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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The President as the Healer-in-Chief? No,Thanks

A quick one about a pet peeve of mine, to wit, putting politicians, especially the President, in the role of "healer" after a national disaster of some sort. I don't want it. Period.

I don't want or need the President to call for prayers and issue some platitudes about standing united, or depositing a teddy bear at some makeshift shrine, etc. I found it despicable, for example, when Queen Elizabeth II, a person of much class and dignity, got forced into participating in the over-the-top hype surrounding the death and funeral of Diana--a person of no real consequence except as a celebrity. I had my fill of Obama holding memorial services, e.g., Ft. Hood and Dallas massacres, and immediately turning them into "look at me" sessions with an adoring press heaping praise on him for his words and his graceful speaking style . . . . Empty calorie nonsense; I can drink beer or a sugary cola for that.

We see in the wake of the leftist-staged idiocy in Charlottesville, and the flooding in Texas, the lefties are deriding President Trump for his lack of skills as a "healer." They even generated a false "backlash" over FLOTUS wearing stylish heels as she was boarding the plane for Texas--crying about the "message" such foot gear sends (huh?) They also, of course, blasted Trump for going to Texas too early, and if he had waited a couple of days, of course, would have blasted him for going too late. They also blasted his speech in Texas for its "lack of empathy"and the Twitterverse is all atwitter with prog criticism of the President for his poor skills as a "healer."

All nonsense, of course.

I don't want a "healer" for President. I can go to a doctor or a priest for that. I want the President to be a hard-ass realist who does his or her duty in line with the Constitution, especially the requirement to protect the country from all threats. FDR was not a "healer"; after Pearl Harbor he promised the Imperial Japanese defeat and rallied the country to war. Lincoln? Churchill? Few statesmen in modern times have faced the number and strength of crises that faced them. They confronted those crises honestly, openly, did not sugar-coat the challenges facing their nations and called for victory. Even the much-maligned George W. Bush in the wake of 9/11 did a masterful job (on the whole) of committing the nation to bringing the scoundrels who murdered thousands of our citizens to heel, note, not to heal.

I had noted many times before that I have had enough of candle-light vigils, "we are not afraid" marches, teddy bears, and empty words. We need real leaders who will confront issues openly and view them without politically correct glasses.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Statute of Limitations on Statues?

I was in Spain during the tumult following the death in 1975 of long-time dictator Francisco Franco. One of the things that struck me during those unsettled early years of the transition from dictatorship to democracy was the Spanish passion for tearing down statues and renaming the hundreds of streets and plazas that bore the name of Franco or of some other now politically incorrect former dignitary.  As an American, I found it curious and hypocritical (more below).

I remember, in particular, a small monument across the street from my aunt's home in San Sebastian, on the Avenida de Colon, in the now posh Gros neighborhood. Erected, I think, in the 1940's, it recalled the September 13, 1939 liberation/occupation (you decide) of San Sebastian by Franco's forces under General Mola; it stood in a small square, more of a triangular space really, near the Santa Catalina bridge that spans the Urumea river. If memory serves, it was a small, rectangular plinth with some kind of bronze laurels or swords on top and a greenish plaque that read along the lines of, "In commemoration of when the Marxist chains that held down San Sebastian were broken." Every September 13, the local Movimiento types would hold a short ceremony in front of the monument; they would lay a wreath, sing the national anthem, and maybe some other nationalist ditty. With the death of El Caudillo, this monument became an issue of contention, along with the names of various streets which had been de-Basqued during the long Franco regime. It must have been in 1976 or so, can't remember exactly, when somebody took a sledgehammer to the little monument, and ripped off the swords or laurels and the plaque and threw it all in the river. The Movimiento sorts, still around and fighting a losing battle to preserve Franco's legacy, rushed out, put up a new temporary wooden plaque and laid a wreath in front of the battered plinth. The new plaque and wreath, in short order, were floating down the Urumea to the sea. The Franquistas came back, put up another temporary plaque, and this time stood guard for a couple of days. As soon as their vigilance came to an end, well, you guessed it, more debris in the river, and another couple of whacks at the plinth. This went on for some time. As far as I know, the little monument is now gone and most youngsters in San Sebastian probably don't know it ever existed. I also doubt they know what September 13 was about.

All this, at the time, struck me as odd. I understood, of course, that Franco had not been everybody's cup of tea, to say the least. His regime initially had been exceptionally brutal--so brutal, in fact, that in the 1940s, the German Nazis, yes, those Nazis, the real ones, not the ones with Tiki torches, urged Franco to ease off on the executions as he was on the verge of wiping out the skilled working class. As the years went on, however, the regime settled down to a drab almost comical routine of pomp, empty pronouncements and corruption, but one that also brought unprecedented stability and prosperity to Spain, and even allowed a relatively high degree of personal liberty: Spaniards could travel abroad freely, open businesses, own property, worship, and complain about all sorts of things. It wasn't exactly Athenian or Jeffersonian democracy, but not exactly the USSR or the DPRK, either. Watching a Franco statue being removed in Madrid, I remember asking a somewhat lefty Spanish friend of mine what he thought this would accomplish. He said, "We want no trace of that odious dictatorship." I asked him if he thought all the dams, highways, bridges, airports, housing blocs, etc., built under Franco should also be removed in the interest of erasing the dictatorship. What about all the stuff built by Spain's long-line of autocratic monarchs? He smiled sheepishly and invited me to a drink and some tapas. Conversation over.

I used to bore my Spanish friends with how in the US we didn't go around tearing down statues or trying to erase history, and that it seemed we had greater respect for history than they did. I remember, quite specifically, citing the streets named for and the statues to Confederate generals, and the Confederate-inspired state flags in the South, as a sign of our greater enlightenment. I also pointed out that the US military names weapon systems after formidable Native American opponents. I guess, if my Spaniard interlocutors remember those long-ago conversations, they are probably having themselves a laugh at my expense. Go ahead, I deserve it.

I know the story of some of those statues and Confederate-inspired state flags. A lot of them appeared well after the 1861-1865 Civil War, and many were acts of rebellion by Democrats against growing demands for racial equality and against--horrors!--the Republican Party and its support for those demands. Democrats continued to control most of the South well into the 1990s, and had been the creators of the KKK, and the foremost proponents of Jim Crow. I have stated before (June 23, 2015),
My view on the Rebel flag and other Confederate symbols is clear. I do not, never have, and never will fly or paste any Confederate symbol, flag . . . over my house, or on my vehicles, clothing, or coffee mugs, etc. I spent my professional life representing one flag, that of the USA, and have no loyalty to any other. I admire the courage and fighting spirit, as well as the tactical and strategic talents of Confederate Generals and soldiers, love reading about the Civil War and visiting battle sites such as Gettysburg and Vicksburg. I, however, am pro-Union, pro-Stars-and-Stripes, anti-slavery, pro-Lincoln, pro-Grant, pro-Sherman, pro-Frederick Douglass just about all the way. I do not share in the sympathy for and romanticism of some for the Southern cause in the, ahem, "War of Northern Aggression." Slavery was an inherited curse on our nation which we should have dispelled long before it came to war--and, yes, I do see slavery as the overriding reason for the great 1861-65 war, and, of course, as the proximate cause for the creation of the Republican Party shortly before that war. Men such as Washington and Jefferson, both slave owners, knew slavery was evil, but compromised with that "peculiar institution" to our long-standing misfortune. Great men, great flaws. I fully understand why black Americans could and would find Confederate flags and other symbols offensive.
What we have going on in the United States, however, is not some movement led by offended black persons who want to remove offensive symbols put up, often, in the 1920s and 1950s. I personally know no black person who has ever told me that we should remove Confederate statues. Most, apparently, seem to agree with ex-NBA star Charles Barkley--Why doesn't he run for office?--that they have never paid any attention to those "stupid statues."

What we have is something else going on. As I hinted at in The Target is Never What it Seems, the real targets of progressive ire are not statues, rebel flags, gay marriage, bathroom signs, use of plastic bags, transgender military, gay Boy Scouts, climate change, gender neutral pronouns, etc. The real purpose of the progressives is
to create turmoil, chaos; keep society and its institutions reeling from one punch to the next. The only solution to this turmoil? Why, naturally, more progressive government and regulation.
It is an assault by trivia: the tyranny of trivial pursuit. If you give in on one, you are set up and undermined for the next assault. It is the old Indian chess story of how one grain of rice on a chessboard square becomes acres and acres of rice. The assault is not just restricted to the USA and Confederate items. We see the beginning of demands to tear down statues of Columbus, Peter Stuyvesant, Captain Cook, Admiral Nelson, Cecil Rhodes, Winston Churchill, Junipero Serra, and on and on. Soon it will be demands to tear down or close symbols of ancient "white repression" such as California's Spanish missions, or Europe's castles, manor estates, and other reminders of monarchy. It seems all must be seen though the lens of our present day sensibilities; if a great person who did wonders for the welfare of humanity is revealed to have had doubts about, say, gay marriage, or did not speak up about the evils of denying women the vote, well, then that person must be expunged from our memory.

All this, of course, is aided, abetted, and furthered by Western schools and universities churning out legions of uneducated, self-entitled, emotional brutes full of grievance and hatred for their own society and civilization. These are the children of the 1960s; I shudder to think what their children will be like.

Meanwhile, of course, the jihadis continue to murder us and North Korea to develop nuclear weapons . . . but at least that statue of Robert E. Lee won't attack anybody anymore.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Afghanistan, Done Right?

I have been writing a long screed about the progressive assault on just about everything, but I find myself repeating lots of stuff I wrote years ago. I will get back to it, but first I wanted to take a break and comment on the President's Afghanistan speech.

I thought it an excellent speech, and one that cannot be ignored.

So, of course, the mainstream media is trying to ignore it, with Bozos such as Jim Acosta of CNN sneeringly dismissing it in a tweet as not worthy of a presidential address to the nation:
  Aug 21MoreTypically a presidential prime time address comes with major policy announcement or marks pivotal moment for country. We didn't get that.
Clearly, Cosmo didn't listen to the speech or had his tweet all ready to go, and wasn't going to cancel sending it.

The speech had lots of meat, both visible and some, I think, cooking away in the bottom oven out of sight.

He also did something very significant: he acknowledged that he had changed his mind about pulling out of Afghanistan after spending time studying the situation. It's not often you hear that from a politician.

The President summed it all up quite nicely here,
[T]he consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable: 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan, because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and Al-Qaeda, would instantly fill just as happened before September 11th. And as we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq. As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies. Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS. The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit, and launch attacks. 
We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq. Third and finally, I concluded that the security threats we face in Afghanistan, and the broader region, are immense. Today 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The highest concentration in any region, anywhere in the world. For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. <...>
Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power—diplomatic, economic, and military—toward a successful outcome. Some day, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen. America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field. Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an ever-lasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists.
That is the essence of the threat and job we face. It is not enough to confine the jihadis to some remote place; they will kill us in our homes if we don't kill them in theirs.

Back in the nineteenth century, for example, most of the world could ignore some lunatic such as the Sudan's self-proclaimed Mahdi, aka Muhammad Ahmad, and his followers -- sort of an ISIS/AQ of its day. His apocalyptic pronouncements and promises to build a Caliphate probably did not resonate much in London and New York. In the end, of course, the British defeated this caliphate (Madihya) in 1898, nearly 15 years after the Mahdi himself had died. That jihadi movement of the nineteenth century posed a very limited threat to core Western civilization.

Not so today.

They might be born and raised in fetid caves and hovels in some of the most benighted countries on earth, but thanks to modern technology, progressive immigration laws, and the pronounced suicidal bent in today's Western civilization, the jihadis are welcomed into our midsts, paid to live among us, and protected by our enlightened legal and political systems. Then, in return, well, you know what happens then: Paris, Barcelona, Turku, San Bernardino, Malmo, Orlando, London, Madrid, Boston, New York, Ft. Hood, Sydney and on and on. They kill us. It seems Trump is promising to return the favor.

President Trump also has, it seems, stopped pulling the punches when it comes to Pakistan.
[T]he next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe-havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. 
Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists. In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked to together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices. But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars. At the same time, they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately.
He had a big shout out to India, reminding them of all the benefits they derive from their relations with the USA. That has to have them with sweaty palms in Islamabad.

The President also said he was unleashing our military and dropping many of the restrictions that had hampered them before. He also refused to announce deadlines or troop levels. All good.

OK. You can read the text for yourselves and decide.

Let me just add, that I think we are slowly moving to the Diplomad solution for Afghanistan: get out of nation-building (the US Army is not the Salvation Army); stop threatening them with Democracy, and use, even pay, the traditional warlords to help us to keep ISIS, AQ, Taliban in check; keep a potent military fist in Afghanistan that can strike quickly to provide either back-up or punishment for local authorities who don't keep their side of the bargain. This is not too dissimilar from how the British ruled South Asia. All that is new . . .

It is a good vision, well, as good as we can get given the mess we have this century. We, after all, are stuck with Afghanistan for the foreseeable future so might as well have a realistic approach to that particular mess.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Barcelona

We add yet another city to the list of public arenas for the Religion of Peace to demonstrate its core beliefs.

As they did in Nice, in Barcelona the jihadis used a vehicle to plow through a congested pedestrian area at the height of the tourist season. At least 14 innocent people are now dead, and scores more injured. In nearby Cambrils, the cops managed to put away five jihadis with some well-placed rounds--press reports indicate that one cop killed four of the five himself. It also seems the jihadis were planning on building a truck bomb but they accidentally blew up their shop in Alcanar.

Spanish friends and relatives of mine had told me well before this that they felt "relatively" safe in Spain for a mix of logical reasons: Spain is not a big actor on the world scene, no reason to be attacked; Spain has always had good relations with the Muslims (El Cid, calm down); and most cynically the refugees entering Spain don't really want to be in Spain because they can get better public benefits elsewhere in Europe--in other words, they only use Spain as a pathway. Well, the facts scream otherwise, it would seem.

So Barcelona joins the long, long list of cities rewarded for their generosity to the "refugees" of the Religion of Peace with death and destruction. The blame for this, of course, goes first to the Islamists, but then to progressive loons in the EU and European national governments, and to Obama's feckless and destructive policy of abasement and surrender in the Middle East.

One final note. My wife and daughter are currently in Spain (far from Barcelona). The Diplowife tells me that where she is marches are being organized in response to this massacre to reject Islamophobia and right-wing racism. OK . . .

Yes, that is a society hell-bent on suicide.

Well, back to worrying about an imminent attack by century-old statues of Confederates . . .


Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Hate

I am going to write about something that is not my area of expertise--I admit, it's not hard to find such an area. I am going to write about the insanity on some of our streets; in particular the insanity that masquerades as political discourse.

We've all seen the fiasco in the beautiful town of Charlottesville.

It seems some (How many?) so-called neo-Nazis/white supremacist thugs decided to hold a march in that community. It gets murky after that: Did the city authorities authorize it? Did they authorize the much larger counter-demonstration by so-called Anti-fascist thugs? Where were the police? Is it true that authorities called back the cops and told them to stand down? If so, why?

Who the hell is the miserable little punk who drove a car into the crowd killing one woman and injuring a score of other people? From what I've seen in the news about him--and I won't write his name--he has a somewhat whacky personal history including lasting only a few months in the military. I am sure that as the facts gradually emerge he will become a more complex character, and, I predict, much of the current "he was a pro-Trump guy" narrative will change, and perhaps even disappear.

The President put out an OK statement condemning the violence in rather general terms, and calling for national unity. The media and the enlightened elite, of course, are all aflame that the President did not specifically name "white nationalists" and "white supremacists" as the culpable party on the violence. Perhaps he should have been more specific in his denunciation, but I certainly had no trouble understanding that he was condemning the "Nazis." He, of course, has the example of President Obama who, let us not forget, invited the Black Lives Matter gangsters to the White House, and never could get himself to condemn them, the Antifa thugs, or Islamic terrorists for their actions. I trust President Trump will not follow the Obama example; I doubt he will invite the "Nazis" to the White House. So there is that.

Do the left really think that Trump is responsible for the apparent rise of white nationalist groups? Might they not look at the past several years of progressive white bashing as a more realistic cause? The left has insisted on reopening old racial wounds and resurrecting old and long-buried race monsters and now they are surprised? I wrote over four years ago that you can only keep pushing people so far before they will react.

Now, let me be very clear. I think, in no uncertain terms, that if you live in a Western country and you go around waving Nazi or Communist flags, or espousing Nazi or Communist ideology, you are a Moron. Period. You are not a person to be taken seriously as a thinker or problem solver.

In the US, your Moronism is protected by the first amendment. Fine. That, however, does not give you the right to beat people up and kill them whether it is with a gun, bicycle lock, or a car. If you do any of those, you are a Moron AND a criminal.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Korea, Again

The news coming out of the Korean peninsula these last few days is not good . . . but it's not new. I, for example, would note that this humble blog alerted its six seven readers back in April 2013 that some news reports based on info coming out of the DIA indicated that Little Kim seemed to have achieved the miniaturization of a nuclear warhead suitable for a missile. That info seems to have been recycled.

A bit earlier that same month in 2013, I posted a piece about Korea and the cost of unfinished business. I noted that a
[T]ruly stunning example of half-measures and unfinished business coming back to bite us is the Korean War. We, once again, see the consequences as Kim Jong-Un, a gangnam-style Pillsbury doughboy with a bad haircut, threatens to rain nuclear weapons on our Pacific bases and even our cities. Little Kim is the dictator of a decrepit country of zero importance to the world. This repellent little communist monarchy stands across the DMZ from the Republic of Korea, one of the truly great political, economic, and social success stories of the past seventy years. North Korea's leaders, however mad and absurd they might appear, know how to play with Western reluctance to apply total solutions. They look at the current leadership in Washington, and what do they see? The most anti-military President, Secretary of State AND Secretary of Defense in our history, i.e., the Three Stooges of the Apocalypse. They see us babbling about nonsense, and openly vowing to destroy our own military in order to provide free stuff to people who vote for Obama. We have a pompous, lying, rich boy, blowhard as Secretary of State who vows to do "whatever is necessary"( Note: In a style reminiscent of "Genghis Khan," eh?) but who has a record of opposing whatever is necessary, and has committed public acts of treason. We have the irony of having the very liberal Democrats who so opposed anti-missile defenses now being forced to move into place those very systems they sought to abort. The same bunker buster bombs which the Democrats opposed developing are being loaded into B-2s and would play a critical role in case of war against North Korea. The military which the Democrats have for years sought to cut and make into a playground for their social experiments now stands as the defense for Los Angeles, and other Democratic-governed urban centers. The ironies go on and on. 
This is what happens when you go hunting to wound the bear.
In those two cited pieces I naively wondered how Obama would handle a nuclear threat to the United States--remember this was a couple of years before he funded the Iranian nuclear program. He "handled" it by ignoring it, acting as though it were not there.

Obama left the Nork Nuke mess for his successor. That successor is handling it as well as can be expected. What remains shocking--perhaps it shouldn't--is that the progressive mau-mau machine seeks to make Trump's, properly, stern rhetoric is response to Kim a greater threat than Kim's popping off missiles and bragging about incinerating the USA. This is not unlike blaming Churchill's anti-Hitler rhetoric for Hitler's actions in Europe.

I am no expert on Korea, and don't play one on the internet. It, however, seems to me that dismissing Kim as insane does not get us very far. He might be a psychopath, but he ain't stupid or suicidal. He knows that a war with the United States would end very badly for him and his regime. He is clearly testing the new administration and probably looking for deal like the one his granddad and dad got from Clinton and, even better, the deal the Iranians got from Obama.

The solution? Not an easy one, but sooner or later it will end in war unless there is a dramatic change inside North Korea, perhaps fostered by China working with some element or another of the Nork military.

Frankly, if we're going to have a war, and this is a brutal thing to say, sooner is better than  later. Just as it would have been much better to confront Hitler in 1935 than in 1939, so it is now. It would have to be an overwhelming, quick, and brutal attack. I am glad I don't have to make that decision.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Immigration (Again)

Sorry for the long delay in posting.

I have been in another one of my blue funks wherein I see nothing happening worth commenting upon--or at least, nothing happening to which I can add anything useful. So much of what's on the news---both in the MSM and the Off-Broadway media--is so weird and much of it is likely fake that I don't know what to say.

I have, for example, no idea what Congresswoman and former DNC head Debbie Wasserman-Schultz  was doing or thought she was doing with those bizarre Pakistani IT "experts." Was she being blackmailed? Were these guys some sort of clever ISI operation? Were they just crooks? I suspect that whatever was going on we will never find out as the media will decide--and the Republicans will agree a la Whitewater--that it's all too complex and not worth examining.

Anyhow, let's look at the perennial immigration issue.

Back in March 2016, I wrote that it appeared that immigration would become the big issue in the presidential elections,
Do voters consider the immigration issue a high priority? I think, yes, absolutely, regardless of what some exit polls suggest. I think voters meld the immigration issue into national defense, national pride, and the national economy. They do so, correctly. It is part of all of these, all part of the return of the Carteresque "national malaise." I don't think voters separate out the immigration issue as some of the pollsters seek to do. Part of the political genius of Trump is that he realizes this. If he can continue to hammer home this message, I think he could pick up considerable support from African-Americans and from the large, legal, Hispanic and Asian communities, as well. Illegal immigration affects the lower ends of the economic scale much more than it does the upper ends. Huge chunks of the populace labelled as poor, are, in fact, illegal immigrants.
I think that holds up.  Even prior to that piece, I had written quite a bit about immigration. One piece, "The Right of National Defense", which I wrote in May of 2013, noted the disaster in Europe, especially Britain, brought about by deliberate policies of unfettered immigration and that,
[I]t does no good to have elaborate military and police organizations, and committees looking into extremism, if we let the enemy enter through our front doors. Make no mistake, as I noted before, "We should be at war; instead, we are under attack." It should be a total war, not just restricted to drones and incursions in far away hamlets in Pakistan and North Africa. We need to look, inter alia, at our energy policies that send billions of dollars to corrupt Islamist regimes, and at our immigration and public assistance policies that let the enemy into our countries and then pay them to live here, and transform our societies into a copy of the corrupt societies from which they came.
Perhaps more to the point about what I want to discuss today, I wrote in June 2013, that our immigration debate misses the point because,
I do not hear discussion about whether we need none, little, some, or a lot of immigration, and if we do, what type of immigration we should seek. Do we need millions more of semi and unskilled people from Mexico and other poor countries? Absent widespread elimination or reduction in minimum wage, taxation, public assistance, and zoning laws, how will these people contribute to the economic growth of our country? This is not nineteenth century America with small factories and workshops on every street corner, and belching smokestack industries eager for cheap workers. This is the America of EPA regulations, OSHA bureaucrats, job killing minimum wage and health insurance laws, outsourcing, and of a growing ethos that sees single parents living on the public dole as an honorable existence. It is also the America of multiculturalism whereby immigrants are encouraged never to become Americans. 
The rubbish being put out by Obama and others on the taxes that these new immigrants will pay is just that, rubbish. They will draw public assistance and not pay taxes. What impact will this continuing flood of poor migrants have on the job and advancement prospects of struggling poor and middle class black, white and brown Americans? I haven't heard much said about that, but I predict it won't be good.

Is our immigration law going to continue based on the idea of family reunification? Will adults be able to petition for their adult siblings and those siblings' families? Will we continue to ignore promises that the new immigrants will not become a public assistance burden? If so, we are in for an endless cascade of new immigrants petitioning for their relatives and on and on and on. Yes, sure, technically we will have solved the "illegal alien" problem by making them all legal. Is that what is best for our country, I stress for our country not for the Democratic party?
That, too, holds up today--in my humble opinion, of course.

I see that the Trump Administration, apparently, will make an effort to reform radically our immigration system. That's good. I also notice that there seems to be an emphasis on merit and extra points for speaking English and having a skill (ABBA does well on both!) Those are also good things. I see, also, the beginning of a debate, very quiet one for now, on the key issues I raised above, to wit, do we need immigration, how much, and what kinds? This is all good. I continue to believe that the President should suspend all or nearly all immigration for a period of time until we draft a new immigration code.

Now, of course, every silver cloud has a dark lining. Given the abysmal Congressional/GOP performance on what should have been a no-brainer, the repeal of the odious Obamacare, how many of you believe that we will see meaningful action on immigration? What's happening with tax reform?

If you thought Obamacare was rife with politicization and misrepresentations, just wait until you start arguing immigration! The number of interest groups, many of them overtly malevolent, vested in our current system is astounding. The media will go to town on this topic like you have never seen before! I doubt there are many Congressmen or other politicians willing to withstand that sort of withering fire. I don't think it will happen. I hope I am wrong.

Now back to worrying about Russia . .  .