Monday, March 21, 2016

Traitors, Cretins and Racism

"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel," Samuel Johnson famously warned us, inveighing against a false patriotism that is only a cover up. Recently, scoundrels have taken to calling their critics racists as their last refuge.  It's an attack intended to silence debate and to squelch freedom of speech through mob intimidation.  Merely being accused of doing a single racist thing, true or not, can cause an American to lose their job, lose their business, or being assaulted by random strangers on the street.  Mob rule intended to violate Americans' rights runs contrary to our founding principles.

So if you are calling someone racist, I am going to just assume you're lying.  Second, I'm going to assume you're a traitor because you want to deny an American their rights.  And I'm going to call you what on your treachery and betrayal.  

You've been warned.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Longest Ovation

Dick Cheney is disliked by the left and the right alike.  The left sees him as some sort of Darth Vader to Bush's Emperor Palpatine, leading us into unnecessary war and torture.  The right sees him as part of the larger failings of the Bush administration that gave us Obama and Medicare Part D.  But he was the recipient of the longest standing ovation I have ever witnessed.  Allow me to explain.

In October 1991 (approximately) I was nearing the end of 18 months of study at Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey after 8 years of sea duty.  The first Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, had ended that February with the unexpectedly complete and swift expulsion of Saddam's forces from Kuwait. When the war had started, no one knew how long it would take or if it was even a wise move.  At the time, I was ambivalent about the war, worried that that it would unleash instability in the Middle East.  But victory so complete and total tends to wipe away such doubts.

Dick Cheney was Secretary of Defense at the time, and he had come to Monterey to deliver a talk about some new strategy that I frankly can't remember.  I was in the military a long time and have seen my share VIPs, including the President.  It is customary for members of the military to come to attention (i.e. stand up, with an erect bearing) at the arrival of the VIP.  Later, when he is formally introduced, there is some polite applause to welcome him.  This day would be different.  When Cheney was introduced, the clapping started, and we stood.  We clapped and we clapped and we clapped.  Then we clapped some more.  It went on like that for well over 15 minutes, maybe more.  If that doesn't sound like much, try it yourself.  No one wanted to stop.  Every time I think of that moment in time, I tear up.

I am speaking for myself, because I have never discussed it with anyone who was there.  But here is the context.  I joined the United States Navy under the long shadow of the Vietnam War.  The greatest country on earth lost that war, and it stung.  Then we were humiliated by our inability to rescue hostages from students and ayatollahs in Iran; then Marines were blown up by the hundreds in Beirut.  And in my heart of hearts, I knew that we were better than that.  I knew at least that my force, the submarine force, was ready, willing, and able to deliver nuclear punishment to our nation's enemies if called upon.  But we still looked like losers.

Then, in 1991, we won total and undeniable victory. The Gulf War was vindication.  It was vindication of the billions that Reagan had spent restoring our capability.  It was vindication of our fighting spirit.  It was vindication of our belief that we were the greatest fighting force on the planet.  Even though the President is Commander in Chief, the SecDef is the leader of all of the armed forces, without other duties.  We were really clapping for ourselves, for the sacrifices we all had made, and for the belief that we were successfully serving a great republic.  It was a day to be proud of what we had accomplished.  So we just kept applauding.  It was a good day.

. . .

Many of my friends question my support for Donald Trump.  I can only say that he taps into my deep loathing of being on the losing side and my deep sense of nationalism and identity as an American.  It may be that he is a charlatan; but no other candidate seems genuinely interested in restoring our pride as a nation.  Not as a conservative nation, but as a nation, period.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why Immigration Is THE Issue - Again

I was challenged on Twitter yesterday as to why immigration is my number one issue.  So I thought that a little recap is in order.

1. It's about fairness and the rule of law.  The culture of this country is sliding towards conditions that foster dictatorship.  Specifically, how one is treated before the law depends on one's circumstances.  Whether it is Hillary getting away with blatantly illegal activity on her server or Obama unlawfully granting amnesty to millions of illegals; were on a path where consequences for illegal activity is determined by a political elite ruled by a donor class.

2. The public wants the border enforced and the politicians won't do it.  The failure to control illegal immigration is indisputable evidence that our system of government has become rigged against the interests of the people as a whole.  Unlike the courts ramming through gay marriage, which never won any popular votes; there is not even a fig leaf of constitutionality in this question.  The Congress has the power to set immigration policy and the President the duty to enforce it.

3. It is an assault on the standard of living and even the lives of the working class.  Kurt Schlichter said it best:
Amnesty was a great idea for bubble people who think illegal immigration satisfies some sort of libertarian ideal, or who only experience its impact by being able to hire a cheaper nanny. It’s a pretty great idea for the illegals too. But leave your nice neighborhood and go where a high school grad who was born here can’t get a job as a roofer since any general contractor who doesn’t hire illegals is going to go broke because his competition will. Tell somebody whose daughter is shot dead in front of him by an illegal who got arrested five times but never got deported that it’s an act of love.
. . .
Immigration and free trade are generally good, but they impose real costs and our base is getting handed the bill. These folks have been asking us for help, and what was our response? Shut up, stupid racists.
4. We have a right to expect assimilation of our culture and ideals.  The current failure to enforce the border is leading to a ghettoization of Spanish speaking illegals who are not assimilating. We have lost the national will to demand assimilation of sub-cultures within our society as a prerequisite to group success.  Until this changes, we have the right to call for an end even to legal immigration if we so desire, in order to ensure that new immigrants share our dedication to freedom, limited government and rule of law.  Further, it is our right to restrict immigration to countries that cherish those values, so that we might preserve our own.

5.  Unlimited Immigration Does Not Benefit AMERICANS as a whole.  I keep having to say this.  We are demanding that the government of the United States operate in a manner that benefits all Americans, not just the few who benefit from illegal competition for wages.

You may view my long history of discussing this topic.  It is comprehensive.