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Friday, March 31, 2017

Venezuela: The Curtain Opens on the Penultimate Act

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Happy Independence Day, UK!

Almost a year ago, I wrote in this little blog about the forthcoming Brexit vote. I noted that,
the British, not known for welcoming invaders, have had enough. Well, those who are still British and appreciate their country and its history. Let us not forget that there was a deliberate Labour policy to alter irreversibly the social composition of Britain so as to make it much less British.
I sorta predicted Brexit would win, noting that whenever the progressive establishment keeps calling a vote as "too close to call" that usually means the progressives crazies will lose. Brexit won the referendum despite the establishment media pile on and the decades of Labour devised social engineering in immigration and education that seeks to undermine British society. I also noted in that same piece that the vote would be over not economic issues but social and cultural ones,
At the risk of being reprimanded and corrected by this blog's one or two British readers, I offer that the force driving the pro-Brexit movement is not solely or even mostly about economics, or finance, or currency exchange rates. It is about something much, much more important. It is about reclaiming the soul of Britain; preserving and restoring that which made Britain, notably England, one of the world's greatest countries, a nation of stunning consequence. It is about deciding whether the great British traditions and innovations that have made our modern world are worth saving or should be discarded.
I think I was right about that. I also in subsequent pieces (here for example) worried that the establishment counterattack would be not long in coming and be fierce,
We've seen lots of stories about a petition launched immediately after the Brexit victory calling for a second referendum on the basis, I guess, that the people who voted for Britain to "Leave the EU," didn't understand that "Leave the EU" meant "Leave the EU." All sorts of breathless accounts of how this petition drew signatures from thousands, tens-of-thousands, hundreds-of-thousands, millions even of Britons who felt defrauded and had not understood for what they had voted. Look, I am no expert on things computerish and internetish but, I have serious doubts about that petition. In this age of hacktivists, spambots, and web pranksters, can we really take such a petition seriously? Nothing suspicious at all over how quickly the list of signatories grew? Just saying
I had strong doubts about PM Theresa May who took over from the hapless David Cameron in the wake of the vote. I wasn't at all sure that the new PM, clearly not a Brexiteer, would follow through and execute the will of the British voters. The establishment counterattack mentioned before, of course, was fierce and for a time it seemed that May, in Thatcher's immortal phrase, would go "wobbly" in the face of it. At least from the outside, it looked as if the progs and their world order allies would manage to nullify the vote. It seems, however, that she withstood the slings and arrows--or maybe found herself with no other choice--and has signed the Article 50 notification informing the EU that Britain is leaving. The reaction from the EU has been as expected, with the bureaucrats of the EC, the EU's bureaucratic arm, wailing that one of the EU's biggest cash cows is walking out of the barn. It seems, so far, at least, that May is holding tough in the face of EU threats and demands, and I hope she doesn't yield too much to demands re EU citizens, trade, and court rulings.

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

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

Sunday, March 26, 2017

London Has Fallen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Note to Conservatives: Making Democrats Happy is Bad for America

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"These are the days of miracle and wonder"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ah, what would we do without leftists?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.

Hard to believe.

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

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

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

Chuck Berry, R.I.P.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Spying

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

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

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

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

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

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

OK. We are left with the following.

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

My two roubles and three pennies worth of analysis.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Taxing Stupidity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You will lose.

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

More Craziness from the Anti-Trump Clique

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



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

Where to start? Just a sampler.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Diplomad vs. Godzilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Morning Thoughts on Russia and Our Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Friday, March 3, 2017

Sabotage is All They Have Left on the Left

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

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

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

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

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

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

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

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

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

Sabotage is all they have left on the left.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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