Tuesday, July 21, 2015

John Kasich Is a Game Changer

John Kasich injects even more intrigue into the most fascinating primary in US history. He is a two term governor of a must-win state for Republicans who won reelection in a landslide. His political leadership spans decades.

He was instrumental in passing the 1986 Goldwater–Nichols act, which streamlined the military's chain of command, and despite fierce opposition by some in the military establishment (the act removed the chiefs of staff form the chain of command), the reorganization was vindicated 5 years later during the Gulf War. He was also the Chairman of the House Budget Committee that balanced the budget in the 90s.

Kasich is by far the most experienced candidate in the race, he is a conservative who appeals to centrists, and just as important, he is likable and does well on TV. His weaknesses include that many conservatives don't trust him because he expanded Ohio's Obamacare medicaid provision.

He is primarily going to peel mainstream conservative votes from Walker and Bush, which will help Cruz--whose base is exclusively tea party/movement conservative--by diluting the others' votes.

The fundamental strategic challenge for Kasich, Walker and Bush, is how to solidify the mainstream conservative bloc.

The fundamental strategic challenge for Rubio is how to form a winning coalition of mainstream conservatives and movement conservatives.

This is thrilling stuff.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Yes Iran, America is Better Than You

Iran's Vice President, a woman who was incidentally (not incidentally) the spokesman for the students holding American hostages in 1979, told ABC's Martha Radditz, in a calm and dispassionate tone, she resents the view harbored by some Americans that America's objectives are “superior” to Iran's objectives.

She suggested that the aura of American superiority shouldn’t underlie the talks. This was an indirect, but obvious, knock on the notion of American exceptionalism.

Fortunately for the purveyors of this much maligned notion, I'm here to offer a defense. It's not very nuanced, but it is angry, so everyone wins. Here it goes.

Seeing as how the government you represent, madam, (the government that uses you as a pawn to soften its image) is ruled by a cabal whose leader is awaiting the return of the twelfth Imam to usher in a glorious apocalypse, a cabal that controls all levers of government--with the media, the Parliament and the military under the Supreme Leader's direct control--a cabal that KILLS homosexuals, imprisons political dissidents, oppresses women, funds paramilitary organizations that brazenly and unapologetically violate every rule of war, and is a fucking police state, I think I'll go ahead and emphatically declare that America IS in fact on a higher moral ground.
That is not the same thing as saying the Iranian people are inferior to American people, which would be blatantly racist. But culture matters.

I am of Russian descent. Do I think Russian society is inferior to American society? Yes, without question. Does that make me a self-loathing Russian? Yes, without question. I mean no, no, it doesn’t. I got carried away with the "without question" idiom, it’s very catchy and powerful. What the hell was I talking about?? Culture! Culture matters. The Iranian people, God bless them, are enslaved by a 7th century dictatorship. Just like Russians have been enslaved by tyrants (some worse than others) since the beginning of time. So you better fucking believe that a free republic negotiating with a theocratic dictatorship has the moral high ground. Call it American exceptionalism, call it common sense, just don’t play the underdog card by implying that the US is a big bad bully and you’re just a meek, noble nation seeking a fair shake. Actually do that, because it’s apparently working.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Message to Teachers

The National Education Association (NEA), the largest and most powerful teachers union in the nation, is lobbying to make so-called ethnics studies classes mandatory for all public school students. 

Everyone who is not a blind idiot or even an idiot with excellent eyesight, understands that "ethnic studies" means the proliferation of radical leftist theories on race and culture, centering on such pseudo-intellectual themes as "white privilege" and "cultural appropriation."

My daughter is two and a half years old. So here's my message to teachers. 

Shortly after my daughter starts school, a great flood will subsume the Northeast--a flood of tears shed by teachers and their union bosses who attempt to indoctrinate my daughter.

I will review every homework assignment, every syllabus, and every test question. If I find any propaganda, I will watch Seinfeld for an hour and eat a protein rich snack before mobilizing an army of parents to descend on school grounds.

I will attend every PTA and school board meeting sporting an intimidating scowl.

At these meetings, I will be calm and rational or boorish and unhinged, as the situation warrants. 

Tears will be shed. This is my sacred vow. 


Monday, July 13, 2015

Who Will Save Mexico?

Commenting on what El Chapo's "escape" reveals about Mexico, Don Winslow writes,

"Chapo has the power, connections and influence to get his rivals sent to purgatory in America while using that same leverage to keep himself in Mexico until he can "escape."

Unlike Don Winslow, I am not an expert on Mexican drug cartels, but I do have internet connection, so here's my take.

The elected leaders deny it, but it's likely that the current Mexican government has a peace treaty with the paramilitary drug cartels. The treaty is theoretically designed to keep the violence in check by restricting the cartels' sphere of operations, but of course as long as the cartels run by ruthless career criminals have power, they will continue to wreak havoc on Mexican society.
 
To wipe out the cartel's influence over the government, influence that pervades most Mexican institutions and perpetuates the country's shitty state of affairs, a leader with courage, intelligence, strategic savvy, and probably a ruthless streak would have to emerge.

Any presidential candidate running on the "I will crush these assholes" platform will be a target for assassination and will have mutiny/treachery in the ranks, akin to the politicians who took on the mafia in Sicily in the 80s. In that kind of environment, it's generally the most ruthless leader with autocratic leanings, perhaps a high ranking military officer, who emerges as the self-proclaimed people's champion.

Dictators generally seem to be best equipped to destroy these embedded paramilitary organizations for a variety of reasons. Mussolini shattering the Italian mafia is one example.

I'm picturing some asshole draped in medals even though it's not clear which war he fought in standing in front of 60 microphones surrounded by a dozen or so other assholes also draped in medals vowing to destroy the cartels and return Mexico to the people.

For those who think drug legalization in Mexico is the answer, keep in mind that these cartels will continue to exert power much like the American mob continued to thrive after prohibition ended (on a much smaller scale than the Mexican cartels obviously).

It's hard to envision a thriving Mexican society without the eradication of Mexico's version of the mafia from its institutions, driving the cartels to a permanent underground status. Yet an ambitious would-be-dictator might be more likely than a pro-democracy politician to successfully carry out the crusade.    

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The White Privilege Lie

My column in the American Thinker takes on the White Privilege lie and its destructive implications:

Of all the invectives launched against the United States by the resurgent American Left, the charge that in America, White Privilege reigns supreme is the most insidious and culturally ruinous.  Its intent is unambiguous: leftists perpetuate the White Privilege lie to smear America and its institutions as inherently racist, and therefore unworthy of adulation and in need of fundamental socioeconomic transformation...Read more
         

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Life of Misery and Triumph

This is my first nonpolitical post on this forum and it's about a novel I wrote, which is now available in Kindle and paperback. 

A Life of Misery and Triumph is a comedy thriller about two unlikely vodka entrepreneurs. 

Summary:

Upon completing a highly unusual apprenticeship in the art of writing with his reclusive and deranged uncle, Marcus enjoys fame as a vodka label writer for a burgeoning micro-vodka company called Misery, Inc. But when he meets a woman whose dark secret puts Marcus in the crosshairs of a vengeful cult of master authors, he sets out on a hilarious spiritual journey and becomes engulfed in alcohol induced messianic zeal.

Also check out the novel's Facebook page


My sincere thanks to everyone who encouraged me to write my debut novel and to everyone who has already read the book and offered their feedback.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Justifying the Baltimore Riots

I hate to politicize the tragedy of a major American city being burned down but everyone else is doing it so what the hell? And by "hate to politicize," I mean I'm going to politicize this.

Baltimore has a majority minority police force, not a minority minority police force like Ferguson. Baltimore has a black female mayor, who also happens to be a very liberal Democrat and a rising star in the Democratic Party. Baltimore's city council and representation at the state and federal level is majority African American.

If socioeconomic factors cause/explain this as so many are arguing, do these left-wing African American leaders bear responsibility for failing to solve the socioeconomic problems that allegedly culminate in senior citizen centers and CVSs getting burned down?

If not, and if these leaders are helpless as past oppression and institutional racism continue to inexorably drive looting, rioting, and violence, are there no solutions short of inventing a time machine and wiping out the history of slavery and Jim Crow?

The notion that this violence is the manifestation of a history of police brutality, institutional racism, and past racial oppression is belied by the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of African Americans are NOT engaging in this behavior. They know it's immoral and inexcusable, regardless of issues with police brutality and historic wrongs.

The politicians/pundits/so-called civil rights leaders who implicitly condone/excuse this shit are themselves NOT partaking in burning down black owned businesses. They must also know that it's wrong. So why do they equivocate even when condemning these acts?

Why does Marc Lamont Hill tweet "to dismiss these uprisings as mere thuggery and criminality is to delegitimize and pathologize black rage," suggesting that destroying the city's economic centers is at least in part legitimized by "black rage."

Why isn't Marc Lamont Hill rioting and looting? Why is it acceptable for others to express "black rage" by burning down buildings, but not acceptable for Marc Lamont Hill?

The people burning down buildings are not political actors. They're not angry over Freddie Gray--men like Freddie Gray, that is young African Americans, are gunned down in Baltimore by gangs every day. They're criminals with no political agenda, no goals, no vision for the future.

But the politicians/pundits who DO have a political agenda are using these misguided fools as pawns in their perennial crusade to castigate American society as irredeemably racist in lieu of accepting the harsh reality that neither past nor current racism motivates these criminals.