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The Memo

I don’t have much unique to add to the already roaring voices of discontent.  I believe the memo exposes the use of a shady, Clinton-campaign funded opposition research memo to authorize FBI resources to spy on the Trump Campaign.  Further, this was done multiple times, and the provenance of the memo was concealed by the DOJ and FBI from the Court to whom it should have been revealed.  Comey, McCabe, and Rosenstein are all over this.  This is a  complete and total abuse of law enforcement powers for low, partisan purposes.  Shameful.

Byron York has a good write up, as does Chris Bursick and the Wall Street Journal.  

Just a few thoughts.  #MemoGate shows that the only Russian collusion was between Hillary campaign and Russia, through Fusion GPS and its spy, Christopher Steele, who paid, bribed, and listened to various Russians who defamed Trump for various reasons, including, perhaps, undermining his presidency should he win.  Imagine if George W Bush used lies to get FISA warrants against Kerry or Obama based on shady oppo research?  This is an incredible abuse of power by a politicized FBI under Obama.

Second, the FBI’s halo needs to be brought down.  There is no “independent” FBI, and, like the CIA, NSA, the military, and all the rest that is part of the executive branch, it is answerable to the elected President and Congress.  We should remember the FISA Court itself is a product of the Church Commission, which investigated FBI abuses during the 60s and 70s.  Why assume that rogue ethos has completely disappeared?

Truthfully, other than those at the top, I expect there are few died-in-the-wool libs among the rank-and-file agents, but, nonetheless, they should be generally speaking held accountable. And the memo shows that their claimed need for secrecy is as much about avoiding embarrassment as it has anything to do with national security.  The memo has been treated as both a “nothing burger” and the destroyer of worlds.  Both can’t be true.

Finally, is there no common ground anymore?   Nancy Pelosi moved heaven and earth to expose the CIA’s use of potentially illegal torture to root out al Qaeda.  Right or wrong, at least then she stood on the side of transparency and exposure of information to the public, which mostly shrugged upon learning of this act taken in extremis.  Is there anything that could be exposed done by the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Obama administration more generally that would raise more than a shrug? Is there any common principle–other than mere partisanship–that extends from administration to administration?

Nixon lost the Republicans with his cover up.  But, as Clinton showed with his sheer force of will during his scandals, simply pressing forward seems to have some value politically speaking.  People are forgetful. And many of the top Democrats, I would say, are quite simply more partisan and more lawless than Republicans, particularly as they are as incensed about Trump as Republicans were about Obama.

And that’s not a good thing, as both parties should and do, to some extent, keep an eye on the other when it is in power.  Both should have some common respect for the broad ideal of the rule of law.   But the Swamp, sadly, seems to look at the people and their oversight as a whole as the problem.  For them, the rules are merely for show, for the little people, and as tools to get their opponents, rather than being internalized as limits on their own conduct.  It’s really sad that more people aren’t troubled by these apparent excesses and abuses.  Because there are worse things than a Trump or an Obama getting elected, depending on your point of view; it is more troubling if elections no longer matter and are policed by a very unqualified group, a group with extensive authority, whose chief interest is their own power and privilege.  We are entering Soviet territory these days, and, like the late Soviet Union, may find the gap of privilege and wealth from the nomenklatura and the rest of us is simply too much for ordinary people to bear.

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During the campaign, Trump spoke of cleaning the swamp, and it’s hard to believe that a rough-talking and sometimes crude Queens businessman would be the person to do that.  But the Swamp is a metaphor, and it’s more like a reeducation camp, a loony bin, or a decadent Versailles of a new age.  Trump is exactly the person to straighten it out, because the straight jacket of our age comes wrapped in soothing platitudes and new standards of politeness:  sensitivity, being inclusive, celebrating diversity, and all the rest.  And, in the process, we are giving away our country, our native born sons are in decline, and our collective flourishing is being undermined by violence, disunity, and parasitic newcomers.

Trump is asking the right questions on immigration that have been relegated to the sidelines or worse by the bipartisan consensus:  Who should come here? How many? And what qualities should these people have? And how do they contribute to our common good, if at all, once they are here?

Andrew Klavan, with whom I was not previously familiar, had this excellent analogy to the role Trump is playing and the nature of the pieties he is upsetting:

I frequently compare Trump to Randle Patrick McMurphy, the loudmouthed, ill-mannered roustabout from Ken Kesey’s brilliant novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. McMurphy comes into an insane asylum controlled by a pleasant, smiling nightmare of a head nurse named Ratched. Nurse Ratched, while pretending to be the soul of motherly care, is actually a castrating, silencing tyrant. Her rules of good manners, supposedly fashioned for the benefit of all, are really a system of mental slavery. All of McMurphy’s salient character flaws suddenly become heroic in the context of her oppression. Only his belligerent ignorance of what constitutes good behavior can overturn the velvet strangulation of her rule.

If one can’t call Haiti a shithole without this being controversial, something is seriously wrong with our culture and its leaders.  This fact is obvious, and how much any failed nation’s traits are contagious through mass immigration of it nationals is an issue worth taking very seriously or we may find ourselves with a Toussant Louverture in our midst.  I’d rather have a leader that speaks the truth, the real truth that matters, rather than someone who politely supervises our collective destruction.

Haiti Struggles With Death And Destruction After Catastrophic Earthquake

How dare anyone fail to see the charms of Haiti?

Watching media freak out over Trump’s “shithole” comment reminds me why he won. He said something everyone knows is true. You can’t deny these countries (Haiti, Honduras) are not very nice.  They’re poor, dirty, poorly governed, chaotic, corrupt, and generally the opposite of the United States of yore.  One or two photos make it clear.  Nor if you are logical can you deny that a decent amount  of their people aren’t very nice or talented either.  It’s not the physical environement, but the demographic and cultural one that made these countries the way they are.  And, indeed, there are degrees of bad, as the sharp line of demarcation between unforested Haiti and forested Dominican Republic makes clear if you ever happen to fly over them.

These people want to come here for a reason.  Obviously, many are good and motivated people, dissatisfied with the countries they’re born into.  But they risk turning our country more like they countries they came from if too many come. Everyone knows this. This is normal dinner table talk. And the media is losing it and the Democrats are about to fall into a trap by showing their enthusiasm for low-skill, poor, third-world immigration and denying the obvious about the countries they come from.  After all, if these countries aren’t shitholes, what’s so bad about deporting people to them?

Half of Trumps appeal is destroying taboos of political correctness. What we think and what we “are allowed to say” is more divergent than in the late Soviet Union. And people know it and are sick of it.

It’s starting to unravel, and the naked partisanship behind the story is becoming more and more clear.

Andrew McCarthy as usual has done yeoman’s work here and here.  In short, the basis of the spying on the Trump Campaign was the totally unreliable Steele Dossier created by Fusion GPS for the Hillary Campaign.

Another rundown here.  Long Twitter string, but overall a good point that the chief assumption of the n’er do wells was that Trump would never win regardless.

Finally, an analysis of the recent blatant lying on the subject by Susan Rice, Obama’s NSA advisor.

Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of the Russian Collusion thing is it being totally out of tune with Trump, his ethos, his stated passions, his demonstrated policies, and his manifest nationalism for his own country, the United States.  It seems more like a combination of defamation and alibi for Hillary losing the election.

A little narrative change from the New York Times.

The past is always changing, as they say.

Also, I wasn’t surprised this horrible, trumped up hate campaign–like the Goetz incident in the mid-80s–led to this gentleman’s radicalization.  When the full weight of the media, the DOJ, and the prospect of a life sentence was attempted on this guy for defending himself, and when felonious Trayvon was at the same time made out to be a saint, it was pretty obvious that anti-white hatred was becoming far too explicit and normal during the Obama years.

Here we are.  A year before we were blessed with the first GPS Fusion President.

Let’s consider the big picture.  Trump has won some and lost some, faced massive resistance from both parties, and emphasized some parts of his agenda to the exclusion of others.  He has hired people largely not in sync with his agenda and is also dodging a special counsel investigation of dubious provenance.

Nonetheless, much positive is happening, and the elites of both parties ignore these things at their peril:

One, his pro business instincts and the prospect of tax reform have ushered in a massive economic growth cycle, complete with a huge rally in the stock market, but also the expansion of jobs, wages, and industry in the neglected “flyover states” who vouchsafed Trump’s victory.  We went from dogged opposition to the Keystone Pipeline to expanding plants and foreign investment in areas of the country that really need it.

ISIS, whose satanic atrocities and massive expansion on Obama’s watch worried people in America, Europe, and the Middle East, is very much on the run, crushed by aggressive action, loosened rules of engagement, and moral clarity at the top.  While the Mideast is a cesspool with little hope of reform, we were told it would take years what has taken only months under Trump’s leadership.

Illegal immigration is down.  Enforcement and deportations are up.  The wall isn’t built, and this is worrisome, but, as with ISIS, the moral clarity of the president’s leadership has let would-be illegals and those “living in the shadows” realize it’s time to go home.  This is a rare instance where the rank-and-file government workers in organizations like ICE and the Border Patrol were previously held back and frustrated by the uncertain trumpet and diffident leadership of Trump’s predecessors.  They simply needed to be let loose.

And Trump has taken a leading role in the culture wars.  He’s the mirror image of Obama in this respect.  When Obama would wring his hands over his virtual “son” Trayvon and the grievances of cop killers in Dallas, Trump has none of it.  He speaks out against political violence on all sides, against the America-hating primma donnas of the NFL, against the intolerance of Islamic fanatics and its terroristic votaries, against the trashing of our past and our history, against the dishonest media, and for the rights of all Americans to prosper and live in safety in a country recognizable as the same one they were born into.  In this sense, he has been the most effective, and it’s hard not to see him victorious on many fronts if only by giving symbolic strength to the basic views of the millions of people who gladly voted for him.

So we’ll see.  He faces an uphill battle.  He is opposed by judges, professional bureaucrats, Republican legislators, the elites of both coasts, special prosecutors, and some of his closet advisers.  But he won under these circumstances, and his policies, translated into reality, appear to be working to enhance our collective safety, prosperity, and overall flourishing.

Law as Magic

In the wake of the horrible mass shooting in Texas, few will stop to consider how two quick-thinking and armed citizens put a stop to it.  Instead, we’re told prayers are not enough, but instead we need more laws.  More laws to restrict otherwise law-abiding people.  More laws against the evil gun totems that somehow load, carry, and shoot themselves into unarmed crowds.  More laws to make firearms less available and more expensive.

Setting aside the merits and demerits of these proposals, what is little discussed is how laws become translated into reality.  In between every brilliant law and those whom it aims to control are several layers of bureaucracy–surly obese women looking forward to retirement, aged computers, people making plans for Flag Day.

Here a perfectly sensible law that required the Air Force to report people convicted of serious domestic violence, which the shooter did do and ultimately led to a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force.  But, for unknown reasons, the Air Force never sent this information in the nationwide background check system.  So the shooter proceeded to buy a gun he was prohibited from owning because of his criminal background.

Laws, good or bad, cannot enforce themselves, but new ones on such wide ranging areas as health care and assault weapons are promoted as if they will, by their very passage, change reality overnight.   When bad things happen, the existence of a large body of relevant and under-enforced laws is ignored.  Laws don’t do anything by themselves.  They’re limited by resources, money, information, meddling judges, and, ultimately, by the quality and commitment of the people charged with following them.

Government service is filled with people with little acquaintance with the Darwinian effects of things like merit based demotion and discharge, bonuses, the profit motive, and competition.  The old trade for government service was job security for wages.  Now the wages of government workers are higher, even though a great many are populated by low talent and low motivation people, affirmative action cases, and other mediocrities.  And, when it all goes to hell, as it has here, you end up with 26 people who would not have been able to be killed but for the failure to enforce an existing, sensible law.

One law that would be worth something is a law that “drains the swamp.”  And this law would end public service unions, affirmative action, restore IQ-based civil service exams, cut salaries and numbers, and allow the summary shit-canning of people who mess up so royally that 26 preventable murders take place due to their lackadaisical approach to keeping guns out of the hands of convicted, violent criminals.