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"Diversity is Our Strength"

"Diversity is Our Strength" seems something that the pig rulers in Orwell's Animal Farm would have posted with their original...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Le Séisme?

French election results seem to confirm the two surviving candidates of the crowded first round of Presidential voting as Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. As of this writing, a bit over 2% separates first-place finisher Macron from Le Pen. That means, absent some last minute vote surge by one of the other approximately 3,570 candidates, Macron and Le Pen will do battle May 7 to see who becomes the next President of France.

Macron, of course, is now the new darling of the French and global media, who now portray him as the last chance to save France from the Le Pen apocalypse. Those more familiar with French politics than I please feel free to correct me, but it seems that both candidates project a vaguely non-establishment aura, although young Macron, born in 1977, has a record as a former Socialist Minister for the Economy (2014-2016) and, presumably, will have to explain/defend France's lackluster economic performance during his tenure. Le Pen, labelled by almost all the press as "far right," despite a lack of evidence for that label, has run a very populist campaign with many of the same themes that we saw Trump use in his successful drive to the White House. The MSM, of course, are calling for unity against Le Pen, and the pollsters predict Macron will beat her handily next month. That happened to her father in 2002, when the establishment factions joined forces to defeat him, but we'll see if the past is prologue.

Whether this new Le Pen wins or not, however, we, in my view, have seen a seismic event in French politics. The established political parties of the Fifth Republic got sidelined. Le Pen's performance, in particular, has sent a mighty shiver down the collective spine of the globalist elite who run the EU, the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, etc, -- perhaps even more so than the "surprising" Trump victory in the US. I also would note that Marine Le Pen's possession, presumably, of a vagina gets her no support from the Progs. "Far right" vaginas don't count.

Why do I say this has the potential to prove even more of an earthquake than Trump's win?

France arguably is the mother of modern progressivism; it is the French who gave us the concept of "right" and "left"; it is the French Revolution, not its elder American sister, that has served as the model for revolution for the past two hundred years all over the world. Prog talk (To the ramparts!) is full of references--see Marx--to the French Revolution of 1789, and to the Paris revolts of 1832, 1848, and 1968. The progs are drawn to the grotesque dramatics and hypocrisies of the French Revolution, where terror, mass murder, and imperial wars were launched in the name of freedom and brotherhood. Why? Because there was a self-annoited arrogant "intellectual" elite in charge of all things, in charge, most notably, of shaping the sans-culots into progressive killing machines at the beck-and-call of the revolutionary elite. Progs see themselves as the inheritors of that elite. Lest we forget, France, more than any other country, is the producer of the original cigarette-smoking, beret-wearing "radical intellectual," e.g., Camus, Sartre, de Beauvoir, who questioned and derided everything about the very bourgeois society that gave them fame and, in many cases, riches.

In rides Le Pen. For all her flaws as a campaigner, she has thrown a massive stink bomb, perhaps even bigger than her father's, into the progressive world. She has shown, again, that underneath the PC culture, underneath the censorship, and the atmosphere of ridicule for those who believe in something other than the state, there is a living breathing body of citizens and voters who will not be silenced, who want to see an end to the destruction of their country and culture. Progressivism is skating on thin ice. That is the message, and while the progs might well manage to patch over the holes in the ice this time, what about the next time? And the next?

Let's see what happens.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Diversity is Our Strength, Part 2

OK, I've written about this before (here) and in light of what just happened on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the once magnificent city of Paris, I will repeat a lot of it.

First, of course, condolences to the slain officer and best wishes to the wounded. Second, I hope the shooter rots in hell, and, of course, congratulations to the cop who sent him there. I wrote last February that,
"Diversity is Our Strength" seems something that the pig rulers in Orwell's Animal Farm would have posted with their original seven commandments. This phrase gets repeated regularly with such conviction and energy by the proper thinkers and politicos in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania that one hesitates to ask "Why? Why is it our strength?" <. . . >"Diversity" must now join that legion of words appropriated and deformed almost beyond recognition by our progressive overlords. It joins "gay," "liberal," "male," "female," "fascist," "racist" and many more words that now form the core of modern progressivism's narrative. All perfectly good words that now have become unrecognizable and put into the service of the progressive "vision." < . . . > We see in the ongoing debate over immigration in the West that the proper thinkers want ever more "diversity." < . . . > The progressives seek to destroy our culture, and replace it with . . . what exactly? The progs can't or won't say, but we can certainly get a glimpse of what's to come if they succeed. Has "diversity" of the progressive kind made Europe a stronger and a better place to live? I think that hundreds of victims of Islam in Paris, Nice, Brussels, London, etc., might have an interesting answer to that.
Another round of murder at the hands of the usual suspects. I already have heard the apologists pointing out, as they did after a couple of similar shootings in the USA, that the miscreant who did the killing and terror was "native born," not an immigrant. True, but his Islamist ideology was imported, his orders to kill were imported, in sum, and above all, his personal identification was not with the country and culture of his birth, it was with fellow "radicalized" followers of Islam living in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, North Africa, etc.

And it is culture that's the key. Race and racism bores me. I hate discussions about race, and put great distance between racists and myself. Talk about race tells you little to nothing useful. I note, for example, that several of the soldiers on the streets of Paris are black, they look very professional and presumably are willing to take a bullet for France. We are involved in a massive war over culture that we are losing. Until such time that we reassert our pride in our culture, and hold up its values as superior, we will continue to be plagued by the sort of criminality we saw yet again on the streets of Paris. The Melting Pot was the idea; we need to get back to it. The perverted cultural "diversity" of progressivism is a formula for murder and chaos.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Climbing out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole (Part 2)

A bit over three years ago I posted a piece titled "Climbing Out of the Obama Foreign Policy Hole." It was one of several in which I surveyed the disaster that was our foreign policy under the late, unlamented Obama misadministration, and provided some general prescriptions, and made the following observation,
our president should matter more to foreigners than to us. We hear nonsense from progressives about the president "running the country." Wrong! Our presidency was not designed to run the country--anybody who thinks that it was has not read the Constitution. The executive branch is not the country. The president must concentrate on the executive branch and the main tasks assigned it by the Constitution. Instead of promoting disastrous health care initiatives, listening to every phone call in Iowa, using the IRS to suppress dissent, beating up on Israel, yammering about fictitious global climate change, or demanding a costly and pointless relabeling of food products in the supermarket, the President should focus on his primary responsibility, the national defense. We must have a military capability second to none, and, in fact, greater than any foreseeable coalition of powers that might oppose us. We must stand with our allies; our word must be a gold coin; our enemies and friends must know we say what we mean and mean what we say, to wit, we have the biggest gun and will pull the trigger. The enemy is real and dangerous--a look at the forcibly altered NYC skyline should be proof enough of that. The "end of history" silliness should have died in the rubble of the Twin Towers.
I had written one earlier than that, some four years ago (time flies!) in which I also focussed on,
the disaster that is Obama's foreign policy, a policy of defeat. In its defense, let me say that to call it a policy designed for America's defeat gives it too much credit. My experience at State and the NSC, has shown me that most Obamaistas are not knowledgable enough to design anything. Foreign policy for the Obama crew is an afterthought. They really have little interest in it; many key jobs went vacant for months at State, DOD, CIA, and the NSC. The Obama foreign policy team is peopled by the "well-educated," i.e., they have college degrees, and as befits the "well educated" in today's America, they are stunningly ignorant and arrogant leftists, but mostly just idiots. They do not make plans; they tend to fly by the seat of their pants using a deeply ingrained anti-US default setting for navigation. They react to the Beltway crowd of NGOs, "activists" of various stripes, NPR, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Relying on what they "know," they ensure the US does not appear as a bully, or an interventionist when it comes to our enemies: after all, we did something to make them not like us. Long-term US allies, e.g., Canada, UK, Israel, Japan, Honduras, Colombia, on the other hand, they view as anti-poor, anti-Third World, and retrograde Cold Warriors. Why else would somebody befriend the US? Obama's NSC and State are staffed with people who do not know the history of the United States, and, simply, do not understand or appreciate the importance of the United States in and to the world. They are embarrassed by and, above all, do not like the United States. They look down on the average American, and openly detest any GOP Congressman or Congresswoman  . . . They have no problem with anti-American regimes and personages because overwhelmingly they are anti-American themselves
As we come up on the 90th day of the Trump administration (Only three months! Time crawls!) are we making progress in climbing out of the hole Obama made for us?

I think the answer is, "yes."

In just a scant ninety days, Trump has reestablished the USA as a force with which to be reckoned. It is a remarkable achievement, and one done solely on the basis of leadership. Even under the miserable Obama reign, the USA was the world's foremost economic and military power--at least on paper. We, however, had Obama, Clinton, and Kerry as the architects of a bizarre foreign policy which in essence assumed that the US had to atone for past sins, and should adopt a foreign policy worthy of perhaps Liechtenstein (I mean no offense to Liechtenstein), and not worry about whether America was "winning." We caught an eight-year "glimpse" into what a post-America world would look like. As I have said before, (herehere, for example) Russia parlayed its much weaker hand into a winning one on the basis of superior leadership on the part of Putin and Lavrov; they, and all our other rivals, knew how to take advantage of the foreign policy clown car careening around in DC.

You can have aircraft carriers, stealth bombers, the US Marine Corps, and an awesome fleet of nuclear subs but if leadership is missing, you got blather, you got convoluted word salads, you got angst, you got, well, you got dystopian Obama World in which our enemies ran amok while we ran amuck. To repeat, what was missing was American leadership. That's no longer the case.

As I have noted before, you can like Trump or not, you can agree with him or not, but the man makes decisions, and moves on. I don't see the "flip-flops" that some of his old critics greet with the same glee that  some of his old supporters bemoan. If these first three months are any indication, I think he will prove a master negotiator and game changer in the foreign policy arena. Trump is not flip-flopping, the world is; it is coming his way, not the other way round.

The Russians and the Chinese certainly have taken note of the change in Washington, and I suspect that the regimes in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela, and the fetid leaders of ISIS and the other radical Islamist death cults have, as well. We can see positive change all around; we see it in the willingness of the Chinese to work much more energetically to control Krazy Kim and deal with the unbalanced nature of our bilateral trade, we see it in the Russian acquiescence to our blasting their Syrian ally, we even see it on our border where illegal crossings have plummeted as the coyotes fear the new sheriff.

I am optimistic that we have begun the long climb out of the Obama foreign policy hole.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Taxes

Sorry for the lag in blogging.

I have been engaging in that annual American ritual know as "Paying Taxes." I always delay, put it off, I don't know I guess in the expectation that it will all hurt less if I wait . . . but, no. I took a huge hit this year, much more than I had expected.

I don't mind paying as long as we spend my money on things like this,

US drops LARGEST non-nuclear bomb in combat for FIRST time 

THE United States has dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb – the largest non-nuclear weapon in its arsenal – on an ISIS tunnel target in Afghanistan.
The bomb – twice the size of the nuke dropped on Hiroshima – was dropped on Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, the Pentagon has confirmed.
The blast radius is believed to be over 300 meters and the weapon is described as "the father of all bombs".


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Thoughts on Over There & Over Here: A Bit of Hope, but . . . .

It's a tired cliche, I know, but, here goes, the world's a mess, well, most of it.

Much is just the usual and ageless human inability to get along, but a lot of it, a great deal of the contemporary mess, results from progressivism and the cruel and inhuman policies it promotes and the delusions it fosters.

Most of  Europe, once the very core of Western civilization and of what most of us considered the civilized world, is in a rapid slide with only a few glimmers of hope that the avalanche can be halted. The delusional "politics of diversity" continue to exact victims on a daily basis. Jumped up jihadis driving trucks into crowds, placing bombs in airports and railway stations, slashing passers-by, etc., have become as London's criminally idiotic Muslim mayor put it, a "part and parcel" of life to which we must adjust.

These members of the Muslim Murder Machine are, of course, precisely those whom the tolerant "progressive" societies of Western Europe welcomed with open arms and wallets. While the dopey youth of Europe run about with their "COEXIST" slogans, the murderous youth of Islam laugh at, rape, rob, and murder them. Europe and the West, in general, as I wrote a long time ago, are clearly not at war with Islam, but we certainly are under attack from Islam. They are at war with us--a war they have waged for some 1400 years.

We see some hope-inducing signs that Europeans have begun to awaken from their progressive induced slumber. We, for example, saw the ballot success of Brexit, which was not driven primarily by economic issues but by,
something much, much more important . . . 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 . . . I think that the British, not known for welcoming invaders, have had enough. Well, those who are still British and appreciate their country and its history. Let us not forget that there was a deliberate Labour policy to alter irreversibly the social composition of Britain so as to make it much less British.
The progressive counterattack to nullify Brexit has been, as expected, as undemocratic and dishonest as it has been fierce, but it seems losing. Britain looks firmly headed for the door, and away from the lethal embrace of the EU and its deadly delusions. We live with the hope that Britain will become Britain, again, and give up the mad fantasies driving it toward becoming a sharia-besotted, metric using, offshore Muslim ghetto.

The Eastern Europeans, a people schooled in the hard realities of life, and who know a thing or two about invaders, do not seem fooled by the progressive siren song of "diversity is our strength." The Poles and the Hungarians, most notably, have proven very strong resisting the Islamic invasion and have been hammering the EU to recognize reality before it destroys them all. In the Netherlands and France, too, we see stirrings of popular revolt against the progressive world order. The terrific Dutch politician Geert Wilders is slowly but steadily increasing his political clout within Islam-besieged Netherlands and bringing a refreshing Nigel Farage-sort of common sense to the national debate. The fiery Marine Le Penn, too, has brought common sense back into the French political equation; she, however, faces a withering attack from the world's progressive elite, who attempt to dismiss her with the catch-all label "far right." I wish her well, but the decay in France is so pronounced that I have doubts she can succeed in reversing it. I still find incredible that after the enormous bloody slaughters suffered by the French people at the hands of the Muslims whom they welcomed into their country, so many continue willfully blind to the brutal reality. As Orwell noted, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

As I have stated many times before, there is an "arc of insanity that runs from Mauritania to Iran." Delusional policies emanating from Obama's Washington aimed at reducing Western influence and empowering the Muslim masses have further aggravated the traditional strife in the Middle East. The latest manifestation, of course, is the suffering and woe we see in Syria and Iraq which are direct consequences of the deliberate elimination of Western power in the region, and the "empowering" simultaneously of mad murderous Shia Iran and mad murderous Sunni organizations such as ISIS. The results we see in daily news reports. As we see in Egypt today, the region's Christians are being murdered and otherwise eliminated just as the Jews were previously. Muslims apparently do not believe that "diversity is their strength," diversity is only for our countries.

Here at home, progressives are reeling but regrouping after their unexpected loss in the November election, an election which has given us a dash of Brexit-type hope here in the USA. As noted before, they are conducting a campaign of sabotage against President Trump. Relying on the useful idiots pumped out by our decrepit institutions of higher "learning," the effort to delegitimize and paralyze Trump is fierce and unrelenting. The progressive left, of course, has struck what I have previously called a Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Islam. As I also noted, in a subsequent piece,
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-Ribbentrop 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.
The progressives use their dominance of the media, the universities, and the courts to block perfectly common sense measures to try to prevent further importation into the USA of the sort of murderous nonsense we see in Europe and saw in Boston, Orlando, and San Bernardino--to name just three. The struggle in the US against the ravages of progressivism will be a long and hard one, and one made even harder if we allow the globalist sorts to drag us into silly wars where we have few if any vital interests at stake. There is, after all, an apparently insatiable desire by progressives for pointless strength-draining wars. As I predicted about our then-impending operation in Libya, progressives,
love to send America's youth off to war but only if there is no U.S. interest to be protected or furthered--and, of course, liberals themselves don't have to tote a gun. The Euros, the Arabs, the gathered lefties of the world will be happy, well, until that first CNN/BBC/MSNBC report comes in on an errant US bomb that crashes into a school, a bus, a senior citizen's home, or, of course, that jeep-full of Spanish and Italian journalists. Then the attack on the US and its "trigger-happy" military will begin.

Friday, April 7, 2017

On Syria: The Morning After

Mixed thoughts, conflicting views on the military action against Syria. That means this post will likely ramble on a bit more incoherently than is even my wont.

I wrote just yesterday that, "Clearly events are pushing Washington to do 'something' about Syria and Assad." A few hours after that post went up, we saw that "something." It was, as I had speculated we might in that same post, "a hail of death and destruction on his air force."

From initial reports (here, for example) it seems that the cruise missile strike on Shayrat air base, a facility used jointly by Syria and Russia, proved effective; the 59 sea-launched Tomahawks hit their designated targets in a remarkable demonstration of US military prowess, technology, and firepower. Let's put it this way: nobody else could have done it--not Europe, not Russia, not China, not Israel. I also must express admiration for Trump's decision-making style. He listened to his people, digested the info provided, quickly decided to hit Syria, and then turned to deal with the visiting Chinese President (more on that). That is a marked difference from the dithering and endless specifying of the recently closed and tiresome eight-year play Obama Agonistes. Trump makes decisions, and moves on. That is a plus for the Presidency of the United States, the country, and the beleaguered community once known as the West. You can like him or not, you can agree with him or not, but the man is a leader.

Was the attack on Syria, merely symbolic as some (here and here, for example) have claimed? Really? I want to find the brave soul who says that while having nearly 60,000 pounds of precisely targeted high explosives rain down on him. I am no military guru and don't play one on the web, but I think this strike was more than symbolic. It, presumably, was also much more robust than what hapless Secretary John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry had in mind when he  talked about giving Assad one week to turn over his gas stores and then threatening him with an "unbelievably small" attack, which, in fact, never materialized. Kerry later claimed a deal to have Russia remove Syria's gas stores--same sort of deal to prevent Iran's nukes . . . The Trump attack might--we have to wait for the formal damage assessment--have put a serious crimp in Assad's offensive ability and willingness. It might also prompt the Russians to keep him on a shorter leash (more on that).

Was the attack on Syria the opening salvo in yet another war? I have written repeatedly that in the Middle East we have to get out of the "regime change" business. We have right now, as far as I know, no replacement for Assad, and do not have a clear understanding of what much of his opposition consists. I think, I hope, I trust that President Trump knows that. To remove Assad and have him replaced, for example, by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or some other apocalyptic lunatic would hardly comprise progress. I don't think we are seeing the start of a new war; I doubt that President Trump would commit to a full-blown offensive against Assad when the end-game remains so murky, fraught with peril, and, frankly, so marginal to core US interests. I have stated repeatedly that the Israelis who presumably would have the most interest in killing off Assad and his evil clan, have not, despite having the ability to do so. They know how power vacuums get filled in the region. One job for President Trump will be to resist calls for "regime change" from the likes of Senator McCain, Hillary Clinton, and others who seem incapable of learning what that actually means.

How will our opponents view this? Russia is clearly unhappy. I expect that the quickness and ferocity of the US response might have caught the Russians by surprise. They might well see the arrival of Trump on the scene as a sign that their free ride in the region is over. They will come to miss the days of Obama and Kerry.

Putin, however, is not a mad man or a crazy "all on black" gambler. His government issued the expected condemnations, but the response, actually, has been rather subdued. Whatever the Russians say, they must appreciate that our military gave theirs a short-lead heads-up so that they could move assets out of the target area. As far as I know, Secretary Tillerson is still on for his visit to Moscow next week. The world has not come to an end. Russia probably will now try to exercise a bit more control on Assad in exchange for propping him up. I suspect that the price for Russian support just went up. We'll see if Assad and Russia learn to tread more carefully in the future. If they don't? We will have to decide just how important Syria is to us.

China, North Korea, and Iran must not be happy campers this morning. I wonder how pleased the Chinese president is to have been in Florida with President Trump when the US attacked Syria. There must be a mix of chagrin and admiration for Trump. The lessons for Iran and North Korea could not be clearer. Trump apparently will act without a lot of warning. Fat Boy Kim must be eating a lot of Ben & Jerry's as comfort food right now. The Mad Mullahs are probably gathered and wondering what has happened to the cushy deal they previously had with the USA.

Now to some basics. I have written before wondering why it is that death by gas strikes us as more horrific than, say, death by napalm or by a .223 round. As I noted in the just linked piece which I wrote almost four years ago,
Despite the temptation, the US did not use gas against well-entrenched Japanese troops in the Pacific, even when gas likely could have saved many American lives. FDR did not want to be known as the President who used gas--he, of course, was developing an atomic bomb . . .
We wouldn't use gas against Japan but used two atomic bombs to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention burning nearly all of their other cities to the ground, and flushing their troops out of caves with flame throwers--all justifiable, by the way.

Would we have bombed Assad, if he had merely used conventional explosives delivered by either artillery or aircraft to kill 80 civilians? Are those killed by gas more dead than those killed by explosives? Last July, vacationers in the beautiful French city of Nice were attacked by a jumped up jihadi driving a large truck; he killed over 80 persons. I saw no visible French retaliation against the Muslim world or truck makers.

OK, I don't want to push this too far, but let me just conclude with a question: Is Assad, despicable as he is, and his alleged use of gas a threat to the United States? We, as noted above, will all have to decide, I guess.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Syria: The Siren Song of War

The press is full of reporting about what apparently is a horrific sarin gas attack in Syria (here, here, and here, for example). US Ambassador to the UN Haley gave an impassioned and eloquent address slamming Russia and the Assad regime for the attack. President Trump also let fly a not very subtle threat to the Assad regime in the wake of the attack which came during Jordan King Abdullah's visit to Washington. The calls of "Assad must go!" and for some sort of US action in Syria are increasing in the media and in the political world.

I wrote in this humble blog some 3½ years ago that then Secretary Kerry, for all his blathering on and on about Assad and gas, was not at all serious about addressing the issue (here); about Neville Chamberlain Obama's "Red Lines" and his "Peace in Our Time" agreement with Russia on Syrian gas (here), an agreement, of course, which was supposed to end the Assad regime's ability to conduct gas attacks; and even a post where I expressed some doubts about the gas attack reports.

Clearly events are pushing Washington to do "something" about Syria and Assad. Let me state, yet again, that Assad is, as was his his father, a pencil-necked murdering SOB. Let us not forget that it was progressive politicos, e.g., Nancy Pelosi, who thought Assad a "reformer" with whom we could deal. Nobody else was fooled by Assad, except, of course, for the progressive media types who hailed Assad as a reformer with Western proclivities and a beautiful wife. With a confused (understatement) multiparty civil war now underway in Syria, Assad faces serious challenges to the survival of his Baathist Shia minority regime. He receives considerable backing from Russia, eager to reinsert itself as a major player in the Middle East, and from his fellow Shia thugs in Iran, who want to keep a Shia-controlled regime in power on the border with Israel.

Before we do "something" about Assad, let's hope that the President is getting good intel about what is and is not happening in Syria. Perhaps our intel agencies can be distracted from what apparently has been their primary mission for the past eight years, i.e., listening to every phone in America and smearing the Democrats' political opponents, to developing as accurate a picture of events in Syria as possible. I don't want us marching into a war on the basis of NGO and press reports--please, remember to "Remember the Maine!"

Did Assad/Russia carry out a gas attack? What's the evidence pro and con? If so, what's that say about the "deal" Kerry brokered with Moscow? Why would Assad use gas when other just as lethal means are at his disposal and attract less attention, especially when Abdullah is in Washington? And above all, what US interests are threatened? Do we want to knock Assad off his perch? Who or what would fill the vacuum? Let's remember Libya, shall we? Are we risking a shooting war with Russia over Syria? America First, remember?

Talk to Russia. Find out what their game is in all this. What do they want aside from looking like Assad's saviors? How willing are they to risk a shooting war with us over Assad? Unfortunately, the climate right now in Washington is not conducive to serious, adult conversations with the Russians. The media seem to want a US-Russia confrontation, and it's a brave politician who says, "Stop the Russia nonsense. We need to deal with these people."

Talk to Israel. If there's one country in the world that would like to see Assad and his family roast in hell it's Israel. They've had long experience with the Assad clan, fighting them in open wars and in bloody covert actions of various types. The Israelis have had for years the ability to knock out the Assads, but never have done it. They similarly had the ability to kill Arafat but never used it. They know something crucial about the Middle East: what you have and know is probably better than what you don't have and don't know. An evil, murdering but presumably rational actor such as Assad is better to have in power than some member of the apocalyptic murdering evil ISIS or some other Islamic death cult.

If the evidence ("Slam dunk"?) comes in that Assad did use gas, and we determine that key interests of ours are at stake--including our credibility, if we keep talking--then we have means to curtail Assad without necessarily destroying his horrid regime. We, for example, can unleash a hail of death and destruction on his air force or his gas stores; we can also cause him great economic damage via a variety of means. Then let him know and the Russians, too, that there's more death and destruction from where that came if certain activities do not cease.

Bottom line: Do we have the ability to "repeal" Assad? Yes. Do we have the ability to "replace" Assad? I doubt it. What comes after Assad could make us miss Assad a great deal.

I worry that we might have yet another administration sidetracked by war, and prevented from carrying out vital reforms at home needed to preserve our prosperity, culture, and national strength.

Monday, April 3, 2017

On Spying, Again

The details keep coming out fast and furious. I've written several prior posts about Russian spying and the story that the Russians "hacked" the election to favor Trump. Please review my golden words (here, here, and here, for example) if you have the stomach. I will make a few quick observations in light of recent developments.

Let me cite something I wrote almost three weeks ago,
The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? . . . I think there was surveillance of Russian activity, probably by the NSA, and it found nothing to show that Trump had contacts with the Russians; the Obamistas and the Clintonistas then made up the accounts of Russian interference.
We now have coming out that former National Security Advisor Susan "video killed our people" Rice was apparently involved up to her neck in the Obama administration's surveillance of the Trump campaign and, later, of the Trump transition team. As more information appears, the details will change so let's keep to a bird's eye view.

It seems Rice demanded that names of Americans, apparently those working for Trump, be "unmasked" and sent around to the various intel agencies in Washington. Those Americans had their names collected, it is claimed, incidental to legitimate surveillance of foreign targets, especially Russians. Rice, it seems, asked that the names be shared around--no explanation given. Her actions seem (that word) of a piece with one of Obama's last executive decisions allowing NSA raw data to be distributed to all intel agencies.

Why would they do this?

Well, simply put, it's a way of not leaving your own fingerprints on the inevitable leak of those names. If you pass around politically loaded names to hundreds of people, you know, you absolutely know, that the names will leak, and it becomes very difficult to find the leaker. The names, I repeat, will leak and this leak gives the aura of a massive criminal enterprise underway by the Trump people to sell out the USA to Russia. It is an act of sabotage of President Trump of the grossest kind.

We still have no evidence of the Russians hacking the election to favor Trump. No evidence has been provided as to why the Russians would want Trump to win. No evidence has been provided of how the Russians would know something the pollsters did not, to wit, that Trump would, in fact, win the November election. Above all, there is no evidence that Trump or his cohorts were in league with Russia--what would they get out of it?

I think, furthermore, that my initial impression that the Democrats made up the story proves the best explanation. They told a big lie. This Russia story provided the excuse to conduct surveillance of Trump and his campaign and his transition teams. Just as the Obama people sold guns to Mexican drug cartels and then sought to blame the "gun trafficking" on the second amendment ("the drugs flow north but the guns flow south"), they justified their surveillance of political opponents with the Russia story. The overwhelming conceit was that they just assumed Hillary would win the election and the story would remain buried. Once they saw she had lost--presto!--Obama's executive order spreading the info all over town making it hard to find the culprit leaker/unmasker.

This is getting very nasty, and the Trump-Russia story is blowing up in the face of the Dems.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

President Maduro: Can't Even do Dictatorship Right . . .

Turns out Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the Curly Howard of Latin America, can't even do dictatorship right. The country, holder of the world's largest proven oil reserves, is in an unprecedented social, economic and political meltdown as it experiences the inevitable results of nearly 20 years of socialism.

Just a couple of days ago, I noted how Maduro had ordered his compliant Supreme Court to declare the Congress in contempt of the Constitution and had the judges strip the legislators of their powers and immunities, i.e., meaning they can be arrested at will for their words and deeds in Congress. In the wake of the domestic and international outrage this action provoked,  Maduro "convinced" the Court to take another look. Like the obedient little worms they are, the judges nullified their own ruling.  Maduro grandly declared "the crisis is over!"

No, President Maduro, the Ralph Kramden of Latin America, the crisis is not over. It's building up a head of steam. The only thing worse than being a dictator is being a bumbling one. Maduro has shown that he can be beaten and forced to retreat in the most embarrassing sort of way. The opposition will take note as will many in his immediate circle already getting sweaty palms over their prospects for the future. I note that with Trump in power in the USA, a cushy exile in Miami, the traditional resting ground for disgraced Venezuelan elite, is not very likely. To the moon!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Venezuela: The Curtain Opens on the Penultimate Act

I have written many times here that the situation in Venezuela was a slow-motion coup. When I was at the OAS I used to label it in Spanish, "un golpe a camera lenta" (a coup filmed with a slow-motion camera). This would infuriate the Venezuelan representative, Ambassador Roy Chaderton Matos, and get him to unleash a string of anti-American, anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic insults--he saw Venezuela assailed by Jewish plotters working with Washington and the Vatican (no kidding).

Well, I can't use the phrase "slow-motion coup" any longer. Venezuela's thuggish President Maduro has dropped all pretense of respecting democratic institutions and processes, and got his thuggish Supreme Court to (essentially) dissolve the Congress and give the Presidency all powers.

Maduro is the unchallenged captain of the Titanic after its encounter with the ice. The country is sinking in a sea of critical shortages, corruption, debt, and violence, and Maduro is only concerned with having on to his bit of power. Like Satan in Paradise Lost he has decided that it is "better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." And that is what Venezuela, potentially one of the world's richest countries, has become under less than 20 years of socialism.

Venezuela is collapsing, almost quite literally. Its people have ever fewer basic food items, medicine is a luxury, the currency is worthless, police and fire services are virtually non-existent, gasoline is in short supply, electric power is erratic and increasingly rare, and Caracas is the world's most dangerous city. Even Venezuela's neighbors, who bear a considerable amount of guilt for enabling the schemes of Chavez and Maduro, are becoming concerned. The United States, of course, missed many opportunities to put an end to this hideous state of affairs both under Bush and under Obama.

It, however, appears that now Washington is taking a tougher stance--how that will play out, we'll see. Even the OAS, usually asleep at the switch, has begun to stir; the Secretary General, leftist Luis Almagro, has denounced developments in Venezuela, referring to them as a "self-inflicted coup." He has called for Venezuela to be suspended from the OAS. Maduro's traditional buddies, the dying and dead Castro brothers, are in no real position to help him out, and even the Chinese are tiring of pouring money into a bottomless pit.

Maduro and his thieving clique must go, or when the curtain rises on the last act of this horrid little Greek-style tragedy there will be blood. Lots of it.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Independence Day, UK!

Almost a year ago, I wrote in this little blog about the forthcoming Brexit vote. I noted that,
the British, not known for welcoming invaders, have had enough. Well, those who are still British and appreciate their country and its history. Let us not forget that there was a deliberate Labour policy to alter irreversibly the social composition of Britain so as to make it much less British.
I sorta predicted Brexit would win, noting that whenever the progressive establishment keeps calling a vote as "too close to call" that usually means the progressives crazies will lose. Brexit won the referendum despite the establishment media pile on and the decades of Labour devised social engineering in immigration and education that seeks to undermine British society. I also noted in that same piece that the vote would be over not economic issues but social and cultural ones,
At the risk of being reprimanded and corrected by this blog's one or two British readers, I offer 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.
I think I was right about that. I also in subsequent pieces (here for example) worried that the establishment counterattack would be not long in coming and be fierce,
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
I had strong doubts about PM Theresa May who took over from the hapless David Cameron in the wake of the vote. I wasn't at all sure that the new PM, clearly not a Brexiteer, would follow through and execute the will of the British voters. The establishment counterattack mentioned before, of course, was fierce and for a time it seemed that May, in Thatcher's immortal phrase, would go "wobbly" in the face of it. At least from the outside, it looked as if the progs and their world order allies would manage to nullify the vote. It seems, however, that she withstood the slings and arrows--or maybe found herself with no other choice--and has signed the Article 50 notification informing the EU that Britain is leaving. The reaction from the EU has been as expected, with the bureaucrats of the EC, the EU's bureaucratic arm, wailing that one of the EU's biggest cash cows is walking out of the barn. It seems, so far, at least that May is holding tough in the face of EU threats and demands, and I hope she doesn't yield too much to demands re EU citizens, trade, and court rulings.

Leaving is a complex process, and the progs want to make it as complex, time-consuming, painful, and downright difficult as they can. My two-cents of advice to the British: hang tough and keep it simple, to wit, you're leaving whether or not the EU likes it. Remember, the EU needs you more than you need the EU.

Anyhow, congratulations to the people of Britain who will experience a rebirth of freedom.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

London Has Fallen?

No. Not yet, but it's getting close.

The March 22 carnage on Westminster Bridge was yet another reminder to the UK and the West of how illusions and delusions can get us killed. The illusion that we can get along with modern Islam has led to the delusional immigration, social, political and security policies that produced the deaths on that bridge. Those people lie dead because our political, security, media and educational institutions refuse to see Islam for the death cult that it is.

Those dead now join the many, many thousands of previous dead in London, Paris, Boston, Madrid, Jakarta, Brussels, Nice, New York, San Bernardino, Orlando, Ft. Hood, Benghazi, Nairobi, Mumbai, Sydney, Nigerian villages by the score, communities all over Israel and the rest of the Middle East, and so many more places around the world.

How much more of this must we endure before we take seriously Islam's declaration of war upon us? I am not going to link to the dozens of posts I have previously written about the threat from Islam. Google "Diplomad Islam" and they will appear. Let me say it one more time: Islam is at war with us.

I said Islam, not ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, or any other of the "radical" Islamist groups out there.

It is Islam that has sworn to destroy us since its very creation. Take that seriously or be ready for more Westminster Bridges.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Note to Conservatives: Making Democrats Happy is Bad for America

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"These are the days of miracle and wonder"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, what would we do without leftists?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.

Hard to believe.

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

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

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

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Spying

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

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

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

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

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

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

OK. We are left with the following.

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

My two roubles and three pennies worth of analysis.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taxing Stupidity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You will lose.

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More Craziness from the Anti-Trump Clique

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



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

Where to start? Just a sampler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Diplomad vs. Godzilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Morning Thoughts on Russia and Our Politics

This won't be long as the hour is late/early, and I want to start reading Victor Davis Hanson's The Father of Us All, War and History.

Just a few thoughts on the current Russia obsession of the wacky American left. I have written quite a bit on Russia (here, here, here, herehere, and several others) and will try not to be too repetitive.

We have a situation that grows “curiouser and curiouser!”

The American left is obsessed with Russia and things Russian. This obsession has grown geometrically in the years since Russia stopped being an atheist Communist superpower and an existential threat to America and the West.

As in so much else lefty, Hollywood led the way: Russian gangsters and their Serbian allies popped up all over our big and little screens and video games. Slavs, especially Russians, became the only ethnic group one could malign freely: the men are all ex-convict, tattooed gangsters, and the women all prostitutes waiting for pony-tailed Steven Seagal and his flying fists of fury to rescue them. (An aside: I find odd Putin's fascination with Seagal given how much he has damaged the image of Russians, but then Putin has damaged their image, too, so there is that commonality.)

Reading lefty tweets, comment boards, and "journalistic"pieces these past few days it seems there is almost nothing nefarious that the Russians cannot do successfully. Most notable among their achievements, it seems, is their almost singular ability to correctly call the November 2016 US elections, and to do so several years ahead of time.

Clearly, evil Russian geniuses have developed a crystal ball which can predict US elections with much greater accuracy than our multi-billion dollar pollster business. In addition, the Russians have a diplomatic corps whose members automatically recruit any Republican politician with whom they make contact. The Russians, apparently, knew years ago that Trump would win the 2016 elections and put all of their eggs in that basket.They suborned and blackmailed Trump and his closest associates, bankrolled his campaign through laundered mobster money via Trump Tower, and even, just to nail things down, got the DNC to write horribly incriminating emails protected with clever passwords such as Podesta's email password "Password." The Russians somehow also managed to get many thousands of US labor union members to vote Trump and take down the "Blue Wall" in critical states.

For clever Russky reasons, the Moscovites wanted a US President who vowed to upgrade US military capabilities, revive the US economy, and achieve US energy independence which would severely harm the Russian oil-based economy. They, for indecipherable Russky reasons, did not want another four years of Democrats, the party that had our nation's secrets bouncing around inside an easy-to-hack private server in a bathroom in Colorado, that had allowed Russia to become again a looming threat in Europe, reestablish itself as a major player in the Middle East, become Iran's closest major partner, and freely insult and humiliate the United States around the world.

How to deal with so much cleverness? Maybe Steve Seagal can help out . . .




Friday, March 3, 2017

Sabotage is All They Have Left on the Left

Like a retreating occupation army, the Democrats and their enablers seek to destroy all before the advancing liberating forces can use it.

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

In the wake of Trump's "shock" victory last November, their failure to prevent him from taking office through a variety of loopy legal/political moves, the Democrats, reeling, once again, from the hammer blows of Trump's uplifting and magnificent agenda-setting address to Congress, now openly seek no less than the destruction of the country's ability to govern itself. They offer no alternative vision to compete with Trump's optimistic message of national renewal, so they seek to prevent him from being able to use government in that quest, by denying him, the elected president, the institutions of government.

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

As I noted some time back (here, here) we are seeing the attempted execution of an American coup d'etat against our own institutions,
This has gotten completely out of control. I never thought I would see our country's politics reduced to the degrading levels of a Banana Republic. Are we destined to become Honduras with rockets?
This is no longer "just politics." This is political jihadism that attempts to make America ungovernable. There is no concern for the potentially dire consequences here or abroad of their actions. All that matters to today's progressives is that they, and they alone, hold all the power in the massive progressive state they have built. Elections, the law, the future of the nation, and even logic be damned.

The latest manifestation of progressive sabotage comes in the assault on AG Sessions. The issue, as far as there is one, is whether Sessions when he met the Russian ambassador before the election discussed the campaign with him. That's it. He has denied discussing the campaign and there is no contradictory evidence to suggest otherwise except the usual "leaks" of alleged "intel" from the progressive controlled bureaucracy, leaks, by the way, which are really more malicious gossip and rumors than anything else. As noted in the always excellent Legal Insurrection, the Progs have hit the rock bottom of chicanery with their suggestion, the slanderous implication that Sessions was recruited by the Russians. As LI notes, the prog media, CNN, in particular, keeps referring to the Russian Ambassador as a "spymaster" and the lead spy recruiter for the Russian Embassy in the USA.

I happen to know something about this sort of thing; I can just about give you a 100% money-back guarantee that of the people in the Russian Embassy charged with recruiting and managing spies, the Ambassador ain't one. The Russians are MUCH, MUCH smarter than that. The Ambassador is a very public figure and would stay away from involvement in that side of the info collection business. The ones to watch, as FBI, MI-5, ASIO, CSIS know, are the bevy of Secretaries and Attaches, and, of course, the famous NOC (no official cover) operatives that the Soviets and Russians have perfected. In addition, of course, as LI points out, Sessions met the Russian while accompanied by at least one senior member of his Senate staff. Is that staffer, too, a recruit of the Russians? This is nonsense.

If the progs' logic were followed, we would have fulfillment of the State Department bureaucracy's long-time dream: Nobody but State Department officials may have contact with foreign diplomats and other officials. No more overseas CODELS or STAFDELS. No more talks to the foreign diplomatic corps. Having had to deal with countless numbers of CODELS and STAFDELS and radical rogue rouge Hill personnel out working against USG interests, I would be fine with that. I have accompanied foreign diplomats to meetings with Senators and Representatives on the Hill; in some meetings I was allowed to sit in, in others the Congressman wanted a private meeting without a State Department rep monitoring and reporting. I guess all that ends? Hmmm . . .

There, of course, is no logic, no thought for precedent or prologue. It is about disrupting the Trump administration, side tracking it, giving it the aura of a scandal-ridden operation. It is of a piece with the violent demonstrations, and the interruptions of Congressional town halls: it is about making America ungovernable.

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Give the Man an Eleven: Trump's Address to Congress

I am not a big fan of the typical State of the Union speech or other addresses to Congress by the President. Those are usually full of nonsensical promises and word smithing trying to go Shakespearean and proving overwrought and pedestrian instead--kind of like that sentence. I have to make an exception for President Trump's address to the Congress on February 28.  It was simply outstanding.

There was little in the way of fancy rhetorical flourishes and Trump does not have the mellifluous actor's delivery of Ronald Reagan, but . . . Dang! That was one helluva speech! It was aspirational, inspirational, and practical all at the same time. He spoke some great truths about our time and delivered it in strong, clear language easy to understand and hard to ignore. He was optimistic even as he painted a dire picture of our current state. It was a superb piece of writing, and laid out an ambitious but, I think, doable scheme for the next four to eight years.

Trump did not pull punches. The Democrats who have been smearing and deriding him as a simpleton and a racist, got outflanked not only on their right but on their left. He opened with a powerful call for an end to anti-semitism and other forms of violent hatred; he hammered away at his standard theme that the progressive policies, including education, of the past decades have caused great harm to black urban Americans. He came at the immigration issue in a way this humble blog has advocated for a long time (here, here, here): our immigration policy is a disaster both in national security and in economic terms. The unrestricted immigration we now have depressed wages, puts a strain on public assistance programs, and produces serious threats to the safety and lives of ordinary citizens. He hit the poorly negotiated globalist trade deals for their impact on the American worker--even soliciting applause from Bernie Sanders--and doubled down on revamping them so that we would have "fair trade." He boldly challenged Congress, controlled by an at-times wavering Republican majority, to end the fake health insurance known as Obamacare, to approve a new tax code that will promote investment and jobs, and to launch a Yuge private-public infrastructure development plan. He vowed a non-interventionist foreign policy but one based on military and economic strength.  He also said the taboo words, "radical Islamic terrorism."

Let me return to the subject of Obamacare on which he stated,
Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State -- it is unsustainable and collapsing. One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges --- leaving many Americans with no choice at all. 
Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan? 
We now know that all of those promises have been broken.
 Having heard Trump say that, I was surprised by the somewhat bizarre Democratic response. It was delivered by no-less than the previous governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, sitting in a cafe trying very hard to look folksy and just coming off as old and tired. Beshear doubled down on Obamacare, bragging about its implementation in Kentucky, precisely the state in which, as Trump reported, the current governor says it's a total disaster. Anyhow, read it for yourselves and I think you will find it an odd and insipid "rebuttal."

OK, OK, I know that a lot of what Trump said he wants to do would cost megabucks, but, but if we can get the economy moving again, there is no reason we can't pay for this stuff.

That's my two-cents at this late hour. Maybe upon further reflection I will write more, but for now I am happy to note that we seem to have a very real president. Very different than what we've had for the previous eight years.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hollywood Morons? Why Even Ask?

As is my custom I refused to watch the Oscars last night and instead cleaned my Remington 870 Tactical Express and had a wrestling match with my dogs. I lost, by the way.

This morning, of course, the news was full of the Warren Beatty/Price-Waterhouse snafu that had the dopey actor announcing the wrong winner for "Best Picture." Priceless. Kinda sorry I didn't see that. But then why would a genuine progressive be upset? Doesn't everybody deserve a trophy? Everybody should be awarded for being the "BEST"! Oscars for everybody and their illegal alien maids!

And, yes, that segues into the main topic of this little post. Immigration and Hollywood. This morning, I listened to a couple of speeches given by idiots last night. One, in the form of a statement from some forgettable Iranian director who won an award for best best foreign language film, berated Trump's inhumane immigration policy. In protest, the Iranian refused to come to the US to pick up his award. The Republic trembled! His little rant, of course, got a standing ovation from the gathered host of dopes.

It seems odd to me that nobody asked whether maybe they shouldn't be more upset by the fact that a good chunk of those in the audience would be hanging by the neck from construction cranes if they were in Iran. Maybe there should have been a call to boycott Iranian films in the name of hanged gays and stoned-to-death rape victims? But, in case you were wondering, there wasn't.

The first Muslim (evah!) to win an Oscar for actor didn't take the opportunity, in case you were wondering, to call upon his fellow Muslims to stop treating women like cattle and stop throwing gays off of high buildings. Nobody seemed upset. It's Islam, so it's OK.

Some Mexican presenter took his turn at the microphone to berate our immigration policy and demand respect for immigrants and, of course, no wall. He didn't take the opportunity, in case you were wondering, to blast the Mexican government for how it treats Central American migrants, and for its own highly restrictive immigration laws and policies.

The call for no walls, of course, is even more humorous when one sees that that those calling for an end to walls live behind walls of stone and steel, and protected by rings of armed men. No calls rang out for  "Clooney tear down your wall in Lake Como! Let in the Somali refugees!" Nah, didn't happen . . .

I heard of no celebrity calling for the police outside the Kodak Theater to stand down and allow the masses in. Fill the seats with the homeless and undocumented! Nah . . . maybe, however,  just maybe the illegal aliens and the others working minus wage in the kitchens and rest rooms at the event and sweeping up the mess afterwards will be deeply touched by the concern shown for them by the Hollywood glitterati.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

It goes on and on and on . . . .

Sorry for the light blogging. Took a dog break and spent a lot of time with my dogs and my son's new acquisition, Sofia. The Diplodogs are only gradually getting used to the presence of the Diplosondog. Some growls, some shoving, some barking . . . but I think they will eventually accept Sofia into the world.

It's been hard to get enthused about blogging. I have been going to the gym in my futile attempt to become 35 again. This gym seems tom only run CNN on its many screens. I don't know if they get paid for it, but here you have it. I just cannot listen to that "news" service and plug in my headphones and listen to Chuck Berry, Tom Petty, and the Stones. That does not let me escape CNN. They run closed captions and, of course, I find myself reading them. It is bash Trump all the time. It really has become obsessive and dhows the truth of what I have written before that there is an element of mental disturbance in the mind of the progressive.

It is not just CNN. I turned on the TV at home the other night and there was pretty boy George Clooney getting some sort of award in France, and going on about these "times of insanity." To think that some here in California seem serious about having Clooney run for the Senate is insane, well, except this is California so the bar is pretty high. Clooney is, I admit, the perfect representative for today's progressives. Fabulously wealthy from playing pretend, glib, married to a foreigner who has a pronounced distaste for the USA and who holds a fake job as a "human rights lawyer," spends most of his time in his walled mansions in England and Italy, and making movies wherever he can get the tax subsidies. Perfect prog.

I also watched as several GOP Congressional town halls got invaded by progressive plants shouting about saving Obamacare, Trump's tax returns, and investigating Russia. Russia! Yes, the progs are so concerned about America's security! Well, except when the threat comes from Mexico or Islam. But Russia and CO2, that must be investigated!

I will try to write something a bit more more, in the coming days, but . . . .