Sanctuary “Justice”

Well, we have a verdict for Kate Steinle’s killer: not guilty. He admitted to killing her but claimed it was an accident. That claim, of course, changed several times over the course of this story. Whether it was a result of media incompetence, his own lies, or some combination of both, I cannot say. He was, however, convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Supposedly he is to be deported. Again. After all, he already came back five times, why not a sixth?

Either way, I’m not surprised. California is a Marxist paradise, after all.

Leftists are generally fond of using the “if it saves one life” defense, or its uglier cousin “you just want people to die” with regards to everything from government-run healthcare to regulation and gun control. When dealing with sanctuary cities and illegal immigrant crime, however, you will hear nothing but crickets from them. After all, only the Left is allowed to use such a blatant fallacy to guilt their opponents into silence.

Remy explains in a humorous video:


Trump was widely panned by his critics for suggesting that Mexico doesn’t exactly send us their best and brightest when the illegals hop over the border. I fail to see the error in his statement.  A couple weeks ago I was talking with a friend who lives in Virginia, and she was lamenting the rapid growth of MS-13 in her locale, many of whom are illegals and/or are involved in illegal immigrant smuggling and, of course, much worse. We’re talking about Virginia here. It’s not exactly close to the border.

Ann Coulter suggested in her book In Trump We Trust that the real illegal immigrant figure could be as high as 30 million, not the more commonly reported 11-12 million figure. This gives us a range of about 3% to 9%. That is not a small number, and we can see why Democrats push for amnesty and eventual citizenship for them, or at least a way to get some of them to the polls. Kate Steinle is a minor bump in the road for their impending demographic takeover (famously celebrated in the book The Emerging Democratic Majority). Trump’s unorthodox electoral victory shows that they are very close as it is. What value is the life of some white girl in the face of all that?

Yes. Two can play the “you want people to die” game, Lefties.

If Trump puts up a wall before 2020, he’s going to be reelected in a landslide. If he fails, then expect the Democrats to push through amnesty as fast as they possibly can, to prevent the rise of anyone right-of-center ever again. After that, things are likely to get very dicey in America.

Meanwhile, a murderer will go free… and probably come back across the border soon enough.

Trump & Syria

Well, the reaction to Trump’s attack on Syria is, to say the least, rather mixed. Personally, I am somewhat disappointed. I don’t know about all of my readers, but I’m exhausted of Middle Eastern quagmires. Evan McMullin decided this was a good time to agree with Trump’s attack… and then bash Trump anyway. So doing what his opponents want doesn’t seem to have any effect on how much they hate him. If that was his goal, it failed miserably.

On the other hand, doom-and-gloom folks who say this is the end of Trump are off base, too. Drudge has something like 65% favorability for the attack on their recent poll last time I looked at it, and only 21% opposed (the remainder are uncertain). So folks on the right are still more or less behind him.

All that being said, I’d prefer if Trump concentrated on our domestic issues, especially illegal immigration. That, and keeping Syrian migrants out of the country, since those nations who have embraced mass numbers of migrants continue to suffer terror attacks from the same. Middle Eastern quagmires never end well. We’ve tried them time and time again, and the cost in blood and treasure isn’t worth it. To put it simply, it’s not our problem. And, quite frankly, I’m irritated at those who want to import these problems into my country.

All that being said, Francis has written a much better summary of where we are now that this has happened, and so I will more or less defer to him on this.

As I said on Twitter earlier, this is disappointing to me. I hoped to see better from Trump. However, I’ll let this one pass. There are many plausible explanations for why he did this, and not all of them are bad. That being said, I hope this is an aberration, and not the setting the tone for his administration. Otherwise I might be inclined to rethink my support for him going forward.

Interesting Material on Byzantium & Persia

Occasionally, I go through the stats in WordPress to see who is backlinking The Declination. Doing so can be pretty eye opening. I’ve found more than a few detractors this way, and some very amusing social justice warriors. But I’ve also discovered fascinating intellectual material this way.

In the course of perusing my backlinks, I discovered a little-known blog call the House of DavidThis one is fascinating because the author delves deeply into a topic which has bothered me for most my life: just how was it that Islam conquered Sassanian Persia and most of Byzantium more or less simultaneously? Normally this question is answered in the West, at least, by primarily Greek sources. Those are useful, yes, but only paint part of the picture. The proprietor of House of David seeks to answer the question from Persian and Arabic sources, also.

The strangeness of this event cannot be overstated. As successors to the Romans (or as Romans themselves, depending on how you account them), the Byzantines were masters of siege craft. Certainly the Theodosian walls impress well enough. Being consummate engineers of fortifications, Roman forts and walled cities dotted the empire, and for the most part, the Romans were excellent at defending them. The Byzantines continued the tradition of effective defense throughout most of their history, as they were under near-constant assault from all sides.

Hannibal himself found the Romans impossible to conquer, even when winning most of the important field battles. And when much of the Western Empire fell apart, it was due not to siege warfare, but to what might be called a refugee migration situation gone to pot. Modern Europe, it should be noted, ought to be paying very close attention to that portion of their history.

Now, one might say the Persians were able to do it, at least temporarily during the Sassanian war of the early 7th century. And that is true enough, though the Romans still emerged triumphant even then. But the Persians had long experience fighting Romans. They were no strangers to dealing with Roman fortifications and siege craft. Despite the feudal nature of their army (think of dehgans like predecessors to medieval feudal nobility), it was powerful and well organized.

The Arabs, on the other hand, had little organization along those lines. Neither, it should be noted, did they have experience storming Roman forts and cities.

In some cases, of course, there was treachery from some of the Byzantines themselves, most notably in Egypt. But in other cases, such as the Exarchate of Africa, local Byzantine resistance was absolutely fierce. The wars in North Africa absolutely devastated the place. It never recovered after this. So complete was this devastation and desolation that Carthage, which bounced back even after the Romans razed it, never recovered from it. Even conquest by the Vandals had not been so terrible.

And still, after the Byzantines themselves lost much of North Africa, the native Christian Berbers continued to resist for some time under a supposed witch-queen named Kahina. And Byzantine resistance remained for a time around Cueta even after Carthage was destroyed, where the possibly-apocryphal Count Julian was said to have finally thrown in with the Muslims in order to avenge himself upon the Visigoths.

Yet the Arab steamroller moved on.

The final triumph of Byzantine siege craft could be seen in the twin Arab sieges of Constantinople, both beaten back effectively by the Byzantines. So why did they lose so completely everywhere else?

It’s a mystery that has defied satisfactory explanation. Some would say that the Persian war exhausted both countries, and that is true to some extent. Persia spiraled into internecine warfare, and was ruined by Heraclius. But Persia never had the defensive depth that Rome did. Persia was more reliant upon the land-holding nobility, and they were a better offensive force than a defensive one. The Byzantines, meanwhile, had won the war, and Heraclius was (at least according to Greek sources on the matter) still able to field massive armies who, ostensibly, had great experience in the Persian war.

Byzantium was weakened economically by the war, at least to some extent. But militarily, it may have actually been stronger.

So how did a bunch of relatively disorganized Arabs, with little experience, overrun Byzantium and Persia in a way that even Alexander the Great would have gawked at?

The purveyor of House of David has more then a few theories and ideas about how this could have been done, and what may have been going on. And there’s a ring of truth to a lot of it. It ties in well with what is going on today in the West, namely that the bureaucracy and the nobility may have, in effect, sold out their own country for personal profit. That in Byzantium, at least, the bureaucracy may have deliberately sacrificed Rome’s old empire for the sake of what we might call proto-globalization of trade.

The idea of globalists selling out nations for profit, of course, has a long tradition. To them, nations are collections of people, they are arbitrary social constructs (like gender is an arbitrary social construct to them, also). So for them, selling out a country is more or less the same thing as selling your pizza shop. It’s just a pizza shop. Who cares? If you can make more money closing your business and selling off the assets, no big deal, right?

Except countries are not pizza shops. And the things you wind up selling off are people. Sometimes very literally, in the case of Islam.

I don’t want to go on a long lecture on that topic, though. I’ll save that for another day. As to whether or not I believe this theory, I don’t know. It has a ring of plausibility to it, but I’m not familiar enough with the primary sources to say. However, it is interesting, at the very least.

Suffice it to say I have been reading more of this man’s musings on Islamic and Persian history, and they are fascinating. It’s a very different perspective than reading all this from the translated Greek sources. There are a great many posts worth reading on there. Here are a few more.


Erdogan Strikes Again

Naturally, as one with Armenian family members, Turkey is not exactly high on my list of favorite countries in the world. But Erdogan has managed to lower my opinion of Turkey even further.

Now he has the unmitigated gall to call the Dutch Nazis. There’s a bit of pot, kettle, black irony in this, as Turkey still remains defiant in its assertion that the Armenian genocide never happened. Tell that to my ancestors who fled the place just ahead of Ottoman advance.

What prompted Erdogan to do this?

The Netherlands wasn’t pleased with Turks within their borders holding rallies to call for more power for Erdogan. The Turks responded with this little stunt:

Police clashed with pro-Erdogan demonstrators in the Netherlands overnight while in Istanbul on Sunday a man climbed onto the roof of the Dutch consulate and replaced the Dutch flag with a Turkish flag.

Finally, after a long time kow-towing to any Islamic country that asked, both the Netherlands and Germany took a harder line.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Sunday he was against Turkish ministers holding political rallies in Germany.

“A Turkish campaign has no business being here in Germany,” he told public broadcaster ARD.

Separately, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he hoped Turkey “would return to its senses”.

Before Leftists come to The Declination with accusations about free speech, let’s be very clear. These are Turkish citizens conducting large-scale “rallies” in a foreign country, in support of an authoritarian, who has been playing both sides against the middle where this refugee and migrant situation is concerned.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t want that kind of activity in my country either. If European countries were smart, they’d expel the ones that didn’t have citizenship immediately. If you’re not a citizen, you are a guest, you are in the country on the sufferance of its citizens. If you want to stir up trouble, they’ve every right to boot you out.

“The West has clearly shown its true face in the last couple of days,” Erdogan said.

“What we have seen is a clear manifestation of Islamophobia,” he added.

Turkey used to have a reputation for being at least somewhat secular, at least compared to their more radical Islamic counterparts. I would not go so far as to say Turkey was good, but certainly Erdogan has made things worse.

By making the Islamophobia argument, Erdogan is de facto admitting something I’ve long suspected: Turkey is back to being a fundamentally Islamic nation, not a secular one. The Kemalists are done. And insofar as Erdogan is looking at this from an Islamic angle, these rallies, and the massive number of Turks in the EU, must be looked at from that angle also. This is part of a bid for more control and power in Europe.

In other words, Erdogan seems to fancy himself an Ottoman Sultan, or something closely approximating that. He ought to be treated likewise. He’s no friend of the West, nor is he a secularist. He’s an Islamist with pretensions of restoring the Ottoman Empire under his own banner.

And, quite frankly, nobody should put any stock in the mutterings of some tinpot Islamist would-be dictator.

Fear of the Stranger

Sarah Hoyt wrote an excellent piece this morning describing the Leftist view of racism as, in essence, fear of the stranger. Fear of the stranger contains a strongly rational component, in that, as she puts it:

In pre-human times, with many bands and tribelets living close enough for kids to stray, the name for a kid who thought that his family or strangers were equivalent was — at least if we go by how our closest relatives, the chimps, treat young from other bands — “dinner.”

Oh sure, in times of stress and famine, the chances that your own band would tuck in were fairly high, but still the chances that dear old mom would eat you were not nearly as high as that a stranger would eat you.

In other words, the in-group was more likely to protect and cherish you — and less likely to eat you — than the out-group. So fear of the stranger was rational, and selected for.

That isn’t to say you cannot regard someone of a different background as part of the in-group. Over time, as individuals prove themselves and you get to know them, the fear of the stranger will ease because the individual is no longer a stranger to you.

My in-laws are of Cuban ancestry, and their culture is somewhat different from the one in which I was raised. But having lived with it for near to a decade now, it is very familiar to me. It is not strange or odd.

But therein lies the distinction. You get to know someone first. And if they prove themselves, then they are no longer regarded as strangers.

Instead of rationally determining which individuals and groups are good, and offer no threat to you, then acting accordingly, Leftists demand that you display a knee-jerk reaction every time fear of the stranger comes, and immediately accept that person into your home, regardless of what they say or do.

The Syrian migrant/refugee business is a great case in point, as is illegal immigration. The Left thinks it a crime to ask the stranger what his business is, and why he wants to enter our community. They think it is a crime to not immediately give the stranger every possible honor, a seat at our table, a home in our village, a position of power in our councils, and then demand nothing from him in return. We don’t even demand that he obey our laws, or speak our language.

It’s absolutely insane.

Their position is beyond stupid. Any species that acted this way in the wild would be rendered extinct within a generation. They would be eaten by everyone. They would be gullible fools, easy snacks for any predators.

A Leftist sees a sketchy van roll into his neighborhood, and in order to virtue signal his moral superiority over us, he immediately dismisses his fear of the stranger, and offers his children to the sketchy van owner, heedless of any threat or danger (because recognizing any threat is discriminatory). He asks the sketchy van owner to come into his home, eat at his table, and give company to his wife. It doesn’t even matter if the van owner speaks his language. In fact, the more difference he has from you, the stranger he is to you, the better for the moral preening.

Any hesitation to do this immediately and reflexively is racism/sexism/homophobia/islamophobia/whatever.

It’s knee-jerk moral preening, and if it weren’t moderated by a fair amount of Rightist common sense, it would have already destroyed the country, and then the Leftists themselves, in short order.

There’s a reason, of course, why Stalinists shot gullible true believers. They didn’t want those idiots around either. They were useful for destroying the old order — because they bring civilizational extinction wherever they achieve power — but they are useless for any other purpose.

Leftist anti-racism is a knee-jerk reaction to a survival instinct. If the choice is dismissing the stranger, or doing whatever the Left is doing, dismissing is the superior choice, because it at least concedes survival. The best position, of course, is a healthy skepticism of the stranger, until he proves himself adequately, upon which he is no longer strange to you.

But nothing other than civilizational hara kiri is acceptable to the political Left.


It’s the latest thing. It’s another sponsored hashtag pushed by social media platforms, elegantly scripted and carefully nurtured by celebs and stars. I’m sure we’ll see a TV commercial soon, just like that 84 Lumber ad during the Super Bowl.

Except these people are grasping at straws. They act like this is about legal immigration, but the Wall was never meant to have any effect whatsover on that. Legal immigration reform may be needed, and may be addressed in the future.

But that’s not why these people are blowing up Twitter with this stupid hashtag.

It’s all about undocumented immigrants, as they say. Or, more correctly illegal aliens.

Mexico is big enough for this woman and her family, too. Deport immediately. One reader who goes by the name of “Skywalker” had this to say:

I can’t believe we’ve actually gotten to the point where people have to defend the merits of immigration laws/policy (and the immigrant advocacy groups calling them “undocumented” rather than illegal is a none too subtle action to further that agenda).

Rather than treat it like the crime it is–which is not exactly a “victimless” crime as it steals vast amounts of public taxpayer resources–public and often federally funded institutions are standing up for these groups, forming support alliances like a “Dreamer Resource Center”:

To that truth I could only add the following:

I’m to the point where Lefties just give me a headache with their excessive moralizing. They believe that America’s chief calling is to give up everything, including the very country itself, as a sort of international charity service. Every time a man has a shitty day, or something goes badly in his home country, he is to be given an inalienable human right to immigrate to America, legally or illegally. It’s stupid.

Immigration should be considered on one basis, and one basis only: how it benefits the United States of America. If an immigrant obeys our laws, and applies legally, we may consider his application, and judge whether or not we believe America would gain from his presence, whether our country would be improved by his admission.

If he does not obey our laws, and tries to sneak in, he has shown contempt for us, and should not be admitted. If he obeys the law, and applies legally, but we see him as a terror risk, or a welfare risk, or we don’t think he’ll assimilate, or a thousand other such reasons… too bad, too sad. We are not the world’s charity service.



If you want to become American, you might want to fly American flags, not Mexican flags.


This is Weaponized Empathy again, folks. Everybody who wants to come to America has a sob story. Many of them are even true. After all, nobody leaves their home country because they love the place, and things were just great there.

We’re not a charity service. We get to choose. If we want great people like my friends Nicki Kenyon and Sarah Hoyt, that is wonderful. That is a fine thing. I am proud and honored to have them as fellow citizens.

But where do these people get off saying “my life sucks, so I should just be able to walk across the border, no questions asked, right?”

It’s beyond stupid.

Immigration is not charity. It’s a category error to consider it as such. And I’ve absolutely had it with idiots who claim it ought to be. Build the Wall, secure the border, deport illegals immediately.

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