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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...

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.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mueller Mutters

I wasn't going to comment on the Mueller Show. It was just too embarrassing. You can like him or not (I don't) but Mueller has served our country in war and peace. He served bravely as a Marine in Vietnam and won the Bronze Star and the Purple heart, as well as other commendations. He went on to have a distinguished career in private law and government service, including as Director of the FBI. That said, as is now apparent, his sell-by date had long expired by the time he was named Special Counsel to investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

As SC, he was clearly in over his head. As became apparent at the Congressional hearings yesterday, he had only a limited familiarity with "his" famous report or the process that produced it.  I finally read the thing, and Mueller also should have before he testified.

Mueller reminded me of Mel Brooks' Governor Leptomane in Blazing Saddles, all we needed was for his aide to bring out the box of paddleballs.

The whole multi-hour testimony proved a calamity for the anti-Trump forces.

The report itself, despite being drafted by ardent haters of Trump, was bad enough for the cause of impeachment and getting rid of Trump--it found no collusion; no obstruction--and the Dems should have left bad enough alone. Their anti-Trump fever, however, pushed them into making another colossal mistake: Haling the now retired SC before their committees and forcing him to perform.

President Trump couldn't have asked for a better day.

The GOP reps, for once, were on top of their game. Clearly, they had coordinated among themselves and divided up the cross-examination into tight five-minute segments. They did a superb job of shredding the "Mueller" report and, unfortunately, shredding an "old" man's dignity in the process. Mueller seemed confused, disoriented, befuddled, and at any moment I expected him to scream out, "Nurse! What is going on?!?" In contrast to the Republicans, the Dems seemed unprepared and gave bombastic anti-Trump speeches devoid of facts.

The Mueller Show was, I repeat, a disaster for the Dems and another gift to Trump 2020. Will it derail impeachment? I don't know. Depends on how crazy the Dems insist on remaining; it will, however, make it even easier for the Senate to rule for Trump.

Trump 2020.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Dude Takes 10

It's happened.

We have yet another New Yorker with a wild hair-do on the world scene to continue upsetting the comfortable elitist apple cart.

In case you haven't heard, Boris "The Dude" Johnson takes over as British PM from the hapless and hopeless Theresa May.

Those of us who wish well to the UK, and to the US-UK relationship, cannot help but be delighted by this turn of events. Boris Johnson has promised quite vociferously to get the UK out of the EU and to honor the results of the Brexit vote, with or without a "deal." That alone means he deserves our respect and support. He seems to realize what PM May either refused to or just wasn't bright enough to, that Britain holds the upper hand in its dealings with the EU. The bureaucrats in Brussels need London much more than vice-versa. I hope he plays that hand well.

The new PM comes in facing a formidable Deep State. Those British Deep Staters will do all in their power to sabotage PM Johnson and his effort to Make Britain Great Again. The media, including the execrable BBC, will be passionately anti-Johnson, especially when he and Trump begin to pal around on the world stage.

He has his work cut out for him.

Welcome aboard PM Johnson! The Donald's barber is very happy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

To the Moon

I can't believe it's fifty years since Apollo 11 blasted off for the moon. I was a total NASA-junkie back in those days. I would watch every astronaut launch, even getting up early on a school day to watch the doings at Cape Canaveral/Kennedy. Great era.

I had spent sleepless nights worrying about the impending July 16, 1969, launch of Apollo 11. Would the weather cooperate? Would technology fail? Would the Soviets launch something to the moon a day or two before? I sat by the phone waiting for NASA to call if they needed any advice. I was living, at the time, in Downey, California, home to North American Aviation (later Rockwell) where much of the Apollo and Gemini spacecraft were built. The whole city was space crazy. I loved the space program. I still do, well, sort of. Let me explain.

But first, the moon landing. I recall that July 20; it must have been around noon in California. I was drifting on a rubber mattress in our pool. My father had wheeled-out the black-and-white TV set to the backyard so we could watch the landing. I remember vividly, a few hours after the landing, watching the grainy pictures of Neil Armstrong stepping out of the lunar lander and onto the moon's surface and later planting the US flag. I also remember my father, not generally a very emotional or expressive man, with tears streaming down his face, standing up and applauding, yelling in his immigrant accent, "America! America! America can do anything!" I also remember cheers going up from the neighbors' houses on either side. It seemed every house on the street suddenly sprouted an American flag. A great day.

The space program was one of those (few) things that the government did well. Sort of. That landing on the moon, and the subsequent ones, as well, I found immensely inspirational. To watch American astronauts driving a car on the moon was insane! Nobody else could have done it. NASA really was using the most extreme form of technology available; a lot of it was untried, experimental to the nth degree. Yet, overall, it worked, and there were some amazingly brave men who willingly staked their lives on that equipment, and had faith in the hundreds-of-thousands of fellow Americans who had worked to develop it.

After the thrill of the moon landings, it became sadly clear there was no second act. Not really.

We had beat the Russians to the moon. And that was it. There was no exciting second chapter. In later years, we messed around with the Space Shuttle with no clear idea of what it was we intended to do in space, well, at least, not with man in space. The Shuttle program gradually petered out, it having no third chapter,  and . . . the great void followed. The government and the public seemed to lose interest in manned space exploration.

I hope we get back into space in a bigly way. To Mars! It's needs an American flag . . . maybe a Betsy Ross flag?


Friday, July 12, 2019

Summer Craziness

The heat is on.

At least, that is, where I am currently residing in the wonderful town of Wilmington, North Carolina. It is hot! Humid! Mosquitos out in force! But, the gun range is air conditioned so I have nothing to complain about much, unless I follow national and international news.

It's official: the Democrat Party is completely psychotic, consumed with a deep raging hatred of all things Trump, and even more troubling, all things USA. We, for example, are the only country on earth not allowed to ask whether people living in our country are citizens. The reasoning for this prohibition is utterly nuts. We have Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, no less, telling us that to ask that question on the census would disadvantage minorities, and forms part of an effort to "make America white again." This statement is absurd on so many levels it is breath-taking.

To follow, for a moment, the twisted reasoning of Ms. Pelosi and the "mainstream" media, only white people are citizens of the United States. Yep. All those black Americans will be terrified by being asked if they are citizens. Millions of hispanics will be triggered into a rug-biting frenzy if asked. Yes, per the Democrats, only white people are citizens, and only "people of color" are illegal aliens, or at least non-citizens--sorry Puerto Rico, the Dems have cut you loose.  This is a continuation of the Prog argument that a voter id requirement disadvantages black voters . . . never explained why.

They are liars with a malevolent agenda, one which I have discussed at length before, to wit, to destroy the very concept of citizenship and of nation in a cynical bid to keep and gain more power. They, furthermore, are advising illegal aliens on how to foul up ICE attempts to deport those whom HAVE ALREADY BEEN ORDERED DEPORTED BY THE COURTS!!! Somebody will get hurt or killed, and the blood is on the hands of the Dems and their Prog friends.

When will the demand arise for there to be no passport requirement when landing at an airport in the US? That requirement surely disadvantages the poor of the world and prevents them from exercising their right to live in the US.

Mental illness is rampant.

On the UK Ambassador and his leaked cables. I read the material printed in the media: Not very sophisticated stuff. I would have made any junior officer writing something like that to go back to the drawing board and try again. The UK Embassy seemed to be just repeating garbage from the leftoid US media and the views of the oh-so sophisticated elite bubble in which the Embassy lives.  Not very useful material to guide HMG in their relations with the USA. Go! Away! Now!

Stupidity is rampant.

Off to the dog park.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Making Weird be OK

I love the 4th of July. It's my favorite holiday. I loved it when I was overseas, and we had our 4th reception. In all the countries where I served, the US Embassy reception for the 4th was the hottest and most prestigious ticket in town. Those invited showed up. And, I must say, we had excellent receptions, ones which put to shame the national day parties of other embassies. In Indonesia, for example, we got all the US corporations in the country to contribute either money or products: we had stands from McDonalds, Starbucks, Jack Daniels, KFC, etc. It was quite something.

Not even the lefties can ruin completely the 4th for me. They've tried. The latest? The controversy over the Betsy Ross flag. What utter rubbish! I did what I always do in such cases: I went out and bought two Betsy Ross flags, one in a frame for inside the house, and another to hang out front--I also bought another handgun.

The Dem candidates and their media enablers, of course, formed a major portion of the effort to destroy the 4th. I loved how Trump trolled them! He orchestrated a great 4th of July party on the DC Mall. He summoned: Tanks! Fighters! Bombers! The lefties went nuts! One unhinged commentator even compared the presence of a couple of tanks near the Lincoln Memorial as akin to Tianaman Square! The tanks would crush the resistance! It was a coup! Trump was making the 4th about himself! He would glorify the military! He would give a campaign speech! He would call for a return to slavery! Oh the humanity! Oh, the horror!

He, instead, gave a very nice, patriotic, and uplifting address (text here). Glorifying the military? How did we get and keep our Independence if not for the military and those willing--mostly men--to take up arms? Seems to me that this holiday is very much about the military and guns and the people willing to bear them in defense of the nation. The bazillion accomplishments of America would not have been possible without them.

My complaint right now is not with our odious women's soccer team (yawn), or Antifa, or Hollywood's elimination of straight white men from the screen, or CNN and its fake news. No. It's how all of the "progressive" forces come together to normalize the weird, to make it so that the aberrant must be accepted and even heartily endorsed.

I doubt that the lunatic Dems will win 2020. All that open borders, open wallet to the world, y'all come over crap is not going to fly. Not this time. This time, no . . . but, the progs play the long con. As I noted a long time ago, they change the meanings of words, so that the most basic units of thought and expression no longer mean what we once thought they did. We can't even use good old-fashion pronouns. As per Orwell, they rewrite the dictionary, they make us hesitate when we think and speak, we must not give "offense" or reveal ourselves as "racist, homophobic, misogynistic" throw backs to a dark era.  They use fake bought and paid for "science" to convince us to give up our standard of living, to question whether labels such as "male" and "female" have any meaning. They tear down flags, statues, and monuments; they want place names changed to erase our history. They deliberately blur the distinction between citizen and non-citizen, between legal and illegal residents in our country. They want open borders; they, in sum, want a destruction of this country, and of Western civilization.

As noted above, they will lose this time, but the lunatic left knows how to introduce the weirdest ideas and schemes, and gradually work them into the realm of acceptance. Look back just a few years and you will see what I mean. Just to take one issue, the progs will insist that soon, very soon we, for example, will all be forced not only to tolerate illegal aliens in our midsts, but to see them as a blessing, as something to be desired and happily funded. Much as we all now must accept and endorse the bizarre pseudoscience claims of fluid gender identity, we will accept and endorse the claims of "fluid" citizenship.

Not a cheery thought as we celebrate our independence.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Pander Bears: The Dem Candidates

I wasn't going to write about the horrid Dem debate, but . . . taking a small break from dog tending and identity theft resolution, I couldn't resist adding my two cents of commentary.

The two-day extravaganza of these 20 clowns was, well, a clown extravaganza. Who won the debate? Who lost it? Your guess is as good as mine, although in this case I tend to go with the conventional wisdom, with a bit of a tweak.

The biggest loser wasn't even on the stage. He was Obama. This crowd, except for Biden, seems to want nothing to do with Obama and his "accomplishments." He is totally forgotten.

Of those on stage, Biden was the loser. He proved, again, a hopeless doddering fool. As I noted back in April, "if Biden ever had a 'best-if-used-by' date he appears to have passed it".

He seemed incapable of finishing a coherent sentence, appeared caught off guard by the highly predictable attacks on him, and just looked tired, very tired, and confused, very confused. He, so far, stands for nothing except for name recognition. Biden has a long record of almost no accomplishment, and what there is of it, is woefully out of line with the high-energy, far-left lemmings who now dominate the world's oldest political party. He doesn't realize that the ground has shifted on him, and doesn't know how to gain a footing, at least, not yet. Biden's blather about being "blue-collar Joe" and the labor unions is all very old-fashioned. None of the other Dems is blue collar, has ever worked a blue-collar job, probably doesn't know any blue-collar folk, and is positively bored with real economics. They want to pander to illegal aliens--Beto breaking into execrable Spanish for no reason--pay homage to the LGBTQXYZKD, whatever, crowd--Julian Castro proclaiming that biological men have the right to public-funded abortion--and, above all, to utter fatuous Marxist slogans about WALL STREET! Biden can't keep up, as revealed by the tentative way in which he raised his hand in accord with the others that we should provide "free" medical care for illegal aliens. At times, Biden reminded me of Ted Kennedy when asked why he wanted to become President and couldn't say.

I say all that about Biden while acknowledging that he's the best of the Dem bunch--kinda like when I declare American universities junk but the world's best . . . junk. The others range from absolute delusional morons to crazy Communists. Any one of them would make Carter and Obama look like  great and patriotic presidents. Biden, at least, doesn't seem to hate the country: A low bar, but one that the other candidates can't seem to clear--they seem auditioning for the CPUSA Chairmanship.

The winner?

Don't ask me that, but now that "you" have, I would have to say it was Kamala Harris. Her demagogic assault on Biden, essentially calling him a racist, and her expert telling of a semi-true story about her childhood, catapulted her into the top ranks of this score of lunatic candidates. She is a liar, but a good one, and can probably count on the media burying the many unsavory aspects of her career as a public official in California, and her quite comfortable, even privileged, upper-middle class background.

Meanwhile, Trump? He's out saving the world from nuclear war and negotiating a trade deal with the PRC.

I am voting Trump. Need I say more? No, but I will . . .

Friday, June 21, 2019

Iran and Things

Had a nearly complete digital meltdown. I had an identity theft issue whereby some clowns were out trying to get credit cards and phone service using my name and data. USAA and Experian were big helps in getting that under control--at least for now. In addition, or part of the same, all my emails disappeared, along with my ability to send any new ones; that crisis is slowly being resolved. So, as you can see, I was cut off from the WORLD! FROM THE WORLD!

In my digital absence, of course, the Iranians took advantage of the power vacuum, and pulled one of their classic stunts: shooting down an unarmed US drone flying over international waters in international airspace. Outrageous crap from the Delusional Ayatollahs and their Iran Revolutionary Guard clowns. I see they and their protectors are already putting out the usual nonsense that maybe the missile that downed the drone was fired by some "rogue" element not under Teheran's control. Yes, yes. We've seen this before: remember the "students" who seized the Embassy? The Houthis who bombed an airfield? Mysterious others who fired missiles into Israel or put limpet mines on tankers? The Iranian regime is composed of cowards who want their cake, and have it enriched, too. They must sorely miss Obama.

I don't advocate for a war with Iran because we don't need one to keep these SOBs under control. In addition, of course, as we become ever more energy independent--All Praise to the Frackers!--we need the Middle East less and less. A sharp, painful response, however, is required just to let the Ayatollahs know we aren't buying their nonsense, and we aren't going to let them imperil our people at no risk: Sink their fleet in their harbor; knock out some important economic target; hit their missile batteries, are among the many possibilities. The President should take his time and come up with something appropriate. The Dems would be wise to knock off their impeach nonsense for just a bit, and give the White House room to maneuver.

Now we can go back to worrying about the impending doom from global warming cooling change whatever, that means we will have less more snow, fewer more hurricanes wetter drier winters,  whatever, etc.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Back at the Keyboard

Lots of doings in the Diplo household.

Diplowife has decided that all the furniture in House A in Wilmington must be switched with the all the furniture in House B in Wilmington. In addition, and with the Diplowife there is always an "in addition," she has placed our house in Durham for sale and begun a hunt for one in Raleigh which she claims is "closer." I am never clear as to "closer" to what, but I don't question anything anymore in the Diplo household. I thought the house in Durham was fantastic, but I am not the Charge of this Mission at all, so we compromise, AKA, I go along with whatever she says. I also had some health issues which needed attending, and I have done so thanks to Big Pharma.

I also have been forced to lose some 15 pounds and instructed to lose more just so that I can be considered merely fat. No respect for my body shape choices.

I have been following what there is of news from a slight distance. I notice that Speaker Pelosi looks increasingly deranged. She hates Trump so much that her already somewhat addled brain seems about to explode any minute. She openly accuses the President of engaging in some unspecified criminal cover-up and conspiracy and calls for his imprisonment. No evidence of any sort of such conduct has been presented much less processed through the legal system. It's just mad talk prompted, I am sure, by fear of what the ongoing investigations into the origins of the Russian hoax will reveal, i.e., an attempted coup against Trump headed by Obama/Biden/Clinton/DNC and key elements of the US (and possibly British) intelligence agencies and senior members of Congressional staff, the FBI, the DOJ, the NSA, the CIA, the NSC, and, it seems, State. This could get real ugly. I hope it does. People must be held accountable for this assault on the Constitution.

The once Great but now Lame State of California continues it Thelma & Louise getaway from reality. The legislature passed and the governor signed a spending bill which contains, among other doozies, free medical care for certain illegal aliens. Folks, we are now well past the beginning of the end here. The only I can say with satisfaction is that none of my dollars go any longer to the insane bureaucrats and representatives of California. American citizens will now be taxed even more to pay for illegal aliens to get free health care. Oh yes, that will solve California's growing litany of problems not to mention that will solve the illegal alien problem. Insanity. Step on the accelerator that cliff is coming up.

Off to walk the dogs. They at least make sense.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Week-end Musings

At one of the Wilmington houses waiting for the Diplowife and Diplodaughter to return from a yogurt run. Here with the dogs after another lengthy tour at the dog park. They are beat.

The news?

Well, some of it is interesting, some not.

I think the President had a good European visit. As per the cliche, the Brits do state visits better than anybody else, and they were up to their usual standards. Trump obviously had a good time with the Queen and she seemed to be enjoying the visit. The woman's in her 90s and she just plods ahead! Amazing. While I am not a fan of monarchs, in general, I think QEII is a great one. She has, despite a rather odd family, constantly exhibited a sense of duty, sacrifice, and patriotism that we all could emulate. I hope she stays there for a long time to come.

The D-Day ceremonies were very well done. Tasteful and full of rightful praise for the boys who landed on the beaches 75 years ago. We owe them a debt we can never pay. Even Macron was OK. Trump gave the best speech of the day, and even the left-wing crazies at home had a hard time criticizing him--although they still tried.

At home, it seems, it seems, the President might have won a battle with Mexico over the border. We'll see, of course, but given the Mexican track record in honoring deals such as this one, well, don't hold your breath. I still think, as I have been pushing for nearly three years, that we should create a "Border Security" fee assessed on all non-US citizen consular transactions, including visas and on crossing the border or landing at an airport or sea port. In addition, we should impose a "fee" on dollar remittances abroad. Those funds would go to help secure our border. It's a way to have Mexico help pay for the wall.

As usual, the Dems and some spineless GOPers were apoplectic over a possible tariff on Mexican goods. WHAT ABOUT THE AVOCADOS! These are people who have never met a tax they didn't like, and could not bring themselves to support a small tax, aka a tariff, on Mexican exports to help ensure greater security at our border and on our streets. The Chamber of Commerce Republicans were crying about how this tariff would cost American jobs because US factories depend on components now made in Mexico. Well then don't make them in Mexico; make them here. These people are hopeless.

OK, off to watch "90 Day Fiancé; Happily Ever After?" with my wife and my daughter. We relive our consular days.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The New Mexican War, Revisted

Some time back, February 11, 2017, to be precise, I wrote a post about the Mexican threat to the United States. I stated that,
Much has been written, including in this blog, of the threat to America posed by radical Islamic terrorism. Not so much has been written about another threat, perhaps an even greater one. I refer to the threat posed by Mexico to the United States; it is multi-faceted and persistent, and forms a long established core component of Mexico's foreign policy.
Prior to that post, I wrote another (December 17, 2016) that discussed the topic of foreign interference in our elections which stated,
Is there foreign interference in our elections? You bet. 
The biggest offender? Not Russia, but Mexico. Mexican officials publicly called on Mexicans in the US to oppose Trump; Mexico's over fifty--yes, fifty--consulates in the US (here) are hot beds of political activity and activism. Millions of illegal and legal aliens largely from Mexico and Central America vote, yes vote. We need to have an in-depth investigation into Mexico's interference in our elections, an interference that goes well beyond revealing embarrassing DNC texts. 
There. That's an investigation the GOP should endorse, and the new SecState should take up the issue of Mexican interference in our elections.
The two biggest foreign national security threats to the United States are China and Mexico. Each poses a different kind of threat, but both could prove deadly.

I have recently written another post about China , so let me turn for a second to Mexico, again.

The essence of Mexico's foreign and domestic policy is virulent opposition to the United States. Mexico's intellectuals, universities, press, and political parties are overwhelming anti-US (much like the Democratic party here at home). They put out a constant tattoo of victimhood and of entitlement to what is in the USA. As a now departed Foreign Service friend of mine used to say, "They view the US treasury as the common inheritance of all mankind."

I was heartened to see President Trump begin to hit back at the Mexican government's aiding and abetting of the violation of our border. I had long ago recommended hitting Mexico with "border fees" and taxes on the billions of dollars in remittances sent from the USA as a way to build the wall. The President has gone a slightly different way by imposing tariffs on Mexican goods until such time as we see serious action by the Mexican authorities to stop promoting illegal migration and to get the border under control. We also need, as stated before, to start shutting down some of Mexico's 52 consular and diplomatic missions in the US. They are centers of political activism and blatant interference in our domestic affairs.

I hope the President hangs tough on this and doesn't accept mere words from Mexico as substitute for action.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Mr. Mueller, Your Fifteen Minutes are Up. Please Leave . . . Oh, and Dogs

Mr. Mueller, go away, sir, go away.

That's enough.

You spent north of $34 million, had a staff of dozens, interviewed hundreds of witnesses and issued only God knows how many subpoenas, and after some two years produced a nothing burger report of some 448 pages in length that concluded the President did not collude with the Russians and that there was insufficient evidence to charge him with obstruction of justice. That's not enough, I guess. No. You had to come back for one more carefully orchestrated slam of the President by way of an eight minute statement to a press gaggle not allowed to ask questions. In that statement you did your best to "dirty up" the President, a la Comey and Hillary, but added nothing new or interesting. All you did was provide some slimy innuendo that the Congress should proceed with impeachment, a recipe for sure-fire political disaster for the Dems, by the way.

Clearly, it would seem, that Mueller seeks to escape testifying under oath and avoiding tough questions from the Republicans: e.g., When did you know that there was no there there on collusion? Why did you continue "investigating" after that? Was it to try to set a perjury and obstruction trap for the President and his staff? Why didn't you explore the origins of the Steele "dossier"? What about Hillary collusion with the Russians and other foreigners? You managed to investigate people for tax fraud and taxi medallion abuse, but not the abuse of FISA, "unmasking," framing American citizens with FBI informants, the role of MI5/MI6 in all of this, etc.?

I say, yank him in and ask. He doesn't get to say when the game ends.

On the other hand, I am tired of his pompous virtue signaling, and want him to just go away and write that book, the one nobody will read . . .

On a more pleasant note, two days ago while at the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office registering my two dogs, I heard barking. I asked the nice lady whether there was a dog pound on the premises and, if so, could I take a look. She said, "Of course you can!" Off I went, and immediately spied a wonderful young--about 18 months old--German Shepherd mix in the last cage; I declared I wanted him. So the Diplowife and I interviewed the pooch, and fell in love with the guy. Overcoming any good sense we might have left after all these years, we said we'd take him, and did.

He got a mixed reception from our two established Diplodogs, but gradually they worked things out. Charlie is now our new four-pawed son.  Picture follows.



From left to right: Txiki, Charlie, Hartza. After a day at the park

Monday, May 27, 2019

BREXIT, Again! Nigel Farage for President, 2024!

It appears that Britain's Brexit Party will take 28 or 29 of the 73 seats up for grabs in the UK's portion of the Europe-wide EU Parliamentary elections. For once, it seems, the polls called it right, and the predicted catastrophe for the Conservative and the Labour parties came to pass.

Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn should be very proud of their achievement.

Those two arrogant members in good standing of the global elite sought to defy the openly declared wish of the British electorate to get their country out of the horrendous EU. They both sought to delay and complicate that exit, in league with the bandits who run the EU, in the hope that the British public would tire of it all, give up, and become resigned to Britain's loss of sovereignty, and quietly mutter, "OK, OK. We'll stay."

Well, folks, the last part of that scenario just didn't happen!

The voters did not let themselves get mau-maued into resigning to have Britain remain a colony of the Brussels caliphate of kleptocrats. Once again, the voters have said "no" to Brussels, and to the globalist vision so relentlessly pushed by their rulers--and lest we forget, large numbers of EU citizens resident in Britain also voted; and still wasn't enough for the remainers to win.

Much of the credit, of course, for the first referendum on Brexit, the results of that referendum, and now for the results of what is in essence the second referendum on Brexit, belongs to the remarkable Nigel Farage. He is the true definition of a Happy Warrior and a Patriot: amazing sense of humor, quick wit, terrific oratorical skills, and, of course, a keen political mind with a very notable organizational ability. The man does not quit. He knows how to get from point A to point B. Milk shakes bounce off him like bullets off Superman.

We must amend our Constitution to allow Farage to become president in 2024. It's the right thing to do. We send them Markle; they send us Farage. It's a win-win . . . for the USA, that is. If the Brits aren't going to make him their PM, we should offer him a job here.

Once again, the voters of the world have declared their antipathy for the globalist vision.

I ain't tired of all the winning, not yet.

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 by some, 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.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Trump Strikes Again: Dumping the UN Arms Treaty

I am sitting in the Imperial Capital, aka, Washington DC.  Lovely weather, a beautiful day. The Diplowife and I walked all over the city, and now she's off to go shopping while I recover in the hotel.

I was delighted to read that President Trump is withdrawing our signature from the so-called UN Arms Treaty. He signed the notification to the Senate with a typical Trumpian flourish, while giving a speech at the NRA HQS. He knows politics like nobody else does! The Dems are going to have their hands full in 2020.

Your humble Diplomad had written about this travesty of a treaty WAY BACK in July of 2012. I noted back then that this UN effort posed innumerable threats to American sovereignty and to the rights of Americans. It also promised to be an endless source of employment for lawyers and leftist activists. It would have devastated the small arms industry, and essentially ended individual ownership of firearms. It was a disaster, so, of course, Obama signed it and sent it to the Senate for ratification, where it languished.

Trump has canceled that signature.

Delightful news.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Biden: Third Time's the Charm, or Three Strikes and You're Out?

Yaaaaaaaaawn . . . Biden is running. What a surprise, not.

It seems he's been running for Prez my whole adult life. Harold Stassen reboot? Or, maybe, a male version of Florence Foster Jenkins, the world's worst singer, "always eaten in the end" by the lions?

I have written before about him and how he's going to have to fend off the leftist lions who now run the Democratic Party Colosseum. I won't repeat all that. 

Let me, however, note that Biden's not very smart; has a lousy record of achievement; is a proven liar; is associated with all of the Obama failed policies and scandals; has been a corruptocrat his whole life; hasn't ever had an original thought; is an abysmal speaker; and, overall, is as exciting as Jello for dinner. 

He, therefore, is the best candidate the Democrats have.

At least he doesn't hate America--well, at least not overtly--and is not batshit insane, well, not yet; we'll see if his bid for the nomination doesn't drive him into the loony bin to compete for the support now going to his competitors. Free stuff for everybody! Voting rights for felons in prison! No guns for law abiding citizens! More illegals are good! Reparations! Hate whitey!

Will he give up his "middle of the road" Jello politics for the more exciting spicy politics of identity and endless grievance?  The world wonders.

More important, will he face the one ultimate question, the one never clearly put to Hillary Clinton? 

You know the one: When you had power, what did you do with it? Take your time.

Popcorn is available in the lobby. 

Free for everybody!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sri Lanka Massacre

The death toll from the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka continues to climb. From press reports, it seems that perhaps some 300 people were murdered and hundreds more injured. Absolutely disgusting barbarity.

I lived in Sri Lanka for three years, and know almost all the bombed sites, including St. Anthony's. I made a lot of friends in Sri Lanka, and am horrified by what "some people" did to their beautiful country.

Almost as repulsive as these attacks on innocent people has been the reaction of the media and much of the political elite around the world. As George Orwell famously observed in 1946, "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." Let's engage in that struggle.

When word of the horror first began to get out, the media, in the guise of not jumping to conclusions, spent a long time talking about Sri Lanka's past civil war, trying to make it seem as if these bombings form part of a long history, i.e., nothing to see here, move along, it's just Sri Lanka. I read and heard commentary that the attacks likely had come from some reborn LTTE (Tamil Tigers) faction, or from Buddhists upset by Christian proselytizing. All hideous nonsense.

We had those Great Regulators of Moral Standards, President Obama and Crooked Hillary, issuing almost identical Tweets bemoaning attacks (by whom?) on foreign tourists and, my favorite phrase, on "Easter worshippers." What a great phrase, "Easter worshippers." When I first saw it, I thought something had happened on Easter Island. Then I thought, who worships Easter? Nobody I know. Maybe these paragons of moral rectitude just had a senior moment, and let slip away the word they really meant to use, you know, "Christians." Yes, there I said it, Christians.

"Some people" carried out deliberate and well-planned attacks meant to kill hundreds of Christians, local and foreign: "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

Now that I think of it, have we left something out of our commentary? Have we missed something in our own struggle "to see what is in front of one's nose"? What could it be? What, what could it be? Oh, yes! The "some people"! Guess who they were? One guess, only. Yes, the Religion of Peace! Don't I give the hardest quizzes? Wonder if Obama and Crooked Hillary could pass?

These attacks form part of a long-running war, one of some 1400 years, of Islam against Christianity and Judaism. This war takes place in Western places such as New York, San Bernardino, Tampa, Boston, Ft. Hood, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Nice, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Brussels, Sydney, and Ottawa; let us not forget, however much the press might want us to, that it also occurs even more violently and often with much higher death tolls in places such as Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, India, and, now, Sri Lanka.

As I noted long ago, "We should be at war; instead, we are under attack." Let's be very clear: these murderers were not "radicalized" by the internet, nor do they comprise some crazy 1% fringe that have misinterpreted the teachings of Islam. They are Islam.

When you look in front of your nose you will see, it is the Islam.

Islam is not a religion like the others. It is a creed of conquest and destruction. We see that, again, this time in the churches, hotels, and streets of Sri Lanka.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Russian Collusion: The Real Costs of the Greatest Political Hoax in US History

A recent post here noted that unlike many of the "pundits," I would not pretend to have read the 400-plus page Muller report, and wasn't even sure I ever would read the thing. Well . . . . curiosity, alas, got the better of me, and like that ill-fated cat, I began to churn through the Great Tome. I have not gotten too far, and, frankly, remain uncertain about finishing it. Skimming pages, jumping around within the text, and . . .  finding it a whole lotta crapola.

Costing somewhere around $26-$35 million to produce, the Mueller Report, the world's most expensive book, comes off as a bad rip-off from that iconic Seinfeld TV show, you know, a show "about nothing."

Yep, 400 pages about nothing, and not even funny.

Seinfeld did "nothing" better.

Unfair to label the Muller tome a story about nothing? The pretext, certainly, for the investigation of Trump-Putin collusion proved total nonsense, a "nothing." It was a hoax invented by the Democrats and Hillary Clinton's desperate campaign, getting salacious "info" from a hack former British spy on the DOJ payroll, and funneling that unverified "info" through the shady GPS Fusion outfit, which had ties to the FBI. The "information" came from internet chat rooms, informants working for the FBI, and, quite possibly the Russians, always eager to sow confusion. This activity, of course, was aided and abetted by our hack mainstream media, and, of course, by President Obama who used our law enforcement and intelligence agencies as arms of the DNC--as this little blog stated from the start of the "scandal," e.g., here, here, and here, just to mention a few of many posts.

The Democrats and their Deep State allies "leaked" fake information to the press, and then cited the subsequent press reports as evidence of the validity of the fake info and of Trump's perfidy. That fake information, we now know, backed up by the fake press reports "confirming" the fake information, formed the basis for seeking and getting FISA warrants, "unmasking" of American citizens, and conducting Beria-type interviews of Trump supporters. Real people, innocent people, had their lives turned upside down, bank accounts wiped out, and reputations smeared by lies and Mueller's NKVD bully-boy tactics in service of an attempted coup.

Since limits exist to how much and how long one can fake something, after over two-and-half years of this brutal nonsense, the report had to admit no such collusion existed. This "nothing" report's "nothing" result, however, has some genuine "historical value" in that it serves as official testimony to something unprecedented in over 240 years of U.S. history. Drafted by angry pro-Clinton Democrats, the Mueller report provides a one-sided, remarkably tone-deaf account by some of the very plotters of how they went about trying to undo an election result, overthrow a democratically elected President of the United States, and--complete insanity--how they "investigated" a story they themselves invented.

How these Democrat hacks must have laughed when they got that gig! Why not have Al Capone investigate the Valentine Day's massacre?

From day one, the "investigators" knew the result, no collusion; they knew they had the task of "investigating" a fake accusation. This "investigation" sought to provoke Trump into some angry "obstruction" act and perjury. Period. Nail him on procedural nonsense re a crime that never existed, and the ensuing "perjury" and "obstruction" hullabaloo would cover up that no collusion ever existed. That was the "insurance policy": I repeat, frame Trump with an absurd collusion story, get him angry enough to"obstruct" or even shut down the investigation and, therefore, provide "grounds" for impeachment.

The authors of the report desperately wanted the coup to succeed; that desire oozes out of the entire report but especially so in the second half on "obstruction." That half fulfills another one of this humble blog's predictions (March 23), that the Muellerites likely would slip a poison pill into the report to keep the coup plot alive,
[N]one of us has seen the report, or knows how Mueller will phrase his conclusions/recommendations. Will he say, as he should, that he undertook a massive waste of time, for which we spent nearly $26 million, and tore apart the country for nothing? I doubt that very much. He might say, that well, he has no ability to go further with the investigation for this or that reason, and recommends handing off portions of it to other prosecutors. He might also go full reptile and state that there was collusion but it does not rise to the level of prosecution, but maybe Congress should consider impeachment, or any number of variations on that theme
Mueller, indeed, went full reptile. He explicitly stated that he couldn't indict the President on collusion or obstruction but also refused to "exonerate" the President on obstruction--as though a prosecutor exonerates--and then did a smear job on the President to encourage the crazies in Congress to impeach him or, at least, keep him tied up with investigations, subpoenas, and a daily barrage of "news" stories on obstruction. This is what blind rage and hate do even to "professional" prosecutors.

That the coup did not take place (yet?) might prove one of those lucky events in American history right there with the carriers not being at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941; Jimmy Carter losing the 1980 election; Hillary Clinton losing the 2016 election; and General Washington carrying off the tricky crossing of the frozen Delaware River to defeat the Hessians on that Christmas in 1776.

The coup plot continues, have no doubt.

The real cost of the Russia collusion hoax and the wearisome Mueller volume far exceeds those $30 million or so the taxpayers spent. The real cost comes from the perversion of powerful institutions, the undermining of faith in the whole system, and the fear, yes, fear, the investigation, the report and subsequent Congressional actions inspire in private citizens. It seems the Congress can insist on getting Grand Jury testimony, and can demand private citizens' tax returns for public scrutiny. Congress and powerful members of the Deep State can lie and leak and distort information with no consequences; citizens can be dragged from their beds by armed men at dawn to face minor procedural charges, etc. The report does not condemn these tactics, and the drafters, of course, not only favor these but themselves used them.

The report does two things, however, that might prove beneficial:

1) The Russian election meddling highlighted in the report came during and with the knowledge of the Obama misadministration, and Obama did nothing about it;

2) By declaring it found no evidence of collusion, the report raises the question of why there was an investigation. How did it get started and by whom?

I hope that the Trump administration and the Senate delve, at least, into those two rather fascinating nuggets that have emerged from the muck of the travesty known as the Mueller Report.  

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Mueller Report . . . Not

Unlike a lot of "journalists," I will not pretend to have read the 400-page Mueller Report.

I heard AG Barr's news conference today, and thought that he did a very good job of presenting the results, describing the process followed since receipt of the report, laying out the legal requirements for how to handle the report, and stating its major conclusion,  i.e., no Trump-Moscow collusion.

The "journalists" at the presser came off as idiotic political hacks, and Barr fielded their questions and comments with aplomb and wit. The "unprecedented" bit was wonderful; pure sitcom gold.

The journalists also seemed unaware that in the USA, supposedly, a person remains innocent until proven guilty. The Muller investigation did not find evidence of President Trump's guilt. Trump, hence, is not indicted and not guilty.

Will I read the Mueller Report? Maybe, I don't know. It's a bit like getting handed a new giant mystery novel by a turgid writer and being told, "By the way, the butler did it." Not an encouragement to read it.

One issue not getting much press attention: it seems that the report implicitly points the finger at Obama; Russian election meddling took place on his watch. He failed to protect us from that.

I'll see if I change my mind about reading the tome . . . just waiting to see if the hideous clowns who produced the Russia-Trump Collusion Hoax will face consequences.