Monday, August 28, 2017

Cheap Talk

Actions speak louder than words. Talk is cheap. Put up or shut up. Prove it.

There are many ways to say it, but they all come down to one thing: Do you mean what you say? For anyone claiming to be a leader that means warn once, then execute. Never bluff.

When Saddam Hussein first took steps develop nuclear capabilities in the Iraqi desert, Israel sent jets in to destroy his facility at Osirak. In and out went the planes — a surgical strike. That was June, 1981. When Bashar Assad built a nuclear facility in Syria called Al Kibar for the same purpose, Israeli jets destroyed that too. In and out went the planes — another surgical strike. That was September, 2007.

Syria's Al Kibar destroyed

With the destruction of Osirak, Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin established his doctrine: “prevent confrontation states … from gaining access to nuclear weapons.” Both Iraq and Syria had tried to invade Israel after declaring it had no right to exist. 

When the Kim dynasty was threatening the United States and simultaneously building nuclear facilities in North Korea, American military officials advised sending jets in to destroy them. President Clinton instead deployed former President Carter and a lead negotiator named Wendy Sherman for talks. They came up with the 1994 deal under which North Korea promised to freeze its nuclear program. In return, the United States gave $4 billion to develop nuclear reactors that would ostensibly be for generating electricity. We also gave them $100 million in oil and some food.

Then in 1998, two things happened: One — North Korea was caught sending missile technology to Pakistan, itself a nuclear power. Two — it tested an ICBM. Four years later in 2006, North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon. That same year, Israeli intelligence photos showed North Korean workers helping to build the Al Kibar reactor in Syria the Israelis later destroyed. Clearly, the Clinton/Carter/Sherman agreement was a disaster and North Korea couldn’t be trusted. In the middle of all this, however, Carter won the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

All through the George W. Bush administration, aid to North Korea was suspended and restarted, talks were restarted and suspended and restarted over and over. Long story short, North Korea continued testing missiles and nuclear devices, just as it is today. One thing Bush did was declare Iran, Iraq, and North Korea “The Axis of Evil” which the left criticized as too simplistic. President Obama repeated the bluffing and talking cycle during his eight years with about the same results.

Hey, what could go wrong?

Thus did the Kim Jong Il learn how gullible the United States and the United Nations could be. He continued promising to stop developing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them — and the USA continued sending aid for his starving citizens. When he wasn’t making fools of US presidents, he would stay up late watching old Daffy Duck cartoons. Meanwhile, his chubby son Kim Jong Un was taking notes.

So were the Mullahs in Iran. They played the same game with Presidents Bush and Obama and got everything they wanted. Obama even used the same chief negotiator, Wendy Sherman, that President Clinton used for the 1994 debacle. Obama and Kerry insist Iran will not have nukes for ten or fifteen years. Can we trust Iran to comply until then? About as much as we can trust North Korea — which is not at all. We cannot send inspectors into Iran to verify compliance because Iran inspects itself under the Wendy Sherman/John Kerry agreement — and they get back their $150 billion in frozen assets up front.

Why didn’t anyone get tough with the Kims? Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon said out loud what everyone suspected just before he resigned: “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here; they got us.” He was talking, of course, about the 10,000 mobile artillery pieces aimed at Seoul, South Korea. We have no way of neutralizing them.

How about in Iran? Were we ever able to take out Iranian nukes militarily? Yes, but not without pain. Iran has Hezbollah proxy armies in Lebanon and Syria ready to use rockets and other assets against Israel, not to mention another proxy army in Gaza under Hamas. Nonetheless, Israel was ready and willing to attack Iran’s nuke facilities just as it had Iraq’s and Syria’s. Saudi Arabia would have allowed Israeli planes to fly over its air space to Iran. If the USA had supplied two things: in-air refueling for Israeli jets and bunker-busting technology for destroying underground facilities, Israel would have attacked. Many expected President Bush to help out, but he never did. Nobody ever expected President Obama to.

In Bush’s Axis of Evil triumvirate, North Korea has nukes and Iran will soon. Thanks to Israel, Iraq won’t. Now it’s all in Trump’s hands.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beware The Mob

Up to now, we have been a nation of laws and not of men, but I fear we are becoming unhinged. I fear the mob is gaining power and rule of law is diminishing. Nazis and the KKK are certainly evil and if they existed in any great numbers they would be a threat to our republic, but they don’t. They have a web presence that exaggerates their influence and media coverage that magnifies it further.

Whenever they hold meetings, FBI infiltrators likely comprise a quorum. The [Jewish] Anti Defamation League, or ADL, estimates membership in the KKK at five thousand. In 2011, The New York Times estimated membership in the National Socialist Movement [NSM]: “…the largest supremacist group [is NSM], with about 400 members in 32 states, though much of its prominence followed the decay of Aryan Nation and other neo-Nazi groups.”

It’s much harder to find out the size of “Antifa” which is perhaps the largest violent left-wing group, but it is international in scope with chapters all over Europe and the United States. Unlike the KKK and neo-Nazis, it tries hard to be anonymous. One USA Antifa web site called declares: 

“We strongly recommend against [emphasis in original] antifa groups being organized using the open, public model of most contemporary activism… that you stay anonymous both while forming and until your first action. Anonymity is your best defense, and you should keep it intact as long as you can.”

They dress in black and wear masks when they use violence so police cannot easily identify them from video. Antifa advises:

“Build a culture of non-cooperation with law enforcement…The cops will be Trump supporters; do not collaborate with them.”

And Antifa is universally leftist. From the same site:

The anti-fascist movement has come from multiple theoretical currents; it is based on an agreement on tactics, not ideological uniformity. In the U.S., most activists are anarchist, although a few are Maoist or anti-state Marxists. In other countries, the movement is predominately Marxist.

If Antifa targeted only the KKK and neo-Nazis I might even applaud them, but their scope is much wider. They’re against capitalism in whatever form and have violently disrupted G-20 meetings around the world. They’re emphatically anti-Trump and violently disrupt his rallies wherever they can. If you’re against illegal immigration, Antifa is against you and will try to take away your free-speech rights as columnists Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos discovered in Berkeley.

I watched an Antifa organizer interviewed on Fox News last week who claimed his organization received no money from outside groups or individuals. However, The Daily Caller investigated the Antifa riot at the University of California Berkeley last February and shed light on its camouflaged money trail: 

The left-wing group that helped organize the violent shut down of the Milo Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday is backed by a progressive charity that is in turn funded by George Soros, a major labor union and several large companies. The Alliance for Global Justice, based in Tucson, is listed as an organizer and fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, a communist group that encouraged left-wingers to shut down the Yiannopoulos event. The call to arms succeeded. Yiannopoulos’ talk was cancelled after demonstrators lit fires, vandalized businesses, and assaulted Donald Trump and Yiannopoulos supporters.

On Antifa, Anarchist, LGBTQIA+, Black Lives Matter, Muslim, and other sites, I’m seeing calls for “Intersectionality.” It’s a word I didn’t understand when I first heard it in January during the lead-up to the Pussyhat March the day after Trump’s inauguration. It’s a strategy to bring all self-identified victim groups together in one political movement against conservatism.

Elizabeth Corey, writing in "First Things" described a conference she attended last March at the University of Notre Dame entitled: “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race” at which the keynote speaker was an angry black woman named Patricia Collins — a sociology professor at the University of Maryland:

At the end there was a question and answer period. I asked whether and how Collins would suggest that intersectionality engage with its adversaries, the ­hated conservatives. Given the polarization of ­America right now, did she see some way for the two camps to communicate or find common ground? The vehemence of her answer was startling. “No,” she said. “You cannot bring these two worlds together. You must be oppositional. You must fight. For me, it’s a line in the sand.” This was at once jarring and clarifying.

The Free Speech rally in Boston last Saturday was disrupted by the Intersectionality groups including Antifa and police arrested 27 of them. It was not white supremacist as far as I could see but it became a target for 40,000 protesters who shut down speakers. Free speech rights and rights to assemble were trampled. The mob ruled. Monuments were destroyed or defaced in other cities. What’s next? Book burnings? This is getting scary.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Party Controls The Past

General Lee

“He who controls the past controls the future… He who controls the present controls the past,” wrote Orwell. Here in 2017, the left is firmly in control of both academia and media and is using both to control the past. That’s what played out last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee which had been there for a century. Nearby is a statue of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Both Lee and Jackson were southern heroes. They were also Democrats, but you won’t hear about that in media or academia.
Stonewall Jackson

They fought for the Confederacy and that makes them villains in the view of the 21st century left, which is in firm control of the Democrat Party. No matter that most slaveholders were Democrats. No matter that Democrat US Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia who served until his death in 2010, had also been a member of the KKK. There was so many Democrats south of the Mason/Dixon line, the party referred to it as “The Solid South.”
Byrd eventually apologized for his KKK membership and denounced the organization, but it remained part of his history: “I apologized a thousand times ... and I don't mind apologizing over and over again. I can't erase what happened,” he wrote. He was right to apologize and also right that he could not erase his personal history.
But the Democrat Party believes it can and continues trying to pin its own shameful heritage onto Republicans — the party of Lincoln. Just prior to its 2008 convention, the Democrat National Committee erased fifty years of party history from its web site. How many Democrats lynched blacks? There isn’t room here to list them. How many Republicans? None that I know of. The Democrat Party has never apologized for protecting slavery before the war or for preserving Jim Crow for a century afterward.
Recorded under cover by James O'Keefe

Leftist media from the Huffington Post to CNN is downright gleeful as it tries to associate today’s Nazis and KKK with the Trump Administration. Trump issued a statement after Charlottesville saying: “We condemn in strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence — on many sides.” It was a reasonable response considering all the violence leftist groups perpetrated during his campaign, beating up Trump supporters as they left his rallies. Many of those agitators were were paid by the Democrat National Committee and the Clinton Campaign and wore “Trump is a Nazi” T-shirts. They violently shut down Trump rallies in Chicago and New Mexico.
Jared Loughner was obviously nuts

Then came James Hodgkinson, a Democrat Bernie Sanders supporter, who shot Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and several other people at a Republican softball practice two months ago. The New York Times editorial board blamed “both sides” for political violence claiming that Sarah Palin caused Jared Loughner to shoot Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and political rhetoric motivated Hodgkinson to shoot Republican Rep. Scalise. Trouble is, there’s not a scintilla of evidence associating Palin and Republicans with Loughner who was obviously nuts, whereas Hodgkinson had long, strong association with Democrats. He had a hit list of Republicans.
It’s okay for the NYTimes, but Trump is not allowed to blame “many sides.” Leftist media demand that he specifically denounce white supremacists which he subsequently did. NBC’s Chuck Todd called his "many sides" statement, “a failure of presidential leadership,” From his "Meet The Press” platform, he assembled a panel who did their best to associate white supremacists with the Trump Administration and Republicans.

Media went out of their way to avoid blaming President Obama’s anti-cop rhetoric after five Dallas policemen were murdered by a black man who “wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers." Few people reading this will have heard that several police officers and a former federal prosecutor have sued President Obama, his Attorney General Eric Holder, Black Lives Matter, and others for sparking the murders of policemen around the country. That’s because leftist media controls perception and in politics, perception is reality. Thus it controls the present, and the past.

Back to Orwell:

Party official O’Brien asked Winston Smith where history exists. “In records… In the mind. In human memories,” said Winston under torture.
O'Brien and Winston Smith

“Very well then,” said O’Brien. “We, the Party, control all records and we control all memories. Then, we control the past, do we not?”

“But how can you stop people remembering things?” asked Winston.

“You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right,” said O’Brien. “…When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists… only in the mind of the Party …Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.”

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Social Engineering By Census

Does racial discrimination still exist in the United States? If so, how does it show? One manifestation, perhaps the biggest, is in the US Government. As it prepares to fulfill its constitutional responsibility under Article I, Section 2 to count how many people live here, let’s ponder what the Census has become. Its original purpose was to figure out how many seats in the US House of Representatives each state gets as our population grows and shifts, but America’s obsession with race has expanded the function of this basic count. Right now, there’s a political struggle to add even more racial categories to the 2020 census. Why? Well, the Census Bureau itself brags that the data it collects determines how and where $400 billion of federal money is spent, much of it according to race.
Article I Section 2 originally mandated that Congress count: “the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons… within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.”
Linda Sarsour

The “Manner” Congress has subsequently directed leads us to look at ourselves not as Americans, but as members of some oppressed minority competing for taxpayer funds. Left-wing activist Linda Sarsour is lobbying the Office of Management and Budget to include another racial category President Obama wanted: “MENA” for “Middle East and North Africa.” Sarsour calls herself a Palestinian American. She wants Persians, Arabs, Turks, Lebanese, and Somalis and Sudanese to be categorized under that label too. Why? She explains:
“When we look at accessing federal, you know, any types of federal support, for example, we lose out dramatically because we don’t have a separated category … because we are quote ‘white,’ we are not seen as a priority area for city or state or federal funding.”
At least she’s honest about it. According to the Heritage Foundation, Sarsour wants: “Another ‘oppressed’ group that will be eligible for racial preferences (‘affirmative action,’ ‘disparate impact,’ ‘underrepresentation,’ etc.) in employment, college admissions, federal contracts, and congressional redistricting.” She wants a bigger slice of the $400 billion pie.
Under the first census conducted in 1790, the head of household was listed as well as number of “free white males” over and under sixteen, the number of “free white females,” the number of “free persons” (boarding in household) and the number of slaves. That was all. No questions about race, but we can assume the slaves were black. Ten years later more questions about the ages of both free white males and free white females were asked. Twenty years later, data on the number of factories in a given district were gathered. In 1820, the census takers asked the ages and sexes of slaves, as well as whether people worked as farmers, factory workers, or other commerce, and counted “foreigners not naturalized.” In 1830, more specific data on ages of white males and females, slaves, as well as the number of all who were deaf, dumb, or blind was determined.
In 1850 came the first questions on race. There were two broad categories: “Free Inhabitants” and “Slave Inhabitants,” but free non-white inhabitants were differentiated between “black” and “mulatto.” Also gathered were values of real estate owned, data on occupation, place of birth, marital status, schooling, literacy, and if person was "deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict.” Slaves were given numbers, not names, and classified black or mulatto. Listed under “Owner” were “uncaught escaped slaves in the past year”; “the number of slaves freed from bondage in the past year” and, “is the slave deaf and dumb, blind, insane, or idiotic?”
More race questions came in 1870 with categories for Chinese and [American] Indian. In 1890: “Enumerators were instructed to write ‘White,’ ‘black,’ ‘Mulatto,’ ‘Quadroon,’ ‘Octoroon,’ ‘Chinese,’ ‘Japanese,’ or ‘Indian.’”
More questions about Indians came in 1900, including tribal affiliation, “Fraction of person's lineage that is white”; “Is this person living in polygamy?”; “Is this person taxed?” A note on the Census site explained: “An American Indian was considered "taxed" if he or she was detached from his or her tribe and was living in the White community and subject to general taxation.
“Mulatto” was dropped in 1930 and “Mexican” added, but only that year. “Hindu” was called a race. Mixed black and white was marked as Black. Mixed Indian and white was marked as “Indian.” Ethnic questions were increased in 1970, asking about Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Central American, or “Other Spanish” descent. Now those groups also want to be classified as a “race” separate from white in 2020. If you’re not white, you're eligible for a piece of the pie.
Whenever I’m asked to describe my race, I write in “human,” and refuse to go any further. How soon before government substitutes the subjective term “gender” for the scientific term “sex” and how many categories will there be? Five? Ten? Thirty? How long before questions about sexual preference are included? They were drafted under the Obama Administration but dropped by the Trump Administration last March. Had Hillary won, they’d have been on there for 2020.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Politics of Fatigue

Summer is half over and I haven’t played enough — almost not at all, but I’ve begun to make some changes to allow it. Yes, I have to finish a book proposal and send it out, but I hate doing it and have to force myself to work at it every day for a little while at least. I have to get outside more and clear my head between sessions. I also have to stop reading obsessively about political goings-on. I’m staying away even though it's especially hard to do when so much is happening. It's been a nice break to avoid politics and write about other things, but here are some political “reflections on the passing scene” as the great columnist Thomas Sowell used to pen occasionally before he retired.
*After seven years of promising to repeal Obama care and passing countless bills to do so knowing they’d be vetoed by Obama, Republicans in Congress can’t do it with a Republican president who would sign it. Meanwhile, Obamacare is collapsing as predicted. Thanks Democrats. Thanks Republicans. You’re both pathetic. If members of Congress and everyone else who works for our way-too-big federal government were forced to be under Obamacare along with the rest of us, it would never have passed in the first place, or would surely be fixed now.
 *Seventy years ago, Congress passed Amendment 22 which limited a president to two terms. It’s time for Amendment 28 to limit senators and congressmen to a total of twelve years each, after which they must be banned from lobbying for an additional ten years. Think of all the obnoxious senators and congressmen we wouldn’t have to listen to if Congress’s terms had been limited seventy years ago too? Think of where we’d be today instead of where we are.
*Finally, finally, we have some actual evidence of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It’s very thin — not evidence of actual collusion, but only an email indicating that Donald Trump, Jr. was open to hearing about possible help from a Russian back in June, 2016. Over a year of investigation, and that’s all we’ve got. Will another year of even more investigation yield anything else? Don’t hold your breath. The investigation is having the desired effect however. It’s driving Donald Trump crazy, much crazier than he otherwise might be.
*Meanwhile, I’m kicking myself for not working harder against Donald Trump during the primaries. I should have trusted my first instinct that any guy in his seventies who would pay that much attention to his hair has personality problems. When I think that we had sixteen alternatives, any of which would have been so much better, including Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, or anyone else except John Kasich. Okay, maybe even him.
*President Trump’s antics are so embarrassing I can hardly stand it, but Hillary Clinton? I could never have brought myself to put a check next to that name. If I could go back to that voting booth last November, I believe I’d do the same thing. In the meantime, I’d like the president’s sterling cabinet to get together and prepare an ultimatum for their boss: Fire the Mooch, stop tweeting, do what General Kelly tells you, use the speechwriters you had for the Middle East and Poland speeches, and use the teleprompter exclusively when speaking in public — or we resign, en masse, right now. Maybe that would smarten him up.
The Mooch was fired the day after I wrote this on Sunday. Hooray for General Kelly!
*Yeah, Trump’s approval ratings are very low, but guess whose ratings are even lower — the media’s. Trump deserves his ratings and media have certainly earned theirs as well. Can there be any more doubt about left-wing mainstream media bias? Yeah, Fox is biased right, but nearly every other television media outlet is biased left — and most newspapers too. I’ve spent years on both sides of the spectrum and it’s patently obvious to me. Are we all ready to admit this now?
*Trump’s worst mistake would be to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It would be worse than firing Mueller, which would only make the left — in media and in government — go even more crazy than they are now. But how much crazier can they get? They’re already cutting Trump’s head off in effigy and one leftist wing-nut opened fire on Republicans at a baseball practice, nearly killing Congressman Scalise and wounding several others. But to fire Jeff Sessions would sink Trump with conservatives who are already annoyed with his tweets. His support would dry up almost entirely.
*Maybe a third party will emerge of disaffected Democrats and Republicans who would shrink the federal government and return power to the states. We could call it the Tenth Amendment Party. 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (Amendment 10)