Last week saw Trump almost completely erase the Obama legacy — an event that, peculiarly enough, coincided perfectly with delightful benefits for America.
Last week saw Trump almost completely erase the Obama legacy — an event that, peculiarly enough, coincided perfectly with delightful benefits for America.
Kurt Schlichter writes that America’s military power is a force for good — which managed to remind me of the psychologist scene in Miracle on 34th Street.
Is there anyone here who has not seen the original Miracle on 34th Street, the one from 1947? No one? I didn’t think so. Everyone has seen that movie at least once.
In case you’ve forgotten, though, it’s about a man named Kris Kringle who claims he’s Santa Claus (Edmund Gwenn); an overworked, cynical single mother (Maureen O’Hara); and a little girl who believes only in those things she can see and touch (Natalie Wood). John Payne plays the love interest who is willing to believe in Santa Claus.
The scene in the movie I’m thinking of is the one in which Kris Kringle learns that a psychologist who gives intelligence tests has convinced Alfred, an innocent, sweet, naive young man, that the latter is in fact mentally ill. Kringle confronts the egotistical, pig-headed, really evil psychologist. When the latter won’t budge, Kringle says “There’s only one way to handle a man like you. You won’t listen to reason. You’re heartless. You have no humanity.” And then he bops the man on the head with an umbrella:
The officious, cynical characters in the movie think Kringle is insane, but the movie’s wise people understand that he was right — sometimes might and right go together. And that’s what Kurt says: [Read more…]
Before President Trump, the biggest Korean attraction was the Gangnam Style video — so the nascent nuclear deal says it makes sense to combine the two.
— Sol (@solentgreenis) May 1, 2018
Trump’s decision to change the paradigm with North Korea illustrates the precept in my annual Passover post: Tyrannies must be decapitated, not placated.
Starting with Bill Clinton, America fawned over North Korea’s tyrannical rulers, sending them money and promising not to hurt them. In those same years, North Korea’s rulers expanded their concentration/death camps, presided over unnecessary famines, and somehow managed, with every passing year, to find more ways to crack down on a people already starved, terrorized, and denied any rights.
It did not matter one whit to the Kim dynasty that their people experienced incomparable suffering (most of it at the hands of the Kims). The only thing that mattered to the Kims and those closest to them was maintaining their power, prestige, and oh-so-comfortable lifestyle, complete with the finest food (as their people starved), the most luxurious products from around the world and, of course, sex slaves. Lots and lots of sex slaves.
Then something changed. Beginning in January 2017, instead of an American president saying to Kim Jong-un “What can I do to make you happy?” we got a president who said “I’m going to kill you.” He also said to the Chinese, “I’m not very happy with your behavior either, although I’m sure we can resolve our differences when you stop using economic war against America and trying to turn the international waters off of China into your own pond.” Very impolitic. Very mad man. Very undiplomatic. A very big break from more than a quarter century of “diplomacy.”
The usual talking heads amongst the chattering class promised Armageddon. Interestingly, something entirely different happened: With the threat brought directly home to him, Kim Jong-un changed his behavior. He sent athletes and sex slaves to the Olympics. He reached out to South Korea. And of course, most importantly, he scuttled off to China and, rather than admitting the truth — namely, that he feared the “crazy” guy in the White House — announced that the wise Chinese had persuaded him to abandon his nuclear dreams. Even if Kim and the Chinese won’t admit it, you and I know where the credit goes for this announcement.
Watching Trump’s conduct and its outcome, I had to ask myself, has he been reading my annual Passover post or, perhaps, talking to one of Ivanka’s rabbis? Or maybe he’s just had a chance to think about things as he’s attended family Seders over the years.
Did I just hear someone say “What annual Passover post?” Well, this one. As I do every year, I’ve edited it to reflect current concerns. [Read more…]
My Twitter feed has been fascinating today, which is a good thing because calls from old and dear friends precluded blogging. Here’s the best of my Twitter.
When my mother died, I inherited both her and my Dad’s old friends (and I do mean “old”; one of them is now 98, having met my Dad in 1935). They are people who are dear to me and it seems to be mutual. If I don’t reach out to them in a timely fashion, they call me.
Today, I called a few old friends and those I hadn’t yet called coincidentally called me. I also got calls from my own friends, which is always nice. It’s therefore been a lovely day (a little sad, too, as one old friend recently had a stroke), but I got absolutely nothing done other than those phone calls. I’ve therefore had almost no time to read and, since I have to pick someone up from the airport soon, I’ll have no time to write anything.
I thought, therefore, that I’d share with you the best of my Twitter feed. (Yes, I do pay attention to Twitter.) These are in no particular order, but they do represent the fascinating mix of things that enliven the home page in my browser.
This week, Cpl Veronica Byrnes Bradley passed away.
She was the face of the Marine Corps recruiting effort during WWII.
Semper Fidelis, Marine. pic.twitter.com/T0Ev1X1Mue
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) March 9, 2018
Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018
The next is from a conservative Parkland survivor whom the media assiduously ignores:
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) March 8, 2018
I’m the happiest man on the planet tonight. My newly adopted 5 year old daughter, for the first time, called me dad.
— Pookiedr (@Pookiedr) March 8, 2018
Dems months ago: “Trump is going to get us killed with the way he is talking about Kim Jong Un”
Today: Kim Jong Un offers invitation to sit down and talk with Trump.
Does it get any better, after Donald Trump’s spectacularly successful first year, to watch him “Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift style?
I missed last year this cute Auto-Tune video, which gets Trump to sing a verse and chorus from Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off. I don’t know if I would have appreciated it last March as much as I do today. After all, in March, Trump hadn’t accomplished anything beyond getting elected. Now, though, after a brilliant first year in office, we can see just how successfully he was able to shake off all the venom and road-blocks that came his way.
Yes, the haters did “hate, hate, hate,” and they kept accusing Trump of having “nothing in his brain,” but Trump was able to “shake it off “– and while shaking, he
Trump sure knows how to “shake it off” — so celebrate this cute video.
(And yes, I’m sure I forgot some of Trump’s accomplishments. Please remind me in the comments.)
Following his unexpected victory, Trump is quickly becoming America’s most consequential conservative president, making him a one-man flock of Black Swans.
A “Black Swan Event” is one that:
A year and a half ago, pundits and pollsters gave Trump virtually no chance of winning the Republican nomination for President. Indeed, over half of America thought it was a joke when Trump entered the GOP primary in 2016. Feel free to raise your hand if you were one of the many.
Our country was in dire straits at that point. Obama, through regulatory overreach, new taxation, and Obamacare, had shackled our economy. Worse, Obama had taken our nation so far past the point of a constitutional crisis that it threatened a de facto end to our American experiment. As the November 2016 election approached, we were (and still very much are), to quote Victor Davis Hanson, in an “existential war for the soul of America.”
That war needed to be fought at multiple levels. Congress needed to have its Art. I Sec. I power restored. Only Congress has the power to pass and amend laws. But during the Obama era, we suddenly had “laws” from the President through executive orders (a constitutional violation so egregious even Saturday Night Live spoofed it); the regulatory bureaucracy, the FCC, the Courts, the DOJ, and even the Sec. of Education.
Our Supreme Court system, with its unelected justices, was poised to sit as a Politburo, subject to the addition of just one more Proggie justice. It badly needed to be reformed in line with Art. III.
Obama had entered into oppressive so-called foreign “treaties” — i.e., the Paris Accord and the Iran Deal — without Article II approval from the Senate. Those Frankenstein’s monsters needed to be revoked.
The list of necessary domestic battles at the end of Obama’s eight years went on and on: The economy had to be unleashed by rolling back the regulatory explosion under Obama. Rule of law and equality of justice for all — Hildabeast included — needed to be reestablished.
None of the above even touches upon Obama’s foreign policy accomplishments (or, more accurately, disasters), which left us with a Middle East in flames, ISIS ascendant, Iran on a glide path towards developing a nuclear arsenal, and North Korea building out its nuclear arsenal. Our new President would have to deal with a far more dangerous world than the one Obama had inherited in 2009.
As the 2016 primaries heated up, sixteen of the seventeen candidates, all of those not named Trump, seemed to be up to the task of righting at least some of the above. Then came the first of Trump’s Black Swan Events: he clinched the Republican nomination. Every aspect of that moment ticked off an item on the Black Swans checklist:
Then came the second Black Swan event, when Trump won the Presidency on November 8, 2016. Again, the Black Swans checklist plays out:
And now we come to question of the moment. Was Trump’s first year in office so surprising and consequential as to itself rise to the level of a Black Swan event? This post says “yes”:
With that as preamble, let’s examine the specifics of Trump’s first year accomplishments: [Read more…]
Wow! In an epic tweet, Trump really spelled it out to North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un. It’s going to be wild if the rest of 2018 is like this.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
I’m not sure I can stand the excitement. I know that, even as I write these words, Progressives are taking turns fainting on couches, certain that the above tweet marks the first shot fired in a nuclear war. I think, however, that those who like a strong America as a bulwark against war-crazed tyrants are comforted knowing that we have a president who will not back down from a despot’s threat. Trump understands that you must stake out your position before the hyenas begin to gnaw on your body, not after.
For a different perspective, today’s Bookworm Beat arrives at your computer thanks to Wolf Howling, who likes serious news with a touch of the surreal.
Arab construction worker writes “good morning” on FB in Arabic. Facebook auto translator translates it as “attack them.” Israeli police arrest him before noting the error.
The new CNN ad campaign that needs to be seen to be believed. Apparently they have discovered fraud in the fruit packing industry.
Inventor of sex robots plans to have little bots with his hottie.
The Canucks have nicely asked the USA to please help stop illegal border crossings into Canada.
3% growth? Ha! Venezuela’s socialist paradise is poised to grow their economy 2300% next year. Yet another triumph of socialism that the poor capitalist running dogs can only dream of.
Male “feminist writer” fired by GQ after woman accuses him of rape. Actually not too surreal if one realizes that “male feminists” such as this joker, Harvey, Bill, and Ted seem to think that if they mouth support then they are free to do as they will. And given that 3rd wave feminism has killed off the code of chivalry, women are now back in the “prey” position they occupied in the early medieval period and before. Isn’t the prog’s arc of history grand? [Read more…]
Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian, takes the floor at the UN to tell tyrants that their support for Palestinian “leadership” betrays the people.
I don’t have anything to add. Just watch this amazing video:
Given a vexing, dangerous, and complicated problem like North Korea, Progressives reduce the issue to school-boy sniggering about sexual prowess.
One of the things that distinguishes Progressives from Conservatives is that the former are certain that they’re very smart. For example, they point out that wealthy Blue enclaves have a disproportionate number of America’s college graduates. This argument erroneously conflates intelligence with a college degree, something that has some virtue on the STEM side of college but is laughable when it comes to the liberal arts.
The same argument also erroneously conflates academic prowess (which is a form of intelligence) with wisdom or ethical sense. In the face of that argument, I always like to point out that Radovan Karadžić was a psychiatrist. That didn’t stop his genocidal mania.
Progressives also like to boast that all sorts of scientific studies show that they’re smarter than Conservatives. They haven’t quite grasped, of course, that social science studies are never really scientific because objectivity is impossible and biases seem inevitable.
You probably remember that a much-lauded study proclaiming that conservatives are psychotic had to be retracted entirely because the study’s results were reversed. In fact, it was the Progressives who showed more psychotic traits.
That’s not the only purportedly scientific study slamming conservatives. Universities routinely churn out studies showing that Conservatives are stupid, ill-informed, evil creatures. Lost in this self-defined world, they’re shocked when reputable polls show that Conservatives are actually more knowledgeable than Progressives.
Progressives also struggle to understand complaints that their methodology shows bias. It didn’t seem to occur to them that, if you prepare a study examining whether children in religious or atheist households are more moral or generous, you’re going to get skewed results if all your metrics are about Progressive ethics (morality is shown by being open to transgenderism) instead of being about Conservative ethics (personal generosity to the poor). [Read more…]
Trump Derangement Syndrome at the Emmy Awards revealed that in Hollywood, as in the USSR or North Korea, it’s dangerous to deviate from the party line.
I didn’t watch the Emmy Awards. In fact, I haven’t watched the Emmy Awards in at least 20 years.
I don’t watch the Emmy Awards in part because, with a very few exceptions, I don’t watch television. Those exceptions are: Dancing With The Stars (I know, I know, but I do love the “getting it right” aspect of the show), Supernatural (funny, imaginative, and two handsome guys), and whatever old movies on TCM take my fancy (most often musicals). I’ll also watch the occasional British costume drama, such as Downton Abbey. Otherwise, the TV in our house exists for the family’s pleasure, not mine.
Even if I watched more television, though, I doubt I’d watch the Emmy Awards show. During the Bush years, the Bush Derangement Syndrome was painful. Watching the show was akin to the embarrassment I might feel if a manifestly crazy person started stripping in the subway. Even though the crazy person makes it a public act, the craziness really ought to be in private, so I avert my eyes.
With Trump in the White House, though, those suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome have doubled down. BDS made them crazy. TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) has turned Hollywood into something remarkably akin to Stalin’s Russia or today’s North Korea.
What we’re seeing is no longer virtue signalling for the sheer arrogant, condescending pleasure of doing so. The TDS shenanigans at the Emmy Awards are starting to resemble the madness of a people who are afraid not to spout the party line. I’ll explain this with two videos from the Emmy Awards and two videos from historic events. [Read more…]
Trump’s superb speech at the United Nations asserted American sovereignty, defended American security, and straightforwardly attacked America’s enemies.
I loath the United Nations. It’s a forum that gives a ridiculous amount of power to tin-pot tyrants, especially of the Muslim variety, and that exists in large part to destroy Israel and demean the United States (while still taking its money). UNICEF has turned into a scam with a strong element of pedophile and sexual exploitation trailing in its wake. WHO too often exists to force socialized medicine into the world.
Donald Trump earned huge gratitude from me when he sent Nikki Hailey into that den of thieves, thugs, and antisemites with marching orders to defend American values and to support Israel. He earned even more gratitude from me today when he stepped before the United Nations and made a speech defending American values, honoring American sacrifices, promising to put America’s needs first without denigrating anyone else, attacking uncontrolled immigration, directly challenging the Iran deal, putting North Korea on notice about the existential peril it is courting, and otherwise saying what needed to be said in a body that, for too long, has abandoned truth and moral decency.
All the usual suspects were offended, which tells me that every word he spoke was gold. This is the kind of thing that sees me forgiving him for weaseling around the DACA issue (and we all knew he was never going to support the optics of sending back to Mexico children raised their whole lives in America, just as we knew that the wall might be more of a metaphor for enforcing immigration laws, rather than an actual brick-and-mortar wall).
Here’s a video of his speech. It is a reminder that Trump is a polished showman and perfectly capable of giving a statesmanlike speech:
And here’s the full transcript. I’ve highlighted the parts that delighted me most, whether substantively or simply because they were lovely oratory: [Read more…]
After 24-years of American bribes and pandering, North Korea has crossed a nuclear threshold. I’m interested in your opinions and ideas about this problem.
It happened: North Korea crossed a major threshold on the way to becoming a fully nuclear state:
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.
We can blame presidents from both sides of the aisle for kicking this can down the road — although I feel obligated to point out that, out of the prior three administrations, spanning 24 years, Democrats made bad decisions for 16 years and a Republican made bad decisions for only 8. Does this math matter? I don’t know, but it’s still a fact.
Where does this leave us now? Austin Bay has for some time now been saying that there are really only six possible solutions to the North Korea problem, and he really doesn’t like any of them. It’s a long article, and one I highly recommend. The bullet-points for the six solutions are: [Read more…]
Nicholas Kristoff calls Trump scary and reckless. Somehow he missed eight years of Obama’s incredibly scary and reckless behavior.
The only time I ever take Nicholas Kristoff seriously is when he writes about the horrors of obstretric fistula. It’s a dreadful affliction and there are charities that are trying to help. Outside of that laudable crusade, though, Kristoff’s columns usually run the gamut from silly to hysterical to just plain wrong.
Yesterday, Kristoff hit the trifecta, when he wrote an article that manages simultaneously to be silly, hysterical, and wrong. In it, he makes the ludicrous claim that Donald Trump is such an irrational gambler that he’s more to be feared than Kim Jong-un, the man who’s had his perceived political enemies fed to starved dogs.
John Hinderaker does an admirable job of fisking Kristoff. You should read his entire fisk, but here’s a taste:
Kim, who is widely considered to be crazy, has several times threatened a nuclear attack against the United States. There is no question about his ruthlessness: among others, he has ordered his uncle and his half-brother murdered.
Currently the Trump administration is putting pressure on North Korea, and is trying to work with China to find a way to defuse the North Korean threat. In this scenario, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof finds one of the adversaries “scary.” Kim Jong Un? Don’t be silly! Donald Trump.
So Donald Trump is a “deeply frustrated rogue president,” and therefore likely to launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.
What is remarkable about Kristof’s column (apart from the vituperative attitude toward our president, which is standard at the Times) is his frank admission that the Obama administration’s policies toward North Korea have failed:
It gets worse: while Obama pursued an impotent policy, Kim’s regime has been working on ICBMs. The time is not far off when North Korea will be able to devastate America’s West Coast:
So what is Kristof’s solution? He doesn’t have one. . . .
What Kristoff doesn’t understand and Hinderaker didn’t address, is the fact that Trump is anything but a risk-taker. As Scott Adams pointed out a long time ago in a post I can’t find, Trump is actually very risk averse. Ever since his first big bankruptcy, from which he learned a hard lesson, Trump invariably insulated himself from risk, including taking in partners who carry the risk for him. He’ll willingly walk away from deals that might leave him exposed. The “gambles” he does take are carefully calculated and, as his unexpected political rise shows, have a habit of going his way — which means he wasn’t really gambling at all.
As president, Trump’s used the military twice, both in ways that were spectacular yet carefully limited. They sent loud messages without obligating America to further action or risking American lives or interests. Trump believes that carrying a big stick that one uses swiftly and decisively to send a strong message is less risky than closing your eyes to trouble and wishing that it would go away. I tend to think he’s right.