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;...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lion vs. Babies

I love animals as much as the next guy, and do not want to see them mistreated or needlessly killed. I have had dogs--and an occasional cat--throughout my life, and cherished their time with me. As the six regular readers of this blog know, I am very attached to my two large dogs who provide an endless stream of affection, mischief, and entertainment. I spend hours playing with and talking to them every day. Even as I write this, one of the boys is intent on knocking over my cup of coffee. Just. Because. It. Is. There.

I have read the press accounts of the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, and am sure all of you have, also. I have done a lot of fishing and hunting in Central America, South America, North America, and Asia, am certainly not anti-hunting, and, of course, am very pro-second amendment. I, however, never liked trophy hunting (here, for example). The beasts I killed, I ate or gave to villagers who did so.

The idea of paying huge amounts of cash to travel to a distant place to kill something "just because" is repellent. From what I have read--and who knows if that's accurate?--this Minnesota dentist, Dr. Palmer, paid a large sum of money to some guides in Zimbabwe, who might or might not be legit, to arrange for him to kill Cecil the Lion, an apparently well-known lion who resided in a national park. These guides tricked Cecil into coming out of the protected park, it seems, and Dr. Palmer put an arrow into him. The lion did not die, apparently; Palmer, et al, had to chase him for two days and then shoot him to death, before beheading and skinning him. That's what I have read; again, don't know how much is accurate. If, however, that's roughly true, it is a disgusting tale. The killing of this magnificent animal in such a cruel and protracted way, and for such a stupid purpose, i.e., bragging rights, does not endear Dr. Palmer to me. Being a Great White Snark, I must say that the pictures I have seen of the good doctor (here, for example) make him look somewhat creepy. He would make a good Hollywood villain. He is only missing the required British, Slavic, or German accent.

All that said, this story has turned into a progressive feeding frenzy. Progressives are whipping up their pet media and the lynch mobs in a way that is really quite remarkable. Palmer has a reasonable fear for his life, with even girly-man Piers Morgan threatening him--safely, out of bow range. It seems progressives have a license to incite to kill, and are not shy about using it. They, after all, incite the killing of police and of conservatives almost every day, and insist on putting violent criminal illegal aliens in our midsts.

Now, of course, progressives do not act for the reasons they claim (here and here). They are masters of misdirection. I, for example, find extremely interesting how the progressives can get themselves worked up over the death of an African lion, while remaining silent about the horror of Planned Parenthood's killing of tens-of-thousands of mostly African-American human babies, aka fetuses. Not much outrage in the progressive camp re the videos showing the ghouls at PP discussing how they "crunch" babies in a way that does affect the ability to sell their parts for profit. I have found it impossible to watch those videos all the way through; I have trouble fathoming such human depravity. The death of Cecil arrived in time to provide a smoke screen, a diversion from the revolting story of Planned Parenthood--and its highly racist origins. The only outrage the progs can muster is to go after the group that made the videos.

The juxtaposition of these two stories of death show in great and revealing detail the truth about progressivism--and it is ugly beyond belief.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In Defense of White Dudes

On at least one prior occasion I stated my antipathy toward the subject of race and the progressives' incessant calls to talk about race,
Unlike liberals who see what they believe, conservatives tend to believe what we see. We do not see a country in the grip of racial tension, at least not until the charlatans begin to act. I always harken back to my years in Sri Lanka; now, my friends, there was a country ripped open by a genocidal ethnic hatred stirred up by politicians. I saw the same process in Guyana and throughout much of the Caribbean: ordinary people getting along until rabble rousers arrive and drive wedges between them. 
In sum, we have had way too many conversations about race. Let's stop talking about race, stop giving opportunities to those who would divide us.
Let me be blunt: I find that discussions of race quickly get boring, idiotic, inconclusive, and, often, verbally and even physically violent. Race tells you very little if anything about a person and his or her attributes except, perhaps, for some inconsequential physical ones. (Culture is a much more interesting topic, but, progressives don't want to talk about that.) To keep pushing the topic of race can and will force even the most tolerant and open of people (as discussed here, for example) eventually to reach their limit and fight back. As mentioned in the citation above, I have seen that phenomenon personally and it is not a pretty sight.

In sum, little or no positive purpose gets served by discussing race. "Conversations" about race in Western countries become one-way progressive harangues deriding white people and their "privilege," calls for more government action in the name of "social justice," and, of course, more power for the progressive elites. In our befuddled times, such "conversations" get infused with yet another noxious theme, to wit, "white male patriarchy." White Christian Dude racism and sexism meld into one huge pulsating Death Star that requires, you guessed it, more legislation, more government control, more censorship, more repression, and more of all the other hallmarks of progressivism to defeat it.

So, of course, having said that we should not talk about race and its associated sin sexism, I will discuss race and sex, well, mostly I will rant about White Dudes. The contributions of "Pale Dudismo" are considerable, worth recalling, and--dare I say?--defending without shame. That, I will do.

I am a proud White Dude. Mind you, I say this as somebody who had zero ancestors on the Mayflower, in addition, nobody in my family tree was a Viking, or sat in King Arthur's Court. I am ethnically an Ibero-North African-Jew whom some might consider, at best, only a member of the White Dude Junior Varsity Team. To those "some," I would say, "Hey, don't be too picky about your allies." At a minimum, Dudes, if Elizabeth Warren can be Cherokee,  Rachel Dolezal black, Bruce Jenner a woman, Al Sharpton a Reverend, and Donald Trump a Republican, well, I think you should let me into the White Dude Club. Deal done? OK.

White Christian Dudes (WCDs)--especially English-speaking ones--make the best countries and civilizations. Horrors! There. I've put the spotlight on the elephant in the Race Conversation Amphitheater.

Let me crank up the wattage on that spotlight: The peoples of the world want to live where White Christian Dudes (WCD) hold sway. Here in our own increasingly frazzled USA, the anti-WCD, PC elite want us to forget that White Christian Dudes founded our country. Look at the Declaration of Independence; you won't see too, too many Mohammeds or Moishes among the signatories--sorry to report that none of my relatives signed--and, likewise, with the drafters of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Founding Fathers, all of them British and the epitome of White Christian Dudes, drew their moral and philosophical outlook, their concern for human rights and limited government, not from Asian or African philosophers, but from the Bible, and British, French, and Greek philosophers--all White Dudes, most of them Christian. Were our Founding Dudes perfect? Nope. Did they tolerate slavery, albeit reluctantly, when they should not have? Yes. White Christian Dudes can act out of step with their own principles. They are human. Yes, some White Christian Dudes from Europe ended up collaborating with African and Muslim Dudes to traffic in slaves. White Christian Dudes, however, do their own policing. It was overwhelmingly White Christian Dudes, we should note, who laid down their lives to end slavery. In more recent times, it was overwhelmingly White Christian Dudes who tore down European Nazism, liberated the concentration camps, and, by the way, also defeated racist Japanese Shinto militarism, freeing millions of Chinese, Filipinos, Malays, Koreans, and others from a brutal existence. It also was largely White Dudes, most of them Christian and Republican, who dismantled the Democrats' Jim Crow regime in the American South. White Christian Dudes gave America a new commitment to freedom and equal justice.

Around the world we see that just about everybody wants to live with the White Christian Dudes. We see this drive to live with White Christian Dudes every day along our southern border; Australians see it on their coasts and in the changing make up of their cities; Britons in the unceasing wave of migrants besieging their island. Canada's beautiful Vancouver in beautiful British Columbia has become a largely Asian city. Everywhere, it seems, the civilization built by White Christian Dudes is the magnet. Non-WCDs don't leave WCD countries; my family certainly didn't.

White Dudes--most Christian, many Jewish--invented our modern world. The technology, the medicines, the engineering marvels, the stunning scientific discoveries, the great art and literature, etc., are all products of White Dudes, thank you very much. Even the unhinged feminists who seem to be everywhere spout a degraded form of Marxism--and, uh, Marx was a White Dude . . . most of us White Dudes are not too proud of him.

The mad progressives of our era create and promote all sorts of cryptids: the White Christian Dude as rapist; as racist mass murderer; as hater and killer of gays; as denier of women's rights; as all around abuser of women (poor little gals can't handle that liquor, doncha know?) The real world, of course, does not see White Christian Dudes that way. As I have noted, that world wants to live under the blessings of White Christian Dude rule. Why else do they come in such huge numbers every day to WCD countries?

One more elephant: if progressives get their wish and destroy White Christian Dude civilization, where will Third World migrants go? If, for example, the USA becomes like Mexico, why would Mexicans and Central Americans come here? If Australia becomes another Asian country, why would Asians risk their lives to go live there? Would Chinese immigrants want to live in a Third World pit? They can stay home for that.

I like being a White Dude. Long live White Christian Dude rule! It's the only hope for the rest of us . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On McCain

This will be a quick one.

I just want to weigh in a bit on the issue of Senator John McCain and the criticism of his war record by Donald Trump.

I voted for McCain in 2008. I saw him as much preferable to the destructive, anti-American, anti-West calamity who now holds the presidency.

He, of course, ran a horrid campaign in which he pulled his punches, refused to engage head-on with Obama, sabotaged his own running mate, Governor Palin, and chased after, as I have written before, what Tom Bethell called that "strange new respect." He subsequently has taken positions especially on foreign affairs that made little to no sense, again, I believe, as he sought that "respect" from the progressive media. McCain who loudly had proclaimed himself a "maverick" in the GOP, quickly showed himself as a critic of the GOP base as he searched, again, for that "strange new respect." He seemed genuinely to think that because the NY Times and the Washington Post, as well as the legacy broadcast news shows, praised and praise his "courage" in defying conservatives, and saying some very harsh and unfair things about folks such as Senator Ted Cruz, that they would back him against a true-blue progressive icon such as Obama. Wrong. Very wrong. He just doesn't learn that bowing to progressivism only gets you a sore backside.

All that said, Trump's comments on McCain's war record were wrong. Trump, as noted before, is loud, brash, and has the ability, occasionally and opportunistically, to tap into issues of great concern, such as illegal immigration and Islamic terrorism.

Trump, of course, said, referring to McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain might be many things we conservatives do not like, but he put his life on the line in the skies over Vietnam, and suffered over five years of abuse and torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese, refusing early release, and staying with his fellow prisoners.

Those of us who have never gone through the sort of torment and sacrifice endured by McCain, and others at the Hanoi Hilton, have no right to mock, degrade, belittle or otherwise ridicule those who did endure that pain and terror. We can disagree with their views, but we should respect them as heroes.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Chattanooga Murders: Progressives Get the Credit

As this is being written the news reports continue to come in re the shooting in Chattanooga at two military-related facilities. It seems four Marines have died, one sailor has been seriously injured, and one policeman also wounded. The shooter is dead--not clear at this moment if by police or his own hand.

The MSM covered itself in its usual PC glory on this one. Initial reports, of course, emphasized that the shooter was a white male with an automatic weapon. When the killer's name came out (I won't print that scum's name here) well, doncha know, the word Mohammed is right in there. Surprise! The media engaged in its usual rush to exonerate, citing anonymous sources who said--within minutes of the shootings, mind you--that there was no evidence linking the events to terrorism. We saw the same pattern after the Ft. Hood killings.

Yes, shocking but true, the killer is a Muslim. This time an immigrant from Kuwait. The killer was enjoying all sorts of privileges here, including education as an electrical engineer, and a nice middle class life in a nice middle class suburb. Some reports indicate he even become an American citizen. Well, yes, folks we have yet another triumph of our progressive immigration policy. Another Dreamer achieves his goal . . .

Make no mistake about it. The progressives who run our institutions own this mass murder as much as they do the murder in San Francisco and the daily toll of murders in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, East Los Angeles, etc. They own it from their encouragement of Muslim immigration all the way to the "gun free zones" in which our military are forced to operate unarmed despite mounting evidence that they are targets of terror. We have highly trained Marines forced to "duck and cover" and run for their lives instead of doing what they do better than anybody else: send terrorists off to their appointment with seventy-two virgins or raisins or whatever the idiocy is.

We also have, of course, a desultory statement from a bored and even irritated-looking President Obama reciting some pro-forma boiler-plate words about sympathy for the victims. He can't rouse anywhere near the energy he did for the shooting in Charleston or for his imaginary son Treyvon Martin. These Marines are his; he is their Commander-in-Chief; he, however can't be bothered as he is too busy making sure Iran is safe.

So as the progressives march about our country tearing down 150-year-old Rebel battle flags, and digging up the graves of long-dead Confederates, Islamic killers run amok in that same country, and more get their visas as we speak.

Progressives, you built this, you own it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Great Con: The Iran Deal

We live in a time of government by con men, women, and those of flexible and reassignable gender. In the last few days this bitter truth has become even more obvious than it was after Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Syrian Red Lines, Obamacare, gay wedding cakes, and Rebel flags.

In these past few dark days, we have seen two enormous cons run on the world by our "leaders." These cons will have direct and negative impact upon the lives of tens-of-millions of people around the world. One, of course, is the Greek Deal which avoids all the issues of how Greece and the world's fiscal and monetary policy have fallen into the abyss, and merely perpetuates the EU's Three Card Monte game. In the end, of course, Greece must default, walk away from the euro, and let the market set the true value of its currency and economy. Nothing else will work, but that's not the way, at least for now.

The Greek Con, however, fades into Junior Varsity status, into high school amateur theatrics, when compared to The Greatest of The Cons announced, appropriately, enough just in time for Bastille Day--commemorating another of history's Great Cons, the French Revolution. I speak, of course, of  the Iran Deal. I have written before about the negotiations with Iran (herehere, and here), and nothing stated then seems to have proven wrong.

I have read the entire Deal. You can, too, right here. It proves a grim and enfuriating read. Go ahead, you'll see.

The Deal is a fiasco for the West.

Having negotiated a lot of stuff during my time at State, I note, simply put, nothing this complex and convoluted is enforceable in the real world. Which means, therefore, that it is not meant to be enforced.

Let me start with a minor technicality. It is not clear the Deal is a treaty. I can almost guarantee that the Obama misadministration will go back and forth on that. Sort of akin to Obamacare: was it a penalty or a tax? When convenient, e.g., for public opinion's sake, the Obamistas will call it a treaty; when not, e.g., Senate ratification, they will call it a Joint Plan of Action or some other name implying Congress has no legal and binding role. In a way, that does not matter; Congress will have little to nothing it can do about this Deal. The UN Security Council will rubber-stamp it, and once all the other countries start freeing Iran's frozen assets, lifting sanctions, and making deals . . . game over. The U.S. Congress can rant all it wants.

Even all that, however, does not comprise the biggest problem. Assuming Iran complies with everything in this convoluted hash of a document--and Iran does not comply with international agreements--even then, Iran gets the bomb--assuming it doesn't have it already. Yes, that is correct, Iran gets the bomb no matter what; a little later perhaps if it fully complies with the Deal, but Iran gets the bomb--not to mention ICBM capabilities, and gets years of NPT violations swept under the rug, gets a pardon for its sponsorship of terror, doesn't have to give up its stated objective of destroying Israel, and . . . any wonder the Iranians celebrate? Some, however, might find convincing the graphic below put out by the White House yesterday. It, after all, is an intellectually powerful document; hard to refute its tight logic . . . well, maybe, for a not very bright six-year-old, raised as a vegan, maybe, just maybe.

Wow! Is that convincing or what?

Yes, my friends, despite the powerful imagery presented above, under the most optimistic of all circumstances, thanks to The Great Deal, the Iran of crazed Ayatollahs gets the bomb--and does it all real nice and legal and respectful. No fuss. No mess.

Iran will get perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars in frozen assets released to it, and will use those funds to build up its economy and military, and sponsor terrorism--then after a few years the deal expires anyway, and Iran can build its bomb quite openly. Iran being Iran, of course, it will not comply with the deal and will get the bomb much sooner than that. The Deal's inspection provisions are a joke. The process for dealing with any detected violation is so obtuse, complex, and drawn out that we will never see an effective condemnation. Forget about "snap back" sanctions. With its new  billions in unfrozen assets, Iran will build lobbying interests in key countries. Once, for example, Iran orders 200 Airbus planes, ten thousand Mercedes trucks, ten thousand Komatsu bulldozers, one hundred thousand Apple laptops, etc., who will argue for cracking down on some "minor and irrelevant" violation of The Great Deal? From what powerful sectors will those calls come? The Iranians know that the West will not do anything. The West has gone into retreat mode.

The Great Con guarantees war, a big war in the near future. The Israelis and the Sunni Arabs, Iran's most immediate foes, got cut out of the negotiations, their vital security interests ignored, and will not take the result quietly. I wrote some time ago that given Obama's calamitous Middle East policy we would see Israelis and Saudis coming together in a bid to stop Iran. That is happening. I will go further. Do not be shocked if Israel and Saudi Arabia end up backing ISIS against Iran. They rightly see Iran, not ISIS, as the biggest threat to the region and the world. Let's also not forget, dear friends, that Israel is a potent nuclear power, right now, not 30 months from now, not ten years from now, but right now, today. Please keep in mind that Israel is not a country predisposed to suicide, even for the White House. In addition, of course, expect the oil rich Sunni Arabs to go for their own bomb--probably purchased from Pakistan or some other willing vendor. The Non-Proliferarion regime of the past many decades is dead. A new and very dangerous nuclear age looms.

All of this confusion of games within games will produce war. It bears repeating: We will have war, and it will be horrendous.

As I was finishing this piece, I found Israeli Ambassador Dermer's speech on the Iran deal. It is worth reading. He points out, for example, that Iran's insistence on ICBM technology and capability is not so much a threat to Israel as it is to Europe and America. Iran does not need ICBMs to hit Israel. In particular, I was struck by the following portion of his address,
And when Israel and the Arab states are on the same page - which happens about once a century – pay attention. 
Ask yourself why Israel and its neighbors are so opposed to this deal. 
After all, we have the most to gain by peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. 
We have the most to gain by a deal which truly blocks Iran’s path to the bomb. 
The reason why we oppose this deal is because it doesn’t resolve anything, because it doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb. 
It makes Iran’s illegal nuclear program legal. 
It provides billions in sanctions relief for Iran to fuel the fires of war that it is spreading across the Middle East. 
And it rolls out the red carpet for Iran to become a military nuclear power – a power that would threaten Israel with annihilation and threaten the peace and security of the entire world.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Republican Presidential Menu

I might have lost count of how many gentlemen and lady have jumped into the GOP presidential contest. Those much wiser than I might say the Republican party now has too many candidates on offer. Perhaps. Who knows? The Wise Ones must get it right at least once, mustn't they? No? I guess a restaurant can provide a menu that offers TOO much choice to the consumer. That problem  certainly does not exist in the Democrat cafe over in Progressive Land. In that messy and greasy establishment, so far, the choice comes down to Column 'A' consisting of one old corrupt zero accomplishments white woman, or Column 'B' comprised of one old crazy-as-a-loon zero accomplishments white man. If, therefore, you get stressed by making choices then go with the Progressives. They'll make them for you: red beets with cabbage, or cabbage with red beets.

The Republicans have some excellent candidates. I think this is the strongest field we have seen from the ol' elephant party in a long, long time. Any one of them would make a far superior President than the calamity now occupying 1600 Pennsylvania, and better than Hillary or Bernie, by far. All of them strike me as patriotic and genuinely horrified by the leadership in DC. I have favorites, of course, and although it's a bit early, in keeping with full disclosure, I will say that I am inclined towards several of the governors.

I like Scott Walker a great deal: he seems a man who actually accomplishes things, e.g., breaking the power of the public sector unions in Wisconsin is no mean feat. Admittedly, he comes off a bit nerdy in this age of television and sound bites, but that is a minor sin. I also like Rick Perry, who seems to have put together a good campaign after his disastrous 2012 run. He has been giving some very interesting speeches and seems to have done a lot of thinking about the problems facing our country. He also has a sense of humor, and a strong record as governor of Texas. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is an interesting governor, too, although I think he's still a little rough around the edges for a national campaign. My least favorite of the governors is Christie of New Jersey. I still can't forgive him for his sabotage of the Romney campaign in the crucial closing days of the 2012 bout, and NJ's anti-second amendment policies leave much to be desired--still a helluva lot better than Obama or Clinton, however.

Senators Cruz and Rubio are charismatic, excellent speakers and debaters, and very strong on foreign policy. Either would eat Hillary Clinton's lunch in a debate; I just don't know about either one's managerial skills, and Rubio got himself sandbagged on immigration in his bid for "strange new respect." Carly Fiorina certainly talks a good game, seems a formidable debater, but probably comes handicapped by her controversial tenure at HP. I actually met Jeb Bush some years ago when he came to Indonesia and spent almost a full day with him. He is extremely smart, a very nice and funny person, but I am not fully convinced that he has the fire in the belly we need right now. His time might have passed. Ben Carson also seems a genuinely decent person and quite smart. I just don't know how he would do in the highly politicized world of DC. I am lukewarm on Trump, Huckabee, Kasich, and Paul for a variety of reasons, mostly revolving around my doubts about their conservative credentials. Senators Graham and Santorum, and Governor Pataki have not entered into my calculations much at all.

Anyhow, let's just hope they do not trash each other too much and give the MSM and the Dems ammunition to use in the general election.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Trump Card

Again, apologies to my three foreign readers: this comprises yet another post on the interminable US presidential campaign.

In today's little ditty I shall sing a simple song about announced Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Well, actually, before I get around to The Donald, I start by relating a cab ride in Paris many years ago . . .

In the early 1990s, perhaps the late 1980s (the Diplowife is not here to ask), I found myself in a Parisian cab taking the long ride from the airport to our hotel. I have a habit of asking cabbies about the biggest problem they face, having found over the years that cabbies live much closer to the true social-political-economic situation than do journalists, politicians, entertainers, and other high-and-mighty savants. In addition, cabbies tend to relate what they see without the politically correct censorship that strangles so much discussion in the West. This cabbie proved very blunt: "Arabs," he answered. He described a hellish immigration situation in France and how he feared entering many parts of the capital. He supported Le Pen since the other politicians did not discuss real problems. Up to this point I had dismissed Jean-Marie Le Pen in much the same terms used by the MSM, "far right racist," "nut case," etc. As subsequent elections and other developments in France have shown, Jean-Marie and his daughter Marine have, indeed, tapped into a truth about life in France which the major parties would rather ignore. We have seen the same phenomenon at work in Spain where the political duopoly has come under threat from "rightist" and "leftist" populism dealing with issues ignored by the two comfortable big boys. I no longer dismiss Le Pen or other populist forces in Europe, "rightist" or "leftist."

OK, back to The Donald. A bit of clarification. I don't particularly like Donald Trump; I think him an ignoramus on many foreign policy matters, with an ignorance that matches that of Obama. I see him as a political opportunist and a self-centered glory hound of the first order. He, furthermore, has no track record as a conservative or even a Republican: he has admitted voting for Obama; given money to the Clintons and other Democrats; supported Obamacare; and made a supposed fortune with some deals that smell of crony capitalism and other non-Kosher practices--and, for all I know, his businesses might employ a lot of illegal aliens. He, at least, seems as much celebrity as serious businessman, and we could see him--allow some exaggeration--as Paris Hilton with weird hair.

All that said, however, he has drilled into a large subterranean pool of resentment, and unleashed a real political gusher over the 2016 presidential campaign. He has brought out the deep concern of many in America, myself included, over what clearly forms a deliberate progressive attempt to change the very nature of our society via massive immigration from poor countries. This humble blog has berated its six readers with this topic on several occasions (here and here, for example) well before Trump seized on the San Francisco murder as an example of what he had been saying about illegal immigration. This murder was apparently committed by a much-deported illegal Mexican enjoying "sanctuary" in that city in foggy-brained progressive California--a place more concerned about Rebel flags and Christian bakers than about illegal aliens committing murders, robberies, rapes, and sucking up public benefits and services.

The GOP establishment--of course--has been caught unawares by the strong positive reaction from the Republican base to Trump's brash, very politically incorrect comments about illegal aliens and the destruction they cause. He cleverly or by pure luck has turned the lachrymose progressive accounts of the suffering of Central American women migrants back on the progressives. We see progressive media accounts of how 80% of Central American women migrants get raped on their way to the USA. Well, as he rightly asks, "Who's doing the raping?" They are getting robbed, raped and otherwise assaulted in Mexico. That's an old story which the press has been reluctant to touch until they decided to make it an issue to encourage leniency towards illegal migrants from Central America. I can tell you from my own experience in Central America, migrants feared the long trek across Mexico above all else. Well now the progressives "own" the accusation against Mexico, and will have a tough time deriding Trump for having read their media. Trump also cleverly included black victims of illegal aliens in his recent appearances--a reminder to black voters that the illegal immigration policy of the Democrat party is no friend to their interests.

I don't know how long Trump's legs are--I suspect he has a tendency to "self-destruct"--and whether the other GOP and Democrat candidates will successfully pivot to take on this issue. But it is now an issue, perhaps a Willy Horton moment? I was sent the below picture by a friend. Could it become the defining theme in the election?

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Progressives and that "Lone Wolf" Definition . . .

I have read with horror the story of the murder in San Francisco of a young woman by a convicted, much-deported, illegal alien from Mexico. This murdering piece of filth should never have been on the streets, in fact, he should never have been in the country, not even in goofy progressive San Francisco. The story of this murder gets weirder and weirder as city and federal bureaucrats blame each other for this thug's presence on the streets. In addition, just as the expected assault on the NRA and "lax" gun laws was about to launch, it turned out that this piece of stinking flotsam used a gun stolen from a law officer, a federal officer no less. This story, of course, has gone political with the politicians blaming each other, most notably President Obama's despicable regime trying to blame Republicans because they have opposed his "immigration reform." As though this "reform" would have put this murderer behind bars or, at least, permanently in Mexico. Obama ignoring, of course, that this murder and so much other crime across the country is caused by illegal aliens who do not get deported and/or locked up. The Obama misadministration has refused to enforce the already pathetically weak immigration laws on the books, and has encouraged with words and deeds the current wave of illicit immigration we see pouring across our southern border. This violence is further abetted by "Sanctuary Cities," such as San Francisco, which declare themselves exempt from federal immigration laws. It is also aided by cretins such as the far, far-leftwing radical nut who holds the job of San Francisco sheriff (look him up, he is a piece of work.)

Just wondering, what city would serve as a "Sanctuary City" for bakers refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding?

Among the most pathetic arguments we hear is that this killer's action should not reflect upon the millions of other "immigrants,"i.e., illegal aliens or, better said, invaders, who have entered our country in search of "free stuff" jobs and in pursuit of their DREAMS . . . This is the old argument of trying to paint those of us who want a real immigration system as racists and, more importantly, a rehash of the progressive "lone wolf" argument. The progressives fall back on this when they have nothing else.

That "lone wolf" stuff only is used when it benefits the progressive agenda. The piece of racist garbage who killed nine black church-goers in South Carolina, well, he was a part of a white racist culture that gets inspired by the Confederate battle flag; the shooter in Arizona who shot, among others, a Democratic Congresswoman, well, he was inspired by Sarah Plain and the vast right wing conspiracy whom we all know conducts most criminal acts in our country. In fact, I am terrified of driving through Republican areas of the country for fear those crazies discover that I am an African-Hispanic Jew . . . I live in terror of the Tea Party. When the Muslim murderer shot up Fort Hood, now that was a "lone wolf," as was the Muslim murderer who took hostages in Sydney, as were the Muslim killers in Canada, as was the Muslim sniper who terrorized DC some years ago, as was the Muslim who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, as was  . . . etc. We see horrendous crimes every day by Muslims and illegal aliens, but must not focus on the system that has allowed them to set up shop here.

After a bit, one begins to understand that lots of "lone wolves" make a pack . . .

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Remembering the Bulls I Never Saw in Pamplona . . .

It's that time of year, when I think about my youth in Spain. I think especially about my great adventure in Pamplona, running from the . . . well, it wasn't exactly, the bulls.

Anyhow a repost from the past: July 7, 2013, to be exact . . .

OK, Hemingway fans. You all know what today is. Yes, it is July 7, the first day of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, or Iruña if you're a Basque nationalist, in Navarra, or Nafarroa if you're a Basque nationalist, and which, again depending on whether you're a Basque nationalist, is in Spain or in Euskadi. The condemned bulls that run towards the bullring and death don't care about that stuff, nor do the thousands of drunk foreigners who descend on the place destroying its charm, and risking death at the hooves and horns of huge beasts with nothing to lose.

Despite my deep admiration for British history, philosophers, actors, scientists, writers, book stores and museums, much of my life has revolved around Spain, or Euskadi, depending on whether you're a . . . never mind, you know the drill. My mother was a Spaniard, as is my wife--well, Basque if . . . ---and two of my kids were born in Euskadi or Spain. I love Spanish food (best in the world), art, literature, and history, this although my father's ancestors got thrown out of Illescas (Toledo Province) in the fifteenth century for refusing to convert and ended up as dhimmis in Morocco. My late grandmother kept a box holding the supposed keys to "our" house in Illescas for when we "returned." I told her that the house probably now lay under a shopping mall; she died in Morocco refusing to believe that. Being a callow person, however, for a good paella or crab dish (I will kill for txangurro) I forgive past injustices--I, however, do not vote Democrat as I have some standards.  

Back in July 1978, having not yet joined the Foreign Service--did that the following month--I was visiting my then-girlfriend and now wife in San Sebastian (Donostia, if you're . . . ) We decided to join her cousin and her soon-to-be husband on a road trip to Pamplona. We had to promise the girls' parents on pain of death that we would stay with relatives, and that men and women would sleep in separate rooms for the overnight in Pamplona. They piled themselves and their supplies into their SEAT 850, and we did likewise with my soon-to-be father-in-law's ten-year-old SEAT 600 (see below).

A good car when you're going to run from the bulls
The driving distance to Pamplona was not great, probably some 110 kms, about 65 or 70 miles. This, however, was before the freeway that now connects the two cities. It was a grueling mountain drive for our little and heavily laden cars. The 850 overheated several times and we had to stop--and had some great sandwiches and wine, yes, wine is recommended for mountain driving. I hardly got the 600 out of second gear and rarely exceeded 30-35 mph, and there was a minor CO vent into the car. That tiny, noisy SEAT, however, never quit. We arrived over three hours later, dizzy, deaf, tired, and cramped, but alive.

Those were tumultuous times in Spain. The Great Dictator had died some thirty months previous after nearly four decades of rule. The succession to power in Madrid was not at all clear. Long buried themes from Spain's amazingly complex history had come bursting to the surface. Among those, of course, was the issue of separatism, in particular Basque and Catalan claims to their own national identity apart from the five centuries of Castillian domination. Backed by the USSR, the GDR, Libya, Cuba, and Basques in Idaho, the ETA, a terrorist organization modeled on the much older IRA, was conducting violent urban warfare against the traditional symbols of Castillian power, e.g., Spanish banks, the telephone company, the national railroad, Madrid-named governors, pro-Spain Basque politicians, and, of course, the Guardia Civil and the Polícia Nacional. Pamplona and Navarra were caught in the middle. Both Pamplona and its province had long been claimed by Basque nationalists as part of the historical Basque homeland. Even if one accepted some dubious historical interpretations by these Basques, Navarra and Pamplona had undergone major demographic shifts over the decades and centuries. One could no longer consider the population of Navarra and Pamplona as predominantly Basque, either culturally or "racially." ETA and the Basque nationalists, however, could not accept that.

The mood in Pamplona had become ugly, especially in the wake of arrests in previous days of several Basque militants. We arrived in the midst of this darkening political scene in our smoky SEATS with our sandwiches, wine, and sausages. We had to park on the outskirts of town in a raw and only partially developed industrial area. We, however, were young, and away from parents, so a bit of a walk into the center of town didn't bother us. Although the drunk and partying foreigners seemed oblivious to their surroundings, as we got into town those of us a bit more tuned in noticed right away that things were not cheery. We saw fist fights between pro- and anti-ETA youths. The riot police presence was visibly growing with every passing hour. We saw lots of very nasty pro and anti Spain graffiti in Spanish and Euskera. Since we had arrived late, we decided not to check in with my future wife's relatives, and headed straight to the bullring to try to get tickets for that day or the next. We walked down the streets where the wooden barricades had been erected for the running of the bulls. We found it impossible to get to the bullring's ticket booth. A large and increasingly boisterous crowd blocked the entrances and filled the plaza in front of the arena. The bullfight for that day was about to begin.

We heard a "Pop!" My wife, the "expert" on bulls, shouted, "Oh my God! They fired the warning rocket! That means the bulls will be charging down this street!" She then did a move that would have made Fosbury proud; she made it over the wooden barricades in record time. I move slower, and remember saying, "The bulls don't run in the afternoon." Another "Pop!" Then more in rapid succession. Lots of yelling and screaming, horns honking, a police siren, a panicked mob pushing down the street where I stood--that's much scarier than bulls. I climbed up the barricade. I saw some people with blood streaming down their faces. More "Pop!" "Pop!" coming from the bullring. I jumped down to where my wife stood and said, "Somebody is shooting!"

Somebody was indeed shooting. The unpopular governor of Navarra had arrived at the bullring to officiate the event. The crowd went wild, booing, stamping their feet, shouting in Spanish and Basque for him to get out, "¡Fuera! ¡Fuera!" They hurled comments about his mother's membership in the world's oldest profession, and her marital status at the time of his birth--nobody can beat Spaniards when it comes to colorful insults. The idiot governor, later assassinated by ETA, sent several members of the Guardia Civil into the center of the arena to announce with bullhorns (appropriate) that the bullfight would get canceled unless order and decorum returned. Mistake. First, never cede the physical high ground to an opponent; second, don't threaten him with a consequence he doesn't care about. The crowd launched a shower of seat cushions, bottles, shoes, chairs, anything throwable onto the cops. One Guardia got hit in the head by a full wine bottle. His colleagues did what panicky cops have done since time immemorial. They began firing. They fired pistols and automatic weapons into the stands and the crowd. A human stampede ensued, not to mention fatalities and many injuries.

To make a long story only slightly less long, the bulls got a reprieve that day. The city of Pamplona, however, exploded. Within a couple of hours or so the telephone company building was ablaze. Running battles between armed and shooting cops and groups of bottle and molotov cocktail throwing youths raged all over town. I told the future Diplowife, "We might want to leave right about now." For once she did not disagree, and with her cousins we walked back to our cars. We were starting them up, when some Guardias approached and asked what we were doing. "We want to leave," we whined. "Not allowed. The city is closed to all traffic, in and out." This made no sense, but they had the guns.

We had never checked in with my almost wife's relatives; her parents and those of her cousins were almost certainly learning about the mayhem on TV and radio and knew nothing of our fate; the phone company building was a pile of smoldering rubble; and all this, of course, was before cellphones: we were cut off from the outside world. In such a situation, what do you do? You party. My wife's cousin had heard of a fair or carny not too far from where we had parked. Away from the center of town, it offered the promise and hope of fun and safety. Off we went.

Her intel proved accurate. We found a fair with rides and other attractions, and food. We ate sandwiches, drank beer and coffee, and won stuffed animals, appropriately enough, at a shooting booth. By now, it had gotten dark; we could see the glow of the fires in Pamplona and hear police, fire, and ambulance sirens. We would have to sleep in our cars and hope the siege ended by morning. We decided to take a final ride on the merry-go-round. No sooner had we mounted our wooden steeds and begun our slow pointless orbit, a frantic crowd came charging through the fairground. They were fleeing cops who let fly rounds here and there. "Pop!" "Pop!" The herd surged around our merry-go-round, cops in pursuit, and then all vanished. We remained astride our bobbing ponies; the only sound being the jaunty music coming from that merry-go-round. I thought this could prove a ridiculous way to die. We jumped off the moving carousel, its operator had disappeared, and made our way in the gloom back to the cars. We sat in those tiny SEATs until daybreak, and then slowly drove them past the Guardias who finally had decided to allow people out.

I let Hemingway down. I never saw a single bull, but if I had, I would have run from it. Promise.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

One Last Word on Greece (Well, Maybe)

As I write, Greeks head to the polls to vote on a referendum which asks the very clear and understandable question,
“Should the plan of agreement, which was submitted by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in the Eurogroup of 25.06.2015 and is comprised of two parts that constitute their unified proposal be accepted? 
The first document is entitled “Reforms For The Completion Of The Current Program And Beyond” and the second “Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis.”
OK, OK, yes, it's all Greek to me. Nobody really knows what is being asked (read the press accounts--everybody has a different view) especially since the "plan of agreement" has been withdrawn.  Nobody seems to know what either a "YES" or a "NO" result would mean.

Insofar as I can tell, we're down to symbolism. A "YES" vote means, apparently, that Greeks want to keep trying to work things out with the EU, the ECB, and the IMF; a "NO" vote means, apparently, that Greeks want to keep trying to work things out with the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, but with a nasty tone in their collective negotiating voice.

Stock markets are going nuts; bureaucrats are setting their hair on fire; chickens are quacking; ducks are roaring; lions are barking; horses are mewing; Democrats are owning up to their racist past and present; Obama loves America; global warming is real; Australians have given up cricket for crochet; the world has stopped spinning; and I am going to watch the Women's World's Soccer Cup. Go USA!

P.S.: Given that the MSM is calling it too close to call, I guess that means the "NO" will win . . .

Friday, July 3, 2015

Our New and Smart Diplomacy at Work

Words fail me . . . Our Ambassador in the Dominican Republic having a big gay pool party in honor of the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage.

The New Face of the USA

ISIS must be trembling . . .

I am so glad not to be in the Department now.