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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Yet Again, Yet Again: Islam Shows Its True Colors

I waited a couple of days before commenting on the Istanbul airport atrocity to see if this time our putative "leaders" reacted in a way that would give hope for Western civilization. The answer was no. Nothing. We see again the same old cycle of Muslim atrocity; rote, emotionless expressions of condolence and prayers; and tired platitudes about "standing with the people of (fill in the blank) in this time of national tragedy."

Frankly, however, our dimwitted "leaders" are partly right. This latest attack is a tragedy in the classic sense: events take place as foretold, yet the main characters march towards their downfall seemingly powerless to alter course.

With that, one more time, let's review the basics.

The people who did this crime in Istanbul were not lunatics, any more than were, say, the pilots who flew Kamikaze missions. They are believers, true believers, but not in a fringe, perverted, radical, twisted, sick, hijacked, extreme form of Islam. They believe in Islam, plain ol' vanilla Islam without any modifiers. As I have noted on many occasions (here for example),
As practiced in every country of the world, Islam is a totalitarian ideology that openly advocates intolerance, death for non-believers, and relegates women to the status of cattle. As we have seen repeatedly over the past few decades, this isn't just talk. Islam, at least as now practiced, is a violent and intolerant totalitarian ideology, and an enemy of freedom. Those of us who have served in Muslim states know that when we go to those countries we must respect their culture -- OK, fine. It, however, turns out that when foreign Muslims come to our country, we also have to respect their culture -- or at least the Disney version they peddle.
The problem is Islam.

There is no delicate way around that. Islam is not like other religions. It, in fact, is not a religion as we understand religion. Islam is more akin to Communism or Fascism: as previously noted, it offers a complete totalitarian political, economic, and cultural system demanding iron-clad obedience. Islam, in addition, promises sensual rewards in the afterlife for those who die defending or spreading it violently. As with Communism and Fascism, it preys on and takes over the minds and the emotions of the world's losers, of the aggrieved, of those who blame others for their own failings.

Please forgive my citing previous posts, but it proves hard to say anything new about dealing with the Islamic threat,
How to deal with Islam? Take it at its word. When Islam says it wants to conquer, enslave, and kill us, believe it. Islam claims to be a warrior creed, accept that. Peace marches, candlelight vigils, piles of teddy bears, bathing buildings in colorful lights, and word salad speeches about "not letting the terrorists win by changing our ways" just won't cut it. I would bet that many of those killed in New York, Boston, London, Paris, and Brussels were progressive liberal sorts who "welcomed" the arrival of Muslims, and would have proven horrified at the thought of our portraying Islam as a murderous dogma. Delusions can and will get you killed.
The case of Turkey and Islam is a complex one. Suffice to say, that by putting Islam back into national politics, Turkey's current rulers deviated from Ataturk's post-Ottoman policy of suppressing Islam, and removing it from the nation's political and military spheres. Ataturk saw Islam as the major reason Turkey was backward, "the sick man of Europe." The current leaders of Turkey have played games with ISIS and other terrorists, thinking they could outsmart them and use them against the pro-Russian Syrian regime and the persistent Kurdish demands for a homeland. How did that work out? You cannot ally with or befriend ISIS or, for that matter, Islam. It will backfire. Why? Because Islam's objective is your submission, or failing that, your death. Look at our relations with the Saudis. If anybody owes the United States, the Saudi royals do. Yet, we see them funding terror and even turning a blind eye to direct attacks on the United States homeland and our people around the world.

As I have said too many times already, delusions can get you killed.

I, of course, should not, but, nevertheless, was appalled by the reaction of Kerry and Obama to the Istanbul massacre. Kerry was participating in the Aspen Ideas Festival--yes, that's a real thing. You can go here and read a fawning account of his idiotic statements there about the "challenges" in the world. Kerry got a chance to sound even more idiotic at a press conference when he dealt with the airport attack,
Crediting coalition efforts, Kerry said it’s been over a year since the group launched a “full-scale military offensive.”
"Now, yes, you can bomb an airport, you can blow yourself up. That's the tragedy. Daesh and others like it know that we have to get it right 24/7/365. They have to get it right for ten minutes or one hour. So it's a very different scale,” Kerry said. "And if you're desperate and if you know you’re losing, and you know you want to give up your life, then obviously you can do some harm.”
That's it? An emotionless recitation of platitudes? That's how he characterizes hundreds of innocent people injured or blown to pieces, as "some harm"? Mr. Secretary, excuse me, but no "full-scale military offensive" by the Islamists? What planet are you on? They have outflanked us! They attack in Istanbul, Djakarta, Nairobi, Orlando, Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, Boston, London, Ottawa, Sydney, etc. I favor bombing Raqqa into the dirt, and killing these ISIS creeps by the bushel in Iraq and Syria, but it's too late for only that. A desultory bombing campaign against ISIS is not a strategy in what is a global assault against us. Thanks to progressive delusions, laws, and policies, the enemy have boots on the ground in Europe, America, Asia, Australia, and throughout Africa. Their field of operation is not restricted to dusty corners of Syria and Iraq. They have gone global by going local. Thousands of mosques all over the world, including in America, Australia, and Europe, serve as logistical and recruitment centers with social media serving as coordination and communication mechanisms--and all the while our societies' obsession with political correctness provides them protection.

Secretary Kerry, you are a bloodless, clueless, delusional reptile with zero understanding of the enemy.

One more time: It is not ISIS, Al Qaeda, or some other brand of lunatic "radical Islam" we must face. No. We must confront Islam's 1400-year war on the West, a war which has gained new strength and urgency because of the weakness of the West and its crop of, yes, delusional leaders. Muslims use our technology, our money, and our laws against us. They use our compassion and our tolerance against us. As stated, above, the people who want to conquer us believe not in "radical Islam," but in Islam. They see us, no matter how kind and welcoming we prove, as problems to solve, targets to hit, obstacles to remove in pursuit of a worldwide Islamic caliphate.

And Obama? He barely could be bothered to mention the Istanbul attack. He was meeting in Canada with the PM of Canada and the President of Mexico, all three absorbed in saving the planet from global climate change and, of course, from the threat of overly restrictive immigration laws. When Obama spoke about Istanbul, he did so in his classic, inarticulate, choppy, low-key, oh-so-bored-with-it-all manner (watch the video),
Obama did not name the Islamic State specifically, but did not dispel any notion that the terrorist group was most likely to be behind the attack. "We’re still learning all of the facts, but we know this is part of our broader, shared fight against terrorist networks," he said in a three-way news conference with the North American leaders.
Is this how a war leader talks? Is this how to inspire a nation to greater efforts on the path to victory?

The spilled blood in Istanbul was still warm as Obama and Trudeau prattled on about climate change, and Peña Nieto gave a bizarre, rambling discourse on the need to fight forces that could create a new Mussolini or Hitler--which, I guess, was aimed at Trump. Absurd. Completely absurd. Yes, delusional. There's that word, again, delusional.

Meanwhile, the Islamists regroup, reload, and ready their next atrocity, their next tragedy--with or without Raqqa, with or without ISIS.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Thank You Second Amendment!

I am busily writing a couple of posts, one on free trade and one on the atrocity in Istanbul, but as we approach July 4, I wanted to put up a little "Thank You" to the Founding Fathers for the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

I have the good fortune to live in a suburban/rural part of the country. It's in Blue California, but this corner of it is more akin to Texas, to wit, lots of pick-up trucks with American flags, lots of veterans, and, surprising for California these days, several excellent gun stores. For the last few days I had suffered from an itch that could only be scratched with the purchase of a quality firearm.

I had been looking for either an AR-15 or an MP-15. Sold out.

I switched my search to a revolver and was debating between the Ruger GP100 .357 and the Smith & Wesson 686 .357. That also proved tough--as one gunstore salesman told me, "Every time Obama talks about guns, we sell out." But the gods of firepower finally deigned to smile on me, and I got a tip that a store in Temecula had a lightly used 686 at a good price. I tore over there in the ol' Mustang GT, and, indeed, there sat a stainless 686 on the shelf! I wasted no time letting the very amiable salesman know that I wanted it. He then proceeded to fill me in on how to purchase a handgun in California.

The process is not very onerous, but it is irritating because you know that not one life will be saved by it.

I had to prove that I lived in California--driver's license and car registration did the trick--and fill out an absurd questionnaire mostly having to do with any convictions or restraining orders for domestic abuse. It even asked me if I were in the country illegally. After I answered all that nonsense, the salesman told me I had to take a 30 question test. I could go home and look up the booklet online on which the test was based, and study it, or I could take my chances right there. I decided to go for it. Went off to a little classroom in the store, sat down, and took the test. The 30 questions ranged from the idiotic to the obvious by way of a couple of trick ones meant to trip up people who read too quickly. I got 29 right; I missed the one about whether a sibling can transfer a gun to another sibling--that is not allowed in California, only a parent may transfer a gun to a son or a  daughter. Each of these steps, by the way, had a price tag, so the State of California gets not only the sales tax but fees for the background check and the test. I then had to sit through a 30-second safety presentation by a licensed trainer, sign that I had sat through it, and then, and only then, was I allowed to plop down my money. I was also required to buy a lock, which the salesman threw in for one cent.

Now this ain't Florida, so I wasn't going to walk out the door with my possession. I have to wait ten days; I can pick up the 686 on July 9 after 11:20 am. Assuming I am not on some mysterious list, I should be able to add this toy to my collection shortly after Independence Day.

After all this, I engaged the store folks in a little chat. Gunstore owners are some of the nicest people on earth. They told me that last Thursday they sold their entire stock of 18 AR-15s and 3 MP-15s. They were almost completely out of Glocks, I had just purchased their last S&W, and Ruger had a huge waiting list. They had a few Charter Arms semiautomatics, one Kimber .45, and some assorted H&K pieces here and there. Lots of shotguns, however. The factories are way behind in meeting the demand. The store had a steady flow of customers, many of them leaving disappointed that their desired weapon was sold out.

Restores your faith in America.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Brexit: The Counterattack Begins

Literally within hours of the "Leave" victory in the Brexit referendum, the elite counterattack began. First, lots of stories in British and other media that, well, there is no rush to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that would start the clock on the British exit from the EU, that Scotland--of course-- doesn't accept leaving the EU and would rather leave the United Kingdom (and tie itself to the mast of the sinking EU ship), and, of course, the ol' lefty/elite standby, my favorite, the people are too stupid to know what they want. Yeah, yeah . . .

Let's focus on that last argument.

We've seen lots of stories about a petition launched immediately after the Brexit victory calling for a second referendum on the basis, I guess, that the people who voted for Britain to "Leave the EU," didn't understand that "Leave the EU" meant "Leave the EU." All sorts of breathless accounts of how this petition drew signatures from thousands, tens-of-thousands, hundreds-of-thousands, millions even of Britons who felt defrauded and had not understood for what they had voted. Look, I am no expert on things computerish and internetish but, I have serious doubts about that petition. In this age of hacktivists, spambots, and web pranksters, can we really take such a petition seriously? Nothing suspicious at all over how quickly the list of signatories grew? Just saying . . . (UPDATE: An astute reader of this blog, we have no other kind, of course, has brought to my attention a posting in the always excellent Legal Insurrection that would seem to confirm my suspicions over the re-do petition.)

In a similar vein, we saw a story in the Washington Post that claimed, "The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it." Those poor, poor dumb Brits. After having run about half the world, founding the greatest countries on earth, creating modern democracy, saving the world from the Nazis, fighting the Communists and other assorted evil-mongers, and, by the way, having spent over four decades in the EU, the great unwashed British masses didn't know what the EU is when they voted on whether to leave it! Tsk! Tsk! Shame! Shame! The problem, of course, is, as is the case with so much progressive narrative these days, that story is false. You can read about that here.

And, of course, we can always rely on a German politician to put it all in perspective. Germany's president says the problem that caused Brexit was not the elites of Europe but the people. But, naturally! There can be no other explanation.

For me, however, the best most robust and thorough example of the sort of elitist thinking that has produced Brexit and Trump comes, once again, from the Washington Post. In an incredibly tone deaf, snobbish, and just plain wrong piece, a previously unknown guest columnist by the name of Emily Badger, tells us that, "Brexit is a reminder that some things just shouldn’t be decided by referendum." She goes on to say that,
The proposition at hand also raised the kinds of thorny debates we elect government officials to hash out: Do the benefits of the E.U. justify those payments? Will the costs of leaving cripple the British economy? Will "independence" bring new forms of instability that voters haven't even been encouraged to foresee?
The gist of her argument is that it all should have been left in the hands of politicians and technocrats. She engages in a stupid swipe at California's 1978 Proposition 13 which put a cap (sort of) on real estate taxes by the state and counties in that state. She bemoans that,
Back in 1978, California voters generously decided in a ballot measure to cap their own property taxes in a way — amending the state constitution — that has hobbled ever since California's ability to generate revenue and create reasonable housing policy.
Her attitude towards Prop 13 (I voted for it) gives away her whole game, and that of the "elites" and their enablers opposed to Brexit. Her comments on Prop 13 show that she sees the state as having the right to the people's wealth, and to dictating their lives--notice the snark about "generously decided." See also her statement that Prop 13 "hobbled ever since California's ability to generate revenue and create reasonable housing policy." The State has to create a "reasonable housing policy"? Prop 13 is one of the very few positive things California's beleaguered middle class, especially elderly people, have going. Before Prop 13, property taxes rose precipitously every year, making home ownership more and more difficult. The tax money went, as expected, to all the things the progs in CA love so much.

As with Prop 13, Brexit is a vote by the people who pay for the decisions by the elites. With Brexit, the British people have taken the first step--and it's only a first step--to getting back their country. Clearly, it is a first step they will have to defend. Onward!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit: Liberty Wins!

Wow! Brexit has won. Once again, the Diplomad general rule on polling holds true, "when 'polls are too close to call' the progressives are going to lose."

So many thoughts on Brexit and what it means, it will be hard to keep this post short and sweet.

First, the BBC. What was that all about? The sort of idiots who believed everything Ben Rhodes said about the Iran deal, or what Obama said about Obamacare, or Hillary said about anything and everything, must have cousins who run the BBC. That once venerable institution, once the world's reporting gold standard, is but a hack leftist/establishment/in-house organ with horrifically biased anti-"Leave" reporting and commentary. I, of course, knew "Leave" would win when the BBC kept saying the issue was "too close to call." If the Brexit vote has internal consequences, I hope one is the complete gutting of the BBC.

Last April, I wrote a few thoughts on Brexit. The gist of those was that the "Remain" side was making a mistake with the heavy use of (often bogus) economic stats. I saw the economic argument as basically a wash, and that,
the force driving the pro-Brexit movement is not solely or even mostly about economics, or finance, or currency exchange rates. It is about something much, much more important. It is about reclaiming the soul of Britain; preserving and restoring that which made Britain, notably England, one of the world's greatest countries, a nation of stunning consequence. It is about deciding whether the great British traditions and innovations that have made our modern world are worth saving or should be discarded. <...> The same people who so strongly support Britain's membership in the EU seem the same who oppose halting the foreign invasion. Now we see the Muslim hordes gathering just across the channel, champing at the bit to get over and enjoy the land of "the white dudes," before they destroy it, to do what Hitler could never. <...> [W]hat's driving the anti-EU movement in Britain is the need to save the country, or what's left of it. Perhaps without the EU and its courts and mandates, British common sense can prevail, and the UK be saved, or at least England--and if the Scots want to stay in the EU, they should have another referendum and swap London's "rule" for that of Brussels, that'll teach 'em.
I think that analysis stands.

If you look at how the vote was spread across the UK, you can see that in England and Wales  working and middle class areas most strongly favored "Leave." London, with its hordes of immigrants, low information students, "intellectual elites," and Euro-trash bankers, voted "Remain." Scotland, well, Scotland was Scotland; still not over Charles II, Scottish voters went with Continental Europe rather than with England. England and Wales carried the day for Brexit. We will see renewed calls for Scottish independence, and maybe for some sort of new arrangement between pro-EU Northern Ireland and pro-EU Ireland. All possible. None of it negates the blow struck for freedom and common sense by English and Welsh voters. If Scotland wants to go join a dying EU, let 'em. Let's see how they like Sharia law.

Back in May 2013, when discussing the right of national defense, I noted re Britain,
It seems that perhaps, perhaps, perhaps you can only push the English tribe so far. We perhaps are seeing the stirrings of a "backlash," in others words, of a demand that those who live in England, and enjoy its freedoms and benefits, comply with English law and tradition, or get voted and booted off the island. <...> [I]t appears, it seems, just maybe--the British, and the English, in particular, have begun to reach their limit. We see, for example, the rise of the UKIP--somewhat similar to the Tea Party movement here in the US--calling foul on the EU and its socialist/totalitarian pretensions and challenging the increasingly ossified Tory party to stand up for Britain.
I think that analysis also still holds. I would note that PM Cameron, the ossified leader of the ossified Tories, has announced his resignation in the wake of the defeat of the "Remain" campaign which he so ineptly championed with that mixture of arrogance and condescension one expects from an establishment politician. Good riddance.

As we see here in the USA, our political and intellectual betters do not want to deal with the real issues. They cannot bring themselves to see value in our culture and beliefs, and the need to defend them. Last May, I wrote,
Western civilization also has the right of "national defense," at least as much as does a tribe in the Amazon or on Papua. Just as the Japanese have the right to exclude whomever they wish from Japan--try immigrating there--so do the citizens of Australia, the UK, Canada, Israel, the US, etc. As I have said so many times that I am becoming a boring old hack, believing in the values of Western civilization does not mean that we have to write a suicide note for that civilization. We, for example, do not have to acquiesce to the jihadist invasion now underway in Europe solely because we believe in such human rights as religious tolerance. I repeat, the Magna Carta and the Constitution are not suicide pacts.
That holds, too.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Nigel Farage, who more than anybody else (even you, Boris) waged the battle against the EU. He fought incredible odds, underwent an unrelenting savaging by the establishment, and stuck to his guns even in the darkest days. He and others now need to watch out for the classic tricks of the progressive establishment to try to nullify the voters' will with legal battles and endless negotiations.

The international consequences?

We will see some turmoil in markets; investors don't like change, but that will sort itself out. Brexit should send a shiver down the spines of entrenched bureaucrats everywhere. Here in the States it will prove a plus for the Trump campaign--he, after all, endorsed Brexit, and understood what drove it. That, of course, in marked contrast to Obama and Clinton. 

The rest of the EU? Third strike and you're out: Greece, Islamic invasion, and Brexit.

We could and will see other countries begin to look for the exit path--e.g., Netherlands--and that will be bad news for the euro and so much else that has been built up around the monstrous "European Project" over the past few decades. Eastern Europe must be casting an even more nervous eye towards Russia, and the Germans and the French must question the role their leaders have played in the EU disaster. Lots of parts in motion right now. NATO? Potentially more important than ever. 

Brexit is a good thing.

More thoughts, more organized, a bit later.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

On Hillary: One Question to Ask Her Over and Over

The Brits are keeping me up late. 

Make up your minds on Brexit, dammit! I have a life to live.

As of this writing, it seems England and Wales are going strongly "Leave"; Scotland is voting overwhelmingly "Remain"; and Northern Ireland is edging towards "Remain."

It will be a major victory for liberty and sanity for the entire West if the UK goes Brexit. Fingers crossed. If, however, Brexit wins, will the lefties and the EUbots respect it? Here in the States they would go to the courts to try to nullify the vote.

While I await the results of that titanic struggle across the sea, I am reading and rereading the "attack" speeches by Trump and Clinton. I am biased, of course, but I think Trump won that round hands down. His speech serves as the outline for much of the rest of the campaign.

As I have noted before, Hillary Clinton's greatest vulnerability is her disastrous record, which is
one of almost unbroken calamity from when she was laundering bribes for her Governor husband in Arkansas, to her time as FLOTUS and her "control of the bimbo eruptions" mandate, her time as an inconsequential Senator, and as a horrific and corrupt Secretary of State. 
Not that he needs it, but my advice to Trump would be to ignore what Clinton says and just keep referring to her record.
Whenever Hillary Clinton comes up with a proposed course of action, all Trump needs to do is to  say to her, "Yes, Mrs. Clinton, but when you had the power what did you do about that?"

She's got nothing.

OK, back to my Brexit watch . . .

Monday, June 20, 2016

Guns, Gays, and Lists: The Progressives Go Insane(r)!

Some reflections while the Diplowife patrols an open-air Southern California granite storage lot (in 113 degree weather!) in search of perfect kitchen counters and bathroom shower tiles. I am trying to ignore the heat and the sensation of wallet pain, so I will write as therapy.

The progressives are getting nuttier and more destructive by the day.

The Orlando atrocity has sent the progs to the moon in a blast of, well, lunacy. Per the progs, an inanimate object, a gun, caused the Orlando massacre. Now, of course, this might be anecdotal, but since I returned to the States, I have monitored my guns every day; none has yet to burst out of either the glass cabinet or the steel safe, and go on a killing frenzy. Maybe I have very well mannered guns? I notice, too, that my cars have never roared out of my garages to kill, or self-identify as IEDS; nor has any of my pressure cookers become a bomb; likewise, no member of my collection of knives, daggers, and swords has lunged at passers-by. I, however, am keeping a watchful eye on the boxcutter in my toolbox--don't trust him/her/it/zhe, at all.

On the issue of gays: Can we assume that most if not all of the victims of the Orlando massacre were homosexual? Yes, perhaps, maybe . . . don't know. I have friends who have gone to predominately gay bars, and are not gay. I know gay people who go to predominately straight bars, restaurants, and movie theaters. I, therefore, might assume most of the Orlando victims were gay, but have no idea of how many.

Bottom line: I don't care if the victims were or were not gay.

I don't recall anybody fretting about the sexual orientation of those killed at Pearl Harbor,  December 7, 1941. I don't remember commentary about the sexual orientation of those murdered September 11, 2001, or of those blown apart by a bomb in London, July 7, 2005. The people killed in Orlando were killed on American soil by a jihadi terrorist inspired to do that killing by Islam. I don't care that he was born in New York. He grew up in an alien culture (read about his lunatic Afghan father) that calls for loyalty to an ideology, Islam, wildly hostile to the USA. He was full of hate for the very freedom that allowed that murdering thug to live a good life here.

The 49 dead people are 49 dead people who should not be dead. Again, I don't care at all about their sexual orientation. I agree that the Orlando massacre was, indeed, a hate crime--it was a hate crime perpetrated by the follower of a creed, Islam, that hates the West, freedom, joy, and America, in particular. I see flying rainbow flags in memory of those dead as a disgrace; they died because they were in America and exercising the freedom that comes with that. Those dead were the brothers and the sisters of every American, straight, gay, white, black, brown, etc. They were killed by an act of war as surely as those killed at Pearl Harbor. This was an Islamic attack on America. They died because the evil man with the gun was a good Muslim. Period.

The progs, of course, can't admit this. We see, for example, the ludicrous almost funny, Onion-like episode whereby lightweight Attorney General Lynch releases the 911 transcript of the killer's calls to the police but edits out any mention of Islam or ISIS,
Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ron Hopper defended the deletions. 
"[Mateen] does not represent the religion of Islam, but a perverted view," Hopper said, later adding: "Part of the redacting is meant to not give credence to individuals who have done terrorist attacks in the past. We're not gonna propagate their violent rhetoric."
Ah, yes, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Hopper that well-known authority on what is and is not Islam . . . I assume if the killer had sworn loyalty to the KKK, to the NRA, or to a Baptist church, that would have been deleted, too? Hmm, ASAC Hopper? Crickets . . . 

Hours later, of course, the White House, bombarded by scorn and ridicule, had to beat a hasty retreat, leaving Lynch, Hopper, and the rest of the PC posse out on a limb, and release an almost unredacted transcript--they still deleted the word Allah and substituted God.

After Pearl Harbor did FDR talk about an attack by "certain" Asian forces?

This is why we're losing this battle. Our ostensible leaders can't even name the enemy. Idiots. Idiots. Idiots.

So what do the progs propose to keep us safe? Why, of course, that ol' stand-by, "gun control" with the added plus of another ol' favorite, the "secret list"! I have discussed this before; you can read my view on "secret lists," and remember it comes from somebody involved in producing such lists. 

Yes, the same progs driven to tears and historical falsehoods when discussing the blacklisting of a handful of Communist Hollywood apparatchiks, want secret lists to deny Constitutional rights without even the hint of due process. The list? Well, as it turns out, "the" famous "terror list" is actually two lists: one, a "no-fly" list, has about 81,000 names on it, of whom maybe 1000 are "US persons"; the other comprises some sort of "higher scrutiny" listing, and has 28,000 names of whom under 1,700 are "US persons."

The Muslim shooters in San Bernardino and Orlando did not make either list.

These lists are as bogus as the progressive commitment to keeping our nation and citizens safe. 

Does anybody think that any list to deny gun rights won't be manipulated? How long before some PC doyen in Justice or Homeland Security exclaims in horror while clutching his/her/zhe pearls, "No! No! We have too many Muslim names on this list! We need diversity! We need more white male members of the NRA and Tea Party on there!"

You know that would happen. 

Going to check on the granite selection . . . 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

On Dissent at State

I wasn't going to write about this, as I have a piece on something else underway. I, however, have been asked in the last couple of days for my view on the dissent channel message, signed by 51 FSOs, questioning components of Obama's policy in Syria. Having not seen the final version of the cable, I rely on the draft version in the media. Despite claims by Secretary Kerry, by the way, that he can't comment on the cable since it's classified, it's not--at least not the version in the press. I, nevertheless, find touching State leadership's sudden great concern for the preservation of classified materials.

Dissent messages at State are rare; even more so one signed by multiple persons. Set up some 45 years ago, the dissent channel serves as a way for State employees to express disagreement with policy while keeping the discussion within State. The regulations establishing this channel spend a lot of words assuring senders of dissent messages that they will not suffer reprisals. Few at State, however, believe that. At least some signatories of this message almost certainly will see their careers suffer. The State bureaucracy, under Democrats and Republicans, is thin-skinned, vindictive, and has a long memory. I know this from personal experience. The cult at State does not appreciate criticism or independent thought--and, again, that's regardless of whom occupies the White House. Dissent, therefore, even the tepid sort we see in the message under discussion, is not something an officer who has career aspirations undertakes casually. The people who signed this little missive, therefore, have a degree of bureaucratic courage that we must acknowledge.

As readers of this humble blog know, I have criticized the Obama misadministration's MidEast policy, including in Syria, for years. Peruse the archives and you will find many nasty pieces on that policy, along with, even if I say so myself, accurate predictions. I noted, for example, that all we were doing was to enhance the roles of Iran and Russia; strengthen ISIS and other terrorist crazies; endanger Israel; help Iran get nukes; help foment mass migration; worsen the humanitarian situation in the region; and severely degrade Western interests. Our policy has murky and shifting objectives, and, frankly, is a dangerous waste of resources. Other than that, it's fine . . . move along, nothing to see here.

I have stressed more than once that when dealing with Syria's Assad one should look at the Israelis. If anybody has a right and a reason to detest the Assad family dictatorship the Israelis do; they, despite having the ability to do so, have never sought to knock out the Assads. They know that in the Arab world the devil you know often times proves much less worse than the one you don't. Keep that in mind.

You, of course, can read the dissent message and reach your own conclusions. I find its prescriptions for action and its criticisms of Obama/Kerry to be muddled. It is a joint product, and it shows, and, therefore, lacks clarity and strength. Its main positive attribute, nevertheless, is that it recognizes something which progressives seem to ignore, or forget, to wit, the direct link, especially in the Middle East, between successful diplomacy and having a badass military at your beck-and-call. In the Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, the ability to inflict pain can guarantee a much better diplomatic result than just smooth talk, cocktail parties, and words on a piece of paper. Let's not forget, for example, how the Dayton Peace Accords were reached: F-16s are powerful convincers that agreeing to peace is the better option.

The message's key recommendation is that the United States use military power to contain and curtail the activities of the Assad regime. It recommends increased use of our air power and other "stand-off" capabilities to convince the Assad clan to stop bombing civilians, including the people we have trained, and cease its genocide. Fair enough. But, but, but is that the real problem in Syria for the US? Please note that the message does not openly call for regime change. It, however, has a key phrase, "military steps to stop the Assad regime’s relentless bombardment of the Syrian people may yield a number of second-order effects." Really? You mean such as knocking off Assad and having him replaced by what? Getting us into a shooting confrontation with the Russians and the Iranians? Getting us enmeshed in a weird civil war far from our shores and interests? I see no prescription for dealing with those "second-order effects." What's the plan? Libya, redux?

The message seems to call for more Obama/Kerry boosted by weak steroids. In other words, I see a call for an increase in ambiguous and restrained actions with no thought to the end game, and, certainly, no methodology for finding "moderates" who will fight both Assad and ISIS.

My prescription? I guess I should offer one if I criticize others for not.

o  Back the Israelis, of course, but also support the Kurds; help them establish their own homeland in territory that is now Syria and Iraq. They are the last major group in the Middle East without their own country. They deserve one. We can and should tell the Turks to get stuffed. Now, of course, the Kurds are Muslims, but even El Cid made alliances with Muslim princes to get rid of other Muslim princes.

o  We must continue to seek energy independence, so that the Middle East becomes increasingly less important to us.

o  Stop importing that war and terrorism to our shores via our currently insane politically correct immigration and refugee policies.

o  Smash ISIS to drive home to jihadis around the world, that Islamic war against the West leads only to their defeat (here, here).

As I wrote back in April 2011 (five-plus years ago!)
How long should we pretend that the problem is NOT Islam, when, in fact, it is, or at least the Islam that has gained currency in the modern world. We are at war with a totalitarianism as much as we were with Communism and Fascism. It's going to be a long, long war, one in which we have to inflict repeated defeats on the Islamists, be it in Chechnya, Gaza, Kashmir, Kabul, Baghdad, or in the streets and suites of America. In the end, we'll all be better off, including the Muslim world. Don't forget that the greatest victims of Islam are Muslims.
That is my dissent message.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Tale of Two Visions: Clinton and Trump After Orlando

I broke my long-standing rule about not watching or listening to speeches by progressive politicians. If a ProgPol, e.g. Obama, gives a major speech, my practice is to find the text and read it. That way I don't have to put up with ProgPol mannerisms. Well, I broke my rule, and listened to Hillary Clinton's June 13 speech on terror. You can go HERE and read it, so I am not going to spend a great amount of time dissecting it in gruesome detail. I also watched Donald Trump's June 13 speech on terror; you can go HERE  and read that one. Again, I won't go over that speech in great detail, but just want to give my thoughts on how they went over. In both cases we note digressions in delivery from the written text, but minor ones. 

OK, let's start with the showman aspects of the speeches before we get to the more important stuff. The Clinton campaign has slick production values, e.g., flags placed perfectly. Clinton has worked on her delivery and it shows. She seems learning to keep her irritating screeches under control, and has developed a smooth, well-paced even mellifluous delivery. She reads a teleprompter well. She still has irritating mannerisms, such as nodding slowly, smug expression frozen on her face, after saying something she considers incredibly clever. As somebody who during his career wrote or gave hundreds of speeches, I can appreciate her mastery of the standard boiler-plate American political speech. She delivers empty platitudes well.

Trump is completely different. The production values are poor, even sloppy. He slouches at the podium, the background is nondescript, flags poorly placed, and still--in my view--he talks a little too much about himself. He might, I say, might, want to work a bit on all that if he becomes president--seems to work for him as a candidate, so I won't give any advice there.

OK, OK, enough of that stuff, what about the substance? Who won?

Folks, if I might use that irritating word, I am probably biased, but I thought Trump killed it. He owned the subject. While Hillary went for the smooth-running snobby Beverly Hills Cadillac limo approach, The Donald went all blue-collar Detroit 1966 Oldsmobile 442 on her. Sure, at times, he was a bit sloppy on the cornering, and his gear shifting was a tad rough, but on the straightaways his roaring 400 cubic inch engine left Hillary way behind, sucking in the acrid blue smoke of burning rubber.

Hillary prattled on about the wages of hate, to wit, "A madman filled with hate, with guns in his hands and just a horrible sense of vengeance and vindictiveness in his heart, apparently consumed by rage against LGBT Americans." When she tried to sound tough, she fell flat, her speech crippled by the tenets of political correctness,
In the Middle East, ISIS is attempting a genocide of religious and ethnic minorities, they are slaughtering Muslims who refuse to accept their medieval ways, they are beheading civilians, including executing LGBT people, they are murdering Americans and Europeans, enslaving, torturing, and raping women and girls.
Notice, she couldn't bring herself to mention the word "Christians"? And on she went,
Inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric – and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans, as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country – hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror. So does saying that we have to start special surveillance on our fellow Americans because of their religion. 
It’s no coincidence that hate crimes against American Muslims and mosques have tripled after Paris and San Bernardino.
Oh, please. Hate crimes against American Muslims . . . right.

The Donald, on the other hand, went for the bear's throat. I said I wouldn't go over it in much detail, but he has an eloquent passage which I must quote at length,
This is a very dark moment in America’s history. 
A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation. 
It is a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation. 
It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity. 
It is an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country. 
We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people – with force, purpose and determination. 
But the current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and think and act clearly. 
If we don’t get tough, and we don’t get smart – and fast – we’re not going to have a country anymore -- there will be nothing left. 
The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States. His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don’t share its radical views. The father even said he was running for President of that country. 
The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here. That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about. 
We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens. 
We have an incompetent administration, and if I am not elected President, that will not change over the next four years -- but it must change, and it must change now. 
With fifty people dead, and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around the issue anymore -- we have to address it head on. 
I called for a ban after San Bernardino, and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so -- and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country. 
The immigration laws of the United States give the President the power to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons that the President deems detrimental to the interests or security of the United States, as he deems appropriate.
And there you have it, folks. Trump nailed it.

I heard some commentators, including conservatives, criticize Trump for using the actions of an American-born slug to advocate for tough immigration laws. Those critics don't understand what the average American does. Islam is an alien concept and incompatible with Western democracy. We cannot vet people coming from Muslim countries with any reasonable sense of accuracy. It, furthermore, is clear, as we have seen here as well as in Australia, Canada, France, Belgium, and the UK, that native-born Muslims have no problem going full jihadi on the rest of us.

As I have written before, Islam is a creed for the aggrieved. It teaches resentment and vengeance for slights real and often imagined. The non-Islamic world is to blame for everything that is evil and keeping back the Muslims of the world.

Rough and raw Trump is right; smooth and slick Clinton is woefully wrong.

More important, however, as I noted before,  there is no need to listen to Clinton's words. Whenever she says something, the simple response, is "Yeah, yeah, but what did YOU do when YOU had the power?"


Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Magic Kingdom Meets The Islamic Caliphate

Watching with disgust and horror as the death toll rises in Orlando from the latest action by the Religion of Peace. As I write this, the dead now total 50, and that might rise given the large number of seriously wounded.

I don't want to go too much into the details of the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub as inevitably some of the initial information proves wrong. It seems, however, some facts are clear. The shooter is a Muslim of Afghan descent married to a Muslim from Uzbekistan. The shooter's father, Mir Seddique, is a somewhat loopy refugee from Afghanistan who helps run an outfit called Durand Jirga which specializes in disputing the established border between Pakistan and Afghanistan--the Durand Line--and has sought to bring Pakistan before the International Criminal Court. He, reportedly, also seeks to become president of Afghanistan. He seems to be a Pashtoon nationalist of the sort I ran into all the time in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province. The politics at the shooter's home must have fallen on the whacky side.

The shooter, based on initial reports, seems to have had "involvement" with "radical" Islam--and, by the way, he was a registered Democrat. This leads me, of course, to repeat and repeat myself, and to provide links to prior posts such as a couple of older pieces (one here) which discuss something we still have not learned, to wit, we might not be at war with Islam but Islam is at war with us, and we are under attack.

I further wrote that,
[W]e must recognize that the threat comes not from this or that "radicalized" individual, cell, or group in caves in Afghanistan or Syria, or in dingy flats in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Sydney, or New York. The threat comes from Islam, itself. The "crazies," the jihadis, the radicals, the Islamists, whatever you want to call those dying to meet their quota of brown-eyed virgins, understand their creed well. Islam does not mean peace. Islam does not preach tolerance and love for one's fellow human beings. Islam does not portray non-Muslims as equals or even as fit to live unless they convert, or pay a special tax and do not propagate their non-Islamic faith. Even as practiced today, and remember these are not just words in old forgotten tomes, Islam advocates lying to nonbelievers, and for the enslavement and the killing of those nonbelievers.
I restate that paragraph because, once again, the practitioners of political correctness in the media are looking for the "motives" of the shooter; at the issue of gun control; or as the hopeless Democratic Florida senior Senator, Bill Nelson, just stated on TV some nonsense about how this means we "need to look into ourselves as a people." What? The groundwork, of course, is being laid for an endless discussion of the attack as an example of a "hate crime" against gays. Yeah, yeah. The father of the shooter, of course, has jumped on that by saying his son had been offended by the sight of men kissing. Yeah, yeah. Keep looking for those motives . . .

Let me give you a hint where to look: Islam. See, for example, this video of an Imam in Orlando urging death for gays. Try also reading something called the Quran.

As I have said many, many times, you cannot be both a good person and a good Muslim. It is, therefore, not a question of vetting this or that individual refugee or migrant.

The practice of Islam, today more than ever, is an exercise in hate.

Islam is the world's largest hate group.

Islam is about submission, conquest, intolerance, and violence, and driven by a powerful hatred of anything or any person non-Islamic.

Islam is the enemy and the motive for the horror in Orlando.

Bring on the "Syrian refugees"!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Donald and The Judge

Just a quick post on what political correctness and "identity politics" have wrought.

Donald Trump is in warm water for his comments on Gonzalo Curiel, the judge handling the lawsuit against Trump University. Trump, perhaps in a poor choice of words to say the least, questioned the judge's ability to be impartial in the case because of his Mexican ancestry and, of course, because Trump wants to build a border wall. First, let me say I don't understand why Trump talks about the Trump University case: nobody cares about it. There are many more important things to discuss. Second, it's probably not a good idea for a politician running for office to assert that a person of a certain ethnicity is incapable of being impartial (This applies, of course, only to Republicans; I'll get back to that). In sum, it is a silly dispute which has opened the floodgates to political correctness and allowed certain Republicans, e.g., Gingrich, Graham, Ryan, Kirk, to seek "strange new respect." Speaker Ryan went so far as to label Trump's comments "textbook racism."

OK, then, as somebody who intends to vote for Trump in November, do I wish this had not happened? Yes, I do but . . . what we actually have here is another classic example of progressive double standards. Let's look at the judge. His parents were Mexican nationals who arrived in the US via uncertain means, shall we say; he was born in East Chicago, Indiana making him an instant American citizen (anchor baby? Perhaps.) Could that background color his assessment of Trump? Isn't the whole progressive argument for diversity and affirmative action precisely that? The claim that certain groups bring a different perspective to issues? Let us turn to no less an authority than Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited favorably by the NY Times for saying just that, 
Judge Sotomayor questioned the famous notion — often invoked by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her retired Supreme Court colleague, Sandra Day O’Connor — that a wise old man and a wise old woman would reach the same conclusion when deciding cases. 
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor . . .
So a "wise Latina woman" . . . I see, I see.  So according to the progs, people of different ethnicities reach different conclusions on the basis of the same set of facts.  So, then, Trump who advocates a hardline on illegal migration, might just be right in questioning the interpretations by a judge who is here because of the sort of migration that Trump now wants to stop? Presumably, according to Sotomayor, Curiel's life experiences would lead him to be prejudice (literally) against Trump, no?

Let's go a little further. Curiel is a lifelong Democrat and owes his career to his hooks with the Democratic party. Curiel belongs to hispanic activist organizations, including the San Diego chapter of the La Raza Lawyers Association. In fact, La Raza gave a reception in Curiel's honor last month.

Judiciary Reception – RSVP today!

Jun 1, 2015 by 
Judiciary Reception – RSVP today!
Please join us for the
San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Judiciary Reception!
Date: May 25, 2016
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Klinedinst PC-501 W. Broadway, Suite 600, San Diego, CA 92101
RSVP to larazalawyers@gmail.com.
This year we are proud to be honoring Judge Gonzalo Curiel at our reception and recognizing him for his leadership and support to the community and to our Association!
Thank you to our sponsors: Golper, Sullivan & Rivera, GP & The Law Offices of Sergio Feria, APC
Now, I have seen some progs try to spin this all by saying that this La Raza is not the same as the other La Raza, and that THIS La Raza is apolitical . . . yeah, yeah. Go to this La Raza's Mission statement,

Mission Statement

Formed in 1979, with a handful of Latino attorneys, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) has grown to represent over three hundred Latino and Latina lawyers practicing in San Diego County. SDLRLA is one of 18 affiliate bar associations of the California La Raza Lawyers Association, which serves several thousand Latino lawyers practicing in the State of California.
Our purpose is to advance the cause of equality, empowerment and justice for Latino attorneys and the Latino community in San Diego County through service and advocacy. We are dedicated to promoting diversity on both the bench and bar. We support law students with mentorship programs and scholarships.
Our members include current and former state and federal court judges, magistrates, referees, law professors, State Bar committee members, county bar board directors, government officials, elected officials, lawyers practicing in all specialty areas and law students.
Specifically, the goals of SDLRLA are:
• Increase the overall number of Latinos in the legal profession.
• Encourage and support Latino and Latina judicial candidates to apply to the bench
• Advocate for the promotion and retention of Latino and Latina attorneys and judicial officers.
• Improve the professional skills of our members through our certified MCLE programs.
• Provide for the professional and social interaction among our members and other organized bar associations.
• Improve the delivery and access of legal services to the county’s Spanish speaking community.
• Provide role models and mentoring to Latino youth through direct interaction with students and school districts.
• Strongly advocate positions on judicial, economic and social issues to political leaders and state and local bar associations that impact the Latino community.
In addition, it has an endorsement page which lists candidates that it endorses, and you can read up on all it's doing on behalf of "transgender" Latinos, etc. In other words, it's a classic leftist advocacy group.

Imagine a white judge who belonged to something called, say, the White Brotherhood, no that White Brotherhood, the other one . . . OK, OK, you get the point.

The judge should recuse himself.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Muhammad Ali, Great?

Muhammad Ali has died.

For persons of my age, of course, Ali was the super celebrity. His fights in the ring proved major events--perhaps comparable to today's Superbowl. Even somebody such as me, uninterested in and bored by professional sports, would get caught up in the hype. Glued to our TV sets, we would watch "The Greatest" do battle. He rarely lost. Was he The Greatest Fighter who ever lived? I don't know. No doubt clever computer programs exist that can "fight" Ali against, say, Tyson, Dempsey, Louis, etc., and tell us what to think. Was he a great boxer? I am no expert, but I would have to say, yes, yes, he was. If he did nothing else, he saved boxing, at least for a time, from the slide into obscurity which it probably deserves. No other fighter generated or generates the sort of excitement and interest in the sport. When he was Champ, everybody knew it; when he wasn't Champ, and fighting to regain the title, everybody knew it. I, for example, have no idea who currently holds the title. So, yes, he was a great boxer, and a great sportsman. I leave it to others to decide if he was The Greatest of All Time.

Was he great in the non-sports world? Open for debate.

He, according to the narrative, stood up for his religious beliefs by refusing to be inducted into the army in 1967. He paid a price of sorts for that (good summary here) including the loss of his title. His conviction for evading the draft was later overturned by the Supreme Court, and Ali returned to the ring. This, of course, is the stuff of progressive legend, which forgets, of course, the other young men without his celebrity, vast wealth, and army of lawyers, who did their duty, went into the military and to war; presumably somebody took the slot which Ali rejected, and, perhaps, that somebody, too, paid a price, a heavy one, heavier than Ali's.

I was never 100% sure about his conversion to Islam. He changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, and joined a variant of Islam not widely recognized as Islam by the wider Muslim world--although an exception seemed to have been made by that world in the case of super celebrity Muhammad Ali. How much was real and how much show? I don't know.

Did he advance the cause of civil and human rights? Perhaps, perhaps. He talked the talk, certainly, but . . . what did he actually do? OK, he was not a racist and not an anti-semite. As he openly acknowledged, he owed the start of his boxing career to a sympathetic white police officer who introduced him to the sport as a way to fend off the bullies who had stolen his bicycle. He also owed much of his oversized fame to the relationship he had with white New York Jewish sportscaster Howard Cosell. As kids we would watch enthralled as Cosell and Ali teased and "tormented" each other, all the while the genuine affection that existed between them coming through. It was great unscripted television entertainment, the sort that shames the tired "reality" shows of today. All that's something, I guess. If it helped show that cop and ghetto kid, white and black, Jew and Muslim can get along, OK, that's something.

Let me sum up my thoughts. Yes, Ali was a great and talented sportsman, certainly right up there at the very top with Cobb, Mays, Ruth, Mantle, Louis, Bannister, Dempsey, Graziano, Pele, Owens, Jordan, etc. Perhaps he was the greatest sportsman of all time. I won't argue. He was also a great entertainer and a super celebrity who had intelligence, a sense of humor, and an ability to connect with people other than with his fists. Despite his violent profession, he certainly did not come off as a thug. His personal life, however, as with many celebrity "greats," was a mess, with his son living estranged from him. A complex man who lived large and became, perhaps, the most famous man in the world--I remember, for example, being in a small town in Morocco, and there were Muhammad Ali posters all over the place. Hard to find somebody on the planet who has not heard of him. But was he Great? I remain open to convincing.

RIP

Friday, June 3, 2016

Based on Her Record, Not Qualified to be President

The presumptive, or should I write the presumptuous Democratic party nominee for President, my old boss Hillary Clinton, delivered a foreign policy speech earlier today, June 2, in San Diego. Read it, of course, and decide what you think.

In my view, it is Hillary Clinton's best delivered speech so far (yes, a low bar) and--the parts about foreign policy--would make a fine mainstream address within the parameters of conventional American foreign policy of the past 50 years; well, it would except for one little, itsy-bitsy, easily-overlooked fact, to wit, the person who delivered it.

Hillary Clinton proudly states,  
"I have sat in the Situation Room and advised the President on some of the toughest choices he faced. 
So I’m not new to this work. And I’m proud to run on my record . . ."
And that, my friends, is the IED that blows apart anything else she might have to say. That is the hulking Harambe in the enclosure; the C-4 brick next to the gas tank; the lit match in a gas-filled room. Yes, she has a record! She's running on it! She might as well, I guess, since she can't run from it. In other words, it doesn't matter what else is in her speech, since she has a record we can examine.

And what a record it is!

Way, way back on March 19, 2012, I wrote a little piece, which stated,
The problem with Hillary Clinton's tenure [as SecState], however, is more fundamental than the lack of a doctrine. Secretary Clinton has no knowledge of or interest in foreign affairs. She is bored by the substance; has no appreciation for core US interests, or how to defend them; does not understand the correlation between military power and diplomacy; and fritters time ineffectually on marginal issues, e.g., women in Africa. She has a close entourage of mostly "high powered" women, e.g., Cheryl Mills, who come from her political campaigns, draw top government salaries, have no foreign affairs knowledge, and worry only about the Secretary's image. She has entrusted some key programs to this entourage, and they have made a hash. Cheryl Mills, for example, received overall control of the Haiti relief effort. That assistance effort has stagnated, amuck in a bureaucratic mire where nobody knows the policy, the priorities, or even how much money has been raised and spent and on what. No link exists between our generous contributions to Haiti and even minimal political gain for the US. Haiti's leaders cavort with Castro and Chavez, and regularly oppose us at the UN and the OAS. You're in trouble when even Haiti's leaders know they can defy you openly, and you will still pour in the cash. 
I have seen the Secretary in meetings with staff and foreign dignitaries. She reads her notes, spews out her talking points, and then gets that 1,000 yard stare. She is not at all interested in the goings on. She looks to her staff to extricate her, and tries to leave as quickly as possible. No decisiveness, no standing up for America, just a fatuous empty pantsuit blandness.
That pretty well sums up her tenure in office, except, of course, for that pesky email thing (here and here, for example.) Her record is one of almost unbroken calamity from when she was laundering bribes for her Governor husband in Arkansas, to her time as FLOTUS and her "control of the bimbo eruptions" mandate, her time as an inconsequential Senator, and as a horrific and corrupt Secretary of State.

Not that he needs it, but my advice to Trump would be to ignore what Clinton says and just keep referring to her record.