Two-thirds and three-fourths

Two-thirds and three-fourths. Those are the fractions that must be acknowledged by anyone who might think it worthwhile to attempt to change the Constitution.

In case one has not been paying attention, there’s a lot of hot air being expelled by Democratic candidates for president on this subject (e.g. here). Fun to spout words that sound and feel good to the sore losers from 2016, but to what end? How might this be done? It’s all in the handbook

Any amendment that originates in Congress must be approved by two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If this happens, then the amendment is sent to the States. Three-fourths of the states must approve before the amendment is adopted. Think there are a sufficient number of smaller-population states (which is to say more than half of them) that are willing to eliminate their political clout in presidential elections?

The other route available for changing the Constitution? A new constitutional convention, which must be requested by, wait for it: two-thirds of the states. So far, this method has never been used for any of the amendments that have been adopted.

So, campers, 2/3 and ¾. Keep them in mind, and know how very hard it is to change anything in the Constitution. Which is a feature, not a bug.

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem…

Thus wailed the Hebrew captives brought in bondage to Babylon in Psalm 137.

To this day, Jerusalem remains the eternal and holy capitol for Israel and Jews worldwide. Why should Christians care? For the simplest of reasons: our Savior was a Jew. God chose the Hebrew people to produce a universal savior in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who became the Christ.

Which brings us to the politics of today, in which one party, the Democrats, seem to now hate the Jewish state. But my knowledge of what Democrats used to believe continues to haunt me.

Compare and contrast: Harry Truman, on the same day (May 14, 1948) that Israel declared itself a nation, extended our recognition of that fact. Very much against the advice of diplomats at the State Department.

Fast forward to the current crop of Democratic hopefuls for 2020. Some of the more prominent boycotted AIPAC; didn’t want to offend the anti-Semites who appear to have captured the soul of the Democratic Party.

Having grown up in a strong union family, naturally I voted for Democrats. Took me a while, but I believe I now see with greater clarity. It is Republicans who support Jews and the world’s only Jewish state, Democrats who are anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic.

And let’s not have any faculty-lounge arguments of how anti-Zionism isn’t anti-Semitism. When dislike bordering on psychopathic hatred is directed against one and only one nation, Israel, that’s a pretty good indicator that the hater hates Israel for the crime of being the world’s only Jewish state.

Feels good,does nothing

Glock 19

Pictured is a typical semi-automatic (civilian use) pistol, in this instance a Glock 19. What it is is an efficient killing machine. Especially when compared with “military-style semi-automatic rifles” just banned by the “Don’t just sit there, do something, anything!” idiots in New Zealand.

The advantages of a semi-automatic pistol over a “military-style” weapon? Start with concealment and ease of use. Rate of fire? A Glock 19 can send rounds down range faster than an AR-15, and, if one must, high-capacity magazines are available (if becoming illegal in many states and countries).

The key words are “military-style” and “semi-automatic.” Liberals seem to have an inordinate fear of anything that looks like it might be used by the military. War bad; soldiers not of our class. Of course, I’m guessing that many liberals are fearful of most anything that can fire bullets.

I’ve fired (and qualified with) several types of semi-automatic weapons, and I’ve learned not to fear weapons but to have a healthy respect for the damage they can do in the wrong hands.

Banning a style of weapon that is no more deadly than a pistol is, at best, a feel-good but useless gesture. Unless, of course, a country bans all semi-automatic weapons.

Yes, this is what many lefties desire. Where this approach works best is in dictatorships. Where it will never work is here in America, where, try as they might, those who would prohibit private ownership of guns run hard up against the Second Amendment.

Up the Middle

This is the title of a Wall Street Journal editorial today. Those who would rather see Trump win in 2020 should wish that a man (or woman) who is not a leftist ideologue does not prevail among the Democrats.

The subject of the editorial is Gov. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, who has entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Wake up, this is actually real news. Yes, I know it’s more newsworthy when some Democrat announces he (or she, we mean you, Hillary) is not running.

But: I have a sneaking suspicion that rank-and-file Democrats, especially those who are registered to vote in primaries, may well prefer a candidate who is not an avowed socialist.

That species, so-called moderate Democrats, is rare on the ground these days. And some who call themselves moderate are actually not that at all. And one alleged front runner, Joe Biden, showed us lately that he no longer has a spine.

My take is that should an actual moderate Democrat be nominated, he or she will at the least give Trump a run for his money in the key Midwest states that propelled him to his Electoral College victory in 2016.

In fact, unless that candidate has some yet unknown baggage in their past, he or she will win.

To jaw jaw is better than war war

These words, falsely attributed to Winston Churchill, nonetheless convey a practical reality: it is usually better to keep on talking than to start fighting. Especially with nukes.

Now that the hysterical mainstream media have been proven wrong about Trump wanting a full-scale nuclear exchange with Little Rocket Man, the second summit is underway.

There is little chance that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons. Actually, I’d say zero chance, given that their very existence is the only reason why an American president would ever meet with a tinpot dictator like Kim.

But: Trump, I believe, is playing a long game. Engage with Kim, encourage what seems to be the growth of quasi-free market capitalism in the North, and make it worthwhile for North Korea to keep their nukes but not develop and test the missile/delivery capabilities to threaten us or our allies.

As to nascent capitalism, as reported in the February 25, 2019 Wall Street Journal:

Economic indicators show day-to-day commerce in the country has remained resilient. And many residents, having lived through much harsher conditions in the 1990s, appear to be adapting as market forces take deeper root, according to three dozen defectors, humanitarian workers, government officials and other visitors interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Is any of this a result, direct or otherwise, of Trump’s diplomatic efforts over the past year? Unknown, and likely not knowable, given the lack of trustworthy reporting coming out of the Hermit Kingdom.

But, in the absence of a credible threat from North Korea, doesn’t it make good sense to keep them engaged and make it too costly for them to go back to full-scale nuclear development and testing?

Short answer: Yes. Which is why Trump may have already succeeded.