On June 12th this year I had to send a document, a three page document, to the UK. It was not an urgent document – but it needed to get there and we wanted to be able to track it. Follow with me while we trace our document’s travels..
Having paid our $35 to send this document by, ahem, Express, and to have it tracked our wee baby went on its way…
You will note that ouor widdle document arrived in Chicago on the 17th. It would seem that it spent couple of days going off the reservation – presumably taking in the sights – maybe a game at Wrigley Field? It was certainly getting its money’s worht out of its stay.
Now this is just plain weird. Thirteen days in Heathrow? I have spent thirteen hours in Heathrow one time and that was enough for me. Maybe the document was quarantined? Who knows > Well not I of course because all the update kept telling us was that it was “enroute to its next destination” until finally after nearly a fortnight of weallowing in the excesses of a premier airport – it was allowed to leave.
Seriously the voyages of “Document” are the stuff of legend. It looks like it was picked up for delivery by VanderVecken on his ship The Flying Dutchman.
But wait!! By June 28th we realized we were running out of time and we really need to get that document to where it needed to be. So we created a new one, got it witnessed and sent it Global Express Guaranteed delivery date. And paid $85 for the privilege.
It arrived a day late so they had to refund the cost. So we are only out the original $35 which has provided some entertainment…
Update Update Update!! In fairness – it is now reported as delivered. See below – 23 days for an “Express” document.
If you have ever wondered why these esteemed institutions lose money…
I have made mockery of Elizabeth Warren for her egregious hijacking of a mythical Native American ancestry in order to help her along in her career. I think she thoroughly deserves to be mocked for it and also for her trying to slither her way out of it. But I find there is a deeper and much darker side underneath all this.
That she publicly, in print characterized herself as Cherokee is beyond doubt.
It’s a small thing of course – but this is someone who later went on to Harvard where they were happy to claim her as a Native American Professor of Law
Harvard Crimson October 22nd 1996
“Although the conventional wisdom among students and faculty is that the Law School faculty includes no minority women, [spokesperson Mike] Chmura said Professor of Law Elizabeth Warren is Native American,”
Warren denied ever seeing that reference or the listing of her in a Harvard Faculty list as a woman of color. No way to prove that she did actually see it – but she would be the first politician in the history of mankind who did not avidly lap up every positive press mention of his or herself.
But, leaving that to one side. There is no doubt she has identified herself in public as being of Cherokee Ancestry and she says that she claimed that because of family folk lore about her heritage. And you know what? I can actually believe that – being told something interesting about your heritage when you are young and that appealed to your sense of identity would definitely cause you to seek additional affirmation of that. It even has a name – confirmation bias.
So I am not, in this article, going to claim that she was acting out of malice or any sort of nefarious motive like that. I could concede that she honestly thought she had Cherokee ancestry and didn’t mind encouraging the idea.
But – of course there is a but – if she held an honest belief of Cherokee ancestry what did she do to benefit the tribe that she felt she belonged to?
There is no doubt that the Native American community as a whole could have used a Harvard Law Professor publicly helping them out. Offering advice and legal opinion, willing to lead a team of lawyers and volunteers to tackle things like the BIA mismanagement of the trust set up for the tribes that has been a massive bone of contention for a very long time.
There were and are many opportunities that Professor Warren could have taken on to have provided service to a tribe and an organization that she had claimed to be a part of. She took none of them.
That she gained advantage from her claim – even if only in beneficial commentary in print – is beyond doubt.
That she did nothing to help the people she used is also beyond doubt.
My own opinion is that Elizabeth Warren has shown herself to be an exploiter and an abuser of an unearned “privilege”. Sorry, I find this a lot more disgusting than just the false claiming accusation.
Be warned Democrats – she will not feel obliged to help you. She did not bother to help people who really could have used it even while she was claiming to be one of them.
Iran is the latest incarnation of a “power” in the Middle East. It has been a center for an Empire and has been, for a long time, a powerful and sometimes baleful influence on the surrounding countries, tribes and economies.
In recent times probably the most successful engagement by the West was support for the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi who ruled Iran from 1941 until 1979. He was overthrown by a revolution led by Theocrats and Ruhollah Khomeini became the new leader of the “Islamic Republic” and the country has since been run by a religious leader (Ayatollah) via Religious Councils. The formation of a Revolutionary Guard military component under the control of the religious councils apart from the main military establishment has been a key in maintaining control – very similar to the set up of the regimes in both NAZI Germany and Soviet Russia.
Iran under the theocratic regime has devoted a large amount of money and resources to overseas activity. Their Revolutionary Guards special forces – Quds Force is active in enabling terror cells and resistance organizations throughout the Middle East.
It is worth noting here that Iran is run by clerics of the Shia “wing” of Islam. Shia Muslims are the smaller of the two larger sects of Islam. They comprise between 10 and 15% of the total number of Muslims. The bigger Sect are the Sunni Muslims – comprising somewhere around 80% of the total of Muslims in the world. Iran is the center of Shia with a population that has about a third of the total Shia muslims of the world.
The difference between Shia and Sunni , while important to the believers in both camps, is not really within the scope of this post. The reason I bring it up is that some of what Iran does needs to be viewed from the religious angle and their support of Shia communities in countries where they are in the minority. Iran also utilizes Shia paramilitary groups (like Hezbollah) in its on-going fight against Israel.
During the reign of the Shah, the US had good relations with Iran – and so did Israel. The country itself was fairly westernized in it’s social life – I have included a picture of women in the street in Teheran during the rein of Pahlavi and a different picture of women in the street under the current regime.
The current antagonistic stance between the USA and Iran is relatively recent. A point to bear in mind.
Iran is the second largest Middle East country just behind Egypt. https://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing-middle-east.asp lists Iran as the third most powerful military force in the Middle East with Turkey at the top, and Egypt second. Israel is listed as fourth. Iran is not a lightweight.
President Trump’s strategy all along has been to keep the pressure on Iran in the arena where it is most vulnerable – its economy. Iran has, since the revolution in 1979, been gradually altering the balance of power in the Middle east away from Israel and from Saudi Arabia by using it’s wealth, particularly oil, to finance and underwrite large scale paramilitary organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Iran dedicates more of its GDP to this endeavor than any other countries in the Middle East. By doing this it has enabled Hamas, for example, to build a large organization and equip it with rockets and armaments to threaten Israel directly, at the same time it has financed large scale recruitment and training for Hezbollah in Lebanon on Israel’s northern border.
That developed infrastructure enabled Iran to become a player in the Syrian conflict via its Hezbollah proxy. For those who do not know the Geography of the Middle East I have included a map which if you look at the north of Israel you will see that Iran has forces inimical to Israel in Syria and in Lebanon and also via Hamas in the West Bank in the center of Israel. IN short – that treasure has been widely spent to exert pressure on – and ultimately to destroy – the state of Israel.
Lest there be doubts about this – here are four quotes about the official Iranian line on Israel – taken from an article in The Atlantic
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)
Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)
Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)
Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)
Iran is determined to destroy Israel. This is not some slogan – this is a policy they have been working on for 40 years.
Please bear this in mind – we sent billions of dollars under the Obama Administration in cash – in CASH! – to the Iranian government. Pallets of it. WE sent money to a regime that has stated and re-stated its aim is to destroy our closest ally in the Middle east.
I ask you to re-read the section that starts “Lest there be doubts…” again because it needs to be crystal clear to us all that President Trump needs to be supported by all of us while he navigates the waters here. No-one wants to go to war. But the message has to be driven home to the leadership of Iran at the every option short of that is on the table.
The only way for the sanctions to have a real and lasting effect on Iran is for them to force the Iranian regime to divert funds from its terrorist infrastructure and back to it’s own people. Seriously. The Iran regime will only start responding to the sanctions when the unhappiness with the situation inside Iran starts to threaten the regime’s existence.
Iran has its own internal pressures to deal with and those pressures will only increase the longer it all goes on.
We need to support President Trump on this – we need to start loudly pointing out to our European “allies” that their continuing to play footsy with this regime is barbaric and unconscionable and it needs to stop. Only by shutting off their spigot can we get Iran to change its course.
The alternative if we don’t stay with this all the way is – is war. We are negotiating and dealing with a regime whose greatest interest is the destruction of another country. Not the well being of its own people or country – but the destruction of another country. Remember that.
The economy of the USA is doing great, more people , from ALL demographics, have jobs than ever before. Industries that have been written off or have been moribund have come back to life. The USA has become a force in world economics – a force for change and for good over the last two years with the administrations work on developing better trade agreements for the country.
But it would seem – if you believe the river of bile that comes from the Democrat “presidential” candidates that the USA and we the people in it are suffering mightily. That there are huge injustices that must be addressed and that the recent prosperity must be taken away from the people and returned to the government so it can be about the work of spending our money on much more important things.
That we the people are, for the most part, doing better than we were does not seem to be something that this current crop of “spend more and more” proponents are happy about. It would seem that the idea of lower unemployment, more discretionary income in the hands of the people is not what they want. In fact they appear to want exactly the opposite. And they say so, loudly.
It is doubly ironic that the Airhead Of Congress, Ms Ocasio-Cortez who was complaining a few weeks ago how she and other Millennials have never experienced prosperity in America – now seem to wish to destroy the prosperity that we now have!!! Ms Ocasio- Cortez has a job that pays more than she has ever earned in her young life – $176,000 a year. A salary that the vast majority of her fellow millennials would LOVE to be earning. Not content with things as they stand she has been making noise about getting a pay raise for this job that she has not been doing for a year yet. IN addition to doing better than she ever has, she wants more. For herself. But at the same time she espouses policy initiatives to take the gains away from the majority of the rest of us.
Make no mistake about it – leftists are not happy that people are doing well. Not happy at all. And they are saying so.
The Airhead Of Congress has decided that the job she wanted and ran for does not pay enough. She could, of course, quit and return to her former profession in the hospitality industry. Where, no doubt, she earned much more than she is getting in Washington DC.
Not one product , nothing produced – at all – six months into the job and already deciding she needs to vote for a raise for herself.
The amount of new coal fired power stations in the world is increasing – rapidly.
A sample article from the Alarmist sites ; https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-worlds-coal-power-plants
Since the year 2000, coal fired generation has DOUBLED in capacity. It is set to increase by a further 25% in the next few years. All of this is in China, India, the developing world. With the Western , developed world, cutting back and shuttering coal plants or converting them to gas.
Why are these countries (and 16 MORE countries) doing this?
It is both simple and moral.
By building power infrastructure these countries will be immensely improving the lives of their citizens. With a stable grid supply villages and small towns that eke out a living “off the grid” will be able to be deploy appliances that will make the lives of the inhabitants both easier – and healthier. Little known fact – it is estimated that between 3 and 4 million people annually die early due to the indoor pollution in their homes where meals are prepared over fires supplied by dry dung. Hot water to clean is a luxury, pumps for fresh water are non-existent – the list goes on.
Why coal? Most of these countries have coal resources. It costs far less time and money to build coal powered stations than to take up large swathes of land for imported solar panels that produce erratically. It gets power to people who need it – and who, when they get it – will be able to produce more, live better and live longer.
It’s pretty simple really. Real power to the real people.
When any person is sworn in as a Congressman they must take the oath of office.
That oath includes these specific words; “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Now I am a total busybody when it comes to the 1st and 2nd Amendments of the Constitution – they are, for me, the bedrock that helps guarantee a Constitutional form of government.
So when I hear or see Members of the “Democrat Group Think Herd” aka the current group of molluscs masquerading as “Democrat Part Presidential Candidates” laying out what they intend to do to hamper law abiding citizens from owning guns and bearing arms – I wonder.
I wonder how they can take an oath to uphold the Constitution while loudly announcing that they do not intend to do that? There is not much wriggle room – at all – in the amendments for the federal government to interfere in the rights of Citizens.
How do they get away with it? Is it not perjury to swear an oath when you have already stated you are not going to uphold it? How are these people permitted to swear to something falsely?
The Group Think Herd collectively known as the Democrat Party Presidential Candidates have shown that they would much rather throw themselves under a dung cart rather than admit that President Trump just gave a master class in how to negotiate.
The inundation of our southern border by waves of illegal immigrants has been stretching our Border Patrol Enforcement to the limit over the last months with various paerties reportedly supply money to groups to “sponsor” them to march to the USA. President Trump has been trying to get a handle on the issue while the Democrat Controlled Congress does nothing except to run investigations of the President and complain loudly about how badly the illegal immigrants/shady ‘refugees’ are treated.
The President declared a national emergency to get the barrier built on the border only to have low level federal judges busily trying to stop this from being done and supporting motions to block it.
Finally President Trump informed Mexico that tariffs were going to be applied on its exports to the USA. Sizeable tariffs.
One day ago the Mexican Army arrived on Mexico’s southern border to prevent migrant caravans from transiting Mexico to the USA. Mexico is also going to receive refugees awaiting decisions on their status – back in Mexico.
A stunning move from DJT – it did not cost the US Tax payer a single dime. It put the onus on our ostensible trading partner and ally, Mexico, to start doing its job properly.
And the Democrats? Their Group-Think Herd? Uniformly complained about what the President had done.
Bear in mind that most people in the USA think illegal immigration is a major problem. But it seems self-evident that what the American people want is of absolutely no interest to the Democrat Party Presidential Candidates. Instead of praising a leader who has taken smart action they, all of them, tucked their pointy heads up their own backsides.
Having just read Midnight in Chernobyl, I have been forcefully reminded of a truism I try to bear in mind at all times.
Totalitarian regimes lie. Always.
Why am I bringing this up now?
First off, a brief outline behind the truism.
In the book I have just been reading, Midnight in Chernobyl, the very first reaction of the Communist Regime to the disaster was keeping control of the information and to attack any reporting from outside the Soviet zone that portrayed Chernobyl as a disaster of huge proportions as “western propaganda”.
That was their FIRST priority.
The NAZIs blamed the Jews for the economic collapse of Germany. And then denied that they were exterminating them.
North Korea spends a lot of time telling their own people that the outside world wishes to crush them and that they have never had it so good.
There really isn’t enough time to go into the vast amount of time and energy totalitarian regimes spend (with a profligacy that belies their usual message of austerity) on covering up every bad aspect, no matter how small, of their state’s existence.They will employ hundreds and thousands of “agents” to surveil and to report on every possible disloyalty. They will employ thousands more to check on whether the edicts are being done. They will employ ever more numbers to report on everything. Each of those employees has to justify his or her employment. Agents that cannot find disloyalty don’t remain agents for very long. And those agents have to be watched…
The NAZIs had the Gestapo, the SD (Security service) and a lot of other policing agencies. The Soviets had the KGB and the GRU and a whole host of policing agencies. North Korea has its security apparatus and a huge standing army.
Given the history of such countries and governments – why on earth does ANYONE believe a thing the Chinese Government says?
The Chinese government is a totalitarian government. There is no doubt about it. It has been “praised” by some economists and talking asses in the west because it projects an aura of “efficiency”. In fact there was much gushing about the Chinese governments commitment to the Climate Change shared Fantasy.
But when China carried on commissioning coal fired power stations – did those very same gushing spoke asses in the media react? Nope.
Then China announced large scale re-education center for an entire population of people – Uighur Muslims , has caused nary a ripple in the leftist support claque for Muslims. In the meantime the Chinese givernment first denied it, then explained it away and then continued – and is still doing it. Look in vain for comments on the record by Ilhan Omar, Rashida Talib about this – though they seem very concerned indeed about US “oppression”.
So why do people believe this oppressive, lying, polluting and exploitive totalitarian state?