Gen. James Mattis announced that he is retiring as Secretary of Defense in February. This will mark a serious loss to the Administration, as he has been one of the best Defense Secretaries in history. I hope President Trump can find a replacement who has the same level of military experience, candor, character and mutual respect with the troops, but that will be a very tall order.
In Mattis’ gracious resignation letter, he urged the President to be "resolute and unambiguous" in approaching countries with strategic differences, citing China and Russia, and said he has “the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects.”
It’s too early to read too much into his letter in trying to explain Mattis’ motivations for resigning now (staff changeovers are common after two grueling years), but that isn’t stopping the media from doing so. For instance, much is being made of the timing of the resignation coming one day after the announcement of all 2,000 US troops being withdrawn from Syria, but for all we know, that might be coincidental. It’s been reported that Mattis was strongly opposed to the pullout as well as the breaking news of many troops being removed from Afghanistan. But I’d rather wait until we hear from Mattis himself, although being the embodiment of a good soldier, he might not tell us.
As for that withdrawal of troops from Syria, the response from other Republicans is mixed. Senators Lindsay Graham and Marco Rubio called it a major blunder and warned that Trump will regret it because America will have to go back in again when things deteriorate once more. On the other hand, Sen. Rand Paul, who has long opposed endless foreign troop commitments, praised Trump for keeping one of his major campaign promises. Meanwhile, Trump tweeted that America can’t be the policeman of the world, and that with ISIS defeated in Syria, it’s up to Syria, Iran, Russia and other local opponents to keep them from coming back.
Personally, nobody would like to see our troops come home more than I would. But pulling them out of Syria abruptly is a betrayal of the Kurds, who have sacrificed and shed blood bravely fighting ISIS with us. It leaves them and Syrian Christians as sitting ducks for both Syria and Turkey. I strongly urge President Trump to reconsider this decision.
Venezuela is providing a chilling lesson in how wrongheaded is the leftist dismissal of the Second Amendment as a bulwark against tyranny. They laugh at the very idea that an armed citizenry would be any challenge to a government that falls into the hands of despots. (I won’t even go into the mental gymnastics it takes to denounce the police as racist murderers while insisting that government agents should be the only Americans allowed to have guns.)
Well, Venezuela should be their idea of paradise, since it has both socialism and strict anti-gun laws for the populace. Can you guess how that’s working out right now?
Here’s more on what the miracle of socialism has wrought on the people of Venezuela, and the subhead inspired our “Quote of the Day,” from Prof. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.
Subhead: “People getting starry eyed about socialism should look to Venezuela for some important warning signs.”
Reynolds’ response: “If you’re still getting starry eyed about socialism at this point, you should be looking to your brain scan for warning signs.”
Not The Result Intended: All those leftwing/PC/anti-capitalist protests can really be good for business. Thanks to all the publicity they've generated by getting bent out of shape over a 70-year-old Christmas song, Dean Martin's 1959 version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" just leaped to #10 on Billboard's Digital Song Download sales chart.
Turnabout Is Fair Play Dept: “Democratic” Socialist Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez complained about poorly-sourced fake gossip about her masquerading as news. Donald Trump Jr. fired back the perfect response:
Someone in Washington needs to sniff Judge Emmett Sullivan’s egg nog, to see if it’s been spiked. One day after he suggested in court that Gen. Michael Flynn might have committed treason or acted as an unregistered agent of Turkey while on the White House staff – two accusations that are not only false, but that he wasn’t even charged with – Sullivan joined the roster of federal judges who now think they’re President.
In ruling against President Trump’s recent changes in immigration policies, he didn’t just allow asylum seeks to pursue their lawsuits, he took the unprecedented step of ordering the Administration to return deportees back to the US. So taxpayers are not only expected to welcome and support illegal residents, we’re now supposed to pay to bring them back after they’ve been deported.
The ACLU brought the case, claiming that the plaintiffs are asylum seekers who face danger if they are returned to their native countries. But the Justice Department argues that “under the laws passed by Congress” (gee, remember when judges actually read those?), “asylum is only for those who have a legitimate fear of persecution on the basis of their race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group,” not for those who would generally be safer here than in wherever they came from.
If the current broad, extra-legal definition of “asylum” is allowed to stand, virtually anyone who claims that it’s more dangerous in his or her native land than in the US would be allowed to come here --- which means we’d be obligated to take in the entire populations of dozens of countries. That would spell the end of America. Since that’s what Judge Sullivan’s ruling, taken to its logical extent, would result in, I feel I have to ask: Wouldn’t that be…treason?
The Trump Administration has banned “bump stocks,” the devices that allow a shooter to fire a semi-automatic weapon continuously with one pull of the trigger. It was one gun law that even some gun rights advocates were okay with (although others said it would likely be ruled unconstitutional). But the NRA plans to fight it in court due to the fact that there’s no allowance made for people who already own them. The new policy requires current owners to hand in or destroy their bump stocks. Some see that as setting a precedent for gun confiscation or the government seizing private property that was legal to own when purchased.
Considering that anyone with a little mechanical know-how could easily build a bump stock, this seems like a lot of legal effort and money expended on something that will likely make no difference to any determined mass shooter, but I guess it’s easier to focus on the hardware than deal with the real problems, such as lax enforcement of existing laws and a society that mocks morality and degrades the sanctity of life. So prepare for a long legal battle over bump stocks.
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