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October 4, 2008

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

Filed under: Climatology, Energy Talk, Media Check — Tags: — justplainbill @ 7:14 pm

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

So? 

 

Yupper, a record that we’ve been keeping for almost one hundred and fifty years. Let’s see, now, the ice cap’s been around for a few million years, but the last 150 are the important ones.

 

Oddly enough, The New York Times and various environmentalists, most of whom live in high rise apartments far from either pole, have deemed this important enough to point to as further evidence of man’s malevolent impact upon the global habitat. Hmm, I do believe that, since 1900, The New York Times has cried Wolf more times that we’re headed for the next massive ice age than hot house, and that they’ve had more than one Jason Blair scandal, Blair being the “Time’s reporter” who with the approval of the Editor-in-Chief, for over two years filed fantasy as fact, The New York Times is no longer a credible source for print news. This leaves, for serious daily print news, only The Wall Street Journal and her sister, Barron’s, (and, sorry for my faulty memory, and thanks for reminding me, The Christian Science Monitor); and the web, thanks to Google and Ask.com, and some of the other, manageable search engines, for daily print news, but I digress.

 

There are numerous reasons why the measuring of snow and ice for climatological purposes isn’t done at the North Pole; it is done in Antarctica, near the South Pole.

 

One of the many interesting aspects of this rotating ball of molten iron upon which we so precariously abide, is that the land masses form plates, called tectons, which make up the crust of the planet. These tectonic plates float along and bounce off of each other. At the interstices they either subsume each other or separate allowing the molten core to surface to form new crust. One aspect of this is that sea level is not the same around the world when measured by atmospheric pressure. In fact, the Pacific Ocean is about six inches higher than the Atlantic Ocean. This is because the plates consisting of Asia-Minor and South America are moving towards each other, and Africa is both closing the Mediterranean and opening the South Atlantic. The violent turbulence in the Straits of Magellan and the flow of the warm ocean current, starting in the Indian Ocean that ends up in the North Atlantic melting the polar ice cap as it passes Iceland, are proofs of this. Anther attribute of this tectonic movement is that, the water is always moving!

 

Another proof is that the last ice age was, with other factors, caused by the closing of the gap between the North American Plate and the South American Plate at Panama, thereby allowing the polar cap to dramatically expand and upset the then current balance, because the warm current instead of being able to move through what is now the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, had to take the much longer route around South America allowing for additional cooling as it flowed past Antarctica and up through the South Atlantic.

 

As the temperature of water varies, so does its ability to solute chemicals. As an example of this, as the temperature drops, it will retain more CO2, as it rises, it will hold more salt and less Carbon Dioxide, your quick proofs are in the soda cans in your hands. Soda warm, when opened, fizzes as the CO2, no longer in solution, escapes; when the soda is cold when opened, you barely hear a pop; notice how salty you can make your pasta water when boiling, as compared to when it’s cool and the salt crystals simply drop to the bottom to await the heating of the water so that they can then dissolve, and if you do your water in this fashion, please note how the corrosive properties of the salt pits and destroys your pot.

 

As any U.S. Navy Submariner will tell you, if you’re fortunate enough to have such a vet in your social circle, at about the depth of 1,000 feet in the open ocean, is a thermal layer, above which is comparatively warm water, and below which is actually very cold water. Part of the cause of this layer is the ability of the sun to heat water. This layer is about where the sun’s impact stops. The chemical solution content above and below this layer is significantly different, partially due to the temperature difference.

You may also wish to note that temperature change in water, whether higher or lower, always causes kinetic activity, meaning, that it moves. And, moving water is always abrasive.

 

Another problem with ice formation is kinetic energy. Ice forms readily at 32o F in still water, but in moving water, the temperature must drop significantly below that, as determined by the velocity of the water and its mineral content. Pure water freezes at that 32o F whereas soluted water requires lower temperatures to freeze. The quick proof is evident for anyone who lives near a river or creek in the higher latitudes. At the edge of the flow, where the water is immobile, ice forms, whereas in the center of the river, where the current is strongest, the ice does not form, yet the temperature of both the water and the ambient air is the same in both locations.

 

So, the polar ice cap, subject to all of the above variables, is not the place to measure snow and ice. In the alternative, the South Pole has none of these problems. Beneath the South Pole ice layer, lies frozen tundra, not subject to current flow, saline content, nor tectonic activity.

 

Dr. David Bromwich, head of the Polar Meteorology Group of the Byrd Polar Research Center and professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the Department of Geography of Ohio State University, president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology, chair of the Polar DAAC Advisory Group, member of the Arctic Climate System Study Working Group on Reanalysis and past member of the National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data, Ph.D., says, “The best we can say right now is that the climate models are somewhat inconsistent with the evidence that we have for the last 50 years from the continental Antarctic.”  and, “it’s hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now.”

 

BTW, as of today, 16 October 2008, the reports from the Acrtic Circle show that the glacial masses are increasing. Increasing means that there’s more snow than melt on them. More snow than melt means that we are headed for a cooling period. Hmm, now does Gore’s $100,000,000 profit make sense to you?

 

The Polar Ice-Cap is having its most volatile year on record.

So what?

 

[OK, today is March 1, 2009 and there’s an important update to this post: it seems that the original report that the polar ice cap is having a volatile years was wildly, and purportedly innocently, innaccurate. It seems that the people who did the original reporting failed to report a significant number of sensors, thus, seriously understating the actual amount of ice in the cap. After some responsbile people went and rechecked, they found that, in fact, the Polar Ice Cap is EXPANDING. So much for global warming Your Thighness Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Ignorant State.]

Better yet, for those of you who want to know what’s happening first hand, Discovery Channel runs “The Deadliest Catch” which is about crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. Sig Hansen, Phil Harris, The Colburns & Hilstrands, have all said during this last season that the Ice is coming farther and farther south and they have the radar & sounding records to prove it. So, who’ya gonna listen to? Al “never been there” Gore, or the crab fishermen who’re in it months at a time every year?

Well, someone must be doing some research. Today, 12 Dec 13, the lowest temperature ever recorded, was recorded! Guess where. That’s right, in Antarctica, where all legitimate climate study is being done. Sigh, where’s the IPCC now?

And, now, January 2014, a group of Russian climatologists has been frozen in the Antarctic Ice. They were going to Antarctica to prove “Global Warming”. Ok, so I guess that I was correct with all of that stuff about the Polar Ice Cap not being the place to go for scientific data, eh? Do I really need to say more? BTW, today, the high in Kansas City has been 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Hey, Al, send some of that global warming here to Kansas & Missouri so the winter wheat will grow and we won’t starve in 2014!!!

And, during a recent broadcast of the FOX NEWS Business Block, broadcast on Saturday mornings, Eric Bolling, host of Cashin’ In, posted two NASA photos of the polar ice cap. The first from 2013, the second from exactly one year later, ie 2014. Contrast of the two NASA photos show that the polar ice cap is in fact, EXPANDING, by hundreds of thousands of acres. So much for the idiots pushing climate change. BTW, considering that, in addition to the above essay, the continents are on floating plates that move around, in a jerky style of movement as denoted by earth quakes, no matter what man does, as the continents move, weather will change!!!

Update 31 May 2014
The Weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal has an article “Climate Clues”, p C-3, which explains a lot. It seems that this German climatologist actually goes to places and looks for facts to explain things. ‘Tipping’, according to his facts, takes place over millions of years. The IPCC (Dear Prez Obama, the IPCC is the Inter-GOVERNMENTAL Panel, not International, and the ‘p’ IS pronounced here), and those others who use computer models (gosh, doesn’t anyone understand GIGO? Garbage In = Garbage Out???), might want to get out of their air conditioned academic sanctuaries, and search for actual FACTS upon which to base their theories!

Update 3 July 2014

1. For the 2nd time in the last 2 weeks, scientists have measured and recorded the largest amount of Antarctic ice in history. And “yes”, you read correctly, the record has been achieved/broken 2 times in the last 2 weeks!

2. Last year NOAA, one of the “scientific” groups that expounds the “man made climate change” and “CO2” myths, went on record as saying July 2012 was the hottest July on record (if you recall MO was in a drought). This replaced July 1936 as the hottest July on record (July 1936 being smack dab in the middle if the dust bowl). Well over the last 2 weeks NOAA has very “quietly adjusted” the findings and surprise, July 1936 is once again the hottest July on record. Apparently NOAA’s pronouncement in 2013 that July 2012 was the hottest July was based completely on computer modeling and not real data. I gathered from the story that I heard that really the only reason they went back and “re-modeled” the data and “adjusted” the findings is due to a couple of very serious and vigilant watch dog groups. These groups are dedicated to ensuring there is accuracy and transparency w/ respect to the data, findings and stated causation impacts when it comes to the “man made climate change” debate. So they called NOAA out in several articles w/ respect to how they reached their conclusion and NOAA “quietly” “adjusted” the findings.

Update 29 July 14, Famous Meteorologist on Climate Change:

Weather Channel Founder Debunks Global Warming Hoax

157 Comments

An award-winning meteorologist with 60 years of experience and founder of the Weather Channel has produced a video explaining the history of the man-made global warming hoax.

John Coleman was also a former broadcast meteorologist of the year of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). However, after being a member for several years, he quit the AMS after it became very clear to him that “the politics had gotten in the way of the science.” Coleman explains in the video that there is no man-made global warming, and why he’s sure about this.

The well-respected weatherman says that if there were evidence of man-made global warming, he would have dedicated his life to stopping it. “I love our wonderful planet Earth. If I thought it was threatened by global warming, I would devote my life to stopping the warming!”

Environmental activists now call it “climate change” instead of global warming because the warming has stopped, Coleman added, and $4.7 billion in taxpayer money is funding “bogus reports” and “bogus research.”

Coleman explains that any so-called “climate change” is extremely negligible from a long-term perspective and nothing unusual or alarming. He points out that Antarctic sea ice is close to an all-time high, and the polar bear population is as high as it’s been in recorded history.

In regard to rising sea levels, Coleman says:

“It’s rising at about the rate of about six inches per hundred years, as part of this inter-glacial period. When North America was covered in a 400 foot thick ice core at the end of the last ice age, the oceans were low, and then as that ice melted, of course the oceans have risen. That rise has been gentle and is not important.”

Coleman says in the video there are 9,000 PhDs and 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition saying that the CO2 global warming theory is a hoax. These climate change “non-believers” aren’t heard by most Americans because they don’t receive government funding. And they aren’t covered by the mainstream media because it almost always promotes the climate change theory.

This damning indictment by an experienced and well-respected meteorologist proves that the “climate change” movement is primarily (if not all) politically based. Its ultimate goal is to make Americans the enemy of the planet (so they’ll agree to greater government control over their behavior) — and to reduce America’s use of oil, gas and coal-based energy sources.

If you hear someone talk about “climate change” and that America should do something, show them this video as proof that it’s nothing more than left-wing, “Chicken Little” politics.

7 October 14

Article below, with references, shows global cooling even though many are still talking “climate change is caused by man”, well, hell, OF COURSE THERE’S CLIMATE CHANGE, JUST LOOK AT THE SEASONS AND CONSIDER THAT DURING ROMAN TIMES THE MEDIAN TEMPERATURE IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE BEEN 82 F !!! 30 years of cooling means at least 10 years of potential crop failures in the middle, and famine and disease, so, let’s REALLY keep those borders open and let all of those “dreamers” in without medical checks and quarantines.
BTW, how can they be wondering why the ocean levels are rising? Don’t these people even know basic chemistry? As pointed out above, the polar ice cap is expanding/growing, meaning the sea water is being displaced, just like when water is being frozen, the ice rises up and displaces the water below? Let’s get out of the U.N. and stop financing stupidity like the IPCC.

NASA Scientists Puzzled by Global Cooling on Land and Sea
Image: NASA Scientists Puzzled by Global Cooling on Land and Sea (iStock)

Monday, 06 Oct 2014 12:36 PM

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The deep ocean may not be hiding heat after all, raising new questions about why global warming appears to have slowed in recent years, said the US space agency Monday.

Scientists have noticed that while greenhouse gases have continued to mount in the first part of the 21st century, global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising along with them, said NASA.

Some studies have suggested that heat is being absorbed temporarily by the deep seas, and that this so-called global warming hiatus is a temporary trend.
Editor’s Note: Dark Winter: Book Exposes Fraud of Man Made Global Warming

But latest data from satellite and direct ocean temperature measurements from 2005 to 2013 “found the ocean abyss below 1.24 miles (1,995 meters) has not warmed measurably,” NASA said in a statement.

The findings present a new puzzle to scientists, but co-author Josh Willis of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said the reality of climate change is not being thrown into doubt.

“The sea level is still rising,” said Willis.

“We’re just trying to understand the nitty-gritty details.”

A separate study in August in the journal Science said the apparent slowdown in the Earth’s surface warming in the last 15 years could be due to that heat being trapped in the deep Atlantic and Southern Ocean.

But the NASA researchers said their approach, described in the journal Nature Climate Change, is the first to test the idea using satellite observations, as well as direct temperature measurements of the upper ocean.
Editor’s Note: NASA Expert: Sun Cycles To Cause 30 Year Cold Spell

“The deep parts of the ocean are harder to measure,” said researcher William Llovel of NASA JPL.

“The combination of satellite and direct temperature data gives us a glimpse of how much sea level rise is due to deep warming. The answer is — not much.”

12 Dec 2014, another update, completely ripping Al ‘jabba the hut’ Gore’s hoax of a movie, http://nws.mx/1IGXEwd .

29 Dec 2014, another update:
Capital Hill

Political & Economic Analysis

Polar Ice Not Melting, But Global Warming Story Is
32 Comments

By KERRY JACKSON

Posted 11:41 AM ET

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Feeling low about the incessant screeching that the ice is catastrophically melting at the poles? A lot of us are, so it’s good to see a researcher buck the narrative.

Ted Maksym, an oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, has drawn a conclusion that will surely bring him grief from the global-warming believers and cold shoulder from most of the mainstream media, which is heavily invested in the idea that man is heating his planet by burning fossil fuels.

“The North and South Poles are ‘not melting,'” the British Express reported on Christmas.

“In fact,” the Express said in its coverage of Maksym’s finding, “the poles are ‘much more stable’ than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought.”

Remember those words “previously thought.” In the future we will be seeing them a lot more in reference to the continued unraveling of the global warming fable. In the meantime, kudos to the Express for publishing what the mainstream American media refuse to report.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/122914-732367-polar-ice-not-melting-oceanographer-says.htm#ixzz3NKQChTdo
Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

15 Jan 15 See Chris Horner’s book, “Red Hot Lies”.

12 February 2015, Interesting update: Yesterday, in Oslo Norway, the Norwegian Central Bank and a group of Norwegian scientists, announced that the climate change hoax had nearly destroyed the Norwegian Economy.
It seems that over the last 5 years, IPCC, U.N., NOAO, and the “global climate science community”, have been fiddling with the numbers to get their computer models to agree with their predictions. However, Norway, a Socialist Country, has been planning its economy for the last five years on the climate change assumptions. This means that they have been spending their entire national economic resources on the false assumptions that the Polar Ice Cap is melting, that their shorelines will shrink, that they will have tons more fresh water, acres and acres of more farm and pastureland, milder winters, and longer summers.
Only, since the global scientific community has been fiddling with the figures, the reverse has happened, thus bringing the Norwegian National Economy to the brink of collapse.
So, it seems that the fishermen of “The Deadliest Catch”, NASA satellite photography, scientists like Lawrence Solomon, and simple pundits such as Eric Bolling, have been proven correct, once again.

25 Feb 15, ;TWSJ and The Economist 4th quarter reports on Real Estate were recently released. I decided to look at a couple of other RE stats, simply because HGTV has posted its 2015 Showplace House/ Giveaway. The 3+MILLION $$$ house is located on Cape Cod, MA. Hmmmmm. So I looked a little farther into this.

RE prices are up in Big Sur CA, Cape Cod MA, Miami FL, throughout the Caribbean, all along both coasts of North AND South America, HI, and along the Indian Ocean. Hmmm.

Don’t get it yet??? It means that all of the greenies screaming about climate change, have NOT sold any of their big estates along the coasts! It means that the people who sell mortgages, do NOT believe in Climate Change! It means that the Kennedys, who have estates in MA and FL as well as CA and NY, do NOT believe in Climate Change! None of the limousine liberals have sold any of their coastal properties!!!

Gee, how much more needs to be said about this fraud????

Update 7 Dec 15 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance, BTW) TWSJ p A 14, letter to the editor by Terry W. Donze, Geophysicist, ‘Warming’ Science Is Anything but Settled’. A must read for anyone interested in the climate change controversy. Mr. Donze cites several real scientists who refute every aspect of climate change catastrophe from sea levels rising, false according to sea level expert, Nils-Axel Moerner “the greatest lie ever told”, through Arctic ice is melting despite it 5% increase. Every aspect of the climate change claim is refuted by actual climatologists, and not politicians like Al Gore.

Update 8 Sep 16   Was looking at the newest Voyager photos and slipped over to the Polar Ice cap current photos. Al Gore stated categorically that the Polar Ice cap would be gone by 2014. According to today’s satellite passing shots, it is bigger than ever since we started taking photos, and this for the end of summer condition.

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June 14, 2018

The Silencing of the Inspector Generals, by Victor Davis Hanson, PhD

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 7:19 pm

The Silencing of the Inspectors General
By Victor Davis Hanson

June 14, 2018 6:30 AM

President Barack Obama in 2016 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Impartial watchdogs are useless if the government stonewalls them and ignores their findings of wrongdoing.

Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz, an Obama administration appointee, is scheduled to deliver a report this week on DOJ and FBI abuses during the 2016 campaign cycle. Remember: His last investigation of FBI misconduct advised a criminal referral for fired former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who allegedly lied to federal investigators.

McCabe and at least a half-dozen other FBI employees quit, retired, were fired, or were reassigned as a result of fallout from the politicization of the FBI. Yet, as Barack Obama left office, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, strangely boasted that the Obama administration “has been historically free of scandal.” Obama himself recently concluded of his eight-year tenure, “I didn’t have scandals.”

Those were puzzling assertions, given nearly nonstop scandals during Obama’s eight years in office involving the IRS; General Services Administration; Peace Corps; Secret Service; Veterans Administration; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, not to mention the Clinton email-server scandal, the Benghazi scandal, and the 2016 Democratic National Committee email scandal.

For nearly eight years, the Obama administration sought to cover up serial wrongdoing by waging a veritable war against the watchdog inspectors general of various federal agencies.

In 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter alleging that Obama had stonewalled their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

The frustrated nonpartisan auditors cited systematic Obama-administration refusals to turn over incriminating documents that were central to their investigations.

The administration had purportedly tried to sidetrack an IG investigation into possible misconduct by then–Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson. In addition, the Obama administration reportedly thwarted IG investigations of Amtrak, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Office of Management and Budget.

Despite the campaign against these independent federal auditors, a number of inspectors general still managed to issue damning indictments of unethical behavior.

In 2012, Horowitz recommended that 14 Justice Department and ATF officials be disciplined for their conduct in the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal.

A 2013 IG audit found that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny prior to the 2012 Obama reelection effort.

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In 2014, an internal audit revealed that CIA officials had hacked the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computers while compiling a report on enhanced interrogation techniques. CIA director John Brennan had claimed that his agents were not improperly monitoring Senate staff computer files. He was forced to retract his denials and apologize for his prevarication.

In 2016, the State Department’s inspector general found that Hillary Clinton had never sought approval for her reckless and illegal use of an unsecured private email server. The IG also found that other Clinton aides silenced staffers who were worried about national security being compromised by the unsecured server.

Still, Obama was right in a way: A scandal does not become a scandal if no one acts on findings of improper behavior.

Under former attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, the findings of dozens of IGs were snubbed. That raises the question: What good are inspectors general if a president ignores any illegality and impropriety that they have uncovered?

Answer: not much good at all — unless an incoming administration is of a different political party than the outgoing administration. Once that happens in our politicized system, there is a rare interest in not covering up or ignoring a damning IG report, but in acting on it.

We may now be experiencing one of those unusual occasions.

Soon, various inspector-general reports may appear concerning FISA-court abuse and improper behavior at the Department of Justice, FBI, CIA, and National Security Council during the 2016 campaign cycle. The investigators are, for the most part, Obama appointees, not Trump appointees.

At some point, the idea of toothless inspectors general needs to be revisited. Something is terribly wrong when dozens of IGs found wrongdoing, only to object that their efforts were being thwarted by an Obama administration that had appointed most of them — and claimed to be scandal-free.
Comments

Finding government abuse and doing nothing about it is worse than not finding any at all.

June 13, 2018

Ya coulda heard a pin drop

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 3:47 pm

Once upon a time when our politicians did not tend to apologize for our country’s prior actions, here’s a refresher on how some of our former patriots handled negative comments about our great country
These are good

JFK’S
Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60’s when
DeGaulle decided to pull out of NATO.
DeGaulle said he wanted all US military out of
France as soon as possible.

Rusk responded, “Does that include those who are buried here?”

DeGaulle did not respond.
You could have heard a pin drop.

When in England , at a fairly large conference,
Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury
if our plans for Iraq were just an example of
’empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, “Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders.
The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American.
During a break, one of the French engineers came back into
the room saying, “Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done?
He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims.
What does he intend to do, bomb them?”

A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly:
“Our carriers have three hospitals on board
that can treat several hundred people;
they are nuclear powered and can supply
emergency electrical power to shore facilities;
they have three cafeterias with
the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day,
they can produce several thousand gallons of
fresh water from sea water each day,
and they carry half a dozen helicopters for
use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck.
We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?”
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies
At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks, but a French admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.
He then asked, “Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?”

Without hesitating the American Admiral replied,
“Maybe it’s because the Brit’s, Canadians, Aussie’s and Americans
arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.”
You could have heard a pin drop.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~

AND
THIS STORY FITS RIGHT IN WITH THE ABOVE..

Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in
his carry on.

“You have been to France before, monsieur?”
the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

“Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”

The American said, “The last time I was here,
I didn’t have to show it.”

“Impossible.. Americans always have to show their passports on
arrival in France !”

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look.
Then, he quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on,
D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchman
to show a passport to.”

You could have heard a pin drop.

June 7, 2018

Elites Value Mellifluous Illegality over Crass Lawfulness, by Dr. Hanson [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 9:05 pm

Elites Value Mellifluous Illegality over Crass Lawfulness
By Victor Davis Hanson

June 5, 2018 6:30 AM

President Obama in the White House press room in 2014; President Trump speaks to reporters in Bedminster, N.J., August 10, 2017. (Larry Downing, Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Obama defies the Constitution but sounds ‘presidential.’ Trump follows it but sounds like a loudmouth from Queens.

Donald Trump blusters nonstop. He offers contrasting messages about whether, on any given day, he might fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. His tweets are certainly not presidential, at least as the adjective is usually understood.

At perpetual campaign rallies, Trump mocks his critics, caricaturing their voices and slamming them with adolescent epithets like “Cryin’ Chuckie Schumer.” He accuses House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of being an enabler of M-13 gang members after she chastised him for calling such psychopaths “animals.” Trump has defined his own uncouthness, which so incenses his opponents, as “the new presidential.”

Yet so far, after over a year of intense investigation, Special Counsel Mueller has found no evidence that Donald Trump — or even his low-level subordinates — had ever colluded with Russian government interests to hijack the 2016 election and defeat Hillary Clinton. Indeed, Mueller has shown himself desperate to indict almost anyone connected with the Trump campaign with almost any charge he can think of — other than colluding with the Russians to warp an election, his original mandate.

Call the Trump paradox “crass lawfulness.” What drives Trump’s critics nearly crazy is not any evidence that Trump has broken federal laws per se. Instead, their rub is that there are somehow no criminal statutes against a president boorishly acting “unpresidential” in his loud quest to supercharge the economy, while undoing the entire agenda of his predecessor, who was so dearly beloved by the media, universities, Hollywood, and identity-politics groups.

Certainly, President Obama’s teleprompted speeches were mellifluous. As some sort of postmodern preacher, Obama often sermonized to Americans about the predetermined “arc of history” that purportedly bent all of us inescapably toward his own just moral version of the universe.

In calm, ministerial tones, the progressive Obama sometimes slapped a puerile America’s wrists, with frequent admonitions to behave and to not act so illiberally. Or he frequently reminded us, with a frown, “that is not who we are.” Recall that Obama came into office promising that he would could lower the seas and cool the planet, with a generation of young like-minded activists who, we were lectured, were the ones we had all been waiting for. Now president emeritus Obama worries that perhaps his messianic appearance came too soon for us to fully appreciate his divinity.

Despite Obama’s recent projection that his eight-year tenure was “scandal-free,” along with the reality that the media’s biased compliance sought to make such a startling fantasy true, the Obama administration was in many respects lawless. It will eventually rank as the most scandal-ridden administration since Warren G. Harding’s.

The Scandals of the ‘Scandal-Free’ Obama Administration

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The Fast and Furious scandal was, among other things, about deliberate government gun-running of weapons to Mexico, perhaps in a warped effort to discredit current U.S. firearms laws. The Benghazi debacle involved a cover-up of a preplanned terrorist hit on our consulate, an attack that was possible only because it was well known that the consulate’s security was lax. The Benghazi cover-up involved U.N. ambassador Susan Rice lying five times on national television in a single day, when she claimed that the terrorist operation was the result of a spontaneous riot over a video. And to justify that reelection-cycle concoction, the video maker, a foreign resident on U.S. soil, was summarily jailed on a trumped-up probation charge.

An IRS regional high official, and Obama partisan, Lois Lerner, weaponized and discredited the IRS, by hounding conservative groups that were seeking tax-exempt status. Lerner staged a self-serving public stunt to leak her misbehavior to friendly ears — she had a reporter ask her a planted question about targeting conservatives. At her later congressional testimony, Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination. She was never charged by the Obama State Department. Indeed, Obama himself, after expressing initial pseudo contriteness in the face of public furor, waited the public out before finally announcing that there was not a “smidgeon” of corruption in the IRS. Lerner, in effect, was rewarded for successfully neutralizing many conservative activist groups just months before the 2012 election. In October 2017, facing a lawsuit by conservative groups, the IRS admitted in court that it had unfairly targeted them during the Obama administration. It agreed to a multi-million-dollar settlement, and the current attorney general, Jeff Sessions, apologized to the more than 450 conservative organizations in question.

Nadine Strossen, a liberal and the former president of the American Civil Liberty Union, conceded — but only in hindsight when both Obama and she were out of their respective offices — that Obama was one of the most hostile presidents to civil liberties in history. Perhaps she was referring to the fact that Eric Holder’s and Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department had spied on Associated Press reporters, monitored the communications of Fox reporter James Rosen, and subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen to force him to reveal his confidential sources. Holder was also the first Attorney General in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand over subpoenaed documents.

We are slowly appreciating over the last year that lying under oath was an Obama-administration requisite for a high position in the intelligence community.

But it was during the 2016 election cycle that the Obama administration descended to a level of corruption not seen in a century. Right in the middle of the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, Obama, as judge and jury, announced that candidate Clinton had violated no criminal law while secretary of state. Obama also lied when he stated that he’d known nothing about such an unlawful server, although emails prove that he himself had communicated over it on several occasions. His FBI director, James Comey, deliberately scrambled the law and exonerated Hillary Clinton from wrongdoing, not because she had not broken the law, but, according to Comey’s own invented interpretations of the statute, because she had not intended to violate the law. Comey also admitted to tailoring his circus-like investigation of Clinton around the assumption that she would soon be president.

We are slowly appreciating over the last year that lying under oath was an Obama-administration requisite for a high position in the intelligence community. FBI director Comey lied about the particular sequences of his investigation of the Clinton email scandal. He lied by omission to the president when, in his supposed Oval Office informative dissection of the Steele dossier, he failed to include the fact that it was a product of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC.

Comey’s various testimonies often cannot be reconciled with those of his deputy FBI director, Andrew McCabe, who was cited by the inspector general for lying. Comey warped a FISA-court request to spy on U.S. citizens, by deliberately withholding information from the court about the Steele dossier. Comey also has not been forthcoming about the insertion of an FBI informant into the 2016 Trump campaign. Comey has often lectured about the illegality and impropriety of leaking confidential government documents, though he later bragged about his own successful leak of such documents as a successful means of getting Special Counsel Robert Mueller appointed.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan may prove to be the two most prevaricating officials in the history of any modern administration. Both have lied repeatedly while under oath to Congress, respectively, about their agencies’ surveillance of American citizens, spying on Senate staffers, the U.S. drone program, and leaking the notorious Steele dossier. In their particular cases, as current media analysts, they have become completely unhinged over the reality that a crude Donald Trump was never so crude as either of them in their attempt to undermine the constitutional principle of telling the truth to Congress while under oath.

Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and others sought transcripts of surveilled U.S. citizens in order to unmask their names, which were then subsequently leaked to the media. Rice initially lied about her role in the unmaskings. Power’s testimony that she had no idea how her name found its way onto the unmasking requests — more than 250 of them — is as surreal as it is mendacious. In 2016 alone, Power sought one unmasking on average every working day, despite the fact that the U.N. ambassador is not an intelligence official.

In addition to such unethical and often illegal behavior, the Obama administration institutionalized deception as a tool of government: hiding from the American people all the side agreements to the so-called Iran deal, itself a blatant effort to bypass the treaty-making responsibilities of the U.S. Senate; fabricating yarns to sell the disastrous Obamacare takeover of health care; using executive orders to enact immigration amnesties after warning that doing just that would be unconstitutional; lying repeatedly about the circumstances of the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap.

Hillary Clinton has never been able to explain why huge gifts to her family’s foundation from Russian interests coincided with the State Department’s approval of uranium sales to Russia, or why anyone would ever pay her husband $500,000 for a short speech in Moscow — and certainly would not now once her political ambitions have at last calcified.

We live in such strange times that the media ignored the most blatant examples of presidential campaign-cycle collusion in memory, while seeking to invent it where it never existed. Remember, Barack Obama on a hot mic not only got caught reiterating to a Russian leader the conditions of Putin-Obama election-cycle collusion, but he also spelled out the exact quid pro quo: promised Russian quietude abroad during Obama’s reelection campaign was in exchange for “flexibility” (i.e., cancellation) of U.S.-Eastern European missile-defense projects. Should Trump ever be caught making the same “deal” in 2020, he would probably be impeached.

Criminal Camelot vs. Crude Queens

Why was the Obama administration so corrupt?

Three reasons stand out. One, it was the first administration in modern history in which the media saw its role as a subordinate and accomplice rather than an auditor; the media thereby empowered corruption. Two, it exuded a moral zealousness in its promise to fundamentally transform the country and enact social justice; any means of doing so were justified by its exalted ends. Three, like the John F. Kennedy administration, Obama and his team adroitly calculated that in America’s celebrity culture, what’s hip and cool is often more highly prized than what’s competent and lawful, much less crude and effective.

No one would suggest that Donald Trump obeys the law because he has an inherent respect for the Constitution and the nation’s ethical bearings, although that perhaps could prove to be so. Rather, Trump has not broken the law the way that Obama routinely did quite simply because he cannot. The media is so hostile to his every act, the popular culture has so frequently written him off as crude, and his critics, both progressive and conservative, have become so hysterical over his person, that he lives in a singular 24/7 bubble that faults him for everything from his choice of dessert to the manner in which his daughter holds her child.

Our media and popular culture, as well as our cultural elite, value style far more than substance.

The news, both fake and real, is now all Trump, all the time. And because Trump can enjoy baiting his opponents by deliberately being uncouth and coarse, and since he has little respect for past presidential protocol, almost everything is now transparent and nothing is off-limits. Trump haters of the deep state leak. But then again, so do Trump adherents. Many of his cabinet meetings are televised, sometimes painfully. Trump can say anything to anyone anywhere at any time — on Twitter, television, or radio.

Finally, this weird juxtaposition of the vacuous and often law-breaking, but melodious, Obama administration next to boisterous and rowdy Trump presidency has taught us a lesson about our own moral blindness.

Credentials empower illegality; their mere absence is seen as almost illegal in itself.

Both our media and popular culture, as well as our cultural elite, value style far more than substance. Adroitly breaking the law is preferable to obeying it in uncivilized fashion. Boorishly bragging nonstop about 3 percent economic growth and below-4-percent unemployment is deemed far worse than contextualizing in professorial tones a stagnant economy that in eight years never achieved 3 percent annual growth.

Credentials empower illegality; their mere absence is seen as almost illegal in itself.

Lawlessly “presidential” is a misdemeanor; lawfully unpresidential, a felony. A bankrupt agenda delivered by experts is sanctified; an effective one packaged by amateurs is heretical.

Having engaged in illegality during the Obama administration is better on a résumé than following the law in a Trump government.
Comments

And yet still, this one constant keeps reverberating throughout the hysteria: Our elite always values the messenger over the message.

The façade of Camelot exempts empty lawlessness in a way that Queens-accented boosterism seems to nullify real achievement.

Ten Paradoxes Of Our Age, by Dr. Hanson, [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:41 pm

Ten Paradoxes Of Our Age
by Victor Davis Hanson
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The 21st century is reminding of us of some uncomfortable truths. Abroad, recent controversies over the rise of Chinese mercantilism, the specter of Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons, tensions in the European Union, the calcified Palestinian question, mass migrations, and the resurgence of Islamic terrorism all offer a number of lessons. At home, just as instructive is the strange juxtaposition between Obama’s suave progressivism and Trump’s coarse conservatism. Here are 10 takeaways from our current controversies.

The prosperity of consumer capitalism does not necessarily lead to constitutional government. China’s haphazard embrace of quasi-market capitalism simply made Beijing richer, more regionally aggressive, and more internally authoritarian once the state allowed its elite and those who were well connected to make all the money they wanted. In the long term, more economic growth may enhance greater personal freedom, but there likely must be preexisting conditions or ongoing political reforms to benefit from economic liberalization.
Once a nuclear power doesn’t mean always a nuclear power. Both South Africa and Ukraine likely possessed nuclear weapons and, after cost-benefit analyses, gave them up or at least cancelled their proliferation efforts. North Korea may well be reduced to the stone age by international boycotts and embargoes, but it will likely eventually give up its nuclear ballistic missiles. Most anti-Western nuclear and wannabe nuclear regimes require patrons that can be leveraged, or have economies that are vulnerable, or need money to keep volatile populations quiet. What was lacking in the past was not the ability, but the Western will, to stop a North Korea from gaining nuclear ballistic missiles. The same calculus is true of the nuclear aspirations of Iran. It, too, blusters and threatens–not from a position of strength, but from the fear that it is economically vulnerable; that its proliferation patrons Russia, China, or North Korea can be coerced into not extending technological aid; and that it is plagued by a restive population. Both Iran and North Korea have no desire to see pro-Western Egypt, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Taiwan go nuclear to achieve regional deterrence.
The European Union has realized that its efforts to transform a successful common market and effective free trade and travel zone into a continental pan-European national state are in crisis. Brexit, north-south financial tensions, east-west schisms over illegal immigration, and fears of a resurgently aggressive Germany are tearing the EU apart. The EU super-state may well prove no more successful than Napoleon’s effort at a continental system. Such a utopian quest always demanded a level of coercion contrary to national sovereignty and democratic government, a level of censorship antithetical to Western free expression, and a group of pragmatic social engineers akin to those who formed the European Common Market rather than the contemporary cadre of impractical but haughty bureaucrats and careerists in Brussels.
The more non-Westerners abandon their homelands and flee to the West—especially en masse and illegally—the more these immigrants ironically seek to replicate in their new country the very cultural conditions they forsook. All immigrants from time immemorial are naturally schizophrenic about their homelands—they romanticize their country of origin in the abstract, while experiencing relief that their new home is not like the old one they abandoned. But Europe is especially inept at assimilation, integration, and intermarriage, while Middle Eastern immigrants are particularly reluctant to embrace the Western secularism and personal freedom to which they flock. The result can become a toxic brew.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Germany’s neighbors feared its power, expansionism, and unification schemes, as well as its tendency to become petulant in its victimhood. Such anxieties are now being once more expressed by Germany’s friends and allies. Central and Eastern Europeans oppose its policy of open borders and its nonchalance about illegal immigration. Germany’s immediate neighbors are confused over its mandatory green energy initiatives, while its policy of forcing mandatory austerity on indebted Mediterranean European nations is splitting apart the European Union. The Germany of 2018 is not that of 1946 or even that of 1989, but it often polls as the most anti-American nation in Europe.
The Middle East is not the center of the geostrategic universe. Another Arab embargo would be absurd. The real crisis is not the tension between Israel and the Arab nations, but rather it is Israel and its Arab neighbors’ fears of an ascendant Persian Shiite Islam. The United States is no longer much leveraged by Middle East oil considerations. The Palestinians have seemingly overplayed their victim, terrorist, and intifada hands. Slowly, the West is coalescing to the view that it is past time for the Palestinians to build a prosperous nation-state on the West Bank. If Palestinians are still considered refugees from the late 1940s, then so too are contemporary Sudetenlanders, East Prussians, Russian Cossacks, Volga Germans, Southeast Asians, Hungarians, and Jews of the wider Middle East.
The great immediate dangers to Western Civilization are not hunger, global warming, inequality, or religious fundamentalism, but obesity, consumer culture, utopian pacifism, multiculturalism, declining demography, the secular religion of political correctness that threatens the right to free speech, an inability to protect national borders and to create a common culture rooted in the values of the West, and an absence of belief in spiritual transcendence and reverence for past customs and traditions. The challenge is not just that Australians, Canadians, Europeans, and Americans increasingly cannot articulate the values that explain why throngs of immigrants migrate to their shores, but that even if they could, they feel that they probably should not.
The great dangers to modern constitutional government and a free press come not from silly and easily identifiable right-wing racists and bumbling fascists, but rather, as George Orwell saw, from glib social utopians. Similarly dangerous are their compliant media enhancers who insidiously tolerate the abuses of the administrative state, in the exalted quest for equality, justice, and fairness. Those responsible for eroding our freedoms will not likely be jowled generals in shades and epaulettes, but the lean and cool in hip suits who speak mellifluously of a predetermined arc of history bending toward their utopian mandate. Nothing is more dangerous to democratic government than a media that believes it is an agent for social justice, voluntarily surrenders its autonomy, and sees the loss of its independence as a small price to pay for the adulation it receives from the state.
The goal of government in a Western constitutional state should be conceived of in terms of economic growth, such as by achieving an annual GDP rate of 3 percent or greater, an unemployment rate of 4 percent or lower, and a rising middle-class per capita income—not an increase in state subsidies, state bureaucracies, and state regulations. Those in the state who exude empathy often cannot deliver it; those in the private sector who rarely mention compassion, often deliver it. A good job, not state sustenance, is the fountainhead of a good life.
Crudity in popular politics, as now witnessed in Europe and the United States, is never to be welcomed. But if transient coarseness is sometimes the price of dissolving calcified and destructive norms, and is constitutional, then it is an acceptable antidote to suave institutionalized mediocrity. Proving that black lives do indeed matter is sometimes best achieved by ensuring the African-American unemployment rate is below 6 percent, and that traditionally neglected job-seekers gain leverage over employers. An economy growing at over 3 percent per annum usually renders arguments over minimum wage laws irrelevant—employers gladly increase wages when they are desperate for new workers though they are reluctant to do so when ordered by the state and are in not much need of new laborers.

The Western world is in turmoil largely because of the widening gap between what the people see as true and the “truth” that their governing classes impose on them for the purported greater moral good. The result is a schizophrenia like that seen before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in which no one believed that the reality they lived had anything to do with the reality delivered by the media and the state. Trumpism and popular movements in Europe are simply symptoms of another problem—that what the ruling elite said was true was often a lie.

June 4, 2018

A request from Kay [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 9:35 pm

You don’t have to be religious in any way to read this !!! It’s about reality in our country today.

Republican or Democrat, this is what has happened.

With Trump as President, we might be able to get this passed. Let’s send it across the country.

Will I Get Three Replies?

I’m sending this to a variety of friends & family to see what kind of opinions this might bring forth.

SOME STATES (Maryland, Michigan & Arizona) ARE INEXPLICABLY ALLOWING MUSLIM STUDENTS TO PRAY DURING SCHOOL HOURS!!!!

IF THAT’S OKAY, THEN WE MUST DEMAND THAT OUR FLAGS BE RETURNED TO OUR CLASSROOMS AND ALLOW OTHERS TO PRAY AS WELL! IT’S PAST TIME FOR THE CHRISTIANS TO BOLDLY SPEAK UP & DEMAND THEIR RIGHTS.

When we get 100,000,000, that’s one hundred million, willing Christians to BOND together, voice their concerns and vote, we can take back America with God’s help.

Become one of the proud One hundred million Then let’s get 200 million. It can be done just by sending this email to your friends.

Do the math. It only takes a single willing heart and a fed-up SOUL. God Bless America and Shine your light on Her!

In 1952 President Truman established one day a year as a “National Day of Prayer.

In 1988 President Reagan designated the first Thursday in May of each year as The National Day of Prayer.

In June 2007, then Presidential Candidate Barack Obama blatantly declared that the USA “Was no longer a Christian nation!

In May 2009 President Obama dismissed our 21st annual National Day of Prayer ceremony at the White House under the ruse of “not wanting to offend anyone”

Sept. 25, 2009, a Muslim Prayer Day was held on the West front of the U.S. Capitol Building, the site where U.S. Presidents have been inaugurated since 1981.. There were over 50,000 Muslims in D.C. that day President Obama dismissed our National Day of Prayer and now it’s okay for an event at our capitol for Islamists? I for one was offended. But wait, it didn’t stop!!!

February 17-19, 2015, a Muslim prayer was recited at the start of the second day of the White House summit on “Countering Violent Extremism,” but, oddly, no other religious text was presented during the portion of the event that was open to the press. Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble, president of the World Peace Organization in Minneapolis, MN, recited a “verse from the Quran” following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democrat members of Congress.

Former President Obama boldly encouraged schools to teach the Quran for extra credit, while at the same time, we’re forbidden even talk about the Bible, God, pray, or salute the American Flag.

The direction this country was headed should strike fear in the heart of every Christian.

How refreshing and beautiful our wonderful First Lady Melania Trump was in Melbourne, Florida on February 18, 2017. Instead of the normal “pumping up” of the crowd, Melania chose to initiate the rally with the Lord’s Prayer. It sounded more like the start of a football game after the National Anthem rather than what we would expect to hear after a prayer.

Make a “joyful noise unto the LORD thy GOD!” The “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” of Madeline Murray O’Hair and ACLU efforts in 1962, “School Prayer was removed from the U.S. public education system by slowly and insidiously corrupting the meaning of the First Amendment through a number of court cases over several court cases should be confronted and reversed.

Send this to ten thinking folk, or even one hundred and ten, and send it to the person who sent it to you! To let them know that, indeed, it was sent out to many more.

Commentary re Chinese Navy’s development of a Blue Water Navy, by Capt John & Adm Lyons [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 6:10 pm

The Chinese Navy’s Development During 8 Years Of Obama’s Sequestration of the US Navy

By Capt Joseph R. John, June 4, 2018: Op Ed # 390

The below listed Op Ed, by Admiral James A Lyons, Jr. USNA ’52. USN (Ret), discusses how the US Navy could counter China’s blue water navy, and oppose China’s plan to control the South China Sea. Over the last 10 years, China has developed an technically advanced blue water Navy whose goal is to be able to defeat the US Navy with conventional weapons; its rapid technology advances and ship building programs have been fueled by China’s theft of advanced weapons systems and ship designs from US corporations and the US Navy. China’s long range goal is to become the dominate global naval power in the next decade.

China’s plan is to expand its fleet to 351 ships, while the US Navy’s goal is to expand its fleet to 355 ships; Pentagon planners should not be planning parity with China, they should take a page out of President Reagan’s playbook, and develop a larger and more advanced US Navy than China’s Navy. In addition to the Navy’s ship long range building program, in addition it should modernize and recommission a certain number of ships in its reserve fleet.

Over the last 8 years, with no opposition from the Obama administration, China has created 4 artificial manmade island bases on rocky shoals, throughout the South China Sea. China has developed and is implementing a strategic zone offensive plan for the South China Sea, and will most probably create other artificial manmade island bases on rocky shoals. Those island bases can’t be properly defended from a coordinated strike on all four bases, at the same time, by high flying stealth bombers, and submarine launched cruise missiles. There should never be a need for the US Marine Corps to execute four amphibious assaults to take control of those manmade island bases.

When China has 351 ships operating within the restricted area of the South China Sea, the US Navy will still be required to operate half of its fleet, or about 180 ships, in the vast Pacific and the Persian Gulf operating areas. China will therefore have a numerically superior naval fleet operating in the South China Sea. To ensure “Freedom Of The Seas”, the US Navy will be required to coordinate joint naval operations with the Navies of governments who must ensure free and open commercial transit thru the South China Sea (Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam).

China’s newest destroyer, in reality a light cruiser; has shifted the balance of naval power in the Pacific to China’s advantage, that new advanced destroyer has over the horizon supersonic cruise missile technology; a missile fired from that destroyer will only provide a US Navy ship, a response time of from 15 to 30 seconds to counter the over the horizon supersonic cruise missile fired at it. The US Navy will not have the technology to counter China’s over the horizon supersonic cruise missile threat until about 2025. China’s newest naval ships are on a technological par with US Navy ships, excluding the superior technology of the US Navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers, to China’s one aircraft carrier.

More worrisome than the development of the Chinese Navy’s technically advanced fleet, is the military discipline exhibited by the officers and crews aboard Chinese Naval ships. In the last 10 years, the Chinese Navy has done an excellent job of training it’s, all male, fully manned, shipboard crews, into a heightened state of readiness and military discipline. Compare that to how, Obama’s Social Experiment On Diversity has changed the character, make up, manning, readiness, and military discipline of shipboard crews in US Navy ships. For 10 years, the US Navy has covered up serious shipboard manning and readiness problems. The shipboard manning problems occurs just prior to 6 month deployments of US Navy ships. Deploying Navy ships have experienced many married and single female crewmembers, requesting transfer to shore duty, just prior to deployment, because of their recent pregnancies.

The makeup, and manning, and readiness of crews aboard US Navy ships often required to deploy in reduced states of readiness. The reduced manning results in fewer watch standing sections, less time for training, lack of military discipline, fatigue for being overworked, and a reduced state of readiness. Those problems have been exposed by collision reports explaining what led up to US Navy ship’s collisions at sea and groundings. Those collision reports also exposed the inadequate navigational procedures being followed by bridge and CIC watch standers, and the inability of the command to properly train watch standers because of excessive fatigue, which contributed to collisions and groundings.

Some of the examples of collisions at sea are as follows. On August 21, 2017: ten sailors were killed when the USS John McCain (DDG-56), a guided missile destroyer, collided 50 miles east of Singapore with the ALNIC MC, a 600-foot oil and chemical tanker. On June 17, 2017: seven sailors were killed when the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62), a guided missile destroyer, was broadsided off the coast of Singapore, by MV CRYSTAL, a Philippines-registered cargo ship. On May 9, 2017: a 70 foot South Korean fishing boat collided on the port side of the USS Lake Champlain (CG-57), a guided missile cruiser, while the cruiser was conducting routine operations in international waters. On Aug. 19, 2016: the USS Louisiana (SSBN-743), a ballistic missile submarine, and the USNS Eagleview (T-AGSE-3), a Military Sealift Command support vessel, collided off the Coast of Washington State, while conducting routine operations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

In the last 5 years, 90 Commanding Officers of US Navy ships have been relieved of command, because of collisions at sea, ships going aground, aqs a result of inappropriate sexual relations with a crew member (by both male and female commanding officers), and for other reasons brought about by complaints filed by crew members against Commanding Officers on the IG Hotline (posters on Navy bases outline the 4-step Hotline complaint procedure required to turn in senior officers). In light of the fact that so many Commanding Officers are being continually relieved, Obama’s politically correct selection criteria for the selection of new female and male Commanding Officers, should be re-evaluated.

For 8 years, Obama’s Social Experiment On Diversity has negatively affected the character, make up, military discipline, unit cohesiveness, training, unit moral, and “Combat Effectiveness” of members of the US Armed Forces. The Cadets and Midshipmen matriculating at the five service academies have been indoctrinated in politically correct leadership techniques, and their “Honor Codes” been negatively affected by the Social Experiment On Diversity—Honor Code violators are now being put thru retraining programs (sometimes as many as three times), violators are no longer being dismissed.

Lt David Nartker, the US Naval Academy Class of 2011, surrendered his two heavily armed 49 foot riverine command patrol boats with 10 sailors in the Persian Gulf, to a single smaller and less armed Iranian speed boat “without a fight.” Naval Academy Alumni still wonder how the Social Experiment On Diversity, affected Lt Nartker view of John Paul Jones’s doctrine of “Don’t Give Up the Ship”, and would like to know how Lt Nartker training permitted him to beg for forgiveness from his Iranian captors who forced him and his crew down to their knees.

The leadership being provided in the US Navy by some of Obama’s politically correct, pre-screened Flag selectees, continue to drive Obama’s Social Experiment On Diversity into the training of the fleet and at the US Naval Academy to this day. Witness the celebration of Gay Pride Month at the Pentagon and on US Naval Bases, despite the fact that “military regulation” specifically prohibits promoting any political agendas on US Military installations.

The military discipline exhibited by the officers and the all-male crews aboard Chinese Navy ships, with their heightened state of readiness, because they are not being hamstrung by Obama’s Social Experiment On Diversity. Obama’s Social Experiment On Diversity continues to negatively affect the character, make up, military discipline, unit cohesiveness, training, unit moral, and “Combat Effectiveness” of the US Navy. Admiral James Lyon’s below listed Op Ed discusses China’s Blue Water Navy.

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John. All Rights Reserved. The material can only posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author. It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt USNR(Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

https://www.facebook.com/combatveteransforcongress?ref=hl

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

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China’s aggressive, bullying tactics in the South China Sea

Admiral James A Lyons, Jr. USNA ’52. USN (Ret) former Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet

May 31, 2018

Countering China’s Blue Water Navy

Based on China’s massive military expansion over the last two decades, particularly the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Navy, their goal is clearly to challenge the U.S. Navy’s dominance, not only in the Western Pacific, but globally. In a recent hearing before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on 17 May 2018, that was clearly pointed out by two experts on the Chinese threat, Rick Fisher and Captain James Fanell, USN (ret). They explained how the Chinese Navy dramatically expanded from a coastal force to a global threat, capable of challenging the U.S. Navy’s dominant position in the Western Pacific today, and globally in the next decade.

China’s aggressive, bullying tactics in the South China Sea

This new reality is particularly challenging, with the serious decline in our overall military capability and readiness, as a result of the Obama administration’s disastrous sequestration mandate. As a result we now have the smallest Navy since prior to World War I. Nowhere is the Chinese challenge more serious than in the Western Pacific, particularly in the South China Sea. Hegemony over the South China Sea is essential for China to achieve its goal of conquering the free and democratic island of Taiwan. However, the South China Sea is an international strategic waterway through which over $5 trillion worth of commerce transits on an annual basis. The South China Sea remaining free from the threats of China’s Communist regime is critical for not only world commerce but also for our allies Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and certainly Taiwan.

China has continued its aggressive and bullying tactics by creating several artificial islands on contested rocks and shoals in the South China Sea. They have built an air and naval base on Woody Island in the Paracel Group, and also have built new large naval, air, and missile bases on Fiery Cross Reef, Subic Reef, and Mischief Reef. There are now three completed runways of approximately 10,000 feet that can accommodate about 24 aircrafts each. As Rick Fisher pointed out to the Committee, reports in May 2018 indicate that China has now deployed 400-Km range YJ-12 supersonic anti-ship missiles as well as 200-Km range HQ-9B fourth generation surface-to-air missile (SAMs), which would allow the PLA to deny access to most military aircraft as well as commercial airlines and shipping traffic. These man-made islands, in effect, are stationary aircraft carriers. The good news is that since they can’t move, they are vulnerable.

The islands were militarized in spite of a declaration by China’s President Xi Jinping on 25 September 2015, at the White House, saying that that he would not militarize these islands. The double talking should not come as a surprise. As a result, China has been uninvited to participate in this year’s bi-annual RIMPAC multinational naval exercise in the Pacific. They never should have been invited in the first place as it was a form of “appeasement!”

As Fisher pointed out, having built this series of extended bases in the Spratly Island region with no serious opposition, China can plan much greater island-building efforts for the future. Make no mistake, China’s goal is to exercise hegemony over the First Island chain, which includes Taiwan, and eventually, out to the Second Island chain which includes Guam, our key Western Pacific base. Should China be successful in defeating Taiwan, it would be a great strategic win as it would provide greater access for China’s nuclear ballistic submarine fleet to the Pacific open waters.

China’s “Belt and Road” initiative in the Indian Ocean

Likewise, China’s “Belt and Road” initiative in the Indian Ocean, under the guise of developing commercial ports, is providing cover for the development and use of facilities by the Chinese Navy in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. China has also reached into Latin America by attempting to reignite the Falklands War. Fortunately, with a change in the Argentine government that initiative has failed.

The Trump administration’s task, in confronting the Chinese totalitarian threat, is similar to what President Reagan faced in confronting an aggressive Soviet Union in 1981. President Trump has taken a page out of the Reagan playbook by embarking on an aggressive Navy ship building program, but regretfully it is only planned to build the Navy back to 355 ships. To meet our worldwide commitments and raise the deterrence equation, the Navy needs 400 ships. With our reduced domestic shipbuilding capacity it would take more than two decades to achieve that goal. Regretfully, time is not on our side. China will be ready to move more aggressively by 2025. Therefore, to achieve the desired number of ships, we need to think outside the box. We should consider contracting with our allies for constructing ship hulls or more complete frigate-size ships. We also need to reactivate ships from the Navy’s Reserve Fleet and update them with modern equipment. It’s called the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program.

We also need new strategic thinking with our allies in the Western Pacific to counter the rising Chinese threat. The Trump administration has made a move in that direction by calling for Australia, Japan, India, and the U.S. to form a “Quad.” This is a step in the right direction, but it needs to be expanded into a Pacific-type NATO organization which should include all our allies including India. Taiwan should initially be made an associate member. In that regard, Taiwan needs to be equipped with sufficient defense equipment by no later than 2020 to provide a capability to prevent any successful invasion by China. A preplanning staff needs to be established on Guam as soon as possible with all member countries participating. We must quickly raise the deterrence equation by not only increasing our force levels, but also by developing aggressive exercises in contested areas. Time is of the essence.

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

June 2, 2018

Hillary’s still trying to figure out how she lost the election, thanks to Kay

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:47 pm

Hillary – I’m Still Trying To Figure Out How I Lost The Election

cid:FgUiDW5TREDfb4Ucw8Uy

Was it the Russian Uranium Deal?
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Was it Wikileaks?
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Was it Podesta?
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Was it Comey?
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Was it having a sexual predator as a husband?
cid:nMT05K6nyGZoqR4jfV3l

Was it Huma Abedin’s sexual predator husband Anthony Weiner?
cid:UoZupRtQvIEsjKbtcABD

Was it because the Clinton Foundation ripped off Haiti?
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Was it subpoena violations?

Was it the congressional testimony lies?
cid:Qv3rQ97mTsXpqDcmjarT

Was it the corrupt Clinton Foundation?
cid:ZGrqEoeA0RiqbTWQtpYd

Was it the Benghazi fiasco?
cid:KAkBgnMi7gvEt44ivKoK

Was it pay for play?
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Was it being recorded laughing because she got a child rapist off when she was an attorney?cid:dfn2SdqEVpZGGa2SA6aD

Was it the Travel Gate scandal?

Was it the Whitewater scandal?

Was it the Cattle Gate scandal?

Was it the Trooper-Gate scandal?

OR….

Was it the $15 million for Chelsea’s apartment bought with foundation money?cid:TZacG5DzKDAHyWVoe6EJ

Or her husband’s interference with Loretta Lynch & the investigation?

Or happily accepting the stolen debate questions given to her?
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Or her own secret server in her house and disdain for classified information?cid:2jpcqqz6XdO8834RO4qJ

Or deleting 30,000 emails?
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Or having cell phones destroyed with hammers?

Was it the Seth Rich murder?
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Was it the Vince Foster murder?
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Was it the Gennifer Flowers assault & settlement?

Was it the $800,000 Paula Jones settlement?

Was it calling half the United States deplorable?

Was it the underhanded treatment of Bernie Sanders?
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Was it Bill’s impeachment?
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Was it the lie about being under sniper fire in Bosnia?
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Was it the $10 million she got for the pardon of Marc Rich?

Or the $6 BILLION she “lost” when in charge of the State Dept.?

Or because she is a hateful, lying, power-hungry, overly ambitious, greedy, nasty person?cid:4hMN9hcTxRPkz0hDHVH4

Gee I just can’t seem to put my finger on it…

May 30, 2018

39 Second Read, from John

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 9:43 pm

In their infinite wisdom, the United States’ Founders created the Electoral College to ensure the STATES were fairly represented. Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the nation?

The following list of statistics has been making the rounds on the Internet. It should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense.

Do share this. It needs to be widely known and understood.

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.

Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) DO NOT and SHOULD NOT speak for the rest of our country!

And…it’s been verified and documented that those aforementioned 319 square miles are where the majority of our nation’s problems foment.

Well worth the 39 seconds to read? Now please pass it!

May 29, 2018

All Hands: FBI Cyber Alert

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 7:51 pm

IC3 Logo
May 25, 2018

Alert Number
I-052518-PSA

Questions regarding this PSA should be directed to your local FBI Field Office.

Local Field Office Locations: http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field
Foreign Cyber Actors Target Home and Office Routers and Networked Devices Worldwide
Summary

The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers power cycle (reboot) the devices. Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide. The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers. The malware is able to perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation, and blocking network traffic.
Technical Details

The size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant. The malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer. The initial infection vector for this malware is currently unknown.
Threat

VPNFilter is able to render small office and home office routers inoperable. The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router. Detection and analysis of the malware’s network activity is complicated by its use of encryption and misattributable networks.
Defense

The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices. Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.

re: taking a knee, from Butch

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 2:04 pm

Well Bill, I’ve taken a knee too many times because of our flag. Fortunately I haven’t had to do so in a long while. I’m sure I would have great difficulty getting to a standing position if I did so today. When I took a knee it was with a cloth of red, white and blue folded in the shape of a triangle with only a field of blue and white start showing. The cased colors having done its duty, I presented to the family telling them to please accept it as a small token of our nations gratitude for their love one’s sacrifice and service. It’s a hard thing to look them in the eyes and see grief and hope lost for they know they will never see their loved one again. Looking at the children was the worse. What do you say to them that they can understand? I guess it’s fitting to remember all those times today as today is a day of remembrance. A day that we honor them. I wonder how those pampered snowflakes would hold up under such circumstances. Rips your gut out.

Butch DuCote
Master Gunnery Sergeant of Marines

[sent Memorial Day, 2018]

May 28, 2018

Taking a knee, by Stanislaus Drew & posted by Ted Nugent

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 10:44 pm

It was written by Stanislaus Drew and Ted Nugent posted it on his Facebook page – yes, THAT Ted Nugent.

Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just wait your turn. Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience.

Then, take a knee on the beach in Normandy where man after American man stormed the beach, even as the one in front of him was shot to pieces, the very sea stained with American blood. The only blockers most had were the dead bodies in front of them, riddled with bullets from enemy fire.

Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. From Khe Sanh to Saigon, anywhere will do. Americans died in all those jungles. There was no playbook that told them what was next, but they knew what flag they represented. When they came home, they were protested as well, and spit on for reasons only cowards know.

Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110 degree heat. Wear your Kevlar helmet and battle dress. Your number won’t be printed on it unless your number is up! You’ll need to stay hydrated but there won’t be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. You’re on your own.

There are a lot of places to take a knee where Americans have given their lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought as a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who bled for the very freedoms you have. That’s what the red stripes mean. It represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending your liberty.

While you’re on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on a manicured lawn striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch of ground taken, but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and sweltering forests and bitter cold mountains, every inch marked by an American life lost serving that flag you protest.

No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans, just American men and women, delivering the real fight against those who chose to harm us, blazing a path so you would have the right to “take a knee.” You haven’t any inkling of what it took to get you where you are, but your “protest” is duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation of real heroes, it serves the purpose of pointing to your ingratitude for those who chose to defend you under that banner that will still wave long after your jersey is retired.

If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank Him for preserving this country for as long as He has. We’ll beg forgiveness for our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him for understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice for all, because He is the one who provides those things. But there will be no protest. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the brave. It goes like this, GOD BLESS AMERICA!

by Stanislaus Drew

May 25, 2018

The Great German Meltdown, by Victor Davis Hanson, PhD, [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 1:15 am

The Great German Meltdown
by Victor Davis Hanson
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Every 20 to 50 years in Germany, things start unraveling. Germans feel aggrieved. Ideas and movements gyrate wildly between far left and far right extremes. And the Germans finally find consensus in a sense of victimhood paradoxically expressed as national chauvinism. Germany’s neighbors in 1870, 1914, 1939—and increasingly in the present—usually bear the brunt of this national meltdown.

Germany is supposed to be the economic powerhouse of Europe, its financial leader, and its trusted and responsible political center. Often it plays those roles superbly. But recently, it’s been cracking up—in a way that is hauntingly familiar to its European neighbors. On mass immigration, it is beginning to terrify the nearby nations of Eastern Europe. On Brexit, it bullies the British. On finance, it alienates the southern Europeans. On Russia, it irks the Baltic States and makes the Scandinavians uneasy by doing business with the Russian energy interests. And on all matters American, it increasingly seems incensed.

Certainly, Germany has done some unbelievably strange things in the last ten years. In a fit of fear, after the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011, and in a huff about climate change, Berlin more or less abruptly junked traditionally generated electrical power and opted for inefficient and unreliable “green” renewable wind and solar—despite the less than Mediterranean nature of its climate and warnings of the financial downside. The result is that electricity costs have climbed 50 percent in recent years and are among the most expensive in the developed world—and electricity itself is sometimes scarce. In response to shortfalls in power generation, the German energy industry for now is looking at solutions like coal-fired plants, buying nuclear-generated electricity from its neighbors, and cutting deals with Vladimir Putin for natural gas. In other words, Germany spiraled from the one extreme of green idealists to the other of dirty coal, while counting on others to export their electricity into Germany.

Immigration is similar. A bipolar Germany cannot just take in a limited and manageable number of genuine refugees, hope to assimilate them—and then keep quiet about its resulting sense of noblesse oblige. Instead, in a little over a year, Berlin enthusiastically opened its borders and accepted over a million migrants who were mostly unvetted and from the Middle East and North Africa, defending this radical policy with virtue sloganeering about German magnanimity (“we can do this”). Until recently, a mostly homogenous Germany had little experience with diversity, much less with assimilating and integrating mostly impoverished, male, Muslim immigrants. The result of these massive influxes from the Middle East has often been chaos. In an Orwellian sort of good-deed imperialism, Germany hectors its worried, smaller, and far more vulnerable European neighbors to embrace the nearly suicidal German model of open European borders.

Germany has always had a “Jewish Problem.” In the late nineteenth-century, German academics became obsessed with pseudo-research about eugenics and racial purity—which often led to talk of both Aryan purity and crass anti-Semitism that played out in the real world with disastrous results during the Holocaust. After World War II, Germany tried to make amends through introspection, some reparations, and the subsidized sales of military supplies to Israel. Yet Germany seems to once again be embracing anti-Semitism quite aside from its fierce opposition to Israel. Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has warned of the present climate: “These are the worst times since the Nazi era. On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed,’ ‘the Jews should be burned.’ We haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticizing Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else.”

In response to the growing hatred, Felix Klein, Germany’s newly appointed special envoy entrusted by the Merkel government with addressing the nation’s growing anti-Semitism—much of it the result of the influx of Muslims—recently shrugged it off, simply pointing out that more and more Jews are leaving Germany: “It is quite understandable that those who are scared for the safety of their children would consider leaving.”

During the recent decade of tension between North and South European Union nations, we saw a similar trend play itself out—a sort of self-righteous veneer plastered over cold, hard power-mongering. Germany knew its continental mercantile system hinged on easy credit to weak EU members on the Mediterranean to buy German imports on credit. When they predictably defaulted on German loans, “shocked” German bankers and pension holders understandably went ballistic. They offered self-righteous lectures on Teutonic thrift and parsimony—but only years after leveraged BMWs and Mercedes had poured into far poorer Athens and Rome.

Militarily, the radical about-faces are the same. Germany has gone from spiked helmets to Weimar pacifism, from the Waffen SS to Potemkin divisions and gossamer air wings. Berlin never quite seems to realize that had it just followed the classical golden mean—strong armed forces under the auspices of Democratic government—it would have neither scared its neighbors nor required 70 years of subsidized postwar defense dependence.

Despite America’s role in the Cold War protecting West Germany and later unifying East and West, Germans now conveniently poll as among the most anti-American people in the EU. And Germany polls the most anti-Trump, which is not surprising given Trump’s harangues about fairer NATO defense spending and trade deficits, both implicit denunciations of Germany’s mercantile trade policies, and virtual disarmament and reliance on the U.S. military.

Some historical context is also necessary. Germans often inexplicably fail to grasp that Americans did not plan on landing in France in either 1917 or 1944—or staying on in Germany until 2018 (there are currently 35,000 U.S. troops still stationed in the country). Much of American foreign policy over the 75 years between 1917 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was predicated on either defending Germany’s neighbors from German aggression, or defending Germany itself from Russian invasion. Trump’s election showed that most Americans probably want those U.S. troops out of Germany (and a lot of other places too) as much as Germans now claim to wish them gone. Good distance may make good NATO friends.

For all of its growing animus toward America, Germany has still not met its promised 2 percent expenditures of GDP on defense according to NATO’s requirements. Yet it still runs up huge trade deficits with the United States ($65 billion a year). Germany also enjoys the world’s largest account surplus at $287 billion—warping international trade as the country discourages imports and calibrates its economy mostly for export. The Euro is, by Berlin’s design, still undervalued, and allows the Germans a commercial competitiveness likely impossible were they still to use the Deutsche Mark.

Amid the crises in the Middle East, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China, most Westerners assumed that Germany, given its size and dynamic economy, would continue to be a model Western leader and a calming force in a historically unstable Europe. Instead, it seems to be entering a dangerous phase when at the zenith of its wealth and power, it nevertheless pouts and blames. Berlin feels snookered by Southern Europeans, ignored by a departing United Kingdom, not given sufficient deference by Eastern Europeans, and resentful of America.

In a perfect world, Germany would address its frustrations through introspection. After all, no one forced Berlin to take in over a million problematic refugees from the Middle East. No one forced it to export goods on easy credit to leveraged buyers who visibly lived far above their means. No one forced it to renege on its NATO defense promises and responsibilities. No one forced it to have a long and catastrophic history with the Jewish people. And no one forces it to expect perpetual U.S. military protection while continually setting record trade surpluses.

Despite the long postwar history of U.S.-German friendship, and despite Germany’s financial and economic power, the country is becoming psychologically isolated, if not unhinged. While Germans broadcast their anti-Americanism, they seem oblivious that Americans may likewise be tiring of German petulance.

If we are entering yet another historical period of dangerous German resentment, the ensuing result will bode ill for everyone involved.

May 22, 2018

How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper, by Victor Davis Hanson, PhD [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 2:17 pm

How Democracies End: A Bureaucratic Whimper
By Victor Davis Hanson| May 21st, 2018
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This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
― T.S. Eliot

One strange trait of the die hard NeverTrump Republicans and progressives is their charge that Donald Trump poses an existential threat to democracy. Trump, as is his wont, says a lot of outrageous and weird things. But it is hard in his 16 months of rule to find any proof that Trump has subverted the rule of law.

Most of the furor is over what we are told what Trump might do, or what Trump has said, or which unsavory character in Europe likes Trump. These could be legitimate worries if they were followed by Trump’s anti-democratic concrete subversions. But so far, we have not seen them. And there has certainly been nothing yet in this administration comparable to the Obama-era efforts to curb civil liberties.

While we understand those on the left refuse to believe that a constitutional “legal scholar” like Obama would even think of allowing the executive branch to go rogue, it is indeed strange that in almost every NeverTrump attack on Trump’s conduct, there is almost no recognition or indeed worry that we have been living through one of the great challenges to constitutional government in our history.

Does anyone remember that the Obama Administration allowed Lois Lerner (“Not a smidgen of corruption”) more or less to weaponize the IRS to help the Obama 2012 reelection effort? Does anyone remember Eric Holder’s surveillance of the Associated Press journalists and Fox News’s James Rosen? Why have conservative constitutionalists focused on what Trump has said rather than the strange treatment accorded to investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson by U.S. intelligence and investigatory agencies? Do we even remember the Benghazi pseudo-video narrative and the strange jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula?

Is there even curiosity about why and how the departing Obama Administration suddenly and vastly expanded the number of agencies that could have access to classified surveillance in its aftermath? Do we remember the more than 20 times Obama warned before reelection that he was not a “king” and, as a constitutional scholar, could not by fiat offer blanket amnesties? Do the authorities in California realize that they are resorting to the extralegal states-rights arguments that South Carolina on the eve of the Civil War and Alabama in the early 1960s used to nullify federal laws?

But stranger still is what we already know of the 2016 election, and the lack of outrage from constitutionalists, who daily warn us of what Trump might do—when we already know what the U.S. government has done in violation of civil rights, constitutional principles, and likely federal laws. So far there is no information that Stephen Bannon ordered taps on reporters, or that Nigel Farage was hired by Trump to find Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, or that Stephen Miller requested the unmasking of surveilled names associated with the Clinton campaign and then leaked them to the press.

But we do know that U.S. officials, including the head of the FBI and chief deputies in the Justice Department, misled a FISA court to obtain intelligence surveillance on U.S. citizens, by providing information that they knew at the time, but did not disclose to the court, was by their own private admission unverified, compiled by a foreign national whom they had used and fired as an unreliable informant, paid for by the Clinton campaign, and served as the basis for news accounts that were used in circular fashion to verify to the court the dossier’s contents.

We do know that members of the Obama intelligence and national security teams—Susan Rice and Samantha Power among others—requested the names of American citizens surveilled (likely obtained through improperly obtained FISA warrants) to be unmasked. Then someone illegally leaked their names to the press to damage the Trump campaign and his presidential transition.

We do know that FBI Director James Comey, in succession, has admitted that he in singular fashion took notes of a confidential one-on-one meeting with the president, briefed him on the existence of a campaign dossier on him, did not disclose that it was purchased by the Clinton campaign, assured him that he was not the subject of a FBI investigation at a time either he or his subordinates were leaking the opposite to the media, and then, after being fired, leaked those memos (at least one of which was classified) to the media to ensure the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the president, who turned out to be a friend of Comey’s, Robert Mueller. Comey by his own admission has also stated that he calibrated the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton to the likelihood of her election to the presidency. FBI directors in a lawful society are not supposed to do such things.

We do know that the FBI placed some sort of an informant in the camp of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign in association with gathering information about data used by a foreign national and a paid operative of the Clinton campaign, Christopher Steele, in his effort to collude with Russians against the campaign efforts of Donald Trump.

We do know that the deputy director of the FBI is currently under investigation for lying to federal investigators, on at least four occasions, about his own conduct in investigating candidate Hillary Clinton—at a time not long after Clinton-related political action committees gave several hundred thousand dollars to the political campaign of his wife.

We do know now that both James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, head of the CIA, knowingly gave false testimony under oath to Congress. Clapper has previously lied about the surveillance of American citizens; he has lied about his knowledge of the Steele dossier, and likely also lied about leaking its contents. Brennan had lied under oath to Congress about the U.S. drone assassination program, lied about CIA surveillance of computers used by U.S. Senate staff, lied about leaking the existence and promulgation of the Steele dossier, and lied yet again to Congress that the dossier was not used to prompt a CIA investigation into so-called collusion.

Again, the government’s two highest intelligence officials did not tell the full truth about their knowledge of the Steele dossier or their own roles in promulgating its contents. In a constitutional republic both such reprehensible officials who betrayed the public trust would be subject to criminal investigations for knowingly lying under oath to Congress and undermining the sinews of constitutional government.

We do know that senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr met with the architects of the Steele dossier and that at the time his wife was working on the Clinton-purchased Fusion/GPS Steele dossier, information not disclosed as required by the law on a federal form.

Mueller’s special investigatory team, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and the media have not yet found any credible evidence of Trump-Russian collusion. Indeed, it is more likely that the indictments and confessions of some Trump campaign officials and Michael Flynn, on counts having nothing to do with collusion, either will be dropped, retracted, or will not lead to convictions, given much of the information used against them was obtained by misleading a FISA court judge and through improper conduct at the highest level of the FBI.

There is a reason why over a half-dozen top FBI officials either have been fired, reassigned, resigned, or retired. We have not yet seen the inspector general’s full report, but its publication may lead to more departures from both the FBI and the Justice Department, if not to criminal prosecutions.

If the present constitutional crisis really involves high federal officials and former federal officials who were colluding with foreign governments, then we have ample evidence that 1) Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation received large sums of money from Russian-related interests in association with ongoing requests to buy into companies that might control North American uranium stocks; that 2) John Kerry has met clandestinely with members and former members of the Iranian government to craft joint strategies to save the so-called Iran Deal, from which the president of the United States just withdrew; and that 3) Hillary Clinton’s campaign hired a foreign national to use sources from other foreign nationals to help subvert the campaign of her 2016 opponent.

We are all worried, on occasion, by nationalist and anti-democratic movements abroad in former democratic countries. We all sometimes wish Donald Trump would ignore personal spats and curb his tweeting and thus let his considerable accomplishments speak for themselves.

But that said, the current and chief threats to Western constitutional government are not originating from loud right-wing populists in Eastern Europe, or from Trump wailing like Ajax about the rigged deep state.

Rather, the threat to our civil liberties is coming from supposedly sanctimonious and allegedly judicious career FBI, Justice Department, and intelligence agency officials, progressive and self-described idealistic former members of the Obama national security team, and anti-Trump fervent campaign operatives, all of whom felt that they could break the law—including but not limited to illegally monitoring American citizens, and seeking to warp federal courts and even the presidential election because such unsavory and anti-constitutional means were felt necessary and justified to prevent and then subvert the presidency of Donald J. Trump.

It is willful blindness for progressives and NeverTrump Republicans to overlook what has happened only to damn what has not happened. The dangers in America are not from transparent right-wing authoritarians (who are easily spotted in their clumsiness), but from mellifluous self-styled constitutionalists, whose facades and professions of legality mask their rank efforts to use any anti-constitutional means necessary to achieve their supposedly noble egalitarian ends.

This is the way democracies end—not with a loud boisterous bang, but with insidious and self-righteous whimpers.

May 20, 2018

All Hands: Electro-Magnetic Pulse Warning

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 6:09 pm

Your Address

Your three elected federal members of congress

Re: Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP)
I have recently viewed an interview of Peter Pry, Ph.D., regarding the inadequacy of our defense of our electric grid. Among the many revelations from Dr. Pry, is that protecting our electronic infrastructure would cost less than three billion dollars. Another, is that North Korea, Iran, China, and the Russian Federation, are all decades ahead of us, and are capable of completely destroying the United States and Canada.
What are you doing to protect us?
Respectfully,
Your Signature

May 16, 2018

The Nature of Progressive Insensitivity, by Victor Davis Hanson [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 2:45 pm

The Nature of Progressive Insensitivity
By Victor Davis Hanson

May 15, 2018 6:30 AM

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa., July 27, 2016. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
Why do so many famous social-justice crusaders turn out to be racist and sexist?

Former vice president Joe Biden is back in the news yet again. For a second time, he seems surprised that poor residents of the inner city are capable of doing sophisticated jobs:

We don’t think ordinary people can do things like program, code. It’s not rocket science, guys. So, we went and we hired some folks to go into the neighborhoods and pick 58 women, as it turns out, from the hood, for a 17-week program, if my memory serves me correctly, to learn how to code.

In 2014 Biden had said about the same thing about women from the “hood”:

They asked me to come by this program they had at a community college in the inner city in Detroit. And I walked in and — I think it was a 15-week program — and it was a group of women from the neighborhood. Or, from “the hood.”

What was the point of emphasizing “hood” instead of just “neighborhood”?

Maybe the same condescending reason that the impulsive Biden once in 2016, speaking to a black audience, attacked Mitt Romney with the slavery slander:

He is going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, unchain Wall Street. He is going to put y’all back in chains.

Earlier, Biden had scoffed:

In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.

The locus classicus of Biden’s racialist sloppiness, of course, was his famous putdown-praise of 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama:

I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that liberal politicians and celebrities should be the least likely to express such racist condescension, if only out of cynical careerist and political concerns. Progressives see bloc minority, gay, and female support as vital to their project. The entire thrust of progressive charges of “white privilege” and “white supremacy,” usually lodged against less enlightened and less affluent whites, is that the elite are confident they’ve created a partnership of solidarity with minority activists. All deplore the supposed Neanderthal, red-state, and Trump-supporting white middle class.

Few may now remember the post-election rant of Melinda Byerley, an obscure founder of the Silicon Valley company Timeshare CMO. She became a window into the mind of the furious 2016 progressive voter — and infamous for five minutes for her candid, embittered, post-election Facebook posting that soon was enshrined as a credo explaining why miffed coastal elites hated people unlike them:

One thing middle America could do is to realize that no educated person wants to live in a sh**hole with stupid people. Especially violent, racist, and/or misogynistic ones. . . . When corporations think about where to locate call centers, factories, development centers, etc., they also have to deal with the fact that those towns have nothing going for them.

Certainly, those who blast the clingers, deplorables, and irredeemables cannot themselves be racist or sexists or misogynists or homophobes.

By now, the number of MeToo accusers in the post–Harvey Weinstein era is legion. But increasingly, the most prominent of those accused of sundry harassments and, on occasion, assaults are liberal media and celebrity icons such as Tom Brokaw, Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer, Ryan Lizza, Charlie Rose, and Tavis Smiley. How can that be?

Aside from the charges of treating women poorly are often the additional writs of racism. Some women, for example, have alleged that Weinstein has replied most vehemently to charges from his non-white victims, such as Lupita Nyong’o and Salma Hayek.

Among all the charges of lurid and cruel behavior leveled against social-justice warrior and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the strangest and most disturbing might have been his racial slurring of his Sri Lankan girlfriend, the Harvard-educated activist writer Tanya Selvaratnam. The socially crusading Schneiderman allegedly called her his “brown slave” and told her to refer to him as her “master.”

Joe Biden’s putdown of Barack Obama in 2008 apparently was xeroxed by liberal icon and former senator Harry Reid, who likewise dismissed Obama as a veritable racial chameleon, a “light-skinned African with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Reid also once addressed an Asian-American audience and sermonized, “I don’t think you’re smarter than anybody else, but you’ve convinced a lot of us you are.” In the question-and-answer follow-up, Reid offered: “One problem that I’ve had today is keeping my Wongs straight.”

Both liberal Dan Rather and Bill Clinton in the past had offered racist putdowns of Obama that no deplorable or irredeemable would have considered: Here is Rather’s, speaking to Chris Matthews in 2010:

The Republicans will make a case and a lot of independents will buy this argument. . . . a version of, “Listen he’s a nice person, he’s very articulate” this is what’s been used against him, “but he couldn’t sell watermelons if it, you gave him the state troopers to flag down the traffic.”

And here is Bill Clinton, describing Obama in 2010: “A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

Remember in 2008, in one of her earlier incarnations, a once national-populist Hillary Clinton was running against Obama by galvanizing the so-called white working classes. Often, she was not shy about saying so: “I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” Clinton bragged. As evidence, she cited an Associated Press story that found, in her words, “how Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she concluded.

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There is.

Of course, progressive Obama himself has played the racialist card on occasion. In his memoir Dreams from My Father, he described Gerald Kellman, the first boss he had as a community organizer: “Still, there was something about him that made me wary. A little too sure of himself, maybe. And white.” Obama had once positioned his own grandmother as the moral equivalent of the racist and anti-Semitic Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for two decades. He went on to dub her a “typical white person.”

Cable news anchor and anti-Trump activist Joy Reid apparently had posted an entire corpus of homophobic rants in years past. The late Helen Thomas had a history of anti-Semitic slurs. And Ta-Nehisi Coates is never held to account for many of his overt anti-white invectives.

There are various stock explanations for liberal prejudicial outbursts that earn the additional wage of hypocrisy — given progressives’ self-identification as the protectors of minority rights and racial sensitivities.

One, and the most charitable, might be that when one talks about race and gender nonstop, one is more likely to misspeak. Such an interpretation assumes, of course, that these revelations are not windows into one soul, as progressives allege of foul-sounding conservatives.

Was the reprehensible treatment of victimized women felt to be a small price to pay to protect high-profile progressives who were on the front lines of social justice?

Two, do not forget the cynical notion of deterrence. Humans are not necessarily nice people but behave well out of fear of punishments. In such a reductionist view, conservatives assume that one malapropism or sloppy phrase can end a career. Certainly, if a U.S. senator had compiled a record of racially insensitive rhetoric comparable to Joe Biden’s, he would long ago have been ostracized. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is currently being blasted for clinically and quite accurately describing current waves of immigrants from southern Mexico as mostly poorer, less well educated, and for a variety of reasons less able or willing than earlier waves of immigrants to assimilate quickly. Kelly has certainly has not talked pejoratively about anyone’s skin color in the manner of a Biden, Reid, or Obama.

What exempted Harvey Weinstein or Eric Schneiderman from an accounting years ago was likely progressive cost-benefit considerations — or perhaps even more disturbing rationales. Was the reprehensible treatment of victimized women felt to be a small price to pay to protect high-profile progressives who were on the front lines of social justice? And did Weinstein and Schneiderman bake such calculations into their behavior?

Could not a few women be sacrificed on the altar of progressivism to allow far more to be helped? An even darker corollary is that the monsters like Weinstein and abusers like Schneiderman may have felt they deserved to be sexually rewarded for their progressive fides by progressive like-spirited women — much as feminist reporter Nina Burleigh, during the Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinsky imbroglio, said she’d have been happy to sexually service Clinton if meant keeping him out of trouble and thus preserving the feminist agenda.

A cynic would conclude that once deterrence is lost and perpetrators have no fear of career or legal consequences, they feel justified in doing as they please and therefore can double down on their crudity. Al Franken certainly seemed surprised that a pro-feminist such as himself should be held accountable for a randy uninvited grab or two.

One analogy is the case of Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, who, in the context of the Iran deal, scoffed at the “echo chamber” and “know nothing” White House press. The Obama administration realized that it was far less likely to be held accountable by the liberal media if it surveilled Associate Press or Fox News reporters, if it weaponized the IRS, if it jailed as a scapegoat for the Benghazi attacks an obscure video-maker, if it warped the FISA courts, and if it improperly surveilled and unmasked political opponents. And so it did all that and more in the absence of media deterrence.

One of the great ironies of the entire 21st-century obsession with race is the fact that supposedly racist lower-middle-class whites are often more likely than gentry whites to live among non-whites.

There is a third and more controversial exegesis. There is a certain progressive profile that is, in truth, biased or at least tribal. One projects one’s own prejudices onto others in the abstract, as a sort of psychological squaring of one’s own shortcomings — or the failure to live the race and class diversity one preaches.

In the last 30 years, we’ve seen the growth of an entire new class of bicoastal gentrified urban elites who are ostensibly — on matters of race, class, and sex — hyper-progressive. But are they really?

Often their rhetoric is belied by their own behavior, if gauged by where they live, where they put their children in school, and the people with whom they socialize. One of the great ironies of the entire 21st-century obsession with race is the fact that supposedly racist lower-middle-class whites are often more likely than gentry whites to live among non-whites. The diversity they experience is a natural expression of shared work, neighborhoods, school, and class, not an artificial and boutique variant of the university, the media, or entertainment.

Also, when one by act and deed demonstrates more comfortability with one’s own tribe, that de facto apartheid can be hard to turn on and off. In contrast, a white truck driver who lives with Mexican Americans, or a Mexican-American carpenter who lives in a working-class neighborhood of whites, realizes there are consequences to racialist slurs. And they are not confined to Twitter virtue-signaling or Internet mobbing but often are muscular and can be dangerous.

I have found race, class, and gender tensions far greater at Stanford University than in San Joaquin Valley rural communities, where difference is incidental and not so essential to one’s person. Perhaps the reason is that people share a lower middle-class existence, or that muscular work tends to outweigh rhetoric and abstraction. When one works and lives alongside someone of a different appearance, there is no need or time or affluence to create a façade of identity politics.

Finally, there is a final and mostly cynical explanation for the recent spate of progressive intolerance. Those who are by nature or habit intolerant mask their resulting guilt or fear by progressive virtue-signaling and occasional inadvertent revelations of their own moral selves.

Comments

In other words, perhaps liberal Harvey Weinstein and social-justice kingpin Eric Schneiderman really did have more contempt for their non-white targets, just as Harry Reid may feel more comfortable with his own kind. And one way that such progressives square the circle of that reality is with an unimpeachable progressive façade — and just maybe that reality is now becoming widely known.

May 12, 2018

From the May 12, 2018 The Wall Street Journal [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:18 pm

Link copied…

Opinion Commentary

Why California Leaves Its Homeless Out in the Sun
Residents don’t like the encampments, but neither do they want shelters built in their backyards.
A homeless encampment made of tents and tarps in the Santa Ana riverbed near Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 25.
A homeless encampment made of tents and tarps in the Santa Ana riverbed near Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif., Jan. 25. Photo: robyn beck/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By Allysia Finley
May 11, 2018 6:30 p.m. ET
178 COMMENTS

Anaheim, Calif.

When most people think about the city of Anaheim, Disneyland or the Angels baseball team probably comes to mind. But until recently it was also home to one of California’s fastest-growing housing developments: a homeless encampment.

Along a riverbed not far from Angel Stadium, hundreds of vagrants had pitched tents made out of tarps. The affluent among them set up canopies, the kind that are sold in camping stores. Some even had cots. They stored their belongings in suitcases, bins, strollers and shopping carts. Jugs of water and cans littered the area. Dozens of presumably stolen bicycles were piled on top of each other like abstract art.

The camp was cleared in February after locals complained, but the question is where its residents are supposed to go now. Rising vagrancy in Southern California is creating a Catch-22: People don’t want the homeless living on their streets, but they don’t want homeless shelters in their neighborhoods either.

Last year California’s homeless population jumped 13.7%, compared with 3.6% in New York and 1% nationwide, according to an annual survey by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most homeless people around the country live in emergency shelters or public transitional housing. But in California they camp outside in public spaces.

About 75% of Los Angeles’s estimated 55,188 homeless are “unsheltered,” the HUD report says, compared with 5% in New York City. That statistic will surprise few Californians, who have watched homeless encampments proliferate in their state’s city centers, transit stations and riverbeds.

What’s causing the surge? For one thing, skyrocketing rents have made it harder for low-income people to find affordable quarters. Because of regulatory restrictions on development, the demand for housing hugely exceeds the supply. The stock of public and rent-controlled housing is especially limited.

Another apparent culprit is Proposition 47, a 2014 ballot initiative that reduced jail sentences for nonviolent crimes, including shoplifting, theft of less than $950, and drug use. Police officers have reported that they no longer arrest thieves and drug users, since offenders now often get released in short order.

People who once would have been locked up, including those with drug addictions and mental-health problems, have been left to the streets. Many steal to feed their habits. Since Proposition 47 passed, property crime has soared in many California cities even while falling nationwide. Between 2014 and 2017, larceny increased by 9% in Anaheim, 22% in Los Angeles and Santa Ana, and 44% in San Francisco.

The Orange County government reported clearing 13,950 needles, 404 tons of trash and 5,279 pounds of hazardous waste from the Anaheim encampment. Some 700 riverbed squatters were given 30-day motel vouchers and referred to public services. When the vouchers expired at the end of March, some were able to find beds at crowded makeshift shelters, such as tents in parking lots. Others dispersed to the streets.

One problem is that the cities taking action may simply push the homeless elsewhere. After many local authorities in Orange County started clearing out encampments, hundreds of people migrated to downtown Santa Ana. As a result, Santa Ana’s homeless population has doubled over the past year to 1,030, according to a government survey.

Many of the vagrants used the public library’s restrooms to relieve themselves—and to shoot up with heroin, often leaving their needles behind. Residents of the predominantly Hispanic city complain about public safety. The Santa Ana city council has threatened legal action to compel other Orange County cities to care for their fair share of the county’s homeless.

In March, the county’s Republican-controlled Board of Supervisors approved a plan to set up homeless shelters in the upscale cities of Irvine, Laguna Niguel and Huntington Beach. But those cities threatened litigation. Thousands of their residents protested, worried not only about drug use and property crime, but that nearby shelters would hurt their property values. The board withdrew that plan.

One county supervisor then suggested using the Fairview Developmental Center, a state-owned facility for the disabled in Costa Mesa, to shelter the homeless. But the Costa Mesa City Council balked.

Judge David Carter, who is adjudicating a federal lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Orange County’s homeless, has directed the county’s 34 cities to negotiate a solution. “This doesn’t have to be a nice thing,” the judge said. “It just has to be humane and dignified.”

But dignified is in the eye of the beholder. Consider the tug of war taking place in liberal Los Angeles. In 2016 voters approved a $1.2 billion local bond issue to build housing for thousands of homeless people. Yet City Council members must give their nod to any new shelter in their district, and even representatives of low-income communities have opposed such projects.

Democratic Councilman Curren Price vetoed a shelter on a site that is now a junkyard in South L.A. The proposed facility would have included a computer lab, community kitchen and rooftop vegetable garden, but Mr. Price’s spokeswoman complained that the plan lacked adequate amenities and was “extremely boxy.”

Californians complain constantly about the state’s housing shortage and homelessness, but these problems are direct results of their policies and politics.

Ms. Finley is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

Appeared in the May 12, 2018, print edition.

Catching Pigs, with thanks from John for sending

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 2:04 pm

The Story Of Catching Pigs….

The Story Of Catching Pigs….f

A thought to remember:

Karl Marx once said, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”

There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class.

One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter.

The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime. In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said that it was no joke.

“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground.

The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free food.

When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.

When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

They get used to that and start to eat again.

You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again.

You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tax exemptions, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare entitlements, medicine, drugs, etc., while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time as the government forces us to participate in many of these programs whether or not we want to.

One should always remember two truths: There is no such thing as a free lunch, and you can never hire someone to provide a service cheaper than you can do it yourself.

If you see that all of this wonderful government “help” is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might want to share this with your friends.

If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably not share this.

BUT, God help us all when the gate slams shut !

“The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those that vote for a living.”

May 3, 2018

fyi house for sale in KCMO

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 6:53 pm

House for Sale
7420 NW Belvedere Parkway
Kansas City MO 64152

We’ve been transferred to Denver CO. Please ask everyone whom you know that our home is up for sale.

7420 is located in the Park Hill School District of Platte County MO. 7420 is within walking distance to an elementary school, a middle school, and Park Hill High School; Zona Rosa, The Boardwalk Shops, Barry Road Shops, a Wal-Mart Super Center, Home Depot, and a Lowe’s, as well as several smaller strip malls, are all within a 15 minutes’ drive.

The house comes with an integrated work shop, two refrigerators, a Bosch dish washer, a Samsung stove, and Samsung clothes washer & dryer, front loaders. There’s a wood burning fireplace in the living room.

The roof was put on last summer. The siding is Hardee Board. We put in a new furnace, water heater, and A/C, through Bob Hamilton, last year. The house water main intake, that’s the one at the meter, is brand new as of April 2018.

The kitchen has been redone down to the studs and GFCI’d. Both bathrooms have been redone by Bathfitters within the last 4 weeks. New blinds are on order and will be delivered within 4 weeks. Upstairs carpets have been replaced with Pergo. New vinyl and carpet have been laid in the downstairs family space, stairs and landing by Weber & Joe’s two weeks ago.

It’s kinda obvious that we were planning to stay here for another 20 years, but the transfer came only a few weeks ago and we had already had work done or entered into a contract to get work done before we knew that we were being transferred.

Flag pole and rose bushes will remain with the property.

If interested, or you know someone, or someone knows someone who is interested, contact Leo Sebus/ Remax at 816.777-5435, http://www.listwithleo.com , or leosebus@remax.net after 9:00 am May 7, 2018.

Thanks for your attention to this and for passing this along to everyone you know, or who may know someone who may be interested.

Bill & Genny

May 1, 2018

If Only Hillary Had Won, by Victor Davis Hanson [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 6:45 pm

If Only Hillary Had Won . . .
By Victor Davis Hanson

May 1, 2018 6:30 AM

Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters following the 2016 presidential election in Manhattan, November 9, 2016. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)
Leakers and lawbreakers rewarded with Clinton-administration jobs — and the American public none the wiser about deep-state corruption

There are lots of possible counterfactuals to think about had Hillary Clinton won the presidency as all the experts had predicted.

The U.S. embassy would have stayed in Tel Aviv. “Strategic patience” would likely still govern the North Korea dilemma. Fracking would be curtailed. The — rather than “our” — miners really would be put out of work. Coal certainly would not have been “beautiful.” The economy probably would be slogging along at below 2 percent GDP growth.

China would be delighted, as would Iran. But most important, there would be no collusion narrative — neither one concerning a defeated Donald Trump nor another implicating a victorious Hillary Clinton. In triumph, progressives couldn’t have cared less whether Russians supposedly had tried to help a now irrelevant Trump; and they certainly would have prevented any investigation of the winning Clinton 2016 campaign.

In sum, Hillary’s supposedly sure victory, not fear of breaking the law, prompted most of the current 2016 scandals, and her embittering defeat means they are not being addressed as scandals.

For example, why would FBI director James Comey have been so foolish as to ask for a FISA warrant request without fully informing the judge of the compromising details of the Steele–Fusion GPS dossier? Or why would Attorney General Loretta Lynch have been so reckless as to meet with Bill Clinton in a stealthy jet rendezvous on an Arizona tarmac when her department was concurrently investigating his spouse?

But those are precisely the wrong questions, given the Washington careerist mind. The right one is “Why not?” — in the context of the overwhelming likelihood that Hillary Clinton would not only be elected president but also would follow the well-known Clintonian habit of punishing both enemies and neutrals while rewarding friends, the more obsequious, the better.

Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin thought they were taking zero risks in lying to FBI investigators when they claimed that they had no idea about Clinton’s unlawful private server, even though they had, in fact, discussed the server in emails and used it themselves when sending emails. But why should they have cared, given Trump’s certain looming defeat and the fact that Andrew McCabe was somehow involved or would be involved in running, or rather massaging, the investigation? Their only real danger might have been telling the truth to FBI investigators: that both they and Hillary had known precisely what she was doing. For telling the truth, both Mills and Abedin would soon have faced career-ending payback from a President Clinton.

Both Brennan and James Clapper would have been seen as useful team-player holdovers, given their eagerness to lie under oath and to spread the dirt of the Steele dossier.

A President Hillary Clinton would have appreciated Loretta Lynch’s quasi-legal efforts to ossify the email investigations of Clinton’s unlawful server. Indeed, in the swampiest sense, Lynch took a good gamble that the odds would pay off handsomely for her obeisance, with either a continuance of her tenure as attorney general, or perhaps soon a future Supreme Court nomination.

Why would CIA Director John Brennan leak information about the Steele dossier to the likes of old blabbermouth and conniver Senator Harry Reid, or be involved in unmasking surveilled Americans? Again, why not? He would still be CIA Director Brennan, or so he imagined, and rewarded for his yeoman work in eroding the chances, however small, of a Trump presidency. Both Brennan and James Clapper would have been seen as useful team-player holdovers, given their eagerness to lie under oath and to spread the dirt of the Steele dossier to the intelligence communities and media.

What about Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, the Ohr couple, and all the other FBI and DOJ officials who have now resigned, been reassigned or fired, or are currently in legal jeopardy or under suspicion? At the time of their transgressions, they certainly did not believe they had done anything wrong in lying, conniving, or obstructing. Rather, they were wisely investing their deep-state careers in the sure Clinton victory. Had Clinton been elected, what now seems illegal would have been appreciated as bullet points on a résumé making the case for promotion. Such apparatchiks would have been reminded that Team Clinton players were always rewarded for past — and future — administrative-state service.

Indeed, Page and Strzok texted basically that between March and July 2016, signaling both their certainty that Hillary Clinton would win and their need to make even more certain that the couple was integral in ensuring the inevitable. Illicit love apparently carries with it a bit of melodrama, but nonetheless here is a brief potpourri:

Strzok: God, Hillary should win 100,000,000-0.

Page: This man cannot be president.’

Page: I cannot believe Donald Trump is likely to be an actual, serious candidate for president.

Page: Wow, Donald Trump is an enormous d*uche.

Page: She just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about Trump.

In other words, Clinton would win. But, just in case, she needed a little help from these government fixtures who were more than willing to do what they could: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.” Or, as Strzok summed up on August 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” Dying before 40 was apparently more likely than Trump’s getting elected.

Poor James Comey proved the careerist par excellence, always shape-shifting, usually a day late and a dollar short in calibrating his reinventions to meet the needs of perceived electoral politics. His disastrous 2016 series of press conferences exonerating Clinton, then sort of not exonerating her, then finally re-exonerating her reflected his self-created predicament of wanting soon to preen to President Clinton that he had stopped the email investigation and cleared her — but had adroitly paid lip service to legal niceties so as to enhance even more her viability as one who’d been fully investigated and exonerated. And Comey might well have pulled that contortion off, pointing out to a dubious President Clinton that she was, after all, President Clinton and her emails ancient history.

The hapless Comey recently confessed in his self-incriminating book:

Assuming, as nearly everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the justice department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?

What would happen in other words to FBI Director James Comey if he was independent and autonomous and had a higher loyalty to the law? Or what actually did happen to President Donald J. Trump when he was assured by Comey he was not the subject of an FBI investigation when, in fact, he was subject of that and a lot more?

Comey elaborated:

It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.

Here, Comey reminds us that not only was his warping of the law likely to help ensure a Clinton presidency, but it also would have been properly appreciated. Since when do FBI investigators factor in polls when they investigate evidence?

Under a President Clinton, we the American people (as opposed to Vladimir Putin) would have had no idea in 2018 of a Christopher Steele dossier, other than the mysterious residual leaks from it that would have hounded a defeated Donald Trump into ignominious retirement. Indeed, Steele would probably have gone back into deep retirement until the 2020 Clinton reelection campaign and another call from Fusion GPS to reproduce something like its 2016 winning blueprint.

Under a President Clinton, we would still believe that FISA courts are unimpeachable bulwarks of democracy. No one would now know anything about past requests for unmasking and leaking to the press the names of surveilled American citizens.

As for the crew at Fusion GPS, they would probably be a presidentially authorized A-team, winking and nodding to the press about how their opposition research had sunk the loser Trump — the same way that the 2012 Obama reelection team publicly bragged about how they’d successfully mined Facebook data.

Under a President Clinton, we would still believe that FISA courts are unimpeachable bulwarks of democracy. No one would now know anything about past requests for unmasking and leaking to the press the names of surveilled American citizens. Rod Rosenstein or Sally Yates would remind Clinton aides of their key roles in ensuring that FISA court surveillance of Donald Trump accounted for the damaging leaks that had ensured his defeat. Samantha Power would have had no need to request over 250 unmaskings as she played secret agent from her perch as UN ambassador.

The Podesta brothers would still be A-list Washington operators. During a Clinton administration, Devin Nunes, who would likely still be seeking the truth behind the illegality in the 2016 campaign, might have been under FISA-ordered surveillance himself, or would have shared the deep-state fate of the jailed videomaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, or might have become one of the victims of Lois Lerner’s residual henchmen at the IRS.

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The coffers of the Clinton Foundation certainly would be expanding exponentially. Robert Mueller might have been brought back in now and then for his sober and judicious work in finding no wrongdoing in the Uranium One deal.

And Donald Trump? He would be mocked and ridiculed as he barked at the moon that his wires had been tapped in Trump Tower — as the truth became insanity, and insanity the truth.

April 26, 2018

The Double Standards of the Mueller Investigation, by Victor Davis Hanson, [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:05 pm

The Double Standards of the Mueller Investigation
By Victor Davis Hanson

April 26, 2018 6:30 AM

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, June 8, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The more Mueller searches for hypothetical lawbreaking, the more he ignores the actual lawbreakers.

The country is about to witness an investigatory train wreck.

In one direction, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation train is looking for any conceivable thing that President Donald Trump’s campaign team might have done wrong in 2016.

The oncoming train is slower but also larger. It involves congressional investigations, Department of Justice referrals, and inspector general’s reports — mostly focused on improper or illegal FBI and DOJ behavior during the 2016 election.

Why are the two now about to collide?

By charging former national-security adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI, Mueller emphasized that even the appearance of false testimony is felonious behavior.

If that is so, then the DOJ will probably have to charge former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe with perjury or related offenses. A report from the Office of the Inspector General indicates that McCabe lied at least four times to federal investigators.

Former FBI director James Comey may also have lied to Congress when he testified that he had not written his report on the Hillary Clinton email scandal before interviewing Clinton. Former director of national intelligence James Clapper and former CIA director John Brennan lied under oath to Congress on matters related to surveillance.

Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin probably lied when they told FBI investigators they had no idea that their then-boss, Hillary Clinton, was using an illegal private email server. Both had communicated with Clinton about it.

Mueller is said to be investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by requesting that Comey go easy on Flynn.

If so, then the DOJ will have to look at Comey himself and DOJ officials who obstructed a federal court. On at least four occasions, they were not honest about the deeply flawed Christopher Steele dossier being the source of information used in applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Comey also has said that he predicated the nature of the Clinton email investigation on his assumptions about her chances of winning the presidency — another investigatory abuse.

The Mueller team is reportedly still looking into the possibility of election-cycle collusion with Russia by Trump officials.

That track will require Mueller’s DOJ counterparts to look carefully at the Clinton campaign, which paid opposition researcher Steele, a British subject, for dirt on Trump that was produced through collusion with Russian sources.

Mueller is also said to be investigating whether Trump or his advisers broke laws concerning the release of confidential government information.

If so, the DOJ may have to indict Comey. He confessed to passing along confidential FBI memos to a friend for the expressed purpose of leaking their contents to the press.

High-ranking Obama administration officials may also be subject to indictments, given that they may have requested the “unmasking” of American citizens whose communications were intercepted during the surveillance of foreign parties and then leaked the names of those citizens to the press.

Mueller’s team apparently has assumed that Michael Cohen’s status as Trump’s attorney offers no protections under normal attorney-client privilege protocols.

If that is true, the DOJ will have to investigate why the FBI allowed Clinton aide Cheryl Mills to pose as Clinton’s attorney and thereby be shielded from providing testimony on what she knew about the email scandal involving her “client.”

Investigators have swarmed Cohen’s offices and residence, supposedly in fear that he might destroy pertinent records.

The FBI should probably then reopen the investigation into the Clinton email scandal, given that Clinton destroyed more than 30,000 emails as well as computer hard drives that had been requested by federal investigators.

What is going on?

Mueller has searched far and wide for wrongdoing but so far has found little. Meanwhile, there is plenty of other wrongdoing already found, but no one seems to be looking at it.

Flynn, Cohen, and other Trump aides are considered small enough fry to go after. Clinton, Comey, McCabe, and others seem big enough fry to leave alone.

No one thought Hillary Clinton would blow the election. Top Obama officials at the FBI, DOJ, intelligence agencies, and National Security Council believed in 2015 and 2016 that they could ignore laws with impunity because a protective Clinton administration would soon be in power.

Politics have infected these investigations. Trump was seen as a threat to the status quo, and FBI and DOJ lawbreakers were seen as custodians of it.

The more Mueller searches for hypothetical lawbreaking, the more he is inadvertently underscoring that actual lawbreakers must be subject to the same standard of justice. Ironically, Mueller’s investigation has reminded America that it is past time to call Comey, McCabe, and a host of Obama-era DOJ and FBI officials to account.

For over a year, we have had two standards of legality when there can only be one.

A reckoning is near.

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