Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back from Progressive Land . . .

Made it back.

Avoided infection of the deadly brain-killing progressovirus. Had a few close encounters, but I think I am safe.

Will take up the keyboard shortly.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

On the Road . . .

Heading off on a road trip to the very heart of the liberal virus's "hot zone." Yes, we are heading for northern California. Visit some family.

I will wear my HAZMAT suit the entire trip, and shall avoid bodily fluids from progressives . . .

I am taking my creaky IPAD and might be able to offer a few thoughts in the new few days, but if not, I will be back online next week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Civil War in the Land of the Pajama Boys: Carter Calls Obama Weak

You know you're in trouble when Carter calls you a weak foreign policy president.

According to an interview given to the Star-Telegram, America's second worst President,
[S]aid it was hard to figure out exactly what President Obama’s policy is in the Middle East. 
“It changes from time to time,” Carter said. “I noticed that two of his secretaries of defense, after they got out of office, were very critical of the lack of positive action on the part of the president.” 
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was the most recent to criticize Obama, in remarks he made to USA Today while promoting his new book, Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace.
Carter acknowledged that the ISIS situation is complicated and he thinks the U.S. waited too long to respond. 
“First of all, we waited too long. We let the Islamic state build up its money, capability and strength and weapons while it was still in Syria,” he said. “Then when [ISIS] moved into Iraq, the Sunni Muslims didn’t object to their being there and about a third of the territory in Iraq was abandoned.” 
Let us remember that Carter convinced the Soviet Union that we were on the way out, allowed the Soviets and their Castroite stooges to establish themselves in Nicaragua, and helped produce the ongoing disaster in Iran. He lost his own presidency largely because of his foreign policy blunders. Up until now, he routinely has gotten labelled America's Worst President.

We have a new champion!

It is worth noting that Carter has a better grasp of the current situation in Syria and Iraq than does the man who took away his title of America's Worst President.
NRead more here:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Is Sharyl Attkisson the Only Real Journalist?

Every time I read a piece by Sharyl Attkisson or see her on some talk show or another, I keep wondering how different the world would be if we had another dozen or so like her. She seems to be just about the only journalist not interested in being part of the Obama spin machine, and in seeking the ever elusive Truth. She seems not to pull her punches or to favor one party or political flavor over another. Her pursuit of the truth on Benghazi and Fast and Furious, of course, cost Attkisson her job with CBS, the Clinton  Columbia Broadcasting Service. 

She has an eponymous and outstanding blog which everybody should read.

I mention this because I just read her piece on the enterovirus. She raises a point which I also raised in my much inferior piece of a couple of days ago on ebola. In my little posting, I noted that it is difficult to believe the healthocrats on ebola because of their ineptness in handling all the other "earth-ending" viruses of the past fifteen or so years. I noted, in addition, that political correctness prevents us from taking elementary steps to protect our nation if in fact the ebola virus outbreak is as serious as the healthocrats claim--that is, when they are not claiming that everything is under control. I wrote,
If this virus is, finally, the big one, the one we all have been expecting, then the government should do some simple things such as admit not knowing how it's transmitted, and shut down travel to and from the infected areas until it does. Enforce our immigration laws and put some security at the borders and other points of entry. These things, naturally, won't be done because they are not politically correct. The growing number of cases in the USA of TB and cysticercosis, for example, is just about entirely explained by massive illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America where these nasty diseases are rampant. Political correctness, of course, forbids us from mentioning that. (Emphasis added)

It seems the first casualty in these virus "outbreaks" is the truth. The truth is feared more than any virus and is allowed to die or at least go into remission.
When I wrote the bolded sentences I originally mentioned the enterovirus which is affecting hundreds of US-based children and noted that it is common in Central America. At the last minute, I pulled the reference, as I had no real evidence that there was a link between the enterovirus outbreak and the massive recent influx of Central American illegal children and their dispersal all over the United States by the Feds.

Well, Attkisson is less timorous and a better researcher than I, and stated the following re the enterovirus outbreak,
The CDC hasn’t suggested reasons for the current uptick or its origin. Without that answer, some question whether the disease is being spread by the presence of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children from Central America admitted to the U.S. in the past year. 
The origin could be entirely unrelated. 
However, a study published in Virology Journal, found EV-D68 among some of the 3, 375 young, ill people tested in eight Latin American countries, including the Central American nations of El Salvador and Nicaragua, in 2013. (See Fig. 3) 
Though the U.S. government is keeping secret the locations of the illegal immigrant children, there are significant numbers of them in both cities in which the current outbreak was first identified, Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois, according to local advocates and press reports.
I think she has hit on a big iceberg: Yet another potential and major Obama cover-up of a criminal disregard for the health and safety of the American people. I hope Congress and others begin to question whether there is a link between the massive influx of Central Americans and the sudden outbreak of hundreds of cases of enterovirus infection.

The fact that the Feds are keeping secret the locations of where they dumped these people speaks volumes. I hope Attkisson and others follow up, and remember the CDC is about as politically correct as you can get.

On China: A Re-Run

I wrote the following piece over two years ago. Given what we now see happening in Hong Kong, I think it remains a valid assessment of China's "century."

April 2, 2012

China's Century? Not if We Don't Give It Away

Years ago in Jakarta, I occasionally would meet, lunch, or dine with a husband-wife team of correspondents for two prominent American newspapers. They were very pleasant, had a sense of humor, and a great deal of experience overseas, mostly in Asia. They were well-educated, wrote well, and had the standard liberal biases of their class--e.g., they hated President Bush, hoped John Kerry would win the 2004 election, and viewed the United States as a seriously flawed country on the way to the dust-bin of history. They saw the 21st century "belonging" to China in the same way that the 20th "belonged" to us. They made the usual arguments about China's manufacturing prowess, well-coordinated and determined political class, social discipline, and education--which is the real kind, not the "women's studies" kind. Their writing reflected these views. This narrative continues today from other purveyors of conventional faux wisdom such as the annoying and boring Thomas Friedman, and the condescending and insufferable Fareed Zakaria.

Don't buy it. The 21st will prove "China's century" only if we destroy ourselves; but, if we do, odds are we're taking China with us--and the Chinese rulers know it (more to follow).

I love Chinese history; been to China several times; and like and respect the Chinese people--they work hard, they like Americans, and want to study and live in America. I have dealt with China's very slick, tough, and well-trained diplomats. That said, I have found it impressive over the years to see how China has transformed itself from a poor, brutal authoritarian police state into a poor, brutal, authoritarian police state with large foreign currency reserves. Sorry, but shoddily-built skyscrapers, and streets clogged with Fords, BMWs, Lexus, and Buicks, and lined with luxury stores and restaurants cannot hide the hard facts.

Confucius's 2500-year old Analects still provides an accurate account of China's philosophy of governance in which every person has an assigned role; failure to keep to it has dire consequences. I saw the repression at work in a visit to Tibet which escaped the control of our handlers. Even outside Tibet the legal system, to put it mildly, remains opaque, capricious, subject to political manipulation, and harsh. Avoid Chinese cops--who seem to be everywhere--and courts. For all the vaunted economic progress, control of the legal-political system remains with an unelected and corrupt Communist Party cadre. These rulers have agreed among themselves that not one will have the total power once wielded so disastrously by Mao. The top jobs rotate; major decisions are not made solo. Progress? I don't know. We saw a similar development in the USSR after Stalin: how is the USSR doing these days? The people remain cut out. The elite decide what's best, the people must comply--see Confucius. This secretive, stale, corrupt, aloof, and repressive system remains a major hindrance for China's development as a true power. Despite ham-handed attempts to block outside influence, word spreads of ways to live which do not involve fear and blind loyalty. We probably will not see a Chinese 21st century, but we will see a "Chinese Spring," and it could get nasty.

We hear a lot of heated nonsense about a GOP "war on women." To see a real war on women, go to China. Thanks to Chinese preference for sons, the one-child dictate means females in China are disappearing: they are being aborted, killed, and given for adoption overseas. This is gendercide, a human rights disaster of major proportions and one almost ignored. Moral issues aside, China is heading for demographic disaster. Marrying age men vastly outnumber women. Among those who can afford it, there is a hunt on for foreign brides. Large groups of young Chinese men charter planes to Indonesia, Malaysia, and elsewhere, and hold "speed dating" sessions at local hotels in the hunt for brides, stoking the anti-Chinese hatred which lies just beneath the surface of many Asian societies.

In East Asia, China is deeply feared and resented. East Asian leaders would much rather deal with the United States, and are big proponents of an active US military and economic presence in the area. They do not want China (and previously Japan) as the undisputed big gorilla in the region. As a senior Vietnamese diplomat once told me, "Everybody wants to be American. Nobody wants to be Chinese. Even the Chinese want to be American." This from a man whose father, he said, died fighting the US Marines in Hue, and whose own son was studying in California. Unless you're wealthy and can isolate yourself from Chinese reality, China is an unpleasant place to live for a foreigner, especially one from another Asian country. It has little in the way of "soft power" or uplifting universal values; it does not welcome immigrants, and views foreigners with the same sort of suspicion and disdain that Chinese citizens themselves find in much of East Asia.

Even in the economic sphere there is less than meets the eye. Most Chinese, the overwhelming number of them, live in crushing rural and urban poverty, work under appalling conditions, and suffer levels of environmental pollution and food contamination that no Western society would tolerate. The mass education system is a disaster. Increasingly foreign firms, which, after all, have fueled China's economic growth, are encountering shortages of skilled and semi-skilled workers, and are no longer quite so eager to set up shop in China.

China's banks are a mystery. They are secretive, corrupt, and work closely with the Party and the government. China pursues a policy which will be coming to the end of its rope soon, that of keeping its currency artificially low to keep exports cheap, and try to keep the job creation machine churning. The central bank, which holds the largest foreign currency reserves in the world, must come up with ways ("sterilization") to sop up the currency generated in China by the influx of foreign currency to prevent inflation and prevent the Chinese currency from appreciating against other major currencies. This involves forcing the banks to keep an ever increasing reserve, and forcing them to buy low or no yield government bonds. I am no expert, but the ones whom I know wonder how long that can continue. The experts ignore another aspect to this: the overseas political side of it. China's trading partners, the US and Europe most notably, are reaching the end of their patience with China's currency manipulations. A trade war is not inconceivable; China would have the most to lose.

One of the greatest threats to China's future is President Obama. His administration's reckless spending and conjuring of dollars out of thin air, is ruining us and stretching the Chinese ability to "sterilize" the effects of all these cheap dollars pouring in. It is no wonder that Chinese authorities have been lecturing Obama on the need for fiscal restraint and budgetary responsibility. China is tied to our mast. If we sink, they go with us--their billions and billions of dollars in US bonds, worthless. Let's view it as a backhanded compliment to our silly President.

As stated at the outset, China will have as much power and influence as we let them have. China's future as a superpower will be decided in Washington, not in Beijing. Under the Communists, China has not proven an inventive or innovative society; their technological progress is bought, borrowed, copied, or stolen. The USSR tried that, too. They offer no compelling alternative vision to the West's prosperity and freedom. They can try to become a military bully, but that will go only so far in their very complicated neighborhood and with the serious structural and resource weaknesses they suffer.

China should copy and try one thing from the West it has not so far: it works in Japan, in the Republic of Korea, and, ironically, in the "breakaway" Chinese province of Taiwan. I am talking about freedom, the real kind, not the Communist Party kind.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The World is Coming to an End, Again

Almost a year and half ago I wrote,
In the course of my long career with the State Department, I don't know how many times I had to deal with the impending end of the world as declared by the WHO, the CDC, the media, and a host of "experts" who inevitably demanded (and got) more money for their organizations. By now, of course, we all should be dead from AIDS, SARS, swine flu, global warming, depleted ozone layer, mercury in our fish, etc. It, however, would appear from anecdotal evidence that we're not. 
I guess one of these days we might have the real deal. Even the boy who cried wolf eventually got it right, but who (no pun intended) will believe the warnings?
Well, the healthocrats of the world are at it, again.

This time the world will end because of the Ebola virus. The only way to save us, apparently, is to give the healthocrats huge amounts of our money.

Look, I don't know anything about the Ebola virus, but the healthocrats at the WHO, the CDC and the myriad other alphabet health organizations around the world don't either. The virus is not airborne, the virus is airborne; the virus cannot live outside its host, the virus can live for several days outside its host; you can only get Ebola from contact with an infected person's bodily fluids, you might get it other ways, as well; it is not coming to America, it is here and poses a great threat to America, etc.

The healthocrats are talking until they think of something to say. They should do us all a simple favor: Shut up until they know that what they say is true.

If this virus is, finally, the big one, the one we all have been expecting, then the government should do some simple things such as admit not knowing how it's transmitted, and shut down travel to and from the infected areas until it does. Enforce our immigration laws and put some security at the borders and other points of entry. These things, naturally, won't be done because they are not politically correct. The growing number of cases in the USA of TB and cysticercosis, for example, is just about entirely explained by massive illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America where these nasty diseases are rampant. Political correctness, of course, forbids us from mentioning that.

It seems the first casualty in these virus "outbreaks" is the truth. The truth is feared more than any virus and is allowed to die or at least go into remission. The WHO, the CDC, and the other healthocrats have proven so inept and so wrong in the past that they have little to no credibility on Ebola.

What and whom to believe?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Obama Gets His Progressive "War"

So Obama finally got himself a war, er, uh, a Prolonged Counter-Hatred Operation (PCHO), just in time for the mid-term elections.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the man who vowed to end "Bush's endless war"; who would heal the planet; who apologized to the Muslim world for the United States being the United States; who has tried to gut our military and destroy our network of global alliances, yes, that very man, now has the USAF and the USN turning small groups of Muslims people who claim to be Muslim but aren't really because "Islam is a religion of peace" into desert stew.

Taking a page from several past progressive war leaders such as Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ and Bill Clinton, he has launched into a sort of war with no clear exit strategy, no plan to win, no definition of "win," and no intention of trying to "win." He just needs to get through the mid-term elections without a major disaster while looking "Presidential."

The whole thing is repulsive beyond words.

In principle, I have no problem with spending our tax money to kill jihadis. The questions, however, immediately arise: Which jihadis? How many? When will we know that the last jihadi who needs killing has been killed? Well, the last question is probably answerable: the day after the mid-terms.

This whole mess is Obama's doing. He built it. He made clear that we will not stand in the way of Iran's adquiring a nuke capability. He threw out the victory in Iraq; made a hash of Libya, Yemen, and Egypt; drew erasable "red lines" in Syria; and ensured we would not even defend our own borders.  He can try to blame the intel community and his advisers, but we all know the truth. He has no stomach for confronting the enemies of the United States, because he, himself, is an enemy of the United States. He will "act" only when it becomes politically impossible not to do "something."

So, now, he does "something."

That "something" consists of conducting a very limited bombing campaign that will do little to nothing to dismantle ISIS. He, in other words, is doing the wrong thing. If you're going to bomb, then bomb; annihilate the jihadis. Blowing up a HUMVEE here, or an old dilapidated building there, does nothing except set the stage for the jihadis claiming victory over the West. We will eventually tire of the campaign, even without the mid-terms. The jihadis will still be there; we won't.

At this point in time, when we have thrown away what we won in Iraq, and are doing the same in Afghanistan, I can't help but wonder if the better course would be to do nothing. Well, that is, nothing except support the Israelis and the Kurds, and tell the rulers of Iran and Syria that they now have a serious problem bearing down on their turf: crazed Sunni jihadis! Let the Shias and the Sunnis kill each other by the thousands. Meanwhile, as I said, we support the Israelis and the Kurds, and frack, frack, frack.