Friday, November 18, 2016

Black Lives Matter vs. "alt-right"

I may be wading off into the weeds a bit, but the subject of this post is closely aligned to the one written most recently in which I spent a considerable amount of time on the utter collapse of the media's credibility and its exposure via Wikileaks as an active proponent of progressive policies and candidates.

But for me something far more insidious and scary is underway. First, because this effort began well before the election was determined, was the press' obvious sympathy for and refusal to condemn some of the more odious elements of a broad movement that for the ease of description I will call "Black Lives Matter". Born out of the false charge that police departments were systemically racist and were actually hunting down men of color, protests swept the streets, looting occurred in some cities and in the most extreme cases police officers, regardless of color, were literally gunned down in cold blood.

It would be naive of me to suggest that there aren't neighborhoods in the United States, particularly those with higher rates of crime, where black men are not subjected to harassment by the police without sufficient cause. It is justifiable for communities to insure that their police forces receive sensitivity training, follow the law to the letter, and prosecute those inside the force who violate those laws with the same vigor they would prosecute those outside.

The movement was an outgrowth of Trayvon Martin's being "post-humously [sic] placed on trial for his own murder...." and after "...Michael Brown was killed at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Brown." This from We know that in both of these tragic cases, evidence was presented to grand juries, very serious charges were placed against the men who killed those boys, trials were held in appropriate venues and integrated juries found those men not guilty. George Zimmerman has gone on to live a very troubled life and Darren Brown has moved on to live a life of anonymity.

But I am not here to offer up a criticism of the BLM movement or question the motivations of those who participate in it because they genuinely wish to tamp down the racial inequities that exist in the legal system. My issue here is that there is no reasonable questioning by the press of those issues which BLM chooses to embrace. There is just a tacit acceptance, much like that which was expressed by the Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake that the protestors ought to be given the "space to destroy" by the police in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death, that whatever cause drives BLM into the streets is inherently connected to The Civil Rights Movement in the space time continuum and is therefore current social justice.

Contrast that if you will to the complete invention of the "alt-right", a movement that seems to have no tangible existence, no financial support from some crazed Right Wing billionaire, no leadership: just one prominent bogeyman, Steve Bannon, former Chair of Breitbart and one of the President-elect's chief advisors.

The "alt-right" apparently represents a revitalized white supremacy, anti-semitism, xenophobic bigotry which aspires to relabel water fountains, disenfranchise voters of color, overturn Roe v Wade and reimpose sodomy laws. The "alt-right" is getting plenty of play in the press (although, as far as I know, I am unaware of any "alt-right" marches or looting having taken place) and the mysterious Steve Bannon is being subtly accused of having a Rasputin-like influence over Donald Trump as he introduces his racist, homophobic, anti-semitic philosophies into the new Administration.

I'm trying to think of some political parallel to this - in the United States - and I honestly cannot think of one. I have been reading Breitbart since Andrew Breitbart's death, listening to their daily radio broadcasts which Bannon hosted until he accepted the campaign position with Trump and I read Israeli media on an almost daily basis. There is no credence whatever given to this manufactured "alt-right" conspiracy and in Israel at least Bannon is defended for his Zionist views, for establishing a Breitbart Jerusalem bureau and for his ardent support of Milo Yiannopoulos, a flamboyantly gay, conservative, politically incorrect Senior Editor who has been banned from speaking at liberal college campuses.

The press treats BLM and the "alt-right" as if they were organizations similarly structured, staffed and funded, just on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum. BLM is for social justice, inheritors of The Civil Right Movement, home of the "mothers of the movement", i.e., Trayvon's mom, Michael's mom - therefore, good. The "alt-right" implies an acceptance of Donald Trump as our President, a repudiation of Obamaism, a registry for Muslims, deportation of all Mexicans, white men in robes and hoods returning to the streets, 21st Century kristallnacht - therefore, evil.

The invention of the "alt-right", of course, makes it far easier and much less scary to explain why the Democrat party would ever consider let alone approve a Congressman to lead the DNC who sympathizes with Hamas and CAIR, who compared 9/11 to the 1933 Reichstag fire and was a Nation of Islam member who sponsored a speech in law school called, "Zionism: Imperialism, White Supremacy or Both?" He is also co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus - therefore, good. In comparison with the "alt-right", Keith Ellison looks downright moderate.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Obama Defeated. Democrat Demise Complete. Media In Shock.

Greetings, long lost readers. I have heard several lamentations that I have not posted any commentary during the most controversial portions of the recent election season, and given the benefit of a few short days of reflection, I believe I made a wise decision. I had other matters more pressing, wanted to steer clear of controversy, have studiously avoided the wasteland that has become Facebook, and kept my opinions rather close to the vest.

I made no bones about my lack of enthusiasm for Donald Trump (though no "Never Trump" movement existed when I wrote my last post) and my utter disgust with Hillary Clinton (exacerbated by the Wikileaks emails released by the thousands confirming that John Podesta not only resembled a rodent, but behaved like one, too). I voted for Donald Trump with a tinge of nausea, but was able to justify my position by the belief that he might actually reform the tax code, that he might actually appoint constitutional traditionalists to the Supreme Court and that he genuinely intended to deliver better care and benefits to veterans. I did not expect Mitch McConnell to be tarred and feathered for his consistent failure to resist Obamaism, and I do not expect him to pursue a prosecution of Hillary Clinton and her advisors, though I believe the latter have committed various and sundry felonies for which they should be tried.

For me, there are two significant paradigm shifts resulting from this election which will have important residual effects. First, the majority of American voters have utterly rejected Obamaism and all that it represents: a lurch to the cultural left, an unconstitutional assumption of executive power, the empowerment of government agencies to use rule making to circumvent Congress, the weakening of America's influence in foreign affairs by yielding to multilateralism, the creeping influence of socialism embodied in the Affordable Care Act and employing taxpayer receipts to fund venture capital investments in alternative energy companies, the "packing" of the National Labor Relations Board, passing the JCPOA ("The Iran Deal") by conveniently not defining it as a "treaty" which it clearly was. I could go on and on.

The second has been the exposure of the media as a propaganda tool of the Democrat Party. The cynical among us have know this for years (could there be anything more ironic than labeling David Brooks of The New York Times its "conservative columnist" as if he had somehow assumed the mantle of William Safire?), and it was confirmed in fact and in deed by the uniformly biased coverage and the sleazy exchanges of emails between Podesta et. al. and the coterie of media elites. The most egregious offenders were CNN and The New York Times, followed closely by NBC. CNN, of course, is owned by Time Warner over which Jeff Bewkes presides - their liberal credentials are impeccable and historically significant, even without the involvement of Ted Turner, refined redneck turned custodian of huge swaths of American territory, bison herds and Ted's Montana Grill. The New York Times, publishing a double page spread of Mr. Trump's offensive tweets as a "news" feature, publishes a mea culpa from a member of the Sulzberger family post-election promising greater objectivity in its future reportage. Why would such a letter be necessary? And NBC - purveyor of MSNBC - part of the Comcast Universe controlled by Brian Roberts who has hosted countless fundraisers for the Clintons and Obama and other Democrat causes at his Martha's Vineyard estate.

I have been amused by the "Angry Woman" T shirts, the oh-so-subtle references to kitty cats, the desire to eliminate the Electoral College (expressed so eloquently by that paradigm of judicial objectivity, Eric Holder, the only Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress), the racism epithets cast about so cavalierly. Why, it brings to mind the utter consternation I felt eight years ago when a first term senator from Illinois with virtually no experience working in concert with those who opposed his dogma, who had never worked in the private sector, who knew nothing of the subtleties of foreign entanglements became President. I didn't wear a "Bitter Clinger" T shirt, I didn't march in front of Jeremiah Wright's church though he preached an intolerant message the Obama's seemed ignorant of for twenty years, and I could have cared less about the color of his skin or where he was born.

But there is no method to the Left's madness without a relentless concentration on that which keeps us apart: race, income redistribution, sexual preference, growth of government, etc. Just examine the ludicrous, hateful statements issued by the retiring Harry Reid in whom the Democrats trusted their party leadership in the Senate when his behavior and serial lying suggested he ought to be entrusted to the supervision of Nurse Ratched.

Or examine the candidate whose name surfaces as most likely to take the reins at the DNC: Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the most Left Wing members of Congress, an early supporter of Bernie Sanders (who endorses his candidacy), who advocated the impeachment of Dick Cheney, compared President Bush to Hitler and blamed him for 9/11, defended Louis Farrakhan against charges of anti-semitism, and is a vocal advocate of the BDS movement against Israel. And Senator Chuck Schumer has the chutzpah and is scummy enough to support this guy.

If the likes of Keith Ellison, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren gain effective control over the Democrat Party, they will remain in the political wilderness, they will continue their alienation of working class whites who are fed up with their looking-glass dogmatic structure. I would argue that the majority of "flyover" voters, for whom I occasionally presume to speak, do not want the government involved in relabeling bathrooms and locker rooms; do not want free speech restricted, so that those who do not share a progressive world view are denied a platform for their views; do not want "open borders" ; do not want sanctuary cities; do not want Planned Parenthood to receive taxpayer funding. If Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders continue to hector Wall Street, then where will that enormous amount of cash so willingly sucked up by the Clintons to fund Democrat causes go? What is Goldman Sachs to do?

Let's remember: according to every single bicoastal leftist pundit, Donald Trump is a misogynistic, racist, clueless, tax cheating loser. But the Anointed One, Hillary Clinton, the goddess designated to break the proverbial glass ceiling for Womankind, was unable to beat him, despite the near uniform, biased reporting she received from the most powerful media and union voices in the country. Oh, yeah, and she got a little push from Barack and Michelle because legacy preservation trumped all. That's not going to work out too well either.

Regardless of how one feels about Donald Trump personally, the bottom line is that this time the flyover forces triumphed and may have dealt a blow that cripples the forces of domestic social engineering and globalism for some years to come.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Rejecting Trumpism and Socialism

I have not written a post since December. I'm involved with a project where I was strongly cautioned to keep my comments on Facebook, Twitter, etc., as "noncontroversial" as possible. Consequently, I chose to put this blog on hiatus. The outcry was cacophonous (yeah, right). The only cacophonous sound came from inside my own skull. These reflections have become way too important to me and I could give a rat's ass if they're seen by anyone else.

Having given this an appropriate introduction, let's move to the subject at hand. The bizarre, dysfunctional personalities who aspire to succeed the bizarre, dysfunctional narcissist who currently occupies the office.

Let's address the incumbent party first, shall we? Bernie Sanders, who's never held a private sector job, who became Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes, who left the Lower East Side because he couldn't cut it in New York City, who never refers to his Jewishness, who doesn't disavow that a 90% tax rate could be appropriate under certain circumstances, has become the Pied Piper of the "free college, forgive our student debt" crowd, not unlike Gene McCarthy was for my generation. "Clean Gene" promised us he would end the War in Vietnam and save us from being drafted into military service. "Bolshevik Bernie" promises an expense- and responsibility-free future, funded by a confiscatory Robin Hood tax structure. Socialism is predicated upon the proposition that capitalism is an inherently corrupt economic system. It holds that the "working people of the world" are better equipped to run things in a better way (read: "fairer"). But only two structures exist to enable this transformation: bigger, centralized government and labor unions. The former is at odds with the basic tenets of the Constitution while the latter opposes the exercise of free will and uses its confiscatory "dues" structure for self propagation.

Socialism, I'm afraid to say, is a structure inherently at odds with constitutional limits on governmental power, it argues against the foundation upon which the Constitution was constructed -that all men are endowed by their Creator by the right to pursue happiness - and that if a government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it - if the American people choose to place a Socialist in the White House, this country has ceased to exist as it was formulated in 1776. And it is likely a serious effort will be made to alter or abolish it.

It has become difficult to see much light between Bernie and Hillary. The biggest difference, of course, is that the DNC is squarely in Clinton's corner because their "super delegate" construct is so antidemocratic, so in opposition to the wish of the voters, it is impossible to conclude otherwise in light of the New Hampshire primary. Bernie takes Hillary to the cleaners and fails to sweep a majority of delegates. Granted, the numbers are insignificant, but the indicators are clear. Unless Hillary is indicted (which, should it not occur, would be roughly equivalent to Richard Nixon not being forced from office because he didn't want to subject the nation to an impeachment proceeding), she will become the nominee regardless of Bernie's popularity and momentum. The party will see little to be gained by having as its nominee someone who never embraced the label of "Democrat", who traveled to Nicaragua to support the 6th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution. "In the long run, I am convinced that you will win...."

These days I don't think anybody - particularly millennials - give a shit about this. They don't know anything about communism, they don't know what Hillary did to besmirch the women who charged her husband with sexual impropriety and I don't think they care that she freely moved highly sensitive classified information over her insecure server. They don't care that she has lied, that she has lied about a variety of topics for thirty years, that her husband lies and that their Foundation cloaked in a Harry Potter-like cloak of "do good" invisibility is as transparent as the clothing worn by Cersei on her Walk of Shame.

No one's got a care about our $19 trillion debt. No one's got a care about about how Bernie and Hillary intend to pay for this panoply of giveaways. The only thing that matters is that they pledge to preserve and expand social welfare programs. There is no mention - whatever - that half the people in this country pay no income tax, and it's clearly perfectly acceptable for that status quo to expand. Legalizing 12 million illegal immigrants will not open the tax sluices at the IRS at least in terms of increased receipts. It will open the sluices because social programs already under dire financial duress will be moving into ever more perilous territory.

Which brings me to the most loathsome figure on the political scene now: Donald J. Trump. An egotist for whom we must invent a new adjective, Donald has somehow managed to transmogrify a lifetime of liberal New York politics into the Republican standard bearer. A lifelong pro choice advocate, he now proclaims himself pro life. He is the ultimate establishment insider (particularly on the Democratic side), donating to the Clinton Foundation, praising Planned Parenthood, running his businesses in a cozy relationship with Wall Street investment banks (it could not have happened otherwise), he even donated $50,000 to help Rahm Emmanuel become mayor of Chicago.

There is nothing about him which suggests he's a constitutionalist (or even more offensive, this neoevangelical posture he has adopted), that he favors a contraction of the federal government, that he is committed to proposing "originalist" justices to the Supreme Court, that he is prepared to stand on deeply rooted principle ( did I just use the phrase "deeply rooted principle" and Trump in the same chain of thought?) to fight with the minority party in Congress?

Worst still have been his petulant, slimy, personal attacks on the integrity of his adversaries. "Liar" seems to be his favorite charge of the day, as he endeavors to attach it like a scarlet letter to Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and, new today, President Bush. He spares Marco Rubio with the label, temporarily, because Trump has cleared the way for Marco to throw the charge around, too. How does Marco Rubio have the cojones (that's Spanish, my gringo compadres) to even addresss, let alone criticize, others regarding their stand on amnesty when he was a charter member of the Gang of Eight? It
would have been called the Gang of Seven without him.

It appears that Trump's histrionics are predicated on two assumptions: one, that South Carolina is an open primary, so Democrats and Independents can vote in the Republican primary; and, two, Jeb's PAC, headed by Mike Murphy, an "establishment" pollster, supposedly has an internal poll with Trump at 26% and Cruz at 24% with Marco and Jeb tied for third in the lower teens. Regardless of the sample size or margin of error, if that is even close to being accurate, it is terrifying news for Donald. He cannot allow Cruz to win South Carolina. Period. That will give Cruz an uncomfortable amount of momentum going into Super Tuesday and will shake the foundation of Trump's own sense of inevitability.

So, he calls Cruz "unstable", threatens to sue him, trashes the Iraq War, mumbles accusations resembling 9/11 "truther" positions, advocates with his buddy Sean Hannity that we should have seized the natural resources of Iraq and possibly Kuwait (yeah, that's sure to "destabilize" the Middle East that would make the consequences of the Iraq War mild in comparison), threatens worldwide trade wars by advocating the imposition of ponderous tariffs in a misguided effort to "bring American jobs back to America". The list is endless.

I do not believe Trump can win South Carolina without Democrats and Independents, so he eschews any pretense of "conservatism" or 'Republicanism" or whatever you want to call it to pander to those voters. I've never heard a word of criticism from him about the role that trade unions have played in driving jobs - particularly manufacturing jobs - into countries with lower labor costs.

He delights in singling out a company like Ford - the only auto manufacturer who did not accept federal bailout funds Mr. Trump supported - for moving a substantial manufacturing presence to Mexico. But, unlike GM, which emerged from certain bankruptcy with substantial ownership by the UAW (and which has not repaid the American taxpayer) or Chrysler which was effectively "given" to
Fiat, Ford has made the election - which for the moment it remains free to do - to do what's best for its shareholders and to maximize its profits. Is there some underlying criminality in that? But it somehow offends Donald's sense of what is fair or right that he proposes punishing the company by unilaterally imposing trade sanctions on it?  It is patently illegal, cronyism as its worst and
completely indicative of how Mr. Trump will approach management of the economy. Why not force the UAW into renegotiating its labor contracts and seizing portions of its equity stake until the taxpayers are made whole? Why not force Fiat to move its manufacturing facilities from the EU to the US since we gave them such a sweet deal on Chrysler? Maybe because the non-Donald controlled segment of American business doesn't function like a private fiefdom.

Donald is no more a constitutionalist than Barack Obama. His whole life he has worked in the interests of broader, centralized federal power. He expresses no obvious interest in expanding the authority of states rights unless it's suggested to him by Sean Hannity. "Don't you want to balance the budget?" "Of course, I do." " Don't you want to see Obamacare replaced with portability, health savings accounts and cross state competition?" "Oh, yes - do you know how much money my company would save if we could buy insurance like that?" "Are you prepared to lower taxes?" "We're going to lower taxes like you wouldn't believe."

We are simply trading the vacuous "hope and change" with "making America great again". No reasonable person would disagree with either, but the malaise and division wrought by the former doesn't hold much promise that the absence of specificity attached to the latter will yield much improvement in the lives of middle class Americans.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"Omnibus" Used to Mean "For All"

I have been writing sporadically about the current election contest among Republicans. On one hand, I have been overwhelmed by the outrage, anger, vehement comments from my bicoastal friends who maintain that Obama is one of America's greatest chief executives, that his policies are moderate and should receive more "bipartisan" support, and Republicans are insane, controlled by right wing loons.

I, of course, am comfortably ensconced in an alternative universe. I'm of the opinion that Obama will be considered one of our least effective chief executive. Granted, he has accomplished a great deal in terms of his own agenda of fundamentally transforming America. He has institutionalized a national health insurance program, he has withdrawn troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan, he has used executive orders to begin legalization of illegal immigrants and he has taken no steps to either reduce the size of government or address the deficit which is approaching $20 trillion.

Unlike the bicoastals, I am not offended by the lunacy on display among the Republican contenders vying to replace Obama. I've expressed my opinion in other posts about Donald Trump; he is exploiting the anger and powerlessness that's been stewing among Republicans, even moderate ones, for many years. This is not opposition to Obama personally, but a rejection of progressivism and an outrage that Republican leadership has not been more expressive in resisting his ideology.

Other candidates are mining this vein as well, but ultimately are doing so on the coat tails of the media's obsession with Trump. The media are engaged in the ultimate expression of hypocrisy: they ridicule him and his "followers" with gusto, but cannot disengage themselves from the massive audiences and ratings and cash flow featuring him provides. Hillary is comfortably nested on the sidelines, but despite the liberal punditry's assessment that there is far more serious policy engagement taking place during Democratic debates, no one is watching.

So, the billion dollar question, as Donald might say, is whether his dominant polling will turn into primary victories. The accepted speculation today is that Cruz will win Iowa, Trump will triumph in New Hampshire with Christie a surprising second, Trump in South Carolina with Cruz a strong second and Nevada as Rubio's final shot at relevance.

In the background, now, is the firestorm generated by the so called "omnibus" spending bill. It translates from Latin as "for all". It is perceived as another repudiation of the Republican majority in both houses, a resounding victory for Obama and the Democratic minority, a "back room" deal negotiated secretly without public examination or congressional review. The die was cast when the resignation of Speaker Boehner was secured, and Speaker Ryan dutifully delivered. It was an embarrassing performance, artfully engineered by the establishment and cooperation of both parties, and the timing could not have been more appalling.

The Republican "triumph" which seems to have been featured atop the press release was the elimination of the embargo against international sale of domestic oil. I'm sorry. What?? I am aware this embargo has existed and it is ridiculous, counterintuitive and anti-employment (Union employment, no less). Big frikkin whoop. Aside from symbolic gestures like defunding Planned Parenthood, which are hardly significant financially but important stands to take for the base, there isn't the most feeble attempt to reduce spending. When the Administration hails the deal, that's a very bad sign.

I know Trump has spoken out against the deal, but he had done so in ways where few specifics are mentioned. Rubio didn't even make the vote. Cruz at least theatrically opposes the measure with a "hell no" and decries the 2,000 pages which make up the measure. It could not possibly have been analyzed before passage, and Speaker Ryan needed Nancy Pelosi to whip the Democrats to insure passage. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Ryan's speakership is off to an inauspicious start and the Freedom Caucus better be crafting their explanations for not opposing his ascension. A guy who appeared so promising four years ago is either hopelessly compromised or inept at explaining his legislative strategy.

My bicoastal friends who embrace the transfer of wealth embraced by the the Paris climate change agreement; who laud Hillary Clinton as an intellectual champion of middle class economics, multiculturalism and foreign policy innovation; who cower from any engagement with terrorists both foreign and domestic; who brush opponents broadly with epithets culled from the manifestos of 60's iconography, may be slightly surprised by the way the "open rebellion" cited by Sen. Jeff Sessions is made manifest.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hillary's Foundational Principles

I cannot listen to Hillary Clinton's voice anymore. I'm sorry. I can't. That shrill Chicago tonality mixed with the occasional assumption of regional inflection makes me want to run into the street and weep like a child who can't eat candy for dinner. But then. When I hear what words and phrases emanate from that mouth, I begin sputtering like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall when he passes through security in female persona. Now that I think about it, perhaps Hillary is some female representation of a more sensible male Democrat.....wait a minute: there are no sensible male Democrats who might have assumed her physical persona for political advantage.

There was a time when Hillary may have been considered "reasonable" by a segment of American  voters. But since she has become linked inextricably to Barack Obama, whose recent pronouncements about terrorism, ISIS and Syrian refugees have become so marginal - so divorced
from the mainstream - she is perceived as moving as leftward as he. On top of the that, the King of Krazy - that's Bernie Sanders, NOT Donald Trump (although he's just as loony) - continues to push Hillary to the leftward fringe as he pushes for ever-higher levels of taxation to pay for ever-expanding  programs of social benefits.

And she is in serious trouble. When The Washington Post publishes a story - no, an expose - about the billions raised by the Clinton's over the last 40 years, suggesting that these contributions had an implicit quid pro quo and that they were raised by the Clinton's without pretense that bigger "contributions" brought greater access, that's fairly significant. The Post has been supportive consistently of the Obama Reformation Agenda, and this break of sorts with the Clinton's is indicative of a certain level of unease with Hillary's sketchy ethical "standards".

Those of us appalled by the ever-changing nature of Hillary's shifty policy positions know that she is not to be trusted. Her actions during the catastrophe encapsulated by the city within which tragedy occurred - Benghazi - can never be obscured and is linked inextricably to the lies promulgated by her boss, Obama, and her subordinate, Susan Rice. Whatever explanations she may proffer, her prints are everywhere on the events of that night, and she failed to insure her ambassador had adequate protection - for which he begged - and she lied to the families of those who sacrificed their lives with a ludicrous story that no one ever believed and which cheapened their heroic actions.

As horrific as this may be (and I cannot fathom how she doesn't lose sleep), it may not compare to the  deployment of an unsecured email system to circumvent government control over transmission of confidential information. She says it was permitted. Who granted this permission? She served at the pleasure of the President and reported to no one else. No one would ever consider doing something so heinous, so sleazy, unless one wanted to be the final arbiter of what was relevant to be retained by the government. Under what other possible rationale could someone maintain that one had eliminated records that one deemed "personal" and, therefore, irrelevant for retention? It is for reasons of obfuscation and obliteration.

This is so obvious, so repugnant, it is impossible to understand why there isn't more outrage or expose in the press. The only possible explanation is that the press - by and large - has little interest in Hillary's or Obama's actions on the night of the Benghazi raid. The press does not wish to uncover the fundamental decision-making that went into the purchase and networking of a server complex in a barn or basement in the Clinton home at Chappaqua. Can you conceive of something like this occurring during the Nixon administration?

The bias of the American Press has become undeniable and embarrassing. The romantic notion of a Woodward or Bernstein meeting Deep Throat in a darkened garage as they seek to uncover the corruption that inhabits the West Wing is as indistinct and ancient as the blurry photo of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. At some level, we know it happened, but the circumstances surrounding it are obscured by time.

Hillary and her husband are figures tarnished by decades of corruption and deception. In this regard, they make Nixon look like a guy who had watched too much bad TV, planning a series of inept burglaries funded with campaign cash. The sophistication of the Clinton's corrupt activities make it clear they studied Nixon's missteps carefully and knew the press would never pursue a liberal with the same intensity. When Bill survived his serial infidelities and even claimed he never received a blow job(s) in the Oval Office without being challenged by the press until a semen-stained dress was produced, Hillary knew there were no reasonable governors on her lifelong pursuit of power and wealth. And Bill would always be at her side.

Is this a bit unfair? Perhaps. Is she really motivated by a sense of service, to improve the lives of those less fortunate than she? In a Teddy Kennedy sense, I suppose so. But it is so selfish, so disgustingly greedy, that she has expended so much personal capital on creating this foundation, dedicated to improving "global health" when "Clinton wealth" was its more accurate objective. Regardless of how it might have enriched her family, it was insulated from scrutiny just as it was from taxation because it was cloaked by liberal orthodoxy and rendered off limits to challenge.

She's a deeply flawed politician who manipulates populism and gender issues without regard to her actual commitment to them. She rationalizes her shifting policy views as evolutionary. Her guiding principles lack direction until the weekly polls are issued. She's as bad as Barack Obama ideologically, but she lacks his total dedication to the cause. Her interest is not in "fundamentally transforming" America. Remember: The Clinton Foundation did not exist until Bill left office.

Can you imagine - really - how much cash that Foundation will attract if Hillary's in office even though her name's been wiped clean from the website? Why would we ever think that having access to enormous amounts of cash would be motivating to the Clinton's?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Is Beirut

We must discuss Paris.

While explanations and conjecture abound about how the attackers made their way to Paris, how they got their Khalashnikovs, why they attacked the specific locations they did - tbe stuff that takes up hours of "contributors'" time on cable news networks - it's all pretty much bullshit.

Call them ISIS, DAESH, ISIL, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP - their specific appellation or point of origin is irrelevant. As Osama bin Laden has said, "We are the children of an Islamic Nation." And, my friends, that's all you need to know about that.

Are there issues that stretch back to the death of the Prophet that separate the Shi'a from the Sunn'i? Most certainly. But those differences - at least for our current purposes - are of secondary concern. We need only look to the recent suicide bombings in southern Beirut, a state within the state of Lebanon (which, if truth be told, can hardly be described as functioning as a "state" the way our Western minds define it), the capital of the Hizballah nation, where ISIS attacks Shi'a mosques after Friday prayers in retribution for Hizballah's support of Assad, Iran and Russia.

But as Shi'a and Sunn'i blow one another up, which I hardly find disturbing, the fact remains that both are children of the Islamic Nation. Mindful that exceptions to the norm exist in any reasonable situation, there is a broad, murderous current that is present in Islam and it is fanned by governments that have seats in the United Nations. It is supported by the forces of progressivism and multiculturalism that prevail in Europe today, that ignore the dangers of failure to assimilate, that wink at the establishment of "no go" zones in the most ancient capitals of the Old World.

These same forces have, while ignoring the rot of their own internal culture, happily looked outward to isolate and make a pariah of Israel. Apartheid, they charge. Intolerant. Inflexible. Heavens - right wing (micro-aggressive code for fascist)! Do they use these words to describe the murderous regime in Sudan which, darlings of the Left, practiced genocide in Darfur? They're Muslims. Is there any proportional condemnation of Abu Mazen, nom de guerre of Mahmoud Abbas, of the Palestinian Authority (pray, what "authority" does it possibly possess?) who praises the murder of civilians headed to a wedding reception and whose "Red Crescent" fails to render aid? They're oppressed Muslims.

And, please, in what alternative universe is it chic or acceptable or normative to possess a nom de guerre? Particularly for a "head of state"? Nom de guerre's were once the province of Revolutionary Communists, romantic in Cuba then reviled in Cambodia, now assumed by barbarous terrorists, perhaps seeking that same temporal anonymity. There is nothing normal about this whatever. Or when a sovereign nation repeatedly calls for the destruction of another sovereign nation. All of this - all of this - has been rendered "normal" by forces unwilling to confront the unpleasant reality thrown into our faces by no less a character of revulsion than Osama bin Laden.

I do not want to see more war. Children and mothers will die. Sons and fathers who love life will be forced into battle against those who choose - who want - to die in a fantastical devotion to a theology which promises virgins to martyrs and whose adherents hand out sweets in the aftermath of murderous rampages. Islam will never find moderation until it is modified by forces from within. Are there any signs from any segment of the Muslim world that these forces are gathering?

The gesture of cloaking your profile pic on Facebook in a French flag makes me laugh. Post your Eiffel Tower peace sign visage if that makes you feel better. Get your other flags and your other monument images ready. This will go on for some time until the curtain is drawn and the evil is named.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Darwin Rules!

I feel like I have "limited" standing to comment on "white privilege". Of course, I am "white" by today's definition of it, although my background is Ukranian and Eastern European Ashkenazi Jew. Until quite recently, there are many in this country who would hardly consider me "white" in Anglo-Saxon terms and, in fact, many would have considered me an outsider since my ancestors fled their native lands because they were victims of pogroms and other forms of oppression.

I attended a progressive university, Rutgers College, in the early to mid 70's. I marched down College Avenue with the Students for a Democratic Society (a more ironic name has rarely been coined) to protest the Vietnam War and to oppose the university's acceptance of government funding for various research projects. I marched to protest the disparity of minority admittances in comparison to their presence in the New Jersey community which led eventually to a more balanced admissions policy nationwide.

When my patents left Brooklyn in 1958 or so to move to the suburbs, they rented an apartment in a cooperative project in New Jersey that strove to proactively integrate. It might have been the North, but it was unusual to find "negro" and "white" families actively engaged in integrating new neighborhoods. It was an intentionally progressive social experiment and it affected me profoundly. The co-op had its own nursery school (I mean, pre-school) which I attended with all sorts of people. I never saw people of color as odd, abnormal or any different than I.

As a freshman at Rutgers, I was exposed to the possibility of getting drafted into the service and potentially sent to Vietnam. One of my best friends' birthdays was selected #3 in that year's draft, so he enlisted in the Navy rather than being drafted (which was a certainty) and placed in the Army Infantry. We marched, we protested because we fundamentally disagreed with the Vietnam War, but let's be honest - we didn't want to get drafted.

I find this environment difficult to compare with the faux outrage currently sweeping some college campuses. Although racism and irrational hate directed against certain ethnic or religious groups will never disappear completely, it is a shadow of what it once was. And that is especially true in university environments today. Anyone with a child in a university today, who lives near a university and comes into periodic contact with it, knows that they are uniformly home base for progressive culture; they provide gender neutral facilities, they epitomize inclusiveness, in many cases they provide in state tuition to illegal aliens and their curriculum has incorporated many intellectual pursuits once considered outside mainstream "majors" for the awarding of degrees.

At the University of Texas, near where I live, there are degrees offered in Ethnic Studies - African American Studies; Asian American Studies; Mexican American Studies, for example. This is great! This is progress! I'm being completely serious. This is indicative of the university community responding to the changing needs of its student population.

But how is this all being twisted into some outrageous New Protest Movement against institutional racism or "hate speech" that violates one's "safe space"? This is a spurious bastardization of the protest movement of the '60's and '70's. It doesn't mean that the kids out there offended by edgy Halloween costumes don't believe in their "cause" any less fervently than my contemporaries did, but the stakes for society or the political fabric of the country do not seem to compare.

When my parents marched with their black neighbors for civil rights in the '60's, people could not drink from the same water fountains or eat at the same lunch counters. Discrimination was an uncomfortable, accepted norm, not the exception. Black Americans could only hope at that time that maybe someday society would offer them some form of a safe space where they could live in real equality. That has happened in my lifetime. Racism will never fully disappear, just as anti-Semitism, in my personal case, remains ever-present.

But in the context of 2015, it is a bit sad and a tad ironic that progressive universities, that have contorted themselves in exaggerated ways to insure their political rectitude, are being attacked by the very people they tried so hard to cottle and satisfy as being insufficiently inclusive. It is poetic justice that the community elders in an endless search for social justice are being devoured by their young.