Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Death to Palestine!"

Well, that's quite the chant to be coming from Iranian Muslims.  That's just one of the things Iranians protesting the Iranian regime's policies are chanting. 

John Pepple links to a Times of Israel story on this, and here's a Jerusalem Post account.  The Iranian rial has just lost half its value against the U.S. dollar, the Iranian economy is sinking, and people are understandably outraged that the regime is wasting billions on terroristic misadventures in other lands.

But it gets better yet.  The U.S. and Israel are proposing a plan that would end the blockade of Gaza and improve living conditions for Palestinians living there.  Among other things, the Israelis would build a port in Cyprus for shipping to Gaza, where cargoes could be screened to make certain no weapons were being smuggled.  Egypt seems to be on board with the idea.   Mamoud Abbas and the PA are beside themselves, they are outraged and insistent that nothing be done to help the Gazans (Abbas and the PA have cut off salaries and payments for utilities for Gaza, in an effort to starve Hamas).  The PA insists it would be better to starve than to get along with Israel.

Before too long it's Palestinians who are likely to be chanting "Death to Palestine!"

Monday, June 25, 2018

What do progressives expect?

Quite a number of progressive leaders are calling for, well, how to put it?  Civil war, I think.  Nancy Pelosi is calling for "uprisings across the country."  Maxine Waters urges “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome any more, anywhere!”  This includes their homes.  Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, has had his home targeted and his children threatened.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mr. Trump's wonderful press secretary, has been harassed by nasty mobs and ejected from a restaurant.  Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has been harassed by mobs, who have also disrupted her neighborhood and harassed her family.  Peter Fonda called for the kidnapping and rape of the President's son.

But one need not be connected to the Presidential Administration to be threatened.  Chris Cox, director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action, was harassed, his children threatened, and his home vandalized.  Dana Loesch of the NRA regularly receives threats of rape and death.  Libertarian blogger Kaitlin Bennett and a friend of hers have received numerous death threats via Twitter.  (Twitter found the death threats acceptable -- no one lost their accounts -- but Bennett's account was temporarily suspended for having a photo that included firearms).  To add to the sickening list, Nancy Sinatra called for mass execution of NRA members (such as me), and an NYU professor and Antifa are doxxing ICE agents so that they can be attacked at home.

John Pepple warns this behavior will become standard.  I don't think so.  I think Kurt Schlicter and Ari Fleischer are right: the next step for the left is violence.  They are on the verge.

My thoughts: This harassment policy needs to be shut down immediately. Perpetrators need to be arrested and jailed for disturbing the peace, harassment, threats, etc. This criminal behavior has nothing to do with free speech or the First Amendment, and if allowed to grow and accelerate will lead to far worse.  Peter Fonda should be arrested and should face criminal charges.  Maxine Waters impeached.

Some leftists -- Charles Schumer, the editorial staff at WaPo, even Keith Ellickson -- are starting to call for a halt to this rage and madness, so maybe there's some hope this "resistance" insanity will be cut short before it spins out of control.  Most people are not involved in this madness.  Curb the provocateurs (and note they are all on the left) and let us return to civility.  But it better happen now; once violence really gets going it won't be easily stopped.

Photo: Kaitlin and Natalie received numerous death threats for posting this.  Somehow I think threatening these women with violence is not going to be a winning strategy.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Those wonderful immigrant entrepreneurs

Open borders libertarians tend to romanticize immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, with tales of how among them we'll find the next great entrepreneur who builds a business that creates great value for other people.  In fact, I know that happens; I've spoken with immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- who have done just that.  Whether this characterizes immigrants, and especially illegals, or these are simply outliers, is another question.

But here's an interesting example of large-scale entrepreneurship by immigrants, the sort of entrepreneurship William Baumol characterizes as "unproductive."  It appears that Somali immigrants in Minnesota have become expert at milking the state government for payments for fraudulent child care operations -- to the tune of 100 millions dollars per year, much of which is sent abroad, and probably a sizable share of that to the al Qaeda affiliate al Shabab (that would be Baumol's "destructive" entrepreneurship).

Here's the story.  Somehow I suspect Cato Institute's immigration "experts" won't be mentioning this fine example of immigrant entrepreneurship.

"Conservatives" for socialism: an assortment of kooks

There's a resurgence of interest in communism and related ideas.  It's vital we recognize this.  Never mind the promotion of communism by New York Times, Teen Vogue, and other MSM outlets, or the adulation of Venezuela's Chavez-Maduro dictatorship by Hollywood denizens.  The Democrat Party is now the party of socialism.  They now propose nationalized medicine, "free" nationalized college, massive expansion of transfers and entitlements, much higher taxes, draconian financial and economic regulation, firearm confiscation and citizen disarmament, mandatory "green" energy and an end to fossil fuels, an end to freedom of speech and religious liberty... there's no sphere where they don't want to dictate.  These are catastrophically bad policies that would end liberty, they must be blocked at every step, and of course their proponents must not gain power to impose them.

So... what are we to make of George Will, Jeff Flake, Bill Kristol, and John McCain, all of whom hate Trump so badly that they want Democrats to win?  Here's what to make of them: for practical purposes, they are socialists, fellow travelers, "useful idiots," whose minds have been so unsettled by Trump Derangement Syndrome they will accept socialism, if that's the price of getting at a president they see as lacking in the decorum Barack Obama supposedly had.

George Will wants Democrats to take over Congress.*

Jeff Flake is considering joining Democrats to block Trump judicial nominees, because he's mad about tariffs.  Flake obviously doesn't give a damn about our liberty, he thinks it's worth sacrificing if he can harass Trump.

Poor insane Bill Kristol has gone so far off the deep end he wants to replace the American people.

But I've saved the best for last.  John McCain, the "Republican" senator who worked so hard to bring the "Steele dossier to light, also seems to have been prompting Lois Lerner to get the IRS to destroy citizen groups (Tea Party groups) that were trying to participate in the political system.  McCain has been evil in so many ways -- his defense of the criminal Charles Keating, his unConstitutional McCain-Feingold Act designed to silence free speech, his crazed and embarrassing theatrics in promoting TARP... he's not new to this game of siding with socialists -- he's been at it a while.  Still, this takes the cake.

It's doubtful that any of these people care much about liberty; they certainly don't care about OUR liberty.  They are driven by all sorts of other things -- perhaps Trump Derangement Syndrome, or desire to preserve a status quo that is long gone, or a desire for patrician power (an awful lot of this last, I think) -- but whatever it is, they are enemies of the freedom of the American people.

Who cares, why pay attention to this?  It's simple.  The left, including especially the MSM, is becoming increasingly hysterical and rabid.  Overt nastiness and vicious behavior are increasingly commonplace.  There's talk about driving non-leftists from society, and preliminary attempts to do this.  It's hard to see how the left is going to calm down and learn to live with people who disagree with them, at least not in the near future.  Should the left get power, say the Dems take Congress in the upcoming election, I expect them to go crazy trying to punish their opponents.  And should they lose -- which I think is much more likely -- they'll accelerate their cold civil war.  Either way, it will be important to be on guard against traitors like McCain, Kristol, Flake, Will, and others, who will posture as "reasonable" alternatives to the radical left, while being quite happy to facilitate leftist victory.

There are numerous "libertarians" who fall into this fellow-traveler camp as well. It's not that hard to spot them.  The biggest issue in America today is whether we preserve and resurrect our Constitutional order of liberty and rule of law, or succumb to the left's attempts to permanently replace all that.  "Conservatives" and "libertarians" unwilling to fight the left and more interested in destroying the current presidential administration are on the enemy's side.  Watch out for them.


*Footnote: Will might be the craziest of any of these coots.  He now thinks progressive William Weld, a pseudo-libertarian who favors gun control, dislikes what he terms "so-called private property rights," and endorsed Hilliary for president while running as VP candidate on the LP ticket, may well be the man who can save conservatism.  "Yes, George, now calm down and go take your medicine."

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Steele on the Malacast

Last week I was invited to join Adam Mala for an episode of his The Malacast podcast, discussing the economic record of President Trump and other things.  It's now online.  I hemmed, hawed, ummed, my cheap iphone muddied my voice, and I was generally brilliant!  Hah!

It was great deal of fun.  Here's the link. Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2018

FBI: enforcement wing of the DNC?

Is the FBI supposed to be a branch of the Democrat Party?  Some of the material in the IG report makes it appear that this is what it's becoming.  The two following articles quote the IG report quoting FBI officials.  The quotes make it clear the FBI officials have nothing but contempt for those who voted for Trump, they see themselves as working for the Democrats' political agenda, and that they are strongly in favor of a resistance movement against Mr. Trump's presidency.

A sampling:

1) Here's what FBI agents are saying to each other in official communications the day after the 2016 election (from Matt Vespa's Townhall piece).

FBI employee: Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.

FBI attorney: I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone.Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid. ... Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.

That's quite a conversation.  No political bias here, just a willingness to obey their oaths to the Constitution and to serve all the American people, right?  I highlighted the part in which they lament they'll have to fight against Trump's candidacy all over again in four years.

2) Katie Pavlich's Townhall piece notes that on November 22, in an official communication an FBI attorney in referring to a coming Trump administration said "Viva le resistance."  (Unforeseen Contingencies note: that's not even grammatical French!)  The scoundrel who said this subsequently became part of Mueller's coup plot investigative team.

Is this stuff tolerated at all within the FBI?  Is the FBI working as an agency of the Democrat Party?  It appears so, and if so, abolish it now!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flag Day

My favorite version.

C. N. Steele's 12 Rules for the FBI

Professor Jordan Peterson's "12 Rules for Life" seem to be all the rage these days; either people like them, or are enraged by them.  It all seems to be a bit esoteric to me -- so far as I can tell, Peterson's wisdom boils down to "be honest and pet cats, always maintaining good posture."  Apparently everyone else finds this to be cutting analysis of modern society and remarkably controversial.  I have nearly zero awareness of current culture, so I suppose I'm missing much.

But "we" at Unforeseen Contingencies never let ignorance stop us -- we always strive to be on the cutting edge, whether we know what that is or not.

Today the FBI IG released his report on FBI interference with the presidential election of 2016.  I've not yet read the 600+ page document, but I do know enough to be able to offer these

12 Rules for the FBI:

1. Stand up straight with your shoulders straight.  Quit slouching left.

2. Treat American citizens as if they were someone you were responsible for helping.

3. Befriend honest American citizens.  They actually love people who uphold the rule of law.  (You do uphold the rule of law, right?)

4. Compare yourself to Efrem Zimbalist Jr., not the useless person you are today, and strive to achieve his level of integrity and professionalism.

5. Stop committing your own crimes before you set out after others' crimes.

6. Do not do anything that makes honest citizens dislike you.

7. Pursue criminals, not political opponents.  Yes, I know you're Democrats, but that's no excuse.

8.  Tell the truth.  Or at least don't leak lies.

9. Don't assume every small inconsistency is a felony.

10. Quit lying.

11. Bother children when they are planning school shootings.

12.  Some cats should be shot, or at least arrested.

This is all somewhat humorous, given the appropriate definition of humor, but what has happened in Washington D.C. is not funny at all.

The FBI is a garbage organization, full of garbage people, so far as I can tell.  The FBI knew in advance of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan,  they knew of Orlando murderer Omar Mateen well before his terrorist attack, they were twice warned aboter for actoanut [update 15/06: I think by this phrase I either meant "about" or "covfefe"] the Parkland shooter (Rule 11), they were warned that the brothers Tsarnaev were terrorists (Rule 12), they were warned about Al Qaeda operatives studying in American flight schools... and did nothing.  Thanks to such dereliction and incompetence, thousands of American citizens were murdered.  But at least they rescued Hilliary from prosecution, nearly tipped an American election in her favor, badgered General Flynn into confessing to having said things nearly as false as things McCabe and Comey have said, and almost pulled off a post-election coup.

Whether the FBI was ever the paragon of honest and just law enforcement that many of us imagined is beside the point; it's now obviously a corrupt and political bureaucracy.  There are very likely honest and courageous people in the FBI, but starting at the top and moving down, it's a swamp.  Draining the swamp should include abolishing it.  The U.S. needs a civilian counter-intelligence agency to track down foreign enemies, and perhaps a national crime lab and repository for crime statistics, but that's enough.  Criminal law enforcement is a matter for states.  Sheriffs have the entire country covered.  If we need LEOs who can cross state lines, we have U.S. Marshals and the Border Patrol.  We have Federal prosecutors.  That's enough.  The FBI is turning into KGB lite.  Abolish it.  Fire them.  (Rule 13.)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Trump, Twitter, and Trade

Victor Davis Hanson just published in National Review a particularly perceptive analysis of President Trump and how he's regarded.  It's worth reading, but for those who don't, the gist is that the MSM and the American intelligentisia greatly prefer a polished, well-spoken man who lied as a matter of policy and regularly violated the Constitution and the law (Barack Obama), to an uncouth boor who actually follows the Constitution and the law and who keeps his word (Donald Trump).  Hanson's careful documentation and analysis deserves your attention.

If I disagree with anything, I'm not so sure that Donald Trump is really an uncouth boor.  Hanson observes:

"The news, both fake and real, is now all Trump, all the time. And because Trump can enjoy baiting his opponents by deliberately being uncouth and coarse, and since he has little respect for past presidential protocol, almost everything is now transparent and nothing is off-limits."

Note the part about Trump baiting his opponents.  I don't think this is simple enjoyment.  One way to undermine one's opponents is to disrupt their equanimity, to make them lose their cool.  I think this is what Trump does, intentionally.  Whether he enjoys it or not is beside the point.  I think this accounts for much of his Twitter feed.  His American opponents in particular seem obsessed by his Twitter feed; the actual actions of his administration receive much less attention, if my WaPo feed is any indicator.  This may well be an effective defense.  And Trump also seems capable of being a gentleman and giving highly principled analyses, e.g. his uplifting inauguration address and his defense of Western Civilization in Warsaw.

Having said all this, what to make of Donald Trump on free trade?  Trump has spouted all sorts of Mercantilist bunk on international trade, in particular comparing trade surpluses and deficits to profits and losses, a classic fallacy.  However, it's clear he's not an anti-trade proponent of self-sufficiency (I think his erstwhile supporter, Pat Buchanan, falls into this category).  And in fact, Trump might possibly be the greatest proponent of free trade of any American president.  At least he's apparently floated the greatest free trade deal in history.

According to WaPo, at the G-7,  "He said he pushed them to consider removing every single tariff or trade barrier on American goods, and that in return he would do the same."  The most radical of us free traders have frequently argued that a REAL free trade pact reads "All tariffs and barriers are hereby abolished." Apparently Donald Trump proposed this, and found no takers.

Let that sink in.  Donald Trump proposed a regime of genuine, unadulterated free trade -- very possibly the first time in history a world leader has proposed such as actual policy -- and the rest of  the world refused to say "yes."  Even if one didn't believe Trump meant it, the thing to do would be to say yes... unless, of course, one is actually opposed to free trade.

Let it sink in again.  Donald Trump proposed the libertarian free market gold standard in free trade: abolish all trade barriers.  He was rejected, and perhaps,  à la my observations on his Twitter feed, he didn't really mean it anyway, but clearly the "world order" he's supposedly dismantling certainly doesn't want it -- they were offered an opportunity for true free trade, and preferred to engage in Trump-bashing and threats of trade wars.

I'm simply astounded by how much Donald Trump has refuted my evaluations and expectations of him.  Hanson is correct that Trump can be a crass boor, but Trump is also running the risk of being the most libertarian president in my lifetime.  Trump proposing free trade!  Good grief, what next?  I suppose he'll propose peacefully denuclearizing Korea or something.

Photo: President Donald Trump confronting Rosa Klebb.

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