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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A turning of the tide?

Leftists are in full meltdown over the announcement Justice Anthony Kennedy will step down from the Supreme Court July 31. This action provides President Trump an opportunity to nominate yet another Constitutionalist like Neil Gorsuch to the court. Should Trump serve two full terms, it is likely he will nominate the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as well.

The enemies of our Constitutional system are in abject terror over the possibility, now increased, the Court will undo decades of judicial activism. Unable to enact their agenda through the ballot box, the Left sought to impose it instead by abusive judicial fiat. But just as unconstitutional executive orders by Obama could be undone by corrective orders from Trump, the shredding of the Constitution can be reversed by a Supreme Court made up of Justices who respect it.  The impact of these nominations on the next 20 to 30 years cannot be overstated.  It’s vital to elect America First Constitutionalists (sadly, only a subset of the GOP) this fall, and ensure Trump’s reelection in 2020.  Things are going well for patriots lately, but as Glenn Reynolds frequently channels Han Solo, “don’t get cocky, kid.”

On other fronts:

-The Supreme Court, even with Justice Kennedy still on it, has issued a couple of key rulings, freeing pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from being forced to provide information on how to obtain an abortion, and denying unions the ability to force payments from non-members (which usually ends up in liberal political campaigns).

– The reputation of the FBI is hardly helped when Peter Strzok answers a Congressional subpoena to testify in a classified forum, but reportedly refuses to answer the most germane questions by claiming “it’s classified” or declining to answer “on advice of counsel.”  What are the FBI’s lawyers encouraging him to continue hiding?

– A former Hillary 2016 Campaign officer has been indicted for soliciting sexual access to children as young as two years old.  And from the “you can’t make this up” files, he was also chairman of the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Gender Violence in Conflict charity.  As they say, fishermen go where the fish are.

– Without Obama propping them up with pallets of cash, the Iranian regime is suddenly experiencing a popular backlash again.  The previous administration’s failure to support Iranian dissidents was inexcusable.  Worth noting: “Q” indicated a week ago Iran was about to get interesting again… another tick of credibility for those keeping score.

– The GOP seems to have a few more members with spines lately, as the latest attempt to pass an amnesty for illegal immigrants has been soundly defeated.  Eternal vigilance is required on this issue, however.

Keep praying hard!  If God can resurrect His Son or an army of dry bones, He can certainly revive our nation!  Let’s seek daily to have our nation bless Him, that He may show favor to us even at this late hour.

Iran

The clerical regime in Tehran is facing perhaps its biggest challenge since the immediate aftermath of the 1979 revolution that put it into power.

This is a very big deal.

For years, Iran has been the world’s biggest state sponsor of international terrorism (in particular the Hezbollah organization).  That’s why it was criminally irresponsible for the Obama administration to weaken sanctions on Tehran, and airlift $1.7 billion in paper currency to them!  This, after essentially ignoring previous unrest in 2009.  In his quixotic quest for a meaningless “nuclear deal” with Iran, Obama spared no opportunity to help the mullahs.  In doing so, he was enabling a regime that exported considerable trouble, including cooperation with other rogue regimes like the one in North Korea.

Many Obama alumni are calling on the current administration to also be silent, saying to speak out risks having Iran’s leaders brand the dissidents as “foreign agents.”  This overlooks the power of moral support.  Trump’s initial statement on the matter — a remarkably statesmanlike missive — was translated into Farsi and quickly passed around among the dissidents before the regime blocked access to social media.  Obama’s team might well be wondering what else will come to light about them, should the mullahs lose power.

America remains the original modern Constitutional republic, however battered that system may be.  The most powerful foreign policy tool available to us is modeling what a free society should look like.  For more than two centuries people in other countries seeking a better way have looked to us for inspiration and example.  We have not always lived up to such scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  Inspiration is far to be preferred over invasion as a means to advance freedom.

“Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she (America) goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.”  – John Quincy Adams, 1821

Let us all offer “prayers and benedictions” that the Iranian people will finally free themselves of the original Islamist gangster regime.  The world could be a much better place if they do.

Saturday Sounds

Since this song is said to have been inspired by Iran’s 1979 ban of rock music, it seems appropriate to play today as Iranians protest their government in large numbers.  May they rock the Casbah until the mullahs fall.  Obama didn’t do these dissidents any favors in 2009.

But he’s not president anymore

#Iranprotests

The third certainty

It’s said the only things certain in life are death and taxes.  To that I would add it’s certain the Left will call for strict gun control that guts the 2nd Amendment every time a mass shooting occurs.  After all, as Rahm Emanuel put it: “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  So it’s no surprise the friendly fascists at moveon.org already have a petition up for “commonsense gun control:”

* Ban civilian ownership of weapons designed for warfare.
* Close the gun show loophole.
* Create certificates of ownership for firearms, similar to automobiles, which should be governed by similar regulations, including the need for training, testing, and insurance.

Let’s take these one at a time, shall we?

First of all, who would decide whether a weapon was “designed for warfare?”  I’m sure they have in mind the spooky black rifle of their feverish nightmares known as the AR-15.  Never mind that civilians can only own semi-automatic versions of this, which makes it no different from most hunting rifles.  There are also many people who are proud owners of Springfield M1911 handguns.  These were originally designed for war, but are now commonly owned by civilians.  Would that no longer be permitted?  Maybe they’re thinking about automatic weapons (which the ignorant on the Left often claim AR-15s are).  Here’s the problem: it’s been illegal for more than 30 years to own an automatic weapon without a specific federal license that is extremely difficult to obtain.

That’s right, kids: our shooter in Las Vegas was in possession of more than a dozen weapons that were just as illegal for him to have as it was for him to kill people with them.  But feel free to cling to your fantasies that laws will prevent this kind of thing.  Just don’t drag me or my legally owned weapons into your unworkable utopias.

Second: “close the gun show loophole.”  This ridiculous phrase is used after every shooting, as though these killers are buying their weapons at the local Shriners show before going on a rampage.  There are no specific loopholes in federal law that apply to gun shows.  None.  Those who engage in the business of selling firearms, whether at a gun show or at a private business, must run a federal background check before completing a sale.  Period.  The only way around this is personal resale (for instance, if I sell a weapon to a relative).  To be accurate, what gun control advocates need to say is they want to require everyone to get Uncle Sam’s permission before selling their own legally owned property.  That sounds much more infringing on personal liberty than “closing a gun show loophole,” though, doesn’t it?

Third: ownership certificates with various requirements attached.  This is where I may part company with some.  I believe the 2nd Amendment is a crucial liberty and non-negotiable.  Every law-abiding citizen has the inalienable right to self-defense, and that includes the mechanical means to enable that defense.  That said, every right carries a responsibility, and it’s clear many people don’t take that seriously.  So just as I would advocate a citizenship exam before allowing people to vote, I do not necessarily object to requiring citizens to pass a safety and qualifying course before receiving a certificate to own personal weapons.  The only issue here is one of degree.  There are plenty of gun controllers who would use such a concession to create a process so onerous that nobody would be willing/able to complete it and thus obtain a firearm.  If such a process were permitted, it would have to be under the guidance that the burden is on the State to show why someone should NOT be issued a weapon, rather than on a citizen to show why they should.  (This is similar to the difference in “may issue” versus “shall issue” for concealed permits.)

So of the three items in the petition the first is deliberately ambiguous, the second is a tired sound bite, and the third may — MAY — have some merit if done correctly.  Instead of putting enormous effort behind such an ill-thought petition, here’s a better use of your time:

Ask why it took police SEVENTY-TWO minutes to respond and breach the shooter’s room in Las Vegas.  (This is the first of many odd things that stand out about the Las Vegas attack.)  Then ask yourself if you want to outsource your personal defense to institutions that have, at best, a questionable ability to actually protect you in the event someone has murder in mind.  (As the saying goes, when seconds count the police are only minutes away.)

No civilian crowd should ever be under (illegal) automatic weapons fire for more than an hour. And none should ever face such a situation without recourse to their own ability to defend themselves.  Granted, concealed carry weapons at the concert likely wouldn’t have done much against a madman firing from the 32nd floor.  Remember, though, the reason this is news is that such an event is an outlier, not the everyday experience.  In many crises there are often plenty of veterans (both of the military and police) and brave lifelong civilians present who, given the tools, would be willing to respond much faster to such a public emergency.  The public should not have to depend on someone else to save them when they are capable of saving themselves.

I’ll close by pointing this out: many of those yammering about gun control the past couple of days were fully on board both with the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun running scheme to Mexican cartels, as well as his release of billions of dollars to Iran — a known terrorist-supporting government openly determined to obtain atomic weapons.  Given this, their pleas of “give me your guns so we can make you safe” sound more than a little hollow and self-serving.  Besides, if Trump is “literally Hitler,” isn’t calling for public disarmament self-defeating?  (Never try to look for consistency in Leftist arguments — it isn’t there.)

We live in an increasingly dangerous world, where terrorists maim with weapons as varied as automatic weapons and automobiles.  At the same time our governments seem determined to allow a continued flood of strangers from violent lands to settle among us. Between terrorists and the mentally ill, there is simply no way to predict when the next incident will occur.  As someone who carried a weapon and defended this nation–including the Constitutional right to carry firearms–for 24 years in uniform, I’m not about to give up my legally acquired weapons or the right to defend myself and my family.

Period.

Herding the mainstream press

The legacy corporate media is docile, controlled, manipulated, complacent, and utterly useless for anyone who believes the role of a free press is to hold those in power accountable (except for destroying the occasional Republican in order to maintain the facade).  That the New York Times would publish a piece that shows this so well only goes to demonstrate our ruling class believes they can do whatever they wish with impunity — and even laugh amongst themselves about how they sell their lies to a gullible press and public.

Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal. He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts and motivations supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials. He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives, at a time when the killer wave of social media has washed away the sand castles of the traditional press.

As Rhodes admits, it’s not that hard to shape the narrative. “All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Rhodes said. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Note that this individual, whose incredible level of foreign policy influence in the administration the piece makes clear, has absolutely zero background in that area.  No service in the State Department.  No military background.  Not even formal studies in international relations.  Instead, he holds a masters degree in fictional writing.

With a novelist charting policy and a young, D.C.-based press corps taking his view as gospel for their reporting, is it any wonder what was left of the Pax Americana has crumbled beyond recognition in recent years?

This shouldn’t be all that surprising since the current president himself was not elected based on any accomplishments or background.  No, the election of “The One” was itself a narrative of how America was going to atone for its past sins by finally putting a black man in the Oval Office.  Incredibly, in the face of eight years of economic stagnation, foreign policy missteps and retreats, broken relationships with long-standing international partners and passage of an Obamacare medical mess that increasingly resembles a Potemkin village, the nation’s chattering classes still want us to believe we did a good thing in 2008! (Incidentally, the same voices assure us that Hillary’s potential to be the first female president is more significant that all the swirling questions about corruption, influence peddling and neglect of national security information she’s accumulated in the past quarter century.  As the saying goes: “fool me once…”)

If you want to know what’s really going on these days, the last places you should be getting your information is a government spokesperson — or the legacy media.  The latter is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the ever-growing Leviathan that is Washington, D.C.

How soon we forget

There is no other way to explain how, a mere 14 years after 9/11, our nation would allow its leadership to negotiate a “deal” that releases billions of dollars in assets to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, while failing to secure any meaningful restrictions on its drive to join the ranks of nuclear powers.

Even the New York Times chose today to run with the headline of Democrats (and Obama) “winning” over the deal, with no mention on the front page whatsoever about 9/11’s anniversary.  Such historical amnesia is a serious, often fatal condition.  And on this, the fourteenth anniversary of a day I will never forget, that is all I have to say about that.

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