Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nope, Not One Single Minute of It

I joined legions of fellow Americans and refused to watch Obama's "State of the Union" performance last night. I have had enough of the nose turned up to the sky, the wagging finger, the tiresome cadence, the empty rhetoric--"We are the change we are waiting for!"--and the refusal to deal with reality and not the bowdlerized Obamabotic Hollywood progressive version of it.

I just didn't want to hear how our Dear Leader will rule without need of the Reichstag, er, uh, Congress. Do I smell smoke?

Fired up my ROKU, and spent a wonderful evening watching the magnificent David Suchet as Hercule Poirot--the world's most famous Belgian since Peter Paul Rubens, or, maybe, Jacques Brel--solve one absurdly complicated crime after another.

If I have to put up with a couple of hours of unreality, I rather spend them in a world where the good guys win over the criminal and the stupid.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Making Citizenship Meaningless: Thoughts on the Coming Great Electoral Fraud

Our progressive friends make many predictions and promises. Most, of course, fall flat. Look, for example, at Obamacare. Where are those millions of deprived uninsured Americans yearning to have health insurance so they can get that desperately needed medical care now denied them? Where are those healthy youngsters desperate to get off their parents' insurance dime and to fork out their own cash for the high premium and high deductible plans offered by Obamacare? Wherever they are, they are not overwhelming the Obamacare exchanges with their plaintive petitions. We have a mystery worthy of Hercule Poirot.

The multi-decade, trillion-plus-dollar war on poverty was another great promise. According to the progressives' own numbers, however, more Americans are now poor or near-poor than ever with more than ever dependent on taxpayer largesse. This is the result of fifty years of war on poverty. The progressive solution? More of the same policies that have produced the current disaster, with the added twist of addressing a "new evil," i.e., unequal income distribution. It seems that more progressivism means more poverty--except for the bureaucrats and academics plugged into the programs.

There exists, however, one promise on which the current gang of progressives running and ruining our nation will deliver. We will see a massive electoral fraud in the 2016 elections, at the latest. The signs are there. This will be much beyond past ACORN phony voter registration, "vote early and often" schemes, and having the deceased cast ballots. It will be on a scale never seen in the US.

The plot underway is nothing less than to make US citizenship meaningless.

Let's recognize that a hallmark of progressivism is to degrade any institution over which it obtains power. Be it in the name of fairness, equality, or the all purpose "righting of old wrongs," once progressive ideology and ideologues grab an institution, that institution becomes transformed and degraded as to make it almost unrecognizable. We have many examples of this, but perhaps none illustrates the process better than what has happened to higher education in the US and the West. A university degree has become as worthless as the education it certifies. Throughout the Western world we have legions of university graduates unqualified for anything gainful. They, however, are full of self-righteousness, arrogance, and a sense of entitlement. I doubt that today's average university graduate has the level of basic knowledge of the average high school graduate of 60-70 years ago.

Most universities have fallen under the rule of progressives, who reject the traditional canon of higher education, and replace it with a mishmash of politicized courses on feminism, sexism, racism, whacky environmentalism, and so on. A good example is my old school, UCLA, the University of California, Los Angeles. This once noble institution has eliminated the requirement for its English department grads to read Shakespeare for which they may substitute gender/race classes. In fact, they can graduate as UCLA English majors without reading Shakespeare, Chaucer, or Milton. You can see here the snarky defense of this change by a progressive "education expert," who notes helpfully, that "single-author courses are tough to teach, and can be murder to take (guess what? Not everybody likes Chaucer enough to spend 15 weeks on him, and that’s OK.)" In other words, Chaucer is hard. Now, therefore, when ordering coffee at Starbucks, you will find that the "highly educated" barista operating the espresso machine cannot quote from "The Pardoner's Tale."

The universities underwent the classic progressive two-pronged attack now used on other institutions.  The progs bemoan the elitism and the bias against certain "victims" by the institution. The progs try with legislation, court rulings, street agitation, any means really, to modify admittance practices, and then once that is achieved to transform the institution into something else. Remember, for example, the debate over the voting age? "If you're old enough to get drafted, you're old enough to vote!" I always noted, of course, that women did not get drafted so that meant they either should, or they should not get the vote at eighteen. What if you didn't get drafted? Do you still get the vote? Anyhow, eighteen-year-olds got the vote; the draft got eliminated--eighteen-year-olds, however, still have the vote, as do women and draft-dodgers, one of whom even became President. The same process is underway with other traditional institutions such as marriage, the Boy Scouts and, of course, the military which is being subjected to social experimentation that has nothing to do with its core mission of defending the nation.

Now we see US citizenship under the same assault.

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security tells us that the eleven million or so illegal aliens in the US have earned the right to be citizens. Secretary Johnson states,
“An earned path to citizenship for those currently present in this country is a matter of, in my view, homeland security to encourage people to come out from the shadows, to be accountable, to participate in the American experience, the American society."
The good Secretary cannot tell us what exactly these people who have broken our laws have done to earn citizenship except to demonstrate an ability to defeat the half-baked efforts of our Keystone Kop immigration services to apprehend and deport them. It seems that being a successful outlaw did not form part of the citizenship test when my parents and my wife took it.  We see calls for amnesty and "pathways" to citizenship coming not only from the usual Democrats and their crony capitalist allies and lobbyists, but from the RINOs who populate the ranks of the GOP. We hear lachrymose speeches about how an illegal alien who fought for our country in the military should have the right to become a citizen--these speakers "forget," of course, that, for now, it is illegal for an undocumented or a nonresident alien to enlist in the US military. We do not have Gurkhas. This is a variation on "if they're old enough to fight, they're old enough to vote," and is equally as bogus.

It gets worse. If it were "just" an effort to get citizenship and the benefits and obligations that go with it, it might earn a little more respect from me. It is nothing of the sort. It is a smokescreen for electoral fraud. Citizenship is under assault from another direction, as well. Voting I.D. Yes, that is the main weapon being used and the one which reveals what is really going on. Our Attorney General Eric "Fast and Furious" Holder tells us that his agency will be very vigilant re attempts by states to use voter identification requirements to "suppress" turn-out. The DOJ has been filing lawsuits against states with voter I.D. requirements (here and here, for example.) The justification? The progs conjure up an imaginary poor rural black too stupid, too poor, and living in such a remote place that he or she just cannot afford or otherwise get valid state identification. Nonsense. Many states offer free identification cards, and, more important, poor, middle class, and rich black people have valid identification documents for driving, buying property, getting bank loans, voting, etc., just like everybody else. Progs have a Hollywood version of race in America which they sell to the willing media, and seek to turn into public policy.

I have served as an observer in several elections overseas: Guyana, Guatemala, Bolivia, Panama, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. In addition, I have seen elections in other countries where I lived or temporarily worked, e.g., Spain, France, Switzerland, Mexico, India. In all of them, voters had to prove their identity and citizenship. Only in the USA is this a controversy. The progs, as noted, use a two pronged attack: one seeks citizenship for illegal aliens, and the other seeks ways for them, and resident aliens, to vote even without citizenship. The already lax regulations on official identification are being furthered loosened. In California, for example, the state now issues I.D. cards and driver's licenses to illegal aliens; in California, of course, as in many other states, one can register to vote when applying for a license or I.D. card. In addition, in California the state now licenses illegal aliens as lawyers and allows them to serve on juries. In virtually every state I can think of, illegal aliens already receive public benefits, including food stamps via programs which the USDA advertises in Mexico. When I lived in northern Virginia during the 2008 elections, I can tell you from personal observation that clearly ineligible people voted without challenge. As a former election observer, I would have a hard time certifying US elections in much of the country as free and fair. Basically, almost anybody can vote, and do so more than once, and it is getting easier and easier to do so.

We will see massive electoral fraud by 2016, at the latest. The manufactured "controversy" over voter I.D. and "pathways" to citizenship is really about getting millions of new Democratic voters casting ballots. It has nothing to do with black Americans, who demographically are in decline vis-a-vis other minority groups. To get this result, the progressives are more than willing to degrade the concept of citizen by making it available to just about anybody, while at the same time giving people without it the same rights and benefits.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Australia Day

I loved Australia Day when I was overseas. The Aussies had the best gatherings.

I hoist one to you, Australia. You have a great country. Keep it that way!

A Little Benghazi

I am working on something else but ran across this little gem over at The Gateway Pundit .

Citing a report in The Blaze, The Gateway Pundit tells us that,
Charlene Lamb, cited for failures in leadership from the Department of State’s own Accountability Review Board report, has been promoted to Regional Security Officer. We’ve heard rumor that she’s slated for international duty in Canada. She started the security officer training last week, much to the dismay of many within the State Department. 
For those not keeping track, Charlene Lamb was in charge of the office that denied extra security personnel to the U.S. Ambassador in Libya before the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks.
To the seven or eight readers of this blog, this should come as no surprise.

On December 27, 2012, I predicted this would happen; that only would nobody be fired, but that promotions would come,
Once even the little dust created by the scandal has dissipated, the four bureaucrats asked to take the mini-spear for Chicago will--mark my words--get monetary awards. They will be written up for showing courage and fortitude under difficult circumstances. The senior people will evade all responsibility; ol' whats-her-name will slip out of the building and leave her desk to John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry, the dead will be forgotten, the Islamist Morlocks will lick their fingers and get ready for another helping of Eloi.

All unfolds as foretold by Diplodamus . . .

Soon, Soon

Working on a piece but it is being delayed by my drug-induced haze. Ravages of old age. Hope to have something up in the next day or so.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the US; the TV and other media were full of stories about King and his times, and what it all means today. He has been compared to Gandhi and Mandela, become an icon for American "progressives," and, of course, a historical symbol of the nonviolent civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. He won the Nobel Peace Prize, almost every major American city has a thoroughfare named for him, and, as noted, we have a national holiday in his honor--making him and Columbus the only ones to have such holidays. Gunned down in 1968, at the age of thirty-nine, he left the civil rights movement to less capable and less visionary successors who undermined his legacy and his goal of a color-blind nation.

Was he a great man? He showed great courage, commitment to his cause, insistence on nonviolence, strong political and leadership skills, patriotism, and became a highly eloquent spokesman for civil rights. "I Have a Dream" is one of the great speeches in the English language. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" more than equals any Thoreau or Gandhi writings, and is not something that today's civil rights leaders, such as they are, could match, nor could the typical graduate of almost any university in the world today. (The letter's pacing, erudition, and, above all, the surgical preciseness with which it takes down opposing arguments bring to mind General Sherman's letter to the Mayor of Atlanta.) King's life made a difference to millions of people. The answer, therefore, to this paragraph's question is yes, he was a great man.

That said, serious problems exist with some of the narrative spun about King, in particular, and the civil rights struggle, in general. Part of the problem, of course, is that King died young, enabling others, as with the two Kennedy brothers, to fill in the rest of the story and use it to further certain political agendas. King died short of his fortieth birthday; had he lived longer, presumably he would have evolved and, possibly, become a very different man than he was when he died--we will never know. What we do know is that the Democratic Party and their "progressive" media and education machines have rewritten the history of the civil rights struggle. This was driven home to me some years ago while visiting a college campus. The students assumed King was a Democrat, and the segregationists confronting the peaceful marchers, and using fire hoses, snarling police dogs, and truncheons, and wearing white hoods were Republicans. They assume a Republican killed King--today's college kids probably believe the Tea Party had him killed. That the exact opposite is true, shocks many. King came from a staunchly Republican family--his father, a prominent leader in his own right--openly endorsed Richard Nixon against JFK in the 1960 presidential election. The Democrats had a one-party lock on the South. The party of slave owners and secessionists, had become the party of Jim Crow, school segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, poll taxes, and on and on.

Many Americans, not to mention foreigners, do not realize not only that the Republican party was formed in opposition to slavery and that Lincoln was a Republican, but that the famous Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, whose rulings dismantled the legal basis for segregation and put serious limitations on the power of police, was a former Republican Governor of California. It was, furthermore, war hero and Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who sent troops to Arkansas to enforce court-ordered desegregation at Little Rock Central High School. Congressional Republicans were the main supporters of civil rights legislation; their votes ensured passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, over the opposition of a significant bloc of Democrats--let us also not forget that Congressional Democrats for years blocked Republican efforts to pass federal anti-lynching legislation. All this, of course, is history, but an important chunk of American history that is being lost, distorted, or otherwise flushed down the memory sewer--along with the fact that anti-leftist J. Edgar Hoover proved the most formidable foe of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), an organization founded and staffed by Democrats, such as long-time Democratic Senator Robert Byrd.

Before I get back to King, let me address another issue that has been badly distorted and become something of a meme among the quasi-literate left. I refer to the idea that the parties have "switched places." This is something I have heard from some lefties who, knowing the true history of the Democratic and Republican Parties when it comes to race and civil rights, try to argue that that was then, and this is now. Since FDR or so, they argue the Democratic and the Republican Parties "switched" places on the race issue, with Republicans taking the role of protecting white privilege and keeping minorities, especially blacks, down. The truth is quite different. What happened was that the old party of slavers, segregationists, lynch mobs, and secessionists figured out that government programs and intervention were the means to deprive Republicans of a significant voter bloc. The aim was to keep black Americans dependent on the largesse of government and Democrat-run urban political machines. Anyone who doubts that should read the crude comment in which President Johnson revealed the real purpose underlying his massive social program expansion, i.e., to keep black Americans voting Democratic. The Democrats have succeeded admirably at this objective.

Back to King and the civil rights movement. By the time of his death, King was losing control over the movement. It was fragmenting. King's vision of a nonviolent effort was under assault by increasingly violent and radical elements. The message of non-violence and concentration on individual liberty was losing attraction. The thirty-nine-year-old King seemed old, thundering out a message from another time. A new generation of black activists, inspired by the increasingly confrontational and violent atmosphere in the country were challenging King for the spotlight. They found allies in violence in the largely white anti-Vietnam War movement. The civil rights struggle was becoming increasingly part of the noise of the very bad closing years of the 1960s, which saw violent race riots shake nearly every American city, and numerous incidents of domestic terrorism. In addition, what had been a largely grass-roots, private sector movement was being sabotaged by growing government involvement. Many black leaders were being syphoned off by government programs to "fight poverty." Black activists increasingly focused on getting handouts to their followers rather than, as noted above, on King's more lofty, ancient-sounding focus on liberty, and the goal of having people judged not by their color but by the "content of their character." This new generation of government-oriented and dependent leaders did not fit in with King's conservative Southern and church-based movement. They needed racial turmoil, not racial harmony. We need also remember that Attorney General Robert Kennedy had put King under FBI surveillance, including the making of compromising tapes of King having liaisons with women not his wife, providing the government excellent blackmail material against him.

All these factors, in my view, had begun to take a toll on King; he aged dramatically in appearance, and had begun talking about issues not directly related to the civil rights struggle, e.g., the Middle East, Vietnam. Had he lived longer, I suspect we would have seen King becoming increasingly radicalized, pushed leftward as he sought to retain control of his movement--but, as noted before, we will never know.

In sum, he was a great man with a great vision. His successors, many of them frauds of the first rank, largely have not been faithful to that vision of liberty and color-blindness, and we all have suffered for it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Yearning for the Bush League

Sorry for the lag in posting. I have had a health issue to deal with, nothing serious, but it has consumed a lot of Ibuprofen and time, and has led me to reflect, again, on "Saber-tooth Tigers and the Design Specifications of Life." It also serves as a reminder that when young, you know why something hurts; when old, it hurts, and you have no idea why.

On to matters more glum than getting old. Yes, yes, I did make a quasi resolution to fight pessimistic tendencies for the new year, but I give up. Going around with a moronic smile on my face makes me look like I am going around with a moronic smile on  my face: I am not convincing anybody, least of all, me. Just about seventeen days into this new year of 2014, and things are bad, real bad, and not getting better. Can't pretend otherwise, or wish it away into the cornfield.

Before I get to the gist of today's message, let me reflect on the past. Back when I was a useful citizen and had a job, I got a good close up look into how foreign governments actually view the USA and its President. My best time in the foreign service was under Reagan and the Bush father and son presidencies. The worst time was under Obama, followed by Carter, and further back, Clinton. I particularly liked George W. Bush. I had a lot of respect for him as a leader, and as somebody who actually cared about his country, and the people in the field. Some foreign leaders liked Bush, some did not. Some agreed with his policies, some did not. None, however, dismissed him, laughed at him, or failed to take seriously any request or comment coming from him. This was a man not afraid to pull the trigger. That quality, unfortunately or not, is critical in foreign affairs. Working overseas, when I would go see a foreign official and say, "President Bush wants this," those were powerful words, backed up by the demonstrated power of the United States and the willingness of President Bush to use it. As I said, some people did not like Bush, did not like what he tried to do, but he was a serious president who needed to be taken into account.

Those were the Good Old Days. Who takes anything President Obama says seriously? The United States is increasingly irrelevant to major developments in the world. We fritter away our power and influence on nonsense, and on endless lecturing of others on residual issues such as global warming and gay rights. We undermine our network of alliances and disregard our friends' core interests: be it Israel's right to security; the abandonment of of our hard-fought victories in Iraq and Afghanistan; the sell-out of allies such as Mubarak; promoting the Muslim Brotherhood; sabotaging the UK on the Falklands; pushing for mindless regime change in Libya; the Benghazi fiasco; conducting a bizarre zig-zag policy towards Syria; helping make Russia a prominent player in the Middle East; paving the way for Cuba's return to the OAS; acquiescing to Iran's nuclear ambitions; ceding ground to China; and selling guns to Mexican drug cartels. Those are a few examples; I am sure you can come up with more.

We see members of allied governments openly expressing dismay with Obama. Prominent military historian, and senior advisor to the British Ministry of Defense, Sir Hew Strachan, tells the press that Obama is "incompetent." As reported in The Daily Beast,
President Obama is “chronically incapable” of military strategy and falls far short of his predecessor George W. Bush, according to one of Britain’s most senior military advisors.  Sir Hew Strachan, an advisor to the Chief of the Defense Staff, told The Daily Beast that the United States and Britain were guilty of total strategic failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Obama’s attempts to intervene on behalf of the Syrian rebels “has left them in a far worse position than they were before.” 
The extraordinary critique by a leading advisor to the United States’ closest military ally comes days after Obama was undermined by the former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who questioned the President’s foreign policy decisions and claimed he was deeply suspicious of the military. 
Strachan, a current member of the Chief of the Defense Staff’s Strategic Advisory Panel, cited the “crazy” handling of the Syrian crisis as the most egregious example of a fundamental collapse in military planning that began in the aftermath of 9/11. “If anything it’s gone backwards instead of forwards, Obama seems to be almost chronically incapable of doing this. Bush may have had totally fanciful political objectives in terms of trying to fight a global War on Terror, which was inherently astrategic, but at least he had a clear sense of what he wanted to do in the world. Obama has no sense of what he wants to do in the world,” he said.
We have Israeli Defense Minister Yaalon saying about John Kerry's obsession with the Palestinians,
"Secretary of State John Kerry – who has come to us determined and is acting out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling – cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians," Mr. Yaalon was quoted as saying in the country's largest daily, Yedioth Ahronoth. The paper said theLikud member's comments were made in private. He was also reported to have said that "the only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone."
That is stunning language for a senior Israeli official to use about the American Secretary of State. It shows you how relations between the two countries have suffered during the Obama misadministration. North Africa is imploding; the Saudis are furious over the sell-out to Iran; the Iranians are gloating about their victory over the USA and the West; nobody knows what is happening in Syria; Al Qaeda has taken Falluja; Iraq is slipping into sectarian war; and the Taliban feels confident of victory. And our ahistorical Secretary of State? Well, he's obsessed with the phony Palestinian issue. As I wrote before,
The whole Palestinian homeland bit is a massive scam. Palestinians are Arabs just like the folks in Jordan and Egypt--Arafat was born in Cairo. When the Arab states invaded the nascent state of Israel in 1948, they did not do so for a Palestinian homeland. They just wanted to kill Jews, drive them into the ocean, and eliminate Western influence from the region. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria intended to take the tiny parcel of land allocated to the Jews by the UN and keep it. No Palestinian homeland, no "two state solution," just another "final solution" which would have seen tens-of-thousands of Jews killed, including those born in "Palestine," yes, Jews were also "Palestinians." That's all. Period. 
After the Arab states got their clocks cleaned, we began to hear the baying about a Palestine homeland which just so happened to coincide exactly with the boundaries of Israel. Amazing how that happens! Wherever Jews lived, THAT formed part of the Palestinian homeland. Jordan, of course, had the West Bank from 1948 to 1967; at no time was that then considered part of this definition of the "Palestinian" homeland. It was part of Jordan. There were no international cries to free that portion of Palestine from Jordanian occupation. The West Bank became part of the "homeland" only when Israel took it from Jordan in the Six Day War. 
We also saw the amazing phenomenon of Palestinian refugees. Arabs displaced by fighting started by Arabs were dumped by Arabs on the tender mercies of the UN. The Arab countries wanted nothing to do with them. The UN being all about programs, of course, created the monstrosities known as Palestinian refugee camps, and established a massive money-sucking bureaucracy to administer them and beg for ever greater amounts of money--most of it from Western countries, including the USA. 
 And it goes on. I have just ordered the Gates book, so I won't comment on it until I have read it except to say that from excerpts in the press, our former Secretary of Defense does not apparently hold the Obama misadministration in high regard when it comes to foreign policy and national security issues.

As I write this, President Obama is on TV (when is he not?) trying to put out the NSA fire. Much of what he says is blame shifting nonsense but even what he says that is true comes across as nonsense because of the messenger.  When Obama tells us we need an intel apparatus to defend our country from real enemies, we can probably all agree with the President. The problem is that we know the President does not really believe it and with his deliberate gutting of our military and economic strength, there is increasingly less we can do about those enemies, anyhow.  It's the difference between a threat by Clint Eastwood and one by Don Knotts. The words might be the same, but the message is quite different.

Enough said for now. Off to take my Ibuprofen and rage against old age.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cry 'Barak,' and Let Slip the Chihuahuas of War: Killing the RINO Dead, Chicago Style

Any doubts about this as fact? The capital of the USA has moved about 600 miles WNW. Chicago is the governing city and ethos in our increasingly bedraggled Republic.

I return to the sad story of Governor Christie of New Jersey. When last seen, he was being roasted for his staff's involvement in some petty, nasty, and stupid little politics. The staff thought it would be so very clever to have the bridge authority close down some traffic lanes in the midst of rush hour and blame the ensuing snarl on the Democrat Mayor of Ft. Lee. Well, the same DOJ that has done nothing about Holder's undeclared war on Mexico, or Obama's misuse of the IRS, EPA, and Park Service, is all in a lather to launch a federal investigation of the lane closings. The DOJ is ALSO opening an investigation into Christie's use of certain Superstorm Sandy monies, including some allegedly used to make videos promoting New Jersey and, of course, the Gov.

If this doesn't confirm my theory that Christie has been targeted because his poll numbers were too good, nothing does. This is the Chicago way. This is a perfect example of how you use public power to pursue personal vendettas. Christie, alas, asked for it. As have done McCain, Graham, and a host of other GOPers, he got in bed with the Democrats and their media machine and thought the Dems acceptance meant love. No, it just means the naive GOPers got used and then dumped. The Obama machine found Christie useful in the closing days of the presidential campaign, but now finds him a bother. Time to unleash the ankle-bitting Chihuahuas of war, to wit, the prosecutors, the pundits, the "investigative journalists."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ariel Sharon, RIP

Ariel Sharon.

He seemed something from another age. Farmer, scholar, warrior, democrat, politician, diplomat--and fervent admirer and friend of the United States. He showed himself a brilliant military officer who hated war and the military bureaucracy; instead of just chaffing under and grumbling about orders he considered not reflecting the reality of the situation on the ground, he acted in what he saw as the best interests of his mission and his men. The buck stopped with him, and he never tried to dodge or pass that buck.

His crossing of the Suez in the grim days of the 1973 war was a masterpiece of maneuver and envelopment. He neutralized Egypt's Third Army and was on his way to Cairo before the Egyptians, his own bureaucracy, or the USA could react. Kissinger eventually prevailed on the Israelis to stop him. His defeat of the Egyptians convinced Sadat to make peace with Israel in an arrangement that survived until the advent of the Obama misadministration.

He was born, lived and died in Palestine/Israel--more, I note, than Cairo-born Yasser Arafat, who died in France, could claim. He was a fighter who died as he probably never thought he would, in a hospital bed, felled by a stroke.

Shalom, Ariel Sharon, RIP, you've earned it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

RINO Hunting on the Meadowlands

Well, it has happened.

It's all over.

Yep, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's quest for that "strange new respect"  award has run its bizarre course. The award, as described by British-American commentator and pundit Tom Bethell, is reserved for,
"once-reliable conservatives who won liberal praise by adopting liberal policies. Of a sudden, an erstwhile Neanderthal would be treated in the Washington Post as someone who was no longer 'simplistic' and “shrill” but rather a figure who had 'grown' and showed himself to be 'nuanced.''' 
To be fair, the Guv never really got a full run at the nomination. He was only lately coming out of the shadow of his union-busting image. In his quest for the award, of course, Christie tripped up Romney in the closing days of the presidential campaign with a Laurel-and-Hardy-like promenade with Obama in the wake of Storm Sandy. He also declined to name a Republican Senator to fill the term of the late Senator Lautenberg, when an extra GOP vote in the Senate would have proven very useful. He paved the way, instead, for Demo-corruptocrat Corey Booker. Christie's poll numbers began to rise, and that might have been the death-knell for his seeking of the Bethell Award. Even liberal-leaning polling found him deadlocked with the liberals' anointed successor, Hillary "Benghazi" Clinton. The charging RINO had to be brought down with the modern day political equivalent of the .577 Nitro Express, i.e., leaked emails.

It seems that some aide sought revenge on the obscure Democrat Mayor of Ft. Lee, New Jersey for failing to back Christie. How was this revenge exacted? In the time-honored way of local machine politics: screw with the ability of citizens to go about their normal activities and let an opponent take the hit. This aide apparently suggested to the appropriate bridge authority that rush hour might be a good time to enact some traffic-snarling lane closures on the approaches to NYC. As I write this, the Guv is giving a long, rambling, and sweaty news conference where he is explaining, apologizing, firing, bobbing and weaving. Will he save himself? Was he involved in the lane closings? Did the aide act on her own? Did he, a la Obama, only find out about the skullduggery by reading the press? Will he blame it on a YouTube video? I don't know. That's not my concern today. 

I am, however, very intrigued by the vehemence with which the MSM has jumped on this rather pedestrian story of petty urban politics. This is, after all, the stuff of American urban legend. Cross the Mayor of Chicago, and the garbage doesn't get picked up on your street, the potholes don't get filled, and you won't see a snow plow all winter. This is the kind of act that Democrat urban machines do all over the country just about every day; I am sure readers can come up with all sorts of examples.

Did I say "urban politics"?  Forgive me for that slip. We, after all, have in the White House a politician schooled in this sort of thing, and he has been applying it well outside of just local urban politics. He won his Senate seat, for example, but leaking lurid details of his opponent's "sealed" divorce case. As President, he has used the IRS, the National Labor Relations Board, National Park Service, and the EPA to suppress political dissent, reward cronies, and screw with the public, e.g., closing parks, so they will blame his opponents. His DOJ has a long track record of conducting politically-motivated prosecutions, and of interfering in local cases for political reasons, e.g., the Zimmerman case. The media has given his misadministration passes on all those and more, e..g, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, and on and on. Now we have calls for federal prosecutors to investigate the closing of a couple of traffic lanes; we have once somnolent journalists suddenly jarred into action asking "penetrating" questions of the sort they never have asked Obama, Holder, Reid, Pelosi, etc.    

I can't decide if we have a mass media of double standards or one with no standards.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Proud Owner of a Cold War Mentality

Twice, yes, twice in one day I was "accused" of having a "cold war mentality." Once in a Twitter duel, and the other time in some weird Craig's List site which excerpted a couple of my posts, and let the lefties have at them. I also got called a "blithering idiot," which seems overkill since if you are blithering, then presumably you already are an idiot and vice versa; anyhow, it must have been a blithering idiot who made the accusation. It reminded me of my closing days at State when a senior guru in HR, informing me that my second ambassadorial nomination would follow my first one down the sewer, told me the same--not the "blithering idiot" thing, the "cold war mentality" thing.  "Lew," she said, "you won't make it to the top because you won't let go of your cold war mentality."

Well! What an insult! How is it bad to have a "cold war" mentality (CWM)? Would it be an insult to tell somebody, "Sorry, you can't make it here because you can't let go of your anti-fascist mentality"? This CWM accusation seems to be a meme (may we still use that word?) of the left. During one of the Obama-Romney debates, Obama snidely told Romney, "The 1980s are calling. They want their foreign policy back." The lefties thought that was so very clever. It is of a piece with other lefty "zingers," to wit, "I guess you watch FOX News," the oldie, "Cowboy," and, of course, "Racist!"

Let's look at these "insults," starting with the one about FOX News. I watch FOX off and on, as I do the other TV news outlets, and have not found FOX wrong about the major events of the past few years. FOX called it right, for example, on Benghazi, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the IRS scandals, and, of course, the horrendous disaster known as Obamacare. The FOX pundits, in other words the people who come on expressly to opine, seem to range all over the place, with, admittedly the largest bunch gathering somewhere in the range from establishment GOP to Tea Party. I, however, see lots of "progressives" on FOX who state leftist opinions and keep coming back on. I have not heard the slime-ball language, gutter-level insults, and race-baiting on FOX that I have from MSNBC "progressives" such as Bashir, Baldwin, Sharpton, Maddow, and Harris-Perry. We owe a debt of gratitude to Rupert Murdoch, who similar to another Australian, General Sir John Monash, nearly 100 years ago saved the day for the West.

Cowboy. What a weird insult. I thought the lefties were for the common working man? I guess once you get an expensive degree from an expensive university that specializes in content-free education, you can ridicule people who work for a living. I always thought of a cowboy as an honorable, hard-working, independent-minded sort who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. On second thought, I now realize that I know why lefties would find a cowboy frightening; just compare a cowboy to pajama boy . . . best to demonize the cowboy before that happens.

The racist tag is so overused it is losing its impact. When all else fails, however, the left still drags it out. It is the flare gun you fire in the air as the global warming-formed ice floe rips your ship to shreds; the one-shot derringer as a pack of giant zombie corporation-created werewolves rushes your campsite; the soundless scream in the void of space as the multi-headed GMO monster prepares to eat you; the, well . . . you get the idea. It's what's used when there's nothing else in your kit. Anybody who expresses doubts about the liberal policies that have made generations of African-Americans wards of the state is a racist. Anybody who questions the wisdom of essentially open immigration as long as an entitlement bonanza awaits those immigrants is a racist. Anybody who works hard for his or her money, and wants to keep most of it for his or her family is a racist. Anybody who thinks voting should be for citizens is a racist. Anybody who watches FOX News or is a cowboy is a racist, and on and on.

Cold war mentality. My favorite. To be called a cold warrior--brrrrrr--how horriblenot. I do not understand what is meant by that "insult." It seems a cousin of the old label "Red Scare," or "Witch Hunt," or "McCarthyism." The implication is that somehow you are deluded, delusional, wacky, insane, and laughable if you have a CWM. Excuse me, my low-information lefty friends, there was a real and frightening threat from the Reds: the "Witches" were quite real. McCarthy might have had a face made for radio; maybe he was crude and rude; and maybe he was not elegant and refined. As the historical record shows, however, he was right. Pro-Soviet Communists had infiltrated State, the White House, and other branches of government; the Soviets were conducting an aggressive campaign of espionage, subversion, and influence inside the US, Canada, and the UK.

To have a CWM, means, therefore, to root and work for the victory of Western ideals of liberty and freedom. It means to oppose totalitarian ideologies and regimes. It means finding, for example, the Soviet Gulag, and the horrid North Korean and Cuban regimes repellent in the extreme and worthy of being opposed and, if possible, destroyed. It means celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire, and opposing efforts to undermine our system of liberty and checks-and-balances at home. It means being appalled by the resurgence of the "dead" Al Qaeda; being furious over this Obama misadministration's giving away our hard-fought victories in Iraq and Afghanistan; its sabotaging of our long-standing network of international alliances; its sell-out of our friends; its misuse and destruction of our intelligence agencies; and its deliberate sabotage of economic liberty at home.

We can safely conclude, therefore, that this misadministration certainly does not have a Cold War Mentality.

As for me, guilty as charged. I am proud to have a Cold War Mentality.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Personal Encounter with Obamacare

We hear that a conservative is a liberal mugged by reality. I guess that makes an ultraconservative or a libertarian or--Horrors!--a Tea Party "radical" a conservative mugged by the consequences of liberal fantasy-based policies.

It happened to our family on Saturday.

We got a letter mailed in October--but that's another story--from the private elder care facility where my father lives informing us, in blunt terms, that because of certain requirements in the "Affordable" Care Act, AKA Obamacare, the monthly rent for my father would go up by $687 as of this month. A hike of $687 per month! The very nice director of the facility confirmed it, and acknowledged that several residents have indicated that if this increase goes through they will leave. If that happens, she noted, staff (almost entirely Hispanic and Asian) will have to be let go and services cut back for those residents who stay.

Less care for more money plus increased unemployment as the cherry on top! The perfect product of the liberal mind-set and the liberal policy makers who are running and ruining our country.

And by the way, I remember how happy those staff were when Obama got re-elected . .  .

The insanity continues.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My New Year's Activities and Resolutions

I have a profound hatred for New Year's eve parties and celebrations. I find the whole business about staying up past midnight, and engaging in forced joviality profoundly irritating. I came to have this hatred largely as the result of my many New Year's eve parties overseas where I had to pretend to wish Soviet and GDR representatives a "Happy New Year!" all the while wishing them and their horrid little regimes the worst possible year.

Of late, my New Year's celebrations consist of dodging invites to parties, staying home quietly, and, if awake, going outside to watch my cars depreciate several thousands of dollars at the stroke of midnight. I long ago gave up making New Year's resolutions as I don't recall keeping any. You see, unlike the "theory" of global climate change, such resolutions are falsifiable. You either lose weight or you don't; you stop smoking or you don't; you give up ice cream or you don't. It's all very binary. Unlike the "theory" of global climate change, you cannot claim that a gain in weight means a loss in weight; or cite the cig hanging from your lips as proof you have given up smoking. It's "yes," or "no"; "0" or "1." I don't want to put myself through that.

That does not mean that I don't, at least briefly, engage in a bit of optimism when the clock ticks past midnight on December 31--once I stop fretting about having to collect all my financial info together to get my tax returns ready. This year is no different. As readers of this petite blog know, I tend to the pessimistic side. Pessimism and libertarianism form my default settings. At times, however, I have to attach an asterisk to both, and tweak my outlook a bit--not as much as those global climate change modelers do, but, a tweak nevertheless. On my political beliefs, for example, I am a libertarian except when it comes to foreign policy and national defense. I want the USA and our allies to have the biggest, baddest, most kick ass militaries on the planet so that our mortal enemies--and they do exist--will think twice or thrice before attacking any of us, and if they do, then I want them to find themselves spending the rest of their miserable short lives hiding in caves, sweating through sleepless nights, listening for the drones and the whoosh of death dealing Hellfire missiles, or fearing the arrival of SEAL or SAS shooters with blood in their eyes.

On pessimism. The overall trend line for the West is not positive. Having just a few years ago defeated Soviet Communism, our greatest existential threat since, well, I don't know, the Golden Horde, perhaps, we now find ourselves defeating ourselves. In an effort to "combat" Islamic crazies, for example, we have, for politically correct reasons, refused to focus our energies on the enemy, i.e., the Islamic crazies, and instead destroy our civil liberties and traditions of freedom. Here in the USA, for example, we have moronic TSA agents strip searching blue-haired grandmas while fearing to do anything approaching "profiling" of the people who pose a real threat. We never had this problem before. When, to mention one example, the FBI went after the Italian mafia, they did not feel it incumbent to arrest a few Swedes to balance the arrest stats. For decades, we had restrictions on Nazis and Communists, and survived quite nicely without feeling it necessary to say things such as "ninety-nine percent of all Nazis and Communists are peace-loving and law-abiding."

Demographics are working against freedom in the West, as well. Europe, Canada, Australia, and the USA have insane immigration policies. To argue that, of course, opens one to charges of racism; I reject that, and as I have written many times, race tells you very little useful about any person. I would argue it in terms of national defense. Western society is worth defending and that means controlling how many people come into our societies, and having a means to determine what they will contribute to or cost our societies. A Japanese electrical engineer presumably brings more to our society than do tens-of-thousands of unskilled third world laborers allegedly coming for non-existent jobs and living on the dole. I see nothing wrong with requiring voters to prove they are citizens, but again, demanding that seems to be a sign of racism--except maybe in California where the state now hands out official ids to illegal aliens making the issue moot.

Glimmers of optimism? A few.

In the US, I found encouraging the strong grassroots' reaction to the nonsensical progressive attack on Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty; the verdict in the absurd Zimmerman shooting trial; Obama's dropping opinion polls; the widespread ridicule heaped on the Obamacare roll-out; and a few other events, e.g., the increased willingness of gun owners to fight back against idiotic "gun control" measures, the conservative rebellion against police abuse.

Overseas, the most encouraging development must be the return of a conservative government in Australia. I hope PM Abbott will turn out as good a PM as I think he will. In addition, our northern neighbor Canada is giving us a remarkable demonstration of how you do economic freedom; Alberta and Saskatchewan are now considered the freest areas in North America.

Folks, let's face it, when we talk about the "West" we really mean the Anglosphere. For a variety of reasons, the English-speaking world is the core of the free world. For most of the 20th century, the USA formed the core of the core. That is not true anymore. Both Australia and Canada have passed us in the quest for freedom and in protecting it. We need to catch up--although Canada still has serious problems with hate speech legislation which I pray we do not emulate. I hope we reaffirm our own commitment to freedom, especially to economic liberty which means cutting the size and scope of government.

Without making it a formal resolution, I will try to fight my pessimist tendencies. It would help, of course, to see a massive rejection of the progressive agenda next November--too much to hope for such change?