Every once in a while you hear about a story where a burglar breaks into a home, is caught, and then sues the homeowner for damages after being shot. Here’s one example.
Getting shot is an understandable risk for a burglar. Under Trump sneaking into America had consequences.
Donald Trump promised a tough policy on illegal immigration and he followed through. Yes, Trump was very good about honoring his campaign promises. He said he’d enforce the law at the southern border–and Trump did so. It was called his “Zero Tolerance” policy.
Joe Biden ran for office as the anti-Trump and his presidency, besides pushing America kicking and screaming into socialism, has been about repudiating his predecessor. So much for “Lunch Bucket Joe” from Scranton being a unifier.
Illegal border crossings plummeted during the Trump presidency because the word got out that illegally crossing into America could you arrested and then sent back home. But not everyone got the message. Some migrants still entered America from Mexico, with their kids, and they were jailed. When you go to jail or prison you don’t bring your children with you.
Illegal border crossings are at a 21-year high. The message received in Mexico, Central America, South America, and Haiti is clear. The border is open. C’mon over! Construction of the wall at the southern border is has ended. Yeah, yeah, I know. Vice President Kamala “Cackles” Harris, who is in charge of the southern border, unconvincingly said to migrants. “Do not come.” Yawn. Oh, there is another caravan on its way up here. Probably more than one.
Now some people considering entering America from Mexico might make the trek north because they think that maybe they too will collect a $450,000 windfall. Hold on for one moment. I’m not saying parents want be separated from their children in exchange for cash, but it’s not just Americans who see a headline on their smartphones and then come to an inaccurate conclusion without bothering to read the accompanying story.
Meanwhile American citizens make do with a couple of $600 COVID-19 payments. Families of military members killed in the line of duty receive only $400,000.
It took four years for Jimmy Carter, America’s 39th president, to amass a reputation for abject failure. Joe Biden only needed nine months, the time it takes for a baby to go from conception to birth.
Here’s a list–and I am sure that I’m leaving out a few–of his failures.
Gasoline prices. Liberals hate relatively cheap gas prices. On his first day in office Biden cancelled construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In doing so, to borrow the words used in the Biden-Harris sign pictured here, he killed thousands of “good union jobs.” Gas prices immediately jumped. Also that day Biden signed an executive order blocking oil and natural gas drilling at the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The next day Biden imposed a suspension of new natural gas and oil drilling leases on federal lands–which fortunately was overruled by a judge in June.
It’s all part of the plan is what I believe. Leftists–excluding themselves of course–want as many people as possible to ditch their cars and trucks and take buses and trains everywhere. In 2012 Steven Chu, the Obama-Biden administration’s secretary of Energy, was asked by a Republican member of Congress if it was the goal of the White House to have lower gasoline prices. He replied to the contrary, adding “somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Gasoline prices in 2012 were about $4-a-gallon–in Europe at that time they were $8 to $9-per gallon. Yeah I know, Chu, under pressure no doubt, walked back those comments the next day, as Barack Obama and Joe Biden were up for reelection that year.
As I’ve observed many times before, leftists particularly love trains–because they only travel where there are tracks.
On the other hand if you are a liberal you may consider higher gasoline prices as a Joe Biden success. But more expensive fuel hurts the poor the most. And liberal politicians always say it is they, not the evil Republicans, who are protecting poor people.
Afghanistan. I’ll be brief on this one. Yes, Donald Trump made a pledge to pull our troops out by May 1. But Biden extended that deadline to September 11 then he moved it back to August 31. Biden blamed Trump for setting a withdrawal date–after the Afghan government collapsed in the middle of August. Biden promised an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan–and said it would not be like our dramatic and tragic departure from South Vietnam. But that government stayed in power two years after American combat troops were flown home.
Biden either lied–or forgot–about being advised to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to at least slow the government’s collapse. During the hasty evacuation from Kabul thirteen members of our military were killed by a terrorist bombing. And despite another Biden promise, Americans were left behind enemy lines in the Taliban-ruled nation. At least 200 remain.
The southern border. While Biden all but said his hands were tied by Trump’s agreement to take our troops out of Afghanistan, he felt no such need to continue the stay-in-Mexico policy for refugees that Trump successfully negotiated with the Mexican president. The result is the ongoing crisis at the southern border. Illegal crossings at that border have soared since January. A record number–1.7 million–have illegally entered the nation at that border so far in 2021. They are unmasked and not checked to see if they are infected by the COVID-19 virus.
COVID-19. Biden promised to get the virus under control. Meanwhile, despite a vaccine developed under the push initiated by Trump, COVID, by way of the Delta Variant, has roared back. Biden is pushing mask mandates–but what about people crossing the southern border? What’s that about “health care” on that sign?
Supply chain crisis. About the time Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg went on paternity leave–without publicly disclosing it–the supply chain crisis began. Container ships are backed up in the Pacific off of Long Beach harbor. There is also a shortage of truck drivers. As Santa said in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, “We’ll have to cancel Christmas.” Okay, not really, but there will likely be fewer gifts under Christmas trees this year.
Jobs: Job growth has been anemic since Biden was sworn in.
Inflation. Higher gasoline prices are always a driver of inflation. And I already mentioned the shortage of truck drivers. Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan pumped cash into the economy. While that seems like a good thing at the base level inflation is caused when there is too much money chasing too few goods. And there is a shortage of semiconductor chips, new automobiles, used cars, plastics, palm oil, magnesium, and more. Oh, besides truck drivers there are not enough workers overall. Biden and the Democrats want to double down on stupid with a so-called infrastructure bill, Build Back Better, priced at over $3 trillion. That bill is drenched with social-engineering and Green New Deal nonsense. Inflation is not going away.
Kamala Harris: Biden’s vice president, the Queen of Cackles, was put in charge of the southern border. How is that working out? Biden turns 79 next month and Harris is a heartbeat away from succeeding him. He could have of course done worse with a running mate choice, but Biden also could have done so much better.
Cognitive decline. The spin has been off of Joe Biden’s fastball–and that pitch was never a commanding one–for a few years now. On a mental level things will only get worse for him. Is Biden running the White House? If not then who is?
Allies losing faith in us. People are attracted to strong leaders and repelled by weak ones. Unless, in regards to the latter, bad people want to take something that doesn’t belong to them. Like for instance, Taiwan. I already mentioned the Afghanistan debacle. But Biden screwed over the French by stealing a nuclear submarine deal they had with Australia. Or maybe I’m being too harsh. John Kerry said the Biden didn’t even know about the France deal.
Can America be trusted? Can America be relied upon? Our allies are surely asking those questions. And our enemies, China, Russia, and North Korea, certainly sense opportunity.
And of course we are just nine months into this Rosemary’s Baby of an administration.
Which brings us to Joe Biden. He comes into office with one advantage that Trump had namely the lowest expectations of any incoming president for years.
He has one disadvantage that Trump never had but Obama did, a press that will by so fawning (till Jan 21st 2023) that he will never be challenged (till Jan 21st 2023) which will make his mistakes more glaring and likely more destructive as they’ll not be challenged.
The media is still spinning these failures as success at least as much as they can.
I won’t say catastrophically wrong, but wrong nonetheless. In case you forgot, I predicted Scheller’s court martial would get drawn into obscurity by his defense counsel, who would want some time to pass before anyone passed judgement on Scheller. Any good defense lawyer is going to want distance between alleged crimes and judgement so that emotions can die down and, hopefully, cooler heads prevail. I also figured after getting a light sentence of some kind, which would not include jail time, Scheller would be allowed to retire.
Besides the light sentence part, I was wrong. Lt. Col. Scheller plead guilty to all six charges against him. The judge punished him with a sentence of one month forfeiture of $5,000 and a reprimand. His next stop is a Board of Inquiry, which will likely recommend dismissal from service.
Now, this doesn’t mean he loses all benefits. The Veteran’s Affairs will still assess if he can get disability pay, which could be in the thousands per month depending on his level of disability. Given that he fought in Afghanistan, and the Marine Corps has pounded his body over the past 17 years, he’s almost assured to get some disability pay.
At first I was in disbelief that things went completely different from my prediction. I took some time to read his court martial statement, which made things much more clear. Lt. Col. Scheller couldn’t NOT plead guilty. If he had fought the charges, it would have made him look like a crazy person who suddenly realizes he made a mistake and is trying to quickly sweep it under the rug. Scheller isn’t crazy. He might be depressed, but its understandable, given that both his wife and the Marine Corps are abandoning him. But he’s not crazy. It becomes very apparent near the end of his statement:
…Going forward, I am still demanding accountability from my senior General officers. Since this endeavor began, not a single General officer has accepted accountability. Not a single General officer has contacted me directly in any forum to deescalate the situation. Since this endeavor began, I have acknowledged that I should be held accountable for my actions. I am standing here today pleading guilty. This is me accepting accountability. But it deeply pains me that my senior leaders are incapable of being as courageous.
Without accountability from our senior leaders, the system cannot evolve, and the military will ultimately keep repeating the same mistakes in the future. It doesn’t matter if a SSgt squad leader is highly efficient in distributed operations if the General officers have relegated themselves to ‘yes sir’ responses. We need senior leaders who possess the morale courage to push back when something doesn’t make sense.
– Lt. Col. Scheller
If Lt. Col. Scheller wanted to cast light on the problem, he certainly did so. But where does it go from here? Tackling the military industrial behemoth is a daunting task. Even Mad-dog Mattis, who finally won the war in Iraq, still struggled to make the Department of Defense refocus and change. The revolving door for senior officers still exists, not dissimilar from the revolving door for politicians and lobbyists. Also, given Lt. Col. Scheller’s negative response to help from Donald Trump, I’m not sure where he’s going to start to affect the change he wants to make.
I will say this: this episode is only going to make the 2024 personnel cliff even worse for the military. In less than a month the military threw everything at Scheller over social media posts. Every military member is taking notice. Any that agreed with him will be quietly quitting, and the slow drip of lost manpower is going to accumulate into a river.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you liked what you read, why not buy my book on Amazon and help me out!
When Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the final year of his presidency to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court he was hailed by some as a moderate.
Well “Moderate Merrick,” if he ever existed, is gone.
Garland’s nomination was never acted upon by the US Senate, which was then in Republican control, and President Trump nominated Neal Gorsuch for the Scalia seat–and the Senate went on to confirm Gorsuch.
Had Garland faced the Senate he might have been asked this question from Sen. Dick Durbin, who is from Garland’s home state of Illinois, “Will you restrict the personal freedoms we enjoy as Americans or will you expand them?” Durbin posed that query to John Roberts during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings sixteen years ago and he has asked the same question, as did his predecessor, Paul Simon, during confirmation hearings for other SCOTUS nominees.
Well we have the answer to the question that Durbin never asked Garland. Joe Biden’s attorney general favors restricting personal freedoms.
Last week, citing unnamed threats against unnamed school board members, Garland in a memorandum declared, “I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum.”
In short, Garland is unleashing the FBI against parents who have spoken out against hateful and bigoted Critical Race Theory offal that is being rammed down the throats of their children. Do you want someone like Agent Petty from Ozark showing up at your front door? Clearly Garland is plotting to separate parents from their children. After all, leftists from Karl Marx on have viewed parents as an obstacle to pursuing their goal of a perfect society, which of course is a totalitarian state where the elites, who of course are so much wiser than everyone else, guide the rabble. Yes the rabble. You know, people like me and you, part of a multi-million member conglomeration similar to Ozark’s redneck Langmore clan. That’s how our leftist “betters” see us.
Answering that question depends what you think a cult is.
The magazine Wired has produced a number of fascinatingly good articles and videos with interesting stories, and one of this weeks YouTube videos hit the mark yet again. Dr. Janja Lalich is a survivor of a political cult, the Democratic Workers Party, and she answers a number of cult-related questions in her video. Her responses are both focused and enlightening.
Dr. Lalich defines a cult as having 4 characteristics
A charismatic leader that is typically a narcissist
A transcendent belief system that has the answers to all questions
A System of Control that controls behavior
A System of Influence that plays on emotions to encourage conformity
Dr. Lalich also separates cults from religion in that religions encourage freedom and independent thought while having guidelines to live by, whereas cults enforce their guidelines.
Given her definition, let’s see how today’s military stacks up:
The charismatic leader part is a mixed bag. On one hand, the glitz and glamor that many of the flag and general officers decorate themselves in definitely contributes to a feeling of awe for these people. However, many of them aren’t very charismatic or engaging. The narcissist trait is definitely present in the military’s worst leaders.
The transcendent belief system is spot on. The military has a set of rules for everything. Haircuts? Check. Restrictions on your first amendment rights? Check. Poke-mon Go? Check.
Control is achieved through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which can still punish offenses like adultery and conduct unbecoming of a gentlemen that aren’t considered offenses in most civilian systems.
Influence is achieved through awards, assignments, and promotions. If you conform with the rules and stay out of trouble, you tend to promote.
3.5 out of 4 is pretty close. The only questionable point is leadership, and that doesn’t surprise me. Every time I’ve had a bad military leader, military life felt oppressive. Dr. Lalich talks about how all people have doubts when they are in a cult, but they get put on a shelf. If too much builds on the shelf, it collapses.
I think shelves are now starting to collapse in bigger numbers than before. The military has the setup to become a cult, and it is only good leadership that prevents this from happening. But military leaders continue to get put in hard circumstances. How do you explain the Afghanistan withdrawal to your soldiers? Or the poor maintenance our ships receive at a shipyard to your Sailors? Or how almost nobody was fired for massive scandals like the mismanagement of Arlington National Cemetery? You simply can’t, and young people asking hard, pointed questions won’t be satisfied by the bland responses from a Pentagon press secretary.
At some point, the good people get tired and leave, making way for those all too happy to defend the status quo. We’re seeing that happening now. The vocal ones, like Lt. Col. Scheller, make the news, but quietly, we’re going to see more and more people simply walk. The military is designed to replace people. The Marines will find another person to fill Lt. Col. Scheller’s spot. The person will at least be adequate, but anyone taking that roll is going to think twice about speaking out or showing too much independence.
That lack of independent thought will make the military stick to what it knows. We shouldn’t be surprised that the military is slow to embrace ideas like autonomous vessels, AI and robotic fighters. When you’re the best, or at least you think you are, you keep doing what was done in the past. Thus, it shouldn’t surprise people that the Navy still uses an antiquated program designed in 1998 to administer personnel reports, instead of moving to a secure cloud based system, or at least something resembling Microsoft Word.
We will eventually pay dearly for these mistakes, even if it isn’t so obvious now.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you want an epic story to read in the meantime, please check out my book on Amazon.
This year, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, over 100 people have been accused of wildland arson.
Conditions are very dry in California–it is suffering from drought conditions. If an arsonist attempts to start a fire in one of the forest preserves near where I live in Morton Grove, Illinois, it will likely be a slow burn, as we’ve had a wet summer here. In California the results will be horribly different.
If you haven’t heard about arson as the cause of wildfires it’s probably because the mainstream media, to protect another of its narratives, in this case that climate change is an existential threat to humanity, is minimizing arson’s role in wildfires.
Last week in her budget address the city’s embattled mayor, Lori Lightfoot, proposed aggressive spending fueled by a one-time injection of federal COVID-19 funds. Gimmick spending is a recent and unfortunate Chicago tradition. In 2008 Mayor Richard M. Daley, who inherited none of the financial smarts of his father, Mayor Richard J. Daley, sold the rights for all of the city parking meters for 75-years for $1.15 billion. Nearly all of the cash from that deal was spent in just two years. Thirteen years earlier the younger Daley sold the rights to the Chicago Skyway for $1.7 billion–that money was similarly squandered. Ten years later the Skyway rights were re-sold for $2.8 billion–and taxpayers collected none of that windfall.
Also part of the Lightfoot’s budget proposal is the monumentally stupid idea to send $500 to 5,000 random families, likely a starter plan for Chicago guaranteeing a universal income. Who would be paying for that? Since the cash comes from COVID-19 relief funds it will be American taxpayers. Don’t blame me because I voted for Donald Trump.
Meanwhile Chicago’s public worker pension plans remain the worst funded in America. Because of that alone Chicago is bankrupt-in-name-only.
Redistricting of Chicago’s 50 wards is coming soon and that will ignite a firestorm. African-American leaders expect to keep their majority in 18 of those wards even though the black population decreased by nearly 10 percent between 2010 and 2020 according to the US Census. The white population increased slightly and the Hispanic and Asian populations went up by a bit more. Surprising everyone is that overall Chicago’s population increased by almost two percent between the most recent Census counts.
Meanwhile Chicago’s streets are in terrible shape and drivers have to struggle with seemingly omnipresent red-light cameras. Lightfoot has added a new twist to Chicago motorists’ misery. Drivers captured by cameras going just six miles over the speed limit are being fined. Of course that’s not as horrible as being carjacked. In 2019, according to Hey Jackass, there were 603 carjackings in the city, last year that number soared to 1,396. So far in 2021 there have been 1,070 carjackings in Chicago. As with shootings, the arrest rate for Chicago carjackings is abysmally low.
Don’t expect the largely compliant mainstream media, even if Biden takes questions during his Chicago visit, to query the president on Chicago’s myriad of problems.
UPDATE September 28: Yesterday former alderman Ricardo Muñoz of the 22nd Ward pleaded guilty to corruption charges. According to the Chicago Sun-Times he admitted to “wire fraud and money laundering, admitting he took nearly $38,000 from the Chicago Progressive Reform Caucus to pay for personal expenses like skydiving and a relative’s college tuition.”
After actually reading the survey, my biggest critique is that there is no control group. The survey asked questions like “Do you think the previous generations did not take care of the planet?” Are you surprised that 81% said yes? I would take it more seriously if we had a control group to measure how much young people at that age normally hate authority figures because, fun fact, that’s typical for that age group. I thought my parents were morons when I was 18, and it wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized “Gee, maybe Mom and Dad were pretty smart about the choices they made.” That age group is also naturally anxious about…well, everything, yet we don’t have a control to compare the normal anxiety to climate anxiety.
Control groups are really important in studies. We’ve seen this in COVID-19 vaccine discussions. I’ll see a headline “Woman dies of (insert crazy condition here) a day after receiving the (insert vaccine here)!” OK, that’s sad, but that’s all we know. Did this woman have underlying health conditions? What else was going on at the time? And what’s the normal rate of dying from these conditions? It’s similar to the “bacon causes colon cancer” discussion. Once you realize that it takes eating a pound of bacon a day to raise the less than 1% chance of colon cancer to…less than one percent, you quickly realize the study is nonsense.
Actual solutions to problems aren’t typically sexy. There’s an apocryphal story about an elevator mechanic called in to to fix elevator timing in a large skyscraper. He tested all elevators and spent a day investigating where things could be wrong. Finding nothing wrong with the elevators, but still being told that people are “waiting too long,” he installed mirrors near all the elevator doors. Soon people were fixing their hair and adjusting suit coats, and the complaints disappeared.
In terms of climate change, there are a lot of things we can change now, on our own, without government telling us to. Driving and flying less is inside our control. Composting and having a small garden are inside our control (at one time, Victory Gardens accounted for over half of US agricultural output). Better insulating homes to reduce electricity costs is inside our control. Spending less time on social media, which relies on big server farms consuming fossil-fueled electricity, is inside our control.
Will not having kids help? Is that something inside our control? Would that actually help climate change?
Doubtful. Even Vox (Vox!) has doubts. And from looking at the sort of people running movements like BirthStrike, I have to wonder if its simply a continuation of how they were already inclined to think vs. a movement inspired by climate change. Wouldn’t a control group be nice to compare this to?
Which makes me ask, is the movement to not have kids really just an extension of pre-existing beliefs? If so, do you subscribe to those beliefs? I find the belief that humans are bad for the planet and need to be eradicated (the only logical end of not having kids) pretty sickening. I’ll place my faith in us getting smart about the planet and cleaning it up. I’ll happily do my small part, knowing that long term, its only through thousands of small actions that we’ll actually help the planet in any long term scenario. And I don’t need the government to do anything to get started.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you want to support me, please purchase my book, To Build A House, on Amazon.
After a summer of failures, including the resurgence of COVID-19, horrid job numbers, the crisis at the southern border, rampant urban crime, and our humiliating exit from Afghanistan, there was hope within the Biden White House, cheered on by the compliant media, that a reset was due with the new season.
But over this weekend, which isn’t over yet as of this writing, things got worse. In a flashback to the Obama years, the Pentagon chose Friday afternoon–a Friday news dump–to reveal not only that the August drone strike in Afghanistan didn’t slay any ISIS-K terrorists, but the bombing killed an aid worker and nine members of his family, including seven children. Also that afternoon France recalled its ambassador to the USA after the Biden administration, behind France’s back, announced a deal with Great Britain to sell nuclear submarines to Australia. But France already had a deal, now cancelled, with the Aussies. If you ever worked as a salesperson and saw a sleazy co-worker swipe a lucrative sale from you, then you know that feeling of betrayal.
Also on Friday, in a story that is largely being ignored by the national media except for Fox News, a Third World-style shanty town, with thousands of illegal immigrant inhabitants, was discovered on the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas.
There will be no reset for Joe Biden and his administration. That’s because, as I’ve written at DTG over these last few weeks, it is very likely that the president is suffering from cognitive decline. There are people in their seventies and eighties who still have nimble minds. Biden, who turns 79 later this year, is not one of them. Age-related cognitive decline is not reversible. And with crisis after crisis emerging, it’s becoming clear that no one is in charge at the White House, even though, as John Kass remarked, Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, is openly referred to as “President Klain.”
I get it. Sometimes calamity after calamity happens. Lyndon B. Johnson suffered an entire year, 1968, like that. And LBJ of course decided not to run for a second full-term as president that year.
But some of Biden’s debacles were preventable, such as his abandoning Donald J. Trump’s remain-in-Mexico policy regarding migrants, which led to the crisis at the southern border. No one, outside of military contractors, wanted our military involvement in Afghanistan to indefinitely continue. But Biden promised our withdrawal from Afghanistan wouldn’t look like our departure from South Vietnam. Well, Biden was right on that vow–our exit from Afghanistan was worse than that.
The administration’s response to COVID-19, once seen as a strong point for Biden, is also a problem for him. Last week a poll revealed that for the first time a majority of Americans don’t approve of the way Biden is handling fighting the virus.
So far Biden has gotten a pass for gasoline prices being 40-percent more than they were one year ago when that mean Tweeter with the orange hair was president. Escaping blame for Americans paying more at the pump can’t last forever. for Biden. As temperatures cool urban crime will decline but it will bounce back, as it always does, in the spring. That will give Biden and the Democrats another headache in 2022. Look for Republicans running for House and Senate seats to use crime fears as a central theme in their television commercials, as they did with great success last year. Despite denials the Democrats are the party of “Defund the Police.” Biden has gotten a pass for inflation for now. But his reckless policy of printing money will likely create even more inflation.
I’ve mentioned this quote before but it needs to be repeated.