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Leftist Savagery Continues

On May 1, I posted a piece "commemorating" the 100 days of leftist savagery that we had seen since President Trump's inaugura...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bored With It All (Almost)

Having a good time with my Spanish relatives who will be leaving for home in a couple of days. We have done a lot of sightseeing. They also have taken over our kitchen and, frankly, produced some genuinely superb meals. I always am amazed and in awe of people who can walk into a kitchen, open a few cabinet doors, check the pantry and the refrigerator and--Presto!--whip up an awesome lunch or dinner. These folks can certainly do that! Amazing! I am sorry they will be going.

I have tuned into the news only off-and-on for the past couple of weeks.

I can tell from my more in-depth session today, that I haven't missed much of great interest.

The silly Russia election hack/campaign collusion story sputters along, with no more evidence of any wrong-doing now than several months ago. CNN continues to prove itself, perhaps, the most deranged "news" outlet in the Western world. Not just its broadcasts, but the tweets and other comments of its key personnel show that there is some serious mental issues afoot in the Atlanta HQS and throughout CNN's tattered empire. The level of ignorance of history, the world, and everything else is truly astounding. Most other "news" outlets are not far behind.

"Fact checking" seems to be a lost art.

I see that the GOP hopelessly complicated and destroyed its effort to "repeal and replace" the disastrous Obamacare. The mess is "inexplicable" unless one just concludes that once in Washington it is irrelevant whether the politician is Dem or Rep, he or she becomes of Washington, with the mentality of Washington.

I think the effort to dump Obamacare should have been a two-stage process: 1) repeal the damn thing;  and, 2) remove all laws and regulations that hamper the operation of a free market in the health insurance business. In other words, Congress should repeal Obamacare, and we, ordinary Americans, will take charge of replacing it with what we want.

Maybe there is still hope that this will happen? I don't know, just as I am also having serious doubts that they will ever get around to reforming our tax rates and stifling government regulations to allow something akin to a genuine free market in goods and services.

The media is also abuzz with new polls. One dubious poll showing that Trump's support is on the wane, and other showing that the population of most foreign countries is opposed (?) to a wall on the US-Mexico border. What? Should we have a poll to see if Americans are opposed to the wall between the ocean and parts of Holland? Should people in France ask us whether we want to see a bullet-proof glass barrier put around the Eiffel Tower? Who cares?

All very boring and inconsequential.

I will struggle to get more interested.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Democrats Russian into a Wall at 100 MPH

Just got back from the long drive from Vegas. Lots of traffic and heat, but I love the desert so it's OK.

I broke "even" in my bid at being a gambling man. By "even," of course, I mean that I didn't annihilate my kids' inheritance or hit my credit card limits. I found this crazy Chinese electronic game called either "Magic Crystals" or "Dragon's Eggs," or something akin to those tags. It has immense blinking and rotating lights, very loud music and special effects, a flying dragon, gold coins flashing and raining down, reels spinning, and an angry Chinese man who yells at you "Look up! Time for Orb selection!" It is an epileptic's nightmare, but I walked away with a couple hundred bucks to off-set my poker and blackjack losses. So, yes, "even," that's my story . . .

Got a chance to read some more about the latest media outburst on Russia! Bombshell! Smoking! Gun! Red! Handed!

It's! All! Nonsense!

You can go read Donald Trump, Jr.'s email chain on this episode and reach your own conclusions. I, however, started writing a piece while still in the hotel expressing some serious doubts about this latest story. I had gotten pretty far along, when I read a terrific American Spectator article (h/t to the great Instapundit) which eviscerates the whole story with a thoroughness and erudition that I cannot match.

I, therefore, deleted most of what I had written, and now refer my six readers to the "American Spectator" take-down of this latest story about "collusion." The AS article lends a lot of credence to the theory that Trump's campaign got set up by an elaborate Democratic Party/Obama administration dirty trick, e.g., the Obama DOJ let the attorney into the US with a waiver on her visa expressly to attend the meeting with Don, Jr.

Donald Trump, Jr., a political novice, got taken advantage of. I go back to what I stated before that the story is a,
convoluted, poorly sourced account of a mysterious meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian attorney. The whole story makes no sense and upon reading it in the NYT, I kept asking, "And? What is the crime?"
It seems nothing transpired either way: Trump campaign got nothing, and Russia got nothing. There was no crime.

If, in fact, the Trump campaign had been colluding with the Russians would they have needed an email from British media hack Rob Goldstone alerting them to the Russian attorney's request for a meeting? (Yes, the same Goldstone apparently involved in the production of the lurid and fake "Trump Dossier.") Wouldn't there be other, more subtle channels to pass along information? Would the Russians have been so naive to have told Goldstone, as he claims in his emails, that they wanted Trump to win and were working to that end? Please . . .

It was a set-up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What's Important

Leaving for Vegas tomorrow. Will be off the grid for a few days.

Couldn't resist commenting on what the media thinks important.

As I noted before (here). President Trump dominated the G20 leaders' meeting and the lead up to it. His speech in Poland was a great one. Nobody else on stage in Hamburg seemed to matter. He set the tone for a new age of American leadership. He didn't bow before the gods of climate change and confronted Putin while at the same time trying to get him on side in the fight against terror.

In other international news, ISIS is actually and for real this time on the run. Their forces in Iraq and Syria are being methodically ground into fine dust by a more aggressive and effective American policy of using a mix of special forces, air support, and the training of local forces to confront a conventional army such as the one ISIS sought to build. From all accounts I have read, the Iraqi forces proved very competent in the vicious house-to-house fighting in Mosul.

The alliance among Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the USA is being strengthened and revitalized as we confront the apparently growing NORK threat. I suspect that even Dear Leader (bis) must recognize, in his private moments, at least, that war with Trump's America is a losing proposition.

The Mad Maduro regime in Caracas is gurgling its death rattle as the consequences of socialism become so apparent that only the mainstream media can miss it. A sure sign that end times approach for Chavismo is the release from prison of prominent opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. When these sorts of regimes start freeing political prisoners it means they are desperately looking for a deal and want our help in reaching it. Watch.

These are major and positive developments so, of course, our media tsars are going back to the "RUSSIA!" story. Now they have come up with some convoluted, poorly sourced account of a mysterious meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian attorney. The whole story makes no sense and upon reading it in the NYT, I kept asking, "And? What is the crime?"

The progs just won't give it a rest and us a break.  Was Russian meddling in our election worse and more consequential than that by Mexico? The answer is "No!" But that, apparently, will not draw a Special Prosecutor, or even a few NYT editorials.

The slots await!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Not So Innocent Abroad After All: President Trump Dominates Global Gathering

Aside from President Trump is there anybody else at the G20 in Hamburg--I mean aside from the fascists rioting in the streets? The man dominates gatherings like nobody else.

He started with a tremendous speech in Poland in which he unequivocally stated that Western Civilization is worth defending. Hard to believe that needs saying, but it does. Judging from the wacky prog reaction to his speech, President Trump demonstrated, yet again, that somebody big and powerful needs to speak up for Western Civilization. Magnificent speech delivered in a country, Poland, that knows full well what can happen when we don't respect borders and hold to the values of that Civilization. On a scale of 1-10, I give the man a 12.

By the way, I wonder what Putin thinks about the guy he supposedly "got elected"? Might have backed the wrong horse, eh? Does anybody imagine a President Hillary Clinton giving a speech like that in a place such as Poland? Not even Jules Verne could come up wit that scenario.

In Hamburg, it seems Trump is the host and the master-of-ceremonies. Nobody else seems to matter. Everything revolves around Trump as thousands of fascists riot in the streets and confirm everything Trump has said about the path that Europe has set for itself. In his meeting with Putin, according to the post meeting read-outs, Trump seems to have held his own and pressed Putin on election meddling and other nefarious Soviet Russian practices--this despite all sorts of predictions on CNN and MSNBC that Trump would not touch the election issue.

Bottom line: I trust Trump to represent US interests in dealing with Moscow, something I could not do with Obama.

Back to my tour guide duties. Off to Vegas on Monday night. Trying to catch my breath between excursions.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Happy 4th from Frisco

I continue my role as tour guide for my wife's European relatives.

Tonight we are in San Francisco. Flew in from San Diego (world's most beautiful and efficient airport) and got an Uber with a very funny and smart Indian driver. He gave an excellent account of why Hillary C lost the election ("very corrupt, lots of baggage, and a lousy campaigner") and thought we all should give Donald T a chance.

We quickly whisked into town thanks to very light holiday traffic, checked into our hotel at the Fisherman's Wharf, and went off to do tourist things. Huge crowds everywhere. Lots of European and Aussie tourists doing their best to help our balance of trade and make Trump happy. We had a mediocre but expensive lunch, which fortunately consisted of small portions so everything balanced out.

We just came back from watching the fireworks--excellent, despite the fog and cold breeze--and listening to lots of patriotic music booming out over the loudspeakers--yes, in San Francisco, so not all is lost. The anti-terror police presence was heavy, impressive, and most welcome.

Anyhow, more tourist things tomorrow. I think we are either taking a bus tour of the city or going on a boat to freeze in the Bay. One or the other.

I have been a bit lax in reading and listening to the news, and yet not only do I survive but so does the Republic. I see the President is dominating the news cycle again with his wrestling GIF. The news media is beclowning itself, once again, letting President Trump not only troll them but show them up for the weak, watery, half-melted snowflakes that they are. The man is a political genius, no doubt about it.

OK, not much more to say. I am folding up my new Apple laptop and hitting the sack.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Progressives and Their Tom Thumb's Blues

Taking a brief break from my duties as tour guide for our visiting Spanish guests. Took them yesterday over the mountains to visit the beautiful San Juan Capistrano Mission. I figured Spaniards would like to see a Spanish-built church. We had magnificent weather and a picturesque drive on a winding mountain road. They seemed to like it judging from the hundreds of pictures they took. California has a great and colorful history; it's future? Hmmm . . . maybe not so much.

Anyhow, the Diplowife has taken our guests on a shopping expedition, and I sit alone, supervising the washing machine as it churns away, and listening to Bob Dylan. I had forgotten how good he is. He deserved that Nobel prize. In particular I love his "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." The music has a Leibner/Stoller "Smokey Joe's Cafe" feel, but the real magic is in the words. Dylan's use of words is akin to that in the poems of Gertrude Stein; he uses them more for their sound than their meaning to tell the story and set the mood. Jazz with words--and the harmonica is great. Brilliant stuff.
When you're lost in the rain in Juarez when it's Easter time, too/
And your gravity fails and negativity don't pull you through/
Don't put on any airs when you're down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They got some hungry women there and they really make a mess outta you/
Now, if you see Saint Annie, please tell her thanks a lot/
I cannot move, my fingers are all in a knot/
I don't have the strength to get up and take another shot/
And my best friend, my doctor, won't even say what it is I've got. 
Sweet Melinda, the peasants call her the goddess of gloom/
She speaks good English and she invites you up into her room/
And you're so kind and careful not to go to her too soon/
And she takes your voice and leaves you howling at the moon...
Gotta love Dylan's description of "Sweet Melinda." It got me thinking about the progressives and their collective melt-down over the past few days and weeks. President Trump has done something remarkable with his tweets, his speeches, his actions, and his general attitude, to wit, he's taken the progressives' voice and left them "howling at the moon."

President Trump has used words as much for setting the mood as for their actual definition. While the progressives try to parse and pick apart those words, the rest of us understand exactly what he's saying, how he's tapping into our own thoughts and letting them gush forth like a wildcat oil well.

He is leaving the progs "howling at the moon." They don't know what else to say about him, what other slanders and libels to heave in his direction, what more fake narratives and news to conjure up. Nothing seems to work. It all boomerangs.

If Trump can keep this up, he will go down as one of the great presidents. He is a revolutionary force. I am more than impressed.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Back from DC & Maybe Just a Little Too Happy . . .

Got back last night from the wedding in DC.

My number three son and a wonderfully funny, smart and very pretty lady got married at the Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. Great wedding and lots of fun. Got to get together with some old friends, make some new ones, and act as tour guide for my wife's relatives from Spain. They loved the Smithsonian Air and Space museum (possibly the greatest museum in the world), the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the time we spent at Ford's Theatre delving into the story of America's Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln by a Shakespearean actor who became obsessed with killing Caesar--hmmm, sound familiar?

The weather was great, and DC, a city for which I never had any love when I worked there, was actually pleasant, clean, efficient, and even civilized. Everybody, and I mean everybody, I encountered on the street, in restaurants, in stores, at monuments, etc., was very polite, well-mannered, and helpful.

I was there for almost seven days and had not one rude or untoward experience with anybody, be they American, foreign, black, white, brown, or any other of God's brands. How can this be? Are things on the ground perhaps not really as bad as pretentious pundits declare? Is it all "fake news" a la CNN? Is the grief and conflict we see, hear, and read about in the media just the handiwork of power-mad politicians and unscrupulous "journalists" and "activists"? The Diplomad will explore this matrix and get back to you . . . and, meanwhile, enjoy yet another Trumpian victory over CNN. Gotta love it!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Operation Barbarossa and its Lessons for Today

Seventy-six years ago, June 22, 1941, Hitler launched "Operation Barbarossa," the massive invasion of the Soviet Union. It involved some 4.5 million Axis troops, over three million of them German, and within six months had placed the Nazis on the outskirts of Moscow, and, it seemed, on the verge of a total victory over Stalin's USSR. In the end, of course, it didn't turn out that way. I will not go into a military history of Barbarossa and the disaster into which it ultimately became for the Axis powers; some of the readers of this blog probably could write volumes about WWII. No, that's not the purpose of this little piece.

I began thinking about Barbarossa as I watched a couple of clips of lefty Democrats going on and on about Trump-Russia "collusion." Interesting that the American left now have sudden concerns about not just our national security, but with Russian "influence." They fret and rage that Putin colluded with Trump to thwart Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House. They fret and rage, of course, despite the lack of any evidence that such "collusion" took place.

It is worth recalling that in days not really so long ago, there was collusion between the left and the Moscow. In fact, the collusion was so close that the left was willing to accept the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop Pact without skipping a beat. Let us not forget that prior to the signing in August 1939 of that "Non-Aggression" accord between Moscow and Berlin, the left in Europe and America was vehemently anti-Nazi--remember the Spanish Civil War. Once, however, word came out that Hitler and Stalin had reached an understanding, the left switched to opposing war against the Nazis. We should note, for example, that the Communists in France, responding to orders from Moscow, gave up non-Communist members of the French resistance to the Nazi occupiers and a slow, painful death. Communists in America and Europe opposed helping the evil capitalist imperialists in London as Churchill's Britain waged its desperate and lonely war against the Nazis. All that changed in an instant when the Nazi alliance invaded the USSR. Suddenly, "We have always been at war with Eastasia Hitler" was the slogan and the left insisted we forget about the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop Pact, the invasion of Finland, the Nazi-Soviet partition of Poland, etc. Through its well-placed web of agents and fellow-travelers in the mass media, academia, and, of course, the government bureaucracy (see Senator McCarthy) suddenly the message was one of concern for national security and of the imperative need to defeat Hitler--and save the USSR.

They are at it, again.

Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in the USSR, and his band of followers, who have never had a kind word to say about American national security, are up-in-arms about Russian "interference" in our elections. Bernie, of course, is not alone. Democrats and other assorted lefties, such as Hillary Clinton who with her husband engaged in, shall we say, some highly profitable "collusion" with Moscow, and even tried to "reset" relations with Russians, have formed a chorus demanding an "explanation" of Trump's alleged collusion with Russia, and even put out demands for Trump's impeachment. It would seem that Communist Russia, aka the USSR, was something for us to  co-exist with while the much weaker Russia of Putin is something for us to fear. We hear that Russia is taking over!

"We have always been at war with Eastasia Russia."

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Leftist Savagery Continues

On May 1, I posted a piece "commemorating" the 100 days of leftist savagery that we had seen since President Trump's inauguration. I noted that during those first 100 days,
Opponents tried to disrupt the inauguration, and have engaged in a consistent pattern of street violence and thuggery aimed at intimidating Trump supporters and trying to give the impression that the country is ungovernable unless the progressives are in charge. Nothing is off limits, including Trump's family, in this assault on the new president. Unprecedented coarseness, violence, and fake news are all arrows in the progressive quiver and being unleashed on Trump and supporters daily.
We have marched past the 100-day milestone and this leftist savagery shows no signs of abating. As the Russian collusion nonsense implodes, especially after the bizarre Comey's bizarre testimony, the lefties are going for some sort of an obstruction of justice gambit in which Trump is accused of trying to block an investigation on him which was not happening, and somehow trying to block an investigation into others by saying that he hoped it would proceed. Whole thing doesn't make sense except in the whacky world of Washington where process, crime, words, actions, leaks all become melded into some weird legalistic lawyer salad in which one can pick out any little piece of condiment one wants and say the whole salad is about that.

Even Kafka would be amazed at how people can be accused of nonsense, then be accused of debunking that nonsense, and then accused of preventing an investigation of that nonsense that was not happening in the first place. . .

What exactly is the Special Counsel investigating? He's investigating an investigation that found nothing, and is determined, it seems, to bring charges of some kind against somebody for doing nothing wrong. A sad, horrible, destructive joke, and, of course, after AG Sessions masterful appearance before the Senate, this whole thing should go away . . . but, no, no it won't . . ..

The leftist savages, not content to limit their terrorism to the faux legal/media world, have encouraged it to spill out into the real world where real people live and work and play. They have expanded and built on the savagery evinced by the BLM "movement" and the thugs from ANTIFA. We now have seen a Bernie Bro take up a weapon, and go Republican hunting on a baseball diamond in Virginia. Thank God and some brave and straight-shooting Capitol Hill cops, the only one who departed this planet was the lefty psycho. As so happens every time the lefties' narrative takes a hit, you know, the one about Trump people being violent fascists, they try to shift it to something else. Gun control is the standard fall back, and now we also are hearing that the Bernie Bro was driven to his actions by the hateful rhetoric of the Trumpsters. The hateful eliminationist rhetoric and play acting of the left and its echo chamber media, that had nothing to do with anything since that's just art and free expression. Only right-wing speech and symbols can drive people on the right and on the left to violence.

Gotta keep up, folks, gotta keep up. Confederate flags will turn ordinary people into mass murderers, but Communist and Anarchist flags, idiotic "comedians" pretending to behead the President, stage actors "assassinating" the President, a defeated and corrupt Democrat Presidential candidate talking about joining the "Resistance," well, that's just freedom at work, nothing to see here, move along, move along, the next meeting of that Resistance is in five minutes, drinks and ammo will be provided.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Questionable Decisions and an Impending Wedding

My blogging is being affected in a bigly way by the impending marriage of my number three son. He lives in DC and his wedding is on the 24th. The preparations have been immense and as we come down to the wire the Diplowife's tyranny has grown.

Today I had to do the thing I hate the most on this earth: try on clothes. Went to a local clothing store a few weeks ago, ordered a couple of suits, ties, etc., and thought that was the end of it. But no! Today I had to go try the things on and, of course, the Diplowife was unhappy with how I looked--now she notices? Alterations, fried nerves, agitation, looming deadline. . . ugh! When I left the State Department I ceremoniously trashed all my suits, ties, sport coats, dress shoes . . . I sought to live the rest of my life in sweat pant and sneaker glory.

Now to have to go back and get that stuff again . .  . well, it has ultra frazzled my already frazzled nerves and is making blogging very difficult.

Anyhow, the boy is marrying a perfectly delightful lady--she appears on FOX News as an expert on education, and works at the Heritage Foundation . .  . so, of course, she has the Diplomad Approval Stamp. She's a YUGE Trump fan, proving that not all youngsters are lost to the progressive maw.

I've been a bit discombobulated, and have made some decisions which I hope are not too questionable. I sold my 1966 Olds AND my 2015 GT Mustang. My 73 Mach 1 and my 76 Cadillac are also up for sale (Laguna Classic Cars).  Please buy them and make the Diplowife happy.

I have bought two Jeep Wranglers to console myself. They are great! Lot of fun. I am decking them out with everything I can think of, and some day, yes, some day, might actually take them off-road. The Diplowife doesn't want to hear it because, as she says, we've spent most of our married life "off-road" in places such as Pakistan, Guatemala, and Bolivia, and she's had enough dirt roads and rocky climbs to last her a lifetime. So I think my wonderfully equipped Wranglers will be confined to making COSTCO runs, but they will impress!

As an old-school fart, I have made sure that both Wranglers have six-speed manual transmissions--keeps the number of potential wanna-be drivers down. Yesterday, in fact, I was showing off one of these beauts to my neighbor when he looked inside and asked "What's that third pedal for?" This is when it was confirmed to me that my beloved Western Civilization is in a deep, deep crisis . . . "What's that third pedal for?" shall be the motto, the very leitmotif of our campaign to organize, to rally, to lead the drive to restore that Civilization to its former glory! NO automatic transmissions! No driverless cars! No hybrids! No electric cars! No power windows! OK, OK, we will accept cup holders, but that's it!

Back to something about cleaning the house for when our foreign guests arrive after the wedding. No more GSO to take care of that sort of thing . . .

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Comey Serves Up a Nothingburger with Fries and Slaw

The Comey hearing. OK, I watched the damn thing. I am trying to avoid reading the post-hearing professional punditry so that I won't be influenced by the "experts" as I offer my own amateur punditry.

I think Comey damaged his reputation further (here, here, here) and came off as a cry baby with seriously hurt feelings. More important, however, at least to my mind, the whole thing was over in the first few minutes of Comey being questioned.

OK, my checklist:

--The President does have the right to fire the FBI director;

--The President, although he has the authority to do so, did not try to halt the investigation into General Flynn and "Collusion with Russia";

--The President told the truth when he said Comey had told him that Trump was not a target of the investigation;

--The President told Comey to continue with the investigation as he wanted to know if any of his "satellites" had done something wrong;

--The investigation continues even without Comey.

So what the hell is this all about? Where's the crime? Where's the scandal? Waiter, I would like a little meat between the bread slices, please.

Now there was a big nothingburger when it comes to "Trump scandals," but there also was a large order of fries and a side of slaw thrown on our plates a bit later.

First, as many of us suspected, Comey was the leaker of the Comey "memos." He admitted it, saying he did it to provoke the creation of a Special Counsel probe into the Russia issue. That is outrageous and helps explain this ex-Director's lax attitude towards leaks. Once he wrote those memos as FBI Director, those memos did not belong to him; they belonged to the United States Government and are subject to the appropriate USG classification and use regulations. The ex-Director should be charged.

Second, he casually acknowledged what many of us also had suspected, to wit, that former AG Lynch did try to interfere in the FBI investigation into the Clinton email scandal. Lynch needs to be subpoenaed, investigated, and, if appropriate, charged with obstruction of justice. Comey's own lax behavior in the wake of the Lynch attempt to obstruct justice should also be investigated, and he should face charges.

What comes out negative for President Trump?

Simply put, he got hoisted by his and his staff's inexperience with the slippery oily ways of Washington.

As a man who grew up in the construction/real estate business, mostly in the brutal New York market, Trump knows how to deal with sharks. He knows that, in the end, 99% of the time, a deal can be struck in which both parties emerge as winners. "Come on. We're alone now. What's your bottom line?" DC is different. DC is a town of lawyers. The DC sharks tend to be wily but cowardly; they hide behind lawyers, the endless reams of legal code that choke the town, and press leaks. Everything is quasi-legal and any "slip" an outrage to be exploited by the progressive media.

You need a lawyer to do almost anything; no conversation should be held without a lawyer present. In the DC environment, Trump expressing his wish that Flynn be spared further embarrassment and prosecution after already having been abruptly dismissed from his job as National Security Advisor, turns into a lawyer gabfest. Did the President try to interfere with any investigation into Flynn? Not that I know. So he expressed his wish to see the guy not be slimed anymore, so what?

This has to stop. We have people out of work; jihadis running amok; the Norks threatening to pop nukes over Honolulu and Okinawa; the Chinese paving over the South China Sea; and Putin laughing his head off as we run around chasing our tails with these idiotic scandals.

To quote PM May, "Enough is enough!"

Sunday, June 4, 2017

London, Again

I can't write much more about this topic. It's all been said, so many, many times. The murdering SOBs have struck again in the heart of the one of the world's greatest cities. The British armed police reacted quickly and effectively, killing the three rampaging jihadis in a hail of bullets within eight minutes of the start of attack. Attack is the word: as I wrote years ago, when it comes to the Islamists, "We are under attack, when we should be at war."

Now the usual lefty proggy search for "answers" and "motives" begins. We hear, of course, the calls to avoid a backlash against Muslims because they follow a Religion of Peace. We see the lashing out at President Trump for calling again for greater travel restrictions (not a "ban") on citizens from certain jihadi-providing countries. I am sick of this script. I am sick of the teddy bears, flowers, empty "motivational" slogans, and hashtags.

PM May has boldly stated, "Enough is enough!" Really? So whatcha gonna do, Madam? What are all of our leaders going to do?

How many more deaths before the brutal reality of what we have done to our cities and societies becomes apparent? How many more must die before our governments do what governments are supposed to do: protect us from the killers, or, at least, allow us to protect ourselves.

Disgusted beyond words.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Le Président Trump dit, "Au revoir mon précieux Paris!"

And we're out!

I had begun to have doubts that he would pull the trigger. I guess I had read too much media about all the possible permutations of a possible President Trump announcement on the absurd Paris Climate Agreement (the link provided has the entire text; if you have nothing else to do, please read it. I find that the people who most support it, haven't read it.)

President Trump spoke in his usual blunt way, i.e., not a whole lot of diplo-speak,
I am fighting every day for the great people of this country. Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord -- (applause) -- thank you, thank you -- but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers. So we’re getting out. But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine. (Applause.)

As President, I can put no other consideration before the wellbeing of American citizens. The Paris Climate Accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers -- who I love -- and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production. 
Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune.
He laid out the case for getting out of the Accord in a magnificent manner; it's well-worth reading the whole announcement.

He identified it clearly as just another progressive wealth suppression and distribution scheme, that would increase government power, diminish the economic opportunities of ordinary Americans, further burden the US taxpayer, and do nothing about the environment. It allowed YUGE polluters such as China and India waivers on just about everything for years to come, and promised India trillions of dollars in aid. It set up a bureaucratic monstrosity, some sort of UN-run Green Fund, that would administer billions of dollars to Third World countries to help them (unspecified how) fight climate change. All rubbish.

I have seen some commentators saying the President should have gone along with the Agreement because it was voluntary, and we could unwind its provisions quietly at home. Yeah, yeah. Look, I have written before about how progressives use words to change the nature of debate. They also aim at false targets, "we . . . find repeatedly that the announced target of progressive wrath is not the ultimate target. The target is altered." The real target of this sort of accord is not combating some illusory global warming or cooling. It is about increasing the power of the institutions controlled by progressives. The United States, for example, is a nation obsessed with laws. An accord such as this one, although not ratified by the Senate, would quickly find its way into our law books and spawn endless lawsuits and civil actions against firms, individuals, and government agencies not complying with the Accord. It is yet another in the endless effort to provide full employment to divisions of progressive lawyers.

Thank you, President Trump.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Merkel Refuses to be Talked Off the Ledge

German Chancellor Angela Merkel just let the world know that her country and Europe can no longer "completely rely" upon the US and UK and that this has become quite clear these past few days, i.e., during President Trump's visit to Europe. She criticized Brexit and the US "failure" to reaffirm its commitment to the Paris Climate accord. She said Europe needs to stand together, and "that we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands for its own defense."

This has produced a torrent of prog chatter on both sides of the Atlantic trying to show how President Trump has destroyed the Western alliance, something, of course, which Putin and Russia have long sought.

I will use a highly technical, quasi-legalistic diplomatic term in response to Merkel, et al: Crap!

If anybody has destroyed or at least seriously degraded the Western alliance it is Merkel and her progressive ilk. It is they who have opened the flood gates to a torrent of jihadis and produced the security and demographic nightmares that characterize today's Europe.

It is, of course, the EU which has for years sought to degrade NATO, and promote the EU as a political, military and economic rival and alternative to the "Anglo-Saxons," going so far as to produce even its own currency, the Bernie Madoff-like euro.

As I noted many years ago --2011, to be exact--
The EU as currently structured is a scheme that has as its political purpose to reestablish Europe as the center of the world, and dim the light of those braggarts with their Coca-Cola, cowboys, Hollywood, aircraft carriers, and comic books on the other side of the Atlantic. Many years ago, as the EU monster was growing and making ugly noises, I told a German diplomat friend that "France sees the EU as an anti-American project led by French politicians, protected by British troops, and paid for by German taxpayers." That was in the early 1980s; I wasn't too far off.

If you go to the EU's official websites you see lots of bragging about all that the EU has "done," e.g., ended the Cold War, brought peace to Europe, etc. It is written sort of like an Obama speech. It's, of course, rubbish. The EU has basically done nothing except create an enormous bureaucratic Frankenstein and come up with the ultimate Procrustean bed, the euro.
Except for a handful of Europeans, the UK, Greece (surprise!), Estonia, and Poland (of course), the rest are not meeting their defense commitments. The Germans and the French did not like the blunt Trump telling them this in his blunt way.

So as Germany goes into its election cycle, Merkel has decided to seek votes among the anti-American, anti-British slice of the electorate, and to endorse the revolutionary idea of Europe doing what it is already doing: going to hell real fast.

Merkel is committed to a Jack Kevorkian policy for Europe.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Snapshot of Our Present Condition

A beautiful sunny day here in southern California. Took the dogs for a long walk just before 6 am and they are now happily chomping on kibble and chicken strips. The Diplowife is at the gym. I am waiting for the electrician to come check a faulty outlet that is playing havoc with the pool filter, so this is the perfect moment to write about how horrible most things are. Not all things, just most.

President Trump is back in the USA from his first foray abroad as President. I think he did a tremendous job. He was flexible and accommodating where needed, and tough and blunt also where needed. I didn't see any missteps of any significance. He has firmly established himself as the major player on the world scene. He does not intend, clearly, to lead from behind. The vacuum that has existed for the past eight dreadful years has been filled, and unlike many of these sorts of trips, I think this one will have lasting and positive consequences. More on that in a later post.

The jihadis, of course, continue their onslaught. We have seen them target, attack and murder children in Manchester, England, and target buses of Coptic Christians on their way to prayer in Egypt. This aside, naturally, from the routine jihadi mayhem that now hardly gets reported in places such as Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. The media finds the mass murder of brown people in remote places easy to ignore, and, besides, it doesn't fit the narrative they want us to swallow about Islam, its peaceful nature, and how Muslims suffer from Western Islamophobia. We all know, of course, that the two greatest crises facing Western civilization are our antipathy towards hijabs and our unfounded belief that Islamism is a violent death cult. The biggest threat facing people in Manchester, for example, is that long-predicted anti-Muslim backlash that's coming any day now. It's imminent, absolutely, just like the anti-Muslim backlashes that took place in New York, Orlando, San Bernardino, London, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, and so many other places with no valid reason for fearing or resenting Islamism and its totalitarian preachings.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło is one of the few making sense. She gave a marvelous and blunt speech in parliament in the wake of the Manchester massacre,
We are not going to take part in the madness of the Brussels elite . . . We want to help people, not the political elites. 
Where are you headed Europe? Rise from your knees and from your lethargy or you will be crying over your children every day. 
If you can’t see this – if you can’t see that terrorism currently has the potential to hurt every country in Europe, and you think that Poland should not defend itself, you are going hand in hand with those who point this weapon against Europe, against all of us. 
It needs to be said clearly and directly: This is an attack on Europe, on our culture, on our traditions. 
Do we want politicians who claim we have to get used to the attacks, and who describe terrorist attacks as incidents, or do we want strong politicians who can see the danger and can fight against it efficiently?
Here in the USA, thank God, all of our major problems have been solved so we can spend hours, days, weeks, months fretting over "collusion" between the Trump campaign and administration with Russia. What form this "collusion" took place and what evidence there is to support such a charge, well, those are unknowns, or to put it more plainly and in the pseudo-legal jargon that has taken over our daily speech, there is no evidence. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Rien.

But yet, but yet, the Washington Post and other major media outlets are full of stories of how the "scandal" grows! It is now apparently illegal to talk to Russia. It was fine for Obama to talk to and give away the store to the Iranians, and to do the wave at a ball game with mass murderer Raul Castro, but Heaven help us if Trump wants to talk to the Russians about terrorism! It's not like he's selling them 20% of our uranium supply in exchange for some $500,000 speaking fees and a contribution to the Clinton Trump Foundation. That would never happen.

The Social Justice Warriors continue their war on common sense. There are just too many examples. One, of course, is their insistence on bizarre WOMAN STRONG comic book characters--they, of course, ignore real strong women such as the Polish PM. I laugh at the present controversy over the all-woman showing of what seems to be an idiotic film, "Wonder Woman." You have here a movie made by rich elite people all around the world in places where they get tax breaks for making movies. I am going to go out on a limb and make a bold prediction, that this movie will bomb just like the all woman version of "Ghost Busters," and when it bombs we will hear endless speeches about mysoginy and Trump . . . bold prediction, that.

Well, that's enough for now. I hear my dogs barking so either the electrician has shown up or the social justice police are here to cart me away.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Manchester Massacre: The No Surprise List

ISIS is claiming credit for the attack and massacre in Manchester that targeted children and teenagers. No surprise.

Also no surprise is that the suspected suicide bomber is the child of Muslim refugees, this time from Libya. That's the reward Western societies get for their generosity, tolerance, and adherence to "diversity."

Also, of course, no surprise is that even while British parents are still frantically looking for their missing children or discovering that their kids have been blown apart by a "nail bomb," the progressive dolts are already putting out messages of support and love for . . . Muslims in Britain, because we all know that the greatest issue with these terror attacks by Muslims is that we might blame Muslims for them. No surprise.

Another in the "no surprise" category, the murdering savage was "known to authorities."

And, of course, the bombing took place at a concert by some minor American celebrity known as Ariana Grande whose greatest prior achievement apparently was being caught on video licking doughnuts in a pastry shop and expressing her hatred for America. I guess that didn't get her any points with ISIS. Progressives please note: They will kill you, too.

It seems that in the immortal words of the criminally stupid Mayor of London, we just have to get used to these sorts of things. Terror attacks are like traffic jams, garbage collector strikes, and noisy neighbors, just things to be tolerated as part of life in the cities of the West. Nothing to see here. No surprise.

And here at home, well, the press and Congress are going on and on about Russia. No surprise.

Feel free to add to the "no surprise" list.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Arc de Trump: President Off to a Very Fine Start

He did very, very well.  If there were any justice or sense of fairness in the main stream media outlets of the world, Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia wold be hailed as a major success for America and the West.

His first speech abroad as President was a carefully drafted and well-delivered blend of diplomatic boiler-plate AND a good dose of tough and clear straight-talk. I know, I know, friends and others have pointed out that Trump didn't use the exact phrase "radical Islamic terror" but he came close enough, and his audience knew damn well about whom he was talking.

He did a masterful job of telling the Muslim world, well the Sunni part of it, at least, that if ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko, Hamas, etc., are not following the tenets of Islam, it is up to the Islamic world to say so, and act in accordance. I thought he also did a good job of following through on the principles laid out by Tillerson to the effect that our values are one thing, our policies might be another.   

I suspect that SecState Tillerson, with his long experience working with the Kingdom, gets at least some of the credit for the stunning reception given Trump by the Saudis. They clearly went out of their way to show him and America great respect and to acknowledge that there has been a change for the positive in Washington since the end of the dismal Obama misadministration.

The President leaves Saudi Arabia with the wind at his back. I think he's going to get a great reception in Israel, and that the Israelis will appreciate what he has accomplished in his first visit to the Muslim world.

When I get home I will do a more thorough look at the visit. Now, I must ready for another sojourn onto the streets of Manhattan. My credit card has not yet maxed out . .  .

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Democrats Resurrect Stalin and Beria

Sitting in my hotel room in Manhattan while the Diplowife and the Diplodaughter spend what's left in my bank account, I was reading a great CATO post from 2010, "The Criminalization of Almost Everything," and ran across this wonderful paragraph,
Alan Dershowitz discusses his time litigating cases in the old Soviet Union. He was always taken by the fact that they could prosecute anybody they wanted because some of the statutes were so vague. Dershowitz points out that this was a technique developed by Beria, the infamous sidekick of Stalin, who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” That really is something that has survived the Soviet Union and has arrived in the good old USA. “Show me the man,” says any federal prosecutor, “and I can show you the crime.”
Does this sound familiar?

It seems that anything the progs don't like should be considered a criminal offense.

How many of us could survive with our finances, reputation, and soul intact from an open, endless investigation by powerful agents of the state with unlimited resources and powers of coercion? Nobody, that's who.

On the Trump-Russia investigation, for example, please find the crime. None exists. All that we have is politically motivated speculation joined with politically motivated citing of politically motivated anonymous "sources" making increasingly outlandish and politically perfectly timed allegations.

When, however, we turn to actual crimes committed by the Democrat high and mighty, e.g., "Fast and Furious," unsecured servers used to transmit classified information, then, well, no such investigations or prosecutions are to be undertaken.

It seems, therefore, that it is the progressives who have come under the influence of Moscow and two of its most famous past denizens, Joseph Stalin and Lavrentiy Beria.

I think we need an investigation . . .

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Heading East

Blogging might be a bit on the light side for a few days. I am flying back to my ol' hometown of New York City.

Born there many years ago. Worked at the UN, too.

Haven't been there in several years.

Going to see the wonders wrought by Blasio Rule.

I will have my IPAD with me, but . . . .

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Attack Continues: Russia, Part 397 . . .

I have written before that the lefties are out to sabotage the President and make America look ungovernable unless the progressives are firmly in charge. We see manifestations of this sabotage every day, and the ferocity grows. The idea being, of course, that eventually even the strongest Trump supporter will get tired and just give up, and say "OK. OK. Let's put somebody else in . . . "

The most recent iteration, as of this writing, is a return to the Russian meme whereby Donald Trump and his administration are portrayed as puppets of Moscow, dancing to Putin's will. The latest allegation, as of this writing, is the claim that in the course of a meeting among the President, the Russian Ambassador, the Russian Foreign Minister, the US SecState, and the US National Security Advisor, our President gave away incredibly sensitive classified information to the Russians, revealing sources and methods and burning the foreign ally who had provided the information. You can go read all the gory and dreary back-and-forth details on this; I don't have the energy to go through it all. The President's enemies, yawn, are calling for his impeachment; we are hearing the "traitor" word, etc.

Let me give you my conclusion: Bullsh*t!

I hope that's not too legalistic.

On that subject, let's get all the legal and quasi-legal mumbo-jumbo out of the way. Our President has the right and duty to meet foreign officials, to discuss matters of concern to the United States, and to seek their cooperation in those matters. That includes meeting the Russians. Neither the Constitution nor the law prohibits meeting the Russians. Russia is a big, important, and difficult country. There is nothing wrong with talking to the Russians and trying to find areas of common agreement and cooperation. Every President since FDR has done it; in fact, let us also remember Teddy Roosevelt's working out a peace deal between Japan and Russia. It's tough work and, usually not too successful, but worth the effort. We should not be afraid of the Russians; we can handle them.

The President, under the law, furthermore, can say, reveal, or share anything he wants. Material is classified if the President says it is; it is not classified if the President says it is not. Yep, that simple.

The details of a private conversation by a US official with a foreign official normally are classified. Usually, that is. When it's the President, well, it's Schrödinger paradox, to wit, the cat is both alive and dead (here); the conversation is both classified and unclassified. The ultimate authority is not the Attorney General, the FBI Director, or the Washington Post--it's not even poor Schrödinger. No, it's the President. Under our laws, our President has the power to determine if that cat is alive or dead. Nobody else. So, I repeat, if the President wants to say something to a foreign official, he can; if he wants to "share" or "give away" the most sensitive information, he can. There ain't nothing the lawyers can do about it. Good? Bad? I don't know. It's the law. The President has the ultimate authority to decide what is or is not classified.

It seems that the conversation with the Russians was about getting them to be more helpful combatting ISIS in Syria and elsewhere. It seems the conversation also mentioned the ban on laptops on flights from certain airports. Now, of course, that topic has been in the media for weeks; both the US and UK governments, for example, publicly have explained that laptops will not be allowed in the cabins of certain flights. This is not classified information. That cat is dead.

NSA McMaster came out and flatly said that the Washington Post/NY Times account of the conversation which had Trump giving away the store was "false." McMaster was in the conversation; the anonymous sources upon whom the MSM drew for their "bombshell" report were not--unless those are Tillerson, McMaster, or the two Russians (doubtful, no?) Who would have done it? Lots of suspects. The journalists might have made up their account--it's possible--I think, however, the culprits likely are members of the permanent bureaucracy that prepared the briefing papers, the talking points, and the Memorandum of Conversation. This is another attempt to bog Trump in the swamp.

McMaster also said the President did not know the sources or methods of the information discussed so he couldn't have given them away. That produced an avalanche of snide progressive snickering about the President not being briefed because he's some sort of irresponsible dope. Note to progs. The Presidential briefing papers normally do not contain the source and methods of the information. It was the same for Obama. The source can be described as a " foreign government source," a "source who has reported reliably in the past," as one who "has generally reported reliably," as a "new untested source," or some other phrase describing analysts' confidence in the information and the source. The President, of course, can ask for the source and methods, but that is rarely done.

I find very troubling that the NYT revealed the country that provided the intel on the ISIS activities being discussed. That is classified and actionable. Find that leaker and prosecute him/her. I repeat, that was not revealed by President Trump; that was by the very journalists decrying the "release of classified information."

Let us not forget, as I have written often, that the progressives have infiltrated the bureaucracy of government from top to bottom. There is a palpable hatred for Trump within that bureaucracy; he wasn't supposed to win! I am willing to bet, for example, that easily 80% of State Department bureaucrats voted for Hillary Clinton--easily 80%, and probably closer to 90%.

Sabotage is all they have left on the left . . .

Monday, May 15, 2017

People of Venezuela Continue to Pay the Price of Socialism

That price is growing.

I find amazing how little press reporting we are getting from the major outlets on the crisis in Venezuela. Casual observers would get the impression that Venezuela is having riots and other disturbances only because the price of oil has collapsed. The media, in the main, can't bring themselves to admit that the collapse underway on Venezuela is the direct consequences of some 18 years of Chavez-Maduro-Castro socialism.

Socialism always comes with a huge butcher's bill; the people who eat the chops and steaks, however, are never the ones who get called on to pay it.

The high oil prices of a few years ago helped paper over the disastrous economic policies pursued by the socialists. Free stuff for everybody--well, everybody who supported the regime, that is--was possible while the mega-bucks poured in; folks could ignore the rampant corruption, the enrichment of the Chavez family and a bevy of narco-dealing politicos, generals, and senior bureaucrats. The high prices also, for a time, covered up the consequences of the corruption and ineptness in the nationalized oil industry, and the use of Venezuela's petro-dollars to buy Chavez favor abroad. All that's over, and the buzzards have come home to roost and feast.

The thuggish Maduro hangs onto power by completely gutting what was left of Venezuelan democracy, using the power of the gun to stifle the rumblings of the empty bellies of his people. That strategy seems to be running out of steam. The unrest grows in Venezuela and Maduro's incompetence becomes more and more pronounced. As I noted before, he can't even do dictatorship right. 

I think we are beginning to move into the final chapters of this sad story. The opposition is growing ever more bold. We see that opposition not only taking to the streets but also calling on Venezuela's military to restrain Maduro (here, here) and help put an end to the crisis.

Now, of course, the military leadership is extremely corrupt; many of those leaders have gotten quite wealthy thanks to socialism, and, undoubtedly, many of them fear what could come after a Maduro collapse. That said, there are probably some thoughtful military officers who have serious doubts about pulling the trigger in favor of Maduro, a Maduro who looks increasingly weak, lost, and internationally isolated. I could see a scenario wherein some senior military tell Maduro he must go away, put him on a plane to Cuba, and then present themselves as heroes to the people.

Let's hope this can be resolved quickly and with minimal suffering. Socialism already has claimed enough victims over the past century.

No need to add to the tally.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Comey Goes

It was just a matter of time. I think we all knew that sooner or later FBI Director James Comey would get the boot. I would speculate that had Hillary Clinton won the election, Comey would have been gone within a week to the cheers and applause of the same Democrats now moaning about Comey getting the Trump boot.

What was Comey's "crime"?

Forget the contradictory statements about the Russians, forget even, if you can, about the weird "investigation" into Hillary's home-brewed server, forget about WikiLeaks, also forget about Comey's lackadaisical attitude towards the leaking of classified information. All those are reasons to dump Comey, no doubt, but, I think Comey's greatest sin was that we all know who he is.

Most people would be hard-pressed to name an FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover. That's how it should be. The FBI Director is meant to be a relatively obscure personage operating in that weird twilight zone intersection of fighting national and international crime and countering foreign espionage. The FBI Director should not, IMHO, be a media personality much less an obvious political actor, or at least, that's the way it was. The Director, I think, is not meant to be casting long shadows over our national elections with lengthy and, frankly, bizarre press conferences about ongoing investigations. It all went to his head, and he ignored his real duties. I have written before (here) that he simply made a mess of the FBI and its reputation,
The investigation of the Clinton Crime Family and, in particular, that of SecState Clinton's use of a private email server for classified information, and her use of the State Department as her and Bill's ATM leaves much to be desired. I, for example, cannot understand how an apparently morally upright and professionally competent Director, such as James Comey, did not go public with a resignation slammed down on the President's desk when Attorney General Lynch met "secretly" with Bill Clinton on that Arizona tarmac days before the FBI was to wrap-up its initial investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal. I do not understand how Comey could have made the public statement that he made on July 5 when he gave Hillary Clinton a pass on her scandalous, unethical, dangerous, and illegal use of a private server for official work. I do not for a second believe, despite what Comey said at the time, that nobody, including presumably Lynch, Obama, and the Clintons, knew Comey would recommend no indictment. I knew it the minute Lynch announced beforehand that she would accept whatever recommendation the FBI made. Right. Sure thing. Did Donna Brazile send you an email? 
The FBI leadership made a hash of the investigation into Clinton. It was such a hash, that, reportedly, Comey's desk received a large number of outraged letters of resignation from agents justifiably angry over what Comey had done. He needed an excuse to try to save his reputation, when along comes Huma Abedin's husband El Perverso Anthony Carlos Danger Weiner. Apparently, an investigation into his "sexting" with a minor girl revealed tens-of-thousands of emails on his computer which MIGHT have relevance to the original investigation into Hillary's emails. So, reboot: A public reboot via a vague letter to the Congress that requires a lot of reading between the lines.
As noted in that same October 2016 piece, the Democrats had a point when they started calling for Comey's head. We have even heard from Hillary Clinton that she now blames Comey for her loss of the election--wait, wait, I thought it was mysoginists, or white supremacists, or voter suppression, or Russia, or . . . . But now, well, yes, the same Dems then livid about Comey being in office, are now livid that he's out of office. Go figure . . .

President Trump did the right thing by booting Comey. Timing? There was never going to be a "good" time to take a major decision such as this one. If he had fired Comey the day after the inauguration would Dem outrage have been less? If he had fired him a year from now? Two years from now? If he had kept him in office? The OUTRAGE generator would have cranked out the same voltage--or to conjure a different image, the alligators get testy when you try to drain the swamp . .  .

I repeat, the President did the right thing. He now needs to pick a Director who will restore the FBI's reputation and effectiveness. Ironically, he might just have to pick a media star in order to counter the damage wrought by the last one.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

La mort de la France?

The answer to the somewhat pompous question in the title is, "Maybe not quite yet, but keep the life support equipment handy."

The French presidential election turned out pretty much as expected; well, in fact, Macron did better than expected taking some two-thirds of the valid votes cast (a pretty good initial analysis of the voting is found in the UK Telegraph here. ) Macron took a stunning 90% of the valid votes in Paris. He did somewhat less well in the countryside, but turned in an impressive electoral victory, nevertheless. I don't know the internal dynamics of French politics very well, so I am not in a position to say that Le Pen's loss and Macron's win were due to message, personality, organization, or the thousand other "factors" that pundits pull out of the air to explain an election result. We will wait on the wise ones to tell us.

Just a few observations from geographically distant California. I would note that Le Pen's followers are not rioting or claiming that Macron is illegitimate. I thought they were the fascists? Hmm . . . I wonder if the reverse would have been true? I also note that Macron was preparing his own "the Russians did it" line of defense should Le Pen have won.

I also note, that our own Hillary Clinton sent out a Tweet that read,
"Victory for Macron, for France, the EU, & the world. Defeat to those interfering w/democracy. (But the media says I can't talk about that)" 
I guess that means, forgive my crudeness and lack of knowledge about the "settled science" on such matters, that Marine Le Pen does not have a vagina? What happened to "the special place in hell for women who do not support other women"? Will Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright be taking up residence in that "special place"? The "media" doesn't let the poor baby "talk"? Ah, more pathos, more self-pity, more bathos . . .. Sorry, didn't mean to make the French election about the US.

Turning back to France, I see this as a possible Petain moment. (Or maybe this?)

Will Macron be the new Petain?

Will he acquiesce in the occupation of democratic France by a hostile force driven by a totalitarian ideology?

It sure seems that way.

Hope Macron proves me wrong.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tillerson at State: Sounds Like He Gets It

I would urge all of you to read the address made by SecState Rex Tillerson at the Department on May 3.  Read the text itself, not the rather ignorant press reports about it, e.g., here and here, which seem to rely entirely on reactions either by hard-core bureaucrats or outright Obamistas. It's a remarkable speech in its clarity and, must be noted, one of considerable gutsiness as Tillerson must have known how it would be twisted and maliciously misinterpreted. It also, ahem, happens to reflect just about everything I have ever said and thought about how we should run US foreign policy--here, for example.

It is a speech which could have been written by Hans Morgenthau or Henry Kissinger. It is a return to a foreign policy with the goal of preserving and promoting the national interest. That "national interest" is more narrowly defined than we have become accustomed to in the last few disastrous years.  Clearly Tillerson sees the State Department as working to protect, above all, the nation's security and economic interests. That's how he interprets President Trump's vow to make "America First." There is no airy and, in the end, dangerous promise to "bear any burden," or to make the "world safe for democracy." He makes the excellent observation that
So let’s talk first about my view of how you translate “America first” into our foreign policy. And I think I approach it really that it’s America first for national security and economic prosperity, and that doesn’t mean it comes at the expense of others. Our partnerships and our alliances are critical to our success in both of those areas. But as we have progressed over the last 20 years – and some of you could tie it back to the post-Cold War era as the world has changed, some of you can tie it back to the evolution of China since the post-Nixon era and China’s rise as an economic power, and now as a growing military power – that as we participated in those changes, we were promoting relations, we were promoting economic activity, we were promoting trade with a lot of these emerging economies, and we just kind of lost track of how we were doing. And as a result, things got a little bit out of balance. And I think that’s – as you hear the President talk about it, that’s what he really speaks about, is: Look, things have gotten out of balance, and these are really important relationships to us and they’re really important alliances, but we’ve got to bring them back into balance.
So whether it’s our asking of NATO members to really meet their obligations, even though those were notional obligations, we understand – and aspirational obligation, we think it’s important that those become concrete. And when we deal with our trading partners – that things have gotten a little out of bounds here, they’ve gotten a little off balance – we’ve got to bring that back into balance because it’s not serving the interests of the American people well. <...>
He goes on to make the simple but, frankly, brilliant observation that,
Now, I think it’s important to also remember that guiding all of our foreign policy actions are our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, the way people are treated. Those are our values. Those are not our policies; they’re values. And the reason it’s important, I think, to keep that well understood is policies can change. They do change. They should change. Policies change . . .  our values never change. They’re constant throughout all of this.
There, faithful readers, you have the core of the issue. Our values and our policies are not necessarily the same. That is brutal truth. It is this observation by Tillerson that has led lefties and bureaucrats to come crashing down on him, calling him "clueless" and so on. They ignore, of course, that that's how we used to do foreign policy. We certainly, for example, did not share the values of the USSR's Stalin, but we made alliance with him against Nazi Germany. We did not share the values of China's Chang Kai-Shek but made common cause with him against Imperial Japan, etc. Those are things which seem to get "forgotten."

There, of course, is a highly cynical motive to some of the bureaucratic criticism which we must underline. By divorcing values and policies, Tillerson threatens the livelihood of an enormous swath of foreign policy bureaucracy.

In my 34 or so years at State, for example, I saw how the "human rights" bureaucracy grew and grew. It grew so much that much of it had to housed in annex buildings around DC. The human rights bureaucracy became an enormous and loud machine that consumed evermore of State resources, hopelessly confused important decision-making, made it increasingly difficult to prioritize our goals, and become a funding source for all sorts of lefty NGOs around the world. It provided employment and influence to thousands of people, and, frankly, produced little in the way tangible benefit to the national interest. Every policy decision had to pay homage to the human rights bureaucracy and its allied vested interest groups.

Likewise other chunks of the State bureaucracy in the trade and commerce arena, for example, became almost advocates for foreign countries and their interests rather than ours. We want "deliverables" to these countries to make them happy and "like" us. This is the mentality, I would note, that also affects, better said, infects our Embassies and regional bureaus. If Tillerson can begin to turn that around, he will be a very consequential SecState.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

One Hundred Days of Leftist Savagery

Apologies for the gap in blogging. Life gets in the way of living, or maybe the other way round. I don't know. Had to deal with a number of issues, mostly involving cars. Yes, the Diplomad has revealed himself a coward. No longer able to withstand the daily Diplowife assault on my mini fleet of three classic cars, I have begun the painful process of liquidating them. In fact, if you go to the Laguna Classic Cars website (www.lagunaclassiccars.com) you will see my red 1973 Mach 1 proudly displayed for sale. It will soon be joined by my blue 1966 Oldsmobile and, later, the green 1976 Cadillac. Sigh. I, however, did not go down without a fight. I bought myself a beautiful Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from a wonderful family owned dealer, BlackStar Off Road, and insisted that it have a six-speed manual transmission. Ha! The Diplowife says she cannot drive manual, so there . . . my own safe space . . .

While all that important stuff was going on, of course, the rest of the world carried on.

The pundits are on and on about Trump's first 100 days. This "C-Days" benchmark is one of the silliest in American politics, and has extended overseas to comments on other governmental leaders' first 100 days. I used to hear it in Spain and elsewhere from people who had no idea of the origins of that 100-Day measure. This 100-day obsession comes from FDR's first 100 days during which, with overwhelming strength in the Congress, the disaster of the Great Depression weighing down and panicking the country, and, lest we forget, a much later inauguration date (March 4) which gave him more time to prepare, he rammed through a huge packet of legislation, the New Deal, that laid the foundations for the massive welfare state we now--depending on your views--enjoy or endure. So now the progs have decreed that we "MUST" judge our presidents by what they do in their first hundred days, and compare it to FDR's record. As I have said before about progressives and "words",
Words have meaning, and the left is very good at ever so subtly altering the meaning of words so that over time those words no longer mean what they meant. Words, of course, are the bullets of intellectual debate. If you allow your opponent to select your ammo for you, well, let's just say you are at a disadvantage.
Other than Lincoln, no other president took office encountering such widespread and well-coordinated antipathy, nay, sabotage. From the moment the shocked media meisters had to confront Trump's victory on November 8, the assault commenced. There was no "give the guy a chance," no "honeymoon," no "wait and see." We heard that Trump was not the "legitimate" president because Clinton had "won" the popular vote (Thank you, Mexico!) The chattering class conveniently "forgot" that the President is elected by the electoral college; that we have 51 separate elections in this country--one District of Columbia, 46 states, four commonwealths--to determine who becomes our president. They then turned on the electoral college itself, threatening and encouraging state electors pledged to Trump to switch either to Clinton or to somebody else. That, of course, turned into a disaster for Trump's opponents when it all backfired, and in the main it was Clinton electors who defected. Since and just before the election, the progs have been, as I have written quite a few times, beating the "Russia hacked the election" drum. This has had various versions but all were aimed at showing that somehow Putin wanted Trump to win and managed to get just what he wanted. Trump's opponents, i.e., the Obama misadministration, clearly engaged in a massive surveillance operation against Trump and his staff using the "looking for Russians" excuse. Suddenly the progressives were worried about Russia and our national security! How touching.

Opponents tried to disrupt the inauguration, and have engaged in a consistent pattern of street violence and thuggery aimed at intimidating Trump supporters and trying to give the impression that the country is ungovernable unless the progressives are in charge. Nothing is off limits, including Trump's family, in this assault on the new president. Unprecedented coarseness, violence, and fake news are all arrows in the progressive quiver and being unleashed on Trump and supporters daily.

OK, that said, what can we say about the first 100 days of President Trump?

He's done very, very well, certainly better than  his opponents. His executive orders reversing much of the environmental and anti-energy nonsense of the past and the elevation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to Justice on the Supreme Court alone are worth the price of admission. We cannot exaggerate the importance of the Gorsuch victory. This gives us the chance to reverse a lot of the progressive "lawfare" tactics and undo much of the idiotic and destructive "gun control" and anti-free speech legislation and rulings. It should give Trump the ability to rein-in the criminally stupid 9th Circuit and other progressive judges and reverse their rulings on matters such as immigration and sanctuary cities. AG Sessions has taken exactly the right approach by announcing his DOJ is going after the MS-13 and other international gangsters who have taken root in the US thanks to our lax immigration policies. Illegal border crossings, even without the WALL, are way down in the first months of Trump, all because he has changed to the tone coming from DC. The economy is breathing a sigh of relief with the stock market into record territory, and companies, notably manufacturers, announcing plans to keep or open plants in the US. Granted much of that depends on Trump getting his tax and budget bills through, and that's where he has to work. There is, despite some odd behavior by some prominent Republicans in Congress, also a real chance to get those bills passed, and to undo the Obamacare disaster once and for all.

Trump has proven very adept at foreign affairs. The whole tone has changed. He speaks clearly and acts quickly and decisively. He is having the desired effect. I think we will get a renegotiation of NAFTA, for example, and the revitalization and refocusing of NATO. The Iranian and North Korean regimes, I think, will begin to realize that things have changed and that craziness will no longer be tolerated. ISIS is taking a pounding, and I think is on the road to defeat--at least in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, how it fares in its other bases in Europe, well, that depends on the Europeans. Relations with Russia will improve, as Putin realizes that he can no longer get away with what he was doing while Obama was in office. China also seems more cooperative on the North Korea issue.

Trump is keeping his promises, to the shock and chagrin of his opponents. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment has to been to reveal clearly the fascistic nature of the progressive "movement" in the US. That's my take away from the first hundred days.

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".