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Friday, January 18, 2019

Emergency!

Silverfiddle Rant!
I oppose President Trump declaring a national emergency in order to build the sections of fence Homeland Security has planned, but... here is fodder for those who disagree, and it comes from the Trump-deranged accosters at CNN!




"But the United States is no stranger to national emergencies.
In fact, the US has been in a perpetual state of declared national emergency for four decades, and the country is currently under 31 concurrent states of emergency about a spectrum of international issues around the globe..."

Here is CNN's list of "active declared emergencies:"

1. Blocking Iranian Government Property (Nov. 14, 1979)
2. Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (Nov. 14, 1994)
3. Prohibiting Transactions with Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process (January 23, 1995)
4. Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to the Development of Iranian Petroleum Resources (March 15, 1995)
5. Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers (October 21, 1995)
6. Regulations of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels with Respect to Cuba (March 1, 1996)
7. Blocking Sudanese Government Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Sudan (November 3, 1997)
8. Blocking Property of Persons Who Threaten International Stabilization Efforts in the Western Balkans (June 26, 2001)
9. Continuation of Export Control Regulations (August 17, 2001)
10. Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks (September 14, 2001)
11. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions with Persons who Commit, Threaten to Commit, or Support Terrorism (September 23, 2001)
12. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Zimbabwe (March 6, 2003)
13. Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq has an Interest (May 22, 2003)
14. Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods to Syria (May 11, 2004)
15. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus (June 16, 2006)
16. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (October 27, 2006)
17. Blocking Property of Persons Undermining the Sovereignty of Lebanon or Its Democratic Processes and Institutions (August 1, 2007)
18. Continuing Certain Restrictions with Respect to North Korea and North Korean Nationals (June 26, 2008)
19. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (April 12, 2010)
20. Blocking Property and Prohibiting Certain Transactions Related to Libya (February 25, 2011)
21. Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations (July 25, 2011)
22. Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen (May 16, 2012)
23. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (March 6, 2014)
24. Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South Sudan (April 3, 2014)
25. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in the Central African Republic (May 12, 2014)
26. Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela (March 9, 2015)
27. Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (April 1, 2015)
28. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Burundi (November 23, 2015)
29. Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption (December 20, 2017)
30. Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election (September 12, 2018)
31. Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua (November 27, 2018)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Maoist Mobs and a Railroad fit for a King

Silverfiddle Rant!
I'm trying to get to the bottom of the Steve King-induced hysteria, and it's not easy.  Don't we have any journolists who can pull facts together and present them objectively?

Go Yahoogle "Steve King racist statements" and you will be fed a plethora of articles containing characterizations of what he said, and quote snippets shorn of the contextual conversation surrounding it.

The latest comes from the New York Times claiming he lamented the demonization of the terms "white nationalist" and "white supremacist."  The New York Times is withholding the complete context from us.  Here's is King's explanation:
In a 56 minute interview, we discussed the changing use of language in political discourse. We discussed the worn out label “racist” and my observation that other slanderous labels have been increasingly assigned to Conservatives by the Left, who injected into our current political dialog such terms as Nazi, Fascist, ‘White Nationalist, White Supremacist,— Western Civilization, how did THAT language become offensive?

Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?’…just to watch Western Civilization become a derogatory term in political discourse today. Clearly, I was only referencing Western Civilization classes. No one ever sat in a class listening to the merits of white nationalism and white supremacy.
Who's right? Rep King or the New York Times Journolist?  The Times needs to release the complete recording of the interview and let us judge for ourselves.

Here are more items in the "Steve King is a Racist" rolodex:

This retweet got him branded an anti-Semite. So I guess anyone quoting Marx, Mao or Gorbachev is a communist...  Go figure...

This Gert Wilders retweet marks king as a dangerous white nationalist...
In 2017, King tweeted that he agreed with far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders that "our civilization" cannot be restored "with somebody else's babies."
Yes, The United States has a civilization, and it is ours.  It is distinct from other nations.  It is a beautiful mosaic that was built by and is now enjoyed by people of all races, religions and national origins. We were a melting pot once, where "somebody else" from "somewhere else" became "one of us," including my mom, her sister and her parents.  If we don't breed, our culture will die, and other will move in with their own culture and remake the social landscape.  It is not bigoted or hateful to oppose that.

Will the dirty old Muslim men bringing in child brides allow them to assimilate? Are the 20% of the population that do not speak English at home interested in assimilation?

But I digress...

Rep King is guilty of speaking candidly and using politically-incorrect language. People calling him a racist have not made their case.  Most frighteningly, whole herds of educated sheeple are condemning him based upon propaganda and smears. No one has actually formulated a logical argument for the case that Rep. King is a racist.

This is a deliberate tightening of the language, a narrowing of acceptable speech. The left can cheer "old white people" dying off, but no can criticize unregulated immigration or call a shithole a shithole. See how the game is played? The left holds all the weapons and enjoys a free fire zone, while screaming bloody murder any time someone to their right picks up a pea-shooter.

Please read this infamous interview Rep King had with an Austrian news site that once had a Nazi in its management 70 years ago. Here are a few shocking, reprehensible quotes:
Freedom of speech, religion and press, property rights, Judeo-Christian values, all these things that are so important.
hmmm.... a neo-nazi anti-Semite lauding our "Judeo-Christian" values... Don't hear that too often nowadays.
Look, I can envision generations from now, centuries from now, where everyone eventually starts to look the same, if we get enough intermarriage which is the most effective form of assimilation. […] I don't see Caucasians to be genetically dominant. Blue eyes and blond hair are recessive. So I envision more and more assimilation, and that's positive, and one day, we will all look substantially the same.
When asked if he were a civic nationalist or an ethnic nationalist...
I guess “civic” may be able to describe what I am, yes. I'm not an ethnic nationalist. because I look at all these people and I just see the diversity of skin colors.
The article disappoints in its lack of inflammatory racist diatribes, especially since it was a white nationalist neo-nazi bigoted anti-Semite being interviewed by a European nazi website.  You'd think he really would have let his freak flag fly...

So, can someone make a rational, cogent argument that Rep Steve King is a bigot?  Please don't cite how Republicans have repudiated him. That's not an argument, and anyway, Republicans are running scared trying to hold up their crapped-full adult diapers.

"The sleep of reason produces monsters"
-- Francisco Goya

More Reading: A brief guide to Rep. Steve King's 'long history of racist statements'

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Future Of The Democratic Party?

Legal Insurrection's Beto tries to outdo Elizabeth Warren by livestreaming his dentist appointment, calls out attention to this bit of one-upsmanship:


Legal Insurrection comments as follows:
If Joe Biden livestreams his colonoscopy, I’m quitting the internet.
Heh.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Congressional Funding


A sampler from Grabien News (dated January 9, 2019):
Things Democrats Have Funded that Cost More than the Border Wall: Lawmakers have put less thought into other, more expensive projects over the years

After President Trump requested $5.7 billion to fund the border wall he campaigned on in 2016, Democrats have dug in, refusing to appropriate the funds that the administration says are needed to better manage the flow of immigration across the southern border.

Democrats are not traditionally known for their fiscal rectitude but are particularly parsimonious over what ultimately amounts to a very small percentage of the federal budget. (In 2018, the feds spent $4.173 trillion overall, meaning the border wall would amount to just 1/10th of 1 percent of current annual federal spending.)

Indeed, these lawmakers have happily funded various projects over the years that cost far more than the border wall — and many of which had very questionable value. Below are some examples of wasteful federal spending projects that individually cost more than the proposed border wall (data courtesy of Citizens Against Government Waste):

“Rural Utility Service.” This program costs taxpayers $8.2 billion/year and has no actual purpose after its original intent — bringing electricity to rural communities — was long ago achieved. It’s now being used to bring broadband access to small communities (usually with populations of less than 20,000). However there’s no indication the “beneficiaries” of this expensive government agency actually appreciate the program, and the majority of its projects are not completed on time or within budget.

Sugar Subsidies. America, as Democrats frequently intone, faces a health crisis. What they don’t tell us is that it’s largely of their own making, as Congress subsidizes the production of unhealthy foods like sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Eliminating sugar subsidies alone would save $6 billion, enough to fund the border wall; it would also have the added benefit of helping curb the nation’s obesity epidemic.

Community Development Grants. These grants were created in the 70s to revitalize failing American cities. The program has almost always been plagued with dysfunction, with grants going to wealthy communities and other recipients failing to produce “accountability and results.” Citizens Against Government Waste reports that even President Obama called for reining in the program. It’s elimination would save $15 billion over 5 years.

The United Nations. As the United Nation’s largest contributor, the U.S. in 2016 donated $10 billion to the U.N. As CAGW notes, reducing these contributions just 25 percent would create a savings of $12.5 billion over 10 years. Of the money Congress appropriates for the United Nations, $5 million taxpayer dollars are itemized for abortions in foreign countries.

Unused Real Estate. Congress appropriates money to maintain federal real estate that’s not actually being used. Per CAGW, an October 31, 2017, CRS report found that, “In FY2016, federal agencies owned 3,120 buildings that were vacant (unutilized), and another 7,859 that were partially empty (underutilized).” Current laws require the government to undergo a series of steps before considering a sale of these buildings. Were selling this unused property prioritized, the 5-year savings are estimated at $15 billion. Simply maintaining the unused buildings annually costs $1.7 billion.

Despite many of of the above projects having arguably negative value, Congress continues to fund them. Eliminating any one of the above would create more than enough savings to fund the White House’s border wall appropriation request.

Of course, other smaller federal spending projects are even more wasteful. Examples abound, but here are a few that are at least amusing:

— The feds spend $613,634 to boost “intimacy and trust” of transgender women and their male partners (The Washington Free Beason)

— The feds spent $5 million paying hipsters to stop smoking and then blog about it (as well as use cool anti-smoking swag — like beer koozies). (Readers Digest)

— Northwestern University has received more than $3 million in National Institutes of Health to watch hamster fights. “Some of those experiments involved injecting hamsters with steroids, then putting another hamster in the cage to see if the drugged rodents were more aggressive when protecting their territory. This program has since been halted following protests from animal rights activists,” Readers Digest reports.

— The feds spend $1,009,762 training “social justice” math teachers (The Washington Free Beacon)

— “The government spent at least $518,000 in federal grants to study how cocaine affects the sexual behavior of Japanese quails,” Readers Digest reports.

— The Federal Register is legally required to be printed daily and distributed to Congressional offices despite most never being read and all of the information being available online. Stopping this unnecessary printing would save $1 million a year.
Go HERE to enable embedded links underlined in the above.

Click directly on the graphic to enlarge it:

[source]

We are witnessing the rapid decline of our republic. And what was once an incremental decline is now a rapid decline.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Snowed In!

(For politics, please scroll down)

Here at the AOW house today:

Our SW front yard


E front porch and wheelchair ramp

And it's still snowing!

The pantry is full, and I'll be cooking a roasted chicken this afternoon.

My days of shoveling snow are over, so once the snow stops, I'll be seeking someone to dig us out.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Presidential Impeachment

Johnson, Nixon, Clinton, and …

by Sam Huntington

Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government. It consists of four sections, the last one addresses the subject of impeachment.  There may not be a better example of checks and balances than this article.  In Section 4: Impeachment, the Constitution reads, “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Any official impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted by the Senate is immediately removed from office.  The Senate may also bar this individual from holding any future federal office.  No other punishments may be inflicted pursuant to impeachment proceedings.

The words “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” come to us from English common law; in US law, they refer to criminal actions, as well as any serious misuse or abuse of office, ranging from tax evasion to obstruction of justice.  

The ultimate authority for determining whether an offense constitutes grounds for impeachment rests with the US Congress.  The House of Representatives serves the same function as a grand jury, rendering an indictment, while the Senate, with the Chief Justice of the United States, serves as judge and jury.  

One note of possible interest, in the drafting of Section 4, the word “maladministration” was specifically rejected by the founding fathers because the word is too vague and susceptible to political abuse —which brings us to an examination of presidents who were, or might have been, or could be, impeached.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Mask Dropped...

...Or something.

[photo credit]
Rick Wilson, an alleged Republican political strategist, is a nasty piece of work — and a particularly nasty NeverTrumper.

Get a load of this from Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, the book that Wilson recently wrote:
…Wilson attacks Reince Priebus, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz and Mike Pence, and he says Newt Gingrich “started twerking [for Trump] faster than a five-buck stripper.” Such sexualized put-downs abound in Wilson’s book. White House adviser Stephen Miller “needs to spend a week getting laid.” Wilson finds Trump campaign adviser Carter Page “reeking of late-stage virginity.” And the white-nationalist altGOP-right movement is a bunch of “pudgy white boys from lower-middle-class suburbs who couldn’t find a woman’s clitoris with a GPS and a magnifying glass.”…
And recently: GOP Strategist Insults ‘Rube, Ten-Tooth’ Trump Voters Who Support A Border Wall.

Charming, huh?

We live in the Age of Civility. **heavy sarcasm**

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Glamour meets Beethoven!


[about Khatia Buniatishvili, about the above piece]

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recommended Reading: Changing Taboos

See Old favorites, outdated attitudes: Can entertainment expire? at the Associated Press on December 28, 2018.

The first three paragraphs:
NEW YORK (AP) — The 1940 movie “The Philadelphia Story” opens with a case of domestic assault played for laughs — Cary Grant shoving Katharine Hepburn to the ground by her face while a jaunty musical score plays.

Eight decades later, the movie is clearly two things: uneasy fare for a post-#metoo culture — and an enduring American classic. And it’s far from the only example of such things.

They exist throughout society’s pop-culture canon, from movies to TV to music and beyond: pieces of work that have withstood time’s passage but that contain actions, words and depictions about race, gender and sexual orientation that we now find questionable at best....
Read the rest HERE. Do read the rest before commenting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

(For politics, please scroll down)


There is nothing magical about crossing the threshold from the old year into the new year. Nevertheless, acknowledging the crossing of that threshold has a long tradition of offering a new start, particularly a time of looking forward with hope.  

We on the blogging team here at Always On Watch wish our readers a happy and healthy new year.  

May 2019 be kind to us all!