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about John Bolton’s departure from government

John Bolton has been a Washington, DC, fixture since I was in college, which is a long long time ago. He has held a number of high level government jobs in that long time, as well as the usual garden variety of middlin’ roles that regular revolving door people in DC have. Like mid-level government, academic, lobbying, and think tank jobs.

And all that time John Bolton has been a staunch, unabashed defender of America and American interests.

John Bolton was our hero when he worked for the last Bush administration and he took on the gun prohibitionists at the United Nations. That was a proud day for America, with Bolton at the podium, when American government told European tyrants that one of the great defining characteristics of America is the right and the ability of our people to make an effective armed revolt against our own government, and so No, we would not be signing their small arms treaty as a back door way to strip American citizens of their Constitutional rights.

Over the past year or two, US National Security Advisor John Bolton has been hugely criticized by conservatives for being a war hawk, someone too eager to use full American force at the drop of a hat. A warmonger some call him.

“We are so tired of wars. We are not the world’s police man,” goes one refrain, which on its face certainly makes sense, within certain basic parameters.

Another common refrain which does not make sense goes “Iran is not a threat to America, and we should do everything we can to avoid war with Iran.”

Thus, with that second refrain, anyone promoting a strong deterrent policy and posture with Iran, like John Bolton, is automatically risking another Mid East war, which we are told, we absolutely must avoid at all costs. Apparently even at the cost of letting Iran nuke a few of our major cities.

The left-right crossover by these so-called anti-war conservatives is fascinating to me, and Bolton became the friction plane for where their war-weary criticism met the Trump Administration’s foreign policy activities. As a Bush II legacy, Bolton reminded everyone too much of poorly implemented wars, in which the USA rules of engagement put our warriors’ lives and limbs at unnecessary risk, and where America foolishly sought to implement a second Marshall Plan, this time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like Bolton, I also say Give War a Chance, but let it always be total war, uninhibited war, completely and immediately successful war, not the war of namby pamby uniparty globalists worried about how America will be perceived poorly as some sort of meany arch defender of its own interests. Hell, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and China do not give a damn about how anyone else perceives their pursuit of their national interests. They do whatever they want, come hell or high water, with a lot of extra brutality thrown in, just so the defeated remember the high price of resisting.

So, in turn, I believe, America should be just as ruthless and just as bold as they, our main competitors, if we are to survive them. John Bolton was a proud promoter of this stance. He believes in America, a successful, strong, defiant America.

It is certain that Bolton was a nettlesome cowboy inside the Trump Administration. He was well suited to the first year or two of this administration, when America was being felt abroad for the first time in decades, but Bolton was not a good fit in the third or fourth years, where Trump is beginning to tame the bureaucracy and bring his own more nuanced policies to bear. Anyone with a huge manly mustache like Bolton has, in this day and age, is living in the 1950s past, where mustachioed gunslingers in chaps and dusty cowboy hats still represented the best that America had been and the best that she still could be.

It is no surprise that Bolton was taken down by Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, because no matter who runs the State Department, they all at that agency are always the weanies, the wimps, the “war-no-more” tip-toeing weasel fairies of our foreign touch. Everyone at the State Department believes fervently that all our conflicts can be resolved amicably, if America just gives in and gives away enough of its own interests.

On the other hand, every day he was on the job John Bolton was leading the US cavalry straight up San Juan Hill with the American flag in his left hand and a smoking Colt .45 revolver in his right. I will miss the guy.

John Bolton’s approach to American foreign policy: TR’s famous charge up San Juan Hill with the Rough Riders

 

The US State Department: Obsequious weasel with a toothy beaming sycophantic smile looking perky and wide eyed, always

Hunting…it ain’t about killing

How often do we hear the line “Hunting- it ain’t about killing”?
It’s common because it’s true.
Boy is it good my family isn’t depending upon me for food through hunting…
This spring gobbler season has been very slow up north. It’s as if the turkeys suffered a severe blow from the long winter.
So far I’ve had a pure white coyote run up to me, been stalked by a bobcat that wouldn’t take No for an answer, had a raccoon molest the decoy, nearly been overrun by a sluggish porcupine that wouldn’t take No for an answer, and I’ve been entertained by the antics of a mouse. Watching deer munch on trees I’ve nurtured, well, that’s a different feeling.
One thing about hunting is true: It’s about being out in Nature. Sometimes success there is measured in mouse antics, and not in trophy long beards.
I love it.

Small success stories come in big, snoring packages

Sitting at lunch today with someone in his late 60s, we reminisced about how sparse bears and turkeys were 40 years ago in central Pennsylvania.

We also recalled how pheasants were in our back yards every morning, forty years ago, and how sad it is that they are now gone, victims of abundant raptors, foxes, coyotes, skunks, possums, raccoons, and loss of traditional farmland edge habitat.

Doug remarked that pheasants are not a native species, and that as much as he enjoyed hunting these colorful, beautiful birds, if he had to make a trade-off, he is happy with the outcome of surplus bears and turkeys.

While I wish I could have it all ways – abundant wildlife of all types, I agree with Doug.

Just to drive home how successful Pennsylvania’s bear conservation program has been, a friend texted me yesterday to say that the bear I had found sleeping under a log on his farm on the southern Lower Paxton Township line three weeks ago is still snoring away there.  He has set up a couple trail cameras around it to monitor its movements.  Although we did not hear any squeals of little newborn bear cubs then or this week, and we do not know its sex, it may have since given birth.  That long stay in that one place could be pregnancy, and would account for how long the bear has remained in the scraped out den-nest it made for itself.

What is amazing is that this deeply snoring bear is literally on the edge of suburbia.  Well, it is actually deep into suburbia, in a relatively small island of open space.  Think about it this way:  Bears used to be a symbol of wild places.  Now, they are often suburban dumpster divers.  That speaks well to the large population of bears still inhabiting the truly wild areas away from suburbia.  That original population of deep forest and mountain dwellers is obviously in very good health.

And on that same farm there are now roving bands of wild turkeys, something not seen since the mid-1800s, when wild turkeys were literally all eaten up in this region.

Conservation success stories are abundant, and here we have two – bears and turkeys.  We cannot take these wins for granted, however; we must safeguard what has been accomplished.  I hope that the Wolf Administration soon appoints the new Sportsmen’s Advisor.  That is a unique leadership position Pennsylvania can not afford to leave vacant.

 

Gosh dang, all these headlines about violence…gotta change the subject

While our planet has descended into a frenzy over epic Islamic violence threatening Western Civilization, or least just all of the Christians remaining in the Middle East, it is important to take an escapist break from it all and look back to the distant past.

Better times, right?

Well, a history lesson is now in the works in 2015, because it is the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a milestone that no one is going to forget, no matter how much the perpetrators try to sweep it under the rug.

One and a half million Christian Armenians were starved, executed, enslaved, tortured, exiled, children were turned into sex slaves, families were broken apart, homes were taken by force, men were beaten to death in front of their families, women were raped in front of their dying husbands, eventually ancestral land was taken and occupied, and the first modern genocide was under way.

Who conducted this outrage against humanity, and surely they been held to account, we ask.

Why, it was the Turks, as in Turkey, as in the Ottomans, as in the leaders of the Islamic World, as in…dare we say it…will Obama approve?…Muslim Turks.

The Religion of Peace.

Of course, the Turks also still illegally occupy half of Cyprus, have committed genocide against the Kurds, and still illegally occupy their homeland.

The Religion of Peace….leading the way. Invading Europe. Invading Spain. Murdering the Armenians, because they were Christians.  Bombing infidels.

Now, back to these pesky headlines about Christians getting their heads cut off we’ve been dealing with the past few weeks. You know, the news, as in what is new.

It’s duck season! No it’s turkey season! No it’s rabbit season!

In addition to picking apples with the family, one of Fall’s greatest attributes is the abundance of hunting opportunities.

A friend sent me a photo of a huge buck he arrowed last week.  I am jealous of him because I have not yet had an opportunity to go bow hunt for deer.

Instead, I have been small game hunting, wild turkey hunting, duck hunting, and trapping.

So, it is not as if I have been missing out on the outdoor experience by failing to bow hunt.  The problem is that I’m in a frenetic whirlwind of other, related recreational pursuits, because Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and healthy natural habitat.

Spending time with my kids and friends outside in this environment is one of the healthiest, safest, most wholesome activities anyone can do.  Hunting is safer than cheerleading, high school football, soccer, and baseball.  It gets my son’s face out of whatever handheld device is sucking out his brain at any given moment.

Successful or not, time afield is the best family time possible.

Here are some old favorite cartoons about hunting, and most important is the Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season! episode.

Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck

Rabbit Season! Duck Season!

Out of all proportion

If there is one core element to the “new thinking” taking America down, it is victimology.

You know, the idea that everyone is a victim, and some people are special victims and some are especially victimized.

For someone to be a victim, there must be a perpetrator, and political correctness has created all sorts of creative solutions to real and perceived wounds which perpetrators can, or must!, endlessly do to atone.  America has been afflicted with this, to the absurd point where illegal aliens crossing our borders in search of better work are “victims” and deserve our taxpayer money and the right to vote themselves a lot more of it.

It is a fair idea that people should be treated fairly.  No arguing with that.  But what happens when whatever apology, compensation, or other action worth remedying the problem has been completed, and the victim identity remains?  This phenomenon is nowhere more clearly evident than in the Middle East, or technically the Near East, where “Palestinian” Arabs have wallowed in artificial and purposefully perpetuated victim status for five decades.

Even their refugee status is inherited, contrary to every other refugee situation around the world.  The UN helps maintain this arrangement.

Although there were nearly twice as many refugee Jews ejected from Arab and Muslim nations at the same time, no one talks about them.  Islamic imperialism and Arab colonialism are responsible for one of the largest and longest-standing occupations ever on planet Earth, where the farms, homes, and businesses that once belonged to Jews are now the property of supposedly well-intentioned Muslim Arabs.  Billions of dollars worth of property and banks were stolen overnight, from one group of people and given to another group that had no claim on it other than they held the knife and gun, and the victim did not.

If someone were looking for victims to feel bad for, the Jews have had that victim experience in spades, not to mention the Armenians (Christians who suffered a none-too-gentle genocide and land-theft at the hands of the Muslim Turks from 1910-1915), Kurds, Tibetans, and, well, never mind that the iconic and fiercely warlike Oglala Sioux ejected the Mandan, Cheyenne, and Pawnee from millions of acres of their historic Happy Hunting Grounds and militarily occupied them for hundreds of years…after all, the American Indians who massacred, tortured, and occupied one another are considered to have engaged in acceptable behavior.  Anyhow, I digress…..

The Jews now find themselves fighting for their lives with their backs to the wall, yet once again against Islamic supremacists, Islamic imperialists, and Arab colonists; and those same Jews are now presented with yet another double-standard: Proportionality.

This is the idea that, if someone hits you in the face with the intention of killing you, but fails to do so that first time and is winding up to hit you again and harder this next time, why, you are only supposed to hit them back once and only just as hard as you were first hit.  You are not allowed to land a knockout punch, despite having survived an attempted knockout punch.

The EU demands that endless Arab rockets from Gaza onto indigenous Jews, living an unbroken 3,000-year presence in their homeland, be met with…thousands of random rockets from Israel?  My God no! Unacceptable!

Obviously, the idea of proportionality is alien to every people that has fought a war, especially a defensive war.  War is fought to be won, and dumbing-down and reducing the effectiveness of your response is a foolish and possibly suicidal thing to do.

But Europe and America cater first and foremost to artificial victims, and no matter what, those victims are due every gift, every extra opportunity, every kind gesture in the face of bloody hands, truckloads of taxpayer money despite tremendous waste by the recipients, and so on and so forth.  Although this behavior seems suicidal, suicide seems to be the new definition of democracy, in the interest of appeasing the ‘victims’ among us, out of all proportion to whatever happened in the first place.

But to give the supposed victims their due, proportionality must be maintained, and in the Middle East today, Western civilization is expected to fight Islamic aggression, theft, murder, and occupation with both hands tied behind its back.  It is apparently the new thing to do.

Long live Kurdistan!

The Kurds are an old ethnic and linguistic group in the Middle East, and they are the largest ethnic group in the region to not have had a homeland in the modern era.

The Kurdish homeland was broken up in the 1920s by the winners of World War I, and the various pieces were rudely tossed into the aggregated melting pots that became Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel.

But as Iraq and Syria have disintegrated, the Kurds there have naturally coalesced into their historic homeland, bolstering their communities.  And they are motivated, powerful warriors, whose culture is highly secularized and pro-West.

The result is that Kurdistan exists in all but name, and this week the Kurds took formal control of Mosul, a huge and symbolic city formerly in Iraq.  Congratulations, Kurds!

What is so intriguing is the Kurds have received zero support from the political Left, who are in love with the murderous culture of hate and evil developed by the so-called “Palestinians,” an ad-hoc ethnically and linguistically diverse group of people mostly emanating from the regional Bedouin.

More or less the Arabs in and around Israel have been turned into international heroes for murdering children and opposing the only indigenous ethnic group there – the Jews.  Never was there a “Palestine,” never was there a “Palestinian people,” and the egregious lying necessary to invent this anti-Israel movement prompted Newt Gingrich to call these Arabs “the invented people” in 2012.

In fact, the so-called “Palestinians” are the best representatives of Islamic imperialism and Arab colonialism, two forces on a collision course with America.

So once again, the Left (the American Friends Service Committee being the worst; how is it that the Quakers of all religious groups became so radicalized that they promote murder and mayhem?) is supporting the bad guys, the violent evil people, the inhuman butchers, and again doing nothing to support the good guys, the Kurds, or the Tibetans for that matter.  When Kurdistan is finally recognized as the free, stand-alone nation it is, it will be a big step forward for the good guys.

Long Live Kurdistan.

News about Islam: It Ain’t Pretty

Western Main Stream Media obsess about presenting Islam “fairly” and in an unbiased way. Nothing of the sort is done, of course, because that would mean reporting the cold, hard, painful, scary facts about Islam. Rather, Islam is whitewashed and mainstreamed every day by Western MSM. Here are two recent non-MSM stories about Islam that shed light on what is at the heart of the culture clash between Islam (jihad) and Western democracy.

Turkey is Islam’s most advanced, civilized nation, supposedly with some veneer of the rule of law. Ha…Ha…Haaaaa. Read on at http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/163368#.UNMr73dgK8A

And then it turns out that Islam’s holiest Holy Warriors are actually a bunch of dirty, chronically sick, unhygenic drug addicts who rape and sadistically abuse women: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/253747#.UNMuJndgK8A

Abandoning the Helm, Here & Afar: How Hypocrisy Has Ended the Moral Claim

Abandoning the Helm, Here & Afar:
How Hypocrisy Has Ended the Moral Claim
© Josh First
July 31, 2011

Time was, for people in need only the local churches helped them. Every frontier town had a church, and its doors were always open to the needy. In a frontier society, the needy are ever-present. Over time, America grew, and seeking America’s promise, the needy increasingly arrived, and the model expanded. Are you hungry, do you need clothes? A local religious group was there to help you or your family. Bethesda Mission, Hebrew Free Loan Association, a myriad of Catholic charities, all served increasingly robust communities and then whole populations of American immigrants from across Europe. Immigrant aid societies flourished, most aimed at their own ethnic or linguistic group.

That model of bare-bones, volunteer-driven organizations advancing and increasingly advocating for the rights, needs, and interests of everyday shlmiel citizens is a uniquely American development. It is something to be proud of. That safety net for newcomers released their potential, increased the opportunity that awaited them, and enhanced their ability to become integrated, productive Americans.

Over decades, mirror image organizations evolved out of more refined social expectations, like human dignity and individual rights, wildlife habitat, environmental protection, and consumer protection. Out of this distinctly private and mostly religiously-based effort came public commissions, bureaucracies, laws, and then government mandates, with increasingly complex goals and symmetrically mixed results. Public health offices aimed at cholera, orphans, and clean water were useful; Prohibition spawned the Mob.

Beating Jim Crow in the South began in the late 1950s, and infused other movements. Responding to the Cold War, international causes became popular in the 1960s, spawning Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among others.

Increasing public and private financial resources, and increased economic and individual opportunities across America created more defined political jockeying between these safety net groups. Many eventually morphed into highly tuned political machines with sophisticated interest groups, grassroots armies, funders, political backers, friendly media outlets, and crafted messages, many arriving at their final destination and recognizable form in the 1960s and 1970s. Those two decades are also recognizable as the turning point in American public political activism. Gun control, animal rights and welfare, gay rights, etc., all followed, and the laundry list is now long and well known. The political lines are now well drawn in the sand.

What impelled and set the original “founding” interest groups above, apart, and beyond their original surrounding circumstances was a powerful, convening clarion call that coalesced universal conscience: The moral claim.

The moral claim was based on a distinct and publicly recognizable difference between what was common practice at the time, on the one hand, and what was obviously needed to elevate and fairly improve the human condition, on the other hand. The moral claim was a non-partisan standard that appealed to nearly everyone, rallying and focusing fair-minded citizens from across religious, economic, racial and regional boundaries.

One of the most famous examples of the moral claim is King’s I Have a Dream speech. Dead people in coffins have been widely documented to sit up and cry when it’s replayed in their presence, because it is undeniably powerful medicine for a nation designed for freedoms it hadn’t yet delivered.

Similarly, when the Cuyahoga River actually caught on fire, advocates for environmental quality had one hell of a moral claim, and legitimately aimed at ending a long tradition of egregious pollution that privatized profits and socialized the costs. Three decades later, River Keeper was shutting down the last industrial pipes bleeding privately conjured PCBs and other chartreuse-colored ooze into the Hudson River’s very public waters.

But times change, and thankfully, the vast majority of the moral claims have been settled (more on this later, obviously). The problem is that the well-oiled machines that got those moral claims over the goal line are still running on high octane, and they have to keep going, or die. So they stay in the groove that worked for them, well worn over decades, and the growing differences between their goals, methods, and reality is now making hypocrites out of many of these the now-former bearers of the now-former moral claim. Hypocrites do not make good standard bearers.

For example, here in Pennsylvania this past January, purported environmental activists (self-appointed keepers of the green moral claim) banged drums and shouted into bull horns, doing everything possible to disrupt Governor Tom Corbett’s inaugural speech, occurring three hundred feet away. What was the issue that impelled them into their most moral rage? Why, it was the very most moral issue of natural gas drilling. And not just any gas drilling, but hydrofracturing deep gas wells. You’d think from their behavior that gas drilling is a moral issue found directly in the Constitution and the Bible, or that terrible crimes are occurring.

But it’s not a moral issue. Gas drilling is an every-day issue like plastics or peanut butter, arising from modern social needs, demands, and industrial processes that environmental activists themselves help perpetuate in their individual daily lives. It is subject to scientific analysis, assessments of risk-benefit tradeoffs, and regulations, both sufficient and insufficient. It is not a matter of principle.

But once Tom Corbett became governor, within his first two minutes and thirty-eight seconds, as a matter of fact, the activists turned gas drilling into an artificially manufactured issue of principle. Invoking the moral claim, protestors complained that the new Corbett administration, in office for exactly two minutes and thirty eight seconds, was environmentally immoral.

Uhhh, where were these folks during the eight-year tenure of the immediate past governor, Ed Rendell? You know, the same governor who handed out gas drilling and hydrofracking permits like they were potato chips, for years before Corbett was even a candidate? Rendell got a free pass from these purported keepers of the flame, apparently because he was of a political party that the activists otherwise generally concur with. Holding Corbett accountable for something he hasn’t yet done, while giving a free pass to Rendell who done a lot, makes them partisan, makes the gas drilling issue partisan, employs a double standard, makes the activists hypocrites, which terminates their moral claim.

Looking farther abroad, international human rights groups were once the only lifeline of political prisoners in Soviet, Socialist, and authoritarian gulags around the world. Today, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch disproportionately criticize democratic countries where press freedoms, free movement, and economic comforts make it easy to get access to friendly advocates and information, like Israel and America. And they ignore egregious violations among the harder targets, like Saudi Arabia’s all-encompassing barbarism and summary executions, China’s crushing occupation of Tibet, Iran and Syria’s mass executions of peaceful protestors, and Turkey’s ongoing genocide against the Kurds.

Saudi Arabia, that epitome of cruelty, barbarism, discrimination, lacking basic human freedoms and rights, in fact, has recently become the actual benefactor of Human Rights Watch, and thereby bought off the group. Getting access to authoritarian countries is hard, and if the masters of all things human rights play hardball with authoritarian regimes, they get tossed out. So they withhold full criticism, and instead criticize the enemies of the worst brutes, just to keep the machine running. And they take the brutes’ money, too.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations and other supposed watchdog groups, are now such giant hypocrites that their misdeeds have spawned watchdog groups to hold them, the self-appointed human rights organizations, accountable to their own purported standards. Groups like NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org) and UN Watch (www.unwatch.org), which is “tasked with measuring the UN by the yardstick of its own charter,” are playing backup to maintaining the moral claim, and not allowing it to be watered down in the name of convenient politics.

Internationally, certain pet issues predominate, monopolizing press exposure and the supposed moral claim. Despite a nearly two-to-one ratio of Jewish refugees from Jerusalem, Hebron, and Arab and Muslim countries, versus the number of Arab refugees from Israel in the same time period, today we hear only, hypocritically, about the Arabs. Compensating Jewish refugees, whose farms, homes, religious sites, and businesses remain under Arab colonialist occupation, is not a vogue subject. It’s still not vogue in Poland, either, by the way, another mass event held at the same time.

Similarly, Turkey’s still-smoldering genocide against the Armenians, its ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, its brutal occupation of Cyprus complete with an Islamic Apartheid wall, and its officialization of Islamic imperialism all get no media juice. Being a NATO member has its benefits, I suppose, but where oh where is the moral claim? Hypocrites all, the Human Rights Watches of the world. They are focused on tiny, democratic Israel.

In conclusion, if someone abdicates their self-appointed role and abandons the helm, which had been based on a universal standard, and instead becomes a hypocrite, then their moral claim has been badly cheapened or lost. Since the beginning of modern social activism, based on the early faith-based model, public deference was automatically given to those who made the moral claim, who rallied us around a universal conscience. No longer. We are in the beginning of a historic shift of moral authority away from the partisan establishment grievance groups and back into the hands of wired up, dialed-in citizens, whose blogs aggregate and focus public wrath on the official failure du jure. Tunisia one day, British Petroleum the next. Shifting and diffusing power back into the public venue is an inevitable and necessary cog in the evolution of social activism. Who knows what beautiful things will come out of it? Thankfully, hypocrisy won’t be one of those things, because it doesn’t pass the public’s sniff test.

Originally published by and licensed to www.rockthecapital.com