Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How Much Truth Is There in the Claim that Gun Control Works Wonders in Europe and Around the Rest of the World?

In the wake of Nikolas Cruz's Florida school massacre, gun control has (needless to say) reared its head.

Following the 2017 reports on the Las Vegas shooting, said to be the deadliest in United States history,
Connecticut’s senators, who have been especially outspoken on gun control ever since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, were among the first to issue statements … “Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement. “This must stop.”
How much truth, though, is there to that declaration?

Time to brush off the principal outtake from my in-depth examination of the gun control issue, which was published in the New York Times two years ago, updating it slightly in the process:
It is easy for leftists, American as well as foreign, to tout the success of the gun control laws in the rest of the western world and to say that "this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries” when you ignore:
• the 1996 massacre of 16 children at a Scottish primary school;
• the 2000 killing of eight kids in Japan;
• the 2002 deaths of eight people in Nanterre, France;
• the 2002 killing of 16 kids in Erfurt, Germany;
• the 2007 fatal shootings of eight people in Tuusula, Finland;
• the killing of 10 people at a Finnish university less than a year later;
• the 2009 killing of 15 people in Winnenden, Germany;
• and, needless to say, Anders Breivik's 2011 mass murder of 77 Norwegians, most of them teenagers;
• not to mention the various terrorist attacks of the last few years, such as the 2015 mass shootings inside the Bataclan nightclub which killed 90 Paris revelers.
Is it unrealistic to wonder whether the tolls would have been lesser had a few of the adults in each place carried a weapon and tried to shoot back at the respective killers?
Related: What Is to Blame for Mass Shootings? Does the Blame Lie with the Right to Bear Arms Or Can It Be Found Elsewhere? (a lengthy and in-depth post that I consider one of my best in 13 years of blogging)

From the archives: Another Mass Killing, Another Nutcase with Plenty of Warning Signs
— with a quote from Ann Coulter:
"here’s the problem: Coddling the mentally ill isn’t even helping the mentally ill. … Something seems to have gone horribly wrong right around 1970. What could it be? …

That date happens to correlate precisely with when the country began throwing the mentally ill out of institutions in 1969. Your memory of there not being as many mass murders a few decades ago is correct. Your memory of there not being as many homeless people a few decades ago is also correct. But liberals won’t allow the dangerous mentally ill to be committed to institutions against their will." …

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Watergate is nothing by comparison; that scandal involved people not employed by the government — Watergate did not involve the DOJ and the FBI

 … this episode is the worst abuse of political power in American history related to elections. Watergate is nothing by comparison. That involved people not employed by the government.  Later it involved a cover-up in which Nixon participated. Watergate did not involve the DOJ and the FBI — two institutions which must be non-partisans for this Republic of ours.
On Forbes, Thomas Del Beccaro has an Annotated Timeline of Biased FBI and DOJ Officials Breaking The Law And Trying To Decide The Election (thanks to Instapundit).
Below is a timeline of events – abbreviated though it is – that makes it rather plain that the FBI and DOJ were not investigating potential crimes objectively.

Indeed, they were committing crimes during the process in aid of their preferred outcomes.
Read the 27 points of the timeline, the following information we get from point 22:
All in all, Comey swore under oath that the Court should consider the [Christopher Steele] dossier credible evidence so that the FBI could spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page – even though Page had already left the campaign.  Given that it was known that Page already left the campaign, it could well be that Carter Page was the fall guy excuse to begin domestic spying on others.

Without question, Comey misled the FISA Court by submitting and vouching for the unverified dossier and pushing the Yahoo News story.  Those were not the only questionable acts, misrepresentations nor omissions of Comey.

The FBI and DOJ, at the time they made the original FISA application, also were aware of the following - ALL OF WHICH WAS HIDDEN FROM THE FISA COURT:

 a) Hillary’s campaign and the DNC paid for the dossier - a fact which, if known, would give rise to judicial questions of potential evidentiary bias.

 b) Christopher Steele tells a DOJ official Bruce Ohr that Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president." Another fact that, if known, would give rise to judicial questions of potential evidentiary bias.

 c) The FBI was willing to pay Christopher Steele for more research but rescinded its offer when the FBI found out Steele had briefed reporters on the content of his dossier – a violation of FBI rules. Any Judge or jury would want to know if someone offering evidence otherwise was breaking rules. It bears on whether the witness can be trusted.

 d) Carter Page was not considered by the Russians as a credible businessmen and/or figure. Many believe Carter Page was an insignificant player. Again, this raises the question of whether surveillance of him was really an attempt to get at others.

 e) A DOJ official’s wife was working for the outfit commissioning the dossier. Another potentially biased individual.
The most incredible point may be the last one, which reads thus:
27.  90 days renewals. Three times thereafter, the FBI and the DOJ reapplied for a FISA warrant and never apprised the Court of their prior misrepresentations and/or omissions. The existing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who currently oversees the Mueller investigation, was one of the officials who made a FISA warrant reapplication. It has also been said that Rosenstein has threatened House Members with legal proceedings if they continue to push oversight of this matter.
So what conclusions are to be drawn in all of this? asks Thomas Del Beccaro.
1.  Obviously, the Obama Administration DOJ officials were never going to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime related to the emails. To make that come true, their officials went easy on Hillary (as the Strzok/Page texts expressly suggest should be done).  They altered procedure, they granted multiple immunity deals, they allowed for the destruction of evidence, they gave her an easy interview, they delayed the review of documents, they altered the characterization of Hillary’s offense from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” to exonerate her from liability, and more. Their conduct amount to obstruction of justice – a crime.

2.  The race between Hillary and Trump pushed the FBI/DOJ to alter the Hillary email investigation timeline for election purposes. They weren’t following the evidence, they were keeping to a deadline. They pushed to end the investigation and to exonerate her so that she would not be burdened with the investigation as the race moved into the Fall.

Yes, it is true that Comey made a terrible (if not illegal) decision to publicly announce reopening the email investigation days before the election.  In truth, however, because it would implicate Obama, no charges were ever going to be brought.

3.  It is obvious that the FBI/DOJ officials hastened the end of the Hillary email investigation and then immediately began an investigation of Donald Trump. The timing of the July 5, 2016 Comey exoneration speech and the late July counter intelligence investigation related to a tangential Trump advisor should not be viewed as just a coincidence.  It was, as Strzok said, an insurance policy against the election of Trump.

4.  Does Comey’s original draft and his announcements related to Hillary not demonstrate he was not biased against her? Maybe. The fact that Comey made inconsistent and stupid decisions does not mean the FBI and the DOJ weren’t giving Hillary a free pass.  Also, there is no doubt, that Comey stole documents from the FBI and illegally leaked such documents.  Those are crimes. Beyond that . . .

5.  FBI/DOJ officials knowingly concealed evidence and misled the FISA Court. They, including Comey, knew the law.  They are senior law enforcement officials. They knew they had been turned down before and therefore had to bring more to the table.

So what did they bring?  The dossier.  The unverified dossier.  They asserted to the Court, however, that it was credible.

They also omitted information that likely would have resulted in the Court denying the application.  It was October of 2016, however, and they wanted information right then and there.  After all, it was less than a month before the election.

6.  Based on those lies in the FISA applications, all the evidence that was gathered as the fruit of that warrant, unless it can be shown the evidence was clearly not gathered from that warrant, could be ruled inadmissible in any criminal case. Look for Paul Manafort to make that argument.

7.  Without the FISA warrant, would there have been an Independent Counsel? We shall never know – but it appears rather unlikely.

8.  Mueller. He had to know of the facts above. Why hasn’t he blown the whistle on the bad cops?

9.  It is right to say that this episode is the worst abuse of political power in American history related to elections. Watergate is nothing by comparison. That involved people not employed by the government.  Later it involved a cover-up in which Nixon participated.

Watergate did not involve the DOJ and the FBI – two institutions which must be non-partisans for this Republic of ours.

This case does involve the FBI and DOJ.  It also is foolish not to assume that Loretta Lynch and President Obama were ignorant of the goings on - if not involved in them.

Finally, the dishonest investigation of Hillary who committed actual crimes should not be acceptable. Nor should FBI or DOJ officials be allowed to alter events and Court proceedings for political purposes.

If we let this go, and people are not brought to justice, we will have forever damaged our Republic and the World’s view of us as a nation of laws.

Friday, February 02, 2018

“I am sick to death of hearing about the need for strong women as protagonists” says David Hare; “It’s a boring cause”

David Hare has written his first television serial at the age of 70, writes Dominic Maxwell for the Times: Collateral, his new four-part thriller for BBC Two.
Decades before #MeToo, [the British playwright and screenwriter] was writing leading roles for women in plays such as Plenty (1978), The Secret Rapture (1988) and Amy’s View (1997). His 1975 play Teeth ’n’ Smiles had Helen Mirren fronting a rock band on the stage of the Royal Court in London.

Even so, was it important to give Collateral a female protagonist after focusing on a male MI5 agent, played by Bill Nighy, in his Worricker trilogy for the BBC? No, Hare says, that was less important than making sure there were women in key roles throughout. And although Mulligan’s character is pregnant — as was the actress when she filmed it — there is barely any mention of that in the show.
“I am sick to death of hearing about the need for strong women as protagonists. It’s a boring cause. What’s a much more important cause is to show women doing jobs equally, as the normality of the thing. Throughout the cast list.”
Hare can come across as touchy in interviews, but today, over a pot of tea in a hotel bar, he’s a relaxed, smiling presence even as he dishes out his pointed pointers and cheerful heresies with daunting fluency. Why are strong female protagonists a boring cause? He answers without drawing breath.
“It’s very limiting to say you only want to see strong women. I have claimed, because I have written so many women, that I have the right to represent all kinds of women. If I want to represent a murderess, I want that right. Without being called misogynistic. Similarly I want to be free to portray silly women and weak women and clever women; I want to be able to portray all women. When we can portray all women equally, that will be equality. Having just women who storm through the film or play being rude to everyone, and that’s called ‘strong women’, that’s not my idea of equality.

“Women should not be presented as the moral conscience of men’s actions either. I hope I have 100 per cent avoided portraying girlfriends saying to men, ‘Are you sure you’re doing the right thing, darling?’ ”

Thursday, February 01, 2018

WaPo Leftist: With their childish protests and embarrassing behavior, the Democrats did the same sort of things they denounced Republicans for when they did them to Barack Obama

When you've lost the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, how much further down can you go?!
It gives me no pleasure to say this, but the Democrats’ behavior at the State of the Union was embarrassing.

I take a back seat to nobody in decrying President Trump’s cynical and divisive performance. He repeatedly exploited Americans’ divisions on race, guns, God, immigration — anything to distract from the broken promises, vulgarity and worse that define his presidency.

But the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait. Symbolic dissent is fine, but this was a cacophony of causes: black clothing (for #MeToo), kente ties and sashes (because of Trump’s Africa insult), butterfly stickers (for the “dreamers”), red buttons (for a victim of racial crime) and the more bipartisan purple ribbons (for the opioid epidemic).

Worse, dozens of Democrats refused to stand when the president entered the House chamber, forgetting that one stands out of respect for the office, not the officeholder. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., grabbed a middle-aisle seat only to turn his back on the president when he walked past. Democrats groaned, scoffed, heckled and made lemon-biting faces. Others simply boycotted. In short, they did the same sort of things they (and I) denounced Republican lawmakers for when they did them to President Barack Obama. …

Bottoms Up! It Turns Out that Texas Is Not as Libertarian a State in All Aspects As Is Commonly Believed

The direct result of a new law will discourage out-of-state entrepreneurs from opening new breweries with taprooms in Texas and limit the growth of existing ones
complains Carine Martinez-Gouhier, a research analyst in the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in the Austin American-Statesman. Although the Lone Star state ranks near the top for economic freedom,
Special interests are at work to obtain government favors, the bitter fruit of which can be partially seen in the recent shakeup at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

 … The law requires that the contract [with a licensed distributor] be exclusive and open-ended and does not allow manufacturers to “cancel, fail to renew, or otherwise terminate” the contract with the distributor but for good cause. Clearly, distributors do not welcome competition.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Texas Legislature has made it illegal for producers to sell their territorial rights to distributors. They must give them away, while distributors can resell these rights to a competitor for a profit.

Also, most breweries cannot sell for off-premises consumption, meaning you cannot buy a beer to bring home. The brewery, instead, mist sell to a distributor — and you, the final consumer, must buy the beer from a retailer at a substantial markup.

 … Breweries with existing taprooms falling outside the scope of the tightened regulation were grandfathered. But future breweries in this situation would:

• Be limited in how much of their brewery they can sell to other brewers or beer manufacturers.
• Be required to sell their beer to a distributor first — to then immediately buy it back from the distributor at a markup to sell it on their premises to final consumers.

Can you guess who benefits from these restrictions? Not the consumers, nor the craft brewers.

 … The reason that Texans generally cannot buy their beer directly from brewers: distributors do not want them to. It is high time we look more closely at the negative effects the three-tier system of alcohol regulation has on Texans and the Texas economy.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Rush Limbaugh: What leftists do is "overstate a problem and work society into a frenzied state in order to justify their invariable big-government solution"

Rush Limbaugh on leftists:
"They overstate a problem and work society into a frenzied state in order to justify their invariable big-government solution."
Rush Limbaugh on illegal immigration:
"This bill is worse than doing nothing," Limbaugh said [of the May 2007 legislation to regularize the legal status of millions of undocumented immigrants]. "The thing about this that just doesn't make any sense is thar we're treating the illegals as though we are doing something wrong, as though we've been bad and we're guilty of something.  We want them to forgive us." 
Zev Chafets:
As Larry O'Brien, one of JFK's smartest aides, once observed, there are no final victories in politics.

What America has instead is a permanent argument between Federalists and Jeffersonians, progressives and traditionalists, conservatives and liberals.  This is an essential argument about human nature, and the balance between personal freedom and collective responsibility.
The presence of this debate is one of the vital signs that a society is open and free. Those who decry Limbaugh … "polarizing" ignore the fact that only totalitarian states are unipolar. Democracies are adversarial, and you don't get to choose the other side's advocates.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Even liberals know that Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are “shitholes”; in fact, it seems to be their recurring argument for why we need to prioritize citizens of those nations in our immigration policy

Will someone please get Cory Booker a tissue? 
asks Benny Huang, tongue firmly in cheek.
The senator from New Jersey claims that President Trump’s alleged “shithole countries” remark made him cry.

Yes, cry. This one-time All-American high school football star was so butthurt over a completely uncontroversial statement that he actually shed tears. Then he choked up again while recounting his first bout of weeping. “I hurt,” whined Booker before pounding his fists on the bench like a small child. “When Dick Durbin called me I had tears of rage when I heard about this experience in this meeting.”

Booker was referring to the ultraliberal Illinois senator who claims to have been in a meeting with President Trump when Trump said that America doesn’t need any more immigrants from “shithole countries” such as Haiti, El Salvador, and the entirety of Africa. He allegedly said that he would prefer Norwegians instead.

This set off a round of denials and counteraccusations. President Trump, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and two Republican senators have denied that Trump made the remarks while Durbin doubled down on his previous accusation.

On the one hand it sounds like something Trump would say, particularly if he were speaking off the record, while on the other hand liberal Democrats are constantly manufacturing incidents of faux outrage so that they can virtue signal to their base. Liberals need to be seen as vigilant warriors fighting a never-ending battle against “hate,” which requires an endless stream of outrages. It’s really tiresome.

Of course when the Democrats are in outrage mode so too are the news media—likely because there’s no clear demarcation line between the two. In the 24 hour period after Shitholegate broke, CNN used the term on air 195 times. That’s an average of more than eight times per hour. Wasn’t there any other news to cover?

It should be noted that this whole story may still be apocryphal. The fact that the news media present it as truth is a classic case of media bias. One Democrat is to be believed because he’s a Democrat. Four Republicans are not to be believed because they’re Republicans.

But if the president didn’t say what Durbin claims he said then I’ll say it for him. Haiti is a “shithole” and everyone knows it—even Dick Durbin, Cory Booker, and all their whiny reporter friends over at CNN. El Salvador is also a “shithole.” So is every African nation without exception.

That may be an impolitic thing to say but that doesn’t make it any less true. If we intend to craft a reality-based immigration policy we must retain the ability to speak candidly about the world as it actually exists—particularly in closed door meetings for cripe’s sake! That’s what closed door meetings are for. We can’t have candid conversations if little Dicky Durbin is going to tattle to the media every time he feels a case of the butthurt coming on.

Even liberals know that Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are “shitholes;” in fact, it seems to be their recurring argument for why we need to prioritize citizens of those nations in our immigration policy. Turning away people who are fleeing the kind of violence, corruption, and disease found in such places would be heartless and frankly un-American!

Then they react with righteous indignation if anyone calls them “shithole countries.” Seriously? If they’re not shitholes then their residents have no special case to plead.
[RelatedWhat Kind of Startling Groups Might Tend to Agree with Trump About "Shithole Countries"?
 …/… How about the citizens of Haiti, the citizens of El Salvador, and the citizens of various nations in Africa? …/… Indeed, isn't the very fact that so many of these citizens are emigrating to America, or to the West, in the first place a pretty strong sign of what they think, if not in those exact terms, of the regions they were born in? …/…
(There is another, and an even more surprising, group — read the whole thing™)]
But Haitians receive preferential treatment under our immigration policy precisely because their homeland is in shambles–and  anyone who tries to end this preferential treatment gets their hand slapped by the liberal media.

In June of last year, President Trump openly considered ending the “temporary” refugee status of some 50,000 Haitians who were allowed to stay in the US after that country’s 2010 earthquake. A staff editorial from the Washington Post explained:
“The Haitians in question have been allowed to stay in the United States…as beneficiaries of a U.S. government program called Temporary Protected Status. TPS extends humanitarian relief to people from impoverished, war-torn or disaster-wracked countries who are already in the United States when calamity strikes their homelands.” [Emphasis added by Benny Huang.]
Sounds like “shitholes” to me!

The editorial went on to bemoan the cruelty of the Trump Administration for daring to send 50,000 people back to a country that is, by their description, “a special hardship case.” That’s a diplomatic way of saying that it’s a shithole.

The Post also admitted that Haiti will be a “special hardship case” for years to come:
“It’s fair to wonder whether there will ever be, in the foreseeable future, a right time to send more than 50,000 Haitians back to a country so beset with chronic problems. The honest answer is no…”
For once the Post said something that makes sense. Haiti will almost certainly remain the pity of the world for as long as my unborn grandchildren’s  unborn grandchildren are alive and would still be even if there had never been an earthquake. For that matter, the nation has been a “special hardship case” since its birth in 1804 and probably before that too. Haiti was, is, and ever shall be a horrible place filled with despotism, disease, and grinding poverty.

In other words, it’s a “shithole.” Saying that makes liberals nervous, of course, because it implies that not all cultures are equal, from which they draw their own racial conclusions. But it’s the truth.

Let’s look at infant mortality rates. Besides Afghanistan which has the world’s highest infant mortality rate, the top 24 highest infant mortality rates can all be found in African nations. The top 35 nations are all African except four. Then comes Haiti at number 36. El Salvador is number 96. Norway by contrast is number 221.

Or we could examine per capita GDP. Haiti’s is a mere $1,800, which makes it number 209 of 230 countries and the lowest in the Americas. Of the 21 countries that rank below Haiti two are small Pacific island nations and one is North Korea. All the rest are African. Norway is the thirteenth highest.

So why all the weeping and fist-pounding about some nations being called “shitholes?” The short answer is that liberals prioritize their feelings above all else. Cory Booker, for example, might be a little sensitive about the term “shithole” because it’s often associated with the state he represents in the US Senate. New Jersey has a certain reputation as a toxic waste dump with syringe-strewn beaches. I wouldn’t make that argument, of course, because I know that only part of the state fits that description. The entire Garden State isn’t like the really dumpy sections found across the Hudson from Manhattan in places like East Rutherford, Irvington, and Newark.

Say, wasn’t Cory Booker once the mayor of Newark? Yes, he was.

Newark also has a significant population of Haitian immigrants. Remember the 90’s hip hop ensemble the Fugees? Two of its three members were Haitian refugees who settled in the Newark area. Newark also has a good sized population of Salvadorans. The Archdiocese of Newark estimates that forty thousand Salvadorans live within its jurisdictional bounds.

But is Newark a “shithole” because of its Haitian and Salvadoran populations? Not necessarily. Newark has never been a nice place to live—not even before waves of Haitian and Salvadoran immigrants arrived. Still, they haven’t done much to spruce the place up.

A better explanation would be that the Haitians and Salvadorans landed in Newark because they were priced out of nicer communities. They then settled right into the urban Democratic wasteland. Politicians like Cory Booker pander to them and try to buy their votes with promises of government goodies. These politicians never solve their problems, of course, but that’s to be expected. If they did, what would they run on next time?

In short, Cory Booker is offended by Trump’s alleged comments because they strike a nerve not because they’re untrue. As the former mayor of a “shithole” city, filled with constituents who hail from some of the “shithole” countries Trump allegedly named, Booker takes the remarks as a personal insult. Or at least he pretends to. In reality he secretly agrees with the remarks, he just has to show his overwrought outrage publicly for the sake of Newark’s and New Jersey’s sacred honor.

But the rest of us have no obligation to pretend that Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are nice places. They’re not. Anyone who believes that they are can prove his sincerity by taking his next vacation in beautiful, sunny Port-au-Prince. All others can quit the histrionics.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A First Lady's Miniskirt: Imagine the Uproar If Melania Trump Dared to Wear Such a Sexy Dress in Public!

Ohlalaa… Imagine the howls of outrage, in America as in the rest of the world (including France?), if Melania Trump appeared next to President Donald Trump in a similar low-cut dress (merci à Évelyne Joslain) — and let's not even get into the fact of the first lady appearing with a bottle of liquor, i.e., rouge (red wine), in her hand…

Update: it appears far from unlikely that the photo is a composite… Fake News! It got us again!

Questions to the Leftists: If Immigrants Are Such Paragons of Virtue, Why Not Support Sending Them Home to Their Countries to Become Productive Citizens Who Help Build Up Their Respective Nations?!

Long sleeves or short sleeves?
That is the question asked by rebels in African countries such as Sierra Leone before they chop off their prisoners' hands and arms, either at the elbow (short sleeves) or at the wrist (long sleeves).

Meanwhile, the Mexican government has published a list of no-go zones in its own country.

What do those things do but make, by any definition you choose, countries like that — and whatever the race or the color of the skin of their inhabitants — little more than shitholes?
RelatedWhat Kind of Startling Groups Might Tend to Agree with Trump About "Shithole Countries"?
 …/… How about the citizens of Haiti, the citizens of El Salvador, and the citizens of various nations in Africa? …/… Indeed, isn't the very fact that so many of these citizens are emigrating to America, or to the West, in the first place a pretty strong sign of what they think, if not in those exact terms, of the regions they were born in? …/…
[There is another, and an even more surprising, group — read the whole thing™]
In any case, the raison d'être of this post is that in view of the narrative of the leftists — that, unlike us other clueless, heartless, and racist neanderthals, they have the hearts and the compassion to see the virtues of the immigrants as well as the dignity of the countries they belong to — there are a number of essential questions that need answering, questions that they never seem to have paused to consider.

Again: the narrative is that liberals, unlike conservatives, are all-around compassionate, tolerant, and internationalist-minded, as eager to provide help to immigrants, legal or otherwise, as they are to interact with other nationalities and, say, to bring aid to Third World countries.

So this brings up the following questions:

• If immigration is such a wonderful concept, one indeed that will bring hope and change (sic) to the United States, why would immigration not be just as benevolent to all other countries in the world as well? In other words, what I am getting at is, why doesn't this lead you leftists to support precisely the opposite of keeping all the illegals in America, i.e., sending the immigrants home as a good thing (!) since, somewhere, somehow it will prove to be a boon to those nations, what with the very fact of immigrants moving to those (in this case, to their own) countries can only bring untold riches to said nations?!

• Indeed, if the Dreamers are such paragons of virtue, and if it is so evident that all of them go on to become productive citizens, Valedictorians, heroic soldiers worthy of the Medal of Honor, etc, why not let said jewels, why not encourage said archetypes to, go home in order to make their own countries great again?!

• If foreign nations are not shitholes at all — but even more if… they indeed are so (!) — in other words, whatever the status of the countries, won't they benefit even more than America allegedly does from all these Übermenschen returning home to engage in their diligent work and to improve the lot of all the others?

• Won't a return to their home countries prove to be a boon to said individuals as well, in view of the fact that, apart from being super-menschen, they return home with international experience, not least with English as a first language, and therefore with the capacity to get the juiciest jobs in their communities?!

• To conclude, think of the immigrants (become emigrants) and the countries that they return to (immigrants again): Isn't it manifest that everyone benefits from this?!  (Everyone but los Estados Unidos; but they are obviously racist trash profiting, and having always profited, from white privilege; so los Americanos deserve to suffer from the absence of all those wonderful immigrants!)

While we all ponder these questions, let me add as an aside that I read on the web that the Democrat Party can be summed up by what they call (and think of) various people — native-born American citizens are called Deplorables; illegal immigrants are referred to as Dreamers. There you have it in a nutshell…

Related: "Undocumented Worker" — The Left's Preferred Expression for "Illegal Alien" Is False and Misleading

Related: • Leftists fail to mention that what little illegal aliens do pay in taxes is dwarfed by what they cost the taxpayer both directly and indirectly

Illegal immigration is to immigration what shoplifting is to shopping

Liberals will bring in a slew of (mostly illegal) immigrants, transform them into wards of the state, and register them to vote, thus diluting the power of the Cable Guy voting bloc

• What Obama and his Democratic allies are attempting to do is to completely remake America into a government-dependent society, and importing millions of low-skilled low-educated aliens is central to that goal

• U.S. History has not been, as Obama implies, 200 years of sustained mass migration—and it certainly hasn’t been 200 years of lawless open borders, which is his actual goal

• No one talks about legal immigrants who are hard working men and women, who wait for the frustratingly slow process that seems to discriminate against those who want to do it by the book

• It So Happens That Every Illegal Alien in America Already Does Have Papers

• "Undocumented Worker" — The Left's Preferred Expression for "Illegal Alien" Is False and Misleading 

• No, Liberals, there Is Not a Single "Undocumented Worker" in the United States (or on This Planet)

Hostility towards mass immigration arises not just from fears of economic “progress”, but from various instructive experiences (such as cultural incompatibility, social disadvantage, imported crime and terrorism, and an uninvited threat to national identity)

• Sarah A. Hoyt on Being American

• Phyllis Schlafly's Rules for Addressing Amnesty

• If the U.S. were to treat Mexican nationals in the same way that Mexico treats Central American nationals, there would be humanitarian outrage

• What Obama doesn’t want is for people to draw the connection between immigration and the spreading of disease because it would be disastrous for his long term plans to change the demographics of this country

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Good-Bye, l'Ami — RIP Peter Mayle

Peter Mayle, the bestselling author of A Year in Provence is dead at the age of 78 after a brief illness.
The genius of Mayle’s breezy, entertaining writing lay in his ability to make readers believe that every day in Provence was like a lazy Sunday, even as he detailed the days when he could barely get through the doorway because of incompetent contractors, or the days when the mistral winds made it impossible to leave that doorway 
writes Bethanne Patrick, who heads her lithub piece with: 
For Peter Mayle, Retirement Became the Career 

DACA — The Democrats have been running this scam since time immemorial and it always turns out the same way: Republicans capitulate on everything in return for a promise that Democrats will yield on something else later

For once, I am in disagreement with Benny Huang. For one thing, I just got an email from the White House enjoining people to
"Tell Senate Democrats that YOU -- the American voter -- will ALWAYS remember the day that Democrats put illegal immigrants before American citizens." 
That may not mean much, some skeptics will scoff, but as far as I am concerned, the immigration deal did not go through, and I may be naïve, but I am wont to believe that when Trump made his DACA offer, he pretty much realized that the Democrats would turn it down. In that case, wasn't the offer for future political use, being able to spin (rightly) how open he was to compromise in contrast to how closed the Democrats were?

Was the Donald really going to give in to the Democrats or was he playing high stakes poker, "knowing" that the opposing player would walk away? Well, it may be wishful thinking, but in any case, I would think that Benny Huang would agree that we should at least hope that he is wrong and that I am right. Anyway, Benny Huang's warnings deserve to be heard, just as conservatives' warnings with regards to the Trump administration's Jeff Sessions regarding eminent domain deserve to be voiced:
There’s an old truism that says that Republicans win elections but Democrats win policy fights. I was reminded of this adage last week when President Trump hosted a televised negotiation session with congressional Democrats in which he seemed to concede everything on the issue of immigration—with nothing in return.

 … At one point in the meeting Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) posed a question that was moronic on its face. “What about a clean DACA bill now with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure?”

That sounds quite reasonable. Why don’t we just give the minority party its greatest wish on the condition that we later haggle over “comprehensive immigration reform?” That handy phrase is just code for an ever broader amnesty. Where exactly is the up side to this deal for anyone who isn’t enamored with the idea of being swamped with even more of the third world’s problem children?
Give us what we want now and in return we’ll have talks about how you can give us even more of what we want later.  
Sounds fair.

Not to be outdone, President Trump deftly replied:
“We’re going to come up with DACA, we’re going to do DACA, and then we can start immediately on phase two which would be comprehensive.”
“Phase two” will never happen if it isn’t part of this bill. It has to be quid pro quo, not one side’s quid for a very unlikely quo at an unspecified later date.

The Democrats have been running this scam since time immemorial and it always turns out the same way. Republicans capitulate on everything in return for a promise that Democrats will yield on something else later. Democrats always break their promises and pat themselves on the back for doing so.

 … What Trump is essentially saying is that he will sign anything. He will ask for nothing in return and he won’t use the power of an impending veto as leverage. He’ll just trust everyone to do the right thing.

That’s not “winning,” which is what this man promised. It’s unconditional surrender.

My only consolation is that the president has gifted me an “I told you so” moment. I knew this man had no principles and I said as much. Caving to the Democrats was not a question of if but when.

As I wrote in August 2016:
“If Trump were to be elected president… nothing will change in this country in regard to immigration, illegal or otherwise. The lawless open border will remain lawless and open, the Border Patrol we pay to pretend they’re enforcing the law will continue to play make-believe, and the rule of law will continue to be a big joke. Don’t believe me? Donald Trump admitted in the same FOX News interview that his policy would be a continuation of his two predecessors. ‘What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country. Bush, the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m going to do the same thing.’”
For making this accurate prediction I was accused of being an amnesty shill, a despicable Never Trumper, and a corporate lackey—none of which is true. I’m as tough as anyone on the question of illegal immigration. The law is the law and illegal aliens broke it. Send them all home. In regards to legal immigration I am a firm believer that we Americans should be able to pick our immigrants based on our best interests not what’s best for our prospective guests. My criteria would exclude anyone who is likely to become a ward of the state or to displace an American worker.

The backlash I experienced was intense enough to make me wonder if conservatives were falling prey to the same cult of personality so common among liberal Democrats. People on “my side” were matching the Democrats’ foolish idolatry with their own.

It wasn’t as if our only choice was between Trump and an actual amnesty shill like Lindsey Graham. We could have nominated, for example, Senator Ted Cruz, who is also not a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. Cruz led the revolt against the lousy Gang of Eight “pathway to citizenship” deal.
As Cruz said in 2013:
“Unfortunately, all of the concerns that have been repeatedly raised about this bill remain: it repeats the mistakes of the 1986 immigration bill; it grants amnesty first; it won’t secure the border; and it doesn’t fix our broken legal immigration system.”
In other words, the Gang of Eight bill was a dud because it contained all of the same elements that we’ll likely see in whatever bill comes across Trump’s desk this year. The only difference is that Trump will sign the 2018 version of the Schumer–Rubio monstrosity. He’ll sign anything.

Amnesty now in exchange for the faint possibility of enforcement later? Sold!

The reason we’re in this no-win situation is because some conservatives have succumbed to one of humanity’s worst vices: idolatry. After eight horrible years of Barrack Obama they were looking for a messiah and they found one in a shady businessman and life-long liberal Democrat named Donald J. Trump. …

This idolatry was never more apparent than when one of my favorite political writers, Ann Coulter, published a book titled “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome.” … The title was an obvious takeoff from the national motto but with Trump’s name blasphemously replacing God. Has there ever been a more ridiculous title? Trump is not my God and I don’t consider trust in politicians to be a virtue. Ann’s fan girl enthusiasm was repellent.

Luckily, she seems to be coming around.

 … All I can say is that I warned her. She should have known that Donald Trump operates based on interests rather than principles. He’s a living, breathing example of why principles are so important. It isn’t enough for a candidate to say the right things, he has to mean it.

Donald Trump clearly didn’t and for that we’re all worse off.
Benny Huang knows that I was as skeptical about Donald Trump during the election cycle as he was/is, and if I have changed my mind, it is only because of being pleasantly surprised by the facts again and again — Neil Gorsuch, Jerusalem, climate change exit, ISIS whuppin', the ObamaCare mandate repeal, the tax bill, putting trust in the military, etc… Like I said, I may be engaging in wishful thinking, but most of my own I told you sos have been (mercifully) proven wrong and I am starting to trust, I am hoping, that Donald Trump has been seeing through the Democrats and has been playing (admittedly) high stakes poker with them, as he has before. Let us hope that I am right…

Friday, January 19, 2018

3 Political Scandals of the Past 12 Years in the USA, and How the MSM Managed to Find the Culprits

1) WHO IS GUILTY?! In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2006, rescue efforts were bungled in the largest city of Louisiana. Who should be blamed for the scandal?

Should it be the mayor of New Orleans?

Well, ain't Ray Nagin a Democrat? So: scratch that.

Should it be the governor of the Pelican State?

Well, ain't Kathleen Blanco a Democrat? So: scratch that.

Should it be the president of the United States?

Hold on: who's in the White House? Ain't it a hombre by the name of George W Bush? And ain't he a Republican?! Yup, it certainly appears so. Well, there you go! Nailed it!

2) WHO IS GUILTY?! In 2014, lead poisoning was found in the water supply of the town of Flint, Michigan. Who should be blamed for the scandal?

Should it be the president of the United States?

Hold on: who's in the White House? Ain't it, lessee here, this fellow by the name of Barack Obama? And ain't he a Democrat? So: scratch that.

Should it be the mayor of Flint?

Well, ain't Dayne Walling a Democrat? So: scratch that.

Should it be the governor of the Great Lakes State?

Hold on a second: ain't Rick Snyder a Republican?
But of course! Nailed it!

3) WHO IS GUILTY?! In 2018, a false ballistic missile alert threw Hawaii into a panic. Who should be blamed for the scandal?

Should it be the governor of the Aloha State?

Well, ain't David Ige a Democrat? So: scratch that.

Should it be the legislature of Hawaii?

Well, ain't the state's senate 100% Democrat? And isn't its House of Representatives Democrat, 46 to 5? So: scratch that.

Should it be the president of the United States?

Hold on: Who is in the White House? (Lemme think…) Ain't it a dude by the name of Donald Trump? And ain't he a Republican? Well, there you go! Nailed it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

What Kind of Startling Groups Might Tend to Agree with Trump About "Shithole Countries"?

Let us assume, like PJMedia's Jim Treacher, that the president indeed used the expression "shithole countries."  What is even more important, is the following question:

What kind of surprising groups might tend to agree with President Donald Trump on calling places like Haiti, El Salvador, and various nations in Africa "shithole countries", not to mention many others?

No, no, you're wrong: the answer is not those revolting racists who belong to the despicable Republican party.

1) The first jaw-dropping answer is (wait for it) the citizens of Haiti, the citizens of El Salvador, and the citizens of various nations in Africa, not to mention the citizens of many others.

Of course, the leaders of those countries, the politicians of these nations, the élites of these entities are offended by words to the effect of Donald Trump's, and this is what the Democrats and what leftists, not only in America but the world over, are all upset about.

But the people of these countries? Needless to say, many will state in no uncertain terms that they find it insulting to hear a foreign head of state make that kind of comment — especially when the country's media is showcasing the alleged insults while constantly lauding their leaders (just like America's MSM is constantly perpetually Republicans' alleged sins while incessantly lauding the Democrats' honchos).

But you start talking privately to individuals from these lands, whether in their home nations or abroad, and not in front of a camera but in private, and you would be surprised to hear how many individuals agree if not with the wording itself, certainly with the sentiment behind it.

Indeed, isn't the very fact that so many of these citizens are emigrating to America, or to the West, in the first place a pretty strong sign of what they think, if not in those exact terms, of the regions they were born in?

But it's not only those attempting to emigrate.

What might Africans, whatever their status, think of Zimbabwe, which for three to four decades remained a kleptocratic dictatorship and which, truth to tell, does not show many signs of improving?

What might Africans think of Uganda, whose citizens have been murdered in the hundreds of thousands over the decades, by the likes of Idi Amin Dada?

What might Africans think of those countries of the continent which, since they became "independent" (sic), have not laid a single mile of new road?

Are white people, in the West or from elsewhere, prevented from making the logical conclusion and — despite the protests of Black Lives Matter — thinking the exact same thing?

2) The second jaw-dropping answer to the question of what group of people would tend to agree (again, only in private) if not with Donald Trump's words, at least with the sentiment underlying his comment, is even more startling: it is (yes) black Americans in the United States.

Indeed, African-Americans, just like their Irish, German, and Scandinavian counterparts, are in the habit of drawing up plans for vacations in the homelands of their ancestors, if not to find the exact town of said forefathers, at least to visit the regions they used to live in.

The U.S. blacks' reaction to their trip, although it is not given publicity in the MSM and in academia (since that would undermine the left's custom of fueling outrage while intensifying victimitis), has been repeated again and again and again: seek out some white person, a friend or an acquaintance or even a total stranger, after they have returned home to the West and tell them: "I am so happy that one of your ancestors made my ancestor a slave and took him (or her) away from that God-forsaken place." (See, for instance, Keith B. Richburg's Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa.)

And the label "$#!+hole countries" applies not necessarily only to countries that are considered part of the Third World. 

When I lived briefly in Brazil, I was (mildly) shocked to hear this general sentiment all the time — it was not necessarily an expression containing the word "merda", but words to the effect that the nation was a screwed-up chaotic mess.

I remember going to a bank in Rio to withdraw some Brazilian reales and being dumbfounded to see a line of over 60 Brazilians waiting in line for the counter. That's right, for a single counter.

I asked to speak to a bank representative, in order to show her the predicament we were all in. I was even more dumbfounded that, in spite of the huge crowd of people in the large waiting room, she didn't immediately understand why I had called upon her. So I voiced my concern: Couldn't they open half a dozen more counters, or even one, to expedite the humongous line of people more rapidly? This was not possible, she said, and promptly went back to her office.

I must have looked twice as dumbfounded, because the Brazilians were laughing. Didn't I know that this country was "um bordel," they told me, that I was in "um país de merda"?

And it is not only nations of the Third and Second Worlds, or even non-white nations, that are labeled "$#!+hole countries."

Do you know how many times here in Paris I have heard France called "un pays de merde"?

I can't count them, they are too many. Not by expatriate Yanks, or by other foreigners. But by the French themselves.

Lately, it has been in response to the government's harebrained decision to lower the nation's speed (sic) limits even further, on secondary roads (from 90 km/h to 80), while adding ever-higher technological contraptions to the ubiquitous radar system, meaning an ever-stronger heightening of the repression, the persecution, and the extortion of the French car driver.

Related: See also The Allyagottado Folks and the Sleep-Inducing Speed (sic) Limits

In other words, a "$#!+hole country" can be defined as this: it is the sentiment of living in a corrupt, dysfunctional, crime-ridden place where bureaucracy is rampant; where common citizens are regularly screwed by the authorities; and where there are few, if any, opportunities for the people to move up, or to get more wealthy (and thus more independent), unless they belong to, or knew someone in, the élites.

In that perspective, is it any surprise how delighted the élites the world over were with Barack Obama?!

A man who was more comfortable in the presence foreign leaders and "dignitaries" along with other élites than, arguably, with the American people or, indeed, with members of the Republican opposition.

A man who would finally make Americans happy (how lucky they are!) by saddling them with more taxes, more bureaucrats, and more red tape.

A man who, finally, would shame the population about their sins, real or alleged, and who would ensure that America too would become a place where there are no opportunities for the regular folk to move up, unless they were, or knew someone, in the élite and a place where they would be regularly screwed by the authorities.

(If you counter that, truth to tell, Obama was, and remains, highly popular with common folk the world over, isn't this, again, due to the — often national-controlled — media outlets who were/are as obsequious in describing him and his movement as the American press was/is?)

The "$#!+hole countries," in turn, make a huge effort to describe as a horrendous nightmare (i.e., as a "shithole country"!) the only land where this is least the case, the U.S. of A. Those efforts hardly exclude the Europeans (Frankfurt School, anyone?) sent across the ocean to teach American youth at school and in university in the United States.

My father was a diplomat, and in my youth, our family was posted abroad (often for three years at a time) in places such as Denmark, Belgium, and France, where my parents often had the good sense to put me in a local school instead of an international one, in order for me to learn foreign languages. What was interesting was that in all these places part of the history lessons that schoolchildren learned was often the same: they were taught all about the injustices in the United States, from the tragedy of slavery in the South to the tragedy of the Indians.

Scandinavian schoolchildren didn't learn much about the Sami (nicknamed Sweden's Indians) in the far North, and French kids didn't learn much about their military's activities in places such as… Haiti (!), while Belgian students didn't learn much about the country's colony in Africa. (Is it uncouth, or racist, to point out that as much as African-American slaves suffered under maltreatment in the South, at least they weren't subjected to a common punishment in Leopold II's Congo for not meeting rubber quotas, having a hand or a foot, if not both, cut off?)

Apparently, indeed, a number of countries consider and/or advertise America as (the equivalent to) a "shithole country," especially when a Republican is in the White House (former French culture minister (!) Jack Lang has just called Trump a "président de merde"), while this is in the respective countries' curriculum taught to their youth.

Because it ain't only foreigners who view America thus, is it, along with Americans (or at least Republican conservatives) as (shall we call them) "shitheads," is it?

How about the United States itself? How about its media? How about its department of education?

Isn't it the never-ending harangues about the horrors of the nightmare named America, and Western civilization itself, from liberal academia, Hollywood, and the mainstream media that result in our children becoming drama queens who demonstrate in the street, who join Antifa, who tear down statues, who chant that "America was never great," and who grow up to become reporters who go seeking for the next victim group?

Related: Andrew KlavanNothing scandalizes a leftist like the truth

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The UK's Troop Cut Proposals Would Leave the Smallest British Army Since Before the Napoleonic Wars

Military chiefs have drawn up a plan to cut the armed forces by more than 14,000
reports the Times Defence Editor Deborah Haynes, thus leaving Britain with its smallest army since before the Napoleonic era.
Military chiefs have drawn up a plan to cut the armed forces by more than 14,000 and combine elite units of paratroopers and Royal Marines to save money, The Times has learnt.

The three sets of proposed cuts presented to Gavin Williamson when he took over as defence secretary from Sir Michael Fallon [were] revealed [in early January].

The proposals — described by a Whitehall source as “ugly, ugly or ugly” — include cutting the army by 11,000 soldiers and losing 2,000 Royal Marines and sailors and 1,250 airmen. The total size of the regular armed forces is about 137,000. The army has a target size of 82,000 but at present it numbers fewer than 78,000. …