the main supporters of civil rights legislation; their votes ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the opposition of a significant bloc of Democrats--let us also not forget that Congressional Democrats for years blocked Republican efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation. All this, of course, is history, but an important chunk of American history that is being lost, distorted, or otherwise flushed down the memory sewer--along with the fact that anti-leftist J. Edgar Hoover proved the most formidable foe of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an organization founded and staffed by Democrats, such as long-time Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

Before getting back to King, let's address another issue that has been badly distorted and become something of a meme among the quasi-literate left, to wit, the idea that the parties have "switched places." This is something I have heard from some lefties who, knowing the true history of the Democratic and Republican Parties when it comes to race and civil rights, try to argue that that was then, and this is now. Since FDR or so, they argue, the Democratic and the Republican Parties "switched" places on the race issue, with Republicans taking the role of protecting white privilege and keeping minorities, especially blacks, down.

The truth is quite different. What happened was that the old party of slavers, segregationists, lynch mobs, and secessionists figured out that government programs and intervention were the means to deprive Republicans of a significant voter bloc. The aim was to keep black Americans dependent on the largesse of government and Democrat-run urban political machines. Anyone who doubts that should read the crude comment in which President Johnson revealed the real purpose underlying his massive social program expansion, i.e., to keep black Americans voting Democratic. The Democrats have succeeded admirably in this objective.

Back to King and the civil rights movement. By the time of his death, King was losing control over the movement. It was fragmenting. King's vision of a nonviolent effort was under assault by increasingly violent and radical elements. The message of non-violence and concentration on individual liberty was losing attraction. The thirty-nine-year-old King seemed old, thundering out a message from another time. A new generation of black activists, inspired by the increasingly confrontational and violent atmosphere in the country were challenging King for the spotlight. They found allies in violence in the largely white anti-Vietnam War movement. 

The civil rights struggle was becoming increasingly part of the noise of the very bad closing years of the 1960s, which saw violent race riots shake nearly every American city, and numerous incidents of domestic terrorism. In addition, what had been a largely grass-roots, private sector movement was being sabotaged by growing government involvement. Many black leaders were being syphoned off by government programs to "fight poverty." Black activists increasingly focused on getting handouts to their followers rather than, as noted above, on King's more lofty, ancient-sounding focus on liberty, and the goal of having people judged not by their color but by the "content of their character." This new generation of government-oriented and dependent leaders did not fit in with King's conservative Southern and church-based movement. They needed racial turmoil, not racial harmony. We need also remember that Attorney General Robert Kennedy had put King under FBI surveillance, including the making of compromising tapes of King having liaisons with women not his wife, providing the government excellent blackmail material against him.

All these factors had taken a toll on King; he aged dramatically in appearance, and had begun talking about issues not directly related to the civil rights struggle, e.g., the Middle East, Vietnam. Had he lived longer, I suspect we would have seen King becoming increasingly radicalized, pushed leftward as he sought to retain control of his movement--but, as noted before, we will never know.

In sum, he was a great man with a great vision. His successors, many of them frauds of the first rank, largely have not been faithful to that vision of liberty and color-blindness, and we all have suffered for it.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

On Obama and Iran

I am so depressed and angry (yes, Gov. Nikki Halley, I am one of the angry ones) that I can hardly write about this. Forgive me if it's a bit incoherent; I really should wait a couple of days, but, well, I am really angry.

As readers of this humble and inconsequential blog know, I have opposed the Iran "deal" as a dangerous fraud (here, herehere,  and here just to list a few) noting from the start that it was not a real treaty, has no legal standing, and was just a stunt to get around Congress and implement what Obama, Jarrett and Kerry have wanted for a long time a "normalization" of relations with Iran. That "normalization," of course, takes place within a context of US and Western retreat from the Middle East, and disengagement from the 1400-year "war" with Islam, both the Sunni and the Shia versions of that totalitarian cult.

Well, things just get better and better.

We have the MSM celebrating the release of five American hostages, and the Secretary of State hailing it as a "humanitarian gesture", and "that today marks the first day of a safer world."

So nice, so very nice.

The "humanitarian gesture" freeing five innocent Americans cost us what?

Oh, not much.

Well, we did release seven Iranians who had been imprisoned for sanctions busting--but that's nothing since Obama is all for busting sanctions on Iran.

Was there something else?

Oh, yes, we have released some $100-150 billion in previously frozen assets to the Ayatollahs.

Anything else?

There was the little matter of acquiescing in the humiliation of the US Navy, and Kerry thanking Iran for their unlawful seizure and abuse of our personnel.

I know I am forgetting something else . . . can't think what it is . . . it'll come to me . . .

Ah! Got it! We have acquiesced to Iran spreading its terrorist influence into Syria and Lebanon, and, no, no that's not it . . . I know there was one more thing.

Yes, I remember! This, however, is a very little one, so no worry! We have acquiesced in and blessed Iran's obtention of nuclear weapons: the same Iran whose senior officials lead mass chants of "Death to America! Death to Israel!"

Such a deal.

I want to buy a car from Kerry.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The GOP Debate of January 14 (UPDATE)

Not bad. Not bad, at all.

Most of the questions were pretty good--the dumbest one? Whether Trump would place his large real estate empire in a "blind trust" if he became president. Trump, surprisingly, didn't seem to know the law on that and what a "blind trust" entailed, and gave a confused rambling answer, when a simple "yes, of course" would have sufficed.

Hard to tell who "won." They all did well, with the weakest performances coming from Gov. Kasich and Dr. Carson. I thought Rubio was superb on foreign affairs, but Christie did very well there, too. All were pretty good on ISIS, with Rubio and Cruz the best, and Carson and Bush the weakest. Cruz handled the "natural born citizen" issue well--e.g., pointing out that Trump's mother was British, and that some might, therefore, not consider Trump "natural born." That said, Trump also scored a few points off Cruz by noting that the Dems will raise the "birther" issue, and that might even cost Cruz a Veep slot with Trump! Trump can be good, no doubt about it. Trump also proved clever on the "New York values" issue, and I thought he turned it around on Cruz in a slightly unfair way, i.e., invoking the city's response to 9/11 as an example of "New York values," but that's the way it goes when you run with the Big Dogs: on occasion, you will get bit.

Trump came off very weak on international trade. His rant on China and Japan trade was pure nonsense, and showed he has no idea of the complexity of international trade and the layers upon layers of treaties, regulations, and procedures that govern "free" trade. Imposing tariffs is neither as simple to do nor the simple answer he seems to think. Jeb Bush was better technically on the issue. That said, however, it seems unlikely Trump's comments on trade will hurt Trump, and Bush's won't help Bush.

Cruz came off well on taxes and provided a simple and easily understandable explanation of his proposal. Rubio, however, was right in noting that despite Cruz's claims, Cruz's plan would not abolish the IRS, as some sort of government agency would have to exist to collect taxes and enforce compliance. It, nevertheless, was a good exposition of ideas.

Rubio and Cruz were excellent on gun control, and effectively took apart the Obama gun control argument. All of them, in fact, were good on gun control, although at least Christie and Trump have not been well-known for supporting gun rights. Let's say, however, thinking can evolve . . .

By contrast the Democratic debates and candidate pool look very gray and even sclerotic. Any one of the Republicans would be a far better choice than anybody offered on the Dem side--even if it is the cancer-curing Joe Biden.

UPDATE: See Cruz's brilliant non-apology apology re NY values (thanks Instapundit.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Agree with Obama: ISIS is not THE Threat

OK, OK. Long time readers of this little blog know that I do not, will not watch President Obama give a speech. I especially refuse to watch those horrid annual affairs known as the State of the Union (SOTU) Speech. What was initially supposed to be a periodic report to Congress on what had been done and what the administration thought needed doing, has turned into something almost as unwatchable as the Oscars or the Golden Globes. It is a bloated, corny affair which often has little to any connection with reality. I can't stand the orchestrated applause lines, the pointing out of this or that "celebrity" in the audience, and the phony little stories supposedly by little people who met and told The Great One at the podium some heartbreaking tale of woe and need which only a new and huge government program can satisfy.

On top of all that, we have Obama. Who labelled him a great speaker? Who is the miscreant who perpetrated that fraud? I want him identified and forced to listen to an IPod-full of Obama's SOARING rhetoric . . . "We are the change we have been waiting for." Stop. Please. 

So when The Great One gives a speech, I let it pass, and later read the text; at least then, I don't have to put up with the mannerisms, quirks, the chuckles, the finger and the nose in the air. So, The One delivered himself of his (Praise the Lord!) last SOTU harangue. In keeping, therefore, with my strict rule, I did not listen to Obama, and instead started watching a very nice Colombian TV series, Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal. I love Colombia and find it endlessly fascinating. In my view, most Americans do not appreciate how bravely a lot of Colombians--many of whom died--fought the brutal drug lords in the 1970s and 80s, and saved Colombia from going the failed state route. Let's not forget, that it was our and Europe's bizarre drug laws and insatiable appetite for cocaine that caused the murderous rampage in Colombia and elsewhere. Anyhow, it's a great country and I hope more people visit it.

Oops! Got off subject. Yes, the SOTU. I read it (here) and found it, well, pretty blah. My attention was only partly engaged by one little bit. Well, aside from the fact that The One refuses to accept any blame for the collapse of Western influence around the world. It was this bit on ISIL/ISIS,
Both al Qaeda and now ISIL pose a direct threat to our people, because in today's world, even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage. They use the Internet to poison the minds of individuals inside our country; they undermine our allies. 
But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands. Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That's the story ISIL wants to tell; that's the kind of propaganda they use to recruit. We don't need to build them up to show that we're serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world's largest religions. We just need to call them what they are — killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed.
Now, our Great One has said this before. Well, he also has told us that Al Qaeda was on the run and that ISIL was the JV team, but we'll let that pass for now. Here he does what he does best: create a straw man. When dealing with ISIS, who is making "over-the-top claims that this is World War III"? Nobody I know. Nobody I read.

These little SOTU paragraphs show, yet again, how our President refuses to deal with reality. He can't do it. His Progressive blinders and minders won't let him. ISIS can't destroy the United States; can't destroy Canada; can't destroy Australia; can't destroy the UK; can't destroy France; it can't even destroy Belgium. Nope. The war we are supposed to be fighting is not against ISIS or AQ or Boko or any other loopy organization. The enemy is Islam aided by the progressive delusions that have allowed Islam to set up shop in our countries. Progressive immigration and welfare laws issue passports, housing, spending money, health care, etc., to the very people sworn to convert, enslave, or kill us all. Muslims, well-treated in the West, repay us by murdering us in a coffee shop in Sydney; in restaurants in Paris; on the streets of London, Boston, Ottawa; and at a Christmas party in remote little-known San Bernardino. Progressive delusions have allowed ISIS and other Islamic gangster groupings to recruit fighters in the West. Progressive delusions require the political class and other bien pensants to lecture us after each and every Muslim atrocity on the need to disarm ourselves and not to engage in a "backlash." In other words, beg mercy from those who vow never to grant it.

I agree with Obama: ISIS is not THE enemy. Mr. President, you need to take it one step further: Islam is THE enemy--Islam aided by the sort of Progressive madness that you so amply represent.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

On Citizenship and the Presidency

A quick note; not much more than an expanded Tweet. My dogs are waiting to play with me, and, of course, they have priority over just about everything else.

I find recent commentary, sparked by Trump but kept alive by CNN and others, on Cruz's citizenship kind of amusing and even bizarre. I have dealt with the Cruz "natural born issue" on two occasions some time back (here and here.) In fact, the first one of those pieces was written over three years ago when I spotted the coming liberal campaign to discredit Cruz. Trump, unfortunately, has picked up on it, and the progressive media has been playing games with it. Even dopey White House spokesman Earnest got into the act saying,
Mr. Cruz was “somebody who actually wasn’t born in the United States and only 18 months ago renounced his Canadian citizenship.”
This is all nonsense often by people who don't want any checks on whom votes in US elections. I have discussed the "natural born issue" before and I am not going to repeat it. Let me just say this: on the issue of US citizenship what matters is US law, not foreign law. It does not matter if Canadian law says Cruz has a claim to Canadian citizenship (not a bad thing to have, I might add), per US law Cruz is a US citizen. Cruz did not give up his Canadian citizenship, he gave up his claim to it.

Please note, Mr. Earnest, that per the Kenyan Constitution, Obama, even if born in Hawaii, has a claim to Kenyan citizenship. Has he given up that claim? Please also remember that it was the Hillary Clinton 2008 campaign which brought up the issue of Obama's citizenship and place of  birth.

There are literally tens-of-millions of American citizens who have claims to foreign citizenship. If you don't believe me, check, for example, Irish, Italian, Mexican, Israeli, Spanish, and variety of other African and Central and South American nationality laws on that. I, myself, have a "claim" to Spanish, Moroccan, and Israeli citizenship. Are we going to insist that anybody in the US who potentially has a claim on a foreign citizenship must actively renounce that claim? Should millions of persons line up at the Irish Embassy, for example, and renounce their claim to Irish citizenship? What would that do to Boston's political class?

Let's discuss more serious stuff.



You can (MUST!) follow me on Twitter at Lewis Amselem@TheDiplomad

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Progressivism: Crowd Funding Terrorism

Over the years as an FSO and as chief--er, sole--blogger of this little blog, I have called a number of international developments right. Readers can go back over my writing on Libya, for example, and see that I called that right from the start of our ill-fated intervention. I think also called it right on Iran, Russia, Cuba, China, the EU, and on the chaos in North Africa and the Middle East resulting from our misadministration's disastrous policies. I noted at the beginning of the Obama regime that it gave foreign policy only a second thought, and what thought it gave sought to reduce US and Western influence and abandon traditional interests and allies.

I think I also called it right re fracking and the impact it would have on OPEC (see below.) The Progressive mainstream media, by and large, has missed what should have been a major story in 2015, to wit, the death throes of the once-mighty and much-feared, OPEC.

Founded in 1960 in Baghdad, OPEC became a major staple of international relations in following years. It encouraged members to seize control of their oil production and sought to control the supply and, of course, the world price of hydrocarbons. It was, perhaps, the most powerful cartel in history. Those of of us old enough to remember Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter recall how OPEC drove prices through the roof, and used oil as a weapon primarily against the West, but with considerable collateral social and economic damage throughout the world. You all know the history and don't need me to tell it. In short, during the  golden era of OPEC we saw fuel shortages in the US and Europe, and, most importantly, the rise of Islam as a global force. OPEC, oil, and the rise of Islam as a political and "military" power are very much intertwined. The most important members of OPEC were and are Muslim; the Saudis alone could dictate world prices and to a large extent controlled OPEC policies, and had a huge influence on the development of today's highly retrograde and murderous strain of Islam--I saw them at work, for example, in the 1980s among the Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The Saudis for decades served as one of the major promoters and funders of international terror--the understanding being that the terrorists would leave in peace the corrupt Wahabi guardians of Mecca (topic for another day: how that understanding has frayed.)

OPEC is dead as a major player on the international scene, and only can come back to life by Progressive insistence on making the West energy deficient--Do it for Gaia! As I have written before, America's remarkable "fracking" revolution has up-ended the world's energy market for the benefit of the West (also here and here). Not everybody agrees: Here, for example, is a thoughtful article claiming that reports of OPEC's death have been exaggerated. The main argument seems to be that the Saudis ARE OPEC--don't disagree--and that they aren't going anywhere--on that, I disagree.  Here and here, however, are a couple of interesting pieces laying out the serious long-term economic problems facing Saudi Arabia--and, of course, this info from our own government shows the dilemma facing OPEC. I find those convincing as well as another article which bluntly states,
So, what's going on now?

The answer, in a nutshell, is the shale revolution. The new technology for extracting oil and gas from shale reserves — which, let's remember, was opposed every step of the way by progressives, and is characteristic of a special American inventiveness — has proved a boon to the economy, and to employment, and even to the environment, since the revolution is driving a lot of oil and coal to be replaced by less-carbon-intensive natural gas.

OPEC is stuck in a Catch-22: Low prices mean they don't control the market anymore; but if they raise prices, they lose control of the market.

Investment in shale is only going to continue. And that means we may be witnessing one of the most significant geopolitical and economic events of the past 50 years: the death of OPEC.
That, as far as I am concerned, sums it up re OPEC, with, as stressed, the one caveat being that progressives do not stifle fracking and other moves, particularly in the US and Canada, to achieve energy independence.

All that should be good news in the fight against terror. And it is. Today's new terrorists cannot count on the sort of heavy-duty centralized financial backing that their ancestors in the PLO, for example, got in the 1960s and 70s. In addition, of course, we have the unlamented death of the USSR; the Soviet bloc provided major support for all sorts of terror groups that ran rampant in Europe and the Middle East during those decades and even into the 1980s. (For another day will be the discussion of Iran as a major financier of terrorism--I suspect they will not have the deep pockets of the Saudi regime, even with Obama's disastrous "nuke" deal which frees perhaps as much as $150 billion in frozen assets.)

We should be sitting pretty in our "war" with the Islamic terrorists. We're not. Most of us missed a major development that has almost nullified the victory over OPEC and the Saudis. I touched upon it in a discussion of the Boston bombers, but did not fully appreciate the magnitude of the phenomenon I was describing,
Our tolerant, liberal, and inclusive system was providing these clowns (their name, I will never write) with welfare. I guess that answers one of my early questions about how these creeps supported themselves. The older one, of course, had his idiot convert wife working 80 hours a week while he sat home and collected his, yep, welfare checks. The younger murderer got his citizenship, a scholarship and welfare. Yes, just as in the olden times when you gave your executioner a gold coin to encourage him to make a swift and painless job of the beheading, it seems we pay our executioners. Even more interesting is that these cretins' scumbag parents were also collecting, even though they did not live in the USA.
Progressivist policies are now second only to the Koran as the greatest support to international Islamic terror. The Progressive hatred for Western Civilization makes a perfect match with Islam's hatred for Western Civilization. As noted before, in effect, what we have is a Molotov-Ribbontrop Pact between Progressivism and Islam. We see in Germany, for example, this Progressive hatred translated into the active encouragement of Muslim "immigration" into the heart of Europe--perhaps as many as one million, mostly young men, in the past few months. The results are catastrophic, and we are only seeing the beginning. Even before this latest "refugee" crisis, we had hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants living in Europe, many if not most on some sort of public assistance--just like the murdering brothers in Boston--and seething with hatred for the "white dude" culture that took them in, feeds them, gives them housing, etc. The Progressive hatred for our Civilization is so complete that even when Muslim "refugees" attack favored constituencies of Progressives, e.g., women, Progressives make excuses for the Muslims and advise women to "cover up" and "keep an arms length" from men. Progressive media is full of stories worrying about the potential "backlash" against the "refugees" because of the stories (oh so carefully worded) of mass rapes and assaults by the "refugees."

As stated previously (here, for example), the Gates of Vienna have been breached, well, better said, opened from the inside. Our political betters have decided to transform fundamentally our culture into a copy of the savage cultures where Islam rules--and we are not to resist. Here at home, for one example, we see two Muslims go on a jihadist rampage in San Bernardino, and that prompts weepy calls from the bien pensants to disarm us.  I guess per that logic, the attack on Pearl Harbor was a call for Americans to get rid of their personal weapons. 

While our PC schools and media actively seek to undermine our will to resist, our taxpayer pounds, euros, and dollars now fund the terrorists. We are paying our executioners.



You can follow me on Twitter at Lewis Amselem@TheDiplomad


Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Quick Note On Videos, Progressives, and Islamic Terrorists

I am writing another, perhaps overly convoluted piece on the relationship between Islamic terrorists and progressives, so this will be just a quick note.

As remarked before, Hillary R. Clinton and the DNC, in general, have an obsession with videos. They ascribe all sort of powers to video, most notably the power to warp otherwise peaceful minds into seething cesspools of suicidal/homicidal violence. Clinton, of course, famously has claimed that a video trailer of a movie that was never made drove otherwise peaceful Muslims into attacking our off-the-books facility in Benghazi. At the last Demo debate she added to this by claiming that ISIS was using a video of Donald Trump saying Muslims should be banned from the USA as a recruiting tool.

Two observations on that, followed by a a little discourse on the Muslim mentality. At the time HRC said this, no such video existed. In other words, she made it up--what we used to call a "lie." It seems that subsequent to her saying it, some loons apparently associated with ISIS or AQ or, or, or . . . apparently have made a video in which Trump does appear saying Muslims should be banned from immigrating to the USA. The video, reportedly, also contains HRC and other American politicians. This video, which I have not seen, apparently is used as part of the Islamic recruiting effort. Now it would seem that HRC is giving ideas to the operators of the Muslim Murder Machine (3M), and, dare we say, that is probably not a good thing, no?

More important than all that, this debate shows the weirdness of the Progressive and Muslim mindsets. Progressives, of course, are greatly influenced by movies. In fact, I would say that the majority of what passes for "Progressive thought" is derived from the Hollywood version of history that they have running in an endless video loop in their heads. Listen to them talk about the economy, race relations, education, "gender equality," US history, etc., and it all forms part of some giant Hollywood script. I have discussed this before (here, and here for example) and won't go over it again. In sum, much, probably most, of what Progressives here and abroad "know" about the United States and Western Civilization, in general, comes from movies in which almost invariably the white man is evil, while women, children, and assorted brown people are good, noble, brave and, naturally, victims (you can go here, for a discussion of this) of those evil white men.

Muslims, of course, are second only to Progressives as purveyors of the grievance version of history. Islam is all about grievances, real and imagined. If only those white Christian/Jewish dudes hadn't [fill in the blank] well, we'd be rich and smart, too! The followers of Islam have a major problem. Everywhere Islam rules, innovation, creativity, and personal liberty are stifled, crushed by the totalitarian dictates of the faith. The result is misery and death with most victims being other Muslims, but with a particularly vicious wrath aimed at Jews and Christians for refusing to accept Mohammed. No video is required to stir up this wrath. The Koran and the local mosque do that quite nicely, thank you.

This latest debate also shows the oddness of the mindsets of Progressivism and Islam in yet another way. Progressives and Muslims share hatred for Western Civilization. Yet, they want to live where Western Civilization still rules. Hideous, oppressive White Western Civilization must be destroyed, but that same horrible place is where the Progressives and Muslims want to live! ISIS, to pick one Islamic group of many, makes a living proclaiming hatred for that decadent civilization, but also wants Muslims to go live there. If somebody, e.g., Trump, says, "You know, maybe you guys should stay in your own countries and enjoy the fruits of your civilization unmolested by us," well, that drives Muslims into a murderous rage. I want to go there! Yes, I want to destroy it and make it just like my wretched, fetid home, but what right do those white dudes have to keep me out?

More to follow . . .