The Caravans, the Congress and the Courts

John Wohlstetter has an excellent article over at The American Spectator on the Caravans, the Congress and the Courts. It would be difficult to excerpt and make sense of here, so I suggest that you follow the above link and read it for yourself. What I will do is give you his summary of the article. That will give you some idea of what he is saying, stripped of the reasons he says what he says.

Bottom Line. A coalition of leftist groups is running a migrant smuggling operation, using force of numbers to overwhelm our order resources, and game our judicial system by filing phony asylum claims by the carload. The lawyers avoid fraud charges by not knowing which given members of the group are genuine refugees and which petitioners before American courts will skip the asylum hearing.

Open borders advocates cite our traditional hospitality extended to immigrants, but there is no legitimate precedent for this kind of mode of entry. The caravan is open smuggling by “coyotes” in the southwest lands, with proceeds going to the drug cartels. The national security interest here is substantial: Either America controls its borders meaningfully, or it ceases to exist as a full-fledged country.

A preview of what we are in for if we do not get migrant flow from Mexico and Central America under control is more of what we saw this Thanksgiving weekend: thousands streaming towards our border, either entering unchecked or, if stopped, trying to provoke gross over-reaction. Putting kids and ladies up front may get hardcore open borders advocates the viral video — dead women and children — that could turn the debate against the administration. The Donald’s best “Trump card” is to lean against the incoming Mexican government to nip this in the bud, making this Mexico’s top policy priority re the U.S.

Sovereignty, at minimum, entitles a country to decide who gets in and who stays and who is prevented from entering in the first place. Allowing unrestricted entry and residence, funding of criminal enterprises and bamboozling America’s courts undermines the essential sovereign right of America to exercise full orderly governance and administrative control, “from sea to shining sea.”

He’s completely correct, of course, if a country cannot control its borders, it is not a sovereign country. And that this is an organized effort to remove control of the US’s southern border is beyond question. The only two ways to move ~5000 people the length of Mexico is to either live off the land, either by purchasing food and water or by an organization providing it. Given that I haven’t heard any stories of Mexicans either making a lot of money feeding this horde or of them being looted, I think it an organized movement.

It’s possible that they will get their confrontation and their dead women and children, but I’m not entirely sure that it will be the martyrdom the organizers hope. It has become too well known exactly who is behind this, and what the motives are. I think it would start a  rebound that might well hurt the sponsoring organization (and its financial backers) more than the president. Well, one can hope. But there is this, it’s been stalled long enough, and gotten enough publicity that it has lost its element of surprise. And along with that, for me at least, whatever sympathy I might have had for the migrants, was dissipated when they violently forced their way into Mexico. As far as I’m concerned they are simply thugs, one and all.

If they die on their thuggish invasion of the US, well, too bad, too sad. Don’t go around poking eagles.

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America’s Cold Civil War

Scott over at PowerLine calls our attention to an article in Imprimis. It is indeed well worth your time and your careful meditation.

Quoting Scott

Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College, editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a recipient of the 2018 Bradley Prize.

Imprimis has now adapted Charles’s lecture at Hillsdale this past September 27 into the essay “Our cold civil war.” It is the best diagnosis of our political situation that I have read. In it Charles articulates my own observations and thoughts not fully formed. Perhaps he captures some of yours as well. Here is the opening paragraph:

Six years ago I wrote a book about Barack Obama in which I predicted that modern American liberalism, under pressures both fiscal and philosophical, would either go out of business or be forced to radicalize. If it chose the latter, I predicted, it could radicalize along two lines: towards socialism or towards an increasingly post-modern form of leadership. Today it is doing both. As we saw in Bernie Sanders’ campaign, the youngest generation of liberals is embracing socialism openly—something that would have been unheard of during the Cold War. At the same time, identity politics is on the ascendant, with its quasi-Nietzschean faith in race, sex, and power as the keys to being and meaning. In the #MeToo movement, for example—as we saw recently in Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle—the credo is, “Believe the woman.” In other words, truth will emerge not from an adversarial process weighing evidence and testimony before the bar of reason, but from yielding to the will of the more politically correct. “Her truth” is stronger than any objective or disinterested truth.

You will find the article at Imprimis. I highly recommend it.

“Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?”

We’re going to be a bit serious, but this awfully good.

The first time I wrote about this SCOTUS opening was on July 9th, even though it seems an age ago. I said then that one of the important things was to keep John Adams exposition of the basic point of Anglo-American law in mind.

“A government of laws, and not of men.”

So Justice Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court, his ceremonial swearing-in with the President will be tonight. But who won and who lost. A fair amount of this comes from John Nolte at Breitbart.

Winners:

The biggest winner is the Rule of Law itself and the American Republic. Last week was the first time that I truly feared the end of the Republic in my lifetime, for reaching all the way back to John Adams defense of the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre in 1770

“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, “whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,” and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever.”

That is how fundamental the presumption of innocence is, and in the last few weeks, we saw the Democratic party abandon it completely in its quest for raw unadulterated power. It was stopped, by a two-vote margin in the Senate.

We stood on the edge of the abyss, and we managed to draw back, barely in time.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh’s unforgettable testimony in defense of his own character and future was like the last 20 minutes of Rocky III. One man against all the odds, against the indomitable power of the state, the corrupt power of the media, and then he looked both in the eyes and sneered, “You ain’t so bad.”

Yep, in those few minutes, he saved himself, saved his nomination, and perhaps saved the Republic. His testimony gave others, notably Senator Graham permission to defend him, and justified the faith shown in him by President Trump. The strain of showed clearly on his face and in his tears, but he sat there and he did it. Many, perhaps most, would not.

President Donald J. Trump

Simply put, with this, his second Supreme Court Justice, Trump has secured his presidential legacy. The dream of a 5-4 conservative court is as old as I am, and only Trump could have ensured this, because Trump is the only Republican president who would have ever had the courage to not sacrifice Kavanaugh in the hopes of getting someone else approved before the midterm elections.

President Trump showed enormous character where no one else would have.

Let me repeat that word… Character.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

As agonizing as the suspense of the last 72 hours were, Senate Republicans planned it to perfection….

Put all eyes on Susan Collins, put all the media attention on Susan Collins, and then have this moderate, pro-choice, anti-Trump woman use the national spotlight to deliver a devastating closing argument in favor of Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

It was a brilliant political move, and she was brilliant, and serious, and informed, and above all… American.

That was the most American speech I have ever heard on the Senate floor, a speech based on facts, eternal principles, and basic human decency.

The pressure Collins was under to go the other way, the incentives from the media to be a feminist hero, the threats, the emotional blackmail and bullying… God bless her.

If Brett Kavanaugh was Rocky III, Susan Collins was Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Her speech should be taught in every high school in America.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Since no Democrat or member of the media would do it, Graham did. These four minutes and twenty-six seconds of moral clarity funneled through righteous rage asked the question as forcefully and as clearly as anyone ever could: “Have you no decency, sir?” From that point, there was no going back. The truth had been released.

Read the rest, I have some quibbles but his list is just as valid as mine.

Losers:

I’m only going to list one, there are others at the link.

The Democratic Party of the United States

Not because they lost the vote, that happens to both parties.

But they lost in equal measure to how the rule of law won.

The Democrats openly made the most naked extra-legal power grab against the Constitution since the Democrats opened fire on Fort Sumter.

I said last week that I will never again vote for anyone with that description, they are anathema or should be. They have become not so much a un-American party as an Anti-American party. All in pursuit of infanticide. A very sad story.

The party of Jefferson and Jackson has become the party of Marx and Stalin. Not so much opponents as enemies.

Sunday Funnies: Justice Kavanaugh

Well, it’s been a hard and busy week, Mr. Justice Kavanaugh held center stage all week, not to mention our attention, but the steadfastness of Kavanaugh, the President, and the Senate (never imagined that I would type that!) saw the mission through to success. On to the election we go, with a new confidence

Dem Strategery

No caption required

It’s been one of these weeks.

And, of course

Mostly, but not all, from Powerline, and they have more, as well.

Kavanaugh, the Tories, and Brexit

If you haven’t heard the FBI report is in, the Senators will be reading it today (or not, given that a fair number just don’t care), McConnel has called for cloture, which vote will happen tomorrow, and the confirmation vote over the weekend. Good. That doesn’t mean we can relax, in less than five weeks, we vote, and we have the option to continue “draining the Swamp”. Use it.

How about some videos today, they just keep on accumulating.

This week, while we have been immersed in the witch hunt of Brett Kavanaugh, the Tory party in Britain has been holding its annual conference. The Tories are quite reminiscent to me, at least, of our Republicans circa 2012. No, that is not a compliment, no matter what Mitt Romney thinks.

But they are what they are, and what they are is the best chance for the UK to again become a sovereign nation. Three speeches: the first from the Attorney General, who, I know little about except he gives a good speech.

Then there was the Prime Minister.

Meh. It’s a good, well-crafted speech, congratulations to her speechwriters. Does she really believe a word of it? I have no clue. My considered opinion of her is that she is an overpromoted bureaucrat, not really a bad person, but well beyond her level of competence. Not unusual here, either, of course. In fact, not far from my assessment of Barack Obama.  Maybe she missed her calling as a backup dancer for ABBA. In short, far better than Jeremy Corbyn, but Britain needs so much more.

Then there is Boris Johnson.

Well, what can one say, he is neither Churchill nor Trump. But Trump did say when he was in England that he’d be an excellent PM. I think so too. My small ‘c’ conservative friends in England keep talking about UKIP. I’m sympathetic, I like what Batten is doing with the party too. But, and it is a huge but, Brexit needs to happen in six months, and likely without a general election.

That means it is up to the Tories, helped by the DUP. In my opinion, May will not get the job done, not least because she doesn’t want to get the job done. Boris likely would. Yes, he lacks gravitas, whatever that chimerical quality is, yes, his past is checkered, yes he’s a bit of a loose cannon. All are just as true of Trump

So what? The mission is Brexit. The mission is not to have a dignified quiet Prime Minister. Nor is the mission to build UKIP, desirable as that might be.

The Mission for our cousins is Brexit.

To resume their proper place in the world.

My advice to the cousins is to ditch May, now, not next week and put Boris in. Along with a team, including Jacob Rees-Mogg, and others who believe in Brexit, and get the job done. And you know, he was a pretty decent mayor of London, not many other Tories can say that.

Long term, I would support UKIP, because unless the electorate has gone as nuts as our left wing has, Labour has had its day, and an opposition party is necessary.

And since we don’t know all that much about it, how about Jacob Rees-Mogg on the European Union at Oxford.

A Credible Witness?

How many hundreds, or perhaps thousands of times, have we, in the last fortnight, heard Dr. Christine Basey-Ford referred to as a credible witness? Yeah, me, as well. But is she?

First, she is not properly, in modern usage, a witness at all, she was a participant, granted if we believe her version, an unwilling participant, but she participated in it, if only as a victim. Yes, she is witnessing her account to the Judiciary Committee, but that is a somewhat different definition. She is in fact, the plaintiff or the complainant.

Then there is that word credible, which has become a seemingly necessary prefix to the word witness. Oxford dictionary defines it as follows:

Able to be believed; convincing.

Ok, there is the first problem, I’m not likely to find her more credible because every left-wing rag in western civilization tells me she is. Deciding her credibility is my job, or at least the job of the Senators on the committee. That is why we go through the whole rigamarole of testimony. It helps us to define whether a witness is credible.

The witnesses looks and demeanor matter, as does their consistency. In this case, her looks, and general demeanor fit with her c.v. But her voice sounded more like an entitled, whiney, teenager than an Adjunct Professor with a Ph.D. in her 50s. The voice was jarring, not of a piece with the rest. And little things matter, like facial expression, remember this picture from yesterday:

That look, just like it is on Strzok, is the look of a smug, self-satisfied person who has outsmarted themselves, and thinks they have put one over on somebody. It speaks pretty loudly against credibility.

What makes a credible witness? Well, it certainly helps if there is more than one. In this case, we have Dr. Ford, the supposed victim, accusing Judge Kavanaugh, naming four people who were there, all of whom, including her best friend, deny that it ever happened. That works strongly against credibility.

And along that line, we have seen much of Judge Kavanaugh wife, children, parents, friends, and all the rest. Dr. Ford either is, or at least was, married, she certainly has, or at least had parents, and likely siblings, and one hopes, friends. Where are they all, we have heard nothing from any of them, and a cursory Google search brings up nothing on point. Has she driven away all human contact, or are they simply not willing to support this charade. I have no clue but am curious. And that too, speaks to her credibility or perhaps incredibility.

It is also useful if one can speak to when and where, here the only witness seems to have no clue at all, really. That doesn’t speak as much to credibility (although it does, to a point) as to making the whole thing unactionable because it is inconceivable that it can either be proved or disproved. In other words, it’s a story, maybe a fable. Perhaps a lesson as to why teenage girls should not get drunk at parties, but little more.

Then we have to compare her credibility to that of Judge  Kavanaugh, the accused here. It would be difficult to find another person whose c.v. is more consistent, from childhood to today. A smart, conscientious overachiever, who always shows respect to everybody and,, more than most, to women, and who promotes women professionally if anything more than is equitable.

Yep, he likes beer, and when he was young, he liked to party, perhaps a bit too heartily. Well, I hate to say it, but quite a few of us did, and when we were 16, we made stupid fart jokes too. My high school yearbook burned down in my folk’s house, so you can’t introduce it into evidence, and that’s a good thing for me.

But the thing is, nothing in Judge Kavanaugh, is not consistent, not his professional life, not his personal life, not his religious life. Not even his impassioned statement. How many of us could sit there and listen for hours to some person tell unsupported derogatory tales about us, and not at some point burst into an impassioned defense? In fact, I found his self-control admirable.

Then there is the way the committee Democrats, above all Senator Feinstein, handled the matter.

Hiding the accusation, instead of passing it along so it could be properly (and quietly) examined by the committee investigators and/or the FBI. Referring her to a highly partisan law firm who a arranged a non-credible lie detector test, which is nothing of the sort in the first place, done once again by a partisan operator, and then outing Dr. Ford as a ‘Hail Mary’ bomb when all other ammunition had been expended, against (supposedly) Dr, Ford’s own wishes. With friends like Diane Feinstein, one has no need for enemies.

Essentially Diane Feinstein poisoned whatever chance Dr, Ford’s accusation ever had, which wasn’t much since the process is evidence-based, and there still ain’t any.

So, in the final analysis, is Dr. Ford a credible witness? No, she is not. I’m sympathetic that something of this sort may have happened to her at some point but am completely convinced that it was not by Brett Kavanaugh.

In fact, this whole kerfluffle has become an incredible demonstration of arrogance and disdain for the proper evidence-based procedure by the Democratic Party and looks rather like an attempted fascist take over of the government, incredible as that seems.

 

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