Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and The Other McCain for the Rule Five links! Family stuff beckons today and tomorrow, so enjoy some Christmas-ey holiday totty until regular posts resume on Boxing Day. Merry Christmas!
It’s not enough that we serve as a relief valve for Mexico and Central America; we also apparently have to pay them for the privilege. Excerpt, with my comments:
The United States pledged $5.8 billion in aid and investment Tuesday for strengthening government and economic development in Central America, and another $4.8 billion in development aid for southern Mexico.
But we’ve been throwing billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars down this particular rathole for generations now, to no tangible result. Remember the old line about the definition of insanity?
That’s our fervent wish as well. Of course, it would help if they came legally.
The plan was announced in a joint U.S.-Mexican statement released by the State Department and read aloud by Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard in the Mexican capital.
“In sum I think this is good news, very good news for Mexico,” Ebrard said.
Of course it’s good news for Mexico! Billions in free money! Most of this, mind you, will wind up in the pockets of the many levels of Mexico’s deeply and fundamentally corrupt government, just like in generations past.
Newly inaugurated President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador waxed poetic about the plan to provide jobs so people won’t have to emigrate.
“I have a dream that I want to see become a reality … that nobody will want to go work in the United States anymore,” Lopez Obrador said at a morning news conference before the announcement.
But here’s the real kicker, at the end of the story:
Ebrard had previously suggested that about $25 billion in U.S. investment would be an appropriate figure for what Mexicans and Central Americans have dubbed “The Alliance for Prosperity” in the region.
I seem to remember at one point President Trump talked about re-examining this practice of pouring U.S. tax dollars into unproductive countries. He hasn’t said anything about that for some time, unless I’ve missed something. It would be nice if someone in the Imperial City would at least talk about this waste of our money.
A college kid in Illinois has learned a hard lesson about Chicago machine politics – you know, the ones that produced our last President. Excerpt:
The history of the little guy being squashed by massive Chicago political clout at election time is just too long to print without weeping.
But the story for today is so amazing that some Chicago election officials have never seen the like.
“No one can remember anything approaching this,” said an election official.
It’s overkill of epic proportions, like using a sledgehammer to kill a gnat, or firing off a nuclear weapon to kill a sparrow. A Southwest Side David vs. Goliath story.
The David is David Krupa, 19, a freshman at DePaul University who drives a forklift part time. He’s not a political powerhouse. He’s just a conservative Southwest Side teenager studying political science and economics who got it in his head to run for alderman in a race that pits him against the most powerful ward organization in Chicago.
The Goliath is the 13th Ward Democratic Organization run by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, aka Boss Madigan, the most powerful politician in the state. Boss Madigan has long hand-picked his aldermen. He likes them loyal and quiet. The current silent alderman of the 13th Ward is Marty Quinn.
Boss Madigan wields a big stick:
To get on the ballot, Krupa was required to file 473 valid signatures of ward residents with the Chicago Board of Elections. Krupa filed 1,703 signatures.
But before he filed his signatures with the elections board, an amazing thing happened along the Chicago Way.
An organized crew of political workers — or maybe just civic-minded individuals who care about reform — went door to door with official legal papers. They asked residents to sign an affadavit revoking their signature on Krupa’s petition.
Here’s the onion:
The number of revocations far exceeds the number of signatures Krupa collected. That means false affidavits were filed with the elections board.
Why would thousands of people lie on a legal document of revocation, and say they’d signed Krupa’s petitions, when they didn’t sign Krupa’s petitions? Were they just being nice?
Now, there are felonies here – hundreds if not thousands – organized, aided and abetted Boss Madigan’s crew. (Note his party affiliation, which is hardly a surprise, this being Chicago.) So should we hold our breath waiting for prosecutions? No, because, in corrupt machine politics, some people are above the law.
This is another example of something I’ve been saying for some time; equal treatment under the law is effectively a dead letter in this nation now, and has been for some time.
This Friday finds Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. in San Diego, where we have some local business to transact, after which we’ll enjoy a warm and sunny Friday afternoon and Saturday far from the chilly environs of New Joisey, to whence we return on Sunday. It may be daffy old Californey, but at least it’s a change of scene.
In the meantime: After thinking a little about this week’s post on electoral shenanigans, I have an idea. Let’s propose an amendment to the Constitution!
Yes, I know. It’s a wild shot in the dark. The Constitution is hard to amend on purpose, and this amendment would have the blue states lined up against it from the start. Plenty of folks in the red states wouldn’t like it, either. But anyway, here it is, my proposed 28th Amendment, the Electoral Integrity Amendment:
- All voters shall be required to identify themselves via government-issued photo ID or biometric to a certified election official prior to casting any vote.
- All votes must be cast and entered by the actual voter. Voting by proxy and delivery of ballots by third party is prohibited.
- All votes will be cast on one day, that day being the first Tuesday in November, excepting special elections, recall elections and runoff elections. Absentee voting is allowed for military members and persons working outside the country.
- Citizens and residents who have been on any form of taxpayer funded public assistance within the twelve months prior to the election day are denied the franchise.
That last one in particular would cause a RHEEEEE that you could hear from orbit. But let’s look at each part:
- This is voter ID, but modernized. A while back I proposed a few ways to modernize our voting system that this amendment specifically allows for, namely a biometric ID as part of a validated, secured online system. I can’t believe that the high foreheads at the NSA can’t come up with something at least as secure as our present system, which ain’t saying much. And I can think of only one reason anyone would object to making voters identify themselves prior to voting.
- No more “ballot harvesting” horseshit. Each state can work out systems for invalids and so on, but everyone must cast their own vote. Note that an online biometric system would make it much easier for, say, senior citizens and the severely disabled to cast their votes. And biometrics joined to a validated, secure database would eliminate multiple voting shenanigans.
- Election day is election day. If you don’t care enough to show up at the polling place – or open a damned app on your phone or computer, if we go that route – then you shouldn’t be voting.
- I’ve proposed this before, in my Manifesto among other places, but as a matter of principle, if you ain’t get skin in the game, you cain’t have a say in how things are run. I’d want to work out the details to exempt retirees, disabled veterans and so on, but that can be handled.
So, True Believers – thoughts? Additions? Subtractions?
The idea of a massed, forcible confiscation of guns has been kicked around here in these virtual pages. It’s entertaining brain-fodder, as certainly a significant proportion of gun owners would not comply. Here, from author and pro-gunner Larry Correia, is one of the better dissections of this issue I’ve seen to date. A few excerpts follow, with my comments.
So today I’m writing this for my left leaning friends and readers, in the hopes that I can break down the flaws in this argument. I’m going to try not to be too insulting. Accent on try… But I’ll probably fail because this is a really stupid argument.
So, bear in mind, Mr. Correia is directing the comments that follow to the would-be gun-banners.
First, let’s talk about the basic premise that an irregular force primarily armed with rifles would be helpless against a powerful army that has things like drones and attack helicopters.
Like, say, the Viet Cong.
This is a deeply ironic argument to make, considering that the most technologically advanced military coalition in history has spent the better part of the last two decades fighting goat herders with AKs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Seriously, it’s like you guys only pay attention to American casualties when there’s a republican in office and an election coming up.
Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama launched over five hundred drone strikes during his eight years in office. We’ve used Apaches (that’s the scary looking helicopter in the picture for my peacenik liberal friends), smart bombs, tanks, I don’t know how many thousand s of raids on houses and compounds, all the stuff that the lefty memes say they’re willing to do to crush the gun nut right, and we’ve spent something like 6 trillion dollars on the global war on terror so far.
And yet they’re still fighting.
Let’s be super generous. I’m talking absurdly generous, and say that a full 99% of US gun owners say won’t somebody think of the children and all hold hands and sing kumbaya, so that then you are only dealing with the angriest, listless malcontents who hate progress… These are those crazy, knuckle dragging bastards who you will have to put in the ground.
And there are 650,000 of them.
To put that into perspective, we were fighting 22,000 insurgents in Iraq, a country which would fit comfortably inside Texas with plenty of room to spare. This would be almost 30 times as many fighters, spread across 22 times the area.
But here’s the real kicker, when it comes to how just a small percentage of the population – with the help, almost certainly, of a not-insignificant portion of the military and police – could do a lot with a little to fuck things up for everybody:
The scariest single conversation I’ve ever heard in my life was five Special Forces guys having a fun thought exercise about how they would bring a major American city to its knees. They picked Chicago, because it was a place they’d all been. It was fascinating, and utterly terrifying. And I’ll never ever put any of it in a book, because I don’t want to give crazy people any ideas. Give it about a week and people would be eating each other (and gee whiz, take one wild guess what the political leanings of most Green Berets are?).
Similar dinner conversation once, with a bunch of SWAT cops from a major American city, talking about how incredibly easy it would be to entirely shut down and utterly ruin their city, with only a small crew of dedicated individuals and about forty eight hours of mayhem and fuckery. (And guess what their political leanings were? Hint, most of them were eager to retire because they’d been treated like shit by their liberal mayors, and take their pension to someplace like Arkansas).
Read the whole thing, by all means. Now, don’t think for a moment that the gun-ban advocates haven’t thought of these things as well; if they have three IQ points to rub together they’d have to know what kind of hell they’d be unleashing by even trying.
But there are other ways to deal gun owners a death of a thousand cuts, and you’re seeing some of those in the works now. Like the “red flag” proposals, which give local law enforcement the power to confiscate guns by force from anyone who they have reason to believe presents some danger – anyone think that this will never be abused? Anyone worried about enabling government at any level to strip someone of a Constitutionally recognized natural right based on hearsay?
How about a punitive tax on ammo, powder and primers? Gun-banners have already started talking about going after ammo – after all, guns aren’t much use without ammo – and hell, they wouldn’t have to ban ammo, all they would have to do is find a way to make it horribly expensive to make primers.
There are easily a thousand ways to tax, regulate and annoy the gun-owning population to the point where a fair number of them will just give it up as a bad job. That will dry up the pool of people who care about the Second Amendment, which will allow for even more onerous regulation and legislation…
…See where I’m headed with this? I’d almost rather they try to just ban guns outright. At least then we’d get the damn thing over with quickly.