If you are stupid enough to travel to North Korea, it should be at your own risk

From The Wall Street Journal:

North Korea Detains U.S. Student

Otto Frederick Warmbier allegedly committed a ‘hostile act’

By Alastair Gale | Updated Jan. 22, 2016 4:59 a.m. ET

North Korea said Friday it was holding a U.S. student for committing an unspecified “hostile act,” the latest in a series of detained American tourists and missionaries that Pyongyang has at times used to try to win diplomatic leverage with Washington.

Otto Frederick Warmbier, an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, was accused of being manipulated by the U.S. government, according to a brief report from the Korean Central News Agency. The report provided no details of Mr. Warmbier’s actions other than to allege that he entered the country “for the purpose of bringing down the foundation of its single-minded unity.”

Mr. Warmbier was detained in Pyongyang on Jan. 2, according to Troy Collins of Young Pioneer Tours, the tour company that took him to North Korea. Mr. Collins declined to provide further details but said Mr. Warmbier’s family had been informed of his detention. . . .

Mr. Warmbier’s detention comes as the U.S. seeks new sanctions at the United Nations on North Korea following its latest nuclear test on Jan. 6. Pyongyang has called its bomb test a necessary measure for self-defense and repeated its desire for the U.S. to offer a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War.

The U.S. says North Korea should first abide by its previous commitments to denuclearize.

Pyongyang has in the past used detainees to try to initiate diplomatic exchanges with Washington. In 2014, North Korea called for a high-level U.S. delegation to come and discuss the release of two Americans then under detention.

There’s more at the original.

At some point, the State department has to say to Americans, if you choose to travel to Iran or Syria or Iraq or North Korea, you are on your own. President Obama recently secured he release of four Americans being held in Iran by trading Iranians held in the United States on legitimate criminal charges. The Journal article details another incident, in which Americans detained in North Korea were fetched out after diplomatic wrangling. Even President Reagan’s misguided attempts to trade arms for hostages in the 1980s resulted in simply other hostages being seized. The United States needs to make it clear that to Americans traveling to these countries that the government will not allow kidnapper countries to hold American policy hostage by grabbing Americans, and the only way to do that is to state, clearly and unambiguously that if an American chooses to risk travel to those countries, it is at his own risk, and nobody else’s.

Further, we need to point out that Americans who do travel to pirate countries and get themselves seized, under whatever pretexts, are placing other American travelers in jeopardy if the United States does expend efforts to try to secure their releases, by increasing the value of other hostages; that was the result of President Reagan’s policies, and Iran has just demonstrated that the rules haven’t changed.

The article noted that “the State Department strongly recommends all U.S. citizens avoid travel to North Korea,” and that’s true enough, but it isn’t firm enough. The State Department needs to make it known that traveling to North Korea is not only placing yourself in danger, but is separating yourself from all diplomatic help. That’s cold and that’s harsh, but it is what needs to be done.

I have sympathy for Mr Warmbier and his plight, but his plight should not give North Korea some advantage; he should be on his own.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

Well, Bob Dole does know something about catastrophic losses!

From The New York Times:

Bob Dole Warns of ‘Cataclysmic’ Losses With Ted Cruz, and Says Donald Trump Would Do Better

By Maggie Haberman | Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has never been fond of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. But in an interview Wednesday, Mr. Dole said that the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz was the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.

“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”

“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”

Well, it’s certainly true that some of the Republican leadership in Washington doesn’t like him, but given that Senator Cruz is either first or second in the opinion polls in Iowa, I’d say that somebody must like him.

But Mr. Dole said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”

The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.

“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” said Mr. Dole, who served in the House and Senate for 35 years and won the Iowa caucuses twice. He described Mr. Cruz as having falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”

Apparently the word “conservative” means something different in Washington than it does outside the Beltway. Perhaps the “mainstream” of conservatism is something different from what former Senator Dole believe it is, or ought to be. If there is anybody in Iowa who doesn’t know and understand Senator Cruz’s positions, it is because that person is willfully ignorant. Not only has Senator Cruz been running on his positions, not only does he have a campaign website which details his positions, pointing out the positive, but his opponents have been right there, telling the prospective caucus-goers what they say Mr Cruz believes, doing their best to accentuate the negative.

Now, I will be clear here: Senator Cruz is not my preferred candidate, and I have previously expressed reservations about how effective a President Cruz would be at getting things done. But I also remember Senator Dole, one of the well-liked go-along-to-get-along Republicans, who was the 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, who got nothing done that the Democrats couldn’t accept. Oh, they might have sniped along the edges, but good, collegial Senator Dole was well-liked and well-respected by everybody, nobody had a bad thing to say about him, and he led absolutely nobody to conservative positions or accomplishments. Newt Gingrich once referred to Mr Dole as the “tax collector for the welfare state,” and, as if to prove that the Democrats respected Mr Dole, Tim Noah of the now-dying New Republic characterized it thus:

In 1985, shortly after Sen. Bob Dole, R.-Kan., became majority leader of the upper body, a little creep called Newt Gingrich publicly branded him “the tax collector for the welfare state.”

Well, it wasn’t Senator Dole who led the Republicans to the congressional majorities in the 1994 elections; it was that “little creep” who crafted the “Contract With America” and the coordinated campaigns which led to that result.

Mr Noah’s article was from January of 2012, telling the reader that Mr Gingrich, then running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, “truly would be a catastrophically bad nominee for the GOP to choose.” I have some trouble accepting advice from the Democrats concerning who would be a good or bad Republican nominee as being unbiased or genuine. And Mr Noah confirmed his respect for Mr Dole by concluding his article, “Oh, Bob. We miss you so.”

Well, of course they do! And if the Democrats, Mr Noah at the very least, think so highly of former Senator Dole, then I would be inclined to give rather less respect for the Kansan’s opinion.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

Remember ‘Peak Oil?’

Remember these stories from yesteryear, from our friends on the left?

Peak Oil is on schedule.

Monday, December 10th, 2007 @ 2:31 am | Energy, Peak Oil |By Jeromy Brown

As entirely expected here at Iowa Liberal, documented further by the New York Times:

The economies of many big oil-exporting countries are growing so fast that their need for energy within their borders is crimping how much they can sell abroad, adding new strains to the global oil market.

Experts say the sharp growth, if it continues, means several of the world’s most important suppliers may need to start importing oil within a decade to power all the new cars, houses and businesses they are buying and creating with their oil wealth.

Indonesia has already made this flip. By some projections, the same thing could happen within five years to Mexico, the No. 2 source of foreign oil for the United States, and soon after that to Iran, the world’s fourth-largest exporter. In some cases, the governments of these countries subsidize gasoline heavily for their citizens, selling it for as little as 7 cents a gallon, a practice that industry experts say fosters wasteful habits.

What I find unexpected is that 7 cent gas didn’t turn these countries into economic superpowers. When all is said and done, the potential of oil countries will have been mostly wasted. The wealth has gone everywhere but to the people that live there, and now that their economies are just barely getting afloat, sure signs of oil’s scarcity continue to pile up. As exporters turn into importers, the energy vacuum will start tearing eyeballs out of sockets Total Recall style.

Or this one?

Peak Oil Watch

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 @ 5:09 pm | Peak Oil |By Jeromy Brown

The WSJ:

Oil Exporters Are Unable To Keep Up With Demand
Domestic Needs, Sluggish Investment Crimp Shipments
By NEIL KING JR. and SPENCER SWARTZ

The world’s top oil producers are proving unable to put more barrels on thirsty world markets despite sky-high prices, a shift that defies traditional market logic and looks set to continue.

Fresh data from the U.S. Department of Energy show the amount of petroleum products shipped by the world’s top oil exporters fell 2.5% last year, despite a 57% increase in prices, a trend that appears to be holding true this year as well.

There are several reasons behind the net-export decline. Soaring profits from high-price crude have fueled a boom in oil demand in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East, leaving less oil for export. At the same time, aging fields and sluggish investments have caused exports to drop significantly in Mexico, Norway and, most recently, Russia. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also cut production early last year and didn’t move to boost supplies again until last fall.

One prediction of Peak Oil theory is that oil-exporting nations will realize it is in their greater self-interest to keep and use their oil. Another is that output will plateau, and then decline.

This is our time to prepare

Or:

Shrill Shrieking Unspeakably Wealthy Moonbats

Sunday, January 27th, 2008 @ 11:02 am | Energy |By Thomas Tallis

Yet another granola-crunching moonbat yammering on about ‘peak oil’ and other liberal lies.

This particular science-disbelieving moonbat happens to be the CEO of Shell Oil.

Seven years, folks! I know there are some people who have this quasi-mystical idea that we can’t mess things up completely – that God will step in right at the moment of impending disaster, or that ingenuity will come into play just when things look darkest. Some people might call these thoughts “Hollywood fantasies,” and that’s one way of putting it, but the itch reaches back further than that. It’s the age-old need for a clean narrative that doesn’t end in one’s own demise. I have news for all y’all’s inner children.

Just because your need for a clean narrative is soul-deep doesn’t mean you’re going to get what you want. If there’s anybody who hears the CEO of Shell say “we’re gonna hit peak oil” and wants to go about debunking and offering alternate theories, let that person ask himself: if I know so goddamn much about oil, why am I not infinitely wealthy, like the CEO of Shell?

Or this one, from the least moonbatty of the Iowa Liberals:

Attention conservatives!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007 @ 9:08 pm | Energy, Middle East, National Security, Peak Oil |By Mike Ganzeveld>

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find a way to blame the following on liberals:

Finally, the future decline of Saudi production implies that peak total liquids is forecast to occur in mid 2009. This means that coordinated conservation plans need to start now.

Further evidence supporting Saudi Arabia’s production decline continues to emerge. The evidence is not only technical and economic, but also behavioural. The analysis of the further evidence, described below, shows that Saudi Arabia is highly unlikely to produce over 8.5 million barrels/day of crude oil and lease condensate, on an annualised basis.

Saudi Arabia is in decline now. This means that the world’s production is in decline now. Future supply will be unable to meet forecast demands. Governments, corporations and individuals need to start making coordinated plans to prepare for the decline in world production.

I think we all know who’s to blame for Peak Oil. Yeah, that’s right….Bill Clinton!

From CNNMoney, today:

IEA says world ‘drowning’ in oil, prices could go lower

by Ivana Kottasova | January 19, 2016: 6:03 AM ET

Can oil really go lower?

The answer from the International Energy Agency is an “emphatic yes.”

The world is “drowning” in oil, and weak demand has failed to match relentless pumping by the world’s biggest oil producers, the group said. With Iran planning to boost its production by as much as 1.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2016, the global oil glut will get even worse.

“The oil market faces the prospect of a third successive year when supply will exceed demand by 1 million barrels a day and there will be enormous strain on the ability of the oil system to absorb it efficiently,” the IEA said in the monthly oil market report.

There’s more at the original.

Now, “peak oil” should have been a very measurable thing; barring new discoveries, we should have been able to calculate when we’d just plain run down on oil supplies. But yet, all of those learned scientists, all of those oh-so-brilliant economists and statisticians and experts got it wrong.

And now we are supposed to trust yet another group of learned scientists and experts who are telling us that we are doomed, doomed! from global warming climate change, using calculations on forces which are not finite, like the oil supply is, and which are a lot more complicated, with many, many times more variables than the rate of petroleum consumption, and base our policies — and the impoverishment of the working class in the industrialized nations — on those projections.

I suppose that I could have looked up almost any liberal website from a decade ago, and found similar stories telling us how we just had to get off evil petroleum, because we were running out of the stuff.  Now that no, we aren’t running out of oil — though eventually we will, but that’s a long time down the road — they have had to find another reason to try to eliminate the very fuel of capitalism. 

Because, that, in the end, is the goal of the left.  Capitalism, despite being the only economic system we have ever known which has lifted more than a tiny minority above the subsistence level, is just plain evil, because any system which allows some people to become winners allows other people to be losers, and somehow, that just isn’t fair.

There are no “participation” awards in the economy: you either succeed, or you fail.

It makes perfect sense to clean up after ourselves, and we would all love to see some sort of Star Trek future, where energy is unlimited and clean and there is no pollution anywhere, but that future hasn’t arrived yet. It makes no sense, no sense at all, to impoverish poorer Americans — the very people the left claim to want to help! — to push forward with policies which cannot be justified, based on technologies which do not yet exist.

Never believe the Obama Administration If this Administration told me that 2 + 2 = 4, I'd check the math before I believed them

Remember: the CIA will say what the President tells them to say:

CIA Spokesman Slams ‘13 Hours’ as ‘Distortion’ of Benghazi Events

Ted Johnson, Senior Editor | January 15, 2016 | 04:31PM PT

A spokesman for the CIA is criticizing the Michael Bay movie “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” as a “distortion of the events and people who served in Benghazi that night.”

The spokesman, Ryan Trapani, was quoted in an exclusive Washington Post story, which also features an interview with the CIA chief in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, when Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed in a siege of the diplomatic compound and attack on the CIA annex.

“No one will mistake this movie for a documentary,” Tripani told the Post. “It’s a distortion of the events and people who served in Benghazi that night. It’s shameful that, in order to highlight the heroism of some, those responsible for the movie felt the need to denigrate the courage of other Americans who served in harm’s way.”

Tripani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The CIA base chief, identified only as “Bob,” takes issue with a key point in the movie, when he tells the six contractors to “stand down” before responding to calls for help at the nearby diplomatic compound. The movie shows the contractors waiting for more than 20 minutes before bucking orders and leaving to try to save Stevens and others.

“There was never a stand-down order,” the CIA chief told the Post. “At no time did I ever second-guess that the team would depart.” The CIA chief told the Post that he spent about 20 minutes trying to enlist local security teams.

Well, of course the CIA would state that there was never any stand-down order; if such an order was given, no one in the Administration would ever, ever admit it.

Zuckoff told Variety on Thursday, “We have never heard anything from the CIA other than, ‘No [the stand-down order] didn’t happen.’ These guys [the security contractors] are putting their lives and their reputations on the line saying, ‘We were forced to wait,and the record shows it.’”

In interviews, the contractors have been adamant that the “stand down” order was issued. Earlier this week, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, said in an interview with the Boston Herald that when it comes to the stand down order, “there are witnesses who said there was one and there are witnesses who said there was not one… So the best I can do is lay out what the witnesses say and then you are going to have to make a determination as to who you believe is more credible.”

There’s a bit more in the original. I have yet to see the movie — heck, I haven’t even seen the new Star Wars movie yet! — but Robert Stacey Stacy McCain loved it, concluding:

The media know the truth — all of the essential facts have actually been reported — but the full story of incompetent Obama/Clinton policy blunders that led up to Benghazi, and which also resulted in the rise of ISIS, has never gotten the kind of sustained coverage that CNN typically devotes to “white cop kills teenage black criminal” stories.

Our national media have sold their souls to the Democrat Party. Their news coverage is determined by political calculations. The editors, producers and reporters are all Democrats who never miss an opportunity to promote partisan propaganda. They are hired liars.

And, of course, the professional media would never, ever, publish or broadcast anything which could harm the presidential prospects of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Was a stand-down order issued? Did the political leadership hesitate when prompt action might have saved Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty? We don’t know that such an order was issued, but we do know that American forces which might have helped were never dispatched. It was claimed that there was no plan of action available, but when your forces are several hours away, you move them closer while developing such a plan. Events might force a recall, but without getting forces closer to the problem, no rescue action could have been taken. The failure to get available forces on the way in the first place was the same as a stand-down order!

The late professor Vincent Davis, then-Director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, once said, in a class I took, that if someone has the power to take an action, and chooses not to do so, he has taken an action nevertheless.1 The failure to get troops on the way was a decision which meant that no action could be taken by anyone other than personnel already in Benghazi. Whether such forces could have done anything by the time they arrived had they been deployed is unknowable, but we do know that they couldn’t do anything if they were not there.

The Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign are, and always have been, very determined to sweep any information, and even any discussion, about the Benghazi attacks as far under the rug as they could. I have absolutely no doubt that any further comment by anyone still under the command of President Obama will continue to state that there was no stand-down order. But what cannot be swept under the rug is the fact that, stand down order or not, the United States under President Obama, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, then-Secretary Clinton, and then-CIA Director David Petreaus — the principle decision-takers at hand for the crisis — failed to take any action which could have saved more lives.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. While I certainly do not possess an eidetic memory, a few old collegiate lessons remain with me these several decades later, and that is one of them.

Rule 5 Blogging: Italians!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Isabella Rossellini in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: Italian soldiers!

Note that the plane behind the pilot tells you that she's dangerous!  Click to enlarge.

Note that the plane behind the pilot tells you that she’s dangerous!

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Italians!’ »

From Around the Blogroll Did Barack Hussein Obama actually get something right?

Has President Obama’s foreign policy been successful? You wouldn’t have guessed it two days ago, after Iran seized two US Navy boats.

Plane carrying Americans in Iran prisoner swap has taken off

By Michael Pearson, Elise Labott and Tiffany Ap, CNN | Updated 7:20 AM ET, Sun January 17, 2016

(CNN)[Breaking news updates, 7:21 a.m. ET]

— A family member of an American freed in Iran told CNN the U.S. State Department said that a plane carrying the Americans has taken off in Iran.

— Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, released from Iranian detention under a prisoner swap agreement between Tehran and Washington, has left the country along with his wife, the newspaper’s publisher says. “We look forward to the joyous occasion of welcoming him back to the Washington Post newsroom,” publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said in a statement.

[Breaking news update, 6:42 a.m. ET]

A plane carrying American prisoners released from Iranian detention as part of a prisoner swap deal between Tehran and Washington is “about to take off,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN.

[Breaking news update, 6:11 a.m. ET]

A group of Iranian men walked free from detention in the U.S. early Sunday after being pardoned and released as part of a prisoner swap deal between Tehran and Washington, a lawyer for one of the men told CNN. Bahram Mechanich and Tooraj Faridi, both of Houston, and Khosro Afghahi, of Los Angeles, were released along with four other Iranians held in other parts of the U.S., Mechanich’s attorney Joel Androphy said.

[Previous story, published at 6:07 a.m. ET]

(CNN) — Iran has announced the release of five detained Americans after international inspectors said Tehran is in compliance with a deal to restrict its nuclear program.

U.S. administration officials confirmed the news Saturday following reports first published in Iranian media.

They include four who are part of a prisoner swap deal: Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, Marine veteran Amir Hekmati and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini. A fourth detainee identified by U.S. officials as Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari was also part of the deal.

A fifth man — recently detained student Matthew Trevithick — was released separately, U.S. officials said.

The announcement came the same day the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog announced Iran is in compliance with a July nuclear deal.

As a result, some international economic sanctions against Iran were lifted.

They were released in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States for sanctions violations, the officials confirmed.

CNN is spinning this as a victory for President Obama’s foreign policy, and though I do not trust that assessment in the slightest, it may be correct. The International Atomic Energy Agency has certified that Iran has met the scheduled conditions for implementation of the nuclear accord, and the President has signed the executive order lifting most American sanctions. Supposedly, the prisoner swap and release was not something negotiated along with the end of sanctions, but the timing certainly seems coincidental is that really is the case.

Count on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to try and make some political hay out of this, inasmuch as the initial back-channel negotiations started during her tenure in office. She will at leas be able to claim that the Obama Administration’s foreign policy has been successful, and that she intends to continue along the same lines.

And now, on to the blogroll!

That’s it for this week!

Am I supposed to believe that there was no collusion between The Washington Post and Donald Trump?

I noted yesterday that The Washington Post had gone full-bore birther concerning Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). The article was an OpEd piece by Mary Brigid McManamon, a constitutional law professor at Widener University, rather than by the editors themselves, but subsequent to that OpEd being published, there are no editorial or other OpEd pieces challenging Miss McManamon’s position. Instead, the Post has published two articles, Callum Borchers’ The conservative media’s civil war over Ted Cruz ‘birtherism’ and Chris Cillizza’s How Donald Trump made the birther attack on Ted Cruz stick, both of which attempt to lend credibility to the “birther” attack.

Donald Trump got this started the ball rolling with a statement in an interview that he gave to the Post on January 5th, one which didn’t specifically say that Mr Cruz wasn’t a natural-born citizen, but hinted at it:

Republicans are going to have to ask themselves the question: ‘Do we want a candidate who could be tied up in court for two years?’ That’d be a big problem. It’d be a very precarious one for Republicans because he’d be running and the courts may take a long time to make a decision. You don’t want to be running and have that kind of thing over your head.

I’d hate to see something like that get in his way. But a lot of people are talking about it and I know that even some states are looking at it very strongly, the fact that he was born in Canada and he has had a double passport.

Yeah, uh huh, right, sure Mr Trump would “hate to see something like that get in his way,” which is why Mr Trump tweeted this:

Well, such suits would be just as effective as the lawsuits which derailed Barack Hussein Obama’s candidacy. Mr Trump is using this attack to try to derail his closest Republican competitor, and it’s obvious to me — and really, to anybody who pays any attention — that the editors of The Washington Post are happy to go along with the Trump birther attack.1 Oh, I have no proof that there was any direct collusion between the editors of the Post and Mr Trump, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

And the next birther attack? That will be Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who was born in the United States — and thus a citizen under the Fourteenth Amendment — but whose parents were Cuban immigrants, and not American citizens at the time. The most extreme of the birthers claim that to be a natural-born citizen, not only must one be born in the United States, but both of one’s parents must also be citizens.

Senator Cruz is not my preferred candidate, and I have serious concerns about his ability to actually get things done as President were he to win; the other Republicans in Washington hate his guts don’t like him very much, and, as President, he would have to work with the Republicans in Congress. Nor is Senator Rubio my preferred candidate, though I believe he’d be able to work better with other Republicans in Washington were he to win the election. But one thing is certain: Senators Cruz and Rubio are more real Americans than any Democrat running, and, quite frankly, more real Americans than Donald Trump.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. Regrettably, my preferred candidate, Carly Fiorina, didn’t jump on the bandwagon, but at least gave it a nudge when she said that she thought it was “odd” that Senator Cruz waited until 2014 to renounce his dual Canadian citizenship. Unfortunately, Mrs Fiorina’s candidacy has been polling so poorly that she was bumped from the next prime-time Republican debate. I still believe that she would make the best President of all of the candidates running, but she isn’t proving to be the best presidential candidate.

The Washington Post goes full-bore birther

Of course, it’s an “outsider’s” OpEd piece:

Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president

By Mary Brigid McManamon | January 12 at 11:24 AM1

Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.

The Constitution provides that “No person except a natural born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of President.” The concept of “natural born” comes from the common law, and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept’s definition. On this subject, the common law is clear and unambiguous. The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are “such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,” while aliens are “such as are born out of it.” The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one’s country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States. James Madison, known as the “father of the Constitution,” stated, “It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.”

Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen. As he was born in Canada, he is not natural born. His mother, however, is an American, and Congress has provided by statute for the naturalization of children born abroad to citizens. Because of the senator’s parentage, he did not have to follow the lengthy naturalization process that aliens without American parents must undergo. Instead, Cruz was naturalized at birth. This provision has not always been available. For example, there were several decades in the 19th century when children of Americans born abroad were not given automatic naturalization.

Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the power to naturalize an alien. That is, Congress may remove an alien’s legal disabilities, such as not being allowed to vote. But Article II of the Constitution expressly adopts the legal status of the natural-born citizen and requires that a president possess that status. However we feel about allowing naturalized immigrants to reach for the stars, the Constitution must be amended before one of them can attain the office of president. Congress simply does not have the power to convert someone born outside the United States into a natural-born citizen.

There’s more at the link, but the obvious question is: does the statute which declares that the child of an American citizen born abroad, under which Senator Cruz became a citizen at birth, confer naturalization, or natural-born status? It would seem to me that, if a person is a citizen — which Miss McManamon concedes – and there has been no formal naturalization, then that person is a natural-born citizen. That, however, is a matter of law, for lawyers and judges.

However, as I have stated frequently in the past, if the electoral college decided to vote for a 17 year old Tibetian boy who spoke no English, and the House of Representatives certified that vote, then said 17 year old Tibetian boy who spoke no English would become the President of the United States, regardless of the Constitutional restrictions, because the Constitution provides no enforcement mechanisms through which a President can be disqualified other than impeachment. The Framers simply assumed that the members of the Electoral College and the House of Representatives would be honorable men who would abide by constitutional restrictions.

The real problem for The Washington Post, and for the left in general, is that, regardless of where he was born, Ted Cruz is far more of a real American than any of the Democrats running.
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  1. Mary Brigid McManamon is a constitutional law professor at Widener University’s Delaware Law School.

Amanda Marcotte clams up Feminism has been completely subsumed by leftism, and feminists know when they have to shut up

Salon writer Amanda Marcotte has always, always! been insistent on women’s rights, a frequent writer — and jumper-to-conclusion — concerning sexual assault, and a proponent of the so-called “slut walks,” in which women demonstrate concerning their right to wear whatever they wish or act as they please and not be looked down upon or seen as “asking for” rape.

Henriette Reker, the Mayor of Cologne

Thus, when Henriette Reker, the Mayor of Cologne, in response to multiple sexual assaults in her city on New Year’s Eve, said that women needed to have a “code of conduct” to lessen their risk of being assaulted, I anticipated an indignant response from Miss Marcotte, claiming that the mayor was, at least in part, blaming the victims of those sexual assaults. Yet, when I checked Miss Marcotte’s author page on Salon,1 while I found fifteen articles by her since New Year’s Day, including one talking about “blaming the victim” concerning a completely unrelated topic, one telling us the difference between the sexual assault accusations against Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby, which, to no one’s surprise, is meant to defend Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and one condemning Republicans for concerns over Islamic terrorism, when it comes to Mayor Reker’s statements, or to the sexual assaults by men of “Northern African or Arab” appearance,2 who were speaking “a foreign language,”3 not one word do we hear from Miss Marcotte. I checked her twitter feed as well,4 and again, not one word did I see, searching back until New Year’s Day, concerning those sexual assaults or Mayor Reker’s response to them.

Of course, Miss Marcotte’s decision to ignore a story about topics on which she so frequently writes is hardly something rare for the left; Feministing’s front page5 indicates two stories on rape so far this year, but neither of them concerned the Cologne assaults. ThinkProgress’ front page6 has one story about a rape in high school, and another titled Migrants In Europe Are Getting Stereotyped As Dangerous Criminals, but only to tell us that the sexual assaults in Germany shouldn’t be more widely attributed to Middle Eastern immigrants in general, despite the fact that it was such a big story that the nation’s leader addressed it. Even The New York Times didn’t report on the story until four days later, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about it. Once the Chancellor spoke on the subject, the professional media had to take notice; prior to that, the story was reported — at least as far as I could see on the internet — solely by conservative blogs. The left didn’t want to touch the story, because reporting the details accurately might call into question the European — and President Obama’s as well — policy of taking in so many Arab refugees.  Just because some cultures, in this case Islamic cultures, happen to allow things that any Western civilized society abhors doesn’t mean that we should let that stand in the way of being good multiculturalists!

Allow me to be brutally honest here: despite anything that Miss Marcotte or Jessica Valenti or any of the other feminist writers would say, feminism has been completely subsumed by leftism in general, and is, and always must be, held subordinate to the wider goals of leftism.  Thus, when a story which ought to provoke widespread feminist anger runs contrary to the wider meme of the left in general, that anticipated widespread feminist ire has to be tamped down, kept in check, and silenced.  Had the King of the Left, whomever that might be, simply patted Miss Marcotte on her pretty little head and told her to just keep her mouth shut on this story, he could have silenced her no more effectively than she silenced herself.  Miss Marcotte apparently knows her place.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. Accessed at 6:51 PM EST on Sunday, January 10, 2016.
  2. Twenty-two of the men sought for these crimes are asylum-seekers.
  3. Meaning: not German.
  4. Something which required me to log off of Twitter, since Miss Marcotte has blocked me from seeing her tweets; I cannot begin to tell you just how much this upsets me!
  5. Accessed at 8:08 PM EST on Sunday, January 10, 2016.
  6. Accessed at 8:15 PM EST on Sunday, January 10, 2016.