Featured Post

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...

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Fun with Wilson (Not the President)

I had begun to write a little "thought piece" on Trumpian foreign policy, when a phone call from my favorite gun store, Backwater Guns,  interrupted my line of so-called thinking.  The Diplowife is on one of her jaunts to Spain with our two oldest sons, so I have been left to my own devices--not good. Two days ago I walked into Backwater, and ordered a Wilson Combat CQB1911 chambered in the greatest caliber of them all, the venerable .45. I had heard that it would take 3-6 months to get my hands on this gun given the great demand for them . . . but I got the call! Backwater told me it had arrived! Yes, in two days from the factory in Arkansas! They happened to have a cancelled sale of a gun with my exact specs. Off I went, no Jeep has ever driven faster (it's in the Guinness Book, honest) laid my money down, and came home with this magnificent piece of American design and engineering.

Today I went over to a little gun range here in Wilmington. I conducted another of my highly scientific comparison tests. I took my new Wilson, my Dan Wesson 1911, and my S&W 1911, and a large load of different types of .45 cal rounds.

Three high-priced irons; which would receive the coveted Diplomad Award? The suspense is a killer.

In short, at ten yards, I ranked them in terms of accuracy (3) the S&W (shorter barrel); (2) the Wesson, and Numero Uno the Wilson. The differences were very slight and how much was due to my hand and eye getting tired, or just happenstance, I don't know. My testing "machines" are not calibrated for such fine distinctions. At seven yards, I could find no appreciable difference.  All three shot very accurately and very tight groupings. I put about 150 rounds though each gun and had only one failure, a stovepipe in the S&W on the very last round fired. To be fair to the S&W, the round made an odd, muted noise, so it might have been a bit underpowered.

My conclusion? I don't know. Is the Wilson worth about three times the money of the S&W or the Wesson? It, without doubt, is a superbly made weapon, with very tight tolerances, and--best of all--it gives you the bragging rights of saying you have a relatively rare gun. The other two are also superbly well-made, with the Wesson being slightly better than the S&W but the S&W having a neater retro look, and is a bit more concealable than the other two.

OK, I will write something a bit more serious. Not allowed to have fun in our brutal dystopian world where everything is politics and wokeness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A Repost on 9/11

I get very sad on this day and just don't feel like writing anything new about it. I will repost what I wrote back on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of that horrid event.

I am working on something new.

September 11 Revisited

The tenth anniversary of that horrid day has generated a flood of memories. I hope not to bore my readers with yet another account of "where I was" on that day, but I can't help it.

I was the Charge of a medium-sized American embassy in Asia. The Ambassador was back in the US, and barely missed getting on one of the hijacked flights. It was early evening local time. My wife and I were at the gym at a five-star international chain hotel; I was on the treadmill watching, with no particular interest, the nauseous BBC world news show that was on the gym's sole TV set. The news reader, a pompous and vaguely east Asian woman whom I recall as looking much like a Vulcan from the old Star Trek series, suddenly grabbed her earpiece, and said there was a report of a small commuter plane hitting a World Trade Center tower in New York.  She prattled on about something else, then suddenly the image cut to the smoking tower just as the second plane hit. Along with millions of other people, I watched on live TV as hundreds of people were brutally murdered. A lot of confused reporting began; much cross talk, some silly BBC criticism of US air traffic control and of the NY fire department for responding too slowly.

The gym trainer, an Aussie expat, came up to me and said, "How can two planes hit the same place?" I remember telling him, almost without thinking about what I was saying, "It has to be deliberate." It suddenly dawned on me, after I said it, that, in fact, it must have been deliberate.

I got off the treadmill and went to look for my wife; I pulled her out of her aerobics class, and said "Something is up. We have to go."  I had the bodyguards take us home, and I called our head of security. He was frantically trying to get some logical story out of Washington, but either could not get through, or got contradictory accounts of what was going on: some sort of attack on the Pentagon; a car bomb outside the Congress; another one outside the State Department; and on and on. I told him to get the country team together (heads of section) and to heighten our own security at the Embassy as we could be facing a worldwide attack on US facilities. We all met and talked, and talked, and talked, and could get nothing useful out of Washington.

Adding to the confusion was that the Assistant Secretary of our regional bureau, a political appointee close to a prominent Senator, had run, and I quite literally mean run, with her aide, screaming, yes, screaming, out of her office, into the garage, gotten into her car, and had headed home.  She had abandoned her post at a time of great crisis. The amazing thing was that weeks later, she laughingly told the story herself with no sense of shame or of how that imagery could affect those around her. But then this was the same one who, just a few days earlier, had fired an extraordinarily talented Foreign Service Officer, one of the most knowledgable people I had ever met when it came to South Asia, because he did not seem to take her seriously.  Ah, yes, leadership in action.

The Embassy went on high alert; the next morning I had to tell the Embassy employees what I knew, which was very little other than what was on the news, and to reassure the local-hire staff that, whatever happened, we would not cut and run out on them. They would be looked after.  Afterwards, I remember telling my security chief, "Don't make me a liar on that promise." He nodded.

Endless requests for press interviews; briefings of other embassies and the local government; lots of confusion; condolence calls and visits from all over the host country; all sorts of false rumors and threats. In subsequent weeks, we got hit with a barrage of fake anthrax powder letters; telephoned bomb threats, and so on.

Finally, the word came. Revenge was in the offing. I got instructions to contact the President of a neighboring Muslim country to which our Embassy was also accredited. I was to get permission for US warplanes to overfly his country on the way to bomb Afghanistan. We needed his OK right away, so there was no time to travel and meet him face-to-face. I called him on the phone, and had one of those one-minute conversations that make years of Foreign Service life worthwhile. I remember the conversation vividly.

"Mr. President, we need your permission for our bombers to fly through your national airspace on the way to targets in Afghanistan. We need it right away."

"Would we know when your bombers are flying through our airspace?"

"Your air traffic controllers in [the capital] might pick them up."

"I see. Would my public know that your bombers are there?"

"Not likely unless there is some sort of accident or emergency landing."

"I see.  If I say 'no' what happens?"

"Mr. President, we are going to get justice for 9/11. You are our friend. Please help us in this small way."

"So if I say 'no' you are going to go anyhow, right?  Please, no diplomacy. Tell me the truth in plain words."

"Yes. We are going to go anyhow."

"Ok [laughing] then I will say 'yes' to your planes. Please tell President Bush that I approve."

"President Bush will be very grateful."

Friday, September 6, 2019

The Lost Minds of the West

Sounds like a title for an H. Rider Haggard novel, eh? If only, alas, it were just a novel of fanciful adventure. It's not. It's a description of a great chunk of the West's political "leadership" and "elite."

If anybody doubts we are in crisis, I refer you to the CNN Climate Change Extravaganza.

For SEVEN HOURS (!) the Dem candidates came forward to prove that they have lost their minds, or, at least, that they assume the voters have. I, of course, did not watch this idiocy for seven hours but would pop in and out. My disgust quota was quickly filled. Let me sum up the doings: the CNN show revealed the left as comprised of totalitarian morons. One after another, these politicos came forward trying to outbid each other in the Stalinist lunacy auction. In the end, we got a Democratic Party leadership doing their best Ayesha ("She who must be obeyed!") impression, committed to abolishing the internal combustion engine, ending fracking, ending offshore drilling, forcing Americans to give up meat, banning plastic straws, condemning "industrial farming," and, the best for last, killing babies of color in foreign lands. You read that last one right. Bernie "Honeymoon in the USSR" Sanders wants the USA to fund a huge abortion scheme to kill unborn babies in South America in the name of fighting "climate change." The brown children must be sacrificed to the Goddess Gaia! I guess he's going for the Margaret Sanger White Supremacist vote, or he's just trying to burnish his credentials as a Socialist, you know, a National Socialist . . .. Don't build a border wall or put babies in cages! No, kill them before they're born! Bumper sticker, anybody?

CNN is clearly working for the re-election of Donald Trump.

Not so long ago, this idiocy about climate change would have been laughed off as fringe stupidity of the maximum kind. Comedians would have had a field day. Not any longer. One of those loons on the CNN stage will become the candidate of the world's oldest political party, uh, candidate for President of the USA, that is, not for city council in San Francisco.

Oh, and by the way, the so-called "science" on this climate change nonsense just ain't there. We have the world's most sophisticated meteorologists can't predict a hurricane's track from one day to the next, but "scientists" can tell us what the world's climate will be in 100 years? Right. I guess that's why both Al Gore and Barack Obama have expensive beachfront properties . . . they KNOW that the predictions of the oceans' impending rise are garbage peddled to the little folk.

Sorry to state that the destructive idiocy is not limited to these shores. I watch with amazement as the British Deep State strikes back at Boris Johnson to prevent him from doing what he was elected to do, i.e., get the UK out of the EU's lethal embrace. The lefties in Britain are completely devoid of any patriotism, of any belief in their amazing country's historically proven ability to triumph. They will do anything to preserve that loathsome elite club known as the EU, even at the expense of their own people. They detest democracy, unless it produces the results they want. Much like their deranged brethren in America, they will do whatever necessary to destroy a political opponent, including destroying the nation's traditions and institutions.

Repulsive beyond words.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

China

Back to the keyboard.

I have been preoccupied with an onslaught of doctors, lawyers, accountants, brokers, realtors, and dogs, plus taking the Diplowife to the gun range several times as she has gotten the urge to re-learn how to shoot. On that last and most important topic, she's doing very well. I bought her a very nice eight-round S&W Model 63 revolver chambered in .22 LR, and she's been tearing up the target. Tomorrow we graduate to 9mm, and then the sky's the limit after that . . . . Dirty Harry, you're on notice! I also have lost 45 lbs which means I am now just a regular fat guy.

But, enough of that. I have been watching the toing-and-froing with China on "trade." I put those scare quotes around trade because the issue at stake is really much more than just trade. President Trump is attempting the first major challenge to what had seemed the inexorable and unresisted rise of the PRC. I have written before about China (here and here, for example) and have often expressed my concern over China's ambitions. We shall return to all that.

A major hallmark of American diplomacy since the founding of our Republic over 243 years ago has been the search for independence. Whether overtly stated or just understood, the USA has had as its primary goal maintaining its freedom of action and avoiding dependence on foreign powers. In the beginning, we had that goal but did not always have the capability to achieve it. The Monroe Doctrine, of course, an early and overt expression of our wish to be free of outside powers in "our" hemisphere, relied more on the isolating effect of two oceans, strife in Europe, and the fact that the British ruled the ocean waves and had no desire to allow Spain or France to move back into "our" hemisphere.

Our economic policies for most of our history involved high tariffs and nurturing our own industries--and it worked spectacularly. We were not big on "free" trade, although we did welcome foreign investment--e.g., British investing in our railroads and agriculture, German investing in our chemical industry. What has happened in the past few decades is a revolution in our traditional global stance. We became "free traders" in theory and patsies in practice. We allowed our industrial supply chain to become centered on Chinese factories. American CEOs worked out, in the name of free trade, comfortable and highly profitable arrangements with the Chinese which left our factories hollowed out, our technology getting stolen, our workers out of jobs, and our country dependent on China and the whims of that dictatorial regime. Just as we finally achieved the apparently impossible dream of re-establishing our energy independence, we became dependent on Chinese factories and Chinese willingness to buy our debt with the billions of dollars we send them for goods once made here. All this, of course, as China makes clear its long-standing ambition to replace the USA as the pre-eminent economic and military power in the world.

Trump has proven the only President willing to take on the Chinese and call into question the "comfortable" arrangement known as Chimerica.  He, as you would expect, has been pilloried by left and right for his guts, his willingness to upset the apple cart. This Chimerica arrangement has made many people on both sides of the political divide quite wealthy, and done perhaps irreparable damage to our industrial base and national security. The opposition to Trump on this will be and is fierce. For the sake of America and the West, Trump must win.

Give me a little time and I will get around to some other unpleasant topics such as James Comey, Joe Biden and the current crop of Democratic candidates, and the continued hysteria over Brexit. Right now I need to tend to the dogs; they are barking up a storm.


Friday, August 9, 2019

Something a Little Light-hearted from Czechia

Trying to overcome my increasingly pessimistic view of the future of Western Civilization, I did what  I normally do: engaged in potential "red flag" behavior.

That means, of course, I went to my favorite gun store (Backwater Guns in Wilmington, NC) and bought a new addition to my collection. The folks there are extremely nice and always patiently answer all of my stoopid questions without making me think I am stoopid for asking them. I told them, "I am bored. Sell me a gun." We went over about a dozen possibilities, and then I settled on an unlikely purchase for me: a CZ 75B/D made in the Czech Republic (aka, Czechia). You know me: big promoter of "Made in USA"--nearly all of my guns are American--but I had read that CZ makes some exceptionally good guns for the price. The Czechs have long been known for doing good work, including the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich and, of course, making a long line of reliable cars.

CZ owns the company that makes one of my favorite guns, the Dan Wesson, .45, but never had I bought one made by CZ itself in the Czech Republic. I got the CZ 75 chambered in 9mm with the decocker mechanism as I consider that a better feature than a standard safety (I know there's debate about that, here for example). The price was good--under $600--and it came with two 16-round mags, a simple cleaning kit, and a very nice hard plastic box. The fit and finish on the piece are excellent, and there is a very high standard of manufacturing and design that seems to have gone into the production.  Disassembly and cleaning proved very easy.

The ergonomics on the gun are excellent, and it shoots very smoothly even in double-action mode. It could use some better and bigger sights, and I will probably have those switched out, but overall I was impressed with the accuracy and the reliability: 200 rounds straight out of the box and not a single failure of any sort. It seems a relatively heavy gun and, perhaps because of that heft, the recoil was negligible. I could have sworn I was shooting a .22.  I can see why this gun is popular with lots of police forces.

There, my "red flag" for the day . . . .

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Toxic Culture and Red Flags

The latest murderous outrages in El Paso and Dayton didn't take long to produce a "blame on" torrent from the usual and even some unusual suspects. We had the usual suspects blaming President Trump  for his "divisive" rhetoric and supposed adherence to "white supremacy." Not a sparrow falls but that President Trump doesn't get blamed. A deranged Aussie environmentalist, who hates Trump, goes off the rails and murders 51 people in a couple of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and it's Trump's fault. A lunatic environmentalist supporter of Senators Warren and Sanders goes nuts in Dayton, Ohio, kills nine people, and it's Trump's fault. A bizarre and cowardly (he wore ear protectors; not the sign of an intending kamikaze) environmentalist racist who hates Trump goes ape in El Paso, murders 21 people, and, of course, it's Trump's fault. As I write this, I hear the mayor of Dayton essentially blaming the killings in her city on Trump; she's the mayor, she runs the police in Dayton, she has the power to control the streets, but it's the President's fault that there are killings on those streets of Dayton. Right. OK. Gotcha.

I also hear some weird stuff from people who should know better.

Lots of talk from otherwise sane people about "red flags." Even the President's speechwriters had him support that stupid idea du jour. Oh, yes, we will design a process to "red flag" certain people for certain non-violent behavior, aka speech, and then use it in some as yet unspecified way to prevent them from exercising their second amendment rights. We see floating about various ideas and even pieces of proposed legislation to create some sort of list drawing data from somewhere or other to use to "intervene" in some way (dispatch of Sheriff's Deputies is my guess) to prevent guns from falling into the "wrong hands." Sure thing, buddy. Sing it out John, Paul, George, and Ringo, "Back in the USSR, boys . . . "

I have written before about progressive infatuation with "gun control" lists  and "mental health" (December 9, 2015). What do you think will happen with such a process? Whom do you think will control it? How long before conservatives, and others out of political favor get a "red flag"? Shall we have the same kind of people who run Google, YouTube, and Twitter control it? How about the sort who run progressive-controlled city councils? What possibly could go wrong? How long before we have the sort of fraud we see in the MeToo movement and the racial hate hoax plague spread to "gun control"? Due process, anybody? Who, by the way, are these "mental health experts" who will determine whether somebody deserves his second amendment rights? Should we have them for our other rights? Are these the same experts, for example, who for centuries told us that  homosexuality is a "personality disorder" or the ones who now insist we must not only accept it but praise it, embrace it, promote it? Mental health, of course, is settled science of the highest and most reliable order . . . right up there with the Piltdown Man and man-made global cooling, warming, change, or whatever.

Oh, yes, folks, but lest you think otherwise, there is something out there worthy of a "red flag"--but it's not being discussed at all.

All over the West, not just in the USA, we have created in the past three or four decades a vile, toxic culture that leads to the sorts of murderous sprees we have seen, for example, in Norway, New Zealand, and, of course, the USA. Radicalization via Internet? Sure, but it goes much deeper than that. It goes deeper than porno and vile video games.

There is a pervasive rot spread by Hollywood, the universities, and the media, both new and legacy. It tells us we must welcome endless waves of dirt-poor aliens, who enter our country illegally, and ply them with free health care, voting rights, housing, and free schooling. We must sing the praises of single mothers; promote abortion up to the moment of birth and even beyond. Judeo-Christian values, institutions, and traditions are ripe for ridicule and destruction, and, of course, deservedly so! Western history, after all, is just an endless catalog of racism, imperialism, genocide, patriarchy, and assault on the very earth. Gaia weeps because of the white man!

Man. Men. Male. These are now foul words and concepts. There is an ongoing war, yes, war, against men and what it means to be male, in our decrepit universities, in the decaying industry known as Hollywood (notice that white men have virtually disappeared from TV commercials?) and in the media. Instead, for example, of celebrating the amazing accomplishment of American men landing on the moon, the WaPo harangues us with nonsense that the Soviet moon program was much more diverse and, of course, it sent the first woman into space and the first non-white into space. Don't you dare think, much less say, "Yes, but the object was to get to the moon first."

We see, as I have written before, young men alienated from their culture, told by their intellectual betters than they are all rapists and murderers and racists and just plain "TOXIC!" University orientation programs seek to deprogram the male out of young men students. Hollywood tells them they are murderers and clowns, that the future is female, and, besides, women can kick your ass, buddy! These men find the universities, the entertainment industry, the media, and the work environment hostile. Many retreat into delusional and dangerous corners of the Internet, and link up with others like them. They have no historical context for what is happening as the schools are garbage and no longer teach history, or Western philosophy, or the great accomplishments of the West; they pick up scattered and often insane ideas from weird web sites that promote dark conspiracy theories. Yes, they are radicalized by the Internet but the roots go deeper.

We are destroying Western Civilization and the result is bloody massacre.

That's your "red flag."

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Baltiless and Other Reflections

Baltimore has come to much, much less than it once was.

I have been in that city numerous times; each visit finds the city worse and worse. Baltimore, the home of our national anthem, Edgar Allan Poe, Babe Ruth, H.L. Mencken, Harriet Tubman, Nancy Pelosi, Frederick Douglas, Tom Clancy, the USS Constellation, and so many more; yes, that very Baltimore is a national disgrace: an embarrassment of epic proportions.

It has the nation's highest homicide rate (equal or superior to that in much of Central America), a poverty rate through the roof, consistently in the top ten ranking of rat-infested US cities, disastrous public schools, a collapsing police force, all, of course, as befits a beneficiary of decades of crooked Democratic Party rule--including by Nancy Pelosi's dad. The people of Baltimore have more claim to political asylum than do those from Guatemala.

So our politically incorrect President has the temerity to speak truth to power, and . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . "RACIST!" is the reply. No vow to check the facts; to do something about the politicians who have caused this calamity. No, attack the messenger. Protect the corruptocrats and the other con men who have produced this wreck. The message from the Socialists who now run the world's oldest political party, "Nothing to see here. Move along! Move along! Just an old racist ranting . . . pay no attention!" The Socialists don't give a damn about the people caught in that hell-hole any more than they do about the people in other Progressive sinking ships: Flint, STL, Chicago, LA, SF, and on and on.  They want to do what they have done in those places to the whole country. We can't let them.

Evil bastards. There is no other label I can put on them.

I won't be watching the Dem Circus, aka "Debate." I have zero interest in their delusions and fantasies. They hate America; they hate Western Civilization; they are merchants of poverty, misery and death.

I am with Trump and that's that.