Out and About on a Monday

In and among all the heartache being generated re: Russia, one thing I’m not getting is how dealing with Russians is some sort of monstrous thing, but dealing with, say Chinese, isn’t. Suppose it is true that Trump and his people have deals with Russia – even nefarious deals – why is that so bad, but people having deals with China is ok? To me, tyranny is tyranny. Corrupt oligarchies are corrupt oligarchies. There’s no real differentiating between them.

A long while ago – I believe back in the Blogs for Bush days – I wrote an article in favor of “Freedom Trade”, as opposed to “Free Trade”. The short story on that was that I held we should have no economic relations with tyrannical regimes, but free trade with all free nations. The only exception for dealing with tyrannical regimes would be if they have some material which we simply cannot obtain elsewhere (this would be a rarity – for the most part, we can obtain just about everything we need here at home, one way or another; and, failing that, there’s got to be a free nation source out there, somewhere). There were several reasons I was opposed (and remain opposed) to dealing with tyrannical regimes:

1. Trade with tyrannical regimes does not lead to liberalization, but the mere strengthening of the tyranny. Britain had free trade with the Kaiser’s Germany and all that did was allow Germany to penetrate British markets and thus provide the sinews of war for the Germans. I can show, again and again, that this is what happens. I see no reason why we should in any way, shape or form help rivet shackles on other people, nor that we should in any way strengthen a nation we may have to fight at some future date.

2. Tyrannical regimes cheat. All the time. It is just the nature of the beast. No matter what you put down on paper with them, they will take whatever opportunities arise to put one over on you. Remember: a tyranny is only imposed by dishonest people. If you think that they’ll be honest with you, you’re being a fool.

3. Tyrannical regimes are almost invariably corrupt. That is, it is impossible for our people to do business in a tyrannical nation without, in one way or another, greasing official palms. The people who run tyrannical regimes are, as noted, dishonest – and as there is no free press or an opposition party to expose them, they’d have to be saints to refuse to squeeze us for all we’re worth. By doing business in tyrannical regimes, we are corrupting our own people.

So, if you’re all huffing and puffing about deals with Russia, then you’d also better be on my side about cutting off all economic ties with tyrannical regimes. If you’re not, then all you really care about is opposing Trump.

Al Gore is coming out with a sequel…he has to; his predictions in the first film are being proved wrong day by day, and if he wants to keep on the AGW gravy train, he needs to update his Doomsaying.

Trump signs four bills rolling back Obama-era regulations. That real world thing: it keeps happening. Don’t be too distracted by whatever shiny object the MSM is harping on…they are only harping on it because the DNC tells them to. Try to dig a little deeper and see what is really happening.

Democrats are still trying to work out how they can have a Presidential succession which doesn’t include Trump, or anyone associated with him (Peter Daou went particularly bizarre on this notion). Here’s the trick, Democrats – you’ll have to amend the Constitution. Sorry, that is the only way…I guess it would have to be something along the lines of, “if the President be removed from office, the successor shall be the person who lost the last elections”. I realize this might be a bit difficult to get enacted…but, do go on: it’ll keep you busy for Trump’s 8 years in office.

Turns out if you and the other half are “getting busy” from time to time, you’ll be happy. Who knew?

Powerline captures the Democrat mood:

I think Trump is the first president since Lincoln who has received no “honeymoon” period in Washington as is typical for new presidents—and for the same reason as in 1861: Democrats have essentially seceded from the American people, and won’t accept the results of a national election. (I’m also tempted to ask whatever made anyone think the thrice-married Trump would get a honeymoon? C’mon.) Democrats control so little territory that they can’t act literally on their secessionist impulses—though note deep blue California, where Democrats are actually talking about secession. But you can swap out “resistance” today for “rebellion” in 1861 and capture the Democratic Party mood accurately.

Once a Confederate, always a Confederate? Or is it just that Democrats, starting with Jackson’s first, failed, attempt at the White House have never inhabited a world where they are comfortable with losing an election?

The New York Times has come out with a revised list of The Bad Words – because there is no end to Political Correctness, folks. Why? Because part of the reason the Party has a party-line is to force you to jump to it. You see, it isn’t just a matter of putting forth the ideology…it is about forcing you to jump through mental hoops to prove your loyalty to the Party. If you fail, then you were never a true believer…

Students have been instructed to write an essay on 9/11 from the terrorist’s perspective. Look, I can understand this sort of thing – it is useful, for instance, to write about the settlement of the American West from the Native’s point of view. But this is because both Native and Settler had their good points and their bad points and by getting the full story, we can learn to be better people…but there are some times some sides which have no redeeming qualities. The 9/11 terrorists are in this group. There’s nothing a decent person can learn from people who were motivated to murder innocent people in cold blood.

Open Thread

Health care reform is getting rocky and it’s making a lot of people say this or that thing…hate to break it to ya, guys, but this is how laws get made when there is debate. Obamacare is how laws get made when you’re determined to shove something down everyone’s throat. If you don’t like this, I suggest you move elsewhere…this is how it’s done.

Wikileaks is saying the CIA can get into your smart phone. I don’t doubt it in the least. Personally, if I were in charge of a government department, all orders and instructions would be either verbal (face to face) or via the printed word…nothing of consequence would ever go out electronically. For you and I, this is the rule: if you can’t do it on your front lawn, in broad daylight, with your grandmother watching, don’t do it on the internet. Privacy is easily secured, if you want it…just don’t use a system which is owned by someone else and even in its most benign aspects is designed to collect data about you.

Schumer threatens to filibuster Gorsuch. I’ve heard that the plan is to scare our more weak-kneed Senator GOPers and get them to sign off on a deal which would have Schumer drop this filibuster in return for a GOP promise to not nuke the filibuster for a later nominee. That would be the dream scenario for the Democrats. Gorsuch does not alter the ideological balance of the Court…a Kennedy or Ginsburg leaving the Court and being replaced by a Conservative would. Of course, there’s zero chance that anyone Trump appoints would be as mindless a liberal vote as Ginsburg is, while the very worst that Trump could appoint would wind up being no worse than Kennedy. So, we’re pretty cool no matter how this goes. But, the Senate GOP should not agree to any plan to hold on to the filibuster. At minimum, it goes away the second there is a Democrat Senate majority which needs it to go away. We’d be suckers to keep it at the price of saving the nuking for the Democrats to do.

Why men who live around beaches live longer.

Seems that the troops the North Korean government relies on to keep everyone is line are going on short rations and not feeling too happy about it. If so, then this series of North Korean provocations is designed to extract bribes from South Korea and the rest of the world. If you ever wondered how such tyrannies maintain themselves, it is by providing a better life for those willing to kill in defense of the regime…but if the good times go away…

So, the threats to the Jewish Community Centers turn out to be all or mostly the work of left wing people. From now on, any hate crime which supports the Progressive Narrative should be considered a lie until proven otherwise.

Weekend Open Thread

A Tweet of mine was picked up by Twitchy. I’ll give you a moment to bask in my reflected glory.

Seriously, though, I think this Tweet was better.

In light of that, I think we need a bit of a new law – no one can be placed on the board of a publicly traded corporation unless they’ve worked for that corporation for, say, five years. You do realize what Chelsea’s new gig is, don’t you? Its a bribe. The Clinton’s still have influence and Chelsea is being groomed for political office. As for me, I’d much prefer we went back to the day when politicians were bribed with sacks of cash…there was more honesty about it.

Was thinking about that – someone getting a no-show job for bags of cash in return for influence actual or prospective – and it ran along in the mind to all those, “why do football players get more money than teachers” memes we get on social media. You know – the idea that teachers are vastly more important than football players in the grand scheme of things, so they should be paid more. It is, on a certain level, a rational argument; but also an argument to be wary of. You see, as I pondered it a bit I realized that the most important people in the world are those who build and maintain the systems which bring us our water and take away our sewage. Seriously; we can’t go more than a couple days without those things…whereas even teachers can be done without for a substantial period of time. That, in turn, got me thinking further – perhaps we should slap a surcharge tax on all corporate officer salaries (sorry, Chelsea – but, you don’t mind: just making sure the rich pay their fair share) and use it to subsidize the salaries of those who really do the important work? You might think that teachers come after the water and sewer workers, but you’d be wrong…started mentally working out the list and came up with farmers; truck drivers; power company workers; road construction people…in fact, quite a long list before we get to any sort of teacher, and even then there are teachers and then there are teachers. Or, there are people who teach useful things, and those who don’t. Teach math or woodworking: you’re valuable. Teach post-modern feminist poetry? Even more useless than Chelsea’s gig (she won’t actually do anything for the company, but she does offer influence…and in our crony-Capitalist system, that is a thing of value…lousy value, but value nonetheless).

Lawsuit against San Jose for failure to protect pro-Trump people can go forward. Good. Let’s show these Progressives that there is a price to be paid for violating the rights of others.

If this – or anything even remotely like this – had been done regarding Michelle Obama, the MSM would have been in an uproar. But that it was done against Melania Trump makes it a yawn…

Glenn Reynolds on Experts:

It was experts that gave us the financial crisis, it was experts that gave us the Middle East meltdown, it was experts who gave us the obesity epidemic and the opioid crisis. And yet the experts pay no price for their failures, and cling bitterly to their credentials and self-esteem, while claiming that the problem lies in the anti-intellectualism of ordinary citizens.

Or, as Lord Salisbury put it:

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.

Fracking – it’s hurting OPEC. Badly. And, that’s a good thing.

Legal Insurrection on the judicial insurrection against Trump. I’m just about ready for Trump to go Andy Jackson on them…the story is that when the Courts ruled against him, he said, “the Court has ruled: now, let them enforce”. That’s the thing most people don’t realize – the only way the Court can have orders enforced is via the cooperation of the Executive branch…the Courts, themselves, have no mechanism of enforcement. Founders set it up that way – on purpose. Just as the President can’t get things done without Congress (and Congress can’t get things done without the President), so the Courts can’t actually do anything unless they are cooperated with. To be sure, if Trump does defy the Court, they could refer it to Congress and Congress could, in theory, impeach Trump…but figure the odds. I pointed this out on social media and one guy commented, “but Trump shouldn’t trigger a crisis”…to which I reply: the crisis is created by the Courts, not the President. The power to decide which persons shall be allowed to enter the United States belongs to the Executive and, by law, it is plenary. The Courts have nothing to say in the matter and should stay out.

Poll shows a majority of young Americans are fairly clueless about the workings of our Republic. On the other hand, I think people are saying “illegitimate” about Trump when they mean, “I just don’t like him”.

Evan McMullin is still around, but no one can say precisely why.

On Saint Patrick’s day, this Tweet made the rounds:

St. Patrick’s day encourages and perpetuates the idea of whiteness and white culture. It otherizes non-whites and promotes nationalism.

Outrageous? Or just a joke? That’s the problem – you can’t tell! It seriously could be either.

Open Thread

CNN is still working the Russian angle. Get a grip, for crying out loud. Trump’s actions in office have worked to Russia’s detriment.

Looks like a very old man in Minnesota may have been a henchman of the Nazis. His family still doubts it, but given where he’s from, it could well be true. He’s 98, so sending him to jail is not really a practical option. I do have a bit of sympathy for the Ukranian people as they were caught in the vise of World War Two. They were split between Poland and Stalin’s Russia before the war – and while the Poles weren’t remotely as bad as Stalin, they still carried out a lot of repression of the Ukranian people. Then the war came – Germans were fighting the Poles, and then the Russians…the temptation to throw in with the Germans must have been overwhelming. Very many Ukranians did. Stepan Bandera was the leader of those who fought alongside the Germans – but showing the bizarre realities of the time, two of his brothers were sent to Auschwitz…there to be killed by Polish patriots. Bandera, himself, wound up in Gestapo custody for a while. The Banderists, as the Russians called them, kept up the fight after the war – the last of them being rounded up in 1958. This is not to excuse any crimes the Ukrainians committed – but it is a plea for a careful understanding of the stresses people can be put under.

Britain has approved Brexit and will now start the negotiations for leaving. Scotland, meanwhile, appears to be opting to vote on secession from Great Britain and to stay in the EU. Bizarre that the Scots may opt out of governing themselves in favor of having un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels decide their fate. But, such is the pull of the welfare State…and the EU is far more welfare-y than the UK…for the UK (what remains of it), without Scotland you can expect the Labour party to be in the wilderness for quite a long time, as Scotland provides a huge number of Labour votes.

Preet Bharara is not the hero of the legal world people are making him out to be:

But — and I want to be clear here — Bharara’s refusal to resign wasn’t about principle. It was about putting himself publicly on the side of anti-Trump Democrats, no doubt in the expectation of future rewards, political or professional. It was not a brave act. It was, in fact, a species of corruption.

Do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump: environmentalists vandalize a Trump golf course.

Robert Stacy McCain describes feminists:

What part of crazy do I have to explain here? Feminists are berserk, bonkers, deranged, demented, delusional, irrational, non compos mentis, unhinged, wacky, psycho, off their rockers, nuttier than squirrel farts, a few fries short of a Happy Meal and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Don Surber has some words about the CBO scoring of TrumpCare. I don’t think many have kind words to say about it – personally, I think it is an opening gambit in what will be a protracted series of negotiations until we get Trump’s bare minimum (repeal; replace; cross-border insurance sales; no one loses coverage) and whatever else he can tack on there (and others who figure it out get tacked on there). It is going to be messy, folks – but whatever emerges will at least be better than ObamaCare.

Merkel apparently wants to move Trump her way. She’ll fail.

Democrats say they’ll go for a government shut down to stop Trump’s wall. Democrats have convinced themselves that opposing Trump up and down the line is the way to go – in their minds, it was GOP knee-jerk opposition to Obama which won Congress and, ultimately, the White House. They fail to note that the GOP was opposing massively unpopular Obama policies…while the border wall is not ragingly popular among the entire population, it is very popular among Trump voters…opposing it just makes certain they can’t peel off Trumpsters in 2018 and 2020. Another thing being talked up is if the Democrats will suffer electorally because of a shutdown – this on the theory that the GOP suffered when it triggered shut downs in the past…the only flaw in that theory is that the GOP never suffered at all because of government shut downs. Finally, if the Dems do shut it down, I can bet that Trump’s tactic will be the opposite of Obama’s. Obama tried to make it painful – to make people think that without government, life can’t be lived. Trump will try to minimize any effect of a shut down so that people will start to understand that a great deal of government is entirely pointless.

Open Thread

Seems that in districts where Trump won, he won overwhelmingly – and in districts where Hillary won, she won overwhelmingly. I can’t help but be reminded of something I read once upon a time – political operatives, reading the results of some local elections prior to the 1860 Presidential election (we didn’t vote for Congress all in one day back then), said, “these are Civil War returns”…meaning, the nation was so divided that it was as if two different nations existed. Trump’s primary job over the next four years is to find a way to change that…to get us back into a place where we aren’t so divided from one another. Of course, with the left calling him Hitler II, that is difficult…but, then again, the over-the-top rhetoric might also make the left so toxic that people turn to Trump as the reasonable alternative. It can happen – Britain’s Labour Party picked a leader so far-left that there is a chance that in the next British elections, the Tory party could win an outright majority of votes…something no party in Britain has done since 1931.

Some EPA bureaucrats are quitting. Good.

Careful, Democrats – you may get what you wish for. AG Sessions open to a special prosecutor. Hate to break it to you, Democrats, but for the previous 8 years it was your guys in charge and that means the chances that they were breaking laws is vastly higher than any chance Trump did.

Hatch to seek another term in 2018: with Trump’s backing. People are still saying that Trump is thin skinned, doesn’t know how to do politics, is kinda dumb…people will continue to be shocked by his winning, too.

Alleged super-genius Stephen Hawking says that without a world government, technology will destroy us. This is why people shouldn’t stray out of their area of expertise…and in all of Hawking’s super-geniusing, he apparently has yet to crack open 1984 or The Gulag Archipelago. Technology is just a tool, Mr Hawking – it is what people do with the tool which is good or bad. And handing all the tools to a few people who must necessarily have a limited connection with the needs of everyday folks is a recipe for ensuring the tools will be used for evil.

Progressive guy goes on a rant about how great Blue America is compared to Red America…fails to notice, among many other things, that California can’t build a high speed rail without federal subsidies…and the one they are trying to build is already way over budget and behind schedule. Sorry, Proggies, you think it is your side of the country making all the swell stuff and supporting everyone else but the reality is that your wealth is based upon trade…which would flow through your blue port cities whether you are Progressive, or not. Take away the trade (and the massive federal subsidies for higher education), and just what, exactly, does San Francisco provide for us? Food? No. Water? No. Steel? No. Lumber? No. Oil? No. Natural Gas? No. Anything?

Too good to check: Russian hackers have the goods on Progressive groups and are holding them up for ransom.

Victor Davis Hanson notices the bizarre disconnect in the minds of our Progressive leaders:

We have become an arrogant generation that virtue-signals that we can change the universe when in reality we cannot even run an awards ceremony, plow snow, fix potholes, build a road or dam, or stop inner-city youths from murdering one another.

Do our smug politicians promise utopia because they cannot cope with reality? Do lectures compensate for inaction? Do we fault past generations of Americans — who drank too many Cokes and smoked too many cigarettes — because we are ashamed that we lack their vision, confidence, and ability to build another Oroville Dam or a six-lane freeway, or to stop criminals from turning urban weekends into the Wild West?

Out and About on a Monday

Fight for $15! Or, in this case, fight for Wendy’s to install 1,000 automated kiosks. Heckuva job there, Progressives…

For some, strange reason, ever since January 20th, our military actions have come in for close scrutiny by the MSM. Can’t imagine why.

Spain has a badly cratering birth rate – the solution? A Minister of Sex. So, legalize birth control and push it like it’s the wonder drug of all time. Then legalize abortion because Reasons. Then get your demographic crisis and create a government department to get people boinking, again. With or without birth control? That is unclear…

Craft beer – it’s sexist. Oh, don’t even try to act like you’re surprised.

Le Pen could win the French Presidential election. I doubt it – I figure that once she gets to the second round of voting, every last bit of the French Establishment will unite against her. This will result in a centrist French President which would be an improvement over the current Socialist, but not by much. Of course, don’t go thinking that Le Pen is Conservative – she’s a populist Statist who merely wants French welfare spending to go to French people (French politicians even as far back as the Bourbons have been relentless centralizers of power). Still, a win by Le Pen would be earth-shattering in France and probably quickly lead to the demise of the European Union.

Meanwhile, Trump – whom I suspected would govern as a populist Statist – is turning out to be quite a different sort of President, as Donald Surber points out. Trump may do more to restore the Constitutional balance in our Republic than we could ever hope to get from a standard GOPer. I don’t know if it’s entirely intentional, or just him following common sense…but he’s heading (mostly) the right way (we got to get his mind right on State’s legalizing dope and, more importantly, on reforming civil asset forfeiture).

Oddly, you had to show ID and use a paper ballot to vote for DNC Chair.

Great article at The American Thinker on the death of movement Conservatism and what comes next. As for me – a lot of Conservatives have revealed themselves to be Progressives who just want lower taxes (or Libertarians who’s only idea of liberty is legalized dope). I’m kinda glad they exposed themselves. Those who preferred Hillary to Trump have no way back, and good riddance to bad rubbish. Those who are now running with Progressive conspiracy theories about Trump are also diligently purging themselves from Conservatism. On the other hand, as the article points out, all is not rosy on our side…some rather kookish people have started to latch on to Conservatism (if someone has a kind word to say about Assange, that is a strong tell that “kook” is not far behind). I look forward to a better future – and a more genuine Conservatism which actually seeks to conserve things rather than just slow down and ratify Progressive ideas. But it is a rocky road in front of us.

Weekend Open Thread

DHS is taking bids to build the border wall. Never Trump is saying endlessly that Trump won’t do what Trump said he’d do – but what I’m seeing in Trump is a man determined to carry out his promises. Now, maybe at the end of the day political realities prevent Trump from getting all he promised. That is actually fine – and anyone thinking they’ll beat Trump based on a promise not fulfilled will be missing a huge point: Trump is at least trying to carry out his promises. This is very unlike politicians on both sides who routinely start explaining why they can’t even try to carry out their promises.

Trump won’t be attending the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Good – it is an exercise in silliness. All they do is attack Republicans, anyway.

The entertainment industry seems pretty determined to keep alienating large swaths of their audience.

Witches are casting a spell against Trump, his troops and, I guess, people who voted for him. Shall I break it to them that I include Trump in my Rosary? (yes, I included Obama in my daily prayers, as well, when he was in office). Sorry, witches, but Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, Our Lady of Perpetual help does Trump your spells.

Democrats choose an establishment party hack for chair. Some people – including a lot of Never Trumpers – are assuring everyone that the Democrats will win back the House in 2018 and then impeach Trump…which shows that both Never Trump and the Democrats simply cannot accept the 2016 result. I’ve had this and that to say about the 2018 prospects…I’ve made predictions before and I’ve been wrong (and right, some times), so take this as you like: anyone who thinks the Democrats will win the House in 2018 is delusional.

You’ll have to read this one to believe it – woman ticked off at man for opening the door for her.

The whole story of Trump being some sort of Russian stooge is nonsense – and here’s a good break down on it. The whole thing is just bizarre – I mean, Hillary was the one who engineered a big uranium deal for the Russians in apparent conjunction with Russian donations to her foundation…but Trump is the guy Putin wanted in the White House? Don’t get me wrong – Putin’s Russia is a problem for us and the Russians do seek to sow whatever chaos they can in the United States…but there is just no sense to the idea that Trump is Russia’s toady.