This -n- That

There’s been a lot going on this week.  While I haven’t had time to write a long-form post till now, here are a few scattered thoughts on recent developments:

It’s interesting that for a couple days it looked as though Trump were going squishy on demanding funding for border security (the wall).  But as with many issues in this administration, it often seems the news coverage greatly exaggerates the death of the president’s resolve on key issues (and this may the media’s intent).  It says something that within 24 hours the talk went from Trump being stymied by his own party in the House, to Speaker Ryan very publicly bending to the administration’s wishes.  In short, Trump comes out of this with a stronger hand, not a weaker one, even if the Senate fails to follow through.

Meanwhile, in the tradition of Tocqueville’s observations about Americans self-organizing, “we the people” are making a stab at ‘doing the jobs our government won’t do,’ to appropriate a phrase.  In less than 4 days, a private fundraising effort for the wall has drawn nearly 200,000 donors and, as of this writing, over $12.1 million.  While this large sum is dwarfed by the estimated $5 billion to build the wall, the enthusiasm being shown may well have tipped the balance for the actions in the House yesterday.  There is, after all, more than one way for the citizens to make their point, if they are determined to do so.

The departure of Secretary of Defense James Mattis set many tongues wagging yesterday.  Mattis was a highly regarded Marine general and military intellectual, known as the ‘warrior monk’ before putting on the suit and taking over as SECDEF.  But as others have pointed out, having operational and tactical savvy doesn’t necessarily translate into strategic acumen.  Regardless, it appears his resignation was predicated on disagreeing with Trump’s intent to disengage from Syria and greatly reduce our footprint in Afghanistan.  If they fundamentally disagreed on these policies, the honorable thing was for him to resign, not to backbite the president from the official perch at the Pentagon.  So regardless whether Trump’s policy proves wise or not, I respect Mattis for his action.  I also respect Trump for following through on a campaign promise to stop policing the world.  Unless someone can articulate a very clear, rational vision of what staying in Afghanistan can achieve, it’s time to recognize 17 years of occupation is long enough.  Let Syria and Afghanistan figure out their own destinies, and let’s free America to do the same by extricating ourselves from all these nebulous multilateral commitments.

That includes immigration.  The United Nations lived up to its reputation as wanting to be a global proto-government by creating a “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.”  In other words, facilitating the mass movement of peoples into alien lands.  The United States was one of only five nations who refused to sign onto the compact, correctly noting it was an attempt to create international “soft law” that would infringe on our national sovereignty.  The other four refusals came from Israel, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic — all of whom have been under pressure for months due to their refusal to allow open passage across their borders.  Instead, they are putting the needs of their own citizens first… and what’s so immoral about that?

The real immorality today is the utter lack of accountability shown by the leaders of these various nations to the aspirations of their people and the requirements of the law. Whether it’s Theresa May slow-rolling the Brexit process, Emmanuel Macron trying to tax his people in the name of dubious “climate change” fearmongering or former FBI Director James Comey showing his utter disregard for legal protocols, the attitude is the same.  The main question today is how much longer will these globalist charlatans escape consequences for their actions.

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…

This-n-that

A few scattered thoughts prompted by recent reading…

1)  Seen online: “Next time we have a peaceful transfer of power, can there be less of it to transfer, please?”  Hear, hear!

2)  God continues to have fun with the Goreacle:

Park City is bracing for a slew of snow at Sundance Film Festival.

The festival locale sank to below-freezing temperatures ahead of Thursday’s opening-night film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore’s climate-change follow-up to 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth.

It’s sure “inconvenient” to keep having all those cold-weather events show up every time he tries to peddle global warming (oh, wait: now it’s just called “climate change.” How… convenient.)

3)  The corporate media, led by CNN, continues its increasingly brazen lying in order to imply Trump has less support than he does.  Click this link, then this one.  This is just another petty and underhanded way to try to make Trump’s administration seem illegitimate.  So for the record:

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Hey, CNN: do you want to keep getting ignored at presidential news conferences?  Because this is how you keep getting ignored.  Here’s hoping this administration holds all press outlets accountable for every propaganda twist they try to pull.  This goes for Fox News as well, whose own narrative-pushing I have direct experience with.

4)  Remember when hundreds of protestors were arrested at Obama’s first inaugural, and how conservative activists smashed storefronts and generally made a destructive nuisance of themselves?  Yeah, me neither.  It occurs to me that if these people are so violently unhappy with the country they live in, it would be a simple matter after arresting them to revoke their citizenship and give them a one-way ticket to wherever they believe things are better.  Might be a rude wakeup.  These people are so stupid they don’t realize their antics are pushing many Americans (including me) to farther political extremes than they’d ordinarily go.  Polite society has tolerated this sort of thing for so long that I fear it will take a sustained, violent crackdown to re-establish civic norms.

These antics are a symptom of what got Trump elected.  If they continue, they’re simply helping his reelection campaign from Day One.

A quick plug

A friend of mine has started a new page on Facebook, called “The Right Road.”  It’s intended as a news aggregator of stories from a conservative point of view.  If you are active on that social media platform, take a moment to stop by and take a look.

One major consequence of the Internet that likely was not appreciated fully in its early days is the ability for like-minded people to find others who hold similar views.  I believe this has energized the small-government, classical economics Right, as they can now confirm they’re not some strange anomoly — there are actually large numbers of people with sympathetic views.  And that is why you will continue to hear loud calls for regulation of speech online.  The Left is intellectually and morally bankrupt, completely dependent on their corporate media lapdogs to appear even remotely coherent and worth considering in an election.  With Her Hillariness now crushed in her Quixotic quest for the throne of Mordor  White House, remember the modified saying: hell hath no fury like a Clinton scorned.

Be vigilant, be diligent, and above all, refuse to be silenced.  All manner of epithets will be trotted out to shame people into compliance.  Just remember who’s hurling those epithets, remember who’s on the side of Truth, hold your head high, and keep charging.

Reason #3,728

… why I will never willingly live in a congested urban area:

ABC7 Eyewitness News captured incredible footage of what might just be the world’s worst car jam in southern California, bringing traffic to a crawl.

The news channel’s helicopter captured the “complete gridlock” on the 405 motorway, one of the busiest and most congested routes in the United States.

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As the kids say today, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”  Just looking at the picture raises my blood pressure a few points.  I drove that corridor round-trip one time more than 20 years ago, and it wasn’t much better then…

This-n-that

The Supreme Court has once again rescued Obamacare from itself, prompting Justice Scalia (who dissented) to remark the law should probably be known as “SCOTUScare.”  Note that in both cases Chief Justice Roberts–nominated by REPUBLICAN George W. Bush–has been a deciding factor.  The GOP often reminds its base to vote for Republican presidents in order to avoid getting the “wrong” kind of justices nominated to the court.  Yeah, how’s that working out for us?  A more honest slogan would be “vote GOP: for wars without end, a surveillance state at home, and all the other stuff you normally expect from Democrats but that we’ll push for just as hard without saying so!”   See why I hate the Republican Party even more than the Democrats now?  At least the Democrats are honest about being in opposition to everything I stand for…

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The avalanche of knee-jerk reaction spawned by the Charleston shootings and fueled by the usual suspects has now reached Orwellian proportions:  Apple has pulled all apps from its store that feature a Confederate battle flag… including historically accurate wargames!  This is pure 1984:  a Two-Minutes’ Hate during which a period of history is being flushed down the Memory Hole.  Once again Apple shows its fascist tendencies, which is why no matter how good their engineering is, their products will NEVER be in my home.

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The Two-Minutes’ Hate also provided a convenient smokescreen behind which the Senate could regroup and browbeat out the 60th vote required to hand King Obama yet more power, this time to ensnare the United States into a proto-Pacific Union.  Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama was very vocal in opposing this measure, and his response to its passage yesterday is worth noting:

Americans increasingly believe that their country isn’t serving its own citizens. They need look no further than a bipartisan vote of Congress that will transfer congressional power to the Executive Branch and, in turn, to a transnational Pacific Union and the global interests who will help write its rules.

The same routine plays out over and again. We are told a massive bill must be passed, all the business lobbyists and leaders tell how grand it will be, but that it must be rushed through before the voters spoil the plan. As with Obamacare and the Gang of Eight, the politicians meet with the consultants to craft the talking points—not based on what the bill actually does, but what they hope people will believe it does. And when ordinary Americans who never asked for the plan, who don’t want the plan, who want no part of the plan, resist, they are scorned, mocked, and heaped with condescension.

Washington broke arms and heads to get that 60th vote—not one to spare—to impose on the American people a plan which imperils their jobs, wages, and control over their own affairs. It is remarkable that so much energy has been expended on advancing the things Americans oppose, and preventing the things Americans want.

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Meanwhile, the IRS is acknowledging new ‘mistakes’ that resulted in the erasure of backup tapes containing emails sought by investigators over the past two years.   The IRS is clearly either a thoroughly criminal enterprise, completely incompetent, or both at the same time.  Congress should erase this agency from the face of the earth (along with the entire income tax system) and bar all of its employees from any future Federal employment.  In the words of an ancient Roman, “IRS delenda est.”

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And finally, a supposed political ‘misstep’ by Hillary Clinton tells you everything you need to know about those who claim they are for “inclusiveness” and “diversity.”  Because apparently, ONLY “black lives matter” to the political class.  After all, if we truly believed “all lives matter,” how ever would they continue to divide and rule us?

This -n- That

Why there’s no point in more defense spending at present…

…particularly since this sort of individual initiative is likely to be more effective than a massive bureaucratic response anyway…

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Meanwhile, is a new political system emerging here at home?  Given the increasing penchant for secrecy, it’s certainly hard to be confident that things are being done in the interest of We the People.

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Diversity… not always the utopian good it’s made out to be.