Time and place… Time. And. Place.

Donald Trump will never win an award for being a silver-tongued orator.  It’s his willingness to say what he thinks, however, that endears him to many of his supporters.  In Monday’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump disappointed many when he declined to press Putin publicly on the accusation of cyberspace meddling in the 2016 election.  This resulted in shrieks of “treason” from his detractors in the U.S. (note to these: take a tranquilizer and calm down; your constant Chicken Little hysterics are embarrassing).  Being civil with Putin, however, doesn’t mean being in his pocket:

[Trump] is, as Greg Gutfeld noted on The Five, his own good cop and bad cop all rolled into one.  The good cop part is what we saw with Kim Jong-un and now with Putin — complimenting tyrants to an almost uncomfortable degree.  It’s oddly a Christian love-the-sinner-but-hate-the-sin kind of thing.

The bad cop part is what Trump actually does concretely — and, as Putin certainly knows, this is far more important than photo ops and press conferences with all the attendant words.  Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Russia have been considerably more stringent than his predecessor’s — opening the energy spigots, increasing sanctions, arming the Ukrainians, ejecting 60 Russian agents, etc.  As Walter Russell Mead pointed out, if Trump is in Putin’s pocket, he’s doing a terrible job of it.

Barack Obama — although the New York Times would burn down its own building rather than admit it — did an abysmal job with Putin and was indeed the one who was truly “owned” by the Russian.  And it wasn’t just the silly reset button and the embarrassing video of Barack whispering into Medvedev’s ear to tell Vlad he — Barack — would be more flexible on missiles after the election.  (What a toady!)  Even worse, in his Chamberlainesque ardor to make a deal with Iran’s mullahs, Obama let Putin play him in Syria, agreeing not to honor his redline against Assad’s use of chemical weapons in order not to endanger the  deal.  Trump never did anything nearly that pathetic.

Too many in our government find purpose only in confronting adversaries, whether it’s Russia, Iran, Syria or North Korea (or for warmonger John McCain — who still hasn’t resigned his Senate seat despite terminal cancer that allegedly prevents his being in D.C. — all of the above).  If things are too calm they’ll create the next Hitler of convenience (see: Slobodan Milosevic, Muammar Ghaddafi).  Keeping these pots on a low boil is useful to the ruling class; when people start catching on to Uncle Sam’s misdeeds, they simply turn up the heat on one of the burners as a “rally ’round the flag” distraction.

If the various “Q”-related rumors are true, the administration is about to unmask considerable — possibly unprecedented — malfeasance within our own country’s leadership.  In such a case it would be prudent to wall off any potential foreign distractions, which may underpin Trump’s focused efforts with North Korea and Russia these days.  Putin’s revelation that Hillary Clinton received $400 million in questionable campaign funds from Russian sources, and Trump’s comments at the press conference about the missing DNC computer server and other unresolved scandals serve to underscore what fights our president has chosen to pursue at this time.  Regardless what success he has on that front, Trump is absolutely right in responding to those who urged him to cross swords with Putin or refuse to meet him at all:

“I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace, than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”

Trump’s foes have consistently underestimated both him and his base of support.  This tends to downplay in my mind all the pundits who claim Trump is either coopted or naïve about Putin.  They may find he was simply ensuring a fight on only one front at a time, fully aware that he still needs to keep Putin under a watchful eye.  “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” as the saying goes.

Such wisdom is to be desired in a chief executive.

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Leftist minds think alike?

The collectivist mindset demands conformity, but this is pushing credulity:

Judge Brett Kavanaugh is going into the Supreme Court confirmation process with a hail of rhetorical arrows zinging by him, including a phony letter-writing campaign aimed at unsuspecting American newspaper editors.

At least 21 papers were duped last week, including big-market brands like the Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times. They ran identical letters over a four-day period, each signed by a different person.

The effort is an example of public-relations ‘astroturfing,’ a technique meant to simulate genuine grassroots support for an idea or cause.

Richard Lodge, editor of The Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Massachusetts, said Friday after hearing from DailyMail.com that he called the apparent ‘signer’ of the letter his paper ran, and ‘[s]he said she didn’t send it.’

The woman recalled receiving a phone call from an anti-Kavanaugh activist asking her to sign an online petition against him days before the letter was sent in her name.

Astroturfing is a sign a position doesn’t have the support its proponents want you to think it has.  The hard Left uses the media like the Wizard of Oz used his stagecraft to make himself appear far more formidable than he was.  The mask, however, is slipping.

Notice this is being covered by a foreign newspaper, not one here in the U.S.

But remember, “fake news” is just a Trump talking point, right?

This ‘n’ that

A few notes to hopefully provoke your thinking today:

I’ve thought for some time that our nation’s enemies use our desire for civility and decorum to handicap us in the culture war.  When the other side says “have you no decency,” it’s usually a dodge to avoid being accountable for their own actions.  It seems I’m not alone in thinking so:

…while appropriate restraint is always a part of this consideration, we go too far when we decide that we must always adhere to every aspect of a dying civility no matter the cost. Failing to openly defy the Left’s blatant aggression does not preserve civility — it only emboldens the uncivil and betrays their victims.

…civility is not a moral absolute and its form is always adjusting along with culture, it’s requirements are determined primarily by social contract — the kind of behavior we all implicitly or explicitly agree to when interacting with one another.   …when one party violates a contract, the other party is no longer bound by all of its terms. If you sign a contract to buy a car, and the dealer refuses to turn it over you, you aren’t “sinking to their level” by refusing to hand over your money. If you contract an employee who never shows up for work, you aren’t “repaying evil for evil” by withholding his wages. The same is true when dealing with people who are deliberately uncivil to civil people — it fundamentally changes what the rest of society owes them.

We need to stop taking the lazy road of “be civil though the heavens fall” and begin being deliberate about when to be civil — and when not to be.  For starters, I suggest the following guidelines…  (read the whole post here)

One of the biggest areas in which ‘civility’ and emotional blackmail is used against us is in the area of immigration.  So it’s nice to see the rest of the world COMBINED recently took in more refugees than the U.S. for the first time in 38 years.  Keep that little factoid handy for the next time your Leftist acquaintance decries the supposed ‘heartlessness’ of the U.S.

Leftists also demand expensive judicial proceedings for everyone who shows up on our borderlands, in order to accord them “due process rights.”  Turns out the Supreme Court has ruled consistently since the late 1800s that non-citizens are not entitled automatically to the same expensive access to our judicial system that citizens have.  Another handy note to have in countering our enemies’ talking points (and yes, I’m calling them enemies now.  Their actions show it’s an accurate term, whether using it is civil or not).

One reason the media are held in such contempt today is the realization they, too, have broken the social contract.  Presenting slanted information while claiming to be impartial is hardly being ‘civil.’  Yet the Associated Press seems to have done it again, trying to tug heartstrings by claiming the military is ‘discharging’ immigrants rather than allowing them to become citizens.  But it turns out there is more to this than the AP would have you know, including the fact that ‘discharge’ is not the appropriate word for someone who hasn’t even been to Basic Training yet.  But remember, kids, “fake news” is only a Trump laugh line…

Finally, for those of us who aren’t tired of winning yet, the economy is strengthening to the point labor is becoming in short supply — and hence, more valuable and lucrative.  Could it be that allowing thousands of people to flow into our nation unchecked each month helped depress wages for decades?  Inquiring minds should want to know…

Saturday Sounds Sedition

It’s good to see the GOP finally pushing back on the extremist rhetoric coming from the Democrats and their allies in the entertainment industry.  But it should be noted this ad doesn’t even mention the shooting at Republican legislators at a baseball practice that left Congressman Steve Scalise critically injured, or the attack on Senator Rand Paul by a neighbor who broke several of his ribs.

The Left has not just crossed a line — they have run well past it.  Free speech famously doesn’t include the right to falsely yell “fire” in a crowded theater, because people could get hurt. How much more harm can this kind of activity cause? Unless our society quickly decides to once again enforce consequences for this kind of behavior, mass violence is likely inevitable in the near future.  The idea of it is being normalized by the day.

Let’s hope the GOP has found a spine and will continue to highlight this trend.

Make the border real again

Liberals are hyperventilating because Trump today advocated simply returning border jumpers to their home country without letting them clog up our judicial system in the process:

Trump - immigration

“But… but… due process!” Trump’s opponents shout.  Here’s the thing: if we’re not going to execute, incarcerate or fine them, exactly what are they “due?”  If caught in the act of crossing our border, what is there to “process?”  I’ve seen people online quoting the Supreme Court ruling that “the Due Process Clause applies to all persons within the United States, including aliens, whether their presence is lawful, unlawful, temporary, or permanentZadvydas v. Davis (2001).  Okaythe Fifth Amendment specifically says no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”  I fail to see how immediate return of lawbreaking border jumpers to their country of origin runs afoul of that provision.  Detention while awaiting swift deportation is not the same thing as incarceration.  No matter how much Democrats want to treat them as citizens, illegal immigrants aren’t.  Because we believe in the sanctity of God’s creations, we don’t simply shoot on sight.*  Nor do we deprive those in our custody of food, water and shelter.  But beyond that, America owes them nothing.  No day in court.  No welfare subsidies.  Especially no drivers license or voter I.D. card.  Nothing.  I’d even be in favor of making them pay the cost of their “return to sender” transportation (although that admittedly would likely require more “process” than it’s worth).  After all, many of them seem able to come up with money to pay “coyotes” to smuggle them here, so why shouldn’t we get a cut of that for our troubles?  As for repeat offenders, I’ve addressed that before.

The President is correct: our current system is a mockery.  It encourages foreigners to try their luck to see if they can break into America, and there are few real penalties for failure and repeated attempts.  Various well-funded organizations actively abet those who come here in defiance of our laws.  In the process, they have called into question the process of requesting asylum, since that claim is now greatly abused.  Exhausting Americans’ potential sympathy for those truly needing refuge from persecution is hardly “compassionate,” liberals.  We are a generous people, but there are limits to everything when one realizes others are taking advantage of their good nature.

No matter how much leftists muddy the waters with emotion, this is a simple issue.  Either we are a sovereign nation, or we aren’t.  Either we get to decide who comes to live among us, or we don’t.  Either the people are in charge, or unaccountable globalist elites rule our land.

Which is it?

* This restraint alone shows the difference between America and much of the world. Sadly, though,  in the long run it may come to “shoot on sight” in order to restore a proper deterrent and respect for our immigration laws.  If that day comes, globalists and open borders advocates will have only themselves to blame for encouraging a situation requiring such measures to bring back under control.

Fixed it for you

Time Magazine stands by its cover, which once again shows the corporate media is more concerned about narrative and emotional manipulation than proper context:

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And yet they wonder why more and more Americans find the term “fake news” appropriately descriptive.