Blaming America First

On January 20th I returned to the National Mall for the second Women’s March. While still significant in size, it was a lot smaller than last year and I decided to spend some more time wandering around. In addition to the Women’s March, there were several smaller groups that latched on to the event. There was an Impeach Trump March, a small contingent of the Libertarian Party, a group from the previous day’s March for Life, a “social justice a cappella,” and something about Bolivia I couldn’t quite understand.

But the one group that really grabbed my attention was Code Pink.

Code Pink was founded in late 2002 primarily as an anti-war organization, but you could be forgiven for thinking it’s real purpose is to be anti-American.

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#america, #protest, #war

Democrats Cave, and it is Glorious

Three cheers for Chuck Schumer.

In a brazen act of political self-harm, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer convinced his Democrat colleagues to shut down the government just long enough to get publicly blamed before agreeing to reopen the government for absolutely nothing in exchange, thereby demoralizing his base and emboldening Republicans. Bravo, Sen. Schumer. Bravo.

Let’s recap.

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#government, #immigration, #shutdown

Who is Responsible for the Shutdown?

Democrats have an easy argument to make. Republicans control the House, Senate, and White House; they can pass anything they want. If the government is not funded, it is obviously the fault of Republicans.

In other words, Democrats are betting that a majority of Americans do not know how the government actually works.

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#government, #immigration, #shutdown

Bannon is not the Far-Right, I am

One of my pet peeves is constantly reading the press refer to Steve Bannon as “far-right.” Bannon is nasty, destructive, intolerant, Machiavellian, pompous, and dishonest. What he is not is far-right; I am.

#bannon, #republican-divide

Brave Iranians Protest the Mullahs

Over the last few days, Iran has seen the largest anti-government protests since the fraudulent election of 2009. Iranians across the country have taken to the streets to demand their freedom. It is difficult to overstate how brave they are.

It is not clear what prompted the recent wave of protests. Nor can we say how many Iranians in how many cities have joined the demonstration against their oppressors. What we do know is that the theocrats in Tehran are worried.

The Iranian government has shut down popular social media sites such as Instagram and Telegram that the protesters were using to spread their message. As of this writing, the government has killed at least 10 protesters and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (a paramilitary force) are setting up to squash the protests. Despite this brutality and suppression of speech, videos have gotten out of thousands of Iranians chanting slogans such as “death to the dictator,” “we don’t want an Islamic Republic,” and “clerics shame on you, let go of our country.” In response to the crackdown, some protesters have stormed government buildings, mostly local headquarters for the security forces that attacked crowds of civilians.

It is impossible to say what will come next. The 2009 protests were much larger, but appeared to be more focused on the stolen election. The current protests, while smaller, quickly morphed from economic complaints to revolutionary chants to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

In 2009, the Iranian people also chanted “Obama, Obama either you are with us or you are with them.” Trying to put together the Iran nuclear deal, Obama chose them. Rather than risk the deal, Obama stood by while the Iranian government imprisoned, beat, and murdered its people; the same government that routinely organizes chants of “death to America,” props up Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, funds terrorism throughout the world, and was responsible for the deadliest weapons used against American soldiers in Iraq. Now, America may get a do over.

So far, the Trump administration has stood with the Iranian people, demanding their rights be respected and warning Tehran that America is watching. Let us hope that continues, and that Trump acts on his professed solidarity with the people.

Iranians have suffered under an oppressive theocracy for nearly four decades. They deserve their freedom.

#iran, #protest

Communism’s Useful Idiots

When someone on the left wants to denigrate someone on the right in the most extreme way, they call us a Nazi or fascist (I 100% reject the notion that Nazism or fascism is of the right, but that is for another time). When someone on the right wants to denigrate the left in the most extreme way, we call them a communist. The difference here is that while leading figures of the Republican Party, or the right broadly speaking, roundly reject and condemn fascism, many on the left still find communism acceptable.

There is a fringe that has attached itself to the right, known as the alt-right, that preaches white nationalism, but that small group of basement dwellers has been routinely and vocally repudiated by leading figures of the actual right. The same cannot be said for the left. Examples abound.


United Nations Bites the Hand that Feeds It

Most of the world’s governments oppose the United States recognizing the self evident fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. To protest moving our embassy, they have chosen the most ineffectual means of affecting change ever devised: a vote in the United Nations.

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#america, #foreign-policy, #israel