11.25.2014

France Takes Promising Step

France has been building a couple helicopter carriers - essentially amphibious assault ships - for the Russians over the last few years (the deal was first reported in 2010).  With the renewed Russian assault on Ukraine, they have indefinitely suspended delivery of those ships.

That's a step in the right direction.

If I were in a position to work on this, I'd be looking to arrange a deal where France cancelled the sale all together, and then a little bit later sold one to Brazil or Chile and the French navy took the other, quietly subsidizing the sale with U.S. funds.  French shipbuilders still get their money.  A couple allies get some decent, modern amphibs, and Russia gets a thwack they'll actually notice.  I might even go for selling them to India or Japan, but that would be a bit more provocative than necessary, perhaps.  Even so, it would be worth the cost.

As of now, though, the delivery is merely suspended.  We'll see if the sale actually gets cancelled.

Hagel Fired as SecDef - Not Sufficiently Incompetent for Obama

President Obama fired Chuck Hagel as SecDef.

That's less of a surprise than having hired him in the first place.

What are the chances of getting somebody decent in as SecDef for the final two years of this Commander-in-Chief who likes the idea of the military (at least somebody knows how to follow orders) but has no idea what the military can and cannot do.  In any event, Obama doesn't want to actually pay for a competent, capable military.  That would be unfair.  To his mind, we should, in the event of war, give a place like Lichtenstein a fighting chance at least.

This is what comes from the leftist pre-occupation with "fair."

But the problem remains for Obama.  Any half-way decent, competent Secretary of Defense is going to have to tell Obama things he doesn't want to hear.  He will have to point out to his boss that the Commander-in-Chief's world view is simply false.  It is contrary to fact.  These are not things a man who thinks himself smarter than the smartest of his advisors while also leaping tall buildings in a single bound is going to tolerate.

The expectation was that Hagel would be incompetent, but pleasant as the president would hear only what he wished to hear.  Instead, he turned out to be half-way decent (not decent, but half-way) as SecDef, which of course meant telling Obama unpleasant truths.

Naturally, that means Hagel has to go.  Obama will now try to find somebody who will be more pleasant.  Which means finding somebody incompetent or venal or both.

Ferguson - Rebellion By Suicide

A grand jury in Missouri denied legitimacy to the attempted lynching of Officer Wilson.  A review of actual evidence and facts at the time indicated this result.  Michael Brown may not have been a hardened criminal master mind, but neither was he the innocent angel seeking higher education and the American Dream.  He was what we would have called a "punk" in my day - a guy used to getting his way by throwing his weight around and threatening violence.  Normally, people backed down after a little push - like that shop owner.  Then somebody didn't and that was the end of Michael Brown.  Rather like the song about a guy named Jim.



In addition to not tugging on Superman's cape, I think we could add "don't charge a police officer who is pointing a gun at you."

Despite the best efforts of the race-mongers, race was simply not a factor in regards to Wilson's decision to shoot.  Neither was Brown's race a factor in Wilson's initial contact with Brown.  It was a simple matter of a young tough thinking he could disregard the law.  Whether Brown saw it as a racial confrontation, I cannot say, but it seems likely that he did a little, though I'm not sure the confrontation would have gone any different had the police officer been Black.  Brown's attitude, evinced from the assault on the store owner where he stole cigars earlier that day, his response to Wilson's initial request from the vehicle to move out of the road, and then his approach to Wilson after Wilson got out of his car - all of these show a general antipathy for authority and law far more than they show a defensive presumption of racist oppression.

The response, as threatened, is rioting and looting in Ferguson.

Real smart.

Who's being hurt by this?  Not the cops or the imaginary "white oppressor."  This is rebellion by suicide.  It's as if Nat Turner had decided the best way to overthrow the slave power was to kill other slaves, rob the survivors, and burn the slave huts - including his own - while leaving the plantation house untouched.

Who is going to open a business in Ferguson now?  Who will insure it?  What is going to happen to property values, and thus to maintenance of that property?  Who will be hurt by this?  The law-abiding Black citizens of Ferguson (and the White, Hispanic, and "other" ones, too).  To the extent law-enforcement is intimidated by this whole, sad tale it means the likelihood of Michael Brown's buddy that day being shot by another young Black male has increased markedly.  Without firm law-enforcement, criminal elements get bolder.  If you want to see what that looks like, look at Rahm Emmanuel's Chicago, the Black murder victim capital of the country - and almost all of those Black murder victims are killed by Black murderers.

The oppression that is felt in Black communities is only residually the result of White racism.  It is primarily the result of pathologies arising within the Black community itself over the years since the Watts riots, the blood-sucking race-baiters like Sharpton and Jackson who came after MLK was assassinated, and the withdrawal from mainstream American economic life into government welfare plantations.  As understandable as these pathologies might be, given the history of race relations in this country, they are what is keeping the American Black community down today.

There is very little a White man can do to fix that.

11.24.2014

If You're Going to Let an Obama Do It, You Must Prepare for a Nixon to Do It, Too

"At least Obama is doing something."

So goes the defense of his decision to shred the Constitution and completely ignore the limits it places on presidential power.

A song on the Eagles' album Long Road Out of Eden enjoins people to "do something."  I remember hearing similar advice and challenges from various quarters over the course of my life.  And there are times when it is not bad advice, either.

There are other times when that advice is deadly.

We must also consider whether that advice is good or not in light of the options available to the one taking action.

President Obama could work with the Congress.  That would, however, involve messy things like honest discussions with Republicans, cutting deals, trading horses, and maybe not getting everything he wants at once.  That would be doing something, too, but Obama has consistently declined to take this more ordinary path.  In the same way he imposed his signature health insurance legislation (it's not really about health care) - there would be no discussion with opponents, no compromise, no give-and-take.  There is no room in his mind for any path but subservience to his directives.

President Obama could also work with the American public at large - a public which by a significant majority opposes the kind of action he is taking both as regards the action itself and the means by which he is taking it.  He could attempt to persuade us that he really does have the right plan and the right course.  Given the disaster his health care legislation has been, that might be difficult, but it is not impossible.  It would, though, require patience and diligence and the rather messy interaction with people who disagree that Obama cannot abide.  He cannot acknowledge, even a little, that opponents might have a point.  And this also might require that he be satisfied with less than a whole loaf.

Either of those would also amount to doing something.  Either of those were very possible.  Neither of them was as acceptable to Obama as simply issuing dictatorial edicts via executive orders that ignore the limits our Constitution places on the president.

Those who try to defend this tyrannical usurpation should have a care.  What if the next president decides to use "prosecutorial discretion" to alter the tax rates via executive order?  What if the next president decides to use executive orders on the flimsy basis of such discretion to open ANWR and other national parks, refuges, and public lands to energy development?  There is, theoretically, no limit to presidential actions in defiance of congress, voters, and the democratic process if this something done by our would-be dictator and erstwhile president is not challenged.  If you would give this sort of power to an Obama, you must be prepared to see a Nixon wield it, too.

11.21.2014

Obama Destroys Constitution, Democrat Party Supports Him

It is ironic that the man who would end democracy in America heads up a party calling itself "Democrats."

Congress must - must - block this action.  Whether by defunding the agencies and organizations that will carry it out, shutting down the government all together, or some other means I have not yet seen, this must not stand.  States also must step up enforcement of their laws in these areas - whether they have a social security card or a green card or not, these victims of Obama's lawlessness are illegally here and if Obama will not enforce the laws, state governments must.

This is not a man who can be negotiated with.  He must be stopped.  And the party that sustains him must change to become true to its name, or be resisted at every turn.  A party that supports this sort of lawlessness simply because it is expedient to the objectives they have in mind must never be trusted with power.

11.20.2014

Stop Dreaming of Political Impossibilities, Use What You've Got

I will wait to see what the president actually issues by way of an executive order, but there is no doubt this president does not appreciate the Constitutional restrictions on his power or the federal government structure that compels him to work with people he dislikes.

It is a shame that impeachment is not an option, but it isn't.  The huffing and puffing from folks on the right that complain about the congress is misplaced.  It is simply not feasible, and in some part the blame for the problem lies with those same huffers and puffers.  They thought they could "send a message" by sitting out the 2012 election and not voting for Romney.  Now they're unhappy with the disastrous results of that choice.  Color me unsympathetic.  We must consider practical options - options that is, with some hope of success.

Some are talking about using a process called "rescission" to take the funding out of the president's plans.  That's a dumb idea from the get-go.  The way it works is, you pass a funding bill that gives money to a particular department.  Then later you pass a bill to take some of that money away.  Both bills, of course, need to be signed by the president.  What's the likelihood of the president signing a bill that defunds his executive order?  This path is one of pretended opposition coupled with back-door enabling.

The better option is to write into the initial funding legislation language that prevents spending on it.  I'm not too worried about shutting down the government.  To be sure, it would be unpleasant and, at least initially, the media would want people to blame the congress, especially Republicans.  But as long as the legislation passing the House is funding the government except for certain unpopular, unilateral presidential actions, it will be difficult to maintain that stance.  A little patience on the GOP side would also be helpful.  There isn't another election for two years.  The electorate will be over it by then.  

The same diminished attention span will also help put pressure on the media to change the story line - if they push the same old "GOP to blame" meme and the GOP keeps answering back "We sent legislation funding the government over to the Senate, talk to Senator Reid" the public will get bored with the GOP blame game.  Pressure will build on Democrats to send it up to the president, and the president will resist.  The longer it goes, the more evident it will be that it is Democrats obstructing, not Republicans, the more so since the GOP is only trying to prevent an unpopular president from taking an unpopular action.

So, whether by continuing resolution or by actual funding legislation, the House should send to the Senate legislation that will block funds from being used to implement the executive orders they find objectionable.

11.19.2014

Palestinians Murder Jews at Prayer, CNN Leads with "Police Kill Palestinians"

Let's see...  A couple Palestinian burst into a synagogue, start hacking away with axes and knives, or just shooting.  They kill four people, wounding several others.  Israeli police respond and kill the two terrorists.  You're responsible for the headline.  What do you come up with?

ISRAELI POLICE SHOT, KILLED TWO PALESTINIANS

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too.

Oh, yeah, and I call it a mosque, too.  I mean, mosque, synagogue, church, coven - what's the difference?

This is what passes for objective journalism at CNN.

Palestinians are celebrating, handing out candy, partying away.

But my denomination, with it's "Hope Equals" project, as well as my country, acts as if there is, at best, no difference between the Palestinians and Israel.  More often, they insist the problems are all the Israelis' fault.  Palestinians, they claim, aren't calling for revenge, but for justice.  Spare me.  Calling for "days of rage" and encouraging people to kill Jews where ever they may be found are not calls for "justice" but for murder.

Israel is a human state as well as a humane one.  Being human, it is not perfect.  But Israelis do not celebrate murdering innocents at prayer.  Israelis do not throw a party after repeated provocations compel them to take military action.  Israelis do not incite each other to murder children and old people for the simple reason they are not Jews.

Palestinians, however, including their leadership in both Abbas and Hamas, do celebrate murdering children in their beds, innocents at prayer, teenagers out for a date, and more.  Palestinians do incite each other to murder others for the simple reason they are Jews.  Palestinians do not wait to be provoked, but find the mere existence of Jews sufficient provocation in itself.

We should not be doing business with the Palestinians.  We should be working with Israel to defeat them, utterly and completely.  The Palestinians are the ones insisting they cannot live in the same area as Israel and doing what they can to kill, murder, terrorize, and maim Israeli citizens.  If they will not share the place, then they should leave. If that means driving them all out of Gaza, the West Bank, and Jerusalem, then so be it.