Interesting Items 01/02

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Note
  2. Israel
  3. Antiquities
  4. Kellyanne
  5. Sowell
  6. SSI
  7. Laughter

  1. Note. An administrative note for Interesting Items readers.  I changed the software foundation for Items from Drupal to WordPress over the Christmas holidays.  Part of the reason for the change is the time and effort to maintain a Drupal site and part of is the relative ease that WP handles images, which I have used very little over the years.  The new site is up and has last week’s II on it.  The old site can be found by following the Archives link on the left hand side of the index page.  It is locked down and will not be updated nor are comments open over there.  I have been doing II for 20 years this year.  Some weeks are easier than others.  Some weeks write themselves.  Some write themselves but shouldn’t.  And there are weeks when for a variety of reasons things come pretty hard.  Thank you all for your continuing interest and support.  As always, I write as much to figure out how these things come to be and how they work as I do in an educational or advocacy role.  Thank you all for reading.
  1. Israel. The Obama regime orchestrated a UN resolution that essentially overturned UN Resolution 242 passed in the aftermath of the 1967 Six Day War.  It allows Israel to give up lands captured during that war in return for peace with its neighbors.  All in all, the regime has worked pretty well with the exception of the Palestinian Authority which never wanted peace and Iranian proxy Hezbollah who wants a continuing war.  It was followed six years later by the Yom Kippur War in 1973 where Israel came very close to losing.  The draft resolution essentially makes everything Israeli in the West Bank illegal, including Jerusalem, Nazareth and The Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple.  It calls Israel an occupying force.  So why pas this thing now?  Most likely it is part of O’Bama’s F___ You! Tour before he leaves office.  Note that in the Middle East, O’Bama has praised Muslims, ignored Christians and has excoriated the Jews.  The original resolution was circulated by Egypt among others the week or two before the vote.  President-elect Trump got himself involved with a tweet and the Egyptians backed smartly off.  However, their kid brothers resurrected it and brought it up for a vote.  Rather than casting the expected veto, UN Ambassador Samantha Power abstained, allowing to pass.  Reaction was pyrotechnic, particularly on the right and among Christians.  For his part, SECSTATE Kerry amped himself up and gave the anti-Israeli speech he always wanted to give, excoriating Israel and the Netanyahu government for all manner of improprieties.  Kerry gave his best performance since he was trashing American troops in Vietnam in front of congress in 1971.  And like his 1971 testimony, every single word in his speech about Israel was a lie, including the words ‘and’ and ‘the’.  For his part, Trump tweeted that the Israelis be strong as help was on the way.  After the vote, the Security Council stood and applauded their action.  This vote gives Trump the opportunity to do what a lot of us have wanted to do for decades – defund, defang, and disembowel the UN.  Should we go after it, we must make sure it is dead as it does retain the ability to raise and employ military forces.  If we aren’t there, they can be used against us.

  1. Antiquities. The Mad Duck waved his pen and phone and created another two National Monuments via the Antiquities Act last week.  They are in Utah and Nevada and steal over 1.65 million acres from the people of those states and their governments.  The designation is couched in all the expected flowery language of protecting cultural treasures and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes.  For the record, a sacred land to the current tribal governments is land that they want you have to pay to use, at which point it is not so sacred any more.  With this action, O’Bama continues to pit Native Americans and their tribes against the rest of the nation.  He used a similar excuse in the Executive Order that removed the entire Bering Sea from oil and natural gas development, pandering to 40 tribal entities in western Alaska.  This in your face action will likely get some long overdue pushback legislatively from congress.  Shoot, even Trump might limber up his pen and phone and undo O’Bama’s action.  There is building support for a Lame Duck Control Bill, which would prohibit rules, regulations, National Monuments, literally everything that O’Bama and his minions have been shoving down our throats for the last seven weeks.  It would also have provisions for emergency issuance of rules, regulations that expire the instant the new President is sworn in.  Personally, I’d like to see the Antiquities Act repealed retroactively to 1976 before Jimmy Carter had the opportunity to use it to threaten Alaska with theft of half of its acreage in return for passing of 1980’s ANILCA (also intended to help the poor Alaskan Natives).  The thing the left doesn’t understand is that they aren’t the only ones who can act lawlessly.  For if O’Bama can act lawlessly with his midnight rules, regulations, Executive Orders and National Monuments, so can the next president in a mere two weeks’ act in tearing down his poorly constructed house of cards.
  1. Kellyanne. This isn’t going to end well for the private schools in Washington DC.  Word is that Trump Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway is having problems placing her children in Washington DC private schools.  Apparently, they don’t want to be seen supporting the incoming Trump administration and have made it clear to her that her children are not welcome in their august halls.   Yet another opportunity for free enterprise to solve a public education problem.
  1. Sowell. Economist and author Thomas Sowell announced his retirement from the weekly column grind last week.  He is going to take his talents to photography which is his current hobby and passion.  At 86, Sowell was born in 1930, a year after my father.  I read his autobiography a number of years ago, and it sounded a lot like listening to my Dad.  Not the experiences, but the tone, the worldview, and the expectations for himself and of his parents for him.  I have been reading Sowell columns and books for over 40 years and count him as one of the very good guys, very smart guys, and very honorable guys on our side of the political wars.  His books on race are seminal, and they generally conclude that there are differences everywhere and what we do to one another here echoes other group vs group conflicts in other parts of the world.  While I never saw him throw a punch, I never saw him pull one either, meaning that he always followed his data where it led and published his results.  When the results did not match the entry theory, rather than torturing or massaging data to get a pre-determined result, he announced the new result.  A great voice, that is available in nearly half a century of publications.  Will be sad to see no more out of him.  But we have all been blessed to have his scholarship available for as long as it has been.
  1. SSI. The reign of the Mad Duck continued last week with the Social Security Administration being the latest federal agency to use its administrative clout to remove Second Amendment rights from the recipients of Supplemental Social Security.  The regime now will characterize SSI recipients as “mental defectives” as they discriminate against those recipients based on their disabilities.  Talk about disparate impact.  The hideous part of this new policy is that recipients are for the most part unemployable, with few job skills and resources.  Indeed, recipients are limited to a bank account with monthly levels less than $2,000, so there are no resources available to take the regime to court to fight for their constitutional rights.  They are supposed to lie down and take it.  NRA comments to the new policy pointed out that there was no empirical data that demonstrates that the new rule would have any positive public safety impact.  SSA denies they are implying a connection between mental illness and gun violence, making the new rule the very definition of arbitrary and capricious.  Nobody even knows what number of SSI recipients are responsible for the gun violence the regime claims to be targeting.  So, the same regime that is issuing pardons and commutations of sentences to thousands of violent criminals, the same regime that is emptying the terrorists out of Guantanamo as quickly as possible so as to return to the Middle East and practice jihad, is doing everything humanly possible to remove firearms from the hands of law-abiding Americans.  They cannot be gone from office soon enough.
  1. Laughter. The democrat’s newfound discovery that Russia is not our friend would be hilarious on its face, though about half a century late.  Last week, O’Bama cinched up his belt and expelled 35 Russians from the US in retaliation for what he is calling Russian hacking of the DNC.  Of course, this same regime did not utter a peep as the ChiComs, Russians, Norks and Iranians hacked government accounts with impunity for the last eight years.  In response, the Russians laughed at O’Bama, with the Russian consulate in London issuing a tweet with a lame duck in it.  This is how this regime ends, with a whimper, with laughter, with derision.  Fundamental transformation, indeed.

More later –

– AG


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