Weekend Open Thread

So, Obama can’t quite figure out what might have motivated the Dallas shooter. Well, on the plus side, at least he didn’t say the police acted stupidly.

Greens specifically invite Bernie to be their nominee. I’ve actually kind of liked Bernie on the campaign trail. Disagree with everything he says, but at least he’s been honestly saying what he wants for America. But, here’s the kicker – the Democrat party is corrupt to the bone. Oh, sure, they’ll impose the Prog stuff on America, but the bottom line is that they are merely in it for the power and wealth. An honest, dedicated Socialist would have nothing to do with them any longer…if he refuses the Green’s offer, then he’ll show himself a political hack.

Hillary says her record proves she takes national security seriously. If there was one person left in the United States who thought there was an ounce of honor in the Clintons, this should disabuse him of that notion.

Rasmussen shows Trump up 2, Reuters shows Hillary up 11. My view: I don’t think polling is going to work so well in 2016. The electorate is just as much a mess as our two major parties are.

Why, yes, Progressives will take their demands for political orthodoxy to the Church and demand compliance. What made you think otherwise? Oh, all those times they assured us that they didn’t care what we believed, they just didn’t want us to impose our views on society? Yeah – that was a lie.

A Time of Tragedy; a Time to Rise

As of this writing, we still don’t know all the facts – not about the Dallas massacre, nor the Sterling and Castile shootings. As things now stand, with what I’ve been able to learn, I’m highly doubtful of the justification for the Sterling and Castile shootings (especially in the case of Castile – if he did have a CCW, then that strongly indicates a solid citizen who tries to stay out of trouble). I’ve little doubt that the person or persons responsible for the Dallas massacre were (a) likely mentally deranged and (b) at least partially incited in their insanity by the over-heated rhetoric on police and race we’ve seen this past couple years. But everything I believe about these cases is subject to change as new facts emerge. Never pre-judge these situations…and never arrive at a hard and fast conclusion you’re vigorously defending for at least some days after the incident. You may end looking foolish and, worse, you make get so invested in your Narrative that you actually take to spreading lies to defend your position.

I don’t know what went through your hearts and minds as the events unfolded, but I got a rather sick feeling – that our nation is poised on the edge of complete disaster.

We’ve discussed this a lot lately, and I haven’t modified my views on how we got here, nor on what needs to be done to fix it. We’ve got here because dishonest people have stirred up hatred in order to advance themselves in power and wealth. To get out of this our primary focus has to be on reducing the power of government because a powerful government is a government which will be prey to whomever shouts the loudest – whomever stirs up the most hatred. No one is out there rioting in favor of being left alone to live their lives as they see fit. Riots are started by people who want someone punished; someone to pay; by people who want to garner themselves some unearned wealth and power. Riots and all manner of gutter politics are the tools of those who want Big Government to do something – either to someone or some group or for someone or some group. Reduce the power of government and you immediately reduce the scope of action for gutter politics.

The only people who can reduce the power of government are Conservatives. And so to reduce the power of government, Conservatives must gain power. To do this, Conservatives are going to have to radically rethink how they approach issues and come up with solutions which appeal to the electorate as it is. We’ve talked about that a bit, as well – and there has been dispute over what precise actions we should take. And I’m ok with that – unlike Progressives, no Conservative will ever figure he or she has the exact right answer. But we do need to change how we do business, that is a certainty. We need to find a way to lead the charge for reform – for revolutionary reform which will restore limited government, the rule of law, public decency and a sense of moral responsibility.

Right now, a lot of usual suspects on the left and right are trying to make these terrible events into mere talking points – we can’t allow that to happen. People are dying; our nation’s future is at risk. We do have to speak firmly, but not in hatred or anger. We have to listen. We have to think. We have to be merciful. It is time for Conservatives to live up to their ideals, is what I’m trying to say. Whether or not we do so determines the fate of the nation.

Intent Not Needed…. All That Is Needed Is “Negligence” or “Extreme Carelessness”

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Emphasis mine.

The language is plain. The FBI did not have to prove intent. Hillary’s “carelessness” was enough for prosecution. There are too many Americans that have unintentionally removed, distributed, etc. sensitive information that have been fined and/or jailed. The Democrats remain above the law.

Dependence Day

I know a former PTA President who had parents lobbying to have their kids declared special needs, because such a child (a) got more resources and (b) had a better chance of getting into the better schools. This suddenly came back to my mind here on our Glorious Fourth – the day we celebrate the independence of our nation. In a nutshell, this is what is wrong with the United States. People are demanding more and more special treatment and Big Government has set itself up as the dispenser of special treatment…and you’re a fool not to grab as much special treatment as you can. Of course, this makes you entirely dependent upon government (and your ability to whine until someone in government gives you something unearned). This, I suspect, it not what the Founders had in mind.

If you want to see where we’re heading, don’t pay too much attention to what the Democrats are up to – they still, to maintain electoral viability, pretend to hold to some of the old, American ideals. If you want to see the future, check out the Green Party plan. Here’s a sample:

Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.

You know me, I’ve advocated abolishing student debt for a long time – coupled with abolishing the student loan program because all that program does is allow colleges to charge ever higher tuition while incentivizing colleges to dumb-down the curriculum because the easier you make college, the more tuition-paying students you get, the more money you have to over-pay professors and administrators (and donate to Progressive causes, of course). The Green Party takes whats wrong about student loans and just puts it on steroids. Now there won’t even be the slight discipline of having to eventually pay back the money…its all “free”, and you can bet your last dollar (if you had one, after paying the taxes for all this) that curricula would become even more vapid as more and more kids are shoveled into the schools so they can sit there until they are 30 providing massive funding for the colleges (and Progressive politics).

If you look over the whole plan, you can see that it’s a litany of proposals to massively increase the power of government. It is absurdly titled the “Power to the People” plan, as if the people will have any power under a system where, among other things, we’ll be forced to transition to “renewable” energy by 2030. But that is how our Progressives view the world – we can’t be free unless we are all forced to live the way Progressives think best for us. Everything is to be owned by the “people”, but of course all the people can’t simultaneously turn the crank of government – just a select (self-selected, naturally) few will be able to do that. You and I will just have to wait and see what comes out – for those most juiced in, a great life; for the rest of us, our potato rations and permission to have electricity 6 hours a day. And while this is the far-out, kook Green Party plan of 2016, you can rest assured it will be standard Democrat party boilerplate by 2024 or so.

Will the people rebel against this, or will they – like those parents shouting at the PTA – merely demand a cut of the government swag?

The whole system is a mess – and it just keeps getting worse. And the answer to Progressive failure is always to apply more Progressivism. I don’t know how we break the cycle. How, that is, we get people to understand that the reason things are lousy is because of the programs allegedly designed to help. It is massively difficult to get someone who is receiving SNAP to understand that they are forced to used SNAP because SNAP exists…and that if SNAP didn’t exist, they wouldn’t starve but would, instead, live in a free society where hard work would raise them up to the point where SNAP isn’t needed. It is hard to get people to understand that the reason they are being harassed (at least in their view) by the police is because the Progressives (who say they are anti-police) are making law after law after law which essentially forces the police to harass the people. It is hard to get people to understand that the fat cat CEO is making all that money because Progressives set tax and regulatory policy just so the CEO can make all that money, even as he ships jobs overseas.

But we have to figure out how to do it before such a large majority is dependent upon government (either for their crumbs from the table, or their position high on the table) that they won’t dare to rock the boat. 2016 is turning out to be a wasted trip for Conservatism – even if Trump manages to win, it won’t help us and may, indeed, harm us as Trump gets identified with Conservatism and starts to screw up. But for 2020 and beyond, we’d better think anew and act anew. Time is running out for the freedoms we declared on July 4th, 1776.

Fourth of July Open Thread

Hillary was interviewed by the FBI today – don’t make too much of it. It’s all smoke and mirrors, as far as I’m concerned. From information in the public square, it is pretty obvious that an indictment is the right thing to do, but Obama’s Justice Department will not indict. Can’t. It would kill Democrat chances in November and that would risk Obama’s legacy. Now, I’d love to be shocked and find out that even among Democrats there is still an ounce of respect for the rule of law, but I’m not holding my breath.

When I was out camping last week, a guy was at the spring with his 12 year old daughter and his 8 year old son – they were just swimming as we were, but in the conversation we found out that as a special treat, he’s taking the 12 year old out hunting this November for deer and antelope (astonishing he managed to get her tags for both – but some times luck is with you). Now, that 12 year old girl will be 30 in 18 years and will be one of the rising people starting to rule our world…who do you think is going to be in charge: people like her, or the precious snowflakes of the Progressive cities who get participation trophies?

Give it up, Never Trumpers.

Keep going, Never Trumpers.

Take your pick, they are both great arguments. Victor Davis Hanson has something interesting to say to both sides.

A Progressive view of the revolving door of money and power in DC. Not a bad read, actually – Progressive, of course, so doesn’t make the connection that Big Government ensures a revolving door of money and power, but still pretty interesting.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace²but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death! – Patrick Henry

Winning and Losing Wars

Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won. – Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Got into a little bit of a Twitter scrape with Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom). I’m afraid he took exception to a comment I made. The start of it was Nichols condemning Trump for his “we’ve lost our wars” comment. I put in that as a matter of fact, we haven’t won a war since World War Two.

I know, I know; I probably took that too far. I must repeat to myself again and again: never get into a Twitter argument as it is impossible to have an argument when you’re limited to 140 characters. And it can get a bit sticky if you say anything which can be construed as other than critical of Trump. Trump = bad. I dig that – and am in favor of that sentiment. I feel bad that I apparently angered Mr. Nichols as I hold him in high regard for his knowledge. But, still, a busted clock is right twice a day. To be fair to those who took exception to my comment, Grenada, Panama, the First Gulf War and Kosovo were victories. And the Iraq campaign until 2009 was also a victory. But Grenada, Panama and Kosovo are not the same scale of actions as, say, a Spanish-American War – even though that war was quite short and the loss of life was mercifully low. The First Gulf War was, in my view, an unfinished war – we did eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait (a worthwhile activity), but as long as Saddam was in power in Baghdad, a resumption of the war either in Kuwait or elsewhere was always in prospect. We could have compelled a complete surrender by Saddam, and we didn’t – we didn’t impose our political will on his regime in a permanent manner. As for the Iraq campaign – well, it was won, but then it was lost…it doesn’t matter that it was Obama who lost what Bush had won, it was still the United States losing.

Continue reading

The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama

Well, Matt and I finally managed to get it done – the massively revised Worst President book comes out on July 2nd. You can pre-order an electronic version for only $0.99 – so, just get on over there and do it.

I’d like to say that this was some sort of labor of love and that we enjoyed doing it, but that is simply not the case. At the end of it all, when the whole mess that is the Obama Administration was set out in print and we had gone over it multiple times, the emotions are a mixture of anger and sadness. Anger at the way President Obama has relentlessly done the wrong thing over and over again and sadness at how much damage he has done to the greatest nation in history.

worst_kdpI do urge everyone to read it; it is important. All through the Obama Administration, the President’s media lackeys have ruthlessly covered up the truth and a great deal of what has gone wrong hasn’t even made a ripple in the public mind. You may think you have a good deal of information about Obama, but mostly what you’ve got is those failures so large (such as Benghazi and Obamacare) that even MSM efforts failed to keep them out of your mind. Most things Obama has done were only briefly reported on, and thus slipped out of public view before an impression was made. But the reality is that in every single facet of Obama’s official life what has been done has been wrong, or turned into an abject failure, or a combination of the two. And Obama has been doing quite a lot – he did promise to fundamentally transform the United States, and he has done that. Until you read Worst President, you simply don’t know the whole story of what has been done to the United States over President Obama’s term in office.

We are certain that our Progressive friends will have no kind words for the book – we are equally certain that our Progressive friends will refuse to read the book. I promise to do a post here each time I can determine that a criticism of the book is based upon something which is in the book. I suspect there won’t be many such entries. There are no secrets in the book. We make no revelations of things which have not been in the public square. Every claim of fact is backed up. Our sources range from the conventional MSM, to the right, to the left and every manner of credible information available. Indeed, we often use Obama Administration documents to back up our case. And while our Progressive friends won’t have much use for the book, some people have looked it over and found some things to say:

“I’ve been following the writing of Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan for years and their takedown of Barack Obama is their best work yet. If you want to know why the history books will have a dim view of Barack Obama, this is the book to read.”

–John Hawkins, Right Wing News and Townhall.com

“Barack Obama’s legacy of failure isn’t going anywhere. Margolis and Noonan’s careful history and analysis will therefore prove an important touchstone for discussions on his Presidency in the decades to come. A must-read.”

–Nick Adams, best-selling author of Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness

“The legacy of Barack Obama will be increasingly obvious. With every terror attack, every Obamacare failure, and every economic drop, we will witness the pain he has inflicted. Margolis and Noonan can be pardoned for giving us a peek at how bad it will be.”

–Dick Morris, author of Power Grab: Obama’s Dangerous Plan for a One-Party Nation and Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary

We will be a long time repairing the damage President Obama has done – and an important part of repairing that damage is to know and remember just what he has done. Matt and I believe that this book is an important contribution to keeping the record straight. President Obama and his minions will spend the next decades trying to cover up, obfuscate and re-write the history of the Obama Administration, but The Worst President: The Legacy of Barack Obama will force everyone to deal with what President Obama has done while in office.