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Tallying the Body Count: Bad Ideas vs. Good Guns

Oh, come, Mister tally man, tally me banana Daylight come and me wan' go home Me say come, Mister tally man, tally me banana Dayli...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Snow," Bombs and News from Norway

Sitting in my house surrounded by what I would normally call "snow." That can't be, however, since the Prophet Al Gore (Praises to his Name) has told us that "snow" is a thing of the past. I don't want to be accused of being a "Climate Denier," or of denying "Settled Science," so I will just assume that the white stuff out there is, uh, "tree dandruff" produced by man-made pollution and climate change. Yeah, that's it, tree dandruff. Kinda cold, though, well, I mean, cold, you know, for a warming planet and all, but I must be wrong about that.

I see the Austin bomber has apparently blown himself up. The press, of course, can't be happy with reporting some good news so they have to try to meld the episode into their typical progressive narrative. I see the always "reliable" Daily Mail, among other commentators, quick to label this loser as a "devout white Christian."

Notice how quick the MSM is to identify his race. Notice, also, that there is no evidence that he was a "devout" Christian. The press go back to some blog entry he supposedly wrote in 2012 in which he expressed opposition to gay marriage and abortion. Hmmm? My Orthodox Jewish cousins are opposed to gay marriage and abortion. Muslims are, too. I guess that means they're all really devout Christians. I did not know that.

Balancing the good news of the death of the Austin creep comes some bad news from Norway.

Norwegian Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug was forced to resign her position, apparently for being too pro-Norway and for worrying too much about the safety of Norwegians. I am not an expert on Norwegian politics and don't play one on the internet, so I will leave the in-depth analysis to those who know much more. According to the Washington Post and other American media she got herself into trouble for posting something on Facebook critical of the opposition party's stance on dealing with Islamic terrorists.

I don't know if that's true. I suspect that she was just too patriotic and too much Norway First for the usual globalist elitists, who have to keep reminding us of the July 2011 rampage by Anders Breivik every time anybody mentions Islamic terror.

Bottom line: I hope Listhaug remains a force on the Norwegian political scene, and can help Norway avoid the horror that has befallen much of the rest of Europe.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Beware the Ideas of March


We see "students" staging a protest against gun violence by "walking"--some got pushed-- out of their classes and participating in a variety of staged events, e.g., mass "die-ins," violent protests, and, of course, lots of marching about and waving signs. As usual, the proggy left is behind all this nonsense.

I wrote before about my profound disgust with this sort of "march" in the wake of Islamic terror,
[The Paris "peace" march] was a very typical, in fact, an extremely typical leftist/progressive/narcissist manifestation akin to so many others we have seen over the years. It was replete with the usual trademarks of progressivism: prancing and preening; empty slogans and rhetoric; and equally empty gestures and cartoonish props, e.g., giant pencils, rakishly worn bandanas, silly make-up, etc. It was a manifestation on steroids by people who would put lame bumper stickers <...> on a PRIUS.
That, I think, pretty much applies to this march, as well, with the added feature that these "brave" marchers were encouraged even forced to hit the streets by tax-payer paid prog politicians and bureaucrats who facilitated the protest by letting the kiddies out of their tax-payer funded schools, provided them tax-payer funded transportation, and ensured them a respectful hearing from the echo-chamber prog media.

We were all supposed to be in awe of the wisdom flowing the mouths of babes, and run off screaming in support of those who march to take away our Constitutionally guaranteed rights and limit our freedoms.

Emotion substituting for thinking.

The "Ideas" of March.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Quick Thought on the Pennsylvania Special Election

I have admitted many times that I am a blundering ox when it comes to US domestic politics. So, I will try not to be TOO STOOPID in a quick comment on the Pennsylvania special election which took place yesterday.

As of this writing, the election result is too close to call but it SEEMS (I use that word a lot) that the Democratic Party candidate, Conor Lamb, will beat his GOP opponent, Rick Saccade, by about 700 or so votes out of some 227, 000 votes cast. Not many elections get much closer than that!

The media is going to be full of analysis of how this is a major blow to Trump and a sure sign of a coming Blue Wave in November's mid-terms.  I don't know (I use that phrase a lot, too). One robin does not a spring make . . . and all that jazz. Look, undoubtedly this is not a good thing for the GOP and it shows that Trump's popularity (he won that district overwhelmingly in 2016) does not necessarily translate down-ticket, as the wise ones say. The same was true about Obama. It seems (that word--TW) that BIG political personalities such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump do not always transfer their appeal to others. Not surprising. I mean, well, my wife is more liked than I am, and I can't seem (TW) to transfer that to myself. Life is like that, it seems (TW).

Perhaps the only thing we can draw as a conclusion from the election on Tuesday is that in many districts it helps to have a good candidate who can run a good campaign. From all I have read, I conclude that Lamb was the first and did the second. He seems (TW) to be a moderate Democrat--pro-life, pro-gun, pro-tax cuts and tariffs--who didn't make many if any missteps. It seems (TW) that many voters, especially those not absorbed by BIG politics and the grand scheme of the political balance, can be won over by a good candidate with a good campaign.

A note of warning to both parties.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Movie of the Year: Death Wish

Took the Diplowife, Diploson 1, Diploson 2, and Diploson 2 Girlfriend to the movies tonight.

We saw the Eli Roth/Bruce Willis movie, "Death Wish."

It's the movie of the year.

Hands down.

No other film comes close.

OK, it's a remake. Sort of. It has the same basic storyline that the 1974 Michael Winner/Charles Bronson "Death Wish" had--well, sort of.

In both films, the wife and the daughter of the protagonist, Paul Kersey, are brutally attacked at home by some thugs. The wife dies; the daughter is left in a coma. Mild-mannered Paul--in the original a New York architect, in the new one a Chicago ER trauma surgeon--goes to the police, and does everything a good citizen should. The cops, of course, are nigh on useless, swamped by unsolved crimes, understaffed, and just plain numb to the suffering.

In the original, Paul has an epiphany after visiting a friend and business associate in gun-loving Arizona, who tells him the cops won't protect him, and gives him a revolver. In this version, Paul has his epiphany after taking his wife's body home to her family in gun-loving Texas, and hearing from his gun-toting father-in-law (played by excellent Canadian actor Len Cariou) how the police won't protect him and a MAN, yes, a MAN, has to protect what's his. In both films, Paul subsequently goes on a rampage against the thugs on the street, with the added twist in the new version of his seeking the actual thugs who attacked his family.

I won't give the rest away, but you're guaranteed to have a rollicking time in the theater--and watch out for that bowling ball!

How can you resist a movie which portrays the gun store clerk as an attractive, young, smart, funny, and sympathetic woman? How can you resist a movie which has a college student reading from Milton Friedman? How can you resist a movie with conservative talk jock Mancow Mueller playing conservative talk jock Mancow Mueller? How can you resist a movie that constantly cites the murder stats in Chicago? How can you resist Bruce Willis agonizing over how he failed as a MAN, yes, a MAN, in his duty to protect his family? How can you resist a movie in which the main detective (played by the always great Dean Norris of "Breaking Bad" fame) spits out an organic, gluten-free, protein bar in disgust? How can you resist a movie that gives out good advice on proper handling of a firearm, and approvingly cites and demonstrates the wisdom of the phrase "when seconds count, the police are minutes away"? You can't. Resistance is futile.

OK, it's got a few technical flaws.

First, as Diploson 2 pointed out to me, nowadays just about no college student would be assigned to read Milton Friedman--not PC. Second, the availability of fully automatic weapons is just way off--you'll see what I mean at the end. Third, too many of the Chicago street thugs are white.

Put those quibbles aside, however, forget I even mentioned them; watch a movie that the liberal/progressive critics are hating, blasting, and ridiculing as a paean to a dying white patriarchy but which audiences are loving. Go to Rotten Tomatoes, if you don't believe me, and see the striking disparity between the views of "professional" critics and those of real people.

Offend the critics. Watch it.

Movie of the year.

Friday, March 9, 2018

California, North Korea, South Africa, Seychelles: Things are Happening

So much is happening that it is difficult to see it all, much less boil it down to comprehensible lumps; and then, hardest of all, discuss the lumps with some intelligence. I am going to give it a try--well, not discuss it all, but some of it, and see if I can reduce a few of these "things" to lumps I can see and understand. No guarantees. The intelligence part nails me every time.

My old home state of California is in the news, again, and not for good things. My once beloved California, in days now gone the envy of the globe--the generator of so much of what now comprises the modern world such as amazing aerospace technologies, television, music, movies, computers, cars, freeways, video games, "smart" phones, surfing, birth control pills, Uber, Lyft, Google, Twitter, shelled walnuts, and so much more, is now a place caught in a death spiral.

Uber, yes, that's a word we will use a lot in describing California.

The politics and bureaucracy of the ol' Bear Republic, along with those of its counties, cities, and once-formidable and world-beating education system have fallen into a deep, deep progressive hole from which there seems no escape--the digging continues at a furious pace. Just about any sensible person who can do so (there's the rub) has left or is making plans to leave the state. Businesses are closing up, unable to survive the increasingly oppressive rule of new regulations, taxes, and the most extreme sort of political correctness. It has become a state of the uber rich and the uber poor, many imported from abroad, and its key politicians proudly proclaim that California is the future for America!

It is a state in which national laws, including the Constitution, no longer seem to apply. Illegal aliens by the millions are welcomed, given bounty from the declining treasure chests of the state, cities and counties, protected from law enforcement for the crimes they commit, and allowed, nay, encouraged to vote. The cities of San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles (to name just three) are now third-world repositories of disease, with fecal matter adrift in the air and water, massive tent cities, and uber violent street gangs. The authorities respond to the chaos in the streets by making it increasingly difficult for the law-abiding to defend themselves and their families. The mayor of Oakland, once a great city, and now . . . well, go there and see for yourself . . . warns violent, criminal aliens that ICE raids are forthcoming, making it possible for them to escape the long-arm of the Feds.

The progressives are up in arms, alarmed, driven by a righteous woke anger, because the Trump administration has had the temerity to suggest that California must comply with the law and Constitution, or pay the consequences. For the Jefferson Davis clones of California, this is a war on immigration! Persons of color are being targeted! California authorities appear looking for a Ft. Sumter to attack and make known their intention to secede from the Union! We'll see how this turns out, but I see no happy ending.

North Korea's "Little Rocket Man"--Surprise!--has realized that he has come up against somebody, Donald Trump, quite different from what he and his reprehensible family have faced in the past. President Trump and Secretary Mattis made clear that Kim Jong-Un was heading for the most terrifying 20 minutes of his existence. He is today making noises that well, maybe, he and Trump should talk and work something out, because, he might be thinking, that, maybe, having a little nuclear force is not worth the cost of getting his country, regime, and himself (above all) vaporized and turned into radioactive dust. It seems (remember that word) Trump has gotten the measure of Kim. We'll see how this turns out, but there is, just maybe, a possibility for a happy ending. I am sure the progressives will be heaping praise on Trump . . . right.

South Africa. Complicated place with a complicated history which few outside of the Boers and the Zulus seem to understand or appreciate. When I was at the UN in the 1980's I had to deal with the South African "Issue." Israel and South Africa, of course, were the greatest evils facing mankind, and the UN spared no effort to crush them both. I would, on occasion meet, quite discreetly, the harried and tired-looking South African diplomats assigned to New York and Geneva. I remember their Mission in NY had no identifying flag or symbol; you knew you were entering South African property only because the door handle read "Trek." A giveaway, that. The British, Israelis, and we were about the only ones who argued for a more moderate treatment of South Africa. In the end, of course, our policy likely would have produced the same thing that eventually happened, to wit, the death of Africa's richest and most productive country.

In dealing with South Africa back then, we viewed it as some sort of replay of our own civil rights struggle and fight against Jim Crow. That, of course, was nonsense, but few of us had the knowledge or courage to say so. The Boers, especially, had about as much claim to South Africa as did the Zulus. Both were conquering tribes. Traditional enemies of the British, the Boers and the Zulus, in fact, had reached a sort of accommodation and seemed tacitly united against the massive influx of outsiders that finally did alter irrevocably the demographics of South Africa. Immigration did the place in. Yes, evil South Africa under the evil Boers was a net recipient of immigrants and refugees, almost all black and Asian from other parts of Africa. For a time, of course, big business such as in the diamond, gold, and agricultural sectors welcomed these migrants as a source of cheap labor. Well, as we can see at home and in Europe, cheap labor can get very expensive very quickly especially once it gets politicized by "progressive" forces. So, evil apartheid was destroyed; Mandela and his ANC took power, and--Surprise!--South Africa has become a hellish place for everybody, black, white, Zulu, Boer, Anglo, Asian, etc.

We now see the South African parliament declaring that white-owned property (about ¾'s of the most productive agricultural land) can and should be seized without compensation, in the style of Zimbabwe. We have prominent South African politicians calling for the murder of whites. The world reaction seems, to say the least, muted. I see no calls for a meeting of the UNSC, or emergency human rights meetings in NY or Geneva. Silence in the face of genocide. White Lives Don't Matter!

The freak show known as the Mueller investigation into Trump-Russian collusion has moved on to the Seychelles. This small African island republic was APPARENTLY the setting for a meeting in January 2017 between Trump reps and the Russians brokered by the real-life all-purpose Orwellian Emmanuel Goldstein known as Eric Prince. Mr. Prince, once the head of Blackwater, features prominently in the progressive pantheon of evil ones; the fact that he's also the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos makes him a double-plus-good bogeyman. It seems, per this silly story, that Prince sought to help Trump set up a back channel to the Russians shortly before the President-elect took office. The story is rubbish. Why would the President of the United States need a double-plus secret back channel to Moscow when we have infinite number of channels to Russia? Why would Trump, whom, we should remember, according to the DNC had been bought and paid for by Putin, need Prince to broker such a deal? Presumably the Russians had all the "channel" they needed . . . Nonsense. Total rubbish.

Well, of course, there's more, but what would I write about in the days to come if I spelled it all out now?

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sunday Thoughts: Trump is Still Winning . . .

Pretty quiet Sunday at home.

Lots of kids and dogs. Our new fenced in backyard is all set and the dogs enjoy it as if, well, they were dogs enjoying a large fenced in yard. Our house overlooks the ninth hole of a swanky golf club and the dogs think it great sport to bark like, uh, like dogs at the golfers trying to concentrate on their game. Had lots of workers at the house installing this, fixing that, but things are starting to look pretty good. Another of my cars arrived from California and I need to go get it registered in North Carolina and get rid of those Caliban license plates.

The news? Well, pretty much more of the same. I remain banned from Twitter so I am unable to hurl invective at celebrities deserving it so I must restrict myself to yelling at the TV set or screaming at the Sirius radio in my car. That said, Trump seems to remain on his winning streak. In my view, he has masterfully trolled and outflanked the progs on guns, and I think our Second Amendment is in pretty good in shape. The prog narrative is simply not gaining traction.

Tariffs on imports? Not my favorite way of tackling trade imbalances, but judging from the over-the-top reactions we are hearing from some of our trading "partners," it seems Trump has hit the nail on the head or, at least, a nerve. I think we will see some progress that will avoid a "trade war." Just like we saw NATO countries cough up some extra Euros for NATO after Trump's last "outrage," we will see movement on trade. He also, by the way, has just out-flanked the Dems by making himself the protector of union labor.

I see that the New York Times has discovered Sweden, sort of.

I just read an odd piece in the NYT on hand grenade and gang violence in Sweden, notably in Malmo. Read it; it is a weird piece of progressive writing by which the authors are trying to discuss the rise in violent crime in Sweden while playing down the role of massive immigration, mentioning it almost in passing and as something the Swedish right will exploit in the next elections. Almost without meaning to, the authors touch upon the source of the violence and the Swedish police's failure to handle it,
Last year, Peter Springare, 61, a veteran police officer in Orebro, published a furious Facebook post saying violent crimes he was investigating were committed by immigrants from “Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown country, unknown country, Sweden.” It was shared more than 20,000 times; Mr. Springare has since been investigated twice by state prosecutors, once for inciting racial hatred, though neither resulted in charges.
Was Springare right or wrong? Is investigating Springare the best use of police resources? You won't find out reading the NYT. It seems, I guess, that one day Swedes just woke up and became really violent, because Trump just could not be right when he commented on the sources of violence in Sweden.

OK, not much else to say right now.

Let's see how the President drives the progs crazy in the coming week.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Another Memo . . . sigh

OK. The long awaited Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes/GOP memo and, presumably, the Graham-Grassley letter and memo has finally come out, slightly redacted (full text here).

There's not a lot I can say about it; you, of course, should read it and decide for yourselves. I criticized the Nunes memo for being too short; the Schiff/Dem memo is too long--and, as you will see, has timeline problems. It is padded with lots of verbiage that does not deal with the core issue, i.e., did the FBI/DOJ/Obama abuse the government's tremendous surveillance powers by getting the FISC to issue warrants on the flimsiest of evidence? The Schiff memo has to acknowledge that the FBI relied in its request to the court principally upon the now widely discredited "Steele Dossier." The "other" evidence mentioned, it seems, turns out to be press reports on Trump-Russian collusion which relied upon--Surprise!--Steele as the source for verifying the information on collusion in the Steele dossier. Steele claimed that Steele was reliable. Nice journalism, there.

The Schiff memo, as you will see, goes through great verbal gymnastics to avoid acknowledging that the Steele Dossier was commissioned, bought, and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC--something the FBI/DOJ knew at the time. It also has difficulty with the-then FBI Director's admission that the Dossier was "salacious" and "unverified," but that the FBI used it anyhow.  You can read all sorts of take-downs of the Schiff memo (here is an excellent one)--including by Nunes's staff. I just don't have the energy to go through it all, again.

Clearly, we need ALL the info released. What was the FISC presented by the FBI? What evidence was collected over months of surveillance? Come clean.

All of this "Russian-Trump collusion" is nonsense. It is the biggest political hoax in the history of the Republic.

Just keep asking yourself, as this little blog has repeatedly, why, why, why would Putin want Trump to win?

The Russians, Putin no exception, are not fools. A Trump presidency means problems for Russia, e.g., revived US economy, a drive for US energy independence, revamped US nuclear and conventional forces. Why would Putin even think Trump was going to win? All indications were the opposite. Putin and his cronies had invested millions in catering to the Clinton Crime Family, not in Trump.

The story makes no sense, except as sabotage.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

One Sure Fire Way to End Gun Violence

Listening to the debate in the wake of the horrid Florida school shooting, I have come around to believe that there is but one way to end that sort and many other forms of violence.

It is where our progressive overlords are leading us step-by-step, so let's leap there in one giant bound, and enjoy peace evermore.

You know what I am proposing, don't you? Yep. Let's get rid of the source of all of our troubles as a nation. I propose a simple amendment 28 to our Constitution. That amendment in one fell swoop would kill amendments 1-10. Yes, indeed, let's erase the Bill of Rights from our antiquated Constitution and come up with something modern and progressive!

Come on, Progs, you know you like the idea.

Not only would we get rid of pesky things such as gun ownership, but we would end hate speech, Fox News, and rallies by "Nazis" and other vile sorts; we would put an end to all that primitive religion stuff; we could forego all those bothersome search warrants (FISC is for everybody!); we would let the government house military personnel wherever it wants; we would do away with income inequality-producing private property; we would sweep away all those irritating defendants' rights so that progressive judges could lock up bothersome right-wingers tout de suite; and we would, once and forever, end that crap about states' rights so that all power resides where it belongs, i.e., in progressive DC.

If it will save even one life, we should scrap the Bill of Rights! I mean there were no mass shooting in Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Soviet Union, Castro's Cuba, or Franco's Spain . . . well, except for those by the government . . .  but those kind are different, those are for our protection, and done by the experts who know better, right?

Twenty-eight or Bust!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Thoughts: "Common Sense" Gun Control, the FBI, Concealed Handguns & Other Memes of Our Age

Another mass shooting. Horrible beyond words. Events such as this one in Florida, reveal deep, deep problems in all of Western societies. We see the fruits of the progressive-directed rot of our most basic institutions: schools, law enforcement, media, medical services, and, of course, family structure. This problem goes much, much beyond any particular piece of legislation, or any one election or politician.

That said, however, we see and hear immediate calls for new "common sense" legislation to control weapons. I find it difficult to believe that any piece of legislation produced in Washington or Tallahassee could have prevented this week's school massacre . . . well, except for one. That one, of course, is to repeal the nonsense making schools into so-called gun-free zones. One can imagine how different the result might have been if, say, that heroic football coach who died protecting students, shielding them with his own body, or some other member of the faculty, had been trained and legally able to carry and use a firearm. Instead, naturally, we get the usual DNC/progressive talking points (an articulate exception) attacking President Trump, the GOP and the NRA; silly attempts to make the Hispanic shooter into a white supremacist; and, the all-purpose stand-by, calls for denial of gun ownership on the basis of "mental health."

I have dealt with the mental health gambit before years ago, and have reposted the piece with my thoughts at the top of this blog. Nothing that has happened since that original post, makes me change my mind; in fact, I am even more convinced today that it would be a tragic mistake to make "mental health" a criteria for suspending without due process a person's Constitutional right to own a firearm.

Who among you believes that the progressives, who immediately take over any new program or policy, would not "weaponize" mental health to attack political opponents? Do you trust some Silicon Valley soy boy nerds to develop an algorithm, along the lines of those being developed to "prevent extremist speech and thought from the internet," that would not be or quickly become a politicized weapon to suppress conservatives? In recent years, we've seen in the US this type of weaponization of the EPA, the ATF, the IRS, the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA. In Europe, too, the police forces of several countries seem to spend more time cracking down on "right-wing hate speech" than on catching the criminals and the jihadis infesting the streets of the Old World.

Let us not forget, at a minimum, that "mental health," as my post at the top of this blog discusses, is a squishy topic, subject to redefinition in accordance with the tides and currents of prevailing political correctness. Don't forget, also, that until quite recently homosexuality was considered a mental health issue, until the political establishment decided it wasn't. Doesn't really sound like the science is too settled on "mental health."

The basic approach taken by the progressives on guns is well-known. They seek to take away your rights and mine because some people are criminal pieces of crap and illegally use guns to commit horrible and already illegal deeds. They, however, don't want to hear about deporting criminal aliens, or stopping the open violation of our immigration laws by millions of persons who should not be in our country. They, instead, want to take away the rights of law-abiding citizens; while those of us in favor of "common sense immigration laws and enforcement," for example,want to remove from the streets the actual individual people violating our laws. Hey, progs, see the difference?

In sum, the massacre in Florida, as in so many other cases, came about because of screw-ups by adult guardians, the police, the FBI, and the school authorities. They made it possible for this piece of excrement to act out his sick fantasies. All the warning signs were there. Political correctness at its finest.

Yesterday, two of my sons, one of their significant others, and yours truly, took the eight-hour North Carolina concealed handgun course at the local gun store in Bahama. The class consisted of fourteen people of all ages, including four women, and three African American men--kinda violates the narrative re racist, misogynistic Southerners, no? You couldn't have asked for a nicer, more polite group of people. The lead instructor, a former cop, was excellent and stressed the legal and moral responsibilities that go with carrying a firearm, including respecting "gun free" zones. We went out to the range and the instructors, again, were extremely helpful and polite. Yours truly got the highest score at the range (298/300) shooting my S&W MP 40, but I would never brag about that or say it in public. I just report it here because I know my six readers will not tell anybody else.

Any one of those people in that class, would, I think, have done the right thing if they had been legally allowed to be armed, and present at a school shooting. We all were agreed that we need "common sense" criminal control.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

More Memo . . . and Time to Investigate the FISC

The Trump-Russia collusion story is a hoax by the Hillary campaign and its allies, and if we had a legitimate press it would so have been declared. This humble and inconsequential blog called it a hoax long ago (here and here, for example). As I have stated repeatedly, the whole thing falls apart with one question: Why would Putin favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton? His buddies had paid Clinton millions, including via "speaking fees" to Bill. Except perhaps for Donald Trump,  everyone, at home and abroad, just assumed Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president.

Well, yet another nail has been hammered into the coffin of this horrible story.

In the last few days, we have had another letter and memo released (somewhat redacted) by Senators Graham and Grassley, two gents who do not particularly care for Donald Trump and are commonly seen as RINOs.

Read it; you don't need me to tell you what's in it, but if you want a devastating analysis of what this memo does to the whole Russia story, read Andrew McCarthy's piece in the NR. There is no way I can do a better analysis than what McCarthy did; note, again, that McCarthy has not been a fan of Trump's.

It's clear that the FBI used the fake Steele dossier to get warrants to surveil American citizens. The FBI knew the dossier was fake and a product of the Hillary campaign. Yet they used it to get the initial surveillance warrant, as well as the extensions. Particularly galling, as McCarthy notes, the FBI did not provide any evidence of wrong-doing found by the initial surveillance when it sought those extensions, and, essentially, just repeated the lie that Steele was reliable and had reliable sources.

What I don't see examined anywhere, however, is yet an even more troubling scandal and piece of evidence of the "deep state" at work.

Why would an honest, objective judge accept the flimsy "evidence" provided by the FBI? What the blazes is going on within the very powerful Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)? What sort of rot and corruption exists there? We need a full-blown investigation of these judges and their apparent political biases which clouded (to be charitable) their decision-making. We are all in danger if we allow the FISC to operate in this manner.

But, bottom-line: As my son said to me yesterday, "I am tired of memos and investigations. We all know what went on. It's time for people to be indicted and jailed."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Scandinavian Digression

I know. There's a lot going on in the whacky world of Washington politics, including my favorite, Trump's masterful trolling of the left with his military parade proposal. This is a brilliant boxing in of the Dems: make them oppose honoring our military and vets, and make them favor illegal aliens. Masterful. There will be time to discuss all this and more as we see further fall-out from the phony Trump-Putin collusion story. Right now, however, I am going to discuss movies. Well, a handful of Scandinavian films and TV shows which might, might just portend a reviving nationalism, especially in Norway.

Growing up, I was never a big fan of the pretentious sort of cinema put out by the late Ingmar Bergman. I found his movies, frankly, boring and not all that insightful. Since the end of that era, however, we have seen films and TV shows that demonstrate--Horrors!--that Scandinavians have a sense of humor, and very importantly, are rediscovering their own recent history. On the humor side, yes, humor from Scandinavia, I have to recommend a wonderful Norwegian film, In Order of Disappearance, starring the terrific Swedish actor, Stellan Skarsgård, with a wonderful supporting part by the great German actor, Bruno Ganz (the best Hitler portrayal of all time was his in Downfall). Skarsgård plays a mild-mannered Swedish immigrant in Norway who drives a giant snowplow for a living. He gets pulled in, quite accidentally, into a bizarre world of murderers and Serbian gangsters. It is Coen brothers on steroids. Great, dark, and witty fun. Give it a shot on Netflix or Amazon.

There are lots of clever Swedish (the superb Wallander), Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, and Finnish police and crime dramas, which show a darker side of Scandinavian society than we are accustomed to seeing. I particularly recommend Easy Living, a Finnish Sopranos. It is a gangster show, with humor, and some biting observations on the corruption produced by socialism, and the lengths to which ordinary people go to game the system. Also Finnish and also worth viewing is Bordertown, a look at how corruption in Russia spills over into Finland: Very well written, directed, filmed, and acted.

Norway, in particular, has produced some interesting films and TV shows of late. A weird and wonderfully offbeat, but, nevertheless, thoughtful one is Occupied. This TV series concerns Russia occupying Norway at the behest of the EU! Great stuff! Never mind Trump-Putin! It is merciless with a Justin Trudeau sort of Norwegian PM who speaks only in platitudes and gets Norway out of the oil business in favor of a weird "green" science. This drives the Russians to see an opportunity to seize Norway's oil fields and take over the EU oil market. The EU is portrayed as spineless and conniving, in other words, accurately. The USA, under a President much like Obama, is also seen as dithering and lacking in resolve. The portrayal of the American Ambassador in Oslo is priceless--a gay dilettante who does not honor his promises. The series paints a picture of a gradual reawakening of Norwegian nationalism as patriots seek to drive out the Russians. Watch it.

Another very good Norwegian film from a few years ago is Max Manus: Man of War. A fairly accurate account of the extraordinary exploits of the great Norwegian anti-Nazi resistance fighter Max Manus (he is worth reading about). Again, throughout the film you see a positive portrayal of Norwegian nationalism, and an honoring of those willing to die to save their country and culture.  It is along the lines of another British-Norwegian series, Heavy Water (AKA The Saboteurs) which is again a fairly accurate account of the heroic efforts by the Norwegian resistance to sabotage German heavy water production in Norway.

Yesterday, I watched another Norwegian film about WWII titled The King's Choice. This is an extremely well-made film with excellent Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and German actors. It is the story of King Haakon's resistance to the Nazi occupation of Norway. Haakon was a very brave, honest, and interesting man. A Danish prince, he came to the Norwegian throne following the peaceful and very civilized independence of Norway from Sweden in 1905--quite a story in itself of how independent Norway immediately offered the throne first to the son of the very Swedish king from whom they had declared independence, but ended up with a Danish king and a British queen via a plebiscite: A fascinating tale of politics in early 20th century Europe. With the German occupation of Norway, Haakon refused to accept Quisling as the head of Norway's government, escaped from the Germans, and eventually made it to Britain from where he helped keep alive the Norwegian resistance to the Nazis and Quisling. Danish Haakon became a strong Norwegian patriot, and lived to see his new country liberated from the Nazis. The film is very good, with some excellent special effects, strong acting, and great attention to period detail. Watch it. All that other stuff will still be there when the movie ends.

End of digression.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

One More Time on Russian Collusion: Putin Got a Bad Deal?

OK, OK, I know I've written a lot about the silly Trump-Putin collusion story (here, here, and here, for example). I had sworn I would write no more about it, but, alas . . . I was listening to the radio while driving around Durham, and some Democratic hack was discussing THE MEMO, and he was spitting out what is apparently a new Demo talking point, to wit, the memo does not dispute the "mountains," yes, folks, "mountains" of evidence that show "collusion" between Trump's campaign and Putin's Russia.

Where these "mountains" are, one does not know, or, at least, this humble blogger does not. I would respectfully ask the Dems to point us to these "mountains." But, meanwhile, we move on . . .

Let's say, that, indeed, there are "mountains of evidence" showing collusion (however defined) between Trump and Putin to get Trump elected President of the USA. Let's say that Trump and Putin were on the phone every night like giddy high school girls "colluding" away. Let's say that Putin funded the whole Trump campaign; that he KNEW all the polls and pundits were wrong and that Trump would win; that he had a magic crystal ball that told him that Trump's long-shot campaign at the White House would succeed. Grant all that, OK?

We still face the issues I raised back on December 10, 2016,
But did Putin want Trump to win? Why? Not clear to me. Yes, Trump has made favorable nosies about seeking an alliance with Russia against Islamist terror, but he also has promised--and I believe he will keep that promise--to revitalize our military and industry and promote American energy independence, including, of course, fracking and other fossil fuel development in the USA--a devastating prospect for Russia's oil-based economy. The power balance will swing back to the US in a way it would not had Hillary and her cohorts taken power.
What did Putin get with a Trump victory? He got as I predicted back in 2014, when I discussed the issue of sanctions on Russia,
I previously wrote what we need to do in the long-run is to avoid creating the environment that allows situations such as the one we now see in Ukraine from arising. Instead of announcing sanctions that won't work, we should do something for ourselves that will immunize us from the lawless behavior of petty tyrants. 
Frack. Yes, frack. 
Get US oil and gas production going full scale. The US government should announce an end to restrictions on fracking on federal lands, and an end to the absurd restrictions on maritime drilling. We should also announce our intention to become Europe's biggest supplier of natural gas. Just the announcement will drop the price of oil and gas and shave tens of billions off the oil- and gas-dependent Russian economy and hit the Russian government budget. It will, as I have written repeatedly, kick off a new wave of prosperity in the USA. 
As long as we continue with self-destructive policies such as limiting our ability to achieve energy independence, we will limit our ability to respond to actions of petty tyrants.
Trump did exactly that, just as he had promised during the campaign. The result is a Russian economy, still heavily dependent on oil and gas, in a serious downward spiral, with pressure put on the Russian military budget. He's got a President in the USA who has announced a renewal and expansion of our nuclear forces in keeping with the renewal and expansion of our conventional forces. He has gotten a US President who has re-established strong Israel-US ties while at the same time maintaining strong ties with key Muslim players such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. He has a President who is defeating ISIS, containing the Iranians, and arming the Ukrainians.  And on and on . . . fill in the rest.

Seems that Putin got a pretty bad deal.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Release of the MemWow

I have now read the famous heretofore highly classified memo produced by the Republican staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes. Below I provide a few of my initial reactions to the memo.

I have REFUSED to read or listen to any and all other analyses prior to this posting. I don't want to be influenced. I want to react to it as I would to any other classified memo I would have received during my career in the State Department. I will read and listen other analyses later, and perhaps adjust my own.

There is no reason, in my view, of course, for this memo to have been classified at the "Top Secret" level; that's way over classification. This memo should rate no more than a "Secret" or even perhaps more appropriate a "Confidential" rating. No sensitive methods are discussed in the memo or damaged by its release; no sensitive sources are named in the memo or blown by its release.  This is not a TS document. The causing of embarrassment to certain individuals or institutions if the memo went public is not justification for a TS label.

The memo is well-written but too short.  The information it mentions needs considerably more discussion and investigation. A great deal of "good" stuff got left in the ink well.

That said, this memo is devastating to the whole Russia collusion narrative. It also provides a very disturbing glimpse into an FBI and a DOJ gone amok and fully involved in affecting the electoral process to ensure the victory of Hillary Clinton. There is no way around that. The FBI and the DOJ, and perhaps other intel and law enforcement agencies, are shown as politically motivated, and willing to subvert the rule of law in the pursuit of the objectives of their political bosses. That is outrageous, and those organizations need a thorough purge.

I find extremely disturbing that the FBI acknowledged that the author of the infamous GPS Fusion "Dossier" on Trump, ex-British intel officer Steele, was minimally reliable, that the FBI had not corroborated the Dossier, and yet, "Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information." It gets worse. It seems Steele had been briefing certain journalists on his "findings" and the FBI and DOJ used those press reports in their filing with the court as validation for the information in the dossier. Another outrage.

The memo seems to confirm what I speculated nearly a year ago,
The Dems claim that Trump is in bed with the Russians; Trump denies it and countercharges that the Dems had him under surveillance. We have here a problem. If the Dems have official intel on Trump's connections with Russia, how did they get it? 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.
The Dems made the whole thing up, paid somebody to write a fake dossier, got the FBI to employ that same somebody (Steele), and then got DOJ to go to the courts with the fake dossier as a justification for spying on the Trump campaign.

The Dems, including, of course, the reprehensible Obama misadministration, used our government agencies as their personal hit-men and shredded the Constitutional protections we all should enjoy.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

More Idiocy from Twitter

Please note that my Twitter account remains suspended because I supposedly incited ethnic hatred by questioning the truth of an anti-Trump story told by actor Mark Ruffalo. To add insult to injury, I got this stupidity in my email folder yesterday. If you click on the link to sample Russian bot accounts and their tweets, you'll se that one of them is from AFTER the election. Nothing like retroactively affecting the election . . . is there anything Putin can't do?

Dear Lewis Amselem, 
As part of our recent work to understand Russian-linked activities on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, we identified and suspended a number of accounts that were potentially connected to a propaganda effort by a Russian government-linked organization known as the Internet Research Agency. 
Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing you because we have reason to believe that you: 
• Were following one or more of these accounts at the time the accounts were suspended; 
• Replied to or mentioned one or more of these accounts during the election period; or 
• Retweeted, quote tweeted, or liked content from one or more of these accounts during the election period. 
This is purely for your own information purposes, and is not related to a security concern for your account. We are sharing this information so that you can learn more about these accounts and the nature of the Russian propaganda effort. You can see examples of content from these suspended accounts on our blog if you're interested. 
People look to Twitter for useful, timely, and appropriate information. We are taking active steps to stop malicious accounts and Tweets from spreading, and we are determined to keep ahead of the tactics of bad actors. For example, in recent months we have developed new techniques to identify accounts manipulating our platform, have improved our process for challenging suspicious accounts, and have introduced new measures designed to identify and take action on coordinated malicious activity. In 2018, we are building on these improvements. Our blog also contains more information about these efforts. 
People come to Twitter to see what's happening in the world. We are committed to making it the best place to do that and to being transparent with the people who use and trust our platform. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trump Does it, Again

Another great speech by President Trump.

He's got it down to an art: No flourishes, no purple prose, no overwrought rhetoric--just straight-forward facts and proposals. It's worth watching and reading, unlike the pathetic Democratic response by a weird-looking (What was that make-up?) Joe Kennedy III. If JKIII is the best they've got . . .

My favorite line in the Trump speech? "Americans are dreamers, too." Bam! A shot to the heart!

Perhaps even better than the speech were the reactions from the Democrats when he was giving it. They didn't know how to react.

Nancy Pelosi looked as if she were struggling with a set of ill-fitting dentures -- "sour face" does not begin to describe her look. Others could not bring themselves to acknowledge the suffering of black families at the hands of MS-13 gangsters; the black caucus could not even applaud the very positive employment numbers for the black community; the Dems could not express support for the coal miners of West Virginia who are seeing their economy revive. They could not applaud Trump's statement that the US is now a major energy-producing powerhouse and for the first time in years, an energy exporter.  They could not applaud the return of manufacturing and the repatriation of hundreds of billions of dollars. They could not acknowledge reality.

Trump cornered the Dems on the immigration issue and they knew it, and their faces showed it. They must now reject a path for citizenship for 1.8 million illegals and argue that it's better for them to stay illegal.

It was a masterful political exhibition by one of the most unusual and clever politicians ever to emerge on the world scene.


Friday, January 26, 2018

The Arc de Trump: The President's New Nationalism Takes the Stage

He's done it again.

President Trump is THE rockstar of the global political world. I don't even know why other leaders bother showing up when this POTUS is in town. We see that President Trump has up-ended the usually silly gathering in Davos, Switzerland, traditionally a place for the international political and financial elites to meet, greet, spew empty platitudes, and tell each other how great and knowledgable they are--you, know, like the Oscars, but with snow.

He rode into town in great Flight of the Valkyries fashion: Marine One and its rotary-winged escorts beating a tattoo over the peaks and valleys of sub-arctic eastern Switzerland, a tattoo portending the arrival of The Revolution helmed by a 71-year-old billionaire real estate developer from Queens.

As I noted above, was anybody else at the meeting? Who knows? Who cares? Davos belonged to Trump. He gave an excellent, thoughtful, and concise explanation of The New Nationalism that he so ably represents.

I normally don't listen to politicians' speeches, much preferring to read them afterwards, but in this instance it was difficult to find the complete text, and one that was accurate, so I clicked over to YouTube and found it here.

Listen to it.

It is a simple, straightforward announcement of a revolution in the way we will conduct ourselves in the international marketplace. He makes clear that he will work for America First, not America Alone, and calls upon other leaders to put their countries first, as well.

He is calling, in no uncertain terms, for an end to the phony and destructive internationalism of the past few decades, the internationalism that has devastated towns and cities throughout the Western world, hollowed out once proud industrial centers, and made legions of mountebanks and blow-hards rich and powerful at the expense of the average Joe. He intends to use America's considerable clout to end that. He makes a good unvarnished case that doing so will benefit the "forgotten communities," and enable them, in the US, at least, to achieve a major portion of the American Dream, to wit, a good job, with good pay.

The world is formed of nation-states, and Donald Trump wants us to act in accordance with that reality.

Reality. What a revolutionary concept . . . . Trump is going to be a great president.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Perversity is Our Strength!

Just thought I would throw out a new slogan for the Hollywood crowd and the legions of progressive bien pensants who besiege us daily.

This slogan fits you like a glove.

I am talking about you, Woody Allen, Meryl Streep, Harvey Weinstein, James Franco, Jane Fonda, Madonna, Kevin Spacey, and on and on.

"Perversity is our Strength!"

Shout it loud!

Shout it proud!

You earned it!

Shout it from your walled-in mansions! Shout it from your limos! Have your agents put it out in press releases!

Wear it like a Pussy Hat!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Recalling Another Government Shutdown and Suspended from Twitter

I was assigned to Main State during the GREAT government shutdowns of November 1995-January 1996. This was the Clinton Administration; the President and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich got into a battle of wills over some long-forgotten issues that produced several weeks of government shutdown.

 It was a good time to be alive.

I was working in the Pol-Mil Affairs Bureau in an office that handled a mish-mash of issues, among that were two, in particular, that got us declared "essential": we had responsibility for coordinating non-combatant evacuations and (my favorite little piece of bureaucratic power) providing diplomatic clearance for foreign aircraft. Several of us in the office got declared "essential" to the national security and had to go to work, even without getting paid.

It was the most fun I ever had working at State. Halls and offices nearly empty; cafeteria shuttered; parking lot almost deserted; a tranquil silence like a comforting blanket lay over it all.

The Department never worked more efficiently.

If you got an issue that needed clearances from office X or Y, you walked over there with your little paper in hand, grabbed the first frightened, lonely person you could find, and breathlessly thundered out, "YOU have to clear this now. YOU cannot refer it to anybody else. YOU have to make a decision! YOU have to say YES or NO!"

In addition, the rules required that we be out of the building before 5 pm because of some liability issues; only in the most extreme emergency could you stay past that bewitching hour. These limited hours meant an end to long, meandering staff meetings called at 6 pm, and not starting until 645 pm. Conversations were brief and to the point. Papers followed suit.

I loved going to work, secure in the knowledge that I would eventually get paid. It also made me realize that you could get rid of anywhere between two-thirds and three-fourths of the bureaucrats and things would work just fine.

BTW, just got notified that my Twitter account has been "locked" because I challenged some BS story told by Mark Ruffalo about conversations he supposedly had in Paris in which people expressed horror over Trump. Twitter says I advocated ethnic and racial hatred . . .

This was my Tweet:

Lewis Amselem
@MarkRuffalo I give this the coveted Five Pinocchio Award . . .

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday Musings & The Shutdown Apocalypse!

The Diplowife is in Spain with her sister celebrating el dia de San Sebastian in, well, San Sebastian (Donosti if you prefer). She keeps sending me pictures of amazing food. Two kids have left for a sports bar in Raleigh; one for apartment hunting in DC; and one with his wife (read her stuff!) for some rightist event in Manhattan. I am left with the dogs, and tasked with folding towels, and running the washing machine. Tough duty. So, of course, I am at the computer instead.

I must first remark that this, the first day of the #SchumerShutdown, dawned cold and bleak; the sun struggled to make itself felt, and its weak light cast long, sinister shadows throughout the woods surrounding my house. Those shadows, of course, come from the dying trees and the gasping fauna, unable to survive without the EPA having a full budget. The streets, too, are now almost impassable from the stacks of dead bodies, and from those millions of zombie-like Americans and immigrants left helpless and hopeless from the government shutdown, wandering the avenues and boulevards, crying, pleading, begging, all to no avail . . . I write in the full knowledge that by the time I post this piece, there will be no survivors to read it. I, therefore, leave it as a testament which might be read by alien visitors hundreds of years from now. Aliens in the sense of folks from the planet Xenon, not Mexico, you understand . . . Well, actually, I guess I will be OK as long as the people who write those Foreign Service retirement checks are deemed essential . . .

The strangeness grows every day.

It SEEMS (please note that word) that there is some sort of memo in the hands of Congress that will blow the lid off the Russian collusion investigation and could result in some serious political, legal, and bureaucratic shake-ups. The Republican Congressmen who have read it swear this is so, the Democrats not so much, but argue that it must be kept secret for "national security" reasons. I love it when the Dems get concerned about national security. Release the hounds memo, and let the chips fall where they might.

The biggest threat to national security (aside from Mexican interference in our national life) is the ongoing turmoil caused by the Russian collusion story so assiduously pushed by the Dems. If this memo has something important to say about it, let us see. I have no doubt that if the memo contained the smoking gun PROVING Trump-Putin collusion, the Dems would have leaked it to the NY Times long ago regardless of any threat to means, sources, and methods. My experience is that these "bombshell" memos often turn out to be something less than that, but, yet, however, nevertheless, perhaps, maybe, possibly it might well be in the national public interest to release this one. Let the American people judge. FREE THE MEMO!

This government shutdown is truly the weirdest such shutdown in my lifetime.

The Dems are shutting down the government because the President won't give them what they want on DACA. In other words, the Dems are more "concerned" about hundreds-of-thousands of illegal aliens, than they are about the proper functioning of our government and the well-being of hundreds-of-millions of Americans and LEGAL immigrants. Their "concern," of course, discussed at length many times in this humble blog (example, example, example) is with bringing in millions of poor and dependent voters. That's all. The Dems are losing some of their traditional supporters and need to replace them. The GOP would be idiotic to give in to the Dems' demands on DACA. So far, President Trump has played the Dems masterfully and I just hope he is not betrayed by GOPers going "wobbly," in Maggie Thatcher's wonderful phrase.

Monday, January 15, 2018

On the Progressives' Sh*thole Country Conundrum

Warning: Tooting of the self-congratulatory horn about to take place. End of Warning.

This humble blog has called it right a few times--just a few, we did think Romney was going to win but . .  . well, a stopped clock is wrong most of the time or whatever that saying is . . .  Please note that the writings herein on race, national identity, and immigration were written years ago, and now the political system is taking up the debate much along the lines laid out back then (Look in the Diplomad archives and you will see). We, for example, now see the world's media and diplomatic bien pensants engaged in a great debate about the remarks President Trump supposedly made along the lines of "why do we get so many immigrants from sh*thole countries?" Did he or didn't he say it? Not clear. White House denials have been, in my view, masterfully evasive almost as though if he didn't say it, he would like credit for having said it but yet maintain plausible deniability that he did. The progs and many international capitals have taken the bait, and now thrash furiously on yet another Trump hook. Wheels within wheels with this President; we should not forget that this indeed is a president who plays 4-D chess; he has an amazing ability, an unparalleled ability, to troll the progs, make them explode in outrage and, thereby, reveal the slimy hypocrisy that flows though their scaly bodies.

Anyhow, this little blog claims rights to the phrase, "sh*thole countries," or at least co-authorship. Please see this little piece, originally written back in 2005, and reposted here in 2013. You will find the following paragraph,
Many years ago, as we prepared our return to a tough posting in the Far Abroad after leave in the States, our son asked, "Do we have to go back to the 'turd' world?" That phrase, "redolent" with the wisdom possessed only by children, has stayed with me over these passing years. My son was right about the 'turd' world. What tips you off that you have arrived in a poor country, a truly, genuinely dirt-poor corner of the Far Abroad, is the smell. As you leave the airport, you notice a special "exotic" odor of rotting vegetation, garbage, and feces combined with a slight whiff of smoke. Once you're there a bit, you no longer notice. When you leave and come back, it slams you all over again. The kid was right: we had been and still do live in the "Turd World."
Well? Well? Bueller? Bueller? Anybody?

I have written before (here in 2015, for example),
Around the world we see that just about everybody wants to live with the White Christian Dudes. We see this drive to live with White Christian Dudes every day along our southern border; Australians see it on their coasts and in the changing make up of their cities; Britons in the unceasing wave of migrants besieging their island. Canada's beautiful Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia has become a largely Asian city. Everywhere, it seems, the civilization built by White Christian Dudes is the magnet. Non-WCDs don't leave WCD countries; my family certainly didn't.
I previously noted in 2013 that we had to recognize that,
Unlike liberals who see what they believe, conservatives tend to believe what we see. We do not see a country in the grip of racial tension, at least not until the charlatans begin to act.
If our country and the West at large, indeed were fetid cesspools of racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, white privilege, brutal patriarchy, etc., would people all over the world risk everything they have, including their lives, to come to our countries?

Here we see that the progs are akin to the Hamlet's bomb-making engineer, "hoisted on their own petard." We have to let anybody who wants into our countries because not to means those persons will suffer death, torture, and so on. They can't be returned to their own countries once they are here, because, well, see previous sentence.

Kinda sounds like they came from sh*thole places to me, no? How about to you? If they did not, then there should be no problem returning them home.

Trump wins; virtue signalers lose.

Next case, bailiff.

Friday, January 12, 2018

On Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK remains one of my favorite figures from recent American history. I admire and respect him a great deal, while recognizing he was a flawed human.  We are coming up on his birthday commemoration so I have decided to repost a piece I wrote about him in 2014.

January 21, 2014

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the US; the TV and other media were full of stories about King and his times, and what it all means today. He has been compared to Gandhi and Mandela, become an icon for American "progressives," and, of course, a historical symbol of the nonviolent civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, almost every major American city has a thoroughfare named for him, and, as noted, we have a national holiday in his honor--making him and Columbus the only ones to have such holidays. Gunned down in 1968, at the age of thirty-nine, he left the civil rights movement to less capable and less visionary successors who undermined his legacy and his goal of a color-blind nation.

Was he a great man? He showed great courage, commitment to his cause, insistence on nonviolence, strong political and leadership skills, patriotism, and became a highly eloquent spokesman for civil rights. "I Have a Dream" is one of the great speeches in the English language. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" more than equals any Thoreau or Gandhi writings, and is not something that today's civil rights leaders, such as they are, could match, nor could the typical graduate of almost any university in the world today. (The letter's pacing, erudition, and, above all, the surgical preciseness with which it takes down opposing arguments bring to mind General Sherman's letter to the Mayor of Atlanta.) King's life made a difference to millions of people. The answer, therefore, to this paragraph's question is yes, he was a great man.

That said, serious problems exist with some of the narrative spun about King, in particular, and the civil rights struggle, in general. Part of the problem, of course, is that King died young, enabling others, as with the two Kennedy brothers, to fill in the rest of the story and use it to further certain political agendas. King died short of his fortieth birthday; had he lived longer, presumably he would have evolved and, possibly, become a very different man than he was when he died--we will never know. What we do know is that the Democratic Party and their "progressive" media and education machines have rewritten the history of the civil rights struggle. This was driven home to me some years ago while visiting a college campus. The students assumed King was a Democrat, and the segregationists confronting the peaceful marchers, and using fire hoses, snarling police dogs, and truncheons, and wearing white hoods were Republicans. They assume a Republican killed King--today's college kids probably believe the Tea Party had him killed. That the exact opposite is true, shocks many. King came from a staunchly Republican family--his father, a prominent leader in his own right--openly endorsed Richard Nixon against JFK in the 1960 presidential election. The Democrats had a one-party lock on the South. The party of slave owners and secessionists, had become the party of Jim Crow, school segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, poll taxes, and on and on.

Many Americans, not to mention foreigners, do not realize not only that the Republican party was formed in opposition to slavery and that Lincoln was a Republican, but that the famous Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, whose rulings dismantled the legal basis for segregation and put serious limitations on the power of police, was a former Republican Governor of California. It was, furthermore, war hero and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to Arkansas to enforce court-ordered desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. Congressional Republicans were the main supporters of civil rights legislation; their votes ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the opposition of a significant bloc of Democrats--let us also not forget that Congressional Democrats for years blocked Republican efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation. All this, of course, is history, but an important chunk of American history that is being lost, distorted, or otherwise flushed down the memory sewer--along with the fact that anti-leftist J. Edgar Hoover proved the most formidable foe of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an organization founded and staffed by Democrats, such as long-time Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

Before I get back to King, let me address another issue that has been badly distorted and become something of a meme among the quasi-literate left. I refer to the idea that the parties have "switched places." This is something I have heard from some lefties who, knowing the true history of the Democratic and Republican Parties when it comes to race and civil rights, try to argue that that was then, and this is now. Since FDR or so, they argue the Democratic and the Republican Parties "switched" places on the race issue, with Republicans taking the role of protecting white privilege and keeping minorities, especially blacks, down. The truth is quite different. What happened was that the old party of slavers, segregationists, lynch mobs, and secessionists figured out that government programs and intervention were the means to deprive Republicans of a significant voter bloc. The aim was to keep black Americans dependent on the largesse of government and Democrat-run urban political machines. Anyone who doubts that should read the crude comment in which President Johnson revealed the real purpose underlying his massive social program expansion, i.e., to keep black Americans voting Democratic. The Democrats have succeeded admirably at this objective.

Back to King and the civil rights movement. By the time of his death, King was losing control of the movement. It was fragmenting. King's vision of a nonviolent effort was under assault by radical elements. The message of non-violence and concentration on individual liberty was losing attraction. The thirty-nine-year-old King seemed old, thundering out a message from another time. A new generation of black activists, inspired by the increasingly confrontational and violent atmosphere in the country challenged King for the spotlight, and found allies in violence in the largely white anti-Vietnam War movement. The civil rights struggle was becoming part of the noise of the very bad closing years of the 1960s, which saw bloody race riots shake nearly every major American city, and numerous incidents of domestic terrorism. In addition, what had been a largely grass-roots, private sector movement was being sabotaged by growing government involvement. Many black leaders were being syphoned off by government programs to "fight poverty." Activists increasingly focused on getting handouts to their followers rather than, as noted above, on King's more lofty, ancient-sounding focus on liberty, and the goal of having people judged not by their color but by the "content of their character." This new generation of government-oriented and dependent leaders did not fit in with King's conservative, Southern, church-based movement. They wanted racial turmoil, not racial harmony. We need also remember that Attorney General Robert Kennedy had put King under FBI surveillance, including the making of compromising tapes of King having extra-marital liaisons, providing the government excellent blackmail material against him.

All these factors, in my view, had begun to take a toll on King; he aged dramatically in appearance, and had begun talking about issues not directly related to the civil rights struggle, e.g., the Middle East, Vietnam. Had he lived longer, we likely would have seen King becoming radicalized, pushed leftward as he sought to retain control of the movement--but, as noted before, we will never know.

In sum, he was a great man with a great vision. His successors, many of them frauds of the first rank, largely have not been faithful to that vision of liberty and color-blindness, and we all have suffered for it.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Unpleasantness and Other Topics

I have been away from my Diplomad duties for some time. Oh, the shame!

The Diplowife and I are in California taking care of some personal and financial affairs. Done successfully. Will be returning home to lovely North Carolina this week-end. I especially miss my dogs, my house and the BBQ.

Blogging was also interrupted by a disastrous attempt at upgrading my MacBook Air to the High Sierra OS. Apple kept bugging me with little reminders on my screen to "UPGRADE, UPGRADE" so I finally did. Horrible experience. All was chugging along nicely until the whole computer just crashed and I got a flashing "?" on my otherwise blank screen. Took forever to get that cleared up and the instructions found on the Apple support site were only moderately helpful. I guess poor, poor Apple can't afford people who can write understandable English. Maybe with the new tax structure they will be able to do so.

My real reason for avoiding blogging, however, has nothing to do with the lame excuses just provided. The political scene and discourse have gotten so very unpleasant and just plain vicious that delving into the arena makes me hesitate.

The progressive insanity is now everywhere on display in its full and flowery anger and destructiveness. Trump hatred has become a mental illness. He is given zero credit for doing anything right. The Russian "collusion" story becomes increasingly absurd and unreal. The real world of the economy and its sudden and vast improvement is ignored, including the tremendous improvement in minority employment rates. The fact that Rocketman Kim has blinked in his stare-down with our President is hardly noticed. ISIS is a shadow of its former self, and that draws little notice. Israel is getting its capital recognized thanks to Trump and there is no little to no notice given--including among America's secular Jews many of whom seem to have become enemies of Israel. The real world is ignored in favor of fantasies about multiple genders, the contributions of "Dreamers," conservatives being responsible for sexual repression and harassment, and on and on. Virtue signaling is the new progressive reality.

At a time when things are finally going well for America and the West, the progressive fifth column works feverishly to undermine us.

Unpleasant is too mild a word.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

At the Movies: "The Darkest Hour"

In the interest of full disclosure, I reveal that I am a sucker for Churchill movies; I gotta watch'em all. As long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for the European political scene from the end of WWI to about 1940. It is staggering how many lessons for today that period contains. In particular, I find extremely interesting the ups-and-downs of Churchill's career as he tried to recover from the infamy attached to him (some rightly, some wrongly) for the Gallipoli campaign, and his political flip-flops. The story gets even more interesting once it becomes increasingly clear that years of arms treaties, disarmament, and appeasement in the face of tyranny had produced war. Churchill, of course, is the prime example of the brave loner who speaks out and warns and warns and warns about the impending disaster. In the end, of course, he wasn't in on the take-off, but he sure got asked to take care of the crash landing.

OK, on to this latest Churchill movie. In "The Darkest Hour," Oldman puts on an incredible and nuanced performance as Churchill. I have never particularly cared for Oldman, but this is a stellar performance. The problem with many other Churchill movies is that it's easy to engage in caricature, to wit, the gruff curmudgeon, but Oldman shows Churchill as a complex flawed man obsessed with saving his beloved England from the Nazis and from the unimaginative dolts in the British government and military. The movie also does not make FDR, in pre-Lend-Lease days, look too good. Fair enough.

I'll give it 4 out of 5 stars. I don't give it the full much-coveted Diplomad five-star rating, thus far, given only to "Dirty Harry," "Zulu," "Raising Arizona," and "Die Hard."

I found the cinematography murky, at times, even muddy. Perhaps the makers were going for a natural light look, but, jeez, the film was hard to watch at times since it was so dark and even blurry. The CGI was of the cartoonish sort, and, I guess, meant only to be symbolic rather than an accurate rendition of German aircraft on bombing runs.

I would have given it 4¾ stars if not for the silly, PC, and historically fake scene in the London underground which has Churchill consulting with a casting call depiction of "the working class," including an interracial couple, on whether Britain should fight or give in. The black Caribbean immigrant, of course, helps Churchill finish the quotation from, I believe, the St. Crispin's Day speech. This is nonsense required by our PC culture. Judging from what I have read by Orwell and other commentators of the time, it is not clear that the average working stiff was all that in favor of war to the death to save the "ruling elite." I don't really know, and would have to look for polling data of the time, and seek correction by those more knowledgable. Anyhow, the film shows Churchill coming back from his one-stop ride in the tube energized by working class support for defeating the Nazis, and ready to address the parliament in his "never surrender" speech,
You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.
 Oldman does a fantastic job of delivering that speech. I think Churchill would have been proud, and even envious.

Most of the other characters are also well-portrayed, especially Kristin Scott Thomas as Churchill's adored and adoring wife, Clemmie, quite a character on her own--and the person who probably saved Churchill's career after Gallipoli.

Go see the film. It is much better than "Dunkirk" and does a very good job of laying out what a major bullet Western civilization dodged thanks to Winston Churchill.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Year of The Donald

Apologies to my Chinese friends for culturally appropriating the "Year of" term, but rarely has one person so dominated the news and the obsessions of both us ordinary folk and the bien pensants as has President Donald Trump.

The global media, both legacy and "social," were chock-full of stories, commentaries, and debates about, over, and full-of-loathing for Trump and what he means to America and the world. Is there a person anywhere on the planet who does not have an opinion on President Trump?  The President has to be the most loved and hated person on the planet. I also think he is on the verge of becoming one of our truly great presidents, the greatest in my lifetime, at least. Let me 'splain.

As regular readers of this inconsequential blog know, its inconsequential author thinks President Obama was an eight-year nightmare that was orders of magnitude worse than our previous worst nightmare, Jimmy Carter. I, frankly, came to despair that we would ever awaken from and escape that crushing Obamista incubus. Then, of course, a November miracle; in that month in 2016, despite the polls and the sneers of the MSM and Hollywood, despite the fabulously financed Democrat Party machine, and an epidemic of fake news and phony "dossiers," the most improbable thing happened: brash, loud and bold non-politician Trump won the election. He ran what was, in essence, the only successful third-party candidacy in the long history of our Republic since, perhaps, Lincoln. The GOP leadership was as befuddled by the Trump phenomenon as was that of the DNC. As we have commented on in this humble blog, that event led to the greatest meltdown of the left since, since . . . well, I don't know since when. His election revealed the leftist rot in the US and global elites that many of us had long suspected and perhaps commented on, but had not realized the full extent.

The resistance to Trump's nomination and election started with prominent Republicans, such as Romney and the Bush clan, and continued with brave talk of riots in the street, "pussy hats," vote recounts, electoral college challenges, Russian "collusion" investigations, and ended with ISIS on the run, US oil production roaring along, a new tax scheme, thousands of regulations slashed, the economy booming, Hollywood in a tailspin, Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel, illegal alien criminals rounded up, UN budget cuts, a teetering EU, riots in Tehran, the "deep state" exposed, the Supreme Court turned around, the Maduro regime on the ropes, and lefties fighting over first class seats on United Airlines (BTW: I know the "teacher" who got booted from her first-class seat by that whacky leftist Congresswoman; she's a hard-core leftist "activist" who made my life and career very difficult many years ago. Lefties like to travel first class.)

Things are good, pretty good. Well, at least, much better than they were one-year ago. I feel optimistic about the coming year. I am not by nature an optimist, so I say that with some trepidation.

Happy New Year.