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An American Coup D'etat?

This has gotten completely out of control. I never thought I would see our country's politics reduced to the degrading levels of a Banan...

Friday, May 24, 2019

May Goes

Perhaps the most clueless modern day British PM, Theresa May has called it quits.

Now, of course, so I've been told, she was a pretty good Home Secretary; she, however, was way out of her depth as PM. Bluntly put, she could have been "simply marvelous" in everything else she did and said, but her catastrophic handling of Brexit will overshadow any and all possible positive achievement. She will be remembered as the PM who colluded with the British Deep State, mainstream media, and the lefty lunatics of Europe to attempt to defy the British people's will. She had been, of course, a "Remainer,"along with her almost equally as hapless predecessor, but vowed to comply with the voters' mandate. She did not. She was either completely idiotic in her negotiating a sailing tack for exit, deceptive, or quite simply an obstructionist when it came to actually carrying out that exit from the horrid EU.

She was akin to a championship poker player who folds while holding a Royal Flush.

The UK had the upper hand.

All the PM had to do was announce that the UK would leave, and would discuss any legacy issues, e.g., Irish border, expat workers, rules on the curvature of bananas, afterwards. That was it, There was not a damn thing the EU could have done about it without risk of even more grievous harm to the EU. Instead, she got herself into "negotiating," actually seeking the EU's permission to leave. It was insane. It showed that she was, like so many other politicians around the world, a captive to the Globalist Vision, a vision increasingly rejected by voters all over the world.

She needs to go away ASAP--I, however, would like to see an investigation into her possible role in the Russian Collusion hoax--and be replaced by somebody who actually believes that the British people are worth saving and that they know what they want.

Go!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Australia! Stop Scaring Me!

OK, I have been holding off commenting on the elections Down Under.

First of all, I had violated the Diplomad Rule of Politics 101: Ignore the polls especially when they show the Progs will win when it doesn't make sense. I had read the polls which, almost universally predicted a Labor victory validating Bill Shorten's emphasis on Global Climate Change, and the need to dismantle Australia's economy and society as a sacrifice to the Junk Science and the Open Borders Creed of the Cult of Global Prognazism.

I also held back, frankly, because Australia has a rather sophisticated voting system which requires, I thought, a deep understanding of complex Quantum Mechanics in order to tally the votes. I, furthermore, had had my deepest schooling on Australian vote counting by watching one of my favorite shows, Rake, with the nefarious schemer Clever Greene (played by the outstanding Richard Roxburgh) strategizing to get himself elected Senator by a wonderfully complex--for me--use of the preferential voting provision.

So I held back my celebration. Had Labor actually won? The Diplomad pondered, fretted, tossed and turned . . .

Fortunately, an Aussie friend explained how the system actually works, and, while I still don't like mandatory voting, I find that it's not bad at all.

So it seems we can celebrate!

The good guys have won when they were expected to lose. ScoMo scored more. Judging from the shocked reaction of the progs in Australia and their globalist buddies at the New York Times, this Morrison win just "weren't supposed to be."

I have been having a wonderful time reading the twists and turns of the prog media trying to explain the Liberal coalition victory. The explanation basically comes down to the people are morons! They have rejected the one and true faith! They didn't really know what they were voting for! We have had five hot summers so we must return to the Middle Ages! Morrison MUST, I tell you, Must now develop a Climate Change Plan that will appease those who lost the election running on Climate Change nonsense! And on, and on, and on. It was akin to that fabulous night in November 2016 when the Progs sustained another massive mule kick to their transgender nether regions. It recalled the recent Israeli elections and, of course, BREXIT, horribly sabotaged by May and her Deep State.

The Progs . . . they love humanity and hate people.

Keep Australia Great!

Friday, May 17, 2019

President's Immigration Proposal

President Trump's announced goal to overhaul our creaky, leaky, and harmful immigration system seems  a good start. As with any new proposal, of course, many questions exist which need answering.

I like the idea of FINALLY putting the emphasis on merit for immigration, including some level of English-language proficiency, and not just so-called "family reunification." According to some pundits, take that for what it's worth, the Trump proposal would make merit the basis for immigration in about 57% of cases as opposed to the current level of about 13%. That's a good start.

To digress a moment into the Diplostore of memories, I will never forget a frustrated nuclear physicist, who spoke beautiful English, and who desperately wanted to immigrate to the US, but had no family ties here. I tried to help him as much as I could legally, and ended up helping get him a job offer from a major university; off he went as a "temporary" worker with the hope of maybe getting some sort of adjustment of status eventually. I don't know what eventually happened. It was absurd. Every day on the visa line in that same country we sent hundreds of poor and unskilled people to the US just because they had a parent, a sibling, or a child who had "somehow" gotten into the US, adjusted status, and now sought to bring all his or her relatives.

The proposal is short on key details. I am particularly concerned about the numbers of immigrants. The proposal doesn't seem to address that. How many immigrants do we really need? Emphasis on NEED. We certainly don't need that bizarre lottery system, nor do we need adults petitioning for adult siblings.

I would favor a temporary halt to virtually all immigration--I imagine you would have to make an exception for spouses and minor children of a US citizen--until we figure out what we need as a country. We might, for example, want to adopt more child friendly tax and other legal structures to encourage Americans to have more children instead of importing workers from abroad.

Our first priority should be to take care of our own. Any immigration that depresses wages, become a drain on public resources, denies jobs to qualified Americans, and fosters criminal activity . . . well, I'd say we don't need it. We have lots of homegrown criminals willing and able to commit crime.

Let's see how this plays out in 2020.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Braking China

Sorry for the long break from blogging. Lots of activity at the Diplohouses, but much too boring to relate . . . so I won't.

China is back in the news, again, so let's discuss that.

Many years ago--April 2, 2012, to be exact--I wrote a little piece in this humble blog titled "China's Century?" If you have time, I would ask that you go back and read it; it's not too long or cutesy. In fact, I think a lot of it still holds up. The main contention of that long-ago post was to dispute those who see the 21st as "China's century." I argued that it could become China's only if we gave it away. That seems an accurate assessment. Probably the single biggest miss, however, in the article was that "experts" wowed by the "inexorable" rise of China seemed to ignore,
the overseas political side of it. China's trading partners, the US and Europe most notably, are reaching the end of their patience with China's currency manipulations. A trade war is not inconceivable; China would have the most to lose.
I thought, for sure, that the West's patience with China's political and economic shenanigans would prove much shorter than it has, and that we would have seen a trade war or the inklings of one well before 2019. The West seemed content to allow whole swathes of our economies to be either devastated or just uprooted and transplanted to China: manufacturing was deemed largely dead in the West; our political and economic leadership seemed absolutely fine with that, and with China's active intellectual property theft and aggressive intel operations. Anybody else wonder, for example, why new Chinese weapon systems seem to look so much like those of the United States?

The West, furthermore, went along with the absurd Paris Climate Deal that would have destroyed, for example, the coal industries in the US and Australia, and benefited those in China and India. In other words, our leaders didn't really believe the nonsense about global climate change, they just wanted the "dirty" industries moved somewhere else. Not in My Backyard.

Well, things appear changing. Another one of the consequences of the 2016 election is that we have a President not afraid to take on the Chinese. He correctly determined that our national security and prosperity were imperiled by our dhimmi-like attitude towards Beijing. Tariffs are always a blunt instrument and they can have negative consequences; they should never be the first line of defense when dealing with unfair trade practises. They, however, are more than justified in the current situation. Nobody wants a "trade war," and such an event or the threat of one can and will have economic consequences--I see them in my stock portfolio. That, however, is more a result of our having allowed our economy and our deficit spending to be in hock to Beijing. We have allowed corporations to make absurd intellectual property deals with the Chinese in "exchange" for the Chinese "allowing" us to set up factories in China, with Chinese partners, and export the product back to our own countries. That is a prescription for economic suicide.

I would have no problem with making the new higher tariffs on Chinese goods permanent. Western corporations and their budding Chinese overlords must learn that trade is supposed to be a two-way affair; trade doesn't mean, or shouldn't mean, we give away our factories, jobs, and technological crown jewels in exchange for cheap consumer goods, the financing of our debt, and a growing military threat in areas of concern to us.  

I hope President Trump hangs tough on this. Put the brakes on China.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

In Contempt

Hard to return to the keyboard. We've been spending time in Wilmington, and find it grows on us every day. Wonderful town. From my house here, I've got my favorite gun store at 3/4s of a mile; my favorite gun range at about three miles; a great park for the dogs at just over a mile; a funky downtown with some fascinating history going back to the time of the colony; the beach; the museums; even an old and rare books store within walking distance . . . and did I mention the gun range?

I watched the House Committee on the Judiciary under its reprehensible Chairman Jerry Nadler vote to hold AG Barr in contempt for refusing to testify before the Committee--after the Committee changed the format--and to turn over to the Committee the entire unredacted Mueller report along with millions of underlying documents and legally protected grand jury testimony. Total nonsense.

The Dems have gone into full sweaty-palm syndrome, trying desperately to come up with some shiny new thing, e.g., contempt, Trump's tax returns, to distract from Barr's ongoing investigation into the origins and perpetuation of the Russia collusion hoax.

They act as protectors of the Deep State which, in turn, protects them.

The speeches unleashed on America by the Dem members of the Committee proved absurd in the extreme; they border on the insane, heck with that, they cross that border. The last thing the Dems want is for the investigatory spotlight to shine on the elephant in the room, to wit, the Dems knowingly perpetuated a colossal hoax (with, it appears, some help from the UK and the Russian intel services) in the hopes of reversing the result of the 2016 election.

Nadler says we have now gone into a Constitutional crisis because the President defends the Constitutional prerogatives of the executive branch. Nadler keeps saying that Congress forms an equal branch of the government. Yes, indeed, and so does the executive branch headed by the President. No, no Constitutional crisis there. Any such crisis comes from elsewhere.

We, in fact, do have a Constitutional crisis: the DNC and the Deep State sought to pull a coup. There's your Constitutional crisis and your contempt.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Harmless Fun with Guns

OK. Let's take a break from all the news and talk about important stuff. Here at the ol' Diplomad homestead that, of course, means guns, in particular 1911's.

I must confess. Yes, I did it again. I sneaked out of the house and over to my favorite gun store in Wilmington, Backwater Guns. I spent about an hour boring the very nice folks over there and then ended up buying a Dan Wesson Specialist chambered in .45.

Without hesitation I headed over to the local gun range and began blasting away. I know there's a lot of hype out there about Dan Wesson's (now owned by CZ) but this specimen, at least, lived up to it. It shot flawlessly with only one fail to feed when I used an aftermarket 10 round mag. If I stuck to the mags that came with the gun, no problems at all.

It's a beautiful gun, and very well made. Lots of attention to detail, lots more than you would expect in a production gun. Very smooth action, excellent trigger, great grips, and pretty neat sights. Even I shot very well at my usual chicken 10 yard distance. Tight groups; easy to keep the gun on target. It's a keeper.

Get one for Mother's Day.

Not to be a buzz-kill but my day at the range was almost ruined by a couple of new Wilson mags which I used in my Colt 38 Super. I know Wilson's have a good rep, and I have used them in other guns, but what a disaster in the 38 Super. I cycled both magazines through three times each. That's six  mag loads for those of you raised on the metric system. Every time, EVERY single time on the last round, the gun would not only jam, but the slide stop lever would partially come out and a HUGE jam would ensue. I showed it to the range gun smith; he said he had never seen something like that; I let him fire it, and--bam!--it happened again. No problem at all with the standard mags that come with the gun. I have left a message over at Wilson and will see if they call back. And Venezuelans think they have problems . . . ha!

One other note, a political one: the attack on AG Barr shows how genuinely desperate the Dems have become. They have to destroy Barr before he can show how the Russian Collusion story was the greatest political hoax of our time--much worse than the Dreadnought hoax--and involved senior levels of America's (and Britain's?) intel and law enforcement services. If I were the Dems, I, too, would be frantically trying to do something, anything, to head off that story.

We'll discuss it soon.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Venezuela: Socialism's Poster Boy

Over the years I have written a great deal about Venezuela's horrid Chavez/Maduro socialist regime. In addition, as a Foreign Service Officer, particularly when I worked in Guyana, at the UN, in SouthCom and at the OAS, I dealt with prior Venezuelan governments as well as the current regime and its supporters and opponents.

Venezuela provides one of the great tragic stories of our time. A tragedy in the true sense of the word: the players know the outcome but keep on acting their assigned roles. Even before gangster Chavez assumed the presidency, the place had very serious problems. It had striking wealth and striking poverty; it had some very modern sectors and some very backwards ones. It had an unstable, corrupt, and barely functioning democracy, but it did have a lively free press, and opponents did not get themselves exiled, imprisoned, or have their property seized--unlike under Chavez/Maduro.

In MY experience, with some exceptions, Venezuelan diplomats, regardless of the party in power in Caracas, came across, as insufferable, arrogant and ignorant. Decidedly anti-American, they thought Venezuela deserved a much more prominent place in the sun, one denied them by the US. I found them poorly trained, and, again, as a rule, not very knowledgeable about anything except their diplomatic immunities and duty-free rights. Not a pleasant crowd. Under the Chavez/Maduro regime, that diplomatic corps became outright gangsters who would bully, insult, and threaten to get their way. They threw around oil money as though it would last forever. I had many clashes with Venezuelan diplomats in private in back rooms negotiating some accord or another, and in public on the floor of the OAS. They were not very impressive. The Venezuelan people did not get their money's worth.

Well, it seems, and I emphasize that word, we might have entered the last days of the evil Chavez/Maduro regime. I don't know, but certainly hope so--although I have absolutely no idea, nor does anybody else, about what comes next and how. The end of Maduro's rule, while most welcome, will not end the troubles for Venezuela. Under socialism, this previously already troubled country has become an absolute wreck. Any leader after Maduro will have his hands full, and enjoy a VERY short honeymoon. A new leader will inherit a horrific situation, a challenge of incredible proportions.

The economy has all but disappeared. People are starving in the dark, yes, starving with no electricity in an oil-rich country in the 21st century. Basic public services, including hospitals, have ceased to function. Perhaps as many as four million people have fled abroad, including doctors, nurses, engineers, and, of course, investors and businessmen, foreign and domestic, large and small. How will any new government get them to return? How will Venezuela resuscitate its dying oil sector? How will it address the dire food and medical shortages? What about the chaotic situation in the streets, to wit, Caracas as the murder capital of the world? How will Venezuela deal with its huge foreign debt, the depletion of its foreign currency reserves, and the collapse of its currency? How will it handle millions of people now entirely dependent on the government? What about meting out justice to the drug-dealing crooks and savages of the socialist Chavez/Maduro regime? The questions come in an endless cascade; the answers not even in a trickle.

And the USA? Obama completely mishandled Venezuela. Under that administration, we engaged in full retreat; we rarely if ever responded to the attacks, insults, and lies hurled at us by that criminal regime. Bush did not prove much better. Under both Bush and Obama, we allowed Chavez/Maduro to challenge us in our hemisphere; join ranks with narcos, terrorists, and other of our enemies; we let Caracas interfere in the political processes of multiple nations in the region; as noted, we did little or nothing about any of it. Trump has handled Venezuela much better with targeted sanctions, tough honest talk, and, of course, by unleashing our own energy potential undermining not only the crooks in Venezuela but those in Russia and in Iran, as well.

I do not want US military intervention in Venezuela. The challenge posed by the disaster in Venezuela appears one more for Colombia, Brazil, and others in the region than for the USA. We should encourage the Latin Americans, who seem finally to have woken to the Venezuelan calamity, to handle the situation. Let them intervene if they want; we should not. We should stand ready to help as part of an international humanitarian effort, but that's it--with one exception, see below. We should not want to own this mess. To put it mildly, little to no gain exists for the USA in military intervention in Venezuela. The negatives FAR outweigh any positives. I repeat, we do not want ownership of the Venezuelan disaster.

Russia? Moscow stands to become a big loser if the Maduro regime goes down. If that happens, it appears uncertain that Russia (or China) would get back their huge investments and loans. Even more important for the Russians, collapse of Maduro's rule would unravel what remains of the old Soviet play in Latin America. Could the end of the vile socialist regimes in Nicaragua and Cuba--both dependent on discounted Venezuelan oil--come far behind? In sum, what remains of Moscow's challenge to the US in this hemisphere crumbles with the end of the Chavez/Maduro criminal regime.

This brings us to the exception to no US intervention. Aside from providing humanitarian assistance, we should make clear to the Russians--and their Cuban puppets--as well as the Chinese, that they must stay out; they cannot try to run the game in Venezuela; if they do, they will face consequences from us.

Best of luck to the people of Venezuela.