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;...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Trump Marches On . . .

Some weekend thoughts.

There's a whole slew of presidential election polls out there, and you can believe them or not at this early point in the horrifically long US election process. One, however, does not need formal polls to know that Donald Trump has had and is having a great and unforeseen impact on American politics. In my little world in a corner of semi-rural California, I increasingly encounter people who, almost ashamed of themselves, say they "like" Trump, and, yes, they could vote for him. They admire his brashness, his, shall we say, talent at political jujitsu. The media and others hit him with their best shots, pointing out his "weaknesses,"and he turns those right around and makes the critics look foolish and out of touch. He has one of the oddest campaigns around--I doubt he has spent much at all--with little to no formal structure, for now, and built almost solely around Trump's celebrity status and his ability to draw the media's attention wherever he goes. The sophisticates, including the stale GOP establishment, can seek to label his pronouncements as a new nativism, perhaps try to paint him as a new Huey long, or even as a new Father Coughlin. Sure. Go ahead. It probably won't work. He has tapped into a great ignored anger and angst among the people who form the base of this nation.

Let me be blunt. I do not want a Democrat elected President in 2016. I would vote for ANY of the Republican candidates over ANY of the Democratic candidates. That said, my own personal jury is still out on whether Trump is the best candidate to ensure that the horrid Democratic party is denied the White House.

In addition, I just don't know what Trump genuinely believes. He, for now, doesn't seem to have any sort of well-developed plan beyond reading the headlines on the Drudge Report and feeding off of them. Could he work with Congress? Could he develop an administration with coherent policies? Is there more to Trump than just Trump? I don't know. He doesn't seem to have any deep knowledge of foreign affairs, certainly no understanding of the complexity of international trade--New import tariffs, really?--and his domestic policy seems all over the place, including calls for higher taxes on hedge fund managers--More taxes, really? I haven't seen any plans for cutting government waste and overreach, or for how to handle Russia, China, Iran, ISIS, etc.  But, no matter, the appeal of Trump is there.

As I said above, I want the Dems out of the White House. If Trump can do that, good. My concern, however, is whether Trump has the legs to make it all the way to November 2016. Will his schtick grow tiresome? If Trump is going to implode or explode, then I want him to do it now or very soon. If he self-destroys, I want him to do it while there is still time to get somebody else out there. Right now nobody else is getting a message or image through the Trump chaff. If, however, he does not blow up or collapse or run out of steam in the next six to eight months, or so, then I want him to go the distance.

Back to my cars and my dogs . . .

Ain't nobody touching this car . . .

Monday, August 24, 2015

What is Not Being Said About the European Train Incident

As have most other sentient beings in the Western world, I have followed with fascination the story of the foiled jihadi attack on a  European train. As we know, a Moroccan practitioner of the Religion of Peace boarded an Amsterdam-Paris high speed train armed with an AK, a pistol, and a knife, and with the intent of killing infidels and, presumably, earning his prescribed quota of dark-eyed virgins.

He picked the wrong train. A gang of infidels, four Americans and a Briton, frustrated the Maghrebi's plan for eternal bliss by disarming him, pummeling him into unconsciousness, and trussing him up like a Christmas (oops!) turkey.

This story says a lot about many things--not all being prominently discussed. We begin by noting the nationalities of those who bravely launched and executed the uprising against the Islamist wannabe killer: big, strong, young American men assisted by an elderly, wise-cracking, man of the world Brit. Central casting had to have a hand in this. Following in the footsteps of the heroic passengers on Flight 93, this Anglo-American squad refused to let the jihadi have his way. He would not kill those passengers on that train that day. That immediately raises a question. Why is it that Anglo-Americans are much more willing to take matters into their own hands? I'll leave that for the sociologists, but I am sure readers will have opinions. By the way, I am certain had there been Australians, Israelis, or Canadians on that train they would have joined the Maghrebi bash. I think that says a lot about where one might yet find the remnants of Western civilization.

I see the press is now full of stories re the need to review security measures on trains and buses, etc. As the Beatles would say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." While you're at it, let's look at security in casinos, shoe outlets, bingo parlors, linen stores, supermarkets, restaurants, gas stations, etc. Lots of stories, too, about how the Spanish security services had flagged Mr. Morocco, noting he had gone off to Syria to do a spell with ISIS, and passed his name to the French, Dutch, Germans, etc. Cue the Beatles,"Yeah, yeah, yeah." OK, he was flagged. So? He had no trouble moving around Europe, and, ahem, despite Europe's draconian gun laws, obtaining an AK, a pistol, lots of ammo, and a knife, oh yes, and boarding a crowded international train with all this gear. I note, by the way, that he was apparently the only person armed on the train--some, such as me, might argue that a 99.9% "gun-free" zone is considerably more dangerous than a 50% "gun-free" zone.

Lots of issues here. The biggest one, of course, is being totally avoided. Shall we dare mention the elephant rampaging in the living room? Yes, by all means, let's. Why was Mr. Morocco in Europe? Why is Europe allowing itself to be flooded by a invasion of persons who adhere to a violent, totalitarian ideology, i.e. Islam? These persons detest everything about the West, ridicule its kindness and generosity as contemptible softness, and see us all as candidates for forcible conversion, enslavement, and death. Believing in the values of Western civilization does not mean signing a suicide note.

All the flagging, monitoring, metal detectors, peace marches, Coexist stickers, and "guns banned" signs will do nothing, or worse, as long as the adherents of the Religion of Peace are allowed almost unfettered entry into our countries and homes, and as long as we continue to accept the fiction that Islam is a religion just like any other. Short of our dealing with that, you better hope and pray that wherever you are there are brave Anglo-American men around who will fight and die for you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Here they are!

My garage full of gleaming, good ol' American steel!

And here . . . my own little Olds . . . with the Stang looming ominously in the background like a great black angry and jealous shark . . .

The two beautiful sisters arrived this morning; surviving quite nicely the 310 miles across the desert.

Now the fight begins with the bureaucracy.

Already had my first unpleasantness when the Auto club told me this morning that they could not do the paperwork on the Olds because the previous owner was an out-of-state car dealership; they could do the papers on the Cadillac because although I bought it at the same place as the Olds, the Caddy was listed as the personal property of the dealer. Who comes up with this stuff?!? What devious mind makes these convoluted rules? When did Rufus T. Firefly take over our lives?

Now I have to go stand in line for hours at the DMV with all the illegal aliens freely getting their drivers' licenses, California ids, and voter registration.

It is easier to kill an unborn child in California than to register a classic car . .  .

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton: Time to Do the Decent Thing, for Once

Full Disclosure:  I have met her both in her roles as FLOTUS and as SecState. I worked for her, and as a career Foreign Service professional did my best to implement her policies, such as they were. I would never in a million years vote for Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. End of FD

It is time for Hillary Clinton to depart the political scene. She, her husband, and Princess Chelsea of Manhattan should go away, reappearing perhaps every twenty-five or thirty years in some "Where Are They Now?" piece.

Innocent until proven guilty, yes, yes, yes. That does not mean, however, that a reasonably intelligent and observant person and follower of things political and social cannot have a well-based opinion on Clinton. I, for one, am firmly convinced that Hillary Clinton is guilty of serious crimes of various types. There, furthermore, is no doubt, and no court verdict is needed, that she stands convicted of being a habitual liar. Her public record is strewn with her lies and embellishments. There, likewise, can be no doubt that she is severely ethically challenged, once again, as her public record shows. She is a woman of no achievements for America as Arkansas First Lady, as US First Lady, as Senator from New York, and, most infamously, as Secretary of State. As SecState, of course, she proved a monumental disaster, helping Obama make America and the West weaker and our enemies stronger. Throughout her adult life, she has surrounded herself with some of the most despicable toadies imaginable: people who care nothing about anything except how to use their Hillary connection to grab a slice of that money and power pie.

She is a divisive, hollow, incompetent, money-grubbing, political hack with nothing to offer this country. I am sure she can wrangle a pardon from His Most Exalted Emperor Barack to avoid prison time. She should use whatever influence she has with the Emperor to get such a deal and just go away.

Please, Mrs. Clinton, for once, do the decent thing: leave us be.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Quick Note on Hillary's Emails

I haven't commented much on this topic because I don't want to give the impression that I have some sort of insider knowledge about how SecState Clinton handled her classified communications. I don't. I never sent her a message directly, and treated only with her staff. I met her on several occasions and sat in meetings with her, but never exchanged emails with her.

That said, I am troubled by what is clearly a big lie coming out from her and her defenders. While sitting in my Vegas hotel last night, I was watching some Democrat operative or another on CNN (I think)--can't remember his name. He was saying something I am also seeing the Hillary troll force write on social media boards. Just to remind, we have reports coming out from intel IGs and DOJ that it seems that some of Hillary's emails contained--despite repeated denials--highly classified information and were sent through her off-the-books home server maintained by a company, reportedly, with a shady past.  We see her stooges claim that Clinton never sent any email labelled Top Secret/SCI. OK. Folks, please, that ain't the point. Of course she didn't send any email with that label on it. Nobody is saying she ran exact copies of State, NSA, CIA, DIA, etc., cables through her server. The accusation, and it seems to have validity, is that she DISCUSSED TS/SCI and other classified material over this unsecure, off-the-books server, AND discussed it with persons not cleared for it. That, my friends, is indeed against the law and punishable by jail.

Hillary Clinton is a liar who does not think the laws apply to her. If I had handled classified information at State the way she did, I would be in jail. Now we will see how our highly politicized DOJ handles the issue.

Car Itch, Scratched

Light on reflexions about politics today; light but not non-existent.

As mentioned before, I had been suffering from the disease that commonly affects the retired FOG (Fat Old Guy). I wanted a classic car! I spent hours on the internet and visiting a collection of rusty, dusty car lots. I hankered for that Buick with the Queensland's plates, but--alas!--the paperwork would have been a nightmare. I did not fancy spending days, weeks, months dealing with hostile bureaucrats at the California DMV trying to register a car with Aussie papers and tags but which had been in California for some eleven years.

"What kind of papers and plates are these?"
"Where's that?"
"No, not the home of Adolf Hitler, the home of Geoffrey Rush."

And on and on. Sigh. Had to let the Buick go.

As so often happens in life, however, one door closes, another opens. I got a line on a beautiful blue 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible in Las Vegas. Phoned the dealer, got a good vibe from him and from the superb packet of pictures he sent, and grabbed the Diplowife (ret), and said "Vegas!" We strapped ourselves into the trusty Chevy Tahoe and headed off on the 310 mile trek across the California and Nevada deserts to tacky, crazy, wonderful Las Vegas. The Diplowife (ret) admitted, incidentally, that she was only going along to talk me out of this nutty purchase.

Well, we visited the dealership, which had dozens of stunning cars--more than appear on their website. I drove the Olds, fell in love with it, and turned loose the skeptical Diplowife (ret) on the dealer, Mike, a very nice and honest guy who did not deserve getting the Diplowife (ret) treatment . . . but I wanted that car! As noted before, the Diplowife (ret) has formidable powers of negotiation. She hit Mike with one of her classic barrages. The dealer was good, but no match. She got a very good price. Her negotiations might not have been helped, I confess, by my dancing around on the hot pavement, tugging on her blouse, and, like John Kerry at the Iran nuke talks, crying "Please! Please! I want it! I want it!"

As Mike and I sat in his office filling out the papers, the Diplowife (ret) took a stroll among the wonderful gleaming machines on display and--wham!--she spied a pristine 1976 Cadillac Coup DeVille with only 19,000 original miles, recently arrived from an estate sale in Arizona. Now the itch hit her! Ha! She had to have that Caddy! I insisted that she drive it. She loved steering that great beast around the back roads of Vegas. It is a magnificent piece of cutting-edge 1970s engineering and excess. I swear the thing still smelled new. Riding along, I felt like Robert De Niro in Casino. All we needed was a couple of dead mobsters in the cavernous trunk to make it a perfect day--our 37th wedding anniversary, by the way. A new round of negotiations and another car added to our growing fleet. The cars are to be delivered next week. I'll let you know how all that goes.

Here are the babies.

66 Olds

76 Caddy

I have two concerns about the Caddy: It measures 18'11" and my garage space is 20'. No room for anything else in front or in back. A more serious worry is the Golden State of California, a nanny state if ever there was one. California has declared war on fun. Well, on any fun that is male-centric. Let's face it, of course, fun is a male invention. Women are more than welcome to come along, but fun is, at heart, a man thing. I am talking planes, trains, cars, guns, deep sea fishing, hunting, video games, bowling, archery, belching, etc. What women call "fun," is not. Not even they believe it; hence, women want to go on or control male fun excursions, whereas men rarely want to go on female "fun" excursions or care about them enough to ask the state to intervene. The feminists' greatest ally in the ever-more frenzied progressive war on fun is the power of the state. Deep blue California, of course, is more than willing to play along. In California, any car model 1976 or newer--note that date--must pass smog inspection. It is not a rolling date, say, declaring that any car under thirty years old, with the cut-off date moving forward every year, must pass inspection. No. It is an arbitrarily fixed date that cuts into the classic/collectible car market. Given that the Caddy is stock, only has 19,000 miles and runs great, I have high hopes that it passes, but the fear remains that the fun-killers will strike.

OK. Now that I am in deep trouble with the Diplowife (ret) I sign off before she and Megyn Kelly come gunning for me . . .

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Weirdness, Oh, the Weirdness: The Hillary Campaign

This is a sort of jazz-equivalent post. Random notes in search of a theme.

I have admitted not being good at the political punditry game. Never have been. I, for example, thought that Mitt Romney would make a better president than Barack Obama, and for a brief moment thought Romney would win. I also voted for Sarah Palin in 2008--and her running mate, whoever that was--and thought she would have been better than Biden--and his running mate, whoever that was. I sure know how to pick 'em. The voters, at least lately, don't agree with me very often. I find myself shunned from polite company because of my punditry efforts--or perhaps because I never have seen a Star Wars, James Bond, X-Men, or Mission Impossible movie?

Anyhow, not to be deterred, my domestic politics punditry efforts continue. Today I express my amazement about one candidate, yes, my old boss, Hillary Clinton. The polls (here, for example) make me wonder, "How?" In nearly if not every poll, Clinton beats just about any GOP candidate. I see those polls, and while, of course, I am sure the "science" behind them is impeccable--as voters in Greece, UK, and Wisconsin recently discovered--but still notice that they don't respond to reality in my little world. Who are these Hillary Clinton fans? I have yet to meet anybody--outside of one ultra-liberal State Department employee--who thinks she would make a good president. I have the same issue with polling about Jeb Bush. I have met him, like him as a person, but have not met anybody who says he wants him as president; yet the poll numbers put him right up next to Trump. Who are the people getting polled? (Readers: Insert off color joke here about the American people getting polled/poled.)

Let's look at Hillary Clinton. She has a very long history of living large and in the public eye and accomplishing . . . nothing. Nothing as First Lady of Arkansas--except to serve as laundress for bribes--nothing as FLOTUS, nothing as Senator, and nothing as SecState. She has depended on her roguish husband to provide her a "career." She has endured all sorts of humiliations from him but has stuck with him to get wealth and power. That's it. Nothing else. She has shown herself as without a sense of shame, and has no apparent requirement that people around her have a moral compass--she certainly doesn't have one. She has surrounded herself with compliant, amoral yet ruthless toadies who treat her as she treats her husband, i.e., as a vehicle to wealth and power. For Hillary and her acolytes, Hillary is their north.

As First Lady she proved an egomaniacal disaster, who wanted "to be somebody." She tried to impose a weird--even stranger than Obamacare--health insurance scheme on the US; her "little" project, horribly mismanaged, sunk ignominiously out of sight and should have taken her political aspirations with it. As noted, she passed unnoticed as Senator. I have written before about my encounter with her in one of her early forays into foreign affairs; she continued that pattern of "it's all about me" while Secretary of State, and had zero accomplishments in that job. Let me modify that: zero accomplishments of benefit to the USA. She proved wonderfully productive for the Muslim world's Jihadis, Iran's Ayatollahs, Cuba's Castros, Venezuela's Chavez, and Russia's Putin. In sum, throughout it all, she has shown herself as a incompetent manager, a lousy leader, as well as a habitual liar, crook, and highly vindictive practitioner of the politics of personal destruction--ask Bill's "bimbos."

Her current presidential campaign is bizarre or brilliant, or both. It seems to be a hit-and-run guerrilla campaign in which the candidate rarely appears, takes almost no questions, gives opaque statements worthy of the Oracle of Delphi or an astrology chart, and has her staff issue little Tweeter bolts every so often. She hides most of the time behind a gaggle of spokesmen who lie about and rewrite her scandal-ridden history. Perhaps we can better described it as a version of "rope-a-dope." Let everybody throw what they've got at her now, and since our presidential campaigns have become so absurdly long, by the time we get to voting, nobody will remember or care. I can hear the line, "That's old news," bandied about in the future whenever somebody raises something about her past--as though "old" means "irrelevant." In addition, she has well-placed media whores who do their best to ensure that "scandal eruptions" remain under control. Democrat-run electoral fraud will occur on a scale never seen before (here, here, and here) and Clinton will rely heavily on the gaggles of useful idiots produced by universities. Can this work for her? Maybe. I don't know what impact the new and anarchic world of social media will have on a campaign plan that seeks total control over messaging. I don't know if black and women voters will come out in numbers for her. I also don't know if the GOP will get its act together. There's all sorts of stuff I don't know.

My powers as a pundit, as confessed above, are limited.

Ready for Hillary? Better be.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Republican Debates

Ok, I am not very good at the instant punditry, therefore, feel free to demand your money back. That said, I provide my quick and rough take on the debates.

Too many candidates for it to be a real debate. Time constraints made it mostly just a quick sound-bite competition. Not always, but most of the time.

The first round of debate, where the low-poll number people were concentrated, was actually the better one. I have to agree with the media consensus (Horrors!) that former HP exec Carly Fiorina "won". She was focussed, had a good command of facts, quick on her feet, articulate, witty, and tough. It was an impressive performance. I think she did herself a lot of good and if she sticks with it will get promoted to the Major League. As noted before, in the campaign against the Dems, she might be handicapped by her controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard, and would find herself having to defend that record from all sorts of real and crazy accusations. I think, however, that whomever gets picked as the GOP candidate could do worse than have her as VP. Also in the Minor League debate, I thought that Gov. Jindal did well. I was disappointed in Governor Perry's performance: he needed a home-run and got nothing close to it. He still comes across as awkward and almost tongue-tied in these debate settings. That is unfortunate because he is actually a very good politician and a thoughtful person.

Turning to the Major League debate, Trump didn't disappoint those who wanted a bit of a show. Right off the mark he was the one who refused to take the pledge to support whomever is nominated. He would not swear off the possibility of a third party run, a run that would, in all probability, ensure another Democrat in the White House in 2017. He obviously had done little to no homework in preparation for the debate and relied on his abrasive style and cutting one-liners to keep him going. I continue to believe that he believes in nothing except Trump. He is way too thin-skinned for my taste and would prove a personally vindictive sort of SOB were he in the White House. Do we need another one of those?

None of the other candidates made major gaffes although I thought that Senator Rand Paul came off a bit weak and even hysterical in his exchange with Governor Christie. If anybody got hurt last night, I think it was Paul. Dr. Ben Carson proved a delightful change of pace and had some funny comments. He seems a genuinely smart and nice man, one who would get eaten alive in the piranha infested waters of Washington DC. Jeb Bush, blah beyond belief. He seemed uncomfortable and awkward and did not get the breakout that some think he needs. Bush continues to stumble on the Iraq question. I thought Governor Walker was good, took some tough questions and turned them around nicely. Senator Rubio seemed to me to be the most articulate and passionate and he might have done himself some good. I found Senator Cruz a bit off and not as lively and engaged as he is at other times. Governor Huckabee seemed the most comfortable as befits his long experience with these formats. His closing statement was clever as he managed to take swipes at both Trump and Clinton. Governor Kasich? I know some are impressed by him, but he strikes me as a Democrat-light when it comes to spending and government activities.

That's enough of that. We are going to hear so much more about all this, that we all will want to tune out and go find that perfect classic car . . .

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August 6, 1945

I have written before (here, for example) that I think Harry Truman made the right call by ordering the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, August 6 and 9, seventy years ago. I won't repeat all that but will cite my principal argument from that post,
Was the atomic bombing justified? Yes, it was. Truman made the right call. The US naval and air campaign against the Japanese homeland, unlike the Allied bombing of Germany, seriously deteriorated Japan's industrial capacity. The strategic bombing of Japan had by mid-1945 probably cut Japanese industrial production in half. Japan was clearly going to lose the war but its leadership had no intention of recognizing that. As the American invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa showed, the Japanese were brave, tough, skillful, and determined defenders of their home islands. American military planners looked at the casualties from those two campaigns and extrapolated to what it would cost to invade Japan proper. The US military estimated that there would be at least one million American casualties, plus hundreds of thousands of other allied dead and wounded, and perhaps twenty to thirty times that many Japanese casualties in the case of an invasion. Such a campaign in Japan might take one to two years, would result in the total devastation of Japan, and produce a legacy of hatred and bitterness that would last a hundred years or more.
If anything, I probably understated the consequences of not dropping the atomic bomb. The invasion of Japan would have been a calamitous affair from all aspects. I don't think we would have ever had the friendship and alliance we now have with Japan had the invasion occurred. Quite likely we would have had a partitioned Japan, with a Soviet sector and eventually a Korea-type scenario, and very likely continuous guerrilla warfare that could have lasted years after the formal end of hostilities--assuming the invasion succeeded. It is hard to imagine how dire the consequences of that would have been for Japan, America, Asia and the whole world.

Why do I bring this up, yet again? You know why. The revisionists always emerge at this time of year to bemoan the atomic bombings, and they do it without context. I have noted before how at the UN, during the 40th anniversary commemoration of the end of the Second World War, there were speeches, pamphlets, and exhibits that made it seem as though Harry Truman woke up one day and decided to nuke Japan, just because. As a conservative, of course, I have lots of problems with Truman's handling of the domestic economy and of the Korean War, but he made the right call on ending the war with Japan in the fastest and, ultimately, least costly manner for all.

Car Itch

Sorry for the light blogging. I have been afflicted with another bout of Caritis. I need another automobile in my life to help distract from the delusional politics sweeping over our once wonderful nation. Obama's defense of the Iran deal was, was, was . . . absurd is too weak of a word. I'll write more about it later.

Right now I am on the hunt for a classic American car. I started the hunt with my putative prey being an older Mercedes or VW, but after looking at several of those specimens, I ended up back gunning for my original love, i.e., big American cars of the 1960s and 70s.

I have got several in my sights but it is a question of money and headaches. I don't want to spend a lot of money but I also don't want to buy something that will be a money pit and a headache. Tough thing to balance. I have been talking to one fellow who has what seems a very nice 1970 Buick that he brought with him when he came here from Australia. It has, in fact, Queensland plates on it. How he's gotten away with that for the past eleven years, I don't know, but he has. I have targeted a couple of nicely restored 1960s Buick Skylarks, as well, along with a couple of older T-Birds, a 71 Oldsmobile 4-4-2, and one or two other odds and ends.

I also have ironclad instructions from the Diplowife (ret) that anything I buy must be a convertible, be big, have (sigh) automatic transmission and not cost too much. This weekend I will be off to look at some other cars.

So my mind is elsewhere. I try to pretend that the great tsunami is not headed our way . . . I, however, will watch the GOP debate on Thursday for what that's worth.

Back soon. And keep clicking on those ads. I have a car to buy.