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Friday, November 30, 2018

Emerging China: the Dragon Awakens

by Sam Huntington

Even a shrew will attack when it feels as if there is no other way out.  China today offers the United States a daunting strategic challenge.  We haven’t actually cornered China, but our artless foreign policy may certainly give China that impression.

There are two aspects of our relationship with China that I’d like to discuss: military posturing, and economic strength.  Before I get to that, we need an appreciation of the history of Sino-US relations.

Older Chinese still recall the “bad old days” of China’s evolution from feudal state to a modern power.  Foreign subjugation began with the Opium Wars in 1848.  Western powers, including the United States, more or less helped themselves to Chinese resources.  At the beginning of the twentieth century, China suffered increasing frequency of internal upheavals; these were mostly the result of the central government’s inability to do anything about the presence of foreign powers that sought to enrich themselves at China’s expense.  On more than one occasion, the United States sent military and naval forces to China to protect its diplomatic legation and to demonstrate American power.

China achieved a republic in the early 1920s, but one that was politically unstable.  A civil war lasted from 1927 to 1937.  The civil conflict was interrupted by a Japanese invasion and World War II.  Civil war resumed in 1945, lasting until 1949.  Thus, from the mid-1800s to 1949, China experienced warlordism, internal upheaval, starvation, and national degradation.  The Chinese call this their century of humiliation. Twenty-four million people suffered and died.

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Cult Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

[source]
On the heels of the Cult of Obama, we have another budding cult... Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's campaign shoes to be showcased in historical exhibit:
...The New York congresswoman-elect’s first pair of campaign trail shoes are being loaned out to the Cornell Costume Collection exhibit for those who want to witness what “hard work” looks like.

The exhibit – titled “WOMEN EMPOWERED: Fashions from the Frontline,” is set to debut on December 6 and summonses women to share special articles of clothing that have empowered them in the past. Other featured items include the inaugural suit worn by Texas governor Ann Richards and collars from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg among many other pieces of history....

[...]

The Collection thanked Ocasio-Cortez Wednesday in a social media post and commended her on “determination and dedication”

“We can’t think of a better example of fashion from the frontline: U.S. Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th district has loaned us her first pair of campaigning shoes,” the Collection wrote on Instagram....
Read it all HERE — if you can stand it.

Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic freshmen look to shape party as it takes control of House

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

(For politics, please scroll down)



This Thanksgiving 2018, what are you most thankful for?

Note: the graphic in this blog post was created by Stogie of Saberpoint so as to reflect which blessing I personally count every day — that is, the First Amendment, which protects my right to freedom of expression.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Solving Poverty

By Sam Huntington

Poverty is a real thing in America, but I often wonder, given the amount of tax dollars that has been earmarked or spent trying to eradicate poverty (estimated at $1.5-trillion since 1930), why poverty continues to exist.  Surely by now we should have solved this problem once and for all[i].

There was a time in America (and other countries) when we defined poverty as utter human destitution; people died on our city streets.  They starved or froze to death.  They had no money to purchase food.  This was the state of poverty in the United States between 1870 and 1930.  If this continued to be our definition of poverty, then we should argue that the problem has been almost (although not completely) eradicated.

Citizens continue to die on our streets, but now it is  more often attributed to mental problems, alcoholism, or drug abuse.  Today, the essential task of feeding, sheltering, and clothing the poorest among us does get done.  Ultimately, our answer to the question “What is poverty” depends upon what society thinks one must have in order NOT to be classified as poor[ii].

To help us with that, the US Census Bureau measures American poverty according to a formula devised in 1960 by the Social Security Administration: poverty thresholds from the cost of a minimum food diet, multiplied by three.  In 1980, the poverty threshold for a non-farming family of four was $8.400.  In 2017, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $24,600.  According to the US Census, the terms “poor” and “below the poverty level” are used interchangeably.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Video: Mark Levin Interviews Jon Voight

A bit long, but worth your time (hat tip to Joseph Brandon of Joetote's Blog):



Proving that not all of Hollywood is Hollyweird!

YouTube blurb for the above video:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Personal Post: Back In The Day

(For politics, please scroll down)


Yes, these are photos of me as a toddler:

I was an alpha, even back then.


And ever curious!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2016 Election Results -- Your Take?

Silverfiddle Rant!

The comment thread on Asylum got way off track, so let's talk about the midterm election results.


Franco Aragosta posted this from Henry Olsen at American Greatness,

"Arizona’s Senate race was perhaps the most surprising, and disturbing, midterm result for Republicans and Trump fans. Many struggle to understand how Barry Goldwater’s home state will send a former pink tutu-wearing antiwar activist to Washington. …"
It's not that hard to understand. Barry Goldwater's senate career ended three decades ago. A few decades before that, Ronald Reagan was governor of a Republican California. This is a new millennium.  Filled with millennials.

The GOP got plastered on November 6th.  The House loss was deep and wide, and the Senate result was pathetic given the lopsided amount of seats the Democrats had to defend.

What does this mean?

People aren't as disgusted with the screaming leftwing mobs as conservatives hoped they were.

90% Negative press coverage takes its toll

The GOP has no message.  Ask yourself: When the Democrat Congress wants Medicare for All, Free College, and other big ticket item goodies, how can Republicans argue for fiscal discipline and smaller government when they abandoned those cheap props decades ago?

Colorado is down the blue toilet, and Arizona is right behind it.  Also, write off Florida. They just enfranchised 1.7 million ex-cons, and we all know who they will vote for.

What is your take on the midterm election results?

Please try to keep it clean, and if your comment disappears, it probably means you used potty language or you were way off topic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Asylum

Silverfiddle Rant!

I was mistaken. I thought foreigners could apply for asylum at any US embassy or consulate. They cannot. They must do so in the US.  I think this is one of the roots of the current crisis.




According to NOLO...
Asylum is a form of legal protection available to certain people who cannot or would not feel safe if they tried to live in their home country, because of past persecution or the danger of future persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
But you can only seek asylum in the US...
Unfortunately, U.S. embassies and consulates cannot process requests for this form of protection because, under U.S. law, asylum seekers can apply only if they are physically present in the United States (or at least at a U.S. border or other point of entry).
DHS Websites say the same. Go here to see the process for making an asylum claim.

Our immigration laws are insane and designed to encourage one and all to show up, surrender at the border, see the judge, receive your taxpayer-funded bus tickets to whichever US city the rest of your family resides illegally, and never be molested again by the cruel and racist Tio Sam...

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Skeptic Tradition

By Sam Huntington

Here we are in the 21st Century —an age so advanced in science and technology that most of us can’t get our heads around it. Add to this, again for most of us, the real problem of information overload. These days, there’s simply too much to know; the mass of information that we do have doesn’t allow much room for adding in more. As a result, we’ve become quite selective about what we want to know. The United States of America may host one of the world’s most specialized societies. I can’t say that this is either a good or bad thing ... but I can say that specialization has a fragmenting effect on society overall. Bio-specialists are not known to hang-out with welders. It is no longer adequate to consult with a lawyer; you have to consult with a lawyer that specializes in your particular problem. In the medical profession, all I can say is thank goodness for general practitioners who serve us as our conduit to specialized medicine.

I was reading a magazine the other day, an article written by one of the so-called earth scientists, who was complaining about the American skeptic. Why, he moaned, do Americans continue to question the wisdom, authority, or expertise of scientists? He wrote, “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge —from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change— faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts. There are so many of these controversies these days, you’d think a diabolical agency had put something in the water to make people argumentative. And there’s so much talk about the trend these days —in books, articles, and academic conferences— that science doubt itself has become a pop-culture meme.”

It didn’t take long for the writer to arrive at the conclusion that the problem is really that Americans are foolishly skeptical. Yes, our lives are permeated by science and technology; American society is more complicated and unsettling. And, he continued, “We face risks that we can’t easily analyze.” Well, I think this is true. What does a welder know, or understand, or even care about bio-research (until it affects him or her personally)? It leads me to conclude that American society is far more complicated than we realize and our penchant for classifying people as either wealthy, middle class, or poor is merely a matter of convenience to journalists who actually know less than the welder does about bio-science (unless they’re specialized journalists, of course).

But why are Americans so skeptical? I think that generally, we distrust science and technology because of the way it has been used in the past to confuse us, and then to use that confusion —that lack of knowledge or understanding— to take advantage of society as a whole. I last wrote about climate science; I can use that as my leading example of society’s distrust of the scientific community. There are many other examples. Who were the nimrods in science that gave us the notion of nuclear energy without considering what ought to be done with spent fuel rods? Oh, we found a solution to this, of course, after the mother of necessity resulted in the expenditure of billions of dollars in land requisition and the creation of underground storage facilities. That story, by the way, is far from over. Here are a few more scientific blunders that cause us to question science:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Post-Election Perspective

Two of my recent Facebook finds....Click on each graphic to enlarge it.


Another graphic below the fold.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Quotation Of The Day

Some post-election thoughts....

Comment from my good friend Mustang of Old West Tales and Fix Bayonets! (emphases mine):

Nancy Pelosi said that the Democratic win of the House was “All about stopping the GOP.” Perhaps. I think it was all about stopping the will of half of the American people from realizing their hopes for our future. For those on the left who claim that their agenda was about healthcare, it is pure eyewash. The healthcare system we have now is the healthcare system adopted unilaterally by the Democrats in 2008. I should note that it was mere moments after the close of elections that Pelosi stepped to the microphone and began lying —which is something she does without batting an eye. There are unresolved issues —most of these as a result of a RINO House the day before yesterday. We won’t see a wall any time soon; we will not have a solution to the immigration problem, we will not solve the question of birthright citizenship. The can gets kicked down the lane a bit further.

There are a few things that we should remember about our political system. First, America has a very large political tent with room for all kinds of people; even a place for idiots like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. The second thing to remember is that the founding fathers set up the House of Representatives as a place where the voice of the people could be heard, but one in which, given the passions of politics, turns over every two years. In other words, the people can rid themselves of House idiots rather quickly. The founders intended that the Senate is a more mature, reasoned, less emotional chamber. There are snakes in the senate, of course, but they are less viperous than those in the House.

Still, I think it is interesting to note that the top of the Democratic Party in the Senate consists of Harris, Feinstein, Gillibrand, Warren, Sanders, Menendez, and Schumer. We should conclude these people represent the new face of the Democratic Party: progressive communists all.

One quick note about the Georgia gubernatorial contest. Did any of Stacy Abram’s supporters understand her platform, and did they support her for her high-taxes, anti-gun, pro-illegal immigration, sanctuary state positions? No one will support higher taxes unless they personally benefit from it. Abram’s base of support was Atlanta; they voted for her because she’s black; it is a corruption of our political system. Most black people in Atlanta, or so it seems, have forgotten what Martin Luther King, Jr., had to say about character.

Well, Trump will have his hands full, but he’s up for it … and I think he actually relishes the challenges of a radically leftist House. In fact, I think these mid-term election results suit Mr. Trump just fine. So now we begin the road to the general election in 2020. Politics, it seems, never goes away … 


Already, the mainstream media's 2020 agenda is apparent as evidenced by President Trump's press conference on November 7, 2018 (the day after the 2018 midterm elections).

Related reading: CNN's Jim Acosta has press pass suspended by White House, Sarah Sanders announces.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Flashbacks

Two short years ago today.  It remains to be seen if Donald Trump can repeat this success in the General Election of 2020...







As my father used to say: "You can never predict the outcome of an election. And you can never tell how a jury might decide."

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Day 2018


As my father used to say: "You can never predict the outcome of an election. And you can never tell how a jury might decide."

And remember...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Caravan Truth

One of my Facebook finds:


Related reading: Official Says Majority of Caravan Made Up of Single, Adult Males.

My own personal gripe about the presence of illegal aliens in the United States:

You better believe that I vote against any and all who support the concept of sanctuary cities or the concept of taking illegal "migrants" — caravan or no caravan!

My personal story....

In my early 50's and without my having any pre-existing condition including any previous spinal injury, one horrible morning, as I was driving to work (I owned my own business at the time), I sustained a permanently-disabling spinal injury resulting in Neurogenic Pain Syndrome (aka Neuropathic Pain Syndrome) because of an illegal alien under deportation order and driving a Yellow Cab. This cab driver ran a 4-way stop sign and rear-ended me as he was going about 35 MPH.

Before you say, "The cab company is responsible," think again. These cab drivers, most with few assets and little insurance, are not covered by the cab company's insurance.

I sued for less than the insurance amount that the cab driver had — and his insurance policy was for only $100,000 coverage. He was supposed to be carrying a policy of $300,000 coverage.

How did I fare in court?

Not well!

Upon the pittance of a settlement (Think of a low amount, then think of a much lower amount), the officer of the court told me in words that will echo in my mind until I go to my grave:

"The sympathies of the court lie with the poor immigrant. If the situation were reversed, you'd be taken to the cleaners'.

NO JUSTICE FOR ME!

The so-called settlement I received didn't begin to cover my out-of-pocket medical expenses. Those expenses -- and this tormenting pain -- still continue to this day. 24/7/365!

The pain I have suffered since May 2005 is much akin to the nerve pain caused by shingles.

Come live my life, and see how much you love sanctuary cities and illegal aliens! Especially, but not limited to, behind the wheel.

Sooner or later, something like what happened to me will happen to you or to — God forbid! — your child or significant other.

I urge any and all who read this commentary to reconsider favoring sanctuary cities and the admission of caravans of "migrants." The outcome will be even worse that the situation with which I have to deal.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Ending Birthright Citizenship

Silverfiddle Rant!
President Trump intends to end birthright citizenship by executive order. Senator Lindsay Graham will introduce legislation ending this stupid and suicidal practice of permitting foreigners to create little US citizens.

Progressives are screaming, but at this point, their screams are drowning out their other screams, so let's cut to the chase.

What US law says:

The following shall be nationals and citizens of the United States at birth:
(a) a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof;
Source: 8 USC 1401

What the US Constitution Says:

Amendment XIV
Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

What 14th Amendment drafter U.S. Senator Jacob Howard said in floor debate:

“This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons.”

Source: Congressional Globe

What the Supreme Court Said in 1873:

The phrase, "subject to its jurisdiction" was intended to exclude from its operation children of ministers, consuls, and citizens or subjects of foreign States born within the United States.
Source: Slaughterhouse Cases

What the Supreme Court Said in 1884:

The persons declared to be citizens are 'all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.' The evident meaning of these last words is, not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject to their political jurisdiction, and owing them direct and immediate allegiance.
Source: Elk v. Wilkins

Congressman Steve King has a short treatise on this issue posted at his website.  Please take five minutes to read it:

Ending Birthright Citizenship Does Not Require A Constitutional Amendment

Andrew McCarthy makes a similar argument regarding "Jurisdiction:"

Constitution Does Not Require Birthright Citizenship

Finally, Tony Mecia at the never-Trumper outhouse The Weakly Standard, makes a weak case for the opposition, citing a case of an American man of Chinese descent who had to fight for his citizenship all the way to the Supreme Court.  His parents were from China, but wait for it...  They were permanent legal residents of the US at the time of his birth.  That's the best they got, folks.


What say you?

See Also:

Revoking Birthright Citizenship Enforces the Constitution

Birthright Citizenship and its Allies