2.07.2017

Farewell and God Bless

It's been a fun run.  I've enjoyed the debates (mostly) and the opportunity to toss my two cents in when the mood strikes me.  On the whole, while the disagreements are often stark and the expressions can get sharp, we've got a pretty good group of people engaged in political discussions here in South Dakota.

I've appreciated the SD War College, Dakota Free Press, and the Displaced Plainsman among others over the years I've run this blog (their sites are linked over to the left).  I don't know that anyone's mind was unalterably changed by anything I've written, but the discussion has been good, mostly reasonable, and despite the stark disagreements, on the whole it's been friendly.  Thanks.

But I'm leaving.  The transition has been ongoing for a while now and it is reaching it's culmination. I head to West Virginia in a little over a week to take up a new job.  I'll leave this blog up for a little while, but doubt I'll have time to post much.  Eventually, I'll take it down all together.  I'm quite confident you will all be able to carry on this robust conversation without me.

May God bless you all, may he bless this wonderful state of South Dakota, and may we continue to model a robust, yet collegial debate.

1.30.2017

Hey, Trump. The Problem Is Illegal, Not Legal Immigration

Leftists demonstrating against a Republican president is about as inevitable as sunset following sunrise.  Along with the demonstrating comes a whole lot of hyperventilating, inaccurate, and sometimes flatly dishonest reporting in the major media outlets.  So I've not been inclined to give much credence to the claims of the demonstrators or the press.  And I also read the text of the executive orders that sparked the protests, along with the DHS' initial interpretation of them.

It made sense to me that a new president with a radically different approach to immigration would temporarily suspend immigration from certain countries until he can get his arms around the issue and come up with a coherent plan.  When DHS ruled that the suspension didn't apply to those holding green cards (permanent resident visas) - and the White House Chief of Staff stated the same - this sense was buttressed.

But I've recently learned that the Trump White House has overruled that initial DHS decision and wants the suspension applied to green card holders, too.

This is incredibly, mind-bogglingly dumb.

It's also wrong on a moral level, given the assurances both implied and in law given to permanent residents.

And it's wrong on a practical level.  These are people who played by the rules, who went through the arduous and time-consuming process to get a green card, submitting to numerous background checks, interviews, paperwork, and considerable expense.  No screening process Trump's team will devise will improve the one applied already to these permanent residents.  In any event, our problem is illegal immigration, not legal immigration.  Going after the legal immigrants only encourages illegal immigration.  What is more, as a political matter, it is encouraging bipartisan opposition and giving that opposition an issue around which to coagulate and organize.


Dumb.  Really, really dumb.

1.27.2017

Important Things

Sitting, rocking in my chair
Books and ‘zines piled up near
Thousands of words left unread
Of serious matters plead

Peering, searching in the gloom
Gath’ring dark shrinks my room
Voices stilled, speak no longer
Seemed vital when were younger

Thinking, wondering what matters
All this pitter-patter
News Flash! Special Bulletin!
Spike the heart rate while mind spins

From all I’ve seen, that ain’t it
Just dust, smoke, camel spit
A furious distraction
Grabs the soul, gut reaction

Sitting in another chair
My wife asks, “Dye my hair?”
If you like, gray’s fine by me
To me, you’re still thirty-three

My son calls from far away
Just chats about his day
While dog demands attention
Ounce of cure, pound prevention

My daughter, laughing, texts me
Reminds how she vexed me
Orders pizza coming home
Food and faith, both via Rome

Looking from my chair, sitting,
Watch God tend his knitting
Deft hands so quickly darning
These holes caused by our yarning

I love my wife, love this life
Where son’s voice banished strife
With a cheerful normalcy
Such a thrill, banality


*******
The older I get, the more the things I thought were important when I was 21 seem a waste of time and the things I thought insufferably dull achieve tremendous significance. I’m not the first person to experience this, I know, but that, too, is part of the charm.

1.26.2017

What's So Bad about Sheriff Hernandez' Policy in Austin, TX?

There's a storm brewing in Travis County, Texas.

The sheriff, newly elected this past November, has stated that her department would honor federal immigration requests to detain individuals only if they have a warrant directing the person be confined.

Essentially she has said that her top priority is local law enforcement and she is not going to spend scarce resources doing the federal government's job for them.  Everything she is reported to have stated as her department's policy going forward - at least in this news article - is eminently justifiable.  That doesn't mean she is turning Travis County in to a "sanctuary" county, however much one might disagree with her priorities, and I think a less apoplectic response by the governor would be much more helpful.

I don't understand how or why anything she's said is controversial.  I want Minnehaha County sheriffs to focus on local law enforcement, too.  If they have time left over, and the manpower, I certainly want them to cooperate with the federal government, but their focus is here, not national policy, and that is as it should be.

I think illegal immigration is a problem, and I think strong efforts to curb it should be taken.  And I think those who, as a matter of policy, actively seek to provide shelter and sanctuary to lawbreakers should be disciplined.  But that is not what Sheriff Hernandez is doing in these policy statements.  She is saying, "We've only got so much money, so many deputies, and so much room in the jail.  These are our priorities.  The feds are going to have to either get a warrant [so we get paid] or build their own jail and we can't afford to do their work for them."  Makes perfect sense to me.

1.20.2017

President Trump

And now it's President Trump.

Yippee.

Protestors went full on violent, torching cars, smashing windows, and generally behaving in an orgy of Trump justification.  The usual things are said by Democrats when a Republican wins an election - he's not "legitimate" (yes, he is - he was elected in accordance with the law, that is, legit); he's not "my president" (yes, he is, whether you like it or not), etc., etc.

Really what it boils down to is that Democrats are sore losers.  In a way, a Republican winning the presidency is to them what infidels being rich and powerful is to muslims.  Democrats don't believe that they have an "opinion" which, while based on facts, is not the only possible opinion that could be based on the same facts.  Nope.  Democrats have revealed TRUTH handed down to them by the party and preached in party gatherings by George Soros funded imams.

But what do you do when the truth revealed by your deity - a truth that says you should be in power and all the world subject to you and your co-believers - instead leaves you poor, ghetto-ized, and no longer in power?  It can't be that the truth might not be true.  It must be that evil infidels, tools of the devil, are opposed to your righteousness!

Once you've crossed that line, then anything you need to do to defeat the infidels is acceptable to you.

Which is what we're seeing in the riots in D.C. and the silly pouting of Democrat politicians in DC and elsewhere, and what we're seeing in Iran, ISIS, Syria, Libya, etc., etc.

That doesn't mean your average Democrat is a terrorist any more than it means your average muslim is a terrorist.  It does mean, however, that there will be a significant number of them who think violence is justifiable in fighting those they see as evil, heretical infidels.

But, whether they smash windows or burn cars, Donald Trump is still the legally elected and now duly inaugurated president of the United States of America.  He was never my favorite and still isn't, but the rioting and protesting is doing quite a lot to get me thinking that it's a damn good thing he's president.

12.26.2016

Liberals Aren't the Only Ones

With all due respect to the Fraternal Order of Police, this is unwise.

They are calling for Amazon to stop selling paraphernalia connected to the "Black Lives Matter" theme.  Apparently they also made such a demand of Walmart and met with success.

I think the whole "Black Lives Matter" faction is foolish - self-destructive even - in its opposition to police.  Most of the Black people shot and killed in this country are shot and killed by other Black people, not by cops.  Of the Black people who are shot and killed by cops, I dare say most of them are killed because they are posing a direct threat to, or have a history of posing a direct threat to, other Black people.  This includes the poster-child from Ferguson, MO who kicked the whole thing off.  I'm not saying every instance is justified, but I am saying that Black Lives Matter is making it harder to protect Black lives.

As I mentioned in my previous post, liberals often act in ways that undercut their own goals in the firm belief that this political pistol only points one way.  We shouldn't fall into the same trap of thinking only the other guy will be affected by the kinds of intimidation tactics used to get products we dislike pulled from a given retailer.  If the Fraternal Order of Police can pressure Amazon into pulling "Black Lives Matter" gear, then Amazon can also be pressured into pulling "Blue Lives Matter" gear.  Let it be.

Liberal White Guy Calls for Killing All the White Guys

This is really sad.

Some White guy at a university in Pennsylvania - a guy named George Ciccariello-Maher - posts a tweet calling for White genocide.

Typical leftist idiocy in many ways, but it also illustrates part of a fairly common leftist conceit.

This guy is White, remember.  So he's calling for Black people to kill him in this little tweet, but his behavior and statements before and after make it clear he doesn't expect that he'll be included in the genocide he's calling for.

You see the same thing in the journalists who would routinely celebrate Castro's Cuba - and still do.  They obviously don't think they'd be locked in dungeons and tortured for their journalism, even though many, many journalists have been so treated by Castro and other Communist dictatorships (including Venezuela which, while technically not Communist, is cut from the same cloth).  Indeed, the Obama administration has also developed a reputation for attacking and intimidating journalists who don't toe the party line.  

When Obama was first elected, I posted frequently warning leftists that Obama would not be in office forever, that some day a Republican would be president, and Obama's attempt to rule by fiat, to ignore the Constitutional constraints on presidential power, and undercut democracy in America, would all become precedents that Republican could use with equal vigor.


I warned that leftists would regret eliminating the filibuster option on nominations, too.  The checks and balances in the Constitution did not just impede liberals, they protected them for those checks and balances would impede conservatives, too.  Nope.  Out it went.  Their agenda was too important to bother with impediments.  

But now the liberals and Democrats are finding out that when they get rid of these restraints on government power, they are as likely to be victims as anyone else.

This is the brave new world our leftist fellow citizens have given us.  I wish they would learn, but they won't.  They will continue to advocate policies and actions that are self-destructive in the firm belief that it won't happen to them, only to others.