Federal Election Takeover?

The Daily Caller has a scary piece, titled “Democrats And Republicans Unite To Rescind Last-Minute Obama Order Seeking Federal Election Takeover.” What’s scary is, of course, not Democrats and Republicans uniting. It is a Department of Homeland Security order that seeks to start the process of a federal takeover of all elections in the United States.

This was a deadly and serious attempt to federalize all elections. Now, if I were a Russian hacktivist working for Vlad, I’d be drooling at the prospect of having a fully-automated, centralized and online election system for all elections in the United States. One-stop shopping, comrades!

Don’t doubt that the “progressives” would wish to impose “progress” on us poor benighted Deplorables living in the hinterlands. For our own good, mind you. Part of that “progress” would be full “modernization” of the election process. In every precinct in America. Fines and full-blown federal Department of Justice goon squads to parachute in for enforcement.

One may only hope that the Trumpkins understand enough about Federalism and have sufficient literacy in our Constitution to know that this move, which would very quickly be followed by other encroachments, would be something only a far-left administration would ever contemplate.

Small and Insecure?

There has been a lot of carping about President Trump’s visit to CIA Headquarters, and his apparent “Me, Me, Me” talk in front of the Agency’s Memorial Wall. For example, today’s Wall Street Journal lead editorial noted

Mr. Trump also couldn’t resist turning the event into an extended and self-centered riff about the size of his campaign rallies, the times he’s been on Time magazine’s cover and how the “dishonest” media misreported his inaugural crowds. He all but begged for the political approval of the career CIA employees by suggesting most there had voted for him.

Such defensiveness about his victory and media coverage makes Mr. Trump look small and insecure.

That was also my first assessment. But then, Trump did make the CIA HQ his first visit of a government agency. That’s got to count for something. Paul Mirengoff at Powerline captured it thusly:

From the CIA’s perspective, which is better: (1) a president who visits the CIA right after taking office and pledges to back the agency but, as is his wont, also strays off topic and talks too much about himself or (2) a president who doesn’t visit the Agency right after taking office and instead immediately starts a process for releasing terrorists, many of whom resumed their fight against America?

Indeed. Trump just gotta be Trump. He is insecure, and who in his place would not be? He catapulted into the most powerful job in the world, with zero relevant experience. He’s learning. The best news? Trump’s instincts are those of a patriot. And he is a very, very quick study.

Friend, for now

In City Journal, Judith Miller writes, “America needs the coalition of 63 states that Obama and his predecessor assembled to reclaim territory that the Islamic State has seized in Iraq and Syria.”

Why? Has that actually worked? Or, rather, has it not brought a multi-sided civil war of horribles against irredeemables? Where there are no good guys, just some not as bad as others. Any of whom who will turn on any foreign power in a heartbeat, once their own sectarian objectives are met.

America has few true friends in this world. And no true friends among Islamic nations, just allies of convenience. Generally speaking, such nations are friends only in the old tribal sense of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Unspoken in this age-old formula is “friend, for now.”

Peacemaker?

Donald Trump made another off-hand boast: If Ivanka’s husband can’t broker Middle East peace, no one can. My vote is with “no one can.”

There can never be peace when one side refuses to acknowledge the other side’s right to exist. Well-meaning (and not-so-well-meaning) foreign powers have been trying to apply the civilized world’s standards to the Arabs since Israel’s creation in 1948.

The fundamental problem? It is a Jewish nation. The world’s only one; its total population is just over 8 million. By way of contrast, there are 57 member states in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, with an estimated population of 1.6 billion. Or, if you prefer, on the order of 2,000 Muslims for every Jew in Israel.

While Israel may have been allowed to join the United Nations upon its declaration of independence, I’d guess that in 1948 this was largely a result of collective guilt over the Holocaust. If it were put to today’s United Nations, I would be most surprised if it would approve membership for a Jewish state.

What might it take for the Islamic world to make peace with a Jewish state? At the least, it would take a tsunami of a cultural change. Not just a religious Reformation. But the Islamic world would have to undergo a Reformation and a political and cultural Enlightenment that implants the ideas of freedom of conscience, liberty, and tolerance in the hearts and minds of a large majority of the population.

Could it happen? Of course it could. Anything is possible. Will it? Not in the lifetime of anyone now alive. Islam’s problems are political and cultural, deeply ingrained. A big part of the problem is that Islam is not just a religion. It is also a dictated (by the Koran and Hadith) way of governing, and, depending on who one asks, there ought be little-to-no daylight between the state and the mosque.

Yes, they are adept at using modern tools and toys. But while they use the technology of today’s world, they are mired in the Dark Ages politically and culturally.

Social Justice Warrior-in-Chief

Perhaps you thought that Obama had been a U.S. Senator, or an Illinois state senator, or even a “community organizer.” Nope. His true nature, which many of us already realized, was that of a social justice warrior. Not just any SJW. Oh, no. Obama was the Social Justice Warrior-in-Chief.

This was revealed in two commutations by Obama yesterday. It’s hard to know which was worse: commuting the sentences of traitor Bradley (this week, Chelsea) Manning or the murderous, unrepentant thug Oscar López Rivera. Both actions are a poke in the eye for patriotic Americans and, for that matter, for any who believe in justice.

Much like another cause celebré of the Left, convicted (and also unrepentant) cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, The difference is Obama, for all his attempt to be the Social Justice Warrior-in-Chief, couldn’t go that low.

Now that Obama is in his final hours as president, he need not worry about pleasing anyone but himself. And it should now be clear that what you see now is what you’ve always had as our president these past eight years: A hard core leftist elitist who pretty much hates anyone who doesn’t buy into a hard-left agenda.

“Strategic investments”

This is big government-speak for “spend, spend, spend.” My county, Arlington, Virginia, is basically 100 percent liberal Democrat. When candidates for county office present themselves who are not Democrats, even if they’ve been Republicans, they run as “independents.”  

And, needless to say, it is rare for any fiscal conservative to win. After all, it’s other people’s money…

Nonetheless, Arlington County wallahs are raising alarms about shortfalls. Here’s a sample of the thinking, if one may call it that, from Arlington County (in an email on real estate assessments):

The challenge facing the County and Schools as they approach the FY 2018 budget is that revenue is expected to be less than projected expenditures.

Not to worry, folks. Big government types never worry about balancing the books based on actual revenues. So the “challenge” won’t be to reduce expenditures. It hardly ever is on the loss side of the ledger. Oh, no. We’ll just raise taxes and continue spending like drunken sailors on liberty.

And let me leave you with what Arlington County’s anointed rulers call spending the citizens’ monies:

The County and Schools will work with the community to make the funding choices needed to balance the competing demands of making strategic investments…

Got that? We won’t actually mention that any of the planned expenditures might not be necessary. Nope. They’re all “strategic investments.”

Democrats attempting to “govern.” Translates in English to “Democrats spending your money.

Ugly

We don’t need to go to ISIS in some Middle East of African sewer of a country to witness horrible crimes. We’ve got a doozy right here at home, in good-old Chicago, Murder Capitol USA (sorry Detroit; you’re minor league now). The ugly, ugly details are reported here

It’s pretty clear that this heinous crime fits the definition of “hate crime.” But, regardless of how one labels the crime, it shows that the perpetrators are animals, and should be given the maximum penalties allowed under law.

Calling it a “hate crime” only amplifies the social justice warriors’ crusade (eek! That’s a micro-aggression, or something) that seeks to punish thoughts and motives.

My core problem with “hate crime” is that the term is merely another way of saying “thought crime.” In today’s world, there are many instances of what Orwell labeled “thoughtcrime,” considered (per Google) “an instance of unorthodox or controversial thinking, considered as a criminal offense or as socially unacceptable.” The obvious problem is this: once we embark on punishing “hate crimes” differently than plain vanilla crimes, at what point do we stop?

Yes, many of us imperfect humans harbor hateful thoughts about members of certain groups. But do we not have the right to think what we may?

If thoughts become actions, and those actions are crimes, yes, by all means, bring the offenders to justice. But let the punishment for the crime not be harsher for one who has bad thoughts about his victim. To have different scales of justice for those who harbor hateful thoughts would seem to violate both our freedom of speech and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.