Monday, December 05, 2016

Donald J Trump

As a reluctant Trump voter on November 8, I find I am an enthusiastic Trump supporter on December 5.

I did not realize before the election, just how disturbed I had been at the prospect of a Clinton presidency and the continuation of the unbearable burden of the Emperor's New Clothes America I had been living in since the election of Obama.

Thanks President-elect Trump. I had not understood how much the lack of political and cultural sunshine had affected me.

I was reluctant about DJT for all the reasons most conservatives were. I have often read that his publication of the list from which he would choose his Supreme Court nominee mollified a lot of us. It certainly did me. It did not make me enthusiastic though. I could settle for keeping the court leaning right no matter what else I had to give up in exchange.

Apparently we will be getting a DJT who is considerably more conservative than most of us reluctant supporters would ever have hoped for.

There is a very important song in the Passover liturgy sung during the seder (ritual meal) called Dayenu. The word means "enough".  It begins,

"Had he brought us out of Egypt, but not executed judgments against the Egyptians, it would have been enough.
Had he executed his judgments against them but not upon their gods, it would have been enough."

You get the point, be grateful for the big victory. Take whatever else is offered gratefully.

For me, had DJT only appointed a suitable Justice, it would have been enough. All of the rest of what he has already done is gravy. Hopefully much more to come.

Some excellent appointments, and the obvious competence of his team persuade me that we are entering a very dynamic period of American ascendancy, driving the left to a cacophonous gnashing of teeth and rending of garments (to continue my religious theme). They, notoriously, believe that America is the world's biggest problem.

In the countless articles I have read wherein the left explains why they lost the election there is a central  theme, "we didn't get our message across". To be fair, there are a few writers on the left who recognize that the message itself was the problem.

Please believe me when I tell you, you did get your message across and a lot of people don't like it. We don't like being told that because we disagree with you we are either racist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic or just plain "deplorable", to quote one famous harridan, former politician and failed presidential candidate.

You told us, very clearly, that the next four or eight years would be very much like the last, only worse. If you are white and disagree with us "shut up". If you are white and wealthy and disagree with us, "shut up and give us your money". If you are white, wealthy, disagree with us and male, well, its the re-education camp for you.

Reading current "news" stories in the mainstream media reinforces, for me, the idea that the left still, almost a month later, does not understand why DJT is President-elect.

A perfect example, in my opinion, is the explosion of pontificating derision heaped on DJT for having spoken directly to the President of Taiwan.

A headline at CNBC:

"Trump may have just thrown decades of US-China relations into disarray"

Followed by these pearls of conventional wisdom:

"With this phone call and the follow-up tweet, Trump is risking fundamentally upending decades of US policy towards Taiwan and enraging China, the world's only other Superpower. China sees Taiwan not as an independent country, but rather a a part of China."

That is why we elected DJT. What China thinks is fine. What we think is also fine. When the two conflict it is neither necessary nor desirable to bend to China's way of thinking.

Those days, happily, appear to be over. 

None of the articles I have read on this kerfuffle include the relevant historical context. We had full diplomatic relations with Taiwan from the late 1940's until 1979 when we recognized Red China as part of our Cold war strategy. The Cold War, at least that one, is long since over and there is no reason to indulge its artifacts other than political correctness.

Our friends should rejoice, our enemies and detractors take pause. It appears that political correctness at the level of international diplomacy, and hopefully elsewhere, is on the wane.

I have never liked DJT's slogan, "Make America Great Again". America has always been great, in my view. So great, in fact, that it managed to survive 8 years of relentless attack by its Chief Executive and his anti-American minions.

I would like to mention that the first enthusiastic Trump supporter I encountered, very early in the primary process, was my youngest son. He was onto something. The second was his younger sister. A couple of pretty smart kids, eh? Wonder where they came from!

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Email redux/Updated

On July 15, 2016 I published a post that I cannot link to directly, entitled

The Curious Case of James Comey and Donald Trump/Updated 

analyzing, to the extent I am able, Mr. Comey's "Emperor's New Clothes" justification of the FBI's failure to recommend that DOJ  prosecute HRC for her obvious criminal negligence with respect to the private server she used during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Today, according to the New York Times the investigation is being re-opened.

As one who had interpreted the FBI's decision as a catastrophe for the rule of law, I am very grateful. Hopefully the organization will redeem itself. On the other hand, perhaps I am just playing Charlie Brown to Comey's Lucy, again. We will see. UPDATE: I am Charlie Brown, again!

It is interesting to note that the impetus for the re-opening of the investigation appears to have come from emails discovered during the FBI investigation into Anthony Weiner's sexting a minor.

As an avid consumer of crime novels and movies it often appears that the criminal masterminds featured in these entertainments are brought down by seemingly irrelevant and or serendipitous events.

Here's hoping.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Clinton Method/Updated

The AP reported here on the number of meetings that HRC had with "...people outside of government". More than half of them were Clinton Foundation donors, according to the report.

The implications are clear that either:
a) If you want to meet with the Secretary of State to pitch your case you need to donate to the Clinton Foundation and/or,
b) If you are already a donor you can demand access in exchange for an undertaking to keep donating.

In either case, as is so often the case with the Clintons, the whole thing stinks.

Scott Johnson, one of the proprietors of the Powerline, blog writes today of a telephone interview HRC did with Jake Tapper of CNN last night. UPDATE: It appears that the interview was with Anderson Cooper, not Tapper

Mr. Johnson writes, correctly in my view, that HRC's attempt to explain all these meetings with donors away as innocuous is "pathetic". 

It is actually an excellent example of the Clinton method. Here is the gist of her explanation as reported by Mr. Johnson.

“I know there is a lot of smoke, and there is no fire. This AP report? Put it in context. This excludes nearly 2,000 meetings I had with world leaders, plus countless other meetings with U.S. government officials when I was secretary of state. It looked at a small portion of my time,”.

In time honored Clinton fashion she did not answer the obvious question of the appearance of impropriety. She answered a question that was never asked. I don't recall any commentators wondering why she was wasting her time with these meetings. They want to know why they happened at all.

The answer is unfortunately obvious to anyone with eyes and the willingness to see what is before them. The woman is hopelessly corrupt.

As Mr. Johnson says of her explanation, " One doesn’t need to be a genius to see through it." I guess I just proved his point!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Black Lives Matter, Again

I have written about the BLM movement before . I have also proposed a way to address the real problems that plague so many in the black community .

Today, through Instapundit.com, I came across this bit of nonsense. It includes this hilariously self-righteous self-parody:

"I think there are several police officers who are good people."

Several? Wow, how thoughtful of you. There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers in the USA. Nice to know that "several...are good people".

How does any publication allow such a spectacularly stupid sentence to appear in print?

I don't know.

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Socialism Again, Again

I have written before about socialism and its utter failure every time it is tried. I devoted a post to it on June 12, 2016 if you would like to have a look. I can't link directly to it.

This 2013 Salon article written by David Sirota was brought to my attention recently. I can't remember where it was linked and apologize for being unable to attribute it properly.

Mr. Sirota wrote,

"No, Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving."

Mr. Chavez's legacy doesn't look too good today. I can't find any recent articles by Mr. Sirota on the subject. Sean Penn  has been pretty quiet too.

Time, as they say, tells all. Mr. Chavez and his hand picked successor ran into Margaret Thatcher's Law:  "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."

From the Los Angeles Times (via Powerlineblog.com),

"But 2006 also was the year that President Hugo Chavez nationalized 10 of the 16 privately owned sugar refineries and turned them over to worker cooperatives, part of his “21st Century Socialism” agenda. After taking office in 1999 and until his death in 2013, Chavez also seized thousands of acres of sugar cane plantations and made them communal properties.

Comradely gestures to be sure, but sugar production has rapidly declined ever since the seizures. In May, scarcities got so bad that Coca-Cola temporarily suspended production of its popular line of soft drinks, saying it couldn’t buy enough supplies of the industrial sweetener."

The LAT article documents the complete wrecking of Venezuela's private economy through nationalization. For "nationalization", read, the taking "of other people's money".

The money runs out every single time and then you get the partially shared misery which is the real promise of socialism. The elites of socialist countries never participate in the misery. To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com, in free market systems the rich become powerful. In socialist systems the powerful become rich.

As I posted this past June:

"Take a close look at any socialist country and what you find, once the veneer has been removed, is a kleptocracy. The rich and connected become richer, the poor poorer and the middle class disappears.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3192933/Hugo-Chavez-s-ambassador-daughter-Venezuela-s-richest-woman-according-new-report.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/21/fidel-castro-lived-like-king-cuba

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/north-korea-luxury-goods_n_4808823.html"

I keep writing about the disaster that is socialism because I think it is important that it be described as what it is, not what Mr. Sirota and so many people on the left want it to be. It is a very seductive ideology. What decent person would not prefer that poverty cease to exist, that everyone has everything they need and a lot of what they want?

None. Trouble is, as I have explained before, socialism relies on the unicorn that is the expulsion of human nature from the economic equation. As Venezuela's unfortunate citizens have shown us again, human nature is immutable and cannot be ignored. Socialism cannot work. I wrote, in the June 12 post,

"  Why? Because socialism cannot co-exist with human nature. It is counter-intuitive to a human not to take advantage of every opportunity to improve the quality of his own life. Thus, every socialist regime becomes brutal when persuasion is insufficient to suppress human nature and people refuse to countenance the shared misery absent coercion." Forced labor is now on the agenda.

Even the fervent Socialist, Bernie Sanders is not immune to the demands of human nature.

 http://www.people.com/article/bernie-sanders-600k-summer-home-vermont

Socialism in action as opposed to in thought.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Human Nature, Again

I have long advised that policies and philosophies that ignore human nature are bound to fail. If your goal is to persuade those with a surfeit of the laziness component of human nature to become productive members of society, removing work requirements from welfare programs is not going to help you achieve your goal.

This fact, proven many times over, has been ignored by liberal policy makers many times over.

This article is just the latest in an endless supply of examples of the immutability of human nature. Add a work requirement to a welfare program and watch two things happen.

First, participation plummets.

"Maine, one of the most proactive states in reinstating work requirements for food stamps, saw its caseload of able-bodied adults without dependents decrease by 80 percent within just a few months after re-establishing the work requirement."

 Second, those forced to work or starve find work and end up much better off than they were while accepting the unrestricted handouts.

"The Foundation for Government Accountability identified that nearly 60 percent of Kansans who left the food stamp rolls following the establishment of food stamp work requirements found employment within 12 months and, “their incomes rose by an average of 127 percent per year.”"

Once more with feeling:

"One nice thing about being a liberal is, no one expects you to learn from experience."
 http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/06/what-happens-when-liberal-heroines-crumble.php

Labels: , ,

Peace Loving "Palestinians"

I am no fan of the New York Times. The ethics of the editors appear to be almost entirely situational, they change opinions without ever acknowledging the change, those of their "reporters" almost non-existent, they will "report" almost anything their liberal friends tell them.

Occasionally they surprise us. This is one of those times.

"In an effort to appeal to Palestinians ahead of hotly contested elections, the party of President Mahmoud Abbas listed one of its main achievements as having “killed 11,000 Israelis.”"

The NYT and every other main stream newspaper have been telling us for years how Abbas is a "moderate". I guess this is the proof. His opponents have probably killed more of us.

To any of you who believe that there is any current path to a two-state solution, please stop talking and try thinking until you have something to say that is worthy of discussion.

The leadership of the "Palestinians" is divided between awful (Fatah in the West Bank) and worse (Hamas in Gaza).

Then there is Israeli leadership. I am an acquaintance of one opinion shaper in Israel. Donniel Hartman is president of the Shalom Hartman Institute. I attended a private meeting with him in 2013 during which he lamented that we should be doing more for the "Palestinians" and our failure to do "more" is one reason for the continuing troubles. He failed to define "more".

I am reading his latest book, "Putting God Second, How To Save Religion From Itself". It contains at least one example of the moral relativism (I am only on page 43 of 170) that results in a belief that the reason the people who have sworn to kill you and all your brethren and brag of their buddies killing 11,000 of you, is that you didn't do enough for them.

"As more and more people are being killed daily in the name of one god or another, I often wonder about the religious sensibilities of these pious perpetrators of murder and pain." P.43

To my knowledge there is only one god in whose name "more and more people are being killed daily". His name is Allah, his prophet is Mohamed and if you publish a funny picture of Mohamed you will be threatened with death and, perhaps,  killed .

To borrow Rabbi Hartman's construction: I often wonder about the rationality of intellectuals who seem unable or unwilling to understand the obvious.



Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Islam, again

I have linked to Andrew McCarthy of NRO before. He  recently wrote about Islam and why our policies with respect to identifying the problems it has and dealing with them have been such a failure.

He has more than a passing familiarity with Islam and its practitioners having been the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York when the "Blind Sheik" tried to take down the World Trade Center in 1993 . The "Sheik" and his minions remain in jail.

In his recent article he makes a distinction that I think is very important and had not previously occurred to me.

"...it should by now be perfectly obvious that that there is no “Islam,” at least not if we are talking about a monolithic belief system. There are sects of Islam, all vying for supremacy in what is, in the main, a conquest ideology — with the various splinters having very different ideas about what conquest entails, and with no papal analogue to impose order by decreeing orthodoxy and condemning heterodoxy."

His context for this assertion is the vacuousness of our current administration and its unwillingness to identify the problem. Some major Islamic factions are our enemies and ought to be identified as such. Claiming, as Mrs. Clinton did in the immediate aftermath of the Nice massacre: "Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism." is just wrong.
 
Major factions of Islam are our adversary and we would do well to understand this as clearly as Mr. McCarthy does.



Labels: , ,