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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 wo...

Friday, February 15, 2019

Shooting my AK [Update]

OK. I am in the process of writing something about AOC jumping the shark, or better said the Amazon piranha, but wanted to take a break and fill in my millions of readers (I can be a Dreamer, no?) on my latest acquisition, a Romanian-made AK.

I bought it new at a gun and pawn shop in Wilmington. It's imported by Century Arms, which I understand is now making AKs here in the USA. I never have owned one of these Third World guerrilla icons. I have seen tons of them in my assignments overseas, but never fired or owned one until now.

To start: The gun definitely has the cool factor, about which I have written before. Holding one in your hands, you want to wrap a rag around your head, jump onto the bed of a Toyota pick-up truck, and babble-shout words to the sky while you pump the weapon up and down. I refrained myself. I certainly have the rags, but I have a Chevy pick-up, and that jumping part, well, that's in the long ago past for me. I can still babble-shout meaningless words, however. Not all my abilities are gone, I'll have you know!

Yes, where was I?

Cool. Yes, sir, it's definitely cool looking. On closer examination, however, one does see that it's a pretty crudely made weapon: Stamped parts, kinda loose fit, and it makes an infernal racket when you rack a round. It has a clunky and enormous safety, the trigger pull is nothing to write home about, it can be tricky to get the magazine to sit just right, and ejecting an empty magazine is not always smooth and easy.

But the beast shoots! I ran good American-made Winchester 7.62X39 factory ammo through it, some local reloads, and some cheapo Serbian-made stuff, as well as a few rounds of some otherwise problematic "frangible" ammo. Unlike my much better-made American Ruger Mini-30--which chambers the same 7.62 ammo but would not digest the frangible stuff--the AK ate anything I fed it. No fail-to-feed, no fail-to-fire, no jams, in something over 100 rounds. I am going back to the range tomorrow; my son is bringing his AR, and we are going to have a NATO vs Warsaw Pact demo.

Accuracy? OK, here's a picture
.

This shows 40 rounds at 25 yards.

I was standing, using a sling, gun straight out of the box. I started off well enough with a nice center grouping, but after a bit the damn thing gets heavy; I have trouble squinting through the tiny sights; the barrel gets hot; and my shooting starts to drift down and left, and then when I correct, it wanders up and right. It's tiring for an old fart! Now I know why armies want the young ones. I also noticed that the gun is a tad short. That means your head gets real close to the gun itself, and a couple of times the recoil, although not excessive, knocked one of my ear protectors off my right ear.

Is it as "good" as a 15? No, no it's not. The AR's my son and I have (his a Ruger; mine an S&W) are made much better, but, but, but . . . the AK is a lot of fun to shoot. It will certainly do the job for which it was designed. I am a bit annoyed, however, at the price on these things. They should cost a lot less than an quality AR, but they don't.

OK, politics tomorrow . . . after the NATO Vs. Warsaw Pact "re-enactment" . . .

UPDATE: I am sorry to report that the Warsaw Pact won the WP vs. NATO "re-enactment." The AK performed as an AK should; my son's Ruger 5.56 repeatedly jammed. We are going to check the gas block and the need for some extra special deep cleaning and oiling. We hang our heads in shame . . .

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Prog World of Green Misery

I have been reading some more on the "New Green Deal" or "Green New Deal" or however it becomes finally known. I offer some reflections on what the New World Green, New Green World, or Green New World, or however it becomes known, would look like should it come to pass.

The driving vision behind this horrid lunacy, of course, is a Fascist/Nazi/Communist one--in other words, it's a classic Brave New World of the left, using the hoax "science" of "climate change" to justify itself.

What comes through this proposal is the utter disdain and contempt for the individual and for the rights, views, and choices of that individual. The attack on fossil fuels, for example, is nothing less than an attack on individual mobility and freedom. The automobile, for all its faults, has been a vehicle of liberty, of choice, aka, freedom. In North America, perhaps more than anywhere else, the automobile stands for hope. "I don't like it in this town for reasons X, Y, and Z. I am loading up the Chevy and moving 500 miles away." "I don't want to live next to my factory/office building/other place of work. I want to live in a town in the suburbs or the countryside. I can commute to work in my automobile."

Automobiles, overwhelmingly, run on fossil fuels. As the recent "Polar Vortex" demonstrated, electric cars suffered a great deal from the cold. A near-by neighbor has a battery-powered Tesla--a beautiful piece of design and engineering--but is constantly worried about "range." The recent cold snap made that even worse. My Jeep Wrangler with its 3.6 liter engine, burning cheap 87 octane gas, laughs at the cold and snow. It takes me almost anywhere I want to go. Where I live there is no train or bus; I'll be damned if I will give up my house and cars--and guns and dogs--to live in some government-regulated enviro retro-fit building with thousands of other poor sods crowding onto a platform to take a government-run green train to some dreary government approved job, all to appease the supposed dictates of the mythical goddess Gaia. The automobile is a great thing. Let nobody tell you otherwise. The open road is a good thing. Gaia be damned!

The assault by the Green Nazis is by no means limited to cars and planes--which they also want to do away with (how about that, Senators from Washington state?). It extends to just about every aspect of life. They would tell us what we can and cannot eat. No meat! Gaia demands it! Sounds sort of like the line from the great 1930s horror film, "Island of Lost Souls" in which Bela Lugosi's character, The Sayer of the Law, must remind Dr. Moreau's miserable half-human, half-animal creatures, "What is the Law? Not to eat meat!" The poor beasts repeat back in unison, "Not to eat meat!" Watch that outstanding film, based on Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau, and then read the Green New Deal. Chilling.

And, of course, the Green Deal does not come in a vacuum. Nope. It comes as part of a prog package that includes abortion on demand, infanticide, and destruction of marriage and the family. It bans pets, farm animals, guns, and borders. It imposes speech restrictions, limitations on religious faith, and an insistence on politically correct thought. It does "guarantee" access to nature. Yes, let's revive the Hitler Youth or the Young Pioneers! It is a prog prescription for hell on earth. A hell devoid of fun and adventure; a hell of drudgery and constant lecturing and hectoring by our betters; a hell of no innovation or advancement. A hell of the bee hive. It, in other words, is North Korea or East Germany on organic steroids.

Think this is all fantasy and will never happen? Some 70 Democrat Congressmen, including presidential candidates, have signed on. If they manage to take power . . . you watch.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

In the Name of Gaia, the "Green New Deal": The Luddites Return?

Have you had a laugh today? No? If not, you need to read the text of the Democrats' "Green New Deal" (also here)!

Quick, read it before the rights to its publication get bought by The Onion. Oh, and be sure also to read the now-deleted FAQ sheet put out by today's darling of the lunatic left, NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (here)--btw, it was apparently deleted after it provoked overwhelming derision.

What do you think? I see it as something straight out of a junior high class president campaign, "And, if elected, I will ensure that all the vending machines dispense free Mars bars! I also will ensure that every student--regardless of how ugly, unwashed, or generally unpleasant--will have a date to the prom!" Stop me if you think I am being unfair to junior high class presidents all across the nation.

I apologize to the Luddites whom I have offended by associating them with AOC's delusional screed, one being repeated mindlessly by all of the, thus far, declared Democrat candidates for junior high US president.

The Luddites, after all, only were trying to smash the emerging industrial system which was destroying their jobs and traditional way of life. If not justifiable, that's, at least, understandable. The GND, however, stands the Luddites on their heads. AOC and her clones seek to destroy the system that provides an unprecedented level of health, wealth, and employment to billions of people around the globe.

The AOCs want us to work, travel, and live only in groups, controlled by and dictated to by the new overlords who know so much better than we do how we should exist on this planet.

We must give up the fight of thousands of years, and surrender to Gaia's dictates--as interpreted, of course, by the AOCs, the new Oracles of Delfi, the new fascists, the new Big Brothers of 1984, the new Stalinists . .  .

Crazy has become a way of life for the Democrats.

Stop laughing and start crying . . . this is the new politics in the West.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Democrazy

As the Great Internet Philosopher Professor Glenn Reynolds has noted many times on his indispensable Instapundit re the Democrats, "All they have to do is not be crazy, and they can't even do that."

Do we have any better evidence of the wisdom of Professor Reynolds' observation than that provided by events of this past week or so?

I noted back in February 2017, that the election of Donald Trump has exposed the inner insanity of the Democratic/Prog machine like no other event in our times.
The man, Donald Trump, who ran the most unorthodox campaign since, since, well, you fill in the date, and who was given less chance to win than the Cubs, well, he won. The losers are not happy. The sort of attack they have launched on Trump, his administration, and supporters might seem unprecedented, although it might be comparable to how the Democrats in the South reacted to Republican-led Reconstruction after the Civil War, except it doesn't make anywhere as much sense. <...> 
After watching some anti-Trump demonstration on TV, a friend of my son's asked these intelligent questions of me the other day, "What has Trump done? Why is he accused of being racist? Why do they hate him so much?" Best as I can tell, I think they hate the idea of Trump. He wasn't supposed to be president. He is not, I guess, one with the body. He has, in short, exposed them as, no other word for it, crazy. Yes, crazy . . . 
[T]hey are for children but also for killing unborn ones with no restriction, no apology, and no need for a fee. They are for LBGT and women's "rights," but ally themselves with Muslims who practice FGM, oppose abortion, treat women like cattle, promote and engage in honor killings, and advocate death for LBGT people. They are for women's rights, but want men who think they are women to use women's washrooms. They are for free speech, but shut down anybody who disagrees with them, and, of course, they ally themselves with Muslims who oppose freedom of speech and thought as part of their core dogma. They are against racism but try to stir up old racial animosities and conflicts that had long been resolved, buried, and forgotten. They are for poor working people, but oppose the tax and the regulatory structures that create jobs. They are for poor working people but favor unrestricted immigration that drives down wages, crowds out jobs, and absorbs the funds of public welfare schemes. They want free education for all, but oppose letting poor and middle class people have the right to choose their schools, unlike the rich people who do. They shout "Love Trumps Hate!" as they bash opponents with bricks and poles. They have spent decades denouncing the military, the CIA, the NSA, and the FBI as oppressors of the people, but now want those agencies to sabotage an elected president. The wealthy ones denounce gun ownership and walls but live behind protective shields of men with guns and walls around their exclusive properties. Hollywood stars who made millions living in the land of make-believe denounce non-existent Trumpian "brownshirts" and bravely proclaim their resistance! They are for the environment and prove it by flying to environmental rallies in their private jets. They, well . . . you can go on with this sad litany. 
For these leftists, facts don't matter. Logic is absent, abhorred, and shouted down. The emotion is the thing. The posturing is the thing. The slogan is the thing.
I think that analysis holds up.

We see the Democrat Governor of Virginia, who ran a scurrilous campaign for election which depicted his opponent as a racist killer, openly stating his support for infanticide. He not only supports abortion at any time, and I mean any time, but even after a live birth he would have the doctor and the mother discuss whether to allow the child to live. That horror was not enough to fire up the outrage machine. No. He ran afoul of the new prog rules of behavior when it turned out he might have gone in blackface to some stupid party back in his medical school days. That's the outrage! There were some calls for him to resign but he seems determined to hang on as his Deputy, Lt. Gov. Fairfax (who is black), faces--shall we use the word?--"credible" accusations of sexual assault back when he was working for sleazy John Edwards. The number three Dem in Virginia, the Attorney General, also seems to have had a proclivity for "blackface" dressing up as a rapper for some teen-age party back in 1980. Outrage!!

Now, I normally would not care a whole lot about such stupidity by teenagers, but the Dems wrote the new rules . .  . so live or die with them! Imagine if the Gov had been a Republican . . . .

All this goes to my long-held belief that the Democrat Party is and has been for a VERY long time, the repository of racism (and antisemitism) in American politics. This is the party of Cherokee genocide, slavery, civil war, Jim Crow, the KKK, internment camps for Japanese Americans, Communist spies, and so much much more.

It is also the party of just plain crazy.

For new evidence of that--as if more were needed--look at the idiotic "Green New Deal" presented by Democrat rising star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is, frankly, weird beyond belief. She might even be weirder, and with a more fanciful life story than previous Queen of Crazy, Elizabeth "Native American" Warren . . . or does that crown still belong to Maxine Waters or is to Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono or to . . . it's a long list of Democrat pretenders for Queen and King of Crazy. That "Green New Deal," by the way, would destroy our economy and that of the West and bring untold misery to hundreds of  millions of people. But that's a minor point since, as noted above,
"For these leftists, facts don't matter. Logic is absent, abhorred, and shouted down. The emotion is the thing. The posturing is the thing. The slogan is the thing."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

State of the Union

I rush to write this because of the ongoing technical issues with the blog. I don't know if the blog might come down for a bit until I get this resolved. I, therefore, will not attempt any "fancy" things with this post; in my limited world, of course, "fancy" means linking and other techno marvels, as I don't want to rile unnecessarily the Gods of the Silicon Valley.

OK. Full disclosure before I turn to Trump's State of the Union address. In case the five or six readers of this humble exercise in pontification don't know it: I like Trump. I think he might be the best president we have had, at least in my lifetime. I am biased in favor of the man. There I said it. I like him because he doesn't fear to say what needs saying; no fancy circumlocution or circumventing. He comes out straight. He is not a Churchill, a Roosevelt, a Kennedy, or a Reagan when it comes to word output. He is blue collar. He talks like an Eric Hoffer. Hell, he talks like the guy sitting next to you in a bar, a very smart and crafty guy, that is.

Most of the address was blue collar common sense.

He did a terrific job laying out the accomplishments of his two years as President, which are considerable, both at home and abroad. The Dems, including the absurd "ladies in white" contingent  (they look like some sort of religious cult or a KKK meeting) could not figure out what to do when he stated, accurately, that we have the highest participation by women in the labor market, and the lowest unemployment rates for black, white, and Hispanic workers. Most of them couldn't bring themselves to clap. Some put on a silly dance routine which was meant to convey . . . who knows what? To the credit of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who seemed to be having denture problems judging from the odd faces she was making, she tried to keep the Dem contingent under control. The Diplowife said Pelosi reminded her of a chaperon taking unruly kids to the art museum. I think that's right, and Pelosi is losing that control, I might add.

Trump was dead on when he discussed the illegal immigration problem, and noted that certain wealthy people and politicians who oppose the border wall, in fact, live in mansions behind walls, gates, and armed guards. The President did a masterful job of using the Reagan tactic of introducing guests who highlighted the points he was making, including some who had relatives murdered by illegal aliens. He stole the Dem's thunder with his proposal to resist the federal prison guidelines (mostly established under Clinton) which send people, disproportionately African Americans, to very long prison stints even when they did not commit violence or had no previous records of violence. His comments on the Dem's blood thirst when it comes to abortion was very accurate. His depiction of the progo mania for late-term abortion was absolutely right, despite the convoluted explanations of the "fact checkers' (see below) of the progo media.

It was sad and unfortunate that a President of the USA has to declare that we are not, nor will we become a socialist country. What have we come to in this country that a President has to say that? I, however, did enjoy seeing Bernie Sanders go bright red as the Republicans chanted "USA! USA!" after Trump savaged socialism. Trump's comments on socialist Venezuela were right on target, too.

That brings me to some funny stuff. Try reading the "fact checking" by the New York Times and others. Hilarious. They try to label things as false or misleading which are neither. Read it. Have a good laugh. Try not to get too angry when you read how they try to explain away late-term abortion, i.e., infanticide.

A few things got left in the ink well. I think a shout out to the Covington teens so maligned by the media would have been nice. I would have liked a specific mention of the coal miners and steel workers going back to work in industries which we were told were dead. But, those are minor quibbles.

The President had a good night.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Problems with the Blog

Some sort of highly technical big-words glitch is affecting the blog. I will try to resolve it, but . . . . .

UPDATE: Suddenly my password and account name don't always work, and there is some screw up re the domain and web hosting. I spent hour on the phone with the nice people at GoDaddy.com but they were dealing with me, so not much useful got done. I will have to rely on kids . .  .

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

It's Official: Europe's "Intellectuals" are Bonkers

Sitting in our Wilmington house. The Diplowife finally has run out of projects for me to execute and has gone off on a shopping expedition leaving me alone with the two Diplodogs. I have issued each of them a bully-stick and they are happily chomping away and--for once--making no requests of me. Having some free time, I, therefore, turned to reading pompous, blowhard European intellectuals, as one is wont to do in such circumstances.

It started with one of my rare forays into the New York Times, a now barely readable progo piece of fakery and Democratic Party talking points--same thing? I read a NYT piece of nonsense (here ) about thirty European "intellectuals" signing a letter, written by the once respectable Bernard-Henri Levy, blasting the wave of populism sweeping Europe and bemoaning the collapse of the "idea of Europe."

Figuring the little missive couldn't be as pompous and idiotic as the worshipful NYT puff piece made it out, I went to the original French text (here) to read the thing for myself.

Guess what? It's as stupid in French as in English.

Read the two articles and judge.

The Levy letter sums up everything wrong with the bulk of European (and American) "intellectuals." It positively drips with contempt and condescension for those European hillbillies and rednecks who voted for Brexit, and have taken to the streets in Paris and elsewhere to protest what decades of progressive rule have done to them and their countries. It derides the sense of nationalism and bemoans--oh does it!--the so-called "xenophobia" sweeping Europe and undermining the very concept of Europe. Well, that is, undermining the concept of Europe put forth by the elites and the well-paid EU bureaucrats.

This letter is unmoored from the reality lived by average people. Nowhere does it mention the hollowing out or abandonment of traditional industries in the name of globalism and Gaia worship. It ignores the vast swathe of European people left behind and ignored by the new economy and the new politics of a borderless world. It decries the rise of antisemitism without ever noting from whence it largely comes, to wit, massive Muslim immigration, and leftist hostility towards Israel which quickly morphs into classic antisemitism.

Levy and friends, amazingly, completely ignore Islamic terror in Europe and around the world: no mention of the massacres in Paris, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, etc. None. The word "Islam" appears nowhere, so, naturally, nowhere is there a hint as to why that feared "xenophobia" might be on the rise.

The letter, of course, accuses Moscow of being behind much of the "anti-Europe" movement, and decries the abandonment of the ideas and the ideals of the great European philosophers. All nonsense, of course. Nowhere does it deal with the bureaucratic, freedom-stifling monster that has arisen as a consequence of the "idea of Europe."

We see here an overt call to put an end to democracy and let the wise ones rule.

Disgusting.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Bad Week for Progos: Venezuela & Billy Jack Meets "Ahmed the Clock Maker"

The progos and their buddies in the Fake News Media (FNM) have had a bad week. We need to utter a collective "Ahhhhh!" Kinda like when you see a wet and hungry puppy or kitten . . . Let's look at just two of the narrative busters they had to suffer in the last few days--and I am not even getting into the BuzzFeed disaster!

Venezuela: I have said so much about Venezuela that . . . well, those interested can look it up. I got a lot of it right, too. I noted when Maduro rigged the last election, that it was the beginning of the penultimate act in the long-running "¡Socialismo o Muerte!" play in oil-rich, crushingly poor Venezuela. Clearly, the "o" needs to be substituted with "y".

It appears we have now entered the final act.

Trump, the man whom EVERYBODY hates around the world, has got himself a coalition of the willing in, hold your breath, LATIN AMERICA! Yes, that very one south of the Rio Grande. Nearly every country in the region (Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia among the hold outs) has agreed with the US position that Maduro is not the legitimate Presidente of Venezuela. They agree that the head of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, should hold the title of interim President until such time as free and fair elections can be held. That National Assembly is the only remaining body in Venezuela with any claim to democratic legitimacy.

The people of Venezuela are dying in the streets, in their homes, and in their filthy hospitals. Food and medicines of all sorts are in critical shortage; the economy has ceased to function; the currency is worthless; fight or flight is the choice. Millions of Venezuelans must make that choice. On the slightly bright side, however, finally, finally, finally, most of the rest of Latin America has awoken to the horror that has befallen the Bolivarian Republic, a country which should rank among the wealthiest in the world.

This is Cuba 2.0.

This is socialism.

This will not end well for anybody.

I have no doubt that Maduro will have to go, perhaps to some boozy exile in Cuba, Nicaragua, or Russia. When dictators feel it necessary to wheel out the top brass to assert publicly their loyalty to the regime, well, there's trouble a-brewing, a 200 proof brew. The so-far small--and quickly suppressed--uprising by a military unit will not be the last one. What comes next? Who knows? It will take a very long time, even with the most honest and well-intentioned leaders to set Venezuela right. We will see lots more anarchy descending into chaos before things go right.

Sean Penn and Oliver Stone, call your agents!

Nathan Phillips: The progos and the FNM just can't give it a rest, eh?

You all know the "story." It was straight out of 1970s-era Billy Jack. Proud Native American Elder, Nathan Phillips, is peacefully banging his drum when he finds himself surrounded by a bunch of white Kentucky Catholic boys, wearing MAGA hats and smirks, and having to hear horrible things such as "Build the Wall"! On top of it all, he was a Marine Corps Vietnam Vet who was "expendable"-- his word. Oh the horror!

As we all know, of course, this narrative quickly came apart as it turned out the racists in this drama were a bunch of "Black Hebrews" or some such harassing the white boys by calling them "faggots" and other politically protected terms of endearment when used by another politically protected group. The Kentucky boys were innocents maligned by the progos and their FNM. Nathan Phillips, furthermore and of course, turned out not to be a Vietnam war vet (he claimed to have served as "force recon" or, maybe, it was as an "infantryman"?) as he said on more than one occasion; he, at most, was in the Marine Corps (Reserve?) from 1972-76, never set foot outside the USA, and spent his time repairing refrigeration units ("Freon is not Free!").  He has a criminal record, is a well know ethnic grievance sort, and, above all, a liar.

Billy Jack meet Ahmed the Clock Maker: two creatures of progo fantasy working for a race war.

Progos, gotta work on that narrative! Maybe Christine Ford is still available?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

From Government Shutdown to Right-Sizing, i.e., RIF the Raff?

It is time to begin . . . .

I was reading a usually boring article but one, in light of the ongoing government shutdown, now quite interesting. You can find it here. It deals with how to conduct, legal and in accord with voluminous regulations, a Reduction in Force (RIF) of the government. I have read a few commentators proposing that the President should begin a RIF process for furloughed employees, citing the reg that after 30 continuous (I believe) days of furlough  such a process can begin. Sorry. It, of course, is more complicated than that, and the civil service mavens have written all sorts of loopholes that essentially exempt furloughs caused by a failure to appropriate funds.

My usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor a civil service personnel expert, and don't pretend to be. I would note, however, that it seems the President could announce that he has tasked the agencies under his direction to develop a plan within X number of days to reduce permanently functions, in particular those shown by the current shutdown as nonessential, and to propose a corresponding RIF. You want to see prog heads explode? And we all do, of course . . .  do that! In addition, there are many positions at State and elsewhere in which personnel serve at the pleasure of the President, as James Comey discovered.

It's time to get serious about what ails us, and one of the principal diseases affecting the American body politic is way too much federal government.

BTW, I loved Trump's canceling of CODEL Pelosi's excursion.

I also love how CNN's Jake Tapper angrily tweeted out that the President had denied Pelosi a "military plane" to a war zone! Does he think this plane is some sort of B-52, or even a B-29, or a Lancaster bristling with guns? It's just a run-of-the-mill Boeing 757 or 767 crewed by military pilots and stewards. That's all. She could have flown to Brussels and Berlin by commercial and then, perhaps and more PR wise, requested a "military" plane to Kabul. But nah. She didn't. Irrelevant, of course. The point is, there shouldn't be CODELS while the government is in shutdown mode, well, that is in accord with the logic of Pelosi's own letter to Trump suggesting he dispense with the State of the Union Address because of security concerns arising from the fact that the Secret Service is not getting paid.

Nancy, my dear, you're playing against the world's greatest chess player. Give up and stay safe behind the walls of your mansion.

Back to picking up all the dead bodies caused by the shutdown . . . that is after I go to the range and burn off some 45 ACP.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Shut Down Madness! BREXIT! Pompeo! The End of the World is Nigh!

Sorry for the long break in posting. I have been deterred from posting by (1) the Diplowife going to Spain on a family visit leaving household chores exclusively to this elderly Toxic Male; (2) her report that her wallet, with all her cash, credit and debit cards, id, etc., went missing in Spain (since found at an honest local bakery); and (3) my having to remove hundreds, nay, thousands of dead bodies from the streets and fields in my neighborhood as a consequence of the US government shutdown.

Let's skip the two most important reasons and focus on the third, the government shutdown. Global climate change is now going through the roof as a result of this event; hundreds of thousands of children and women now go without food and shelter; our food and water have become poisoned; the supermarkets have no food, anyhow; filling stations no fuel; and hundreds of heavily armed men prowl the streets looking for sustenance for their beleaguered families. We, ladies and gentlemen, have entered the Apocalypse! I know this is true, otherwise, why would the Democrat Congressional contingent have fled to safety in Puerto Rico? No fools they.

OK. Look, as a federal employee for 34 years, I went through a couple of these shutdowns and survived quite nicely. I used to tell my crying associates that, "In the private sector when you get laid off, you get laid off. They don't come pay you back wages if you sat at home." Perspective, please.

Clearly the Democrats care more about pandering to illegal aliens than they do about federal workers and the "vital" tasks they perform. They care more about pandering to illegal aliens than about national security or even neighborhood security. They are the party of MS-13. Period.

Now, despite the shutdown (because of it?), Secretary of State Pompeo gave a terrific speech (here) in Cairo. This Secretary is an interesting person. He doesn't get or apparently seek a lot of publicity, and seems somewhat aloof (James Baker style) from the State Department machinery. He does some excellent work. He is low-key, clear and tough. Anyhow, read the speech. It is the undoing of the disastrous Obama Mideast policy. Long may it wave!

New topic: Can we blame Theresa May's disastrous handling of BREXIT on "Trump's government shutdown"? Well . . . uh . . . probably not. PM May must be considered the most clueless and hapless major politician on the world stage. Yes, she has usurped the crown from PM Trudeau! Another first for women! Sorry Merkel, you end up only number two . . .

The whole BREXIT strategy of the May government has made no sense . . . . unless, of course, it was meant to sabotage the whole thing.

Britain held all the cards in the poker game with the EU. In fact, Britain didn't even need to show up, and it would have won the pot! Instead, May's folks got themselves into some needless negotiations with the reptilian EU and came out, of course, second best. The absurd "Deal" they brought back violated the very spirit of the 2016 BREXIT vote and mandate from the British people. The "Deal" was the EU permission slip, to wit, you can leave but only under these conditions . . . No wonder that parliament shot this thing to pieces, and handed May the worst parliamentary defeat of any British government.

What's next? Nobody really knows, but I assume--and I am no expert on British politics and don't pretend to be--May will try to extend the March 29 exit deadline and squeeze a few silly concessions out of the EU in the hopes of making the "Deal" more palatable. I doubt that will happen as the EU is playing chicken. I heard Nigel Farage predict a better than 50/50 chance of a second referendum. That's too bad, because it reaffirms the long held prog tactic of voting and voting until the right result gets produced. I genuinely hope that come the March deadline, the Brits just walk out the door, giving the EU the "up your bum" V symbol as they go.

If Britain walks, none of the predictions of disaster will come about. That's just global elite fear mongering. Remember Y2K? Remember swine and bird flu? How AIDS would turn the world into a howling wilderness by 1995? The end of snow and ice? How the end of net neutrality would kill the internet? Yeah, yeah. It's all of the same piece.

In the end, as I wrote here, some two months before the vote,
I won't go into the economic arguments over whether it's better or not for Britain to remain in the EU. You can go here for a pretty good and somewhat balanced explanation of the two sides' arguments. Let's put all that aside, however, and generously agree both sides have some valid economic and financial points. . . 
At the risk of being reprimanded and corrected by this blog's one or two British readers, I offer that the force driving the pro-BREXIT movement is not solely or even mostly about economics, or finance, or currency exchange rates. It is about something much, much more important. It is about reclaiming the soul of Britain; preserving and restoring that which made Britain, notably England, one of the world's greatest countries, a nation of stunning consequence. It is about deciding whether the great British traditions and innovations that have made our modern world are worth saving or should be discarded.
Once again, BREXIT wasn't primarily about money, but about saving Britain, England especially. It sought to make the UK an independent state, again. Where Marxists and Libertarians both fail is by seeing people as just cogs in a material-producing machine. Other issues matter, to wit, the intangible qualities of life, e.g., safe neighborhoods, remaining in touch with your traditions and unique ways of doing things, reaffirming your bond to the people with whom you live, your sense of pride in nation.

Even the material issues don't need the UK as a prisoner to the EU. The Irish border matter, for example, can be dealt with after BREXIT by a sovereign UK dealing with a sovereign Ireland. They can reach any deal they want . . . well, that is, if Brussels allows the Irish to do so. Maybe Dublin should take a look at EIREXIT? Just saying . .  .

Blame it on Trump and move on . . .

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Border

Saw the President's speech on the border wall issue last night (text here.) Not bad.

It wasn't the earth-shaking quake/tsunami that some in the press had predicted. It proved measured, restrained, made some very valid points and had some sharp barbs aimed  at the Dems. Trump's speech was loaded with disturbing facts which the Democrats have great difficulty disputing--check, for example, the NY Times' rather tortured "fact" checking (here.)

I found this paragraph very compelling,
Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes? They don't build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is for the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized. America's heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.
Trump just set the Dems a baited trap. He has called on them to come to the White House to discuss the border issue and the partial government shut-down. We all know how that will turn out, and then Trump will announce that he's building the wall without the Congress. He can, of course, cite previous bipartisan bills passed on the need to strengthen border security. I think his next address on this issue will be something less measured and more Trumpian. 

And the Dem reply (here)? 

What can I possibly say? Sigh . . .

First, a bit of snark. The Dems are the party of Hollywood and the media. Why can't they do something a little more dignified and visually appealing than the absurd show put on by Schumer and Pelosi? I know there's a government shut down, but given how wealthy Pelosi and Schumer are, couldn't they have sprung for a bigger podium, or maybe even two? Or taken turns coming to the podium? When these two politicos flashed onto my TV screen, jammed up against each other, crammed behind that tiny podium, I thought it was a badly photo shopped still shot--until I saw Schumer blink. They looked ridiculous. 

In their statement, they ignored everything Trump had just said, and delivered an obviously long ago prepared, stale word salad of old Dem talking points about Trump relying on "fear not facts," etc. They had no valid explanation for opposing the wall except it won't work--which is a lie. I also noticed that in her reply, Nancy Pelosi--who is very wealthy and lives in a mansion surrounded by a high wall--ignored how immoral her lifestyle has become. I am sure Trump being Trump will be back at her repeatedly with that line about rich politicians living behind walls. 

Time to build the wall, and as I have laid out many times there are many ways to make Mexico and Central America pay for its construction.

BTW, I blame Paul Ryan for this mess . . . 


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Danish Movie for You

Trying to keep things a little light for a few more days. I mean, how many times can you talk about Russian "collusion" or the peaceful nature of modern Islam?

So, we talk movies.

For most of the past century, movies have been dominated by Anglo-American films. Well, that might remain so now, but there is some truly excellent work being done in other countries which is well-worth watching.

Saw a non-Anglo-American film today on Amazon which I highly recommend. It's a Danish production from some three years ago, but I had not heard of it before. It's variously titled "9. April," "April 9" and "April 9th." You will find it under one or all of those names when you search. As you can probably guess, it's about the 9th of April . . . 1940, that is. That being date the Nazis invaded Denmark and in a few scant hours forced the government in Copenhagen to capitulate. The tiny, poorly equipped, and politically hobbled Danish armed forces had no chance against the Germans' aircraft, armor, and well-equppied and motorized infantry. Denmark was quickly occupied. That, of course, as we have discussed here before, did not mean that the Danes just rolled over and played dead for the Germans. The Danes subsequently drove their occupiers mad with a mix of active and passive aggressive resistance--and saved nearly their entire Jewish population from the Nazi extermination camps. Worth a read.

This little film is not about that post-occupation resistance. Based on a true story, it tells of a small unit of bicycle-mounted Danish infantry told to stop or at least delay the German advance. The Danes are sent on their bikes towards the border with Germany in the wake of reports of German troops crossing that border. The Danish government had decided not to pre-deploy its army for fear of "provoking" the Nazis.

The film is beautifully shot with a great sense of pace and timing. With a blend of an excellent low-key musical score, wonderful editing, and direction, it even manages to produce a feeling of suspense, even if we all know the outcome. The production seems to have paid a lot of attention to period detail, with clothing, uniforms, vehicles, and weapons mostly right. It has some absolutely wonderful scenes, kind of evoking "Private Ryan," of the Danes on bicycles moving across the screen, backlit by the impending sunrise. The acting, by the way, is very good; the actors manage to convey the sense of duty and at the same time of hopelessness that the real participants must have felt as they peddaled towards the panzers. Whether it intended to or not, the film is also an interesting exposition on leadership. The character of the second Lieutenant, played by Pilou Asbæk of "Game of Thrones" and "The Borgias" fame, is an excellent study in the demands of leadership, and the stresses it produces. Very nicely done. The battle scenes, by the way, are extremely well shot. Again, some of the urban combat reminds of that in "Private Ryan." The battle ends as we all know it does, so I am not giving anything away by noting that the Lieutenant orders his unit to surrender once he realizes the hopelessness of his position. The irony being, of course, that the government in Copenhagen had agreed to German terms hours before.

OK, without getting too philosophical, or reading too much into a movie, I think I am noting a sort of conservative revolt underway in some recent Scandinavian film. The wonderful Norwegian series "Occupied," the movie "Max Manus," this one under discussion, and some others seem to show that underneath all the soy boy inclusiveness and welcoming of "refugees" that we have seen in recent years in Scandinavia, there is a bubbling caldron of nationalist resistance to the political correctness that is destroying those societies.

I hope so.