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Now of course one of the bright kids in the front row will shout out:  "The Sophia Naturalization Act was repealed by the British Nationality Act of 1948."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 a truly marvelous history book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in the Making of the United States 1776-1826. We need an agent to sell it to a trade publisher. So, who out there can steer me to an agent? Contact Michael Kochin at kochin@post.tau.ac.il


An Independent Empire tells the remarkable story of how politics, diplomacy, and war transformed a string of British colonies into one of the world’s great powers, the United States of America.
An Independent Empire is a history of the foreign relations of the early United States. The rapid transformation of the Thirteen Colonies into one of the great powers of the Atlantic world ought to be understood as the function of the foreign policies, diplomacy, and military prowess of the early United States. We also explore how the development of a national, federal government allowed the new republic to pursue those policies. We further address a series of questions which have as much relevance to the early history of the United States as to its current politics. Should the United States pursue an interventionist or an isolationist foreign policy? Should formal international alliances be renewed or abandoned? Should commerce be globalized or nationalized? In the Presidential election year of 2016, these topics have never been more relevant, yet these were also the debates which shaped and directed American foreign relations between 1776 and 1826.
     We have written An Independent Empire with an educated, general readership in mind. The manuscript makes original arguments of scholarly value, but it not intended to gather dust on university shelves among academic monographs. For too long, histories of foreign policy and diplomacy have been reserved for specialists stuck in the ivory towers; conversely, An Independent Empire has been written to be read. The approach of An Independent Empire to the early history of the United States is also markedly different from other recently successful trade histories. Chernow’s Hamilton, Eliot Cohen’s Conquered into Liberty, and Heidler and Heidler’s Washington’s Circle, among others, have focused on particular people, episodes, or mere pieces of the larger picture. Our ambition is rather to present the whole sweep of the American Empire before the general reader.
     The manuscript is structured chronologically with each chapter – of between five and eight thousand words in length – focusing on short periods of United States history. Each chapter is then sub-divided into several sections which focus on the specific events, debates, and characters relevant to the respective historical period. We feel that this structure allows the reader not only to follow the compelling narrative of our subject, but also to “dip in” to specific parts of the history of American war and diplomacy. With our general readership in mind, we have been anxious to avoid academic jargon and impenetrable prose, and so we have written the manuscript using clear, elegant, and accessible language.  We have now completed the third draft, which is about 107,000 words.

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.}



Monday, August 1, 2016

The Muslim Brotherhood and the 2016 Election (updated)

"The U.S. Brotherhood had a plan for achieving Islamic rule in America: It would convert Americans to Islam and elect like-minded Muslims to political office." So reported the Chicago Tribune in 2004. But plans change, and the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational movement that aims at Muslim supremacy everywhere, is nothing if not tactically flexible.  Its long term goal, however, is fixed, achieving Muslim rule in the United States and everywhere else on the globe -- by peaceful means, if possible, but by violence, as undertaken by the Brotherhood's Palestinian affiliate Hamas, if necessary.
     Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's right-hand woman, is the daughter of the deceased Muslim Brotherhood activist Syed Zainul Abedin, and served as assistant editor until 2008 on the journal he founded, The Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs.  Huma's mother runs the Journal and its affiliated institute to this day.
     At least two of the speakers at the Democratic National Convention have close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood or affiliated groups.  Sherman Jackson , a Muslim cleric and African-American "has also been a board member of the North American Islamic Trust, which owns and funds most Sunni mosques in the United States. Both ISNA [the Islamic Society of North America] and NAIT were identified as un-indicted conspirators in the Holy Land terror-funding operation."  Khizr Khan, who has succeeded in trolling Donald Trump by exploiting the combat death of his son in Iraq, was an intellectual follower of Said Ramadan, grandfather of the European Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan and "unofficial foreign minister of the Muslim Brotherhood."  Tariq Ramadan was banned from entering the United States by the Bush Administration, this ban was lifted by orders of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Clinton, as Secretary of State, helped and praised many Brotherhood affiliates.
     The Brotherhood's goal of global Islamic rule is, of course, a long term project.  In working towards it in the United States, the Brotherhood and their affiliates have cultivated Republican activists and politicians with as much enthusiasm and success as they have Democrats.  Brotherhood activists have found powerful Republican allies for their program of strengthening political Islam through immigration, education, and conversion.  The election of Donald Trump, who has proposed banning Muslim immigration into the United States until better methods are found for screening out those Muslims who immigrate in order to wage violent jihad, would of course be a serious setback for the Brotherhood's American political agenda.
     In January 2015 Michel Houellebecq published his novel Submission.  The plot of that novel hinges on a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of France.  In the novel, the Brotherhood comes to power democratically, winning the 2022 Presidential election in alliance with the liberal left, who join with Islamists and adopt their agenda in order to defeat the populist nationalists (this, at least, should ring bells with Americans!).  The Islamists, you see, are thoroughly Europeanist, as they reject all forms of nationalism and work toward achieving a superstate that unites Europe and the Mediterranean under the rule of Islam.
     Some reviewers claimed that Houellebecq's plot belongs
"to the world of fervid fantasy and cafĂ© millennialism."  But given the stunning success of the Muslim Brotherhood in making the Hillary Clinton campaign a vehicle for its ambitions, it would be more prudent to say that, in the United States at least, the Brotherhood has come far even though it has yet far to go.