Saturday, May 31, 2014

More Important Things

The world goes on today, but my focus has to be my wedding. In some aspect, the complicated logistics of this event are like a military campaign. What a time for my 2012 car with less than twenty thousand miles on it to break down. Now, we may really need a carriage to get us to the chapel on time. Murphy's Law is in full force, but in the end, I would crawl down the aisle to be joined with Tracy for the rest of my life. Pray for us.

Friday, May 30, 2014

One Track Mind

With a marriage ceremony about to take place, most everything else fades into obscurity. Suddenly, LIBOR and Madoff are no longer so concerning. Instantly, I realize France can handle her own affairs. The Islamic Republic of Iran remains menacing, but hopefully nothing emanating from there will cloud the wedding day. Even the weather forecast seems less pressing as this is an indoor wedding. Every second brings us that much closer to two hearts beating as one.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Excitement Mounts

We are literally just hours away from guests arriving for the big day. I have heard that sometimes the bride and groom are nervous as cats as the nuptials approach. I am completely calm and at peace. It is because I know there is no one better for me on earth than Tracy. I can not wait to take my vows. There are billions of women on earth but there is only one for me. I love you with all my heart. See you at the chapel T!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Significant Journey

Yesterday, I took my last long-distance drive as a single man. I walk down the aisle this weekend. I have waited many years, but I did not wait in vain. I found the right woman for me. She waited a long time too, for her "prince only moderately alarming". Actually, though in her eyes, she sees me as a "Prince Charming". I am glad she finds the good in me in areas I was not sure any good existed. I hope to always have the Good Lord's Steadying Hand on our blessed union.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stability in Egypt?

Will a victory by al-Sisi bring peace to Egypt? Will an election pacify Islamic extremists? Will Muslim Brotherhood backers be satisfied when hundreds of their number are in prison, in hiding, or under a sentence of death? Is the vote free and fair? Can al-Sisi restore confidence of foreigners who are afraid to visit the pyramids and sphinx in an economy so dependent on tourism? Will the flagging domestic economy rebound with a more stable government? With all these questions, I am not sanguine that the election will increase stability in the tinderbox that is Egypt.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rise of Right

The vote for the European Union Parliament may spell the beginning of the end for the New World Order. The One World elite who are trying to dictate to their own people are determined to erase the national boundaries that patriots in every country seek to retain. There is no such thing as sovereignty without border controls. The international elite who seek to abolish national borders are hearing the answer of the People. Those who support the Right are insulted as "racist". Frenchmen and French women wanting to preserve the French way of life does not make them racist. It simply means they are sane. Congratulation to all the candidates just elected not to represent "humanity" but the interests of their own nationals. Vive Le Pen!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Not the Gun

A massacre has taken place in California. The knee jerk reaction of liberals is to blame the guns. In this horrific case, the first three murders were with a knife. Half the murders were caused by a blade. Does that mean the Left will demand we institute a strict regimen of "knife control"? People can never be completely safe and efforts to make the public safer by disarming them actually make everyone less able to protect themselves and those they care about. Gun control leaves the vulnerable defenseless.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Drunk with Power?

How can a leader be a dictator at home but an absolute pushover abroad? Have you ever seen such a botched foreign policy? Not since Jimmy Carter has America been less respected and less feared by foreign governments (with the exception of Israel, as Obama has unfairly kept the Jewish State backed into a corner). The deepest blow to credibility was when Obama laid down the "red line" about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and then did nothing when those weapons were used, killing hundreds (if not thousands), including women and children. If Assad, with his little army in his tiny nation, does not need to take America seriously, why should mighty Russia or Red China with the world's largest military heed Obama's words? Empty threats and broken promises are no way to run a foreign policy. Putin must have a good laugh at Obama's expense as Obama makes his demands over the Ukraine.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ask for Permission

Those who achieve in life do not seek permission of others to proceed with what they deem is their life's calling. People seldom find happiness in waiting for the approval of others. It is not "self-esteem" if it is contingent on the whim of another. Shakespeare's words from Polonius hold as true today as when he uttered them in Hamlet: "To thine own self be true". If you can not stand to look at yourself in the mirror, how can anyone else view you with any respect? No one should have to live by sufferance. Only through the process of self-actualization can we reach toward our maximal potential.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Free the Marine

Mexico is holding a US Marine in inhuman conditions after he drove to a border crossing with guns he owned legally in the US in his car. He was new to San Diego and not familiar with the roads and border crossings into Mexico. He simply became lost and instead of Mexico turning him around and sending him back or simply taking his guns, Mexican authorities arrested him and have held him in deplorable conditions for fifty-two days. That the United States has not exerted diplomatic pressure on Mexico to release this serviceman is shameful. That Kerry or Obama have not called for his release is inexplicable. That Mexico concludes there is some benefit that will accrue to them by this heartless action is typical of a government that because of mismanagement, misrule, and malfeasance has sent millions over its northern border fleeing for better lives. To Mexico, do the right thing and avoid the scorn that will rightly be heaped on Mexico if Mexico does not. Let the US Marine go.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tea Party Smashed

With the full weight of the main stream media (MSM), the Democrat Party, and most treacherously, the Republican establishment lined up against them, TEA Party candidates did not fare well this primary season. The reason the MSM opposes the TEA Party is that the dinosaur press is inhabited almost exclusively by leftists. Democrats are out to break the TEA Party because the TEA Party is against the ever-growing government that Democrats so love. The Democrats favor expansive, intrusive bureaucracy that the TEA Party came into existence to try to limit. As for the GOP establishment, they despise the TEA Party not because TEA Party nominees might lose but because they know they might win, and that the winning ideas of the TEA Party would inhibit the power of the progressives that control the Republican establishment, which is something Republican elites will never abide. Only a few TEA Party candidates triumphed, notably Ben Sasse in Nebraska, but the one fight the GOP establishment and the leftist cabal that stands with them can never win is the war of ideas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spying on Us

The United States is accusing Red China of stealing industrial secrets. These accusations coming from America are really rich considering the Snowden revelations that show US intelligence intercepts virtually everything transmitted electronically, including a massive program to gather transmissions to and from Mainland China. Is the Obama administration upset that some other nation might also be interested in intelligence gathering? Turnabout is fair play, and I suspect that all the major powers and nations aspiring to become major powers are all engaged in "spying". Let us hope that more Obama clumsiness in regard to this incident does not make our major foreign creditor Red China angry enough at us that they punish us in trade relations wherein we are wholly dependent on Chinese exports. Could Obama have been so naive as to think only America has license to spy?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Notions of Greatness

The cadre of true believers around Barack Hussein Obama continue to insist he is faultless. They contend that he is one of the best, if not the best US President ever. Their faith in Obama is truly messianic. They talk about how historic "Obama Care" is and continue to insist that it is to the benefit of the American people. Obama's zealots still blame George W. Bush for America's economic ills. The true believers in Obama contend opposition to their "chosen one" is racist. I would contend Obama Care will hurt far more than it helps, and believe that there are numerically just as many Americans medically uninsured as before the Affordable Care Act was passed. Americans with medical insurance mostly now pay higher premiums with higher deductibles than before. Obama's "signal achievement" is a health care regime that seems to have been deliberately constructed so clumsily that it will have Americans clamoring to replace it with a single payer system that is the sine qua non of socialized medicine. The ultimate triumph of Obama Care will be having destroyed the private system of medical insurance in America, yet being so unmanageable that it must be replaced and the only replacement will be a European-style socialized system where government strips the citizen of any and all medical autonomy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Punished in Space

America should not have given up the Space Shuttle program, if the US thought it was going to try and dictate to Russia, who after all, is currently the only country able to carry US astronauts up into space. The US is now dependent upon Russia to transport American personnel up to the International Space Station. Russia obviously is also responsible for bringing them back safely to earth. Is now a good time to chastise Putin for protecting ethnic Russians and unarguable Russian interests in the Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine, particularly when we think how George W. Bush gratuitously attacked Iraq with the rationale that Saddam Hussein was backing al-Qaeda which is demonstrably false and that Iraq was producing weapons of mass destruction which where never found in any quantity even after American forces occupied Iraq? As the war against Iraq demonstrated, the United States was willing to use any pretext to attack a country thousands of miles away, but Russia must now watch the oppression and slaughter of ethnic Russians right over the western border. Putin has shown remarkable restraint after the Trade Unions Building massacre by keeping Russian nationalists in check and not crushing the Ukraine. With such a weakling as Obama considered the leader of the Western world, it is good that a mature responsible adult like Vladimir Putin is carefully assessing the steps that Russia should take next.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Winding It Down

I began writing Despot in Waiting just before the 2008 Presidential election out of a sense of worry that Obama, if elected, would be bad for America and the world. Obama won and my fears are indeed coming to pass. I am, as I have mentioned, about to marry. I may suspend or greatly reduce publication of "Despot". It is not optimism about the country or certainty that times will soon be better that is driving my decisions now, but a love for another that I did not know existed or that I was capable of experiencing. People who embark on a life together often are hopeful of a brighter future. I have no idea what the future holds, but know no matter what, my future will be brighter holding Tracy.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Lifetime Commitment

My grandmother always told us that some spinster neighbors had told the Cohen girls that "there is a fool in the world for everybody". Evidently, these particular spinsters never found their fools. I sought a wife hither and yon but mostly yon for almost three decades. I had some prospects and came close once before, then I realized that union would have been a terrible mistake. After thirteen years, I wished her well and hoped that we would both move on to better things. I did. I found a loving, balanced, joyful girl. She is a dedicated professional but is more dedicated to her family, and she is absolutely dedicated to me. And I am just as devoted to her and want to seal the deal. When the Lord brings two people together, none can tear them asunder. May each and every one of us be led to our blessed union.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Queasy Rider

Why would any sane Nashvillian support taking lanes of traffic away on Broadway and West End Avenue to dedicate those lanes to mass transit "AMP"? AMP will never have robust ridership with people paying full fares. Some people may give AMP a try if their fares are subsidized by government or their employers (like universities and hospitals may do). Most people though want the freedom of their own schedule. They will want to rely on their own vehicle and not be tied to a bus schedule. Even when gasoline prices were at or near all-time highs, Nashville's Metropolitan Transit Authority did not have high numbers of passengers on buses in the West End corridor. Why would AMP change that? If an AMP-type project was economically viable, entrepreneurs would be fighting to open and control it. AMP will be a drain on public coffers and will only start if it receives massive Federal subsidies. All in all, AMP will slow traffic, cause greater congestion, make it more difficult to shop in businesses on West End Avenue and down Broadway, be a fiscal burden for Nashville property taxpayers, take money away from public schools and emergency services, make it harder for emergency vehicles to navigate the Broadway-West End Avenue corridor, and never pay for itself in the normal course of operation. All the reasons that should disqualify AMP will mean our mendacious politicians will push that much harder to make sure AMP happens.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

No More Concessions

Whether in regard to Boko Haram or the Islamic Republic of Iran, the rest of the world can not permit blackmail. If Boko Haram forces an exchange of jihadist murderers for kidnapped schoolgirls, then who is to say that very soon, Boko Haram might not abduct more innocent children? If Iran is allowed to pursue nuclear enrichment, who is to say they would not blackmail the Gulf States and/or Saudi Arabia with the threat of atomic destruction? Western leaders will have lost all credibility because they have placed "red line" after "red line" in front of Tehran's mad mullahs, and the mullahs have crossed them all with no real consequence. Extortion becomes the norm when it succeeds over and over again. Why would Boko Haram (like the Somali pirates) not blackmail when it is so profitable for them? Why would Iran not build a nuclear weapon when all the world does is blabber against it?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Interest of Peace

Maybe Vladimir Putin wants peace. Perhaps, Putin wants a piece of the Ukraine. Then Vlad will help himself to a piece of Moldova. Dread not though, Putin is surely a man of peace so long as he is appeased by weak Western leaders willing to permit the theft of parts of countries too small to defend themselves from a Russian war machine and a Russian leader who may want to rekindle a territorial empire along the boundaries of the former Soviet Union. Barack Obama is a man of peace too in the mold of Chamberlain who will start real push back against Putin just after they raise the Russian flag in Anchorage. It is not Obama alone though who is craven. Who is the Western Churchill rising with alacrity to oppose and stop the movement toward conquest by the bully Putin?

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Ukraine Vote

Whether the vote was manipulated or not, an area comprised more of ethnic Russians than ethnic Ukrainians would naturally tend to want closer affiliation with Moscow than Kiev. Was the vote "fair"? Russians would say "yes" and ethnic Ukrainians "no". It would be a miracle though if this situation is resolved with ballots rather than bullets. Ultimately, it matters much less whose principles are right and more who has the might to enforce their will. In this regard, the balance of forces is clearly in Russia's favor. The countries standing against Hitler were morally right but that did not spare them from being conquered when superior force lined up with the will to conquer in 1939. It is not who has moral authority but military muscle who will dictate the fate of the Ukraine.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Real Mother

Thanks to the murderous ministrations of Vanderbilt Medical Center, only one of my parents will (Lord-willing) be around for my wedding, that being my mother, to whom I owe so much. I am not a greeting card person as I like to compose my own thoughts and express them. Whatever kindness and compassion there is in me stems largely from Mom. My mother is the only person in my near half century to always put my needs first. Mom went without so I could have and she did it cheerfully without ever calling attention to her sacrifice on my or my late father's behalf. If you know her, you know she is the least self-aggrandizing person you have met and among the most giving. There is no sufficient way to express the gratitude I have for you Mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

On Marriage's Sanctity

In a nation where half of first marriages end in divorce, where divorce in subsequent marriages is even more likely, it is hard to claim marriage is held as sacred as it once was. I am about to embark on the journey of marriage for the first time myself in my late forties, because it took me a while to find Ms. Right (though far from being Miss Right Wing). Why did the good Lord's countenance finally smile down upon me with this bright and bubbly, creative and talented, lighthearted and loving lady at forty-six? I guess I was just blessed. The pending nuptials are certainly "no giant leap for mankind" but mean a great deal to us. Please keep us in your prayers.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Protecting Ukraine's Jews

The Jerusalem Post featured a story about how the Jewish community in the Ukraine has raised eight volunteers to provide for collective defense. The "courageous eight" do not fly fighter planes or pilot attack helicopters. They do not have tanks or armored cars. The best they can do now is wield baseball bats that a foreign donor bought them. They are hoping a benefactor might provide bullet proof vests. In a situation so unstable in a region where Jews have often been singled out as targets, the best situation might be to leave at least temporarily until ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians sort it out. It is easier to come back from Tel Aviv than it is to return from the grave. The Eastern Ukraine is not particularly safe now for anyone, but it is especially perilous for the Jews.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Asia Cauldron

Red China now enjoys hegemony in Asia and the Pacific. Communist China is now asserting territorial claims that conflict with the Philippines and Vietnam. China can almost dictate to Taiwan with no hope any other power would come to Taiwan's aid militarily and no chance that Taiwan could rebuff the world's largest military without outside help. Red China not only has contingencies to deal with South Korea but is reportedly even readying for the collapse of North Korea, that hermit state that held Red China as its last remaining ally. How has China risen? China has surpassed America because the US is being run into the ground by leaders who do not reverence American freedom or world liberty. The wounds America and the West are suffering are largely self-inflicted.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Protecting Their Own

The greatest danger to the Republican elite is not Barack Hussein Obama. What roils the GOP establishment is not the Democrat Party. The Rockefeller wing elephants are not stampeded by Putin and Russia or Iran. What burns up the progressive Teddy Roosevelt branch of the party is real conservatism, whether or not you brand it under the "TEA Party" label. The current crop of Republican mis-leaders may speak well of Ronald Wilson Reagan but they show they despise the Reagan ethos with the policies they promulgate. The logical inheritors of the Reagan legacy are Mike Lee and Ted Cruz and a handful of others. Rand Paul is too isolationist to be linked lineally to Reagan policy-wise as Reagan favored muscular foreign relations with an interventionist bent that cost him in Lebanon and caused legal complications vis-a-vis Nicaragua. Paul, no doubt though, is a real conservative in the way of his father, which might prove a winning lineage in the 2016 Presidential horse race.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dumbing Them Down

Is abdicating local control of education to Common Core standards the best we can do? Do we want a society where one is either a worker bee drone or a dependent of the government and nothing more? Common Core does not broaden horizons in preparation for college instruction with the Classics, comprehensive teaching about Western Civilization, or preparation for continuing into the liberal arts. What it does very well is leave young minds open to governmental indoctrination. That is why progressives from both the Democrat but also the Republican Party support Common Core. Jeb Bush and Barack Obama agree Common Core is great for your (but not their) children. Disturbingly, Mike Huckabee, reliably conservative on most other issues, has disqualified himself for the Presidency by endorsing Common Core but saying it should be "rebranded", which would be a way of deceiving the public in order to push Common Core forward. With most Americans uninformed about Common Core or deliberately being misinformed by the elites and progressives backing it, Common Core will likely be the way of the future in almost every American school from prekindergarten through the twelfth grade.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Scattering Ashes

America's military might alone did not make us great. Liberty and our willingness to lay down our lives for it differentiated America from all the evil empires that only spread tyranny. Barack Hussein Obama mocks the very idea of our Founding, going from country to country apologizing for what America has (only in the minds of Leftists like Barry himself) done to them. Obama parodies our exceptionalism by speaking of Brits believing in British exceptionalism and Greeks Greek exceptionalism without regard to the fact that it is freedom that made the US exceptional, not some component that mystically only occurs in the DNA of Americans. It was not that the USA has ever been perfect or some preternatural quality that only exists in American people that made Reagan extol our true virtue but the very virtue itself of championing the intrinsic value of individual freedom and of the individual himself that made and kept us the "Shining city on the hill". Obama continues to gainsay that as the order of the world crumbles about us because all the current US President projects is irreverence and weakness. The strength of liberty is liberty.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Obama's Foreign Succcess

I was going to write about the triumph of Barack Hussein Obama in international affairs, but realized my readers would be looking at a blank page. Whether it was Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State with her "Reset Button" with Russia or John Kerry backing down America's adversaries, look how the Obama State Department has delivered. Yeah, how is that working out for US? Lest we never forget Clinton's laxity permitted "four graves from Benghazi" when she left our Ambassador to Libya exposed on September 11, a date which should have automatically brought extra vigilance as a day of infamy since 2001. Obama is a danger to world liberty, such as it exists, embracing tyrants from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia while pushing Israel into a death trap. Hillary and Kerry have been no more or less than Obama's willing minions in making the US less respected around the world. Obama's foreign policy is marked by zero achievement and has brought America much scorn across the globe.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Ukraine Explodes

As I and others had predicted, real violence erupted yesterday in the Ukraine. Not one or a handful but dozens were killed. And just as we saw in Syria, the bloodshed will only escalate from here. Do you not know that Russia will avenge the deaths tenfold, and Putin really will protect Russian people? A temporary triumph for the forces of Kiev will spell the end of Ukrainian authority in the eastern Ukraine and maybe the end of the Kiev regime. People cite the way Finland resisted Russia in the Winter War and the way the mujahideen expelled the forces of the USSR from their lands and say maybe the Ukraine can stand up in the same way to Putin, but this is a pipe dream. No ethnic Russian civilians were being bullied or butchered in Helsinki or Kabul, but the Russian people see the charred remains of their brethren and simply will not allow that to occur without repercussion. I am not rooting for Putin or Russia but for there not to be an unnecessary bloodbath that in the end will get many more ethnic Ukrainians killed than Russians in a war the Ukraine is bound to lose anyway.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Putin Wants More

Does anyone think that Vladimir Putin's only objective is to protect ethnic Russians? Does anyone think that Putin only wanted Crimea? Do you think that Putin's territorial ambition ends in the eastern Ukraine? Where else in areas that were formerly part of the Soviet Union might Putin claim that the rights of ethnic Russians are under threat? Can any of these relatively new nations singly or collectively stand up to Russian military might? I would contend that without massive military support from the West, which America and NATO are too scared to provide, Putin will take as much as he wants. I just hope Putin does not want Warsaw, because Russia attacking Poland really would start World War III.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Not Ukraine's Prerogative

The government in Kiev has conceded that the Eastern Ukraine is out of their control. At this point, Russia has not consolidated power either, as there are many ethnic Ukrainians who do not want to live either under Russian rule or in a state that pretends independence but is only a Russian satellite. The situation is now chaos. A mayor who had supported the old pro-Russian regime but then shifted loyalty back to Kiev was shot in the back and seriously wounded. People have been beaten with baseball bats and iron bars on the street. The region closest to Russia has fallen into anarchy as even police sworn to defend the Ukraine have decided they will not survive if they resist the Russians and have abandoned their posts or even switched sides. Without military assistance from Western Europe and the US, there is simply no way that the Ukraine can win a war of self-defense against Russia. All Ukrainians could do is make it costly and bloody for Russia to prevail (which undoubtedly would mean Ukraine would suffer more than if they just capitulate), but alone, there is no way the Ukrainians can win.