Friday, August 26, 2016

Election Day in Dreamland

In my first post for the American Greatness webzine, I discuss the American opiate crisis and its connection to government policies--particularly immigration.

Trigger warning: we don't give trigger warnings.

The University of Chicago pats itself on the back for fostering open debate on campus.  They warned the Class of 2000, "we do not support trigger warnings."  But wait....

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hillary Clinton Lies about British Immigration Law and Equates Our Greatest Ally with ISIS

New Google game.  Pick any topic.  I mean, any topic.  Google that topic and Hillary Clinton.  Find readily demonstrable, "Four Pinocchio" lie.  I will show you how it is played.
In her speech Thursday linking Trump and the "alt-right," Hillary Clinton said that "Under Donald Trump, America would distinguish itself as the only country in the world to impose a religious test at the border. Come to think of it, there actually may be one other place that does that. The so-called Islamic State. The territory that ISIS controls. What a would be a cruel irony that someone running for president would equate us with them."
Well, I am not an immigration lawyer, but I do know a country besides ISIS that imposes a religious test for some people seeing to enter.  That would be...  the United Kingdom.  You see, back in 1705 the British Parliament passed the Sophia Naturalization Act, which naturalized all Protestant descendants of the Electress Sophia.  They did this because Sophia was heiress apparent to the throne, and they didn't want any whining about how she or any of kids or grandkids who might inherit the crown were foreigners and not true-born Britishers.  Why only Protestant descendants?  You see, the Brits had gone through a bit of unpleasantness (in Ireland it was a vicious, bloody civil war) to get rid of their Catholic King, James II, and they didn't want any more Catholics ruling them.
Now of course one of the bright kids in the front row will shout out:  "The Sophia Naturalization Act was repealed by the British Nationality Act of 1948."
Indeed, Chucky, it was.  But the British Nationality Act explicitly left intact any claim to British citizenship that was valid prior to the act.  So if you were alive when the act was passed in 1948, can prove your descent from the Electress Sophia, and have never gotten around to claiming your British Citizenship -- because, say, you were too busy fighting for Hitler on the Russian Front -- you can still get British citizenship.  BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT AND HAVE NEVER BEEN A CATHOLIC.
Not only did Mrs. Clinton tell a lie, she insulted our staunch ally, Britain, by equating them with ISIS. "Ma'am, Boris Johnson on the phone.  He would like an apology."
{Oh right, another ally, Israel, kind of does it too.}

Friday, August 19, 2016

An Independent Empire -- the pitch

Michael Taylor and I are polishing up An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in the Making of the United States 1776-1826.  If you are a trade publisher, contact our agent Peter Riva, at priva@intltrans.com.


You are alone. You are exhausted, bruised and battered. You have no real friends and you are surrounded by enemies. You have no money to pay your bills, and you have scarcely the means to defend yourself. You have no sure way put your house in order, but you have built this house in a vast wilderness of mountains, rivers, forests, jungle, and desert.
In 1781, at the moment of the British surrender at Yorktown, this was the position of the United States of America. Victory in the Revolutionary War did not guarantee lasting glory; freedom did not mean safety. One false step and this ambitious experiment in republican government would fail forever. So just how, not even fifty years later, had the United States become the undisputed master of North American and the self-proclaimed guardian of the western hemisphere? An Independent Empire tells that tale.
The transformation of a string of rebellious colonies along the eastern seaboard into a military superpower is the most remarkable story of modern political history. Yet this rapid ascension was not the manifest destiny of the United States.  there was nothing naturally ‘great’ about the new republic.
Time and time again, the early United States came close to disaster. What if Benjamin Franklin hadn’t brought the French into the Revolutionary War? What if the Federalists hadn’t forced through a constitution that could bind thirteen states – none of which especially liked each other – into a functioning union? What if ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne had started a war with the British in Ohio in 1794? Or if the British had re-taken New Orleans in 1815?
The Founding Fathers and the generation after – Monroe, Adams, Clay, and Jackson – had no safety net. This was a time when Washington, Adams, Hamilton, and Jefferson played on the global stage. At every turn, they were faced with problems that spelled life-or-death for the United States.
Somehow, the Americans got it right. How did they do it? They asked the right questions about foreign affairs, the military, taxes, and trade. With skill, wisdom, experience, and no little luck, they found the right answers too. This is the story of what made American great, the first time round.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Q&A on Trump and the issues

Q&A on Trump and the issues with Richard Schultz
[Richard Schultz weighs in]
Okay, let's discuss the issues.
1. Every economist that I have seen has indicated that Trump's proposed economic plan will do nothing except make the rich richer, and that it will not aid the economy in general. How precisely do you think that his economic plan will aid the average American?
2. Trump has stated outright that he would have no problem giving orders to the armed forces that violate U.S. and international law. Do you think that this is a desirable quality in a commander-in-chief? Why or why not?
3. Given the precedents of Korea and Kuwait, do you think that a U.S. President's having announced in advance that he will not guarantee that he will honor defense treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory is more likely or less likely to keep the peace? What about his indication that he has no problem with nuclear arms races in the far and middle east?
4. Trump has indicated that he believes that there should not be a federal minimum wage. What effect do you think abolishing the federal minimum wage would have on the economy?
5. Trump has stated that he would renegotiate or refinance the U.S. National debt. His statements indicated that he either did not understand the nature of renegotiating or refinancing a debt or that he did not understand the nature of the U.S. national debt (or maybe both). What effect do you think an attempt to renegotiate the national debt would have on the U.S. economy, and what leads you to that conclusion?
6. Trump has no experience of government and apparently has at best a limited understanding of how the U.S. government functions. I have seen from some of his supporters the claim that his experience in business is sufficient preparation for the presidency. Given that Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, and Jimmy Carter were successful businessmen before they went into politics, what *specific* aspects of Trump's business experience in your opinion have prepared him for the presidency?
[I respond]
1. Taxes matter little. Regulation matters a great deal. Trump wants to repeal or reform much economically crippling regulation. Hillary Clinton has never met a rule she doesn't like.
2. Under the Constitution the Federal government guarantees the security of the states. That guarantee contains no proviso exonerating the Federal Government from responsibility where to execute it requires violating US law, much less international law. And in fact every President has issued illegal orders.
3. The nuclear arms race in the Far East was a lost cause when Clinton failed to block North Korea. The nuclear arms race in the Middle East was a lost cause when Obama failed to block Iran, or maybe when LBJ failed to block Israel.
And yes, it is past time to rethink the commitments made to win the Cold War, which ended a generation ago.
4. The New York Times explains why minimum wages are bad:
http://www.nytimes.com/.../the-right-minimum-wage-0.00.html
Abolishing minimum wages would do wonders for youth and minority unemployment.
5. Trump was unaware that the US can impose a haircut on debtors at any time by inflating the dollar. Now that this was explained to him, he has dropped the issue. Trump knows little, but learns fast. His principal rival has learned nothing and forgotten nothing since 1992.
6. Harding was a fine President, generally admired at his death, and only his sudden demise prevented him from dealing with the scandals that tarnished his posthumous reputation. See the account in Paul Johnson's _History of the American People_. Trump has extensive experience working with government as a developer, though I agree he is no Herbert Hoover, who, let us recall, was prior to his Presidency probably the most admired living American for his relief work during and after World War I. I agree that a Jeff Sessions or a Bobby Jindal, say, would likely be a better President than Trump. But Sessions didn't run, and nobody seems to have wanted Jindal except me and him.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Secretary Clinton's Fingerprints

"Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama’s second term has Secretary Clinton’s fingerprints on it"  -- Harry Reid.

Let us list some of those "victories":
1. The Iran deal, including the $400,000,000 ransom payment.
2. Syrian Civil War
3. The Rise of ISIS
4. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea
5. The continued unrest in Libya, and its spread to Mali, etc.
6. Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.
Harry Reid is right about Secretary Clinton's fingerprints.
And that is why I support Donald Trump.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Seven Stages of Muslim Brotherhood Denial

In the past day on on Facebook I have seen various old friends go through the stages of what I am going to call "Muslim Brotherhood Denial", the refusal to acknowledge the truth that there is a worldwide conspiratorial fraternal organization, active, wealthy, and well-organized in the United States, devoted to bringing the world (including the United States) to Islamic rule.

So, diagnose your friends and relatives with this handy MBD chart

Stage 1:  It is paranoid to think that such an organization exists.

Stage 2:  It is paranoid to think that such an organization is active in the United States.

Stage 3:  With 1% of the US population, it is paranoid to think that Islam will take over in the United States.

Stage 4:  Anyone who opposes large-scale immigration of Muslims supremacists is paranoid.

Stage 5:  If the Muslims take over I will be long dead,

Stage 6:  "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Stage 7:  Ash-hadu anla ilaha illal-Lahu Wahdahu la Sharika Lahu wa-ash-hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu.

In 24 hours some people have gone from Stage 1 to Stage 5.  Insufficient data yet on how long it takes to go all the way to stage 7, but research grants for a long-term study are gratefully accepted.

{I should add:  The Muslim Brotherhood is a complex organization, and my views of it are complex.  At one time I shared the general neocon view that the Brotherhood and its affiliates were progressive democratic forces that should be encouraged in the Middle East.  But the Brotherhood in Egypt, and its Palestinian affiliate Hamas, turned out to be weaker and perhaps less democratic than we had believed.

As regards the United States, I believe with George Washington that "reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle"; and with John Adams that "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."   Which religion?  As recently as 2008, I was a cheerleader for the old time Americanism of, say, Bill Clinton.  But while that political religion is not quite dead, it much weaker than it was a decade ago, and younger people are mostly unaware of it or disaffected from it.  There are certainly worse possible futures for most Americans than political Islam.}