Category Archives: illegal immigration

Bookworm Beat 8/12/19 — the Jeffrey Epstein illustrated edition

I really had meant to avoid Jeffrey Epstein cartoons, but I found so many of them, I couldn’t resist — plus more clever and funny stuff to start your week.




Jeffrey Epstein

























This next one isn’t funny; it’s gross. It’s just a reminder of what’s going on with gender madness and the insistence that we deny reality:




















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No. 7 Bookworm Room Podcast: America has become a fantasy land

America is a divided country in part because half of Americans live in a fantasy land, predicated on fear and gossip, and entirely unrelated to reality.

(This is a companion post to the No. 7 Bookworm Room Podcast, which is embedded at the bottom of this post, or which you can find at Libsyn or at “>Apple Podcasts. If you like the podcast, please spread the word.)

I finally realized why I’ve been having such a hard time blogging (and podcasting) for the past few days. It’s because there’s nothing going on. Despite the 24-hour news cycle, the non-stop screaming from the Left, and the insanity of social media, nothing of note has happened in the world. Nothing at all. Instead, we’re getting made up headlines intended to convince credulous people — by which I mean most of the people amongst whom I’ve lived for the past several decades — that the world is coming to an end.

And that’s not an exaggeration. These people really do believe that Trump is a colorful amalgam of Satan, Hitler, the KKK Grand Wizard, and some hysterical television evangelist who wants to kill gays. That there is no evidence to support any of those claims is entirely irrelevant. Let me walk you through some of the madness.

Exhibit A is a little video that comes up every time I open Twitter. It doesn’t matter that I don’t follow Kirsten Gillibrand. It doesn’t matter that this was posted over 22 hours ago. And it doesn’t matter that this is not news. It’s the top of my Twitter feed no matter what:

It also doesn’t matter that it was President Obama who separated families and put kids in cages.

The stunning thing about this bathetic crying child video is that the Left is advocating an entirely new standard here: If you commit a crime and have children, it’s wrong for you to be arrested or punished for your crime.

The unspoken caveat, of course, is that this applies only if you’re in this country illegally. If you’re a born and raised American, whether white, black, or Hispanic, and you commit a crime, the fact that you have children is irrelevant. You should have thought of that before you ran afoul of the law. But not if you’re in this country illegally, taking jobs from Americans, getting free education for your kids, and getting free healthcare, if only by showing up in the ER when you can’t pay. Then, children are your “get out of jail free” card.

Exhibit B is the outrage over a photograph of Donald and Melania Trump with a baby that survived the shooting in El Paso:

When I see the photo, I see an affirmation of life. Out of the carnage, a baby survived. To me, this is a good thing. To Slate’s reliably over-the-top Dahlia Lithwick, this is proof that Trump is a man bereft of a soul:

That’s the president, grinning and giving a thumbs-up, as the orphaned child is held out like a trophy. If words weren’t inclined to fail, ghoulish and surreal might serve. This child has no parents because a shooter spouting Trumpist talking points about foreign “invaders” went to El Paso to kill them. And while the president refused to speak to reporters, who were scolded by the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, in a statement saying that the visits were all “about the victims” and not a “photo op,” hours later, Trump released a campaign-style video of his triumphal comforting tour.

It is clearly a horrifying spectacle of degradation when even consummate soulless showman Anthony Scaramucci is forced to say that the trip proved to be a “catastrophe” for the president, who was incapable of demonstrating the requisite quantum of “compassion” and “empathy” to win the reality show seal of approval. But for all its failures as a television event, Trump’s failure served to remind us how truly small he really is. And maybe that is enough.

(Of course, Slate also insists that all the Fast and Furious movies are gay. No, that’s not the Babylon Bee. It’s really Slate.)

The trip through a Leftist fantasy land continues with Exhibit C, which is Elizabeth Warren’s blatant lie that a white police officer murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson five years ago. Again, I’m not exaggerating. That’s what she tweeted out:

Now, I’ve always known that Warren is a liar, something I’ve been telling people going back to my unpleasant experience having her as my banking law professor. Nevertheless, the little lies she told about exams and assignments pale in comparison to her advancing her presidential ambitions by telling a lie intended to increase racial divisions in this country.

And yes, it is a lie. Obama’s own DOJ concluded that Brown was attempting to wrestle Officer Darren Wilson’s gun out of the officer’s hand when Wilson shot Brown in self defense. And the “hands up, don’t shoot” line is predicated upon that lie.

Moreover, Warren should not get any credit for using Biden’s formulation that Leftists believe in “truth over facts” and arguing that, even if Brown wasn’t the victim of a race based police murder, America is nevertheless awash in such murders. Statistics show with relentless regularity that officers are less likely to shoot black suspects, not more likely. Just the other day, Heather MacDonald again debunked the lie, relying on yet another study about officer shootings:

new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings, which holds that white officers are engaged in an epidemic of racially biased shootings of black men. It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer. In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians, the study found.

Of course, Warren’s lie pales before Exhibit D, which is the fact that Joe Biden’s entire campaign is predicated upon the “very fine people” hoax. Here’s Biden’s announcement that he was throwing his hat into the ring:

If you didn’t have the patience to listen to him slur his way through his “I’m throwing my hat in the ring” announcement, Biden explicitly accuses Trump of calling neo-Nazis “very fine people.” But of course, that’s not what Trump said at all. As any person who hasn’t been brainwashed knows, Trump was referring to those who were distressed at the Orwellian impulse to destroy history. Moreover, Trump noted, quite presciently, that no figure in American history would be free from purges. He then explicitly stated that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville were bad people who should be completely condemned:

Regarding Trump’s prescience, just this past June, Charlottesville announced it’s planning to erase Thomas Jefferson:

Nearly 200 years after his death, Jefferson’s birthday is set to be removed as a city holiday in Charlottesville, VA. Instead, the city’s mayor proposed replacing it with “Liberation and Freedom Day” in March to celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the area. The day is already celebrated, but Mayor Nikuyah Walker appears to want that day recognized as a paid holiday instead of Jefferson’s birthday.

Again, if you haven’t yet seen the PragerU video about this vile hoax, you must — and then please share it widely:

I have one more item to add to the Exhibit list when it comes to the fact that there is no news today, there’s only a fantasy world. Exhibit E is the fact that everyone — left, right, center, outer space, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, pro-Clinton, anti-Clinton — does not believe that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. On my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I’ve seen people say the Clintons did it (to protect Bill), Queen Elizabeth did it (to protect Prince Andrew), the Russians did it (to protect Trump), Trump did it (to protect himself), the FBI faked it and he’s in a room somewhere being debriefed, or that every single high profile person in Epstein’s famous little black book paid off the prison guards. The one thing that nobody says is that Epstein offed himself.

In other words, in the fantasy land that is the American political scene in 2019, the only thing that binds Americans together is their shared disbelief that a high profile prisoner who was supposed to be on suicide watch successfully offed himself. If we could vote on that one thing and that one thing alone, our nation would finally have harmony….

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Impatience: the real cause of Oscar Ramirez’s and Valeria’s deaths

Although Democrat open borders advocates immorally enticed Oscar Ramirez to head for America, it was his own foolish impatience that killed him and his child.

I’m not going to include in my post the photo showing the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria, lying dead in the Rio Grande. That poor little girl has already been exploited enough.

Democrats are blaming Trump for the deaths because he has refused to open the southern border to all comers. Republicans are blaming Democrats for enticing illegal immigrants into dangerous situations by rewarding illegal activity. Indeed, Republicans say that Democrat promises of preferences for people with children are specifically putting children at risk — whether the illegal aliens’ own children or those they purchased for the purpose.

Put ultimately, no matter the American policies, it’s the people seeking to enter our country illegally who are making the final decision about crossing illegally into America. In this case, decision that killed Valeria wasn’t Trump’s or the Democrats’. Instead, the horribly bad, truly foolish, death-dealing decision came from Oscar Ramirez — the child’s father.

First, understand that this journey wasn’t necessary. The family wasn’t escaping deadly persecution. They just wanted more money in their El Salvadoran lives (which is a perfectly rational desire):

Oscar worked at a Papa Johns pizza restaurant, where he was earning $350 a month.

They lived off his wage, limiting themselves to $10-a-day, because Tania had already quit her job as a cashier in a Chinese restaurant to care for Valeria, their only child.

The family lived with her mother in a housing complex in Altavista.

They were not fleeing violence, Tania’s mother has since said, but were in desperate search of a life where they could earn more.

Their plan was to spend a few years in America to save up enough money to eventually return to El Salvador and buy or build their own house.

Second, after just two months of waiting, Oscar got impatient with the legal process and decided to act:

After two months in southern Mexico with no prospect of entering the US legally, the family decided to make their way to the border to push their case forward.

It was that decision to cross the Rio Grande, a decision that was due solely to Oscar’s impatience, that led to his and his innocent child’s death. If you doubt me, let’s shift the decision-making to a different scenario that makes his sole responsibility obvious:

Imagine that Oscar, Tania, and Valeria want to board a ferry. They watch as it fills up but, because they’re at the back of the line and couldn’t buy preferential tickets, they realize that they’re going to miss this ferry and will have to wait to catch another. As they watch the ferry pull away from the dock, Oscar, fed up with the delay, announces, “Eff this fecal matter. We’re going to get on that ferry.”

He grabs his two-year-old daughter, jumps in the water and swims to the ferry. He deposits the frightened child on the deck and then — from her perspective — abandons her as he turns around to get his wife (who obviously can’t swim either, something he should have thought of). At this point, the toddler does a perfectly logical toddler thing: She chooses jumping into the water to being abandoned on a the ferry.

Then they drown.

If you read that story in the news, would you blame the ferry company? Would you blame the ticket desk that didn’t issue them a better ticket so they got on? Would you even blame the idiots on the ferry who kept hollering, “Come on. You can do it!”?

No. You’d blame the impatient father who did something stupid, killing himself and his child.

We see stories like this all the time. Let’s do a different scenario:

Oscar, Tania, and Valeria are driving across country because Oscar wants a better job. In the Midwest, they come to a train crossing. As they near, the bells ring, the lights blink, and the bar comes down. However, Oscar sees that it’s going to be a long train, one of those that might force them to wait for an hour or more before all the train cars pass by. He therefore announces, “Eff this fecal matter. We’re going to the other side now.”

Oscar guns the motor despite his child’s screams and his wife’s pleas for him to show some common sense. They make it halfway across the tracks before the tires get stuck and the car stops moving. As the train nears, Oscar manages to push his wife out of the car but can’t unbuckle the child safety seat in time. They die (see photo above for an example of how they die).

Other examples of impatient parenting decisions that lead to dead kids are people who jay-walk with kids in the face of oncoming traffic; people speeding on the freeway with their kids in the car because they want to get somewhere quickly; people who can’t wait for a boat to dock and jump vainly for land, drowning themselves and their kids. I could go on and on and on.

Every day, people kill their children through stupidity, especially through impatient stupidity. This case was no different, and wrapping it up in an immigration sob story doesn’t change it. Oscar, young, impatient, driven by poorly thought out impulses, killed his daughter. That he willingly sacrificed his own life in a belated effort to save her doesn’t change the core fact, which is that the fault for Valeria’s death lies with Oscar and Oscar alone.

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Benjamin Wittes and witless logic about Trump

The Benjamin Wittes “I believe” tweetstorm about Trump, intended to expose conservative “Doublethink,” instead exposed Leftist irrationality and ignorance.

The anti-Trump blogosphere, both Leftists and #NeverTrumpers, is excited about an endless series of tweets from Benjamin Wittes all intended, in a sarcastic way, to challenge Trump and his supporters. Before I go further, some background on Wittes: He is a Brookings Institution Senior Fellow who graduated from Oberlin and is currently co-director of Harvard Law School’s Brookings Project on Law and Security. In other words, he’s been marinated in Leftism since he hit college (and, given that he went to a non-Orthodox Jewish school in New York City, probably for his entire life).

Okay. Now back to those tweets. It’s apparent from reviewing the tweets that what Wittes is trying to do is show that conservatives have entered the Orwellian world of “doublethink”:

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

In fact, what Wittes has managed to do is show that Leftists are incapable of even “singlethink” — that is, the ability to look at two related pieces of information and recognize that they can easily and logically exist simultaneously in the same universe. For example, I can simultaneously believe that cows produce milk to feed their young and that humans consume and benefit from milk. As you can see, these two apparently disparate thoughts — cows milk is cow food but it’s also human food — manage to exist in the same universe without creating a logical black hole that destroys all rational thought.

With that in mind, how about we take a look at the Wittes tweet thread (which I’ve rendered in plain text):

I believe the president. I have always believed him.
‘I believe the president’: GOP stands by Trump on sexual assault allegation
Republicans are dismissing E. Jean Carroll’s accusation and still sticking with Trump.
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/25/trump-accuse-gop-1382385

Yeah, I stand by President Trump too on this one. I’m not going to analyze it here, though, because Wittes raises the subject again, below, and that’s where I address more fully the sordid sexual allegations Lefties like to raise against Trump.

I believed him when he said he wanted to ban Muslims from entering the United States. And I believe him now when he says his travel ban has nothing to do with religious discrimination.

In other words, Wittes is saying it’s impossible simultaneously to believe that Trump wants to keep Muslims out of America while not discriminating against Muslims; i.e., it’s doublethink! Except that to anyone who pays attention to facts, there’s nothing “doublethinky” at all about the fact that there is a segment of Islam that is cheerfully dedicated to Western destruction.

As it is, Wittes seems to have sat out the last few decades, when extremist members of the Islamic faith:

  • took over Iran in 1970 and declared war on America;
  • bombed a U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 Americans;
  • bombed the World Trade Center in 1993, killing 6 Americans;
  • bombed American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998, killing 224 people;
  • bombed the USS Cole in 2000, killing 17 Americans;
  • attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001, killing 2,996 people, the vast majority of whom were Americans;
  • attacked Fort Hood in 2009, killing 13 Americans;
  • attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in 2012, killing 4 people, among whom was an American ambassador; bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a recruiting station in Chattanooga in 2015, killing 5 Americans;
  • attacked a Christmas party in San Bernardino in 2015, killing 14 Americans;
  • attacked a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, killing 49 Americans; and
  • ran over bicyclists in New York in 2017, killing 8 people.

And all of the above are just the bigger attacks aimed directly at Americans since the Iranian Revolution.

In the same time period, some of the better known Islamist attacks around the world targeted London, Manchester, Nice, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris, Berlin, Madrid…. And of course there was ISIS, which decimated the Christian Yazidis by slaughtering the men and sexually enslaving the women, before turning Islamic wrath on any of the “wrong” types of Muslims unluckily enough to be caught in its path. Those beheadings, crucifixions, and tortures were all internecine Islamic brutality.

Really, when you come right down to it, there’s a pretty long list of Islamist attacks around the world. Religion of Peace, a website dedicated to tracking Islam-inspired murder, notes that, since 9/11, there have been 35,222 Islamic attacks around the world. That’s not the number of dead; that’s the number of attacks. In May 2019 alone, Islamists killed over 800 people in 169 different attacks over 27 countries.

With that in mind, it’s perfectly reasonable to say that, when Muslims seek leave to come to America, a wise government will scrutinize them carefully to make sure that they the particular Muslims at issue don’t belong to that subset of Muslims (roughly 10% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims) who believe it is your religious responsibility to slaughter as many “unbelievers” as possible — and to say that without hating Muslims en masse. Indeed, word just broke today that the U.S. warned Mexico that ISIS members were heading to our southern border, hoping to slip in with all the other illegal aliens Democrats so adore, in order to launch mass murder attacks in America. (Thankfully, they seem to have been caught.)

Moreover, it’s perfectly reasonable, when trying to figure out how best to protect Americans from terrorism to rely upon Obama administration data identifying countries that generate the greatest number of terrorist attacks around the world. It’s not Trump’s fault, nor is it “anti-Muslim” sentiment, that the countries the Obama administration identified as the greatest terrorist supporters were Muslim countries. That’s just reality.

In other words, there’s nothing illogical about seeking to protect Americans from murderous Islamic extremists — a subset of Islam that manifestly exists — without hating all Muslims.

I believed him when he said Mexico is sending us its rapists and criminals, and I believed him when he said he loves Hispanics. [Linking to this post of his.]

Is it possible to respect and admire the Hispanic people and culture without respecting and admiring rapists and criminals? Wittes doesn’t think so. He’s trying to say that Trump was maligning Hispanics as a whole when he said that a disproportionate number of Mexican criminals were heading north to America. Of course, if Trump was not maligning Hispanics as a whole, but was merely noting accurately that too many hardcore criminals are using a porous border to their advantage, then the two statements can simultaneously exist perfectly well in a logical universe.

First, let’s acknowledge that there are rapists and other criminals in Mexico. In January 2018, the Mexican government admitted to its highest murder rate in history, driven by vast criminal activity:

Soaring levels of drug-related violence made 2017 Mexico’s most murderous year on record, according to government statistics released Sunday.

There were 25,339 homicides in Mexico last year, a 23% jump from 2016 and the highest number since at least 1997, the year the government began tracking the data. Overall, murders in Mexico had been declining in recent years, reaching a low of 15,520 in 2014. But officials say a surge in drug-related crime reversed that trend.

Mexican rape statistics are pretty stinky too:

Officials estimate that each year there are 120,000 rapes, one every 4 minutes, making Mexico number one in the world for sexual violence incidents. (México es el primer lugar en violencia sexual: ONU) (Over 14,000 Women Are Raped in Mexico Every Year: Report)

Most of these rapes go unreported.  Of those that are reported, very few are brought to justice.  For example, in 2009, 14,829 rape cases were filed.  Of those, only 3,462 were prosecuted, which led to only 2,795 sentences. (Amnistía Internacional (AI) en 2012)(LA VIOLENCIA SEXUAL EN MÉXICO INICIA EN CASA Y EN SU MAYORÍA QUEDA IMPUNE)

Do you want those rapists and murderers to invite themselves into America? I don’t. I want a border policy that requires people to prove, as best as possible, that they’re non-criminal, well-intentioned human beings before heading into my country.

We also know that the rapists that make Mexico the most dangerous country in the world for sexual violence have been taking advantage of women and children who enter America illegally. Already in 2014, before Trump lambasted the rapists coming to America, HuffPo (!) reported on the scope of the problem:

According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.

What this means is that, when Trump announced that he wanted to stop the flow of criminal illegal aliens, he was also protecting those Hispanic women and girls who are being raped along the way. That sounds like someone who likes Hispanics and wishes them well, rather than the opposite.

By the way, Mexico may not have been deliberately sending us the baddies, but it certainly wasn’t trying to stop them. Already in 2005, the Mexican government was provided instruction manuals for those entering the U.S. illegally. Mexico claimed it was to save lives, but Mexico could have saved lives by (a) stopping people at its border and (b) cleaning up its utterly corrupt government rather than letting the U.S. serve as a source of revenue and a way to lessen population pressure within Mexico.

And there’s one more thing to keep in mind about hating Mexican criminals while loving Hispanics: Those illegal alien rapists and murderers don’t go to Beverly Hills, Marin County, the Hamptons, or D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood (where Obama lives) to find prey. They prey on people in their own communities; namely, fellow Hispanics. If you love Hispanics, you can show that love by protecting them from the drug dealers, rapists, robbers, and murderers who see in America a new source victims for their crimes. There’s no doublethink involved in holding both those thoughts simultaneously.

I believe that Trump Tower makes the best taco bowls.

I don’t like taco bowls, so this one is entirely subjective. If Wittes likes Trump Tower’s taco bowls, that’s very nice.

I believe that Donald Trump will drain the swamp and that his election has delivered us from the corruption of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

I believe that too. With William Barr and his Inspector Generals examining the administrative state’s efforts to subvert the 2016 election, I think there’s a chance that we will return to an era of honest, or at least less partisan, government in D.C. This healthy trend will be helped by the fact that Trump is cutting regulations, shrinking administrative agencies, and attempting to move agency operations from the D.C. swamp out into those regions of America that the agencies are actually supposed to serve.

As for the corruption of Bill and Hillary, all I can say is that, if you want to see collusion with Russia and just look at the Clintons. Look at the Steele dossier, look at the sale of America’s uranium to Russia, and look at the vast amounts of money that flowed from Russia to Hillary via Bill’s speaking engagements. While I don’t think Trump will ever seriously prosecute either of those grifters, I have to believe America is safer without the Clintons willingly selling off American interests to hostile foreign countries in order to enrich themselves and advance their grip on political power.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason for him to disclose his tax returns.

No one should ever have to disclose his or her tax returns. If politicians want to do it voluntarily, fine. If not, fine. Trump’s tax returns are irrelevant to his promises as a candidate and his practices as a president. See? I can hold that logical thought just fine.

I believe him when he says there’s no reason to divest himself of any of his financial holdings.

If you were good with the Clinton Foundation that existed to sell America’s interests to enrich the Clinton clan (and I’m betting Wittes didn’t complain too much or at all), I don’t ever want to hear another word from you about a politician’s financial holdings. In any event, it’s a modern concern. It’s worth remembering that past presidents, men of true greatness such as Washington, would have laughed themselves silly over this idea.

By the way, please remind me how Harry Reid, after decades in government service, became hugely wealthy. And Biden. How’d Biden get so rich? And how did his unsavory son get so rich? In other words, if you’re really worried about financial corruption, clean your own house before casting stones at a man who has been a happy and unabashed billionaire for decades with money made in the real world, rather than through politics.

I believed him when he protested that he wasn’t trying to get a security clearance for his daughter and son-in-law. And I believe him now when says he needs his family installed by his side in the West Wing.

I believe that Jared Kushner’s deserves a security clearance.

If you were okay with Ben Rhodes’ security clearance, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you were okay about Michelle’s mother moving into the White House, you’ve got nothing to complain about. If you didn’t mind Hillary’s recently deceased brother economically raping Haiti, I don’t want to hear from you. If you sat silently while Biden used the VP’s office to enrich his son, you need to stop talking.

So far, aside from snarky complaints about his buttoned down look, the Left doesn’t have much to hang on Jared Kushner. Although I have to say that I’m worried that, before Trump became the great conservative hope, both Kushner and Ivanka were garden-variety elitist Democrats. I hope seeing the bared fangs of the Democrats attacking them has educated Kushner and Ivanka about who their real enemies are.

I believe that only rank partisanship and media bias explain the skepticism about Trump’s finances running rampant in the press.

I’m glad Wittes believes that. I believe it too.

I believe E. Jean Carroll is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I also believe she is not Trump’s type.

I believe Temple Taggart McDowell is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Rachel Crooks is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Natasha Stoynoff is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe Mindy McGillivray is a cheap tramp who was asking for it.

I believe that all of the other women who have accused the President of sexual assault are also cheap tramps who were asking for it.
In any event, I also believe that the President was merely engaged in “locker room talk” when he boasted of grabbing women by the pussy.

I believe that when you’re a star, they let you do it.

Wittes is clearly incredulous that people could believe that Trump did not rape someone. He believes this despite the fact that Republicans have seen false rape allegations leveled against multiple conservatives who are deemed terrible dangerous to the Leftist cause, conservatives such as Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. These allegations always crumbled in the face of objective facts and credible testimony.

Contrariwise, Democrats never seemed particularly bothered by more substantive claims against prominent Democrats such as Teddy Kennedy or Bill Clinton. Indeed, they’re also remarkably unconcerned about Joe Biden’s disturbing habit of pawing little girls. Democrats will talk about — and usually excuse — his handsiness with adult women (“That’s just Joe being Joe”), but they’re remarkably silent about his weird, creepy behavior around children.

As for me, I’m disgusted that, even in jest, Wittes would say that E. Jean Carroll is a “tramp who was asking for it.” Trump hasn’t said that nor have his supporters. What they have said is that Carroll’s affect is so peculiar it appears she has substance abuse or mental illness problems.

There are a few other reasons to question Carroll’s assertions: She’s a Democrat donor. She has a book to sell. She bizarrely refuses to press charges against Trump because it would insult real rape victims on our borders. Her narrative is hard to believe, for Bergdorf was a busy store with locked fitting rooms that sales clerks had to open for customers, which is hardly the setting for a sexual assault. She thinks rape is sexy. Oh, and she seems to have lifted her narrative right out of an old Law & Order plot.

I’ll add that I suspect that Carroll was promiscuous as a young woman and that her current hostility to men may be a way of distancing herself from the bad feelings she gets looking back upon her own actions. “It wasn’t me; it was them, the men, the rapists, the bullies….” Indeed, if one assumes solely for the sake of argument that Trump did actually have a brief hook-up with her (something I strongly doubt), I wouldn’t put it past Carroll to reframe it as rape so that she wouldn’t see herself as being cheap or for her to reframe it as rape to sell a book and tarnish a Republican.

So yes, in the logical world, one can absolutely believe that a mentally fragile woman has copied a narrative she saw on a TV show in order to sell a book to Leftists, all of whom will believe anything about President Trump, no matter how hackneyed the playbook or surreal the allegations.

As for Carroll’s not being Trump’s type, I’m sure that’s true. I’m going to bet that Trump likes his women willing. If she wasn’t willing, she wasn’t his type.

How about those other allegations?

Other sexual assault charges against Trump came from women who were hardcore Hillary supporters and whose allegations were not only insubstantial, but also vanished quickly. For example, those close to the aptly named Rachel Crooks say that her interaction with Trump more than a decade ago was brief and that her current accusations bear no relationship to her story at the time. In other words, she was either lying then or she’s lying now. Common sense tells us that the latter is more likely.

Interestingly, Wittes doesn’t even mention Jessica Leeds, who asserted that Trump was all over her “like an octopus.” Her statement is either a quotation from a Velvet Underground song (widely known when Leeds was young) or, possibly, a quotation from a well-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit in England. One more thing: Leeds has the same phone number as the Clinton Foundation. Really. What are the odds of that? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that Wittes left her off his list.

And that tired old “grab ’em by the pussy” shtick? Some of us actually watched the entire video giving rise to the claim that Trump grabbed women inappropriately. Watching the video instead of taking the media’s word for the video’s contents reveals that Trump was engaging in hypothetical locker room talk. It was crude, but the only thing he actually admitted to doing was making a move on a woman and immediately backing off when she rejected him. When it came to his grabbing women statement, he did not frame it in the first person but put it out as a hypothetical. I’ve always suspect that, had he said more, he would have added, “At least, that’s what Bill Clinton (or Bill Cosby) told me….”

Finally, I’ll bring up Stormy Daniels here, although Wittes doesn’t. What’s seldom mentioned is that Daniels later admitted she never actually had sex with Trump — meaning Trump paid her off just to make her go away, not because he had anything to hide. Keep in mind that Daniels’ lawyer during the interval when the media couldn’t get enough of her was Michael Avenatti, who’s proven to be a psychopathic criminal who defrauded handicapped people and tried to blackmail Nike.

Mostly, Daniels strikes me as a simultaneously pathetic and sinister figure — a woman who used her body to make a living and, when her body stopped being appealing, a woman who turned to extortion to make money. Creepy and sad.

I believed the President when he said he was going to repeal and replace Obamacare and I believed him when he said it was the Democrats’ fault that he didn’t repeal or replace Obamacare.

President Trump would have repealed Obamacare but for two types of legislators: Democrats and John McCain. So yeah, I believe the President about both his intention and the reason he failed. There is nothing inherently contradictory in those two statements.

I believe the President that he’s a great deal maker, and I look forward to his negotiating new trade deals on my behalf.

I believe that tariffs will bring China to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Mexico to its knees.

I believe tariffs will bring the European Union to knees.

I believe tariffs will bring Canada to its knees.

I believe that China is trying to protect its businesses from the tariffs by subsidizing them, something that it can only do for so long. After all, behind the hype is the fact that China needs us more than we need China. As CNBC reported:

“So far, the U.S. has slapped duties on $250 billion in Chinese products, while Beijing has put tariffs on $110 billion in American goods. Trump has threatened to impose separate tariffs on more than $300 billion in currently untaxed Chinese goods, and reiterated that threat in the interview Monday morning.”

That tells you in which direction trade is flowing and who holds the cards — and it ain’t China.

I believe that, in order to prevent Trump’s threatened tariffs, Mexico sent 15,000 troops to its border to help control what even Democrats are now calling a crisis. Pence nailed it when he said, “The truth is, in the last 10 days, Mexico has done more to secure our southern border than Democrats in Congress have done in the last 10 years….”

I believe that past administrations sold out the American worker especially to China, as well as to other countries or economic groups (Canada, Mexico, the EU, etc.) that imposed heavy tariffs on American goods and, worse, used government subsidies to make their goods more attractive to consumers. Arguably, this kind of unfair trade will even out in the long run, since the countries and economic unions engaging in this activity cannot maintain subsidies forever. But the long run can be one or two generations and millions of American lives destroyed.

I therefore believe that Trump’s tough negotiating tactics are forcing the long run to happen now. He’s telling them, “I see your unfair trade practices and I’ll raise you so much more in unfair trade practices that you’ll break soon, not in decades. Then we’ll go back to free trade and everyone will be happy.”

I believe both that separating children from their parents is good policy that will deter desperate people from fleeing Central America and coming to the United States and that the policy of separating children from their parents is President Obama’s fault.

I believe in a big, beautiful. transparent wall.

I believe in steel slats.

I believe that around 30 percent of these allegedly “desperate people” aren’t that worried about the children they drag along with them because those poor, misused, trafficked children aren’t theirs.

I believe that the policy of separating children is indeed Obama’s fault, although to be fair to Obama, it was a prior administration that made it impossible for the government to deal expediently with families:

President Barack Obama separated parents from their children at the border.

Obama prosecuted mothers for coming to the United States illegally. He fast tracked deportations. And yes, he housed unaccompanied children in tent cities.

For much of the country — and President Donald Trump — the prevailing belief is that Obama was the president who went easier on immigrants.

Neither Obama nor Democrats created Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, which calls for every illegal border crosser to be prosecuted and leads to their children being detained in separate facilities before being shipped to a shelter and eventually a sponsor family.

But Obama’s policy helped create the road map of enforcement that Trump has been following — and building on.

[snip]

No numbers on children separated from their parents under Obama is available because the Obama administration didn’t keep them, according to Trump DHS officials.

Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under Obama, who defended that administration’s use of family detention in court, acknowledged that some fathers were separated from children.

Most fathers and children were released together, often times with an ankle bracelet. Fresco said there were cases where the administration held fathers who were carrying drugs or caught with other contraband who had to be separated from their children.

“ICE could not devise a safe way where men and children could be in detention together in one facility,” Fresco said. “It was deemed too much of a security risk.”

One of the most controversial measures that Obama took was to resurrect the almost-abandoned practice of detaining mothers and children to deter future illegal immigration.

The government had one lightly used 100-bed facility in central Pennsylvania and added three larger facilities in Texas and New Mexico holding thousands.

The New Mexico facility would later close and Obama would face legal challenges that stopped him from detaining mothers and children indefinitely.

[snip]

Obama took other controversial steps as well, including fighting to block efforts to require unaccompanied children to have legal representation and barring detained mothers with their children from being released on bond.

I believe that if you didn’t care when Obama did it but suddenly care now that your new position is phony. You don’t care about immigrants. You care only about is scoring political points.

Finally, I believe that you’ve come down firmly on the side of rejiggering America’s population balance through illegal means in order to create a permanent Democrat Party power base. Kamala Harris, who’s not the brightest bulb on the block, gave the game away in this tweet:

(By the way, is it just me, or does Kamala’s voice remind you of Fran Drescher’s voice, if Drescher were the ex-wife who made your life a living hell with her nagging, prevaricating, and hectoring?)

One more thing . . . about that wall? I believe that you’re either really stupid or pretending to be stupid when you fail to understand that Trump’s reference to slats or invisibility means that he imagines a wall through which light can be seen, as opposed to a solid wall that impairs all visibility. Those are not inconsistent statements; they’re just typical Trump puffery, akin to a manufacturer boasting that it makes “the best facial tissues” or “the lightest weight face cream.”

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Vladimir Putin.

Yeah, about that solicitude to Putin:

President Obama was running for re-election in March 2012, when a live microphone picked up his whispered conversation with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama told Medvedev it was important for incoming President Vladimir Putin to “give me space” on missile defense and other difficult issues and that after the 2012 presidential election he would have “more flexibility.” Medvedev said he would “transmit” the message to Putin.

“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this can be solved, but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev at a gathering in Seoul, South Korea.

“Yeah, I understand,” said Medvedev, who was about to replaced by Putin as Russian president. “I understand your message about space. Space for you–”

“This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.”

“I understand,” Medvedev said. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Did Witness complain about Obama then? Or did he complain when Obama said this?

Gov. Romney, I’m glad you recognize al-Qaida is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what is the biggest geopolitical group facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaida. You said Russia. And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years. But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policy of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.

And speaking of al Qaeda, did Wittes say anything bad about Obama when Obama essentially handed Syria over to Putin? That certainly made Putin a happy camper.

As for Trump’s solicitude for Putin. While Trump is careful not to alienate a man with whom he has to do business, whether he likes doing so or not, this is the type of solicitude Trump had displayed as of last year:

  • The Trump Administration has implemented a wide array of sanctions and other punitive actions against Russia for their destabilizing actions and provocations against the U.S. and its allies.
    • In response to Russian interference in the 2016 election and other malfeasance, the Trump Administration has sanctioned Russian oligarchs and intelligence entities.
    • Throughout 2017 and 2018, the U.S. sanctioned numerous Russian actors for violating non-proliferation laws by supporting weapons programs in Iran and Syria, and supporting North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction.
    • The Trump Administration has issued sanctions against more than one hundred Russian actors and firms for Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine and its ongoing occupation of Crimea.
    • In March 2017, in response to Russia’s use of a military-grade chemical weapon in the United Kingdom, the Trump Administration ordered multiple Russian consulates in the United States closed and expelled 60 Russian intelligence officers.
  • Due to sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration, the Russian economy and Russian geo-economic projects have been severely constrained.
    • In 2018, as Russian investors reacted to new sanctions, the Russian Ruble made its biggest fall in over three years, and, as of July 2018, is down nearly nine percent against the dollar.
    • As a part of its sanctions against Russia, the United States has prevented numerous companies from partnering with Russian offshore oil projects, denying these projects access to capital and key resources.
    • The Trump Administration has also opposed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s largest geo-economic project, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Russia.
  • In the wake of Russian provocations, President Trump has exercised U.S. military power and worked to bolster U.S. allies in Europe.
    • In 2017, President Trump approved the sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine addressing the country’s vulnerability to Russian-backed separatists in its eastern provinces.
    • Under the Trump Administration, Russian mercenaries and other pro-Syrian regime forces attacking U.S. troops in Syria were killed.
    • The U.S. has increased troops and its military capability in Eastern Europe and dramatically increased training and drills with its NATO partners.
    • In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense increased its spending as part of the European Deterrence Initiative by $1.4 billion dollars.
    • Due to pressure from President Trump, U.S.’ NATO allies have increased defense expenditures by five percent.

Moreover, none of the above even mentions the fact that America’s increased oil production has been disastrous for the Russian economy.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Kim Jong Un.

Trump is being incredibly canny about his relationship with Kim Jong-un. He looked back at decades of America’s dealing with North Korea and saw a pattern: America told North Korea “be careful or we’ll destroy you.” North Korea responded by amping up its nuclear power. America, instead of responding with the promised military force, instead said, “We’ll pay you to stop being naughty.” North Korea took the money to help prop up its regime and lay dormant until the next time it needed money.

This was a dreadful, completely dead-end pattern that saw North Korea creep ever closer to being a full nuclear power, using American protection money to meet that goal.

Trump tried a different tactic: Trump told Kim Jong-un that North Korea had two choices: Develop nuclear power and be an outcast nation that America would inevitably destroy, with Kim being the first person to be killed, or give up nuclear power and tyranny to become as free and prosperous a nation as South Korea. The verdict is still out on how far Kim Jong-un will go, but he hasn’t done anything naughty of late, there are no more nuclear tests, we haven’t paid them millions in protection money, and Trump gave Kim an ultimatum with that offered a good, face-saving way out. Just as we see with the Clintons, corrupt, evil people don’t always get the punishment they deserve. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is simply to remove them from power.

To summarize, the old America/North Korea paradigm was, “We’ll destroy you. No, wait. We won’t. We’ll pay you off.” The new paradigm is “We’ll destroy you, Kim Jong-un personally, or welcome you and your nation into the fold if you repent and change your ways.”

The old paradigm consistently failed. I’ve never forgotten that it was Hillary Clinton who liked to go around repeating a quotation attributed variously to Einstein, Mark Twain, and Chinese sages: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That’s what we were doing. The new paradigm, on the other hand, might well work.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Regep Tayip Erdogan.

Was Wittes also complaining back when Obama buddied up to Erdogan (emphasis mine):

[Fareed Zakaria] But have you been able to forge similar [good] relationships with foreign leaders? Because one of the criticisms people make about your style of diplomacy is that it’s very cool, it’s aloof, that you don’t pal around with these guys.

[Obama]I wasn’t in other Administrations, so I didn’t see the interactions between U.S. Presidents and various world leaders. But the friendships and the bonds of trust that I’ve been able to forge with a whole range of leaders is precisely, or is a big part of, what has allowed us to execute effective diplomacy.

I think that if you ask them, Angela Merkel or Prime Minister Singh or President Lee or Prime Minister Erdogan or David Cameron would say, We have a lot of trust and confidence in the President. We believe what he says. We believe that he’ll follow through on his commitments. We think he’s paying attention to our concerns and our interests. And that’s part of the reason we’ve been able to forge these close working relationships and gotten a whole bunch of stuff done.

Incidentally, it’s been on Trump’s watch that Erdogan’s party just suffered a stunning election defeat in Istanbul. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe people around the world are seeing that they can vote to change the paradigm.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Trump’s solicitude for Mohammed Bin Salman.

I believe that too. The Muslim world has a huge schism: Shiite versus Sunni Islam. Iran, which has been in a constant state of deadly war against us for 40 years represents the Shiite influence around the world. Saudi Arabia is the center of Sunni Islam, especially because it controls Mecca. Both are nasty places. Both subordinate women, kill gays, kill Christians, and kill Jews.

Sometimes, though, in the world of geopolitics, you end up making common cause with nations that aren’t very nice. As the old saying goes, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That’s why Israel, which Iran has threatened to destroy, has good working relationships with Saudi Arabia. And that’s why we have to have a good working relationship with Saudi Arabia.

More than that, Mohammed bin Salman is a reformer. He’s still a Saudi, which helps explain why he may have been behind the bungled assassination of the completely awful, anti-American, pro-radical Islami Kashoggi dude. I’m not giving him a pass for the killing, but it was a very Middle Eastern way of dealing with someone viewed as an existential threat.

But again, MBS is a reformer. I wrote about him a year and a half ago:

If Prince Mohammed bin Salman can avoid assassination (and I devoutly hope he can), he is a true reformer. He is trying to upgrade women’s status, he is purging the most corrupt members of the royal family and, most importantly, he is behind the outreach to Israel. There have been rumors that a member of the House of Saud made a secret trip to Israel and, assuming that rumor is true, Prince Salman is the best bet.

If you’re interested in more details about Salman’s reforms, you can read more of what I wrote here.

Also, for a little perspective, don’t forget that Obama gave nasty Iran pallets of cash and permission to go nuclear, even though Iran never backed off from its cruel practices within its borders or its avowed war on America (a war that has played out through terrorist attacks as well as the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq).

I believe that it makes a great deal of sense to tweet belligerently about Iran and also tweet one’s doubts and hestitancy about military action.

Once again, Wittes and I find ourselves in agreement. Trump’s strategy is brilliant. I did a short version in a tweet:

I wrote about Trump’s smart strategy at greater length here:

Trump cultivates a different, albeit equally unpredictable and dangerous, image: He’s the attack dog, constantly barking ferociously, anxious to charge his enemies and rip out their jugulars. The only thing holding him back is the leash that his more mature advisers are able to tug on, just barely, in order to restrain his killer, otherwise-unmanageable instincts.

[snip]

With the events of the past 24 hours, Trump just sent a clear message to the Mullahs: “If it were entirely up to me, the mad dog, any time you cross me in any way, you will die. This time, you got lucky because my advisers were just barely able to hold on to my leash; next time, I guarantee you, you won’t be so lucky.” If that is indeed the message Trump sent and the Mullahs received, it’s a good disincentive for calculating killers who, like so many of the men on death row, are happy meting out death to others but are incredible cowards when they are called to face the Grim Reaper.

[snip]

Meanwhile, Scott Adams saw an even more brilliant spin to Trump’s conduct over the last 24 hours. (You can hear what he has to say here.) My potted summary is that (a) the U.S. was probing Iran’s defenses and a single drone, no matter how expensive, was a small price to pay for that information; (b) Trump forced the Mullahs to imagine their own deaths (which is kind of the same point I was making); and (c) by saying that the deaths of 150 civilians was what dissuaded Trump from acting this time, Trump sent the message to ordinary Iranians that he cares more about their lives than their own rulers do. Combine that with the crushing economic pressure Trump has placed on Iran since he jettisoned Obama’s awful agreement, and you’ve got the Mullahs thinking very carefully about what to do next.

You can read more of what I wrote here.

Wittes wrapped up his tweet storm by sarcastically stating the opposite of everything he believes about Russiagate. It’s hard even to know where to begin addressing his statements, because so much of what he says is inane, disproven, irrelevant, or (I believe) about to be disproven big time. I’ll just throw out a few Russiagate points to emphasize how Wittes fails to prove that Republicans and conservatives live in a world of Orwellian Doublethink. Instead, it is Wittes who lives in a world in which Leftism has deprived him of even the ability to engage in the most basic, functional “singlethink.”

I believe that the whole Russia connection story is “fake news” designed to cover up an embarrassing electoral loss on the part of the Democrats.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Michael Flynn’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Carter Page’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Paul Manafort’s dealings with the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about George Papadopoulos’s dealings with a cutout for the Russian government.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Russia’s setting up a secret line of communication to the Trump administration through Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater and brother of a cabinet secretary.

I believe there is nothing unusual about Jared Kushner’s meeting with a sanctioned Russian bank while working for his father-in-law’s transition. I believe that kind of thing happens all the time in all transitions.

I also believe there was nothing unusual about having a member of a Hungarian extremist party working in your White House while he was resolving a pending gun charge for trying to bring a handgun onto an airplane. I think his wife should be press secretary for a federal agency.

I believe there was no collusion.

I believe there was no obstruction.

I believe Robert Mueller has conflicts of interests because he used to be a member of the president’s golf club.

I also believe he absolutely cleared the president of any whiff of a suggestion of wrongdoing.

I also believe you can’t trust a word of his report because he ran a WITCH HUNT!

I believe Jim Comey is a treasonous liar.

I believe John Brennan is a treasonous liar.

I believe Jim Clapper is a treasonous liar.

I also believe Don McGahn is a liar—and a bad lawyer.

I believe real lawyers don’t take notes.

I believe Jeff Sessions left the president on an island.

I believe in insurance policies.

And yes, I believe that Barack Hussein Obama wire tapped Trump Tower.

I believe Devin Nunes was merely conducting an impartial investigation when he came across information the President needed to know about and that he therefore raced over to the White House to inform him of his discovery.

I believe any patriot would have done the same.

And I believe that stopping briefly before going in and before coming out of the White House to tell the press all about it is perfectly consistent with complaining about leaks.

I believe it makes all the sense in the world to rush over to the White House to inform the President of material you learned from the White House.

I believe that leaks are the real story.

I believe the president has fully cooperated with investigators.

I also believe in investigating the investigators.

Regarding the Mueller report, there’s no doubt that he staffed his team with hardcore Democrats. They worked for Dems, donated to Dems, partied with Dems, and wept when Hillary lost. I don’t know about you, but that strikes me as indicative of bias.

There’s also no doubt that, try as they might, that Dem affiliated team was unable to find any evidence tying Trump or his family to Russian efforts to affect the outcome. There’s also no doubt that the report missed a few Russia-relevant points. Thus, (a) the report did not challenge then-President Obama’s peculiar disinclination to block known Russian interference in the 2016 election and (b) the report sidestepped entirely that Hillary commissioned and paid for the Steele Dossier, which was predicated almost entirely information that Hillary’s agent avidly sought out from . . . Russia!

And of course, we know that, although Mueller couldn’t find evidence that Trump or his team colluded with Russia, there was good evidence that Hillary and the Dems colluded, and that people in the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and NSA violated protocol and laws to spy on Trump. It was this failure to bring down Trump on collusion that led Mueller to try to imply that Trump was guilty of criminal obstruction. (I’ve detailed here how Mueller perverted the statutory language to try to weasel his way into this one.)

Moreover, at a very basic level, it’s ethically improper and morally wrong for a prosecutor to smear someone for wrongdoing when the prosecutor admits he doesn’t even know if there’s enough evidence for a basic wrongdoing case. In America, people are not required to prove their innocence to the public. Instead, if the prosecutor believes he has the goods on someone, the prosecutor is required, using due process, to prove that person’s guilt.

On a more interesting level, remember that Trump knew all along that he was innocent of colluding with Russian and understood that he was being investigated and harassed by the same people who engaged in illegal spying. Seen in this light, it’s pretty hard to accuse Trump of obstruction of justice when he fired a corrupt FBI head (who lied to Trump’s face) and fulminated about the abuse he’s receiving, even as he produced millions of documents and hundreds of witnesses.

Regarding the Trump Tower eavesdropping, there’s no longer any question that, through mass unmasking and FISA applications that were predicated upon the Steele dossier (a document even the FBI admitted was not credible and was entirely unsourced), the Obama administration was listening in on Trump Tower.

There’s no question that Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for only a few months, was a sleazy lobbyist who, like his fellow sleazy lobbyists, the Democrat-supporting Podesta brothers, didn’t properly registered his dealings with Ukraine. He also cheated on his taxes. He also didn’t do anything with Russia.

Jim Clapper is indeed a liar. He’s been caught in several blatant lies. These are documented here and here, for example. Brennan lied too, both during the Obama administration and during Russiagate.

In any event, the known facts about Russiagate are what they are. What I’m looking forward to is hearing from Barr and the Inspector Generals. I happen to believe that we’ll have more than enough evidence to show that the Obama administration spied on an opposing political party’s presidential campaign. What’s going to come out in the future is the dirty details about what people did, what they knew, and when they knew it. For me, the next year is going to be all popcorn all the time.

Finallyl, when it comes to Witess’s last two tweets, I agree with him wholeheartedly:

I believe that no president has ever been treated more unfairly than Trump has.

And yet, I still believe that Donald J. Trump will Make America Great Again.
Don’t you?

The post Benjamin Wittes and witless logic about Trump appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

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California turned this Democrat into a conservative

My California upbringing shows that people will cling to ideas long after the facts reveal those ideas are flawed — a scary thought for the 2020 election.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of America’s bluest of blue regions; attended UC Berkeley, which once was the standard-bearer for campus Leftism, although others have caught up; and lived in and, for many years, practiced law in San Francisco. If politics were a marinade, I would have been marinated in the stuff for decades and would be blue through and through.

Instead, my life experiences gave me a deep and abiding distrust for and disgust with Leftism. To the extent that our American states are laboratories of democracy, California proves everything that is wrong with Leftism.

Growing up, Leftism meant tolerating the Haight Ashbury invasion. After the pretty summer of love, filled with rainbows, rock, and half-dressed young women in gauzy shirts ended, what remained were the ancestors of today’s homeless: drugged out people lying in their own filth, destroying public property, and committing crimes. Back then, the poop map ran the distance of Haight Street, with Golden Gate Park thrown in for good measure. Even though San Francisco was less lenient than it is today about homeless behaviors, the City government still allowed the hippies ridiculous leeway when it came to engaging in uncivilized public behavior. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools were on the cutting edge of each crazy idea that was emanating from teaching colleges, in which Leftism was becoming ascendant. I didn’t learn math because we were being taught some crazy variant of Base 6 math. (Go figure.) I was lucky to be a natural-born reader, because phonics — the thing that makes reading incredibly easy to master in English — were already being phased out in favor of “whole word” teaching. Teachers were also warned not to children who misspelled words lest it harm the children’s self-esteem. These ideas blossomed nationwide in the 1980s, but were already creeping into San Francisco classrooms almost 20 years earlier. Having failed there, they were ready to take on the nation. But I was still a Democrat.

My public schools also featured a handful of gifted teachers, a decent population of good to average teachers, and a small, but completely stable population of horrible teachers, many of whom were also horrible human beings. There was the science teacher who said of a Jewish student, “There’s another one Hitler should have gotten.” There was the math teacher who would periodically insult students as “Future pimps and whores.” There was the English teacher famous for having sex with male students, which bothered us in those days only because she gave them a pass for bad work. There were the teachers counting the days to retirement and a pension who couldn’t be bothered with teaching at all. (I had a lot of those.) The common denominator was that, thanks to government unions, none of these people could be fired and, with the exception of the science teacher — who finally got himself kicked out of the classroom for throwing a movie projector out of the window (although he apparently still collected his salary for years) — all of them continued to teach generations of students. But I was still a Democrat.

Berkeley. Ah, Berkeley! The last dregs of the hippies hanging out in their own urine or vomit while begging on campus or on Telegraph Avenue. People celebrating the day that Ronald Reagan got shot. Pre-modern history being taught through a Marxist lens which is, when you think about it, quite an amazing intellectual contortion. And a constant thread of hostility to America and reverence for the Soviet Union permeating the air…. But I was still a Democrat.

After law school, which I attended in a blue city that was in a red state, I returned to California. For several decades, I routinely made legal arguments before Leftist judges. These were judges who said, “I don’t care what the law is; I think there’s something here;” judges who reluctantly ruled in favor of a bank, only to warn the bank’s counsel, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat;” judges who literally read with their lips moving as they reluctantly came to terms with the fact that discovery statutes sometimes protected defendants. I learned to loath judges because, at least when it came to the ones before whom I practiced, the law was too often irrelevant to them. If the parties were similarly situated in terms of social stature or economic power, the law applied; but if you represented a corporation or a rich individual, most judges before whom I practiced would engage in amazing contortions to rule against your client. Back in those days, I hadn’t heard the terms “living Constitution” or “strict constructionist,” but I knew that, subject to a few notable exceptions, Bay Area judges were not interested in administering the law; they were all about administering their personal version of “justice.” (We’d call it social justice today.) But I was still a Democrat.

Meanwhile, in the 1970s, I’d watched Carter make a hash of America’s economy and foreign policy. I’d seen the economic “malaise,” the “killer rabbits,” the “lust for the Polish people.” I’d watched the Iran Revolution and the hostage crisis, and I’d seen Carter’s simmering hostility to Israel. But I was still a Democrat.

In the 1980s, I watched the Reagan economic miracle. I watched the resurgence of American pride. I saw Reagan, Thatcher, and John Paul III reaffirm classic principles of liberalism and, by doing so, begin chipping away at the Soviet monolith, exposing its rotten foundations. I saw the Soviet Union fall and the Berlin Wall get quite literally dismantled. But I was still a Democrat.

In both the 1970s and the 1980s, I watched as our welfare system grew and grew and, as it grew, I watched it provide truly perverse incentives to people. The worst was the way in which women were economically rewarded for having children out-of-wedlock. I understood that this behavior led to more illegitimate children, more children without any loving male presence in their lives, more children in poverty, and more children who turned to prostitution and crime as they matured. I knew that the pathologies in the black community weren’t because blacks were defective, but were because the government was paying blacks to live have defective lives. But I was still a Democrat.

My politics only started to shift in the late 1990s, not because I’d grasped that all the things I hated about California arose from Leftist principles, but because NPR was lying about Israel. That was my initial cognitive dissonance. The cognitive dissonance worsened after 9/11, when were told Islam had nothing to do with it or people such as Michael Moore likened the terrorists (who slaughtered innocents and whose goal was the subjugation of the world to sharia law, complete with sexual enslavement, second class citizenship, slavery, or death for “non-believers,” especially Jews, and the whole panoply of medieval punishments) to America’s own revolutionaries, who fought for individual liberty. (And yes, 18th C women didn’t have rights and the South had slaves, but the principles the revolutionaries advanced were inherently good and they paved the way for emancipation, women’s rights, gay rights, etc.)

After almost 40 years, I finally realized that I was no longer a Democrat. It was a shocking and uncomfortable realization. After all, I knew, or thought I knew, that Democrats are good and Republicans are evil. Was I now no longer good? Was I now evil?

I eventually decided that I was still good. My goals were still the goals that Democrats always loudly espoused during my early years: True equality before the law for all people, the diminution of tribal hatreds between different cultures and races in America, a thriving economy, strong national security, friendship with Israel (our ally in the Middle East during the waning days of the Cold War and the only true democratic republic in the region), etc. (Obviously, the Democrats no longer espouse many of these goals.) What I finally figured out was that the way to achieve these ends was through conservative means. Intentionally or not, Democrat means invariably achieved the opposite of those goals.

Although I am no longer a Democrat, California continues to provide example after example of failures in Leftist policies. It is a hardcore Democrat state that preserves its mandate through the corrupt practice of “ballot harvesting.” It needs this corruption because reality (which I’ll discuss more below), eventually catches up with totalitarian ideologies and people can then be kept in line only through brute force and corruption.

California sees itself a political leader in the fight against “income inequality,” yet it has one of the most unequal economic systems in America. In the coastal cities, where people make money from products sold outside of America (e.g., Hollywood and Silicon Valley), you have hard Left bazillionaires. In their hard Left cities, you have tens of thousands of homeless people living in squalor. San Francisco once known for the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s wharf, is now the poop capital of America, as well as the car crime capital. Los Angeles is seeing typhus and other very scary infectious diseases making a comeback. In the San Francisco Bay Area, real estate, whether owned or rented, is no longer affordable, so twenty- and thirty-somethings now make a virtue of returning to dorm-style living because it’s all that they can afford.

Were a medieval person to be transported through time to land in one of California’s coastal communities, that person would undoubtedly be confounded by modern technology. However, he would recognize instantly the vast economic chasm between the aristocracy and the masses. Every medieval city had its walled enclaves for the wealthy and the rest of the city, where people lived in filth, disease, and despair.

Travel inland in California and the wealth vanishes. All that’s left is economic despair. The outbreaks of poverty that one sees in the cities — homelessness, diseases, filth — are taking hold in the large inland communities (Bakersfield, Fresno, Sacramento), while the smaller communities are plagued by crime and disrepair. One only has to read Victor Davis Hanson’s elegies to the community that’s been home to his family for generations to understand how the Blue enclaves’ wealth doesn’t reach the rest of California even as, unfortunately, the Blue enclaves’ political ideas do reach those areas . . . and destroy them too.

Meanwhile, as its native-born or legally immigrated citizens despair, California encourages the endless flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America (with unknown numbers of Islamic terrorists sheltering among the crowd). By doing so, California Democrats, who are all about “women’s rights,” encourage unchecked sex trafficking. And California Democrats, who always claim that their policies are “for the children,” encourage coyotes to traffic in children as a way of exploiting America’s laws on behalf of illegal immigrant “families.” And California Democrats, who are all about lifting up America’s minorities, flood American minority communities with people who compete for jobs and bring in crime.

Apropos that crime, it’s completely irrelevant if some left-wing think tanks’ produce statistics “proving” that these illegal immigrants as a whole are less likely to run afoul of the law. Even if only one American is murdered at the hands of an illegal immigrant, that murder is one murder too many. It should never have happened. In every case in which an illegal alien commits a crime, the “but for” cause of that crime was Democrats’ cultivation of illegal immigration. In other words, but for Democrats’ desperation to bring in illegal Latin American immigrants, a teenager might not have been hacked to death by MS-13 gangsters or a mother of four might not have been killed by a hit-and-run, drunk, illegal immigrant driver.

If there ever was an indictment of Democrat policies, California is it. The problem, though, is that we live in the version of an old joke. You know the joke, don’t you? It’s the one that has a whose wife caught him red-handed in a compromising situation.  Rather than apologizing, he demanded of her, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” Even as California’s laboratory of democracy shows that every Leftist policy, when given play, creates social collapse and economic destruction, America’s Leftists, both inside and outside of California, repeatedly ask, “Who are you, the voters, going to believe? The Democrat Party or your lying eyes?”

Tragically, it’s a question that works. It took me 40 years to break free of that question, especially because the subtext was, “If you believe me, you’re good. If you believe your lying eyes, you’ve sworn fealty to the Devil.’

As conservatives like to say, reality always wins . . . but it can take a long, long time. Look at Naomi Wolf, who is rightly being ridiculed for her failure to research one of the core premises of her most recent book.

Naomi assumed that the phrase “death recorded” in suits involving homosexual activity meant that, in Victorian England, scores of gay men were being executed. She didn’t question that assumption, and certainly didn’t bother to do research to confirm her believe, because the assumption jived with her reality — Christians kill gays. Had Naomi questioned her assumptions, she would have discovered, as the man interviewing her did, that (a) “death recorded” was a way of saying that the death sentence was not carried out and (b) that many of those she believed were arrested for homosexual activity were, in fact, arrested for pedophilia, rape, or assault, all with a homosexual angle.

So yes, reality did finally catch up with Naomi . . . but not before she successfully occupied the public stage for decades. It took this type of embarrassing debacle for people to realize that her scholarship has always been shoddy and ought never to have been used as a basis for anything at all.

I hope that the average American is smarter than I am and that reality catches up with that average American in time for the 2020 election. Scott Adams is not sanguine. He believes that the new masters of the universe — the social media titans, working in conjunction with the major media — will warp reality so completely that Trump will not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning in 2020. I sincerely hope Adams is completely, off-the-wall wrong with this one.

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Leftist politics and the power of visual images

Leftists know that people respond strongly to visual images and use them to great effect. If Republicans want to win, they need to start doing the same.

A picture is worth a thousand words. — Newspaper/advertising adage.

Some years ago, in a post I wrote about the Second Amendment, I noted the fact that one of the advantages the gun-grabbing crowd has when pushing its message is that it has the intense visuals of dead bodies (something the Left used with special force in the wake of the terrible Sandy Hook massacre). This means that these same anti-gun people are completely resistant to any data that doesn’t create powerful images.

When it comes to guns, the gun grabbers suffer from a very bizarre limitation: Their mental horizons allow them to see only those who died because of guns, not to recognize those who did not die thanks to guns. This myopia creates the giant intellectual chasm that separates those who oppose the Second Amendment from those who support it. The former see only the people who died in the past while the latter also see the ones who will live on into the future.

I then introduced Frédéric Bastiat’s magnificent Parable of the Broken Window, which the French economist wrote in 1850, to make the point that destruction doesn’t benefit the economy but instead has money flowing in a fairly meaningless loop. Thus, Bastiat noted how people consoled someone whose window had been broken by pointing out that the repair meant work for the glazier and the contractor and so on. These people, said Bastiat, saw positive economic energy without ever understanding that it was actually lost economic energy because the money could have been used to create, rather than repair. What appealed to me about Bastiat’s essay was the final paragraph (emphasis mine):

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.

After quoting the Parable, I dragged the issue around to the war that the Left is constantly waging against the Second Amendment:

Just as is the case with the economic illiterate who cannot imagine that money might be spent on something more useful than fixing a broken window, a gun control advocate’s world view “is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.” He counts those who have died, but cannot even begin to imagine those whose lives were saved or never threatened.

Point such an advocate to a story about an off-duty deputy who was able to stop a mall shooter, and he will say only that, “The gun still allowed the shooter to kill one or two people, and there’s no way to tell if the shooter intended to kill more people, so the armed deputy is not relevant.”

To the gun-control proponent, a story without dead bodies is no story at all and it certainly has no statistical validity in the debate over the Second Amendment. To one who believes in the Second Amendment, however, stories about people using concealed-carry guns to stop mass shooters matter because we, unlike the gun grabber, are able to take account of those people who survived what would otherwise have been a mass shooting.

Dead bodies resonate in our imagination. The absence of dead bodies, even when reported at excellent sites such as Ammo.com, which tracks stories about defensive gun use, is an empty space in the imagination. This is especially true because the media, even before it became fanatically determined to destroy the Second Amendment, always operated on the principle that “if it bleeds, it leads.” If it doesn’t bleed, it will at most be a feel good story in the last 30 seconds of the news or a squiblet on the last page of Section C in the local newspaper.

With no blood and no bodies, those who support the Second Amendment find themselves limited to statistics. The statistics, frankly, are spectacular, with an Obama-era study showing that people across the U.S. routinely and successfully use guns to defend themselves between 500,000 to 3 million times per year. Statistics, however, are not visual. Instead, they’re dead numbers on a page, exciting only to wonks and people who work well with abstract ideas.

The abortion debate has also been intensely visual. Before modern science allowed us to peer into the womb, the visuals of abortion were about the women: Pregnant women dying in back alleys from coat-hanger abortions, pregnant women whose cruel families cast them out on the street in the dead of winter, pregnant women chained to wife-beating husbands even as 13 other children were clinging to their aprons, brilliant pregnant women forced to drop out of school to become brood mares, and so on. No wonder that Obama announced to the world that he didn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby.

The rise of more pro-Life Americans coincides with the rise of windows into the womb. (And yes, I know correlation and causation are not the same thing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen articles pointing to studies that show that 3D ultrasounds make people less supportive of abortion.) Suddenly, it’s not just a bump in a woman’s belly until the moment it’s born; instead, we see inside — in 3D yet! We see the fingers and toes, we see it sucking it’s thumb, we see that it is a baby. It’s visual.

The pro-Life movement also went visual when it started showing graphic photographs of aborted babies. The pro-Abortion movement hates those images. While dead bodies work in their favor in the Second Amendment debate, they do not help in the pro-Abortion debate. No more hypothetical women are dying in back alleys; instead, lots of actual, quite obvious babies are dying in Planned Parenthood clinics.

Apropos the abortion debate, Scott Adams, without touching on the merits of the new abortion limitations passed in Alabama, simply said that the fact that it was primarily men who voted on the law is a very bad visual, never mind the fact that a woman proposed the law and that a woman governor signed the law.  Because pro-Abortion people have framed the issue as “control over a woman’s body,” it looks bad when men make policy. The fact that nine men created a right to abortion out of whole cloth back in 1973 is irrelevant. In the here and now, the Left points to Alabama’s legislature and says of the men, “they’re gonna put y’all woman back to being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.”

I was reminded of the power of visuals when I read an article in Los Angeles Review of Books’ blog, entitled Heterosexuality Without Women. The premise for the article is an image. This image:

Buttigieg time magazine cover

The essay’s author — Greta LaFleur — urges us to take in every aspect of that image, not just because of the white house behind them (the “White House” metaphor . . . get it?), but also because it shows a sweet domesticity of husband and wife except without an actual female wife. After all, who needs real women to promote heterosexuality when you have this perfect gay heterosexual couple? If you’re saying “huh?”, you have to read the article. I’m quoting the pertinent parts (for my purposes) here:

There’s a lot to look at in this image. At first glance, one sees the anonymity of Norman Rockwell’s mid-century America: the house-unparticular porch, the timelessness of the couple form. Take another look and the pillars supporting the unseen roof of the porch start to resemble the Ionic columns of the White House, the background becoming a gesture or a promise of possibility. You begin to see the image in the aggregate, and the couple, girded by a backdrop literally overwhelmed by the household, becomes the timelessness of the entire image. This photo also tells a profound story about whiteness, above and beyond the fact that almost everything in this photo is, itself, white. It’s such an all-consuming aesthetic, here, that it practically resists interpretation; like the generically familiar (to me, a white person) porch, the cover photo claims that there’s nothing to see, because we already know what it is. We have seen this image, we know this couple, “we” should be comfortable. My “we” is particular to me, but then again, I am more or less exactly who this photo is aimed at. As a queer person, I also notice the quasi-uniform-like aesthetic of Pete and Chasten — I wondered, for a second, if they were actually wearing the same pair of pants — marveling for a moment at the sartorial doppel-banging that at first seems to claim center stage in this photo, before realizing that, instead, there’s actually no sex at center stage, here. And that is part of the point.

LaFleur goes on to point to new age scholarship that says, if I understand all the jargon correctly, that “whiteness” is now some sort of conceptual thing without the necessity of anybody being white. And why not? If gender, which is hardwired in every mammal at a DNA level, is now a mere concept, why can’t whiteness be a concept too? (Of course, blackness cannot be a concept, because that’s claiming unearned victim status not to mention racial and cultural appropriation. It’s always a one way street with these things. Likewise, homosexuality, which is a behavior, not a DNA thing, is also hard wired. Again, go figure. The new rules don’t have to make sense.)

Using this “conceptual whiteness” thing as a springboard, LaFleur makes the obvious leap: If “whiteness” is merely conceptual, than so is heterosexuality. Get enough heterosexual images piled into a single photograph and who cares if there’s not an actual heterosexual within a hundred miles?

This is a record with deep grooves. If you need more to convince you of this than the huge, literally white “FAMILY” emblazoned across Chasten and Pete’s well-muscled, Ralph Lauren-clad chests, then perhaps google “queer” and “focus on the family” and read a number of important and importantly-aging articles on the strategic deployment of homophobia (not to mention a host of other forms of animus) under the auspices of protecting “family values”; for  conservatives of all stripes, the family was the antidote to the homosexual. The flip side of that effect is, of course, the distinct but twinned use of “family” in queer communities, first to name ties to other queer people that exceed socially-approbated forms of kinship, and, second, the reproduction of the hothouse family by queer people used to shore up the recognizability and respectability of queer love, connection, parenting, and marriage. (We really don’t need anything more than Cathy Cohen’s 1997 “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens” to teach us about how this works.) Queer theorists and queer communities have coined terms like homonormativity to describe this effect, but this recent Time cover left me wondering: is this homonormativity? Or just heterosexuality? If straight people can be queer — as so many of them seem so impatient to explain to me — can’t gay people also be straight?

To be clear, I have no intention of relegating “family” to the realm of the heterosexual or the straight, for a number of reasons that reflect things like the fact that most queer people have strong ties to family, given and/or chosen. What I am saying is that the unmistakable heraldry of “FIRST FAMILY,” alongside the rest of the photograph — the tulips; the Chinos; the notably charming but insistently generic porch; the awkwardly minimal touching that invokes the most uncomfortable, unfamiliar, culturally-heterosexual embrace any of us have ever received — offers a vision of heterosexuality without straight people.

Frankly, I think most of the above is gobbledy-gook, but I actually respect the way LaFleur is trying to reframe people’s visuals. Democrats know that this is how you win arguments.

While conservatives spout statistics about the number of illegal immigrants crossing into America, the burden they place on our welfare system, and the American workers they displace, Leftists create images: “Dead children.” “Children in cages.”

Statistics don’t touch the power of those images. After all, it was a photo of a single dead child in the sand that caused Europe to open its doors to every Muslim across in the Middle East and North Africa, something that threatens to destroy the last tendrils of Enlightenment, Christian Europe. If that poor little boy hadn’t died, the European open borders crowd would have had to kill someone to create that type of powerful persuader.

The same image problem exists when it comes to vaccinations. Once upon a time, Americans had powerful images associated with epidemic diseases. Small pox ravaged America in the 17th and 18th centuries, so much so that people embraced variolation (a dangerous vaccination process with a live virus) because, while it carried risks, the risks were infinitesimal compared to the devastation of epidemic small pox. One of the geniuses of George Washington was to order the mass vaccination of his American troops — a tradition that continues to this day, as every human pin cushion who’s ever served in the American military will attest.

You don’t have to go back as far as Washington to find epidemic diseases. My uncle had the Spanish Influenza, which killed 50-100 million people worldwide. My mother had diphtheria, a childhood scourge for hundreds of years before vaccinations became available. My father had scarlet fever, which was, as one site explains: a very bad disease in a pre-antibiotic era:

Simply hearing the name of this disease, and knowing that it was present in the community, was enough to strike fear into the hearts of those living in Victorian-era United States and Europe. This disease, even when not deadly, caused large amounts of suffering to those infected. In the worst cases, all of a family’s children were killed in a matter of a week or two.

There’s no vaccination for this strep infection, but we nail it today with antibiotics. (And are rightly concerned that antibiotic abuse might give the infection an unbeatable edge in the near future.)

We also had a family friend who lived out his days walking on two canes, in great pain, because he was one of the last children to get polio before Salk developed his vaccine. Before that vaccine, polio swept through the U.S. several times, killing children and adults, and leaving many survivors with paralysis or even locked forever in iron lungs.

My point is that, within the lifetime of people I knew very well, infectious diseases were incredibly visible. People died from them. People were left permanently invalided by them. People were left crippled because of them. In that world, the risks inherent in any vaccination, while real, was easily disregarded compared to the much greater risk of epidemic, pandemic, or endemic infectious diseases.

Nowadays, of course, none of these diseases are visible. Ebola is probably the main exception, for it still has the power to frighten. We’ve very quickly become accustomed, though, to Ebola’s politely staying in little corners of Africa, with saintly aide workers putting their lives on the line to confine the deaths to hundreds, rather than millions. Even AIDS, a scary contagious disease in the 1980s, has been shoved away, thanks to antiviral treatments and condoms.

The invisibility of epidemic diseases is why fewer and fewer young parents are willing to expose their children to the risk of vaccinations. We don’t see the diseases, but we do read the random articles about that inevitable unlucky person — that 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 10,000 person — who died following a vaccination. That in-your-face story, that “there but for the grace of God” visual is way more scary than some hypothetical epidemic — or at least, it’s more scary right up until people teaming with infectious diseases pour unchecked across our border and are dispersed throughout the United States. That’s when, as they say, “shit gets real.”

I just got myself a measles booster because I’m at the perfect age to have had an ineffective booster when I was a child. A lot of others are doing the same thing because they can now envision a measles epidemic, something they could not before.

I could go on and on making the point that, because people are visual, the best persuasion creates images, whether in the form of actual pictures or in the form of vivid phrases (e.g., “children in cages”). If Republicans want to take back the culture generally, and take back Washington D.C. specifically, they would do well to keep the statistics in the background and push the punchy, catchy, visceral, memorable images and word pictures to the foreground. (Of course, as matters now stand, when innovative conservatives do try to make powerful visuals, social media tech overlords instantly shut them down. Indeed, in California, they prosecute people for powerful images.)

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U. S. Customs and Border Protection: “[Border] Walls Work: El Centro Sector” (video)

As we all know, fences do make good neighbors so what is the problem with walls; namely, border walls.  Walls work….PERIOD.

Our borders are not secure. All parts of the border where the border walls have fallen into disrepair and are not keeping illegal aliens out must be shored up, if not replaced and at those locations of the border where there are no border walls, efficient border walls must be erected.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Published on Mar 11, 2019 (YouTube)

The U.S. Border Patrol has been constructing border barriers for nearly 30 years and these barriers have proved to be a critical component in gaining operational control of the border. Illegal drug and human smuggling activity have decreased in those areas where barriers have been deployed. To enhance border security, the Border Patrol is making significant investments to build a new wall and replacing existing, inferior barriers. The first project completed was in in the Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector in California along a two mile stretch of border immediately west of the Calexico Port of Entry.
By the way, merge this into the discussion of upgrading our infrastructure.  It fits perfectly.

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Dems to Trump: We Want Illegals In YOUR Cities, Not Ours! (revised)

For several years, Communists have propped up the invasion by illegal aliens into America’s cities and small towns.  To guarantee its success, they declared these locales, sanctuary cities in many instances, sanctuary states.

You want it, you got it!

Then comes the day that President Donald J. Trump with a masterful stroke declared that illegal aliens will now be placed in the very locations at war with the President over immigration policies and who proudly declared their cities and towns sanctuaries welcoming the invaders.

As you know by now, those same Communists immediately went into meltdown mode, naming calling and accusing the President of countless nefarious deeds.

Pot meet kettle

It is the left who have for years focused and profited primarily on the trafficking and importation of their illegal alien voter base.  Yet, it is also the left who after the President’s announcement has suddenly has come down with NIMBY aka Not In My Backyard Syndrome.  Funny (not really) how these Communists who need illegal aliens as voters and servants have no problem dropping them off in our communities but will be damned if they bring them into their own backyards.

As Jon Miller of TheBlaze points out, the outrage from Communists dirtbags has exposed the left’s trickery.  It also tell us that “the President is right over his target.”  You just have to love it.

Published on YouTube Apr 15, 2019 by Jon Miller
…The Democrat backlash to Trump’s plan to release illegal immigrants into sanctuary cities proves exactly what we have been saying all along. They aren’t serious about welcoming everyone into their sanctuary cities, they want unassimilated immigrants everywhere because they are more likely to vote Democrat. Miller outlines the risk of allowing America to fall further away from the values it was founded on….

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It’s time for America to stop living by the Wilson Doctrine

As part of his admirable repudiation of the Wilson Doctrine, Trump absolutely should bring some U.S. troops home and station them on our besieged border.

I caught Tucker Carlson’s show tonight and really liked his opening monologue. It ostensibly went after #NeverTrumper Max Boot, but it really was about something larger, which is the foreign policy establishment’s abiding commitment to using American troops everywhere in the world except where they might actually protect America and Americans — namely, our southern border. Here’s the monologue, if you’re interested:

After the monologue, Trump spoke with a retired colonel about the D.C. establishment’s absolute unwillingness to use the American military directly for America’s benefit. The colonel believes that special interests are driving this foreign policy. I think it goes deeper than that. The elite (whether in the military or out of it) all went to the same colleges and they were all weened on the same doctrine — that doctrine being the Wilson doctrine. I wrote about the Wilson Doctrine exactly two years ago. I still like the points I made, so I’m reiterating them here, although I’m refining them and adding new material (I say this lest you think it would be too mind-numbering to re-read an entirely recycled post):

When World War I broke out in 1914, dragging Europe from the pinnacle of civilization into an abyss of mindless killing, President Woodrow Wilson, America’s first Progressive Democrat, was resolute: America would not enter into this foreign war.

Americans also had no desire to be drawn into the war, although the country quickly divided into camps supporting the two sides in the battle. Those supporting England, France, Belgium, and Russia (the Allies) only slightly outnumbered the huge German-American population that put its moral weight behind Germany, Austro-Hungary, and a few other central European nations (the Central Powers).

The socialists, led by Eugene Victor Debs and Jane Addams (of Hull House fame), felt it was an obscene inversion of the arc of history for workers of the world to fight along nationalistic lines, rather than to band together against the worldwide evil of capitalism. Many who were not socialists, but saw no good in spilling American blood on foreign soil, joined their peace movement.

Although the population was divided and Wilson clung to neutrality, as the years passed that neutrality had a remarkably Anglophile feel to it. The moment the war started, the British had cut the transatlantic cable tying America to the continent. This meant that Americans received only British war reports, not German ones. That’s not to say the Germans didn’t deserve their bad press. They inflicted horrific carnage in both Belgium and France on their abortive push to Paris. Once news of that got out, many of those Americans who weren’t already actively pro-German would have been loath to side with Germany.

Something else that made neutrality more honored in the breach than in practice was the fact that American ships could reach Britain, even as Britain blocked them from reaching Germany. This created an economic boom for the Americans selling weapons and food to England — and, of course, it was a lifeline for Britain, which could never have lasted as long as it did without American supplies.

As the war progressed, and the money the British owed American manufacturers increased, America increasingly had a vested financial interest in a European victory. There would have been a serious depression in America had Britain lost the war.

The Germans were understandably concerned about the of weapons and supplies heading from America to England. In 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the HMS Lusitania, killing over a thousand passengers, including 128 Americans. Americans were outraged that the Germans had attacked a passenger ship and were disinterested in the fact that the ship was almost certainly carrying weapons to the British. To Americans, it was bad enough that the German’s were attacking American merchant marines with their newfangled submarines, without having them attack civilian vessels. The Germans, worried that the ship’s sinking would bring America into the war, promised to stop attacking American ships.

By 1916, though, the Germans concluded that the Americans, because they were arming England, were a de facto combatant in WWI. The Germans therefore announced that they were reversing course on their submarine moratorium and, henceforth, that all American ships approaching Britain were fair game.

Worse, in 1917, the British revealed the infamous Zimmermann Telegram, an internal German communication. Through it, the Americans learned that the Germans were proposing a military alliance with Mexico if the Americans entered the war. Even Wilson could no longer turn a blind eye to these provocations. He therefore went to Congress in April 1917 to make the case for war. This speech was to set the tone for American foreign policy for almost 100 years.

What Wilson realized as he wrote his speech was that, despite German attacks on American ships, America did not actually have any good reason to enter the war. Germany was an ocean away and, provided that the U.S. stayed out of the war, keeping Mexico neutral, Germany did not threaten America’s security or sovereignty. Moreover, if American retreated to true neutrality — that is, if she stopped trading with Britain — Germany would instantly leave her alone.

The one thing that Wilson could not admit was that, thanks to his turning a blind eye for three years to America’s ongoing trade with Britain, a British victory was the only way in which the U.S. could recoup the credit it had extended to Britain for the preceding three years. But again, there was no way that Wilson would ever say that he was sending American boys to a charnel house for crass commercial reasons.

Faced with an unspeakable reason for entering the war, Wilson instead came up with a high-flown moral doctrine justifying America’s entry into the war. And so the Wilson doctrine was born (emphasis mine):

We are glad, now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretence about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the world and for the liberation of its peoples, the German peoples included: for the rights of nations great and small and the privilege of men everywhere to choose their way of life and of obedience. The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.

Although the Wilson doctrine was essentially a cover for an economic war, Wilson almost certainly believed his own rhetoric. That’s why, after the war, he unavailingly tried to get the victorious allied nations to welcome Germany back into the fold. The allies, of course, having spilled unimaginable amounts of blood and treasure, thought the American president was a ridiculous little man. They were going to wring every penny possible out of Germany. If only they could have foreseen how a bankrupt, unstable Germany would ultimately decide to recover….

While the Europeans sneered at the idealistic hick from America, the American intelligentsia, already in love with a Democrat Progressive president who promised that rational expertise would lead them to a new paradise, agreed with Wilson that America was the engine of a higher calling. It was only right and just that this superior nation would fight to better the entire world, spreading far and wide the blessings of their own freedom. It did not occur to them then, as it did not occur to Iraq supporters almost 90 years later, that America’s freedoms might in fact be uniquely .  . . American.

These same “freedom-loving” Americans were unfazed by the contradiction inherent in the fact that Wilson, a KKK-loving racist, had closed civil service jobs to African-Americans the moment he entered the White House, and then encouraged segregation in every area of Washington life — and in the military. Nor did they quibble when, at the start of WWI, Wilson pursued his program of bringing democracy overseas by imposing fascist policies at home that silenced all dissent and used heavy-handed government propaganda, along with an army of experts, to control every aspect of American life. (As always, if you’re interested in how Wilson planted the seeds for much of today’s Progressivism, you can’t do better than to read Jonah Goldberg’s invaluable Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change.)

Beginning in 1917, and for the next 90 years, official American foreign policy hewed tightly to the Wilson Doctrine. The word from Washington was America would not fight for water rights, or to control people, or for empire, or for power, or for wealth, or for oil: She would fight altruistically to free people. That’s what America did in WWI, in WWII, in Korea, in Vietnam, in Iraq (twice), and in Afghanistan. No matter the special interests behind the scenes tugging policy one way or another, in the grand panoply of American foreign policy, America fought on the principle that her blood and wealth, when spilled on foreign shores, would free the world from tyrants, to the benefit of all, America included.

Things changed in 2008, with Barack Obama’s ascension, but they didn’t change as much as some people think. Obama, like Wilson, was a Progressive Democrat who believed in his own hype. Some, when looking at Obama’s manifest disdain for America and her values, believed him to be the antithesis of Wilson. Thus, Wilson believed America was a special nation uniquely suited to freeing the world, while Obama believed America was a deeply flawed nation uniquely suited to destroying the world.

Ironically enough, however, Obama’s dark vision led him into a Wilsonian doctrine, although one seen through a dark, fun house mirror. Because Obama viewed America as a Typhoid Mary nation, one that destroyed everything it touched, his idea of making the world safe wasn’t necessarily to make it safe for democracy. It was, instead, to make the world safe from America.

To that end, Obama pulled America out of nations in which it was actually doing good, both for the nations and for America. Thus, no matter how foolish it was for America to go to Iraq in the first place, once she achieved victory there following the Surge, remaining there did provided stability in the Middle East, did bring some measure of freedom to the Iraqis, and did keep Iraq from becoming a terrorist breeding ground. Obama, therefore, promptly pulled American troops out of Iraq, creating a power vacuum that ISIS and Iran happily filled. He also put his weight behind America’s former enemies, certain that all problems lay with America, and that it would take just a little charm offensive to bring around the Mullahs in Iran, the Erdogan Islamists in Turkey, Putin and his Russian oligarchs, and a host of bad other actors around the world.

With Obama’s ascendancy came the birth of a subset of the Wilson doctrine: America would make this world safe by leading from behind. Her absence would allow native cultures to flourish in all their morally relativistic beauty. Moreover, as a form of self-abnegation, America would send her troops — that is, her Heartland’s children — and her money only into those battles that offered no benefit whatsoever to America itself. That altruism would cleanse America of every stain Obama believed besmirched America’s soul.

It didn’t mattered to Obama that democracy died in Iran, Libya turned into a terror haven, ISIS took over vast swaths of the Middle East, the Taliban returned to Afghanistan, the UN denied Israel’s ancient ties to the land, five-hundred-thousand people died in Syria, millions of people became refugees, and Europe came to the brink of culturally assisted suicide. It was enough for Obama that, just as Wilson and his successors did, he used America to make the world safe. The only difference was that, unlike his predecessor’s, he used the American military to make the world safe from . . . America.

As the Max Boot segment on Tucker Carlson shows, the Progressive and #NeverTrump American establishment — all those university-educated types who opine about good wars and bad, while your children die — continues to hew to Obama’s Bizarro World repackaging of the Wilson doctrine: America must fight wars that do not benefit her in order to serve as a shining example. Once upon a time, under Wilson, we were a shining example of democracy (Wilsonian democracy, of course, which always had a strong whiff of fascism about it). Now, with Obama, we became a shining example of doing penance for our racist, colonialist past by shedding blood only where it didn’t help America.

Trump’s foreign policy, for the first time in over 100 years, is an America first policy. And lest anyone suddenly spring up and say, “I told you Trump was a nationalist in the Hitlerian mode,” and start singing “America uber alles,” cool your jets.

Trump’s is not a policy of conquest, a la Hitler. Instead, he simply rejects the long-held notion that America has a duty to make the world safe for democracy or that America has a duty to cleanse her soul by sacrificing the children of her heartland to virtue signal to the rest of the world. Trump simply wants America and Americans to be both safe and prosperous. He’ll do whatever it takes, at home and abroad, to make those twin goals happen.

To this end, Trump has no interest in spilling American blood and spending American dollars to make Syria, North Korea, or Afghanistan safe for democracy. He simply wants the bad actors in those nations to know that, if they engage in acts that threaten America or her reliable allies, he will stomp them like bugs, quickly and efficiently. We’ve now seen that play out in both Syria (something that also sent a message to North Korea, China, and Russia), and in Afghanistan, where an efficient use of American military might triggered this moving series of tweets.

It doesn’t matter to Trump whether America’s enemy is ISIS in Afghanistan or Iraq; Assad and his chemical weapons in Syria; or Kim Jong-un and his nuclear cuddlies in North Korea. To Trump, all of them need to be taught quickly and firmly that, as long as they leave him and his friends alone, he’ll leave them alone; and if they forget that lesson . . . well, they’d better tuck their heads between their knees and kiss their sadistic, tyrannical asses good-bye.

When it comes to America’s traditional allies, Trump will work with them provided he feels they’re not taking advantage of America’s good will and that the partnership operates, not just to their benefit, but to America’s. In that context, “to America’s benefit” doesn’t mean the good feelings that accompany the pure Wilsonian altruism of making the world safe for democracy or the Obama altruism of making the world safe from America. Instead, it means a tangible benefit to America in the form of good trading relations and fair financial dealing America partners with another nation against a common foe.

Although Trump has not articulated this doctrine, his actions to date are consistent: Leave America alone and she will leave you alone. Be a good friend to America and she will be a good friend to you . . . up to a point. She will not fight your wars for you unless it’s in her interest to do so.

So what is in America’s interest? I would argue that protect America from a unconstrained migrant invasion from the South is in her interest and that Trump has the power to act on that interest.

Thus, President Donald John Trump, notwithstanding the Democrats in Congress and in the media, and especially notwithstanding the judges in the Ninth Circuit, is Commander in Chief of the American military. Faced with a declared emergency (and yes, he has the power to make that declaration), he can send America’s military to guard our southern borders against an invasion that currently totals about 100,000 or more people per month.

The wall is a permanent, long-term solution, but we need a short term fix. Trump should act immediately to draw our troops out of at least some of the 177 or so countries in which they are now stationed, and should instead place them on our own border.

Trump needs to do this as a matter of principle to establish that we do have a border and to prevent us from becoming Rome falling underneath the barbarian hordes.

He needs to do this as a matter of national security to keep terrorists from embedding themselves in this migrant population.

He needs to do this as a matter of economic security to keep our economy from being drained by people taking jobs away from America’s working class and remitting American dollars to Latin America.

He needs to to this as a matter of health security, as these migrants are harboring a medieval melange of diseases. (It’s bad enough that the homeless policies in our West Coast Progressive cities are incubating medieval diseases too.) It’s also a matter of health security because heroin and other drugs are flowing across the borders into America’s heartlands, wiping out populations.

And lastly, he needs to do this as a humane policy for Latin Americans. First, it will stop human trafficking across our borders, with children traded like cattle to facilitate coyotes who push “families” over the border and with women (and children) subject to terrible sex abuse, both on the road to America and once in America. Second, it will force Latin American countries, both at the government and the citizen level, to address their own problems. As long as we provide a safety valve, they have no incentive to do so.

At 102 years old, it’s time for the Wilson Doctrine to be given a gold watch and a nice speech, and then to be sent into decorous retirement. It has no place in the modern world. The continued reverence for the doctrine that infects the Democrat Party and the foreign policy establishment (but I repeat myself) needs to end if America is going to survive as a sovereign country whose leaders works to benefit American lives.

I’ll end this post by stealing a shtick from another post I wrote, this one after hearing Trump’s inaugural speech:

My recent trip to Southeast Asia occasioned a whole lot of flights — nine to be precise. We made long-hauls to get halfway across the world and short-hauls to allow us to fit four countries into a short time-frame. Nine flights means watching nine in-flight safety videos. My current favorite is United’s, because I like Gershwin and I appreciate the effort to make the video entertaining:

If you don’t want to watch the entire video, just go to the 1:50 mark in the video in the video. That’s the point at which United does the “oxygen mask” portion of the video:

If necessary, an oxygen mask will drop from above your seat. If a strap appears, pull down on the strap to access your mask. Firmly pull the mask to extend the tubing. Place the mask over your nose and mouth, and slip the band over your head. The band does not require adjustment. To start the flow of oxygen, breathe normally. Make sure your mask is secure before helping others. (Emphasis mine.)

For those wondering why the safety instruction insists upon the seemingly counter intuitive advice for a parent to put a child’s safety needs second, rather than first, the answer is that, if the parent becomes debilitated from lack of oxygen, he can help neither himself nor someone else . . . and debility happens very quickly indeed. This following video explains exactly what happens in a low oxygen environment. It’s impressive to see how quickly a person goes from feeling fine to being incompetent, with death following swiftly:

You’ve probably already figured out my analogy by this point. Trump’s speech is the equivalent of an in-flight safety video regarding oxygen masks. For the past 16 years, America has been pouring her resources outwards, away from her own needs, and she’s near death now.

America, as the world’s preeminent country does have a role in helping maintain some sort of balance in the rest of the world. However, that responsibility does not mean we must carry the entire burden of protecting other countries from themselves or turning them all into little Americas. That’s not going to work. It’s never going to work. But we can still use our might to tilt the balance here and there in responsible ways.

Importantly, though, America cannot provide that stabilizing service if she does not take care of herself first. And if mewling #NeverTrumpers and their Progressive fellow travelers think things are bad if America doesn’t act around the world now, they have no idea how bad it will be if there is no America at all

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