Getting Back to the Open Thread

I was working on a good, fantastic, fabulous open thread for Monday Morning – but as I’m on vacation, that didn’t work out…so, here it is, later in the day, and I have some more things I’ve been thinking about.

…The duelists had from their own point of view escaped or conquered the chief powers of the modern world. They had satisfied the magistrate, they had tied the tradesman neck and heels, and they had left the police behind. As far as their own feelings went they had melted into a monstrous sea; they were but the fare and driver of one of the million hansoms that fill London streets. But they had forgotten something; they had forgotten journalism. They had forgotten that there exists in the modern world, perhaps for the first time in history, a class of people whose interest is not that things should happen well or happen badly, should happen successfully or happen unsuccessfully, should happen to the advantage of this party or the advantage of that part, but whose interest simply is that things should happen.

It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common. But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, “Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe,” or “Mr. Jones, of Worthing, Not Dead Yet.” They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority… G. K. Chesterton, The Ball and the Cross, Chapter IV.

Trigger Warning: the book was written more than 100 years ago and uses words and phrases which Precious Snowflakes Who Got Awards for Participation may find offensive. But, it is a good read for everyone else. And it pretty much in those two paragraphs demonstrates why paying attention to what the MSM wants you to see is not really wise.

The Chinese stock market crashed 8.5%! That is amazing for one trading day. It would be as if the U.S. stock market shed around 1,500 points in a day. I guess that even with injections of more funny money and the prospect of getting arrested if you sell hasn’t convinced China’s stock market to start going up.

Should Jonathan Pollard be released? Pollard has been in jail for decades. The article notes that Donald Rumsfeld doesn’t want him released – and a lot of people are on Rumsfeld’s side on this. To me, mercy triumphs over justice. Maybe it is time for Pollard to be released? Pollard becomes eligible for parole in November.

The Senate GOP leadership is, well, rather foolish. We know that they are in bed with big corporations and we know that they are largely Establishment drones who just want to go along to get alone (and, of course, so is the Senate Democrat leadership) – so, we know that they want to reauthorize that bit of corporate welfare known as the Export-Import Bank and they want their pork-laden highway bill. We in the base dig all that – and there’s no chance we’d ever actually like the GOP passing such things. But if they were to de-fund Planned Parenthood and take a big swipe at Obama’s Iran deal, we’d better deal with Ex-Im and the Iran deal actually happening. But, nothing doing – the GOP leadership by legislative hard-ball blocked conservative efforts to do both things…and then rammed through re-authorization of Ex-Im on the highway bill. Turns out, though, that the House GOP leadership (which is much more threatened by that tiresome, will-of-the-people thing), isn’t going to play along. Hey, Mitch – here’s a bit of advice: you have to play ball for things to get done. Just throw us a conservative bone once in a while…geesh!

Assad is hunkering down in his section of Syria and essentially writing off the parts controlled by the rebels. The reason for this? Fundamentally, because Syria isn’t a nation. Iraq isn’t a nation, either. Joe Biden caught a lot of flack when he suggested a post-war partition of Iraq, but it was about the only sensible thing he’s ever said. Syria and Iraq were drawn willy-nilly by Anglo-French imperialists in the post-WWI settlement. They are collections of different peoples with, often, very different ideas of what constitutes the good life. They were only held together – and held down – by imperial and dictatorial powers. Partition may be the only viable solution.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) is locked in a battle with the State’s government unions – who, of course, control the State Democrat party. This is a re-do of the battle in Wisconsin, but Rauner lacks a legislative majority as Walker had. The fundamental situation is the same – a bankrupt State government faces out of control spending forced through by government unions and their willing minions in elective office. It is either reform, or collapse – but the unions don’t care and insist the only way to go is more taxes and more spending. But Rauner isn’t backing down – and I’m certain that the Democrats/Unions will pull out all the stops. They have to. It was bad enough they were crushed in Wisconsin where the whole government was in Republican hands – but if they get crushed in Illinois where the Democrats control the Legislature, then it is game over for the government unions, and thus the whole idea of Big Government at the State level. Keep and eye on this one – and if Rauner pulls it off, pencil him in for 2024 (if the GOP wins next year) or 2020 (if it loses).

Another Monday Comes

We just can’t avoid them, now can we?

Seems that whole economy things still isn’t working out as well as promised.

ObamaCare – the disaster that keeps on disasting:

State-run health insurance markets that offer coverage under President Barack Obama’s health law are struggling with high costs and disappointing enrollment…

…”The viability of state health insurance exchanges has been a challenge across the country, particularly in small states, due to insufficient numbers of uninsured residents,” said a statement from the office of Hawaii Democratic Gov. David Ige, announcing last month that his state’s sign-ups were being turned over to the federal government. (emphasis added)

Insufficient numbers of uninsured residents? But, wait – weren’t we told of tens of millions of uninsured who were all going to die horrible, painful deaths unless we passed ObamaCare? Could it be that – and I’m just spit balling here – they exaggerated the numbers of uninsured in order to create a crisis which they would not let go to waste?

Out and About on a Wednesday

Attorney General Lynch says she will look into those videos of Planned Parenthood looking for “less crunchy” ways of carrying out an abortion. The question remains whether she’ll be looking for criminal activity on the part of Planned Parenthood, or will be out to get the makers of the videos.

Governor Brown (D-Peoples Democratic Republic of California), says global warming threatens human extinction. As soon as he calls for a ban on limos, private jets and beach houses larger than 1,000 square feet, I’ll take him seriously.

Our new Partners for Peace in Tehran say they will buy whatever arms they want.

If you ever thought there was a bottom to the well of Progressive silliness, you were wrong.

Perry rips into Trump. He has to. First off, as a matter of principal: Trump is simply not the man who will win the White House for the Republican party. Secondly, as a matter of electoral politics – he’s an also-ran so far in the GOP sweepstakes and he has to gain some traction. Attacking Walker or Cruz will work against him (their supporters might be angered), attacking Bush and Christy is boring – we already know he’s not on board with them. Attack Trump and you get noticed.

Hillary Clinton is polling just terrible in the swing States. Before you get too excited, I understand the polling sample over-states Republican numbers – but, still, with 99.99% name recognition Hillary is down 9 points against Walker, who probably doesn’t have 50% name recognition in, for instance, Colorado. She’s a giant on weak legs.

I really don’t know what to say about the Bland case – woman gets stopped for failure to signal (with, I guess, also doing a rolling stop at a stop sign) and it escalates into her being arrested and then dying in prison – officially by suicide but the full investigation isn’t close to done. The only bit of wisdom I can impart is to wait until the investigation is complete before rendering anything like a judgement on it.

In the Fundamental Transformation department – newly sworn citizens don’t have to swear to bear arms in defense of the United States. It makes sense – after all, some of the people becoming citizens might not want to defend the United States; why inconvenience them with something as trivial as being loyal to the nation they voluntarily immigrated to?

List of the 20 cities Americans are fleeing from in droves. Oddly enough, a lot of them appear to be governed by Democrats. Shouldn’t people be moving into Democrat governed areas? I mean, they really care about the little guy and have the best solutions for all of us, right?

And, Now, Back to the Fun…

Yesterday was an experiment and it will become permanent. I spent a day away from the Internet. No Facebook, no Twitter, no reading the news. It was wonderful. I’m thinking that I’ll give up the internet for Lent. Really, boys and girls, if you don’t do it, already, then make it part of your life: unplug from time to time. The ‘net has become like the TV in 1984.

Anyways…

John Kerry says that Iran isn’t allowed to use the bucket of money we’re giving them for terrorist operations. I’m sure you’ll all sleep soundly tonight.

Trump really messed up on his comments about McCain. I’ve got lots of problems with McCain. I hope he draws a TEA Party challenger. I think he’s often a bit of a jerk in the demeaning way he deals with GOP base. But, no matter how you slice it, McCain is a war hero. The recent poll showing Trump leading the primary field nationwide had a little tid-bit in it for the detail-minded: the day after Trump’s insulting comment broke, his support dropped like a rock. He won’t win a single primary and he’ll never be President.

Monk Rock? Well, we Catholics are rather dangerous, transgressive outsiders these days…

Saudi’s threaten military action against Iran. So, Obama has fundamentally transformed us – it is not backwards, corrupt monarchies taking a stand for decency in the world instead of the United States.

The Democrat party has decided that writing off the elderly vote is best – Obama Administration proposes to deny self-defense rights to people on Social Security if third party’s handle their bills.

Walker up by 9 in Iowa. Walker wins Iowa, NH and SC, he’s the GOP nominee.

Out and About on a Friday – and Saturday and Sunday…

You know, just to keep things going.

Ok, so criminal justice reform is getting more front-burner. A genuinely bi-partisan group of people is looking for ways to reform our broken system. What I’d like:

End jail time for small time possession of illegal drugs. Anything less than a few ounces, maybe write the guy a ticket. No more jail time for failure to pay fines. End civil asset forfeiture. No more three strikes laws. Civil penalties for prosecutors who convict the innocent, or do fishing expeditions like the “Jon Doe” investigation in Wisconsin.

That would be a good start.

China seems to be dumping US Treasuries.

Women and minorities are obtaining concealed carry permits – a lot of concealed carry permits. Liberals won’t know what to do about this. As for us – it just means that, in the long run, a lot of women and minorities will eventually be voting conservative.

The guy who killed our Marines here at home spent a lot of time over in the Middle East. Someone please tell me why we allow easy travel between the Middle East and the United States.

Obama’s approval rating is 44.7%. Just keep in mind that it is very hard for a party to out-do it’s President’s approval rating on election day. To depress you, maybe what happens is Trump goes Perot next year and the final result is Hillary, 45%, Walker 42%, Trump 13%.

I actually spent some time reading the Iran deal. It is just terrible, as you suspected. Of course, people can read it different ways…I read it like an Iranian mullah who wants to do whatever he pleases. In that reading Iran…gets to do whatever it pleases. Seriously. 24 day waiting period for inspections. We not only have to lift sanctions, but help Iran gain market share and stamp on any State or local government which doesn’t want to do business with Iran. We have to give them scientific help of the best sort. And we have to obey the “spirit” of the deal – which is undefined. And if there’s a dispute about the implementation of the deal then we have 35 days to see it Iran’s way and if we don’t, then the deal binds us to see it Iran’s way. This isn’t diplomacy – this is Obama helping Iran to become the dominant power of the Middle East and pretending that he’s just making a nuke deal.

We are becoming a nation of cowards.

Hillary ain’t too popular.

From quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning, but laughter and the love of friends. – Hilaire Belloc

Out and About on a Saturday

The longer I live the more convinced I become that any concentration of power or wealth is a threat to human liberty. I can’t say I’ve got the answers to how to fix the problem, but our Constitution provides a framework for making sure that no one gets on top of another in any long-term manner…but we on the right need to seriously and deeply consider just how we will change the Constitution when we obtain power (and we will: eventually, these Progressive nitwits will wreck everything and we’ll be called in to repair the world). Term limits (everyone who goes into politics long enough gets captured by the system…so don’t let anyone be there that long); strict controls on who is allowed to spend government money; beefed up protections for the dissenters…such things need to be built into our laws; and now that we’ve learned a few lessons, built in such a way that the con-artists will have a difficult time dismantling what we put in place.

What Media Bias? Part 200 – CNN blames the GOP for Archuleta being in charge of OPM:

…When she won Senate confirmation to lead the Office of Personnel Management, the chief objections from lawmakers who voted against her focused on Obamacare.

That was October, 2013, and the 62-35 vote reflected the political concerns at the time about how the agency, which serves as the federal government’s HR department, would implement parts of the health care law opposed by Republicans…

…Less attention focused on the agency’s role in handling government security clearances and how it safeguards some of the most sensitive U.S. government databases.

Even less was paid to why Archuleta — whose most recent job was as a national political director for Obama for America, the President’s reelection campaign — was the person to help fix what was an agency already struggling to deal with technology problems and serious data breaches.

Aides to Republican lawmakers who voted for her confirmation now acknowledge they didn’t pay enough attention to the importance of technology in the agency Archuleta was taking over…

One, small fact: the Senate was in Democrat hands when Archuleta was confirmed. 35 GOPers voted against her. All 55 Democrats voted for her. Even if all 45 GOPers in the Senate at that time voted “no” she still would have been confirmed. She’s a Democrat political hack put into office by Obama and a supine, then-Democrat-controlled Senate…and CNN wants LIV to believe that somehow the GOP failed here.

Does the United States need an exorcism? I’m no theologian – but, what the heck: give it a try.

South Carolina Republicans removed the Confederate Battle Flag from the State House today. It must be noted that Democrats put it there and Democrats never made a move to remove it.

The South Carolina shooter obtained his firearm via a loophole in the law – this loophole is called The Miserably Incompetent Big Government loophole. According to Progs, it can only be fixed by making the government bigger and more incompetent.

Everyone is agog over Fox’s Megyn Kelly calling out Obama on not commenting on the murder of Kate Steinle by an illegal immigrant in a sanctuary city. I guess it is nice that someone mentioned it, but it is also quite pointless. Obama isn’t commenting on it because no comment he can make will work to his political advantage. So, it becomes a non-event – and next week we’ll move on to the next story and in a month or two Obama will be back on the hustings pressing for “comprehensive immigration reform”. Fighting Obama in the political arena is not about calling him out on his dishonesty – it is about actually fighting him. Until someone steps up and says “no” to him, we’re just spinning our wheels.

A World Flying Out of Control

I suggested that the Chinese government would just order their money bags to stay in the market – and I was right:

China’s securities regulator banned major shareholders, corporate executives and directors from selling stakes in listed companies for six months, its latest effort to stop the nation’s $3.5 trillion stock-market rout.

Oddly enough, right about the time this order came down the line, the New York Stock Exchange had a “technical glitch”, halting trading for a few hours. Don’t you just love completely unrelated coincidences? I know I do.

Obama may just give up on setting a dead line for the Iranians to agree to a nuke deal – I guess he figures it will take them a while to figure out just how much Obama is willing to surrender and he’s kindly giving them time to expand their wish list.

Greece is asking for a three year stay on financial execution – because if the EU just shovels more cash at Greece they’re sure to reform. Right?

Because the world is so peaceful, the Army has unveiled plans to reduce our active forces by 40,000 troops.

Russia and China are getting more buddy-buddy all the time. This is amazingly stupid on the part of Russia because only in alliance with the United States can Russia hang on to Siberia in the long term…but, meanwhile, this budding alliance is a threat to the United States. Which makes our Army reductions even more sensible. Right?

The murder rate in Baltimore has skyrocketed – so the mayor of Baltimore has fired the chief of police because Reasons.

A judge is really upset at the way the Obama Administration has just ignored court orders, lied to him and essentially gone off in a lawless manner on Obama’s amnesty program. He has ordered the offending officials to appear personally in court to explain why they shouldn’t be held in contempt of court. Problem is, these guys are already breaking the law – I doubt they’ll mind breaking it, again, by not showing up as the judge has ordered. Here’s a little secret for you, boys and girls, the Judicial can only enforce its decrees with the voluntary cooperation of the Executive…in other words, all Judicial decisions are just words on paper unless the Executive decides to give force to them. To be sure, the Executive should obey Judicial orders, but if the Executive doesn’t, the only recourse is for the Legislative to impeach the Executive, which will never happen. Our government only works when people obey the rules. Welcome to a government which doesn’t obey the rules.

ISIS is crucifying people for not obeying the requirements of Ramadan. Once again, glad or Army is being reduced by 40,000 troops.

Israel and India are drawing together – faced with a lot of the same enemies, they probably figure this will be useful…and as neither of them can count on American support…

Everyone hates Donald Trump these days. He’s a blowhard. A clown. He doesn’t do politics right. To be sure, he’s not my choice for President, but the man does have guts. He’s actually losing deals and money because he’s taking a stand. Maybe it’s the wrong stand (remember: I’m the pro-amnesty guy), but he’s taking it…a little courage is refreshing. And single-handed he has taken the discussion on illegal immigration away from the “DREAMers” and put it squarely where it belongs – on the astonishing level of criminality surrounding illegal immigration. No one really has a word to say against someone who is coming to get a job – but because we allow illegal immigration – because, that is, we’re refusing to enforce our own laws – the law-breakers have completely taken over. That horrid murder in San Francisco (by an illegal immigrant, with an illegally-obtained weapon, in a gun-free zone, in a Sanctuary City) has, I think, started to focus the public mind on the real problem – and Trump was out in front on it. The GOP should stop jumping on Trump and start challenging Democrats over their lack of support for border security.