Friday, October 28, 2016
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
This will be short because we really don’t know anything, and I have a lot to catch up with.
Unless you’re on an expedition in Borneo, you have heard that the FBI has reopened the investigation into the affairs of Hillary Rodham Clinton. That is significant this close to the election. What it will discover is a mystery. One the one hand we know that the WikiLeaks indicate conspiracies to violate the election laws of the United States, malfeasance in office – pay to play in the State Department as an example – and any number of violations of IRS Code 501 C 3, which governs the permitted activities of non-profit tax exempt organizations. Not just violations of regulations, but conspiracies to violate them. Conspiracies to commit illegal acts are themselves felonies. They also meet the Constitutional definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.
On the other hand, we have the New York Times and Clinton Gazette claiming that the FBI made and announced the decision to reopen the investigation because of something found in Weiner’s weird emails including to a 12 year old girl. Normally one wouldn’t want to be associated with anything Weiner, but he is so thoroughly a person of ridicule that it can be dismissed as just another Weiner story. Hillary’s line on WikiLeaks has been to shout “Russia, Putin, the Russians, Putin, all lies, Russia” over and over again; that’s getting weak, so perhaps it’s time to start pointing to Weiner and giggling.
Perhaps that will happen. It’s the take of the NY Times and Clinton Gazette.
There are other narratives, though.
The Cold Clinton Reality
Why isn’t the IRS investigating the Clinton Foundation?
Hillary and Bill Clinton are asking for a third term in the White House, and voters who want to know what this portends should examine the 12-page memo written by a Clinton insider that was hacked and published Wednesday by WikiLeaks. This is the cold, hard reality of the Clinton political-business model.
Longtime Clinton aide Doug Band wrote the memo in 2011 to justify himself to lawyers at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett who were reviewing his role and conducting a governance review of the Clinton Foundation at the insistence of Chelsea Clinton. In an email two weeks earlier, also published on WikiLeaks, Ms. Clinton said her father had been told that Mr. Band’s firm Teneo was “hustling” business at the Clinton Global Initiative, a regular gathering of the wealthy and powerful that is ostensibly about charitable activity.
Poor innocent Chelsea. Bill and Hillary must never have told her what business they’re in. If she had known, she would never have hired a blue-chip law firm to sweep through the hallways of the Clinton Foundation searching for conflicts of interest. Instead of questioning Mr. Band’s compensation, she would have pleaded with him never to reveal the particulars of his job in writing.
But she didn’t, and so Mr. Band went ahead and described the “unorthodox nature” of his work while emphasizing his determination to help “protect the 501(c)3 status of the Foundation.” [snip]
The story got out. A blue ribbon law firm found shocking conditions in violation of all kinds of laws, it was written in a report which was leaked, and the FBI had no choice but to open the investigation. The FBI isn’t saying; but given the extraordinary performances of its Director in the past few weeks to insist “nothing to see here”, it makes a more reasonable explanation. Wiener they can ignore, but a reputable law firm hired by Chelsea?
But of course I don’t know.
And we still don’t know all of the WikiLeaks to come.
Email Drama Resurrected!
This is becoming like a bad slasher film that keeps having more and more disappointing sequels:
The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the tens of thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.
In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said that emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, and that they “appear to be pertinent to the investigation.”
Mr. Comey said the F.B.I. was taking steps to “determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” He said he did not know how long it would take to review the emails, or whether the new information was significant.
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
FBI To Re-open Clinton Email Server Investigation
Something of interest: FBI to Re-Open Investigation Into Hillary Clinton’s Email Server (http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/fbi-to-re-open-investigation-into-hillary-clintons-email-server/ar-AAjx01q?li=BBnb7Kz).
I am sure we have not heard the last of this.
My friend Fred Reed, former Marine, longtime DC Reporter, blogger and curmudgeon, worries about the death throes of Empire. Not the Soviet Empire, which occupied a lot of my time and energy during the Cold War, but the American Empire which is crumbling fast; will it die without a war?
The Loosening Grip
A Beginner’s Guide to Death Throes
Oh good. The world reaches a crossroads, or probably a road off a cliff, just when I want to relax and watch gratuitous violence on the tube. To judge by the rapid drift of events aboard our planetary asylum, the talons of Washington and New York on the world’s throat are fast being pried a-loose. The Global American Imperium is dying. Or so it sure looks anyway.
I say talons of “New York and Washington” because America’s foreign policy, forged in those two cities, belongs entirely to them. Americans have no influence on it. Further, none of what the Empire does abroad is of any benefit to Americans. Do you care at all what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, or the South China Sea? Do you want to pay for it? America has been hijacked.
And the Empire prospereth not. It prospereth very not. Consider the recent record of the world’s hyperpower:
Washington does not have control of Afghanistan, and obviously is not going to.
Washington does not have control of Iraq, and appears unlikely to.
Washington did not back Iran down, and isn’t going to.
Washington did not back Russia down in Ukraine and Crimea, and isn’t going to.
Washington did not back China down in the South China Sea and, while this is perhaps not over, the Empire seems to be losing.
Washington has not backed North Korea down and is not going to.
In the Philippines, President Duterte has told Obama to “go to hell” as being “the son of a whore,” which may be taken to indicate latent hostility. He is vigorously seeking rapprochement with China. While Washington may have him murdered, it seems to be losing control of the Little Vassals of ASEAN.
Turkey seems to be cuddling up to Russia–that is, looking East like Duterte. Maybe Washington can turn this around temporarily, but there’s a whole lot of wavering going on.
Meanwhile Washington thrashes around impotently as per usual in Syria, and, though the jury remains out on this one, looks to have poor prospects. If Washington–AKA New York–loses here, after doing so in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the Empire will beyond redemption be on the downward slope.
The United States is not in danger. The Empire is. This is not good. Empires, the Soviet Union notwithstanding, seldom go quietly. Either Washington gambles on war of some sort against Russia, or Russia and China, in the desperate hope of reversing things, or the Empire gets slowly eaten. Or not so slowly. Once one country pries itself loose, many may rush for the door.
New York may go for calculated war against Russia–say, cyberwar expected not to turn into shooting war, shooting war in Syria not expected to turn into global shooting war, global shooting war not expected to turn into nuclear war. This will be a crapshoot. Note that America has badly misguessed the outcomes of every war since Korea.
This is why the American election actually matters, unusual in Presidential contests. It is Blowhard against Corruption, a swell choice, but Trump is firmly against war with Russia, and Hillary for. Her military understanding is that of a fried egg. [snip]
The rest of Fred’s column is very much worth reading; I can’t say I agree with it all, or that I would have written that, but I can’t prove it wrong and you might find some things to contemplate. Do recall that Fred is a self styled curmudgeon; and that he is a rather astute observer.
If you have not already seen it, Fred is at his curmudgeonly best in a previous column:
I’ve mentioned it before. Some humor is appropriate this week.
Some tyrannies fall hard; what’s left behind is not pretty:
“We came, we saw…he died” boasted a beaming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, speaking of the 2011 western overthrow of Libya’s leader Muammar Khadaffi.
She was, of course, shamelessly paraphrasing Caesar’s famous summary of his campaign around the Black Sea. Mrs. Clinton, who seems ordained to be America’s next president, should have been rather more cautious in admitting to murder.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of Khadaffi’s grisly death. The Libyan leader was fleeing in a motor convoy to reach friendly tribal territory when French warplanes and a US drone attacked and destroyed the vehicles. Wounded, Khadaffi crawled into a culvert where he was captured by French and US-backed rebels.
Khadaffi was severely beaten, then anally raped with a long knife. At least two bullets finally ended his suffering. Thus ended the colorful life of the man who wanted to be the second Nasser and leader of a united Arab world. His death was a warning to others trying to challenge the Mideast status quo I call the American Raj. [snip]
Khadaffi was quietly cooperating with the US when the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia. Secretary Hillary Clinton and her neocon advisors decided to seize advantage of Mideast turmoil and overthrow Khadaffi.
A new ‘color revolution’ was unleashed by the western powers. Protests were organized in Benghazi, always an anti-Khadaffi stronghold, by CIA, French intelligence and Britain’s MI6. Western special forces attacked Libyan military positions. The UN was gulled into calling for ‘humanitarian intervention to supposedly save civilian lives.’
France led the military intervention. Khadaffi’s son, Seif, had claimed that his father had helped finance French president Nicholas Sarkozy’s election. The vindictive Sarkozy intended to shut up the Khadaffis.
Western special forces intervened behind the cover of a popular uprising. Khadaffi’s rag tag forces quickly collapsed and rebel groups seized power, murdering Khadaffi in the process.
The west got Libya’s high grade oil and was rid of a thorn in its side. Khadaffi told me that if he were overthrown, Libya would splinter into its tribal mosaic – which is just what has happened. Chaos reigns as warlords backed by the US, France, Britain, Italy and Egypt – and a small ISIS contingent – fight over bleeding Libya. Decades of development that made Libya Africa’s leader in health care and education were wiped away. [snip]
Our treatment of Khadafy cannot have gone unnoticed by other non-elected leaders (Diem had not the Khadafy experience yet, but his treatment by Kennedy’s wise men should have been a lesson to anyone asking for US help: You, personally, will not likely survive if you invite us in.) Kadaffi didn’t invite us in, but he tried to Finlandize; Obama and Clinton decided that wasn’t good enough. She came, she saw, he died.I expect most Libyans would give a lot to have him back now.
We used to negotiate better than that.
Note that we do not hold air supremacy in the Eastern Mediterranean, and probably do not have the means to acquire it without major effort. Taking out the Russian SAMs would involve combat with the Russian forces: an act of war, in the Middle East, against a major power with quite modern anti-air equipment. And the Mediterranean is filled with boatloads of Libyan refugees headed for Europe, joined now by Syrians. A war worth avoiding. We can and should defeat the Caliphate, and that would require a major effort now; do we want to make another effort to defeat Russian air supremacy in Syria as well? Perhaps we could negotiate spheres of influence? A CoDominium?
Oregon militants found not guilty in ‘unbelievable, truly astonishing’ verdict
A jury Thursday delivered a stunning across-the-board acquittal to the leaders and participants in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation and a remarkable blow to the federal government as it tries to tamp down a national movement led by a Nevada family to open public lands to ranchers, miners and loggers.
The verdicts finding Ammon Bundy, older brother Ryan Bundy and five others not guilty of a federal conspiracy drew elation from defense attorneys who spent five weeks arguing that the armed takeover amounted to a time-honored tradition of First Amendment protest and civil disobedience.
“Maybe this is a lesson that that’s not the way to engage with these people, who want nothing more than just to be heard, just to have a forum to talk about the injustices like the case of the Hammonds and the treatment of ranchers,” said Lisa Ludwig, standby counsel for Ryan Bundy.[snip]
A surprise. In Oregon.
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.