Things That Grabbed My Attention Yesterday

We’re going to pull back from the daily nonsense today, the Brits are voting and there’s not much new in the Washington nonsense. Let’s take a look at some background on various things. Some days there is just so much good material out there that I can’t decide. It’s a pleasant problem.

Ben Domenech at The Federalist disagrees with Time Magazine’s choice of Greta Thunberg as person of the year, as do I. He says in relation to her…

[…] a teenager who skipped school to travel around the world telling people that they are horrible and the planet is doomed. It’s a living. Perhaps her Malthusian visions will be fulfilled by future experience. But it’s not very likely.

Heh! I wish I’d written that! His choice I also agree with…

In defiance of the most powerful authoritarian regime in the modern world, the protester in Hong Kong has stood against the authority of Red China with courage and dedication. […]

There is no bigger fight. And so, the Hong Kong protester is the Person of the Year.

He’s right. That is the person/people that free people should be honoring.


There’s a remarkable (and remarkably long) essay by George Callaghan at The Duran on the problems (and possible solutions) in British education. Some are specific to Britain and/or England, but many apply to America, as well. My curation software says 45 minutes, it’s well worth it.

I don’t see anything short enough to give you a taste, so if it is an interest of yours, go read it. I agree with all of it that I think applies to the US, I simply don’t know enough about British education to have a valid opinion.


Unintended Consequences has made Britain a frustrating laughingstock for the last three years. Why? Abram N. Shulsky at Law and Liberty has figured out some of the reasons why the British government has gotten so pear-shaped. It’s a danger we face as well, as so many (especially on the left) want to tinker with our constitution.

The recent chaos resulted from two innovations that weren’t entirely consistent with the underlying principles of the British regime: the Fixed-term Parliament Act of 2011 (FTPA) and the Brexit referendum of 2015.  Both were introduced to solve short-term political problems.

It’s an excellent explanation of how the (primarily) Conservative Party has failed to conserve the things that made the Westminster System work.


Walter E. Williams at The Daily Signal tells us that Richard Ebeling, professor of economics at The Citadel, has an essay in the American Institute for Economic Research that clarifies how Capitalism is a morally superior system.

In a key section of his article, Ebeling lays out what he calls the ethical principles of free markets. He says:

The hallmark of a truly free market is that all associations and relationships are based on voluntary agreement and mutual consent. Another way of saying this is that in the free market society, people are morally and legally viewed as sovereign individuals possessing rights to their life, liberty, and honestly acquired property, who may not be coerced into any transaction that they do not consider being to their personal betterment and advantage.

Ebeling says that the rules of a free market are simple and easy to understand:

You don’t kill, you don’t steal, and you don’t cheat through fraud or misrepresentation. You can only improve your own position by improving the circumstances of others. Your talents, abilities, and efforts must all be focused on one thing: What will others take in trade from you for the revenues you want to earn as the source of your own income and profits?

They are both spot on.


Dylan Pahman at Law and Liberty has an essay on why economic nationalism fails.

However, at present economic liberty has fallen out of favor with some who see a sea change in recent events—from the election of President Trump in the United States to Great Britain’s “Brexit” referendum—moving away from a perceived elitist, globalist liberalism and back toward the old order of nation states, not only politically but also economically.

He does an excellent job of laying out the underpinning, and I mostly agree with him, completely in theory in fact. This is the Libertarian/Conservative rationale for free trade, and mostly it is true.

But


Curtis Ellis at American Greatness lays out why Globalism and Progressivism make such a toxic stew.

The reformers of the Progressive era championed safety standards for food, drugs, and labor.

The Pure Food and Drugs Act of 1906 gave birth to the Food and Drug Administration. The chief chemist at the Department of Agriculture had mobilized a coalition of women’s clubs, physicians, and pharmacists to lobby for uniform national standards for patent medicines.

It worked, mostly, although it was and is very expensive. Now add Globalism

Communist China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of “active pharmaceutical ingredients,” the base components drug companies use to manufacture most of the medications found on store shelves across America. Today, 80 percent of prescription drugs consumed in the United States originate in India and China.

Drug companies are not required to disclose the country of origin of the active ingredients in their products. That means consumers are unknowingly exposed to the risks associated with drugs made in China.

What are those risks? Well, in 2008, 100 Americans died after taking the anticoagulant heparin that was made in China. Some of the heparin was fraudulently replaced with chondroitin, a dietary supplement for joint aches.

Now what? The free traders say the Chicoms are the low-cost producer and it makes economic sense for our drug hoses to buy their product. The families of a hundred dead Americans are likely to disagree. And if we are going to use uninspected raw material, what exactly is the point of the FDA?

That’s the kind of real-world problem that always screws up those lovely theoretical solutions. The answer? We don’t really have one yet.

That should be enough to keep you out of trouble for a while! 🙂

Of Elections and Counter Revolutions

Tomorrow Britain votes in a general election, the prime contenders are Boris Johnson of the (not) Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn of the CPSU Labour Party. What’s going to happen is anybody’s guess. There are several smaller parties including The Brexit Party that ran the table in the European elections, but has recently waned, although they might pick up a seat or so, there is the UnLiberal Not Democrats who will take remainer votes (maybe) from Labour. UKIP has a few candidates and an outstanding Manifesto, which means little since they’ll be very lucky to get one seat, and more, including The Monster Raving Loony Party which is a good description of this election.

The best write up I’ve seen is this, from Law and Liberty The best ad I’ve seen is this new one from the Conservatives.

Pretty cute, and just a bit Trumpian. That’s important, Britain is fighting the same revolution we are, against their own deep state and the politicians embedded in it. So we’ll see. Not least if Boris can break free from his own swamp background.


Then there is Washington, where the House has gone not so much extra-constitutional as downright anti-constitutional. Well, we know how that plays in Peoria, don’t we? Christopher Knight in American Thinker is good on this.

When I consider Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Jerry Nadler maneuvering for impeachment of President Donald Trump, it is with some dark bewilderment. They have no idea what disaster they are courting for themselves and their allies. It will not end well for them. […]

Since the summer of 2015 the hardliners of the Deep State have gazed at Trump with derision, then desperation, and now total destruction in mind. To them the American people simply aren’t meant for a loosening of control and regaining oversight of their own government. Trump’s message resonated with those same American people as had nothing in recent memory. Democracy came to Eastern Europe by ballots and not bullets. So too did American citizenry in flyover country begin to revolt against their elitist masters.

It wasn’t part of “the plan” and perhaps for the first time ever, the Deep State shuddered in fear. The revolution was not only televised, it was splayed across Facebook and Twitter. But if not Trump himself, someone else would have inevitably threatened the entrenched political and media complex. The peril would come. It was only a matter of when. […]

Who among the faces of this “glorious revolution” will win the White House in 2020? It may be the most lackluster field of candidates in modern history. Which alone indicates to me that Trump would be too smart than to level unethical sabotage against any political opponent: Joseph Biden will never be as formidable as even George McGovern. And Adam Schiff as the one who will go down in legend as the man who toppled the President? Oh please….

In short, it’s pretty much all over, but the executions err trials. What could rekindle the whole mess? You know as well as I, and I think Barr and Durham know it as well. If that happens, the half a billion privately owned arms held by the foresight of the founder’s might make an appearance. Not to be wished, it is a doomsday alternative, but it is more likely than at any time since 1865.

Performance Failure?

So, the Inspector General’s report on Crossfire Hurricane (the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign) and Carter Page is out. I haven’t read it (and don’t intend to), I have better things to do than read 476 pages of government gobbledegook. But you can if you want to, it’s available here (pdf), from the Justice Department, and Powerline has it in their Scribd as well. What I’m going to do is listen to those who have been proved over time as reliable. One of those is Scott Johnson at PowerLine (linked above), another is Paul Mirendorf, also at PowerLine, and there is also Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist. All three have followed this story much closer than I have, and I have always found them reliable.

The first thing I want to caution you about is to not merely read the executive summary, as so often, it does not match the contents of the document (rather like the IPCC documents, I gather). That is not unusual, everybody and their dog knows that most people only read the executive summary, so you can tell all in the document itself, and spin it like a drill motor in the summary. I think it dishonest, but nobody ever asked me.

By now we all are sick of the phrase “mistakes were made” That seems to come up here as well. In fact, Horowitz documents no less than seventeen serious errors of one kind or another. They happened to all go against the Republicans, but he says he has no evidence of bias. Given an IG’s (lack of) power that is probably so, no one not currently employed by the DOJ has to talk to him, and he has little power. People are not likely to say, “Sure, I broke the law to get Trump”. These people are probably not as smart as they think they are, but they aren’t that stupid.

In any case, seventeen errors and all go one way, the odds of that happening by chance are about 1 in 172,000. That’s slightly worse than getting 3 balls and the Powerball on a ticket. It happens, but not often, in fact, on the last drawing it happened 4 times in Nebraska out of however many million tickets were sold.

And note this, Horowitz said he did not have evidence of political bias, not that there was no political bias, which is what the MSM is already spouting. See the difference in that. Sure, in a sense it’s CYA, but an IG lives in the swamp, what did you expect? Few of us bite the hand that feeds us. IG Horowitz testifies in the Senate tomorrow. Better him than me!

There is going to be a tornado of spin on this, I think. The body of the report, my sources say, is pretty damning for all the players. It also appears that AG Barr and US Attorney Durham, who have actual power, were not amused. Barr said this:

Nothing is more important than the credibility and integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice. That is why we must hold our investigators and prosecutors to the highest ethical and professional standards. The Inspector General’s investigation has provided critical transparency and accountability, and his work is a credit to the Department of Justice. I would like to thank the Inspector General and his team.

The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source. The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.

FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people. The Department of Justice and the FBI are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.

No one is more dismayed about the handling of these FISA applications than Director Wray. I have full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country. I thank the Director for the comprehensive set of proposed reforms he is announcing today, and I look forward to working with him to implement these and any other appropriate measures.

With respect to DOJ personnel discussed in the report, the Department will follow all appropriate processes and procedures, including as to any potential disciplinary action.

That’s a pretty strong statement when one remembers that this is the Attorney General of the United States. Disciplinary action could well include a vacation at some of the least pleasant places in the United States.

United States Attorney John Durham (who is charged with the criminal investigation) said this:

I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

And that is the preview (I think) at the end of this rather boring movie.

IG’s, Impeachment, and Defending the Realm

And so, today, we’re supposed to see the long-anticipated Inspector General report. That’s all to the good, even if, in a properly run country, it should have been a year ago. But a properly run country has little to do with Washington for reasons we have often discussed.

So don’t get your hopes up, the IG has very limited scope and even more limited powers, if they weren’t, I suspect he would not exist. But it is a continuation. Mueller’s report should have been a cold shower, this should be another. The real justice starts (maybe) with Barr. Maybe it starts on November 3, 2020, or maybe it never starts. Who knows?

Clarice Feldman has a good summary at American Thinker which you should read.

The week ended with the President trumping a low pair — congressmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler — when White House Counsel Pat Cipollone responded to Congressman Nadler’s demand that the Judiciary Committee be informed if the White House intended to participate in the second act of the impeachment clown show. The letter in sum says, “go right to impeachment so we can have a real trial in the Senate”:

Which over at Ace’s, where they speak American, no doubt elicited the comment “LOLGF”, as it should. It also means, “See you in November, sucker, after the American people fire you.” And that will happen to some, maybe quite a few of these swamp sucking scum. Clarice continues:

Mollie Hemingway who, like me, doesn’t believe the President will be impeached, notes the likely witness list in a Senate hearing, which, unlike the House hearings, operates like a real trial with due process protections.

Among those she thinks would certainly be subpoenaed: Adam Schiff, Eric Ciaramella and his lawyer Mark Zaid, Schiff staffers, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and Democratic members of Schiff’s Permanent Select Committee on Investigations.

She indicates the trial will have access to extensive declassified materials (declassified by the President) including transcripts of those that Schiff’s committee questioned in closed-door hearings which he has refused to release (probably because they support the President).

A re-examination, this time by hostile questioners, of the parade before Schiff’s committee and a subpoenaing of many of the upper levels of the Obama administration.

Did Nadler’s hearing this week, add a single thing to the Schiff hearings? No, says Hemingway, who very accurately described them:

Of his three witnesses, one was an Elizabeth Warren donor who previously said she couldn’t stand to walk on the same sidewalk as the Trump hotel. Another witness previously said Democrats didn’t even need evidence of crimes committed by the president in order to impeach him. And their third and final witness previously helped run Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Brett Kavanaugh smear operation in 2018.

To those skeptical that any of the wrongdoers at high level will be jailed, she reminds us of other consequences they’d face: lost clearances, extensive legal fees, and vastly diminished reputations.

The end result: an acquittal and ”a massive election victory for Trump.”

First and maybe most important, follow Clarice’s link to Mollie Hemingway, she is amongst, if not the, best journalist in Washington.

Each day this farcical pretense continues the President’s popularity and war chest grows.

It doesn’t take a lot of deep political thought to see where this is headed. Even if the Democrats in the House vote to impeach — and it still isn’t a given that they’ll have the votes — the Senate will never convict.

The president, however, may end up with a campaign war chest the likes of which no incumbent has ever seen.
Impeach him, and he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

In short, the House Democratic Caucus has voluntarily become The Committee to Reelect the President.

A palate cleanser, a real patriot on what is important in government. Ann Widdecombe, of the Brexit Party, on Defense of the Realm. Enjoy.

Sunday Funnies; Narwhal Tusks and Impeachment

Another week nearly beyond description, but we’ll try

There are still, I guess, Democrats who want to be president, but they have it wrong, we usually don’t elect the most stupid candidate. 2d most maybe, but not the most.

I can’t really blame Nancy Pelosi for running away from reality last week though.

Die Hard Advent Calendar

And, of course:

Or maybe this suits this audience better

How about an advent special?

On Line, Fix Bayonets

War is the continuation of politics by other means.

Carl von Clausewitz

 

So, Nancy Pelosi has decided, regardless of the evidence to go ahead with impeachment. Why? After all, it’s a guaranteed loser in the Senate and mostly serves to even more divide the country. Eric Georgatos writing in American Thinker has a theory.

There’s something about the timing of Pelosi’s announcement relative to next Monday’s release of IG Horowitz’s report that makes it seem very possible she’s going for a grand bargain with President Trump.

She’s on record saying there will be a House vote because the facts of Trump’s egregious behavior warrant no less. That, in her world, constitutes a giant sword of Damocles over Trump (he’ll be in the history books as an ‘impeached President’) or, more practically, a giant negotiating chit with President Trump when the ‘stuff’ hits the fan from Horowitz’ report and the Barr/Durham follow-up.

This makes sense to me, Pelosi has never been anything but a politician and her dad was as well (although there are substantial rumors that he was well connected in organized crime circles, as well). Having grown up near Chicago that would not surprise me even slightly, and Baltimore (where she’s from isn’t very different. But big-city politics is not quite the all-pervasive thing that it is in the cities in the rest of the country

And the word ‘orchestrated’ in this context includes the fabrication of evidence and the deliberate leaking by top officials of confidential information to harm Donald Trump. It is behavior the vast majority of Americans have never thought their government officials to be capable of; it is deceit and dishonesty on a nearly unimaginable scale; it is unconscionable evil.

IG Horowitz’ report will both confirm and add fuel to the bonfire of anger already sweeping the country among American patriots. The demand for Barr/Durham to impose accountability will be at DefCon 3, and not even clubby senators are going to be able to manage or control it.

For reference, the last time we were at DEFCON 3 was the Cuban Missile Crisis (SAC was at DEFCON 2 then). We have never been at DEFCON 2 worldwide. In this scenario, I think that there are a lot of Americans who will identify themselves as SAC, there is a reason why last Friday saw the second-largest ever number of NCIS checks for gun purchases It missed the record by about 600. That after eight years where Obama was the best gun salesman America ever saw.

And so Nancy Pelosi may believe she had better have something in hand to bargain with President Trump to temper the fire that might just consume for decades the Democratic Party that lies behind this grotesque abuse of government power.

So Pelosi’s pitch may be: Mr. Trump, we’ll drop the impeachment vote if you’ll call off Barr/Durham. You can then tweet all you want about what Horowitz reported (and we’ll rely on the MSM to smother it, and report our counter-spin), and we’ll yammer all we want about the serious case for impeachment that we’ve uncovered. But to save the country from the risk of hot war, we’ll drop our impeachment attack on you, and you’ll drop the Barr/Durham attack on our coup.

Yeah, Whatever.

About those bayonets

Mr. Georgatos uses the example of COL (later BGEN) Joshua Chamberlin the quiet scholarly colonel of the 20th Maine at Gettysburg, where he won the Medal of Honor for leading his regiment in a bayonet charge at Little Round Top on the second day securing the left of the Army of the Potomac’s line. When that charge started the regiment was out of ammunition. It’s an excellent example of the American way. He was also the officer who formally took the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia, calling the Army of the Potomac to ‘Carry Arms” when the Confederates marched in.

But as I look around, I think a better example is LT (later COL) Rick Rescorla, of the 2/7th Cavalry at the First of Ia Drang in 1965, where he found his platoon heavily engaged by an ambush at LZ Albany, and where the LT, an immigrant from Cornwall, and combat veteran of the British Para’s gave their command sequence, “On Line, Fix Bayonets, Ready Forward”. He became the face of the battle in the film We Were Soldiers Once, and Young. And one of the most moving sequences is the climax when the Spad (and the gunships) comes to their support. And we have definitely been ambushed.

Why do I think this may be a better example? One, because while the cause might be in rather dire straits (the cause being the Republic itself) we have perhaps overwhelming support, and we’re not short of ammunition, although it may not be at the point of action.

I also think that the fact that LT Rescorla was a Briton matters. Yes, Americans make superb soldiers, but that too is partly part of our heritage from Britain.

And if I were Boris Johnson, I do not think I’d be laughing very much, he’s got his own problems with a very restive native population. And for the very same reason. Not for nothing did Kipling write.

“My son,” said the Norman Baron, “I am dying, and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for share
When he conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is.
But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this:–

“The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite.
But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right.
When he stands like an ox in the furrow – with his sullen set eyes on your own,
And grumbles, ‘This isn’t fair dealing,’ my son, leave the Saxon alone.

“You can horsewhip your Gascony archers, or torture your Picardy spears;
But don’t try that game on the Saxon; you’ll have the whole brood round your ears.
From the richest old Thane in the county to the poorest chained serf in the field,
They’ll be at you and on you like hornets, and, if you are wise, you will yield.

“But first you must master their language, their dialect, proverbs and songs.
Don’t trust any clerk to interpret when they come with the tale of their wrongs.
Let them know that you know what they’re saying; let them feel that you know what to say.
Yes, even when you want to go hunting, hear ’em out if it takes you all day.

They’ll drink every hour of the daylight and poach every hour of the dark.
It’s the sport not the rabbits they’re after (we’ve plenty of game in the park).
Don’t hang them or cut off their fingers. That’s wasteful as well as unkind,
For a hard-bitten, South-country poacher makes the best man- at-arms you can find.

“Appear with your wife and the children at their weddings and funerals and feasts.
Be polite but not friendly to Bishops; be good to all poor parish priests.
Say ‘we,’ ‘us’ and ‘ours’ when you’re talking, instead of ‘you fellows’ and ‘I.’
Don’t ride over seeds; keep your temper; and never you tell ’em a lie!”

It’s a timeless warning to those who would oppress free English speaking people. It’s also the explanation of why the United States lined up with the protestors in Hong Kong.

It’s entirely possible that we will witness the suppression of the Democratic Party for generations. And it may be nearly as bloody as the first time.

%d bloggers like this: