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I have written before about how the left sees words as important and tries to redefine them in ways that benefit the left, Words evolve. ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Brazil

I am not an expert on Brazil and don't pretend to be. It, frankly, has been several years since I followed developments in that country very closely. My once pretty good Portuguese has morphed into a sloppy mix of Spanish and Portuguese, what Latin Americans call portuñol.

I am, furthermore, not an expert on Brazil's president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. I look forward to comments from people who know more than I do on Brazil and Bolsonaro.

I am, however, pretty good at reading through media hit jobs. Bolsonaro has the international media, political, and academic elite in a mad spin. We see the usual labels trotted out, "authoritarian," "far right," hater of the Amazonian Indians, lethal for the environment, etc. My favorite, of course, is "fringe" politician. Interesting how a fringe politician can get 56% of the popular vote. I guess 56% of Brazilian voters are on the fringe--helluva fringe, that . . . seems, in fact, more akin to a majority, but then I've never been good at math.

The absolute worst thing about Bolsonaro, of course, is that he is suspicious of China and Iran, and--WORSE!--seems to like and admire both the United States and--HORRORS!--Donald Trump! Yes, that very same anti-semitic Trump who moved the US embassy to Jerusalem; that same racist  and misogynist Trump who has created the best job market for blacks, Latinos, and women in our history! How could he like somebody who does those horrid things?

Bolsonaro wants to put Brazil first! Shame! Shame!

As noted above, I am not keenly familiar with Brazil's politics. I do know, however, that preceding years of corruptocrat leftism have been disastrous for Brazil. The country's economy is in a mess and poverty is growing. I also think I know that Bolsonaro is going to have a a very tough time getting his agenda of privatization and deregulation through. Turning that Brazilian ship around is a massive undertaking and he will be resisted every step of the way. If you think we have a Deep State here, you need to check out Brazil.

In my many years in the Foreign Service I had the opportunity to encounter Brazil's diplomats. They are very well trained, speak many languages, and know their way around and through international organizations better than Bill Clinton does interns. They are also exceedingly anti-American, pro-socialist, and seek to undermine the West's positions wherever they can. The arrogance and smugness of Brazilian diplomats is hard to match. At both the UN and the OAS, they were among our toughest opponents, missing no opportunity to undermine us. They were totally unscrupulous, in other words they openly lied to get what they wanted. You could not trust them at all. The Brazilain Itamaraty  (foreign ministry) is a hive of old Third World think. Cleaning that out will prove a task bigger than Hercules' assignment to cleanse the Aegean Stables. You need to run the Amazon through it. I can only imagine what Bolsonaro will run into with the nationalized industries and the huge bureaucracy that chokes the life out of what should be one of the world's richest countries.

Anyhow, I wish President-elect Bolsonaro all the best. Brazil needs a genuine patriot who will get Brazil's house in order before it tries playing global superpower. I hope that he and Trump can establish a good relationship.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Gaza South: The Central American Caravan

I have written with some frequency and length about the existential threat the USA faces on its southern border. I see that the caravan stunt of last March-April has been renewed with great vigor. I noted at the time that,
this little stunt is outrageous as it is being, as noted, aided by a nominally "friendly" country, Mexico (see my take on Mexico's friendliness here and here). Not only that, but legally the marchers have no case. If they are fleeing Honduras, they can seek asylum in Mexico, the first stop in their "escape." Mexico has the responsibility to grant them asylum, turn them over to the UN, or return them to their country of origin.
That remains true today, of course. It is a hostile act, an overtly hostile act, by the governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. The so-called march northward is clearly funded by somebody with deep pockets and good organizational skills, and abetted by officials in those countries. The immediate victims, of course, are thousands of poor people being lied to, exploited, and put in great physical danger.  We see pictures of marchers painting swastikas on American flags and then burning them, and waving flags of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador at the head of long columns of marchers. These people apparently so hate racist, xenophobic America, and feel so patriotic about their home countries, that they are putting their lives at risk to head for the USA and get away from their non-sh*thole countries.

The usual morons in the media are having a field day trying to blame these marches on Trump. I guess, in a way, Trump is to blame as under him the US economy rockets along and generates new jobs and rising wages for our workers, all of which serves as a magnet for the poor of the world. We should ask President Trump to stop winning for the USA, and that would, I assume, slow down the rate of marching. Right.

In other words, elect the Democrats and that will make the USA a much less attractive place to live for everybody. We could do that . . . or we could do what we should have done long ago: build the wall; change the immigration laws so that you can't come here to mooch or work illegally; and punish the traffickers. By traffickers, by the way, I include the governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, and the funders of these marches. Do what I long ago suggested, that until these countries begin to act as "friends," use our military and other elements of national power to shut the border to all traffic in goods and people; suspend issuance of visas to nationals of those countries; and, of course, drastically reduce those nations' diplomatic and consular presence in the USA. Yank us out of NAFTA, and tell those American companies who build their factories in Mexico, that doing so is a bad bet on the future. Prosecute any American individuals or organizations involved in funding, organizing, or leading these marches.

The President has said that he thinks there are probably MS-13 and Middle Eastern terrorists among the marchers. The media, of course, sent a couple of reporters down to Mexico and could not find any such creatures. We, of course, all know that if we ask an MS-13 or ISIS member trying to sneak into the US, whether he is one of those, they will answer truthfully. Right.

You know, I don't care if there is or these isn't a member of the MS-13 or ISIS in these marches. The marches themselves are a threat to the US. If they are allowed to get away with the insertion of thousands of people across our border, we have stopped being a nation. The Israelis understand that and haven't fallen for the same stunt when it has occurred along their border with Gaza. The left want images akin to those in Gaza along our border. The marches must be stopped.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Voting Early (and Often?)

I am not a great fan of the spreading contagion of early voting. In them-thar olden days, you voted on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that was basically it--except, of course, for  absentee ballots generally reserved for military serving overseas or people in hospitals or with other medical excuses. No more. Early and absentee voting have been dramatically loosened, and one needs have no particular excuse for either. One can also register and vote on the same day--that's made for abuse.

OK. Despite my antipathy to it, I took advantage of early voting here in North Carolina. It began on Wednesday, October 17 and will run through Saturday, November 3.

I showed up before 8 am on the 17th, and was surprised to find a considerable crowd. I was also surprised to find lots of campaigning right up next to the voting station--this despite signs prohibiting such beyond a certain point. To get into the building, one had to run a gauntlet of people handing you  filled-out recommended ballots, a variety of materials on one or another ballot proposal, and information on candidates for a variety of jobs. Everybody, I want to note, was friendly, and I felt no intimidation. I, however, noticed that ALL of this campaigning was coming from the Democrat side. There was none, not one, pamphleteer supporting Republican or conservative candidates and issues. The ballot itself, I quickly saw, also reflected a lack of Republican ground game. Many slots for local positions, including judges (voting for judges, I find an odd thing) had only a Democrat candidate. Even the sheriff slot had only one candidate, a Democrat. On one judge slot there was one Democrat and two Republicans running--nice way to split the vote, fellows.

To cut this boring story short, I voted only Republican, leaving "D Only" slots blank, and voted exactly opposite of the recommendations for other issues that the pamphleteers had made. One pamphlet had been specially designed to "trigger" me: it was labelled, "For a Progressive North Carolina Vote . . . " and then the recommendations.

As an old election observer, with many elections around the world under my belt, there is no way I could certify our election process as free, fair, and open. Inside, for example, the voting office I was never asked for an ID of any kind--it's expressly prohibited--and merely had to state my name and address, and sign an affidavit that I was who I said I was. The clerk checked my name against the address I gave, and handed me a ballot. That was it.  When I got home, I had in my mailbox an absentee ballot from my old address in California; I added that document to one I had gotten a couple of days earlier from my old address in Virginia, and a voting reminder notice I got last week from my old address in Florida. I did not avail myself of these ballots.

This system is broken, and badly so. It clearly comes from an earlier age when we all knew our neighbors and didn't move so much. It is clearly early 20th century at best. As noted above, it's made for abuse.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mobs and Tribes

What a weird week. I know that phrase is getting used a lot lately, but still.

Well, I am so glad that the rest of the world has caught up with the Diplomad in my long-time description of the Democrat Party as the party of the lynch mob. If you have absolutely nothing else to do, feel free to go through posts over several years, and you will find my description of the world's oldest political party as the party of the lynch mob.

That is what Democrats and their acolytes do: they create, lead, and participate in lynch mob justice. Just about any issue they adopt quickly becomes fodder for that mob. It is time for the Democratic Party to go away, and completely restructure itself into something other than what it is now. Time, in that old post WWII phrase, for the Democrats to "demob." Battering cars, flinging yourselves at doors, forming cry circles, chasing people out of restaurants, and threatening anybody who disagrees with you with acts of "incivility" is not the way to go.

To add just another touch of weirdness, we have Senator Elizabeth Warren proudly announcing DNA results that "PROVE" she's a Native American. She fell right into Trump's trap. She had made a nice career for herself in Harvard and other "elite" institutions by claiming to be a Native American woman of color. Trump promptly labelled her Pocahontas and made her a laughing stock. She couldn't leave it alone and doubled down, taking Trump's DNA test challenge. She produced a weird video in which some geneticist whom she hired says she definitely has Native American "markers" in her DNA. You can read up on this weirdness but I must just point out that she has a tiny fraction of "Native American" DNA, which folks have been quick to point out is well below that which average Americans have. What has not been too widely noted has been that these DNA testing services have little if any Native American DNA samples from North America as most of the tribal nations have refused to participate in providing samples. The testing company's "Native American" DNA samples actually come from Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia. So if the test has "proved" anything, it has "proved" that Warren might be 1/1024 part hispanic Aztec, Mayan, or Inca. Wow! The clown of Mass has beclowned herself further. Trump wins again.

Before I have to return to my hurricane damage duties and working on my father's estate, let me make this vow before my six readers: I take the pledge never to vote for any Democrat or Democrat-backed policy ever in my life.

Let's make the mid-terms memorable. I want to see more prog crying circles, and more progs flinging themselves against giant locked doors . . . it brings me great pleasure in my old age.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Survivor

Over five years ago, I wrote a little piece on how progs transform the meaning of words. I noted that the old Soviets had been masters at this transformation of words. That skill, however, did not die with the much unlamented Soviet Bloc, as is well know. I followed that piece up a few months later with another, in which I noted that,
Words have meaning, and the left is very good at ever so subtly altering the meaning of words so that over time those words no longer mean what they meant. Words, of course, are the bullets of intellectual debate. If you allow your opponent to select your ammo for you, well, let's just say you are at a disadvantage.
In other posts and reader comments here, we have discussed a range of words which have become transformed into things far removed from their original meanings: gay and liberal, of course, are two words which come immediately to mind. There are many more, of course, as the progs try to make 1984 into a how-to manual. Let me bring up another perfectly good and evocative word now heading for the freak show booth, "survivor."

Survivor: A great and strong word, and once one easy to understand.

If you sailed on the Titanic, or the Lusitania, or the Hood, or the Yamato, or the Indianapolis, or the Andrea Doria, and made it home, you are a survivor. If you were a Jew, a Gypsie, or a Jehovah's Witness in Nazi Germany and made it through the horrors of the holocaust, you are a survivor. If you made it through a fiery plane crash, or a horrid car wreck, or a massive train derailment, well, you are a survivor. If you were at. the facility in Benghazi when it was attacked by the jihadis and Obama/Clinton/Rice did nothing except lie and you came through, you are a survivor. If you were brutally attacked, beaten, and raped, and lived to tell, you are a survivor.

If you had your bottom pinched, or underwent some catcalls, or got groped on a date, or had to put up with a "hostile work environment," you are, well, let's just say "survivor" is not the label for you, anymore than it would be if you had your pocket picked or your car burgled. Depending on the example you pick, you are a victim of perhaps of a crime, or most certainly the sort of rudeness and crudeness which perhaps should have provoked a slap across the face, or a swift kick to the nether regions, or--how about this?--a complaint to the appropriate authorities.

Victim does not equal survivor.

The word "survivor" is now quite easily thrown about by anybody who claims to have suffered a "sexual assault." The problem, of course, is that "sexual assault" has been steadily redefined and watered down so that just about any action can be labelled a "sexual assault." Now it can be a boorish comment, a leer, or a gesture. To claim that as a "sexual assault" insults those who have suffered and survived real sexual assault.

Let's be a bit more judicious in the use of the label "survivor" for the sake of the real survivors.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Justice

With a vote of 50-48, Judge Kavanaugh will become Justice Kavanaugh.  As you all know--so, of course, I will repeat it--Kavanaugh had to endure a thoroughly disgusting gauntlet to become a Justice. One thing is to have open political and ideological differences and disagreements on legal interpretations, those are legitimate issues to explore and discuss--Have at it!--it's another thing to try to destroy a person's reputation and career, and put him and his family in physical danger. The loons in the Democratic Party aided by the media echo-chamber and the cesspool that our academic institutions have become tried to do precisely that.

Let's be up front: Dr. Ford lied.

She lied. She became a tool for the loons, and was willing to lie to stop Kavanaugh. Why has she, according to her lefty lawyers, now decided not to pursue the accusations against Kavanaugh? Why did she only pursue them once Kavanaugh become Trump's choice for a seat on the Supreme Court? Why doesn't she go to the police in Maryland, where there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault, and make a formal presentation of what she says happened to her in Maryland however many years ago she decides it happened? Because . . . drum roll . . . it's not true. I really hope her perjury is not simply forgotten; she needs to pay for it. She, at least, should be sued for every penny she has made in her GOFUNDME effort. The loons must know there is a cost to being a loon, to being an instigator of a lynch mob. No more lynch mobs, please.

Bottom line: Trump wins; Kavanaugh wins; justice wins; America, a bit battered, also wins.

Just in: My son and his wife went to the protests in front of the Supreme Court today. Here's a thoughtful protestor reacting to the singing of "God Bess America" by some folks celebrating Kavanaugh's win.


Notice the wit and intelligence on display