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Prime Minister Blackface: It’s time to ban assault rifles

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A Twitter pal reminds me that scapegoating gun-rights advocates was also the distraction favored by Harvey Weinstein when his own personal scandal exploded in the media two years ago.

The difference being that Weinstein didn’t have the power of the state behind him like the Canadian Al Jolson here does.

Justin Trudeau didn’t have the good sense not to dress up as a grotesque caricature of dark-skinned people, ergo law-abiding people in his country need to lose some freedom. That’s how Canadian politics works, apparently. It’s not just a ban on assault rifles that his Liberal government is promising either: They pledge to implement a buyback program with a two-year amnesty to take assault rifles out of circulation, and they’re going to hand local governments more power to ban *handguns* too.

What happens if a fourth photo of Trudeau in blackface emerges? Total federal ban on all firearms, I thinking.

There’s nothing like a Second Amendment in Canada, of course, so the government is free to go as far as it likes. “Firearm ownership in this country is a privilege,” said the Liberal Party’s chief spokesman on gun control to the CBC. “It’s a privilege earned by people who would adhere to our laws and our regulations. And if they don’t adhere to our laws and regulations, they lose that privilege.” There are gun-rights groups too, of course, and they’re pissed off and vowing to punish Trudeau in next month’s elections: “This is a really important time for gun owners. It has never been more true than it is right now. This is it.” Is it, though? Canadians were polled on gun control back in May. Result:

A new Angus Reid Institute public survey study suggests six out of ten Canadians want an outright ban on handguns in this country.

The support rises to three-quarters of Canadians when it comes to a ban on assault weapons.

“Assault weapons both in Canada and especially in the United States are associated with some pretty terrible crimes, some really profound tragedies and so I think we do see a greater level of support for a ban in that regard,” said Angus Reid Institute executive director Shachi Kurl.

The silver lining for Canadian gun owners is that while polling in the U.S. also often shows majority support for an assault-weapons ban, the majority that’s in favor tends to be far less motivated by the issue than the minority that’s opposed. Right now Trudeau’s party remains favored to win the most seats in next month’s election, although the odds of that happening dropped from 69 percent to 60 overnight after his little make-up snafu emerged. (It’s back up to 63 today). Clearly he thinks the gun issue is a winner on balance for his side, if only by giving Canadian liberals a reason to stick with him during a moment of doubt. Essentially he’s making the same pitch to his own base here as Trump makes to the right in the U.S.: However personally dubious you may find him, remember that he’s your best chance for getting the policies you support enacted. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to cut it,” said Trudeau at today’s presser, echoing a favorite point of American gun-grabbers after a mass shooting. He’s signaling his virtue to the left in the most conspicuous way he can after giving them a moment of real doubt yesterday.

Exit question: Has he explained yet why he chose the *darkest shade of black imaginable* for that Aladdin get-up he put together in 2001? If he was resolved to darken his skin for the role for whatever weird reason, you would think he would have tried to mitigate objections to it by choosing subtlety. “Gimme the lightest brown foundation you have. I’m talking ‘coffee with a half cup of creamer in it.’” Instead he appears to have told the make-up people, “One word: Tar.” What the hell?

The post Prime Minister Blackface: It’s time to ban assault rifles appeared first on Hot Air.

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Watch: Anti-Trump Veterans Group Says Dan Crenshaw “Hid” From Their Questions, but Video Tells Different Story

Westlake Legal Group RepDanCrenshaw-620x317 Watch: Anti-Trump Veterans Group Says Dan Crenshaw “Hid” From Their Questions, but Video Tells Different Story washington D.C. Veterans Texas Social Media republicans Politics North Carolina military Media journalism Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Dan Crenshaw Culture Congress Common Defense Allow Media Exception

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, left, listens as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 12, 2019, during a hearing on the fiscal year 2020 budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

An anti-Trump veterans group called “Common Defense” posted video to their Twitter account Thursday of two men described as combat veterans aggressively following Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) to an elevator while questioning his support for President Trump.

The group, which bills itself as “the country’s only veteran-led grassroots organization committed to engaging, training and mobilizing veterans to elect accountable leaders and promote progressive values in 2020 and beyond”, is in favor of impeaching the President. Crenshaw, a wounded war veteran who served multiple tours in Afghanistan, is not.

In a teaser they published along with the video, the group states “GOP Rep @DanCrenshawTX hid in an elevator today when combat vets confronted him about his support for Donald Trump.” Watch the 2+ minute video below:

“[We have confirmed] the identities of the men as U.S. Army veterans Jason Hurd, 40, and Alan Pitts, 36, a Purple Heart recipient,” Newsweek reported.

It’s not my place to get in the middle of a “veteran vs. veteran” battle, but this video angered me for a number of reasons:

1) Crenshaw did not “hide” from anyone. The video clearly shows attempts by Crenshaw, who maintained his composure, to engage in conversation within 20 seconds of the encounter starting.

Once they made it to the elevator, Crenshaw pointed out it was a “members only” elevator. There’s a reason it’s stipulated that way for members of Congress and their staff that pretty much everyone should understand (safety and security, hello?). It had nothing to do with “hiding.”

2) As Crenshaw pointed out, they were there to make a video, not to have a dialogue. This was to promote their group, not to have a substantive back and forth. Crenshaw tried a number of times to respond to what was being said but the guy stalking him just continued to talk over him, actually questioning his commitment to his country.

3) At one point, the guy on Crenshaw’s heels says “you need to get your courage back, man.” He said this to a Navy SEAL who lost his eye in combat, and who then decided to continue to serve his country once he came home by running for Congress. I don’t think he needs a lecture on courage from anyone.

I asked people on my Twitter feed to give me their takes on what happened, and was especially interested in takes from military veterans. Here are some of the responses:

(Duke confirmed with me that he actually meant to say Crenshaw “would not owe political allegiance” to combat veterans even if he wasn’t one himself.)

Sadly, instead of doing actual journalism on this story, Newsweek decided to write about it using the very same biased take Common Defense gave:

Apologies for the typos in that last tweet. By that point I was really annoyed, not just with how Common Defense had falsely portrayed what happened, but with Newsweek treating the group’s spin as the gospel truth.

This is clearly a case of a blockbuster story not coming anywhere close to living up to the hype. The actual footage shows a far different story than how both Common Defense and Newsweek spun it. In reality, Crenshaw handled what happened in a much classier way than how others in a similar position would have.

—–
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Watch: Anti-Trump Veterans Group Says Dan Crenshaw “Hid” From Their Questions, but Video Tells Different Story appeared first on RedState.

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Don’t look now, but there’s more border wall news

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I’m sure you’ve seen the gloating headlines about border wall construction in the media from liberal outlets recently. A few days ago, Axios crowed that “not a single mile has been built where no barrier existed before.” Last week the WaPo declared that “Trump’s border wall is now a monument to his failure.” So I guess that about wraps it up, eh? No wall for you, Mr. President.

Except that doesn’t seem to be the case. In fact, construction is gearing up in multiple locations already. More on this from the Associated Press.

South of Yuma, Arizona, the tall brown bollards rising against a cloudless desert sky will replace much shorter barriers that are meant to keep out cars, but not people.

This 5-mile (8-kilometer) section of fencing is where President Donald Trump’s most salient campaign promise — to build a wall along the entire southern border — is taking shape.

The president and his administration said this week that they plan on building between 450 and 500 miles (724 and 806 kilometers) of fencing along the nearly 2,000-mile (3,218-kilometer) border by the end of 2020, an ambitious undertaking funded by billions of defense dollars that had been earmarked for things like military base schools, target ranges and maintenance facilities.

I agree with the AP report saying that 450 to 500 miles of the border wall by next year is “ambitious” (to say the least), but it’s not impossible. And as long as the new construction is focused on the areas where the most illegal traffic is crossing the border, it will make a significant difference. (We’re already seeing measurable decreases in crossings thanks to help from Mexico, but we still need a significant barrier to really drive those numbers down.)

The trick that’s being used by Axios, the Washington Post, and others to claim that there’s no “new wall” being built is that they add on a caveat in the fine print. They specify “where no previous barrier existed before.” But that’s a distinction without any real meaning. Take the stretch of bollard barrier going up in Yuma for example. Yes, there was technically a “barrier” there before, but it was a barrier to stop vehicles from driving over You can walk right through there with little more than a hop. A child could do it.

What it’s being replaced with is a series of 30-foot tall steel bollards. And it’s not just a wall, by the way. As the Washington Examiner reported earlier this week, it’s actually a “border system.” It includes improved lighting and electronic surveillance to detect attempted crossings, allowing law enforcement to be quickly dispatched to the scene. Yes, it’s taken a while to pull this all together and the Democrats’ stonewalling on funding certainly didn’t help, but it looks like we’re finally making progress.

What continues to amaze me is the desperation among Democrats and their media allies to prevent this from happening. Either you believe that we have immigration laws for a reason or you don’t. And if they really don’t support open borders (as many of them try to claim), why would you object to a wall, fence or barrier that helps control the flow of people?

The answer? Because it was the Bad Orange Man’s idea. That’s why.

The post Don’t look now, but there’s more border wall news appeared first on Hot Air.

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Watch: Footage Shows ISIS Island Stronghold Blown to Smithereens by the US Military

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There’s something about watching ISIS getting blown up that puts a pep in your step and a bit of a smile on your morning.

On Tuesday, the United States military attacked an island said to be “infested with ISIS,” and thankfully but on a show of bombing it. According to the Daily Wire, these types of bombings against ISIS and the Taliban has stepped up as of late:

“We’re denying [ISIS] the ability to hide on Qanus Island,” Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill, Commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force, said. “We’re setting the conditions for our partner forces to continue bringing stability to the region.”

“U.S. jets have doubled the amount of bombs targeting ISIS in the past month, according to new strike data released from the U.S. Air Force,” Fox 32 reported. “In Afghanistan, U.S. strikes have also picked up. According to the newly released data, American jets have dropped 28 percent more bombs on Taliban and an ISIS-affiliate in August compared to the previous month.”

Without further ado, here’s the video. Enjoy it with coffee.

This bombing comes after President Donald Trump offered to hold peace negotiations with leaders of the Taliban, but foolishly — and very oddly — tried to give themselves a bargaining chip by killing a U.S. soldier. It’s unclear why they thought that would be helpful for them, and as Trump tweeted out later, it wasn’t.

Trump noted that the attack that took the lives of the soldier and 11 other people only made it worse for themselves, and wondered aloud how many more years they’re willing to fight on.

Trump wasn’t lying in this regard. The Taliban did make it worse for themselves as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Chris Wallace’s show on Fox News and said that in response for the taking of one soldier’s life, the American military killed 1,000 Taliban:

So, we’ve made real progress, but in the end, the Taliban overreached. They forgot that America is always going to protect its interests — the commander, the commander of Resolute Support and the NATO forces there are still at this hard. We killed over a thousand Taliban just in the last 10 days.

And while this isn’t a war of attrition, the American people should know we will continue to apply the appropriate pressure to make sure that we’re never struck with terror again from Afghanistan.

The lesson here is plain to see. You can either come to the table and make efforts to be peaceful or continue to fight and die by the thousands.

Between the video and the death count, Trump is displaying the real power of America’s military might to her enemies. Hopefully, it changes some minds, or at the very least, takes some of the fighting spirits out of them.

The post Watch: Footage Shows ISIS Island Stronghold Blown to Smithereens by the US Military appeared first on RedState.

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Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive

Westlake Legal Group Kuwait Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive trade Taxes tax cuts republicans repatriation Politics Policy Patriotism News National Security national interest military Middle East law Kuwait International Affairs Hillary Clinton Government Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Energy Economy Dubai donald trump Department of Defense Cronyism crony socialism crony capitalism crony corruption Clinton Foundation Campaigns Business & Economy Amerca First

The Only Reason This Kuwaiti Flag
Isn’t an Iraqi Flag – Is US

 

Most of the world is neither a friendly nor appreciative place.

No matter what we in the United States do to help the rest of the planet – no matter how much for how many countries – we only continue to be hated and reviled.

A lot of it is not our fault.  Because human nature.

Life is high school on steroids.

Most people in high school really didn’t like the varsity quarterback.  He was athletic.  And popular.  And dated multiple cheerleaders.  Most of the rest of the student body resented him much more than even those who liked him – liked him.

The United States – is the world’s high school quarterback.  Our economic and military prowess – is going to be resented.

The rest of it – is our fault.  Because human nature.

We do insist on sticking our enormous proboscis into all sorts of things and places – where neither it nor we belong.

We have a particular affection for armed invasions – for all the (publicly asserted) right reasons, of course.

We are now almost two decades into Afghanistan.  Which started righteously – we were attacked on 9/11/2001 by Islamist freaks based out of there.

But what should have been at most a six-month endeavor – has dragged on and on and….  With no end in sight.

The things we were told prevented us from leaving in Year Three and Year Eight, and Year Twelve, and… – are exactly the same things we are told prevent us from leaving now.  With no end in sight.

A sad, horrible, horrendous waste of blood, time and treasure – by any rational measure.

One of the many follies this Afghani folly’s proponents have incessantly put forward – since even before we invaded – is that our efforts would “win the hearts and minds of the Afghans.”

Ummm…they still have not.

Green on Blue Attacks:

“‘Green on blue attacks’ is the name given to a growing series of incidents where seemingly rogue Afghan security forces turn their guns on their NATO counterparts.”

Protestors Burn U.S. Flag in Pakistan and Afghanistan

In fact, we never will “win the hearts and minds.”  In Afghanistan – or anywhere else on Earth.  Most especially under arms.

As French politician Maximillian Robespierre knew:

“The most extravagant idea that can be born in the head of a political thinker is to believe that it suffices for people to enter, weapons in hand, among a foreign people and expect to have its laws and constitution embraced. No one loves armed missionaries; the first lesson of nature and prudence is to repulse them as enemies.”

Even when we do do a country a real solid – in exactly the right way – it doesn’t help or matter.

In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.  The United States led a 35-nation coalition that rapidly expelled Iraq.  After which we all got the heck out – and returned Kuwait to the Kuwaitis.

So we’re Kuwait’s eternal heroes, right?  They love US forever, yes?

Not so much:

“Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time (at the United Nations).”

Which brings us to today.

Much of Kuwait’s economy – is business centered on and around raising oil from beneath their feet and selling it.  A lot of help in so doing – comes from US.

One such US company – is KGL Investment Company:

“A Kuwaiti investment fund is calling on the Kuwaiti government to clarify its position over close to $500 million of the fund’s assets which are currently stuck in a Dubai bank, after growing concerned about possible efforts by some Kuwaiti individuals to seize the money.”

Kuwait and Dubai have frozen KGLs half a billion dollars – and then some:

“This is just one part of a wider dispute which includes allegations of corruption and embezzlement involving Russian businesswoman Marsha Lazareva, managing director of KGL Investment (KGLI), which sponsored The Port Fund.

“Lazareva was handed a 10-year jail sentence by a court in Kuwait in May. Her lawyers, Washington D.C.-based law firm Crowell & Moring, say she was subjected to a ‘show trial’ and have started proceedings to set up an international tribunal to examine the case.”

So Lazareva and her four-year-old son were held captive in Kuwait until she was released on bail.  On a ridiculous conviction and facing ridiculous fines.

A great and growing group of people are calling for action – including from the Donald Trump Administration:

Lawmakers From Both Parties Request Action from Treasury to Help Businesswoman Stuck in Kuwait

Both inside and outside government – and the US:

“Among those advocating for Lazareva’s release are Neil Bush, the son of the late President George H.W. Bush, Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, Jim Nicholson, former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs, former U.S. Representative Ed Royce, Sergey Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, British Barrister Lord Carlile and members of UK Parliament….”

Why all this Kuwaiti nonsense?  Besides innate ungratefulness?  Kuwaiti cronyism:

“Behold Agility Logistics.  A Kuwaiti company – with close ties to the Kuwaiti government.

“Agility’s CEO, Essa Anwar Al-Saleh – is a former Chairman of Kuwait’s Gulf Bank.  So he exercised significant power over Kuwaiti commerce and finance.

“And it appears Al-Saleh still does.  Agility is a KGL competitor – with the home nation advantage.  The Kuwaiti government appears to be (holding the Lazarevas and) freezing KGLs coin – to benefit Agility.”

In fact

“Agility, a Kuwait-based multi-billion dollar logistics company spawned by the U.S. invasion of Iraq….”

…we made Agility’s very existence possible.

Yet again – no appreciation.  Only antagonism.

Oh: Agility has a long history of screwing its clients.  Including US:

“The Defense Logistics Agency suspended Agility, which specializes in logistics, in November 2009 after its parent company Public Warehousing Company K.S.C. was indicted in Atlanta on $6 billion in fraud charges stemming from food services contracts for troops in Iraq, Kuwait and the Middle East region.”

Defense Contractor Resolves Criminal, Civil and Administrative Liability Related to Food Contracts:

“Agility Pays $95 Million and Gives Up $249 Million in Claims to (the US) DOD.”

So you have an ungrateful Kuwait – screwing a US company and its executive and thumbing its nose at US.

So as to benefit its crony, corrupt in-house company – that has already, repeatedly screwed US.

This cacophony of nonsense has dragged on, and on, and….

It is high time we bring it to an end.

Ingrate Kuwait has already held the advantage for far too long.

Please note: This piece has been updated.  We wrote Mrs. Lazareva and her son are being held captive in Kuwait.  They were – until she was finally released on bail.  Please forgive the error.

The post Perpetually Ungrateful Kuwait – Continues to Screw Our Company and Its Executive appeared first on RedState.

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Women In Ranger School, The Politicization Of Our Military

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There is more fallout from President Obama’s politicization of our Military. In a two part series, The Daily Caller adapted excerpts from decorated veteran, James Hasson’s new book, “Stand Down: How Social Justice Warriors Are Sabotaging America’s Military.”

Part One
Part Two

These excerpts clearly show quite clearly how the standards in the U.S. Army’s premiere combat leadership course, Ranger School were subverted. This was the result of a desire bony senior leaders to force females through the course, in order to achieve the goal of “proving” women were “just as good as men” at close combat.

If you recall, 3 years ago this month, the Army graduated its first two females from Ranger School, followed shortly by a third. At the time there were a myriad of rumors floating around about standards being lowered and the women being given preferential treatment. Based on these excerpts, it looks like the rumors were true. I had heard some of this 3rd hand. However, the only direct evidence I could come up with was a text message “interview” with one of the first graduates as part of my own investigation. In that exchange, she admitted to having been recycled (made to start over) 3 times. This is usually only done because of injury. This officer had been recycled multiple times for failing patrols. The officer was quite candid and I admit a certain respect for anyone who would make 4 back-to-back attempts to get through the course. I squeaked through on my first try…Thank God.

What I was lacking, was evidence of command pressure, which Hansen provides in his book as the excerpts in the article demonstrate. Hanson also provides an actual copy of Instructor Comments and extracts of text messages going back and forth after one candidate who clearly should have failed a patrol, got a passing grade for “motivation.” The second article and its extracts, show clearly how the chain of command refused to admit command influence through out this investigation and in some cases, may have destroyed evidence requested by Congressional Representatives.

There are so many things wrong with this:

First of all, is the degradation of the institution. At the lowest level, it diminishes the value of a Ranger Tab. When Soldiers see the “highly coveted Black and Gold,” on their leaders’ left shoulder, they know he has been through the fire and earned it. That no longer obtains. They know the Army has allowed unqualified officers and now enlisted folks to make it through…all on the altar of political correctness.

Second, is the money. It costs a small fortune to produce a Ranger School graduate who graduates on his first try. Think about the opportunity cost that recycling women multiple times produces. Each of these three initial graduates were recycled 3 times. That’s 9 slots that could have been filled by qualified men—and that’s not even counting the expense of running them through a special preparatory course to identify the less than 20 out of a more than 150 who qualify to even give it a try.

Third, is the fundamentally dishonest reasoning for this charade. This whole debacle has been promoted from the viewpoint and desires of the women—and the women make no bones about it. The whole issue is about promotion opportunities, which of course are more numerous in the combat fields. After all, that’s what the military is for, to kill people and break things…not to morally preen about promotion opportunities for women. Which is truly sad because…

Fourth, not only do Senior Leaders refuse to admit to #3 above, but not one, NOT ONE! Flag Officer or Senior Civilian has even attempted to make the case as to how including women in Special Operations Forces and Close Combat units, enhances the military’s, Lethality, Cost Effectiveness, Sustainability (which means something different than the tree huggers say) Combat Effectiveness, Survivability and a host of other metrics by which we measure the effectiveness of our Armed Forces. The closest to any sort of explanation was by a 4-Star General who told me that we needed to put women through Ranger School and the Special Forces Qualification “Q” Course for two reasons: One, to train the females who interact with Muslim women and Two, to generate the same capability we had during World War II with female OSS operatives.

My answer to that? We did just fine in World Wars I & II, fighting in North Africa, without spending millions to train American females to grope Arab women. As far as women in the OSS, we already have a system to get that capability. It’s called, “The Farm.” There is absolutely no need to totally upend a well functioning system merely to make a political statement.

Finally, there’s the elephant in the room that no one dares point out. Close combat is men’s work. Women in general, are not suited to this type of thing. It requires upper body strength, endurance and aggressiveness…all male attributes. Can certain females, through brute force efforts, be trained to a point where they can compete marginally with the bottom quartile of qualified men? Of course. But that isn’t the point.

It makes no sense to do as the Army did, selecting 150 or so of the “best” women, then putting them through an extensive and expensive preparatory course just, to get them where they could meet the bare minimum standards merely to enter Ranger School. Only 19 of those selectees were able to satisfactorily complete prep course and actually enter a Ranger Class. Of those 19, not one graduated the first time through, nor the second, Eventually, after multiple “recycles” and at the behest of the Commanding General at Ft Benning, the Ranger Training Regiment was able to brute force 3 women through the course and on to graduation. What are we getting for all of that? Nothing more than some sort of bragging rights? Another “glass ceiling” broken? Promotion opportunities?

Then there is the bio-socio part of this. Infantry squads and platoons are male centric—they are locker rooms if you will, fueled by testosterone and aggression. They need to be. Close quarters combat isn’t a cerebral exercise where you get points for “trying hard.” Ultimately it means jumping down into an enemy position and sticking a bayonet in his throat. It means as so aptly portrayed in the stairway scene in “Saving Private Ryan,” a brutal, physical fight to the death over a bayonet…the loser dying alone.

For any of you readers out there who wish to believe former President Obama’s absurd statement about bayonets and horses no longer being used, should consult the U.S. Marines who had to retake Fallujah at bayonet point, or the Special Forces Soldiers who took Afghanistan, calling in airstrikes from horseback. No matter how much technology we have, we only end up the victor when U.S Infantrymen stand on our enemy’s territory and force him to surrender…at bayonet point.

Close Combat also involves conquering fear. A big part of conquering that fear, is being part of a male bonded team, a locker room as it were…a place where warriors get pumped up before a big fight…A place where (gasp!) profanity abounds. Combat Arms Squads, Platoons and Companies are close knit organizations. Introducing females into all male these units always degrades morale and teamwork. The Marines did a study on this. All male units consistently out did their all female and mixed sex (yes, it’s “sex” not “gender”) counterparts.

I’m glad Mr Hansen published his book and the Daily Caller, those two sets of excerpts. Take the time to read them.

Mike Ford, is a retired Infantry Officer, and Ranger School Graduate who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post Women In Ranger School, The Politicization Of Our Military appeared first on RedState.

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Army Officer Becomes a Media Hero for Breaking Federal Law Endorsing Joe Biden at a Rally

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Yesterday, Joe Biden was on the the campaign trail in South Carolina. As part of his campaign rally, a US Army officer, in uniform, addressed the crowd and expressed her admiration for the leadership of Obama and Biden when she was in Afghanistan.

I’ve been saving these coins for six years to meet you and President Obama so if that I ever met you, I would give it to you. I’m so honored to have served under your administration and your leadership and I hope and pray that you will be our next president.

This is wrong on so many levels that one doesn’t even know where to start. It is a blatant, in-your-face, f*** you of Army Regulations and DOD policy for a member of the Armed Forces to attend  a partisan campaign rally in uniform. It is a bigger screw you to speak at the rally and to endorse a candidate for president. The fact that she’s a commissioned officer compounds the matter because she has now brought her political loyalties into her organization and that will have an effect of readiness. A soldier who is a Trump supporter would have every right to be concerned that if she had so little regard for Army Regulations and the traditions of the service as to pull a clown stunt like this that she’d probably have little compunction about punishing him for him being opposed to her politically.

But, unlike the treatment the media dished out to young enlisted men who accepted signed MAGA hats from their Commander-in-Chief (read this by Bonchie back when he was a mere diarist), they are utterly swooning over this lawless act:

So far not a single Twitter blue-check personality has called for her to be punished. Think about this rank hypocrisy of this. Junior enlisted guys get a signed hat regardless of their political affiliation and the media demands they get punished. Commissioned officer attends a political rally in uniform in direct defiance of regulations and it is “bold” and “moving.”

One of the things that sets the US military apart from most other militaries in the world is that ours has never actively participated in partisan politics. Most other nations have had some point in their history where their military either ruled or were the power behind the throne. For that tradition we have exactly one man to thank, a wealthy, white slaveowner named George Washington, for how he responded to an impending military coup by the Continental Army. We can also thank him for establishing the tradition of presidents voluntarily leaving office after two term until that was thrashed by FDR. Maintaining that distance from politics is not easy and it is much harder today than it has been since the eve of the Civil War. It cannot be maintained if commissioned officers start visibly taking sides in political campaigns and endorsing candidates. And the only way you stop this kind of existential rot of the institutional soul is by hammering the living crap out of people who knowingly and willfully break the law.

The Army knows what she did.

Now let’s see if they have the guts to act. My bet is that they don’t.

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No, the U.S. hasn’t declared that children of military servicemen born abroad aren’t citizens

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A hair-raising sentence that caused a minor freakout on political Twitter this afternoon from the new citizenship guidelines issued by the feds today: “USCIS is updating its policy regarding children of U.S. government employees and U.S. armed forces members employed or stationed outside the United States to explain that they are not considered to be ‘residing in the United States’ for purposes of acquiring citizenship under INA 320.”

So … children of U.S. military servicemen and women born abroad are no longer citizens? For a guy who likes to remind people how much he loves the military, Trump doesn’t seem to love the military so much here!

But no, that’s not what the policy says. You can read the actual guidelines here but the USCIS fact sheet is clear enough. Note well:

Who This Policy Update Does Not Affect

This policy does not affect children born outside the United States who were citizens at birth or who have already acquired citizenship, including children who:

Were born to two U.S. citizen parents, at least one of whom has had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions before the child’s birth;

Were born to married parents, one of whom is a U.S. citizen and one a foreign national, if the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or one of its outlying possessions for at least five years, at least two of which were after they turned 14 years old;

How many children born abroad to servicemen and women are covered by those two categories? Ninety-five percent? More? None of them are touched by the new policy.

Today’s guidelines are a result of a bit of confusion between two different immigration statutes, says the USCIS in its explanation of the change. Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act explains how a child who was born abroad can automatically become an American citizen. Basically, if one parent is a U.S. citizen, the child is under 18, and the child is now residing in the U.S. with the parent, he/she gets citizenship. All he/she has to do is take the oath. Section 322 is for children born abroad who don’t fit that criteria, i.e. if the family is now residing outside the U.S. In that case the child doesn’t get automatic citizenship but can be naturalized as an American citizen. In the case of a service member, as long as they’re a U.S. citizen and were present in the U.S. for at least five years after they turned 14 — and if you’re deployed abroad on military orders, that counts as “present in the U.S.” — then they can file some extra paperwork and have their child naturalized.

Until today, military members could file under either 320 or 322, claiming that they were residing in the U.S. even while deployed abroad *or* claiming that they weren’t residing in the U.S. but were “physically present.” The new policy clarifies that, from now on, it’s only the second route that’s available to them until they’re residing back home again.

First, permitting a child to be eligible simultaneously for a Certificate of Citizenship under INA 320 and for naturalization under INA 322 conflicts with the language of INA 322(a), which states that a parent “may apply for naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically under INA 320.”

Second, considering children who are living outside of the United States to be “residing in the United States” conflicts with the definition of “residence” at INA 101(a)(33), which defines “residence” as a person’s “principal, actual dwelling place in fact.”

Third, considering these children to be “residing in the United States” is at odds with INA 322(d), which was enacted in 2008,16 4 years after USCIS issued policy guidance on the topic. When Congress enacted INA 322(d), it provided for special procedures in cases involving the naturalization of “a child of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is authorized to accompany such member and reside abroad with the member pursuant to the member’s official orders, and is so accompanying and residing with the member.” Congress placed this provision under INA 322, which applies only to children “residing outside of the United States.” It did not provide similar language for such children to acquire citizenship under INA 320.

It boils down to this (if I’m understanding it correctly). Starting next month, a child born abroad to an American citizen in the military is no longer treated as though they’re residing in the U.S. If you want automatic citizenship for that child under 320, you need to wait until you come home and establish U.S. residency for the child here. Or, if you don’t want to wait until you’re back in the U.S., you can file paperwork under 322 that’ll make them a naturalized citizen even while they’re residing abroad. By forcing families who want to speed up the process to use 322 instead of 320, the feds are going to make servicemen to jump through more bureaucratic hoops and do more paperwork, which is a pain. But no one’s kid is being rendered ineligible for citizenship by the policy. They’re still fully entitled to it.

One question I have, though. If you go the 322 route, where does that leave your child with respect to his/her constitutional eligibility to be president as a “natural-born” citizen? Section 322 lays out the procedure for “naturalization on behalf of a child born outside of the United States who has not acquired citizenship automatically.” If the child is naturalized, by definition it’s not natural-born, right?

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Pompeo The Yes-Man? Not So Fast

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Susan B. Glasser in today’s New Yorker (aggregated over on Real Clear Politics) published a hit piece on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an allegedly conservative magazine, The American Conservative, decided it needed to pile on. In a long and tortured article entitled “Mike Pompeo, The Secretary Of Trump,” Ms. Glasser while appearing to be balanced and give him credit where due, essentially likens Secretary Pompeo to a boot licking sycophant. Her greatest angst seems to be with the fact that Secretary Pompeo understands the chain-of-command. He knows he is but an advisor and it’s The President who gets to decide things. From Ms. Glasser’s article:

The word “mission” was the tell. Pompeo in public often refers to the “mission set” he’s been assigned by Trump, presenting himself as a mere executor of the President’s commands. “He’s very focussed on whatever the mission is. He’s a West Point guy: Trump wants a deal, so I’ll get a deal,” another of the former officials said. The official noted that Pompeo uses the language of “an Army captain, a guy who went to West Point and got out before he became a general.”

To the “former official,” and Ms. Glasser—Sorry. That IS the language of Commissioned Officers, from Second Lieutenant, all the way up to the Four Star General (or Admiral) asigned as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You state your case and the “Old Man” decides. Unless it’s an illegal order, you salute, say “Yes Sir,” and execute. And one other thing you don’t do—You don’t “leak” your disappointment at decisions not decided your way.

Ms. Glasser goes on to further demonstrate that she’s spent too much time talking about other folks and not enough time actually being in the arena, emphasis mine.

This behavior is the reason that Pompeo has succeeded in becoming the lone survivor of Trump’s original national-security team. At the start of his Administration, the President had bragged about “my generals.” But, now that he has pushed out the actual generals who served as his chief of staff, his national-security adviser, and his Defense Secretary, it seems clear that Trump was uncomfortable with such leaders, and rejected their habits of command and independent thinking. He wanted a Mike Pompeo, not a Jim Mattis, a captain trained to follow orders, not a general used to giving them.

Again with the non-existent Captain-General dichotomy. Captains give plenty of orders. And for the edification of Ms. Glasser, Mr. Larison, below and others like them, most fights, especially in this particular conflict we are still embroiled in, are led by Sergeants, Lieutenants and Captains. They make the day-to-day, life or death decisions…and far more of them than Flag Officers do.

Daniel Larison over at the The American Conservative, piles on in his article, “Pompeo the Yes-Man.”

It is typical of the shoddiness of Trump’s hiring practices that he picked an unqualified Congressman to run the CIA without even knowing who he was, but the somewhat surprising thing about this episode is that Trump didn’t end up holding Pompeo’s previous criticism against him. Pompeo evidently proved to Trump that he could be just as much of a suck-up as a he was a critic, and that is what he has done. Unfortunately for the country, that has meant having a wholly unqualified man in charge of representing the U.S. to the world because he happens to know how to stroke the president’s ego.

Unqualified? Please! Glasser and Larison are clearly demonstrating the ivory tower mentality so resented by the military and other professions that actually have personal responsibility attached to them. If Ms. Glasser or Mr. Larison had actually served in the military or some other profession requiring the leadership of others, they would know that the only difference between a Captain and a General in command, is the scope of responsibility. Captain level commanders take and give orders, lots of them. Secretary Pompeo served in an Armored Calvary Unit. As a Troop/Company Commander, he would have commanded 100-200 Soldiers (depending on attachments) and been personally responsible for over 100 million dollars worth of equipment while making life & death decisions every day.

I checked the work and education pedigrees of both Ms. Glasser and Mr. Larison. I find it odd that two folks with work experience such as theirs, bereft in actual leadership of others in life or death situations, believe they actually have the chops to denigrate a man with Secretary Pompeo’s real world experience in such matters. I understand the need in our Republic for a robust press. However, J-School grads might wish to consider the below, attributed to Teddy Roosevelt as they opine on issues not really in their wheelhouse.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

In short, Mike Pompeo is more qualified to be CIA Chief or Secretary of State than most of the members of Congress. He is far more qualified than Barrack Obama was for the Presidency, who when elected had never, ever at any time prior, held a “buck stops here” job—not one. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is certainly more qualified than these two critics who claim he isn’t.

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

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Will China send their military into Hong Kong?

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The ongoing protests in Hong Kong have grown recently, with the tactics of the protesters shifting in response to increasingly aggressive actions by the police. They’ve begun shutting down major roadways, as well as closing the airport for two straight days now. Their leader, Carrie Lam, appears to be completely ineffective in either satisfying the protester’s needs and getting them to disperse or gaining any concessions from China to ease the tensions.

The Washington Post editorial board has a deep dive into the current state of affairs, claiming that China is the party that has “misread” the protests from the beginning. Their analysis of where things should go from here is certainly optimistic but also appears to be a bit disconnected from reality.

When protests erupted over the extradition proposal, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam should have immediately canceled it. Instead, Ms. Lam, more sensitive to the demands of her overlords in Beijing than to the values that underlie Hong Kong’s success, tried to sidestep the issue with some obfuscation. It didn’t work.

Another miscalculation was to assume that the protests would simply flare out. The protests are a political groundswell, a reflection of genuine popular anger and commitment to democracy. But authorities treated the protesters as “terrorists” and “rioters,” a law enforcement problem to be handled by the Hong Kong police, who have repeatedly overreacted, including this weekend when they fired tear gas into a subway station and were discovered using undercover officers to infiltrate the demonstrators. In response, some protesters have turned more violent, unwisely resorting to vandalism, throwing bricks and a petrol bomb, and disruption.

Yet another mistake of the Chinese authorities has been to roll out the boogeyman that the protests are inspired by foreigners.

Yes, all of the current mess started when Hong Kong proposed passing an extradition arrangement, largely at China’s bidding. People objected strongly and took to the streets. But now that the extradition bill has been shelved, the protests are growing rather than receding. It appears to be turning into more of a pro-democracy protest. So is the WaPo board correct? Has China misplayed their hand?

To a certain extent, that’s possible, but the fact is that China’s long-range goals are diametrically opposed to what the protesters are asking for. China has been slowly working to strip away any trappings of democracy from Hong Kong ever since they took back control of the province in 1997. They also aren’t famous for granting concessions when the dictates of the communist party are defied. So this may be less a matter of China “misreading” the situation and more a case of their not giving a hoot about what Hong Kong’s residents want.

The area where the Washington Post editorial really seems to go off the beam, however, is their assumption that China won’t move in some serious muscle to squelch this. They write the following on this aspect of it:

Lately, there have been dark hints of a stronger crackdown by the military. But repeating the catastrophe of Tiananmen Square would be terribly counterproductive; hopefully China’s leaders understand as much. They might be hoping to slowly strangle the protest movement without violence and without giving an inch. This would be yet another miscalculation because the pent-up demands of this summer won’t go away.

You may believe that a repeat of the “catastrophe of Tiananmen Square” would be “counterproductive,” but it seems obvious that China doesn’t feel that way. The fact is, they rolled out their military and they put down the protest. Despite a few iconic moments, such as the confrontation with “Tank Man,” a democratic revolution failed to materialize and things generally returned to the status quo.

We now know that China is already massing their troops with a lot of military hardware at the Hong Kong border. You can watch the video at the link and see that they clearly have enough firepower there to make a big splash and they appear to mean business. Do you think this is a bluff? I’m sure they would prefer that the protesters simply stand down on their own if only to save on bullets, but if they don’t get their way I’d be willing to bet that those tanks will be crossing the border.

If that happens, all bets are off. And really, who is going to stop them? Hong Kong is technically still part of “One China” (as their policy is known) and if they have to break the spirit of the protests at the end of a tank barrel, they’ll probably do it. And rather than the shaky, pseudo-democracy Hong Kong residents currently enjoy, they will likely find themselves living in an oppressive police state. That will wreck one of the most productive economies in the region, but I don’t believe China really cares all that much about it.

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