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March 16, 2017

Deterrence and Human Nature, Victor Hanson [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 8:14 pm

Deterrence and Human Nature
March 16, 2017 1:07 pm / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
By Victor Davis Hanson// National Review
The dream of a therapeutic utopia without punishment for wrongdoing fails in practice.
Deterrence is the strategy of persuading someone in advance not to do something, often by raising the likelihood of punishment.
But in the 21st century, we apparently think deterrence is Neanderthal and appeals to the worst aspects of our natures. The alternative view insists that innately nice people respond better to discussion and outreach.
History is largely the story of the tensions between, and the combination of, these two very different views of human nature — one tragic and one therapeutic.
The recent presidential election results favor a more pessimistic view of humans: that without enforceable rules, humans are likely to run amok — quite in contrast to the prior therapeutic mindset of the Obama administration.

Take illegal immigration. The Trump administration believed the answer was to persuade people not to come illegally into the United States, and to convince those who are already residing here illegally and who have broken American laws to go home. So his proposed wall on the border with Mexico and beefed-up patrols are a sort of insurance policy in case immigrants do not heed appeals to follow the law. Deportation and even the threat of deportation also serve as deterrents to persuade others not to enter the U.S. illegally, given the likelihood of being sent back home promptly.
The early result of that proposed deterrent policy is that in just two months, attempted illegal entries into the U.S. have fallen dramatically.
Past approaches to illegal immigration were largely therapeutic. Bilateral talks with Mexico, sanctuary cities, de facto amnesties, and non-enforcement of immigration laws supposedly would ensure that immigration was orderly and a positive experience for both hosts and guests. Instead, the border effectively became wide open and chaos ensued.
Currently, there are no real repercussions on campus for students who disrupt public discourse or prevent invited speakers from presenting lectures. Universities in theory claim this is a bad thing — a violation of the constitutional rights of free expression and assembly. But campuses rarely punish students for violating the rules. They seldom ask local law enforcement to apply the full force of local and state laws to (often violent) student lawbreakers.
If the intent of universities was to persuade students to respect free speech, then their therapeutic policies seem an utter failure. University laxity is seen by protestors as weakness to be held in contempt rather than magnanimity to be appreciated.
The tragic view would hold that had the University of California expelled students for recently disrupting free speech — and had it encouraged law enforcement to arrest miscreants for destroying property and using violence against others — such deterrence would have prevented such unrest in the future.
Such a precedent at Berkeley might have dissuaded Middlebury College students from trying to shout down and even injure the political and social scientist Charles Murray when he was invited to deliver a lecture. The students who charged Murray, apparently intending to physically force him off campus, might not have been so bold had they known in advance that they would be brought up on charges for any such violence.
Middlebury is an elite school where mostly rich kids fear that a criminal record would be fatal to the sort of high-power resumes they hope to compile for the good life to follow graduation.
The same tragic/therapeutic tension characterizes approaches to radical Islamic terrorism. Does vetting incoming refugees from the Middle East deter potential terrorists from entering the country, or does such scrutiny turn off people, radicalize the,m and encourage terrorism?
Did the Obama administration’s euphemistic effort to eradicate the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” — along with Obama’s apology tour and therapeutic Cairo speech — win hearts and minds in the Middle East? Or did such outreach convince radicals that the U.S. was hardly to be feared, thus encouraging anti-American sentiment?
In the past eight years, the U.S. has backed off the red lines and deadlines it issued to Syria, Russia, and Iran. Did such equivocation earn America appreciation and respect for circumspection — or contempt for empty rhetoric?
There is no clear-cut divide between deterrence and therapy. Each at times has its place in warning or wooing people and nations. But in general, anytime a government errs on the side of therapy and communicates to individuals and foreign powers that laws are flexible, that punishment is iffy, and that consequences are negotiable, it gets less of what it wants.
It is unfortunate but true that North Korea is deterred more by U.S. military strength than by United Nations resolutions.
In much the same way, radical campus lawbreakers probably respect (and fear) the local district attorney a lot more than the college president.

In other words, the more we feel we have entered a 21st-century therapeutic utopia, the more tragic that human nature seems not to have changed all that much from the Stone Age.

Strategika Issue #39, You Say You Want A Revolution? Thomas Donnelly [nc]

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Strategika
Issue 39
You Say You Want A Revolution?
by Thomas Donnelly
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Image credit:
Image credit: Poster Collection, CU 032, Hoover Institution Archives.

To paraphrase the Beatles: Well, you know, you’d better free your mind instead; you may want a revolution but ought to settle for some evolution.

It is an article of revealed religion among defense elites that “we live in a relentlessly changing and fiercely competitive world.” Those words were from former Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, once a physicist and someone deeply imbued with the idea that technological change and competition were the elements propelling change, and that those who failed to “innovate” were doomed to defeat: “Today’s era of military competition is characterized by the additional variables of speed and agility, such that leading the race now frequently depends on who can out-innovate faster than everyone else, and even change the game.”

Such attitudes took root in the late Cold War, back when the Pentagon had a “director for defense research and engineering”—a powerful post separate from the actual weapons-buying bureaucracy—and invested substantial sums in the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency. These agencies were dominated by engineers, practical people whose goal was not science per say but to find ways to put new technologies into the hands of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. But the combination of the Cold War’s end and the endless small wars of the post-9/11 years has inverted this traditional approach; the leaders of the Defense Department have been driven by the immediate need to respond to today’s enemies—all of them unpredicted—and have luxuriated in an extreme form of futurism—dreams that must inevitably go unfulfilled.

The failure to build and field in important numbers the weapons designs of the 1990s has all but deprived U.S. forces of the conventional-force superiority that is a premise of their strategy. The past failures to innovate incrementally have added up, even though the Russians and Chinese—and, increasingly, their Iranian partners in what Walter Russell Mead has dubbed the “Axis of Weevils”—have done little more than attained the level of lethality and sophistication reached by U.S. forces during Desert Storm. And since the Weevils are, for the moment, entirely engaged in moving into the vacuum created by American withdrawals rather than testing their strength directly, it is hard to know what level of tactical competence they have really derived from their belated modernization, but the balance of military power has undoubtedly shifted. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster put the matter succinctly: “When we minimize our Army, we maximize the risk to our soldiers, the risk that in a crisis they will be forced to enter a fight too few in number and without the training and equipment they need to win.”

In such circumstances, broad programs of military “transformation”—Donald Rumsfeld’s dream or a “third offset,” and Ash Carter’s homage to former Defense Secretary William Perry and the creation of “stealth” aircraft—are not relevant. Photon torpedoes, warp drives, and cloaking devices remain in the realm of the starship Enterprise. Better the urgency of President John Kennedy, who vowed to put an American on the moon “in this decade,” than the spirit of Captain James Kirk. And in fact, there are fairly mature military technologies that meet the test of restoring the tactical advantages that U.S. troops once enjoyed.

Perhaps the most tantalizing near-term technologies are related to the substitution of intense amounts of electrical energy for the explosive power of gunpowder. This comprises a kind of catch-all category that subsumes several developments and could have—at least to leaders with an engineering mindset—multiple applications. Fielding electrical-energy-based weapons depends upon the ability to generate and to store immense amounts of power, and then release it either as a destructive force on its own or to propel a projectile at extremely high speeds. Stored electricity might prove to be the gunpowder of the future.

The Defense Department and the military services have been experimenting with these technologies for a decade and more. The Army and Navy have tested a number of “railgun” designs. Railguns are electromagnetic launchers with a parallel set of conductors—the “rails”—that accelerate a sliding armature by passing a very strong current down one rail, along the armature to the other rail. In essence, it’s a 21st-century slingshot that hurls a very dense, but inert, projectile about twice as fast as a traditional cannon; the kinetic energy of these projectiles is enormous.

It does appear that the science of railguns has reached some level of maturity. The main technological challenges are generating and storing enough electrical power—that is to say, a big engine and a good set of batteries—to allow for repeated pulses of direct current that would yield militarily relevant rates of fire of something like six rounds per minute. Other challenges are to build durable and practical rails, since the launch process generates extreme heat that stresses the rail materials. Further, designing guidance mechanisms that can withstand the heat generated by the speed of the projectile may be difficult. On the plus side, the design of munitions ought to be simplified, as should storage, handling, and logistics, since there is no “warhead” atop a railgun round and explosives are not required. Moreover, the range of railguns would far exceed that of any cannon.

But again, the railgun literature strongly indicates that these are challenges for engineering, not basic science. The Navy is interested in railgun technology as a potential solution to the rising challenges of surface fleet air defense and, especially, cruise and ballistic missile defense. Ironically, the otherwise-disastrous Zumwalt-class destroyer—which is now a $4 billion-per-copy pocket battleship—would make a practical platform for a railgun-based system. The ship is huge for a “destroyer”; at almost 15,000 tons it’s almost twice the size of the current Arleigh Burke-class ships. And it has an electric engine that can not only drive the ship at 30 knots, but also generate huge amounts of additional electricity. The Navy originally planned to buy 32 Zumwalts, but the program has long since run aground—because of its technological and cost problems, but also, most importantly, because the ship was misconceived—and halted at just three. To redesign and revive the project would involve great further expense and be an engineering risk, surely. But it could also result in fielding a game-changing technology that would go far toward solving the “anti-access” problem posed by the growing arsenals of Chinese, Russian, and Iranian anti-ship missiles within the next decade rather than several decades. There is no reason to believe that designing a new class of ships would be any less expensive; indeed it is irrational to think that starting over would save money.

On a smaller scale, electromagnetic guns might become the main armaments on tanks and howitzers. While all the same challenges would recur and be compounded by the need to reduce both the source of the electricity and the storage device to the size of a ground combat vehicle, the fundamental engineering challenges are the same as for ships. And the Army already is experimenting with modifying existing howitzers to shoot the same projectile as an electromagnetic weapon. “It turns out that powder guns firing the same hypervelocity projectiles gets you almost as much as you would get out of the electromagnetic rail gun, but it’s something we can do much faster,” says Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who has been held over from the Obama Administration to ensure continuity in defense planning. “We are [saying to the next administration]: ‘Look, we believe this is the place where you want to put your money, but we’re going to have enough money in there for both the electromagnetic rail gun and the powder gun.’”

A related development, also resulting from the ability to generate and store immense amounts of power, that is on the cusp of science fiction and reality is the prospect of using directed energy itself as a weapon. Indeed, some low-level forms of directed energy have been employed by the military for some time: microwave systems that heat the water in skin cells, causing irritation, have been used as a crowd-control measure; microwaves also have been fielded to fry enemy electronic systems. Even the radars on combat aircraft may have limited applications in disrupting the sensors of attacking missiles. And, as far back as 2002, the U.S. Air Force began flying an “Airborne Laser”—basically, a giant high-energy chemical laser stuffed inside a 747 commercial aircraft body—as a missile defense test system. In January 2010 the system successfully passed an intercept test and a month later destroyed two targets in a single engagement. But shortly thereafter, amid one of the many rounds of defense budget reductions during the Obama Administration, the effort was scrapped. In many ways, fielding the system as designed was a bad idea—the laser itself needed to be more powerful and would have required a large and vulnerable aircraft to fly within range of enemy air defenses—but the underlying concept was sound and indicative that such systems were technologically feasible, if tactically immature. Also, it was clear that using electricity rather than chemistry as a power source was a better solution.

Electromagnetic guns, hypersonic projectiles or even directed energy death rays would by themselves not necessarily constitute a revolution in warfare. But these technologies could yield a substantial increase in the capabilities of a wide variety of legacy platforms—and, importantly, again provide U.S. forces with a significant battlefield edge. Most of all, such investments could get the American military back in the habit of continuous modernization and the operational innovation that comes from actually fielding new capabilities. The enthusiasts for “transformation” of the past generation have been looking through the wrong end of the telescope; their model of innovation was that, starved of funds, the U.S. armed services would have to think of new ways to fight. But, through history, the process of change in war has been one that more frequently rewards practical tinkering—matching organizations and doctrine to technologies—more than bold conceptualization. Imagining the tank or the fighter aircraft was the basis for a revolution, but to realize it demanded their integration into combined-arms formation and figuring out how to keep that organization supplied with fossil fuel.

Finally, the experience of recent decades ought to debunk the transformationists’ idea that the United States could afford a geopolitical “strategic pause” to pursue a strategy of innovation. Nor can a global power afford an “offset” approach. To paraphrase the Beatles one last time: Evolution is the real solution. And you can see the plan.

March 14, 2017

Angry Reader 14 Mar 17, Victor Hanson [nc, cheers on the answer]

From and Angry Reader:

Dear Professor Hanson,

Evidently you are a supporter of Donald Trump. If I read your essay on this subject correctly, you seem to be implying that, unlike the false elitism of the Washington Beltway, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley, we should look to the real basis of brilliance and repute in a “demonstrable record of moral and intellectual excellence.”

Do you seriously mean to say that Donald Trump’s life has such a “demonstrable record”? A man who cavalierly treats women as objects for his sexual pleasure and lies at the drop of a hat we are to believe is a man of high moral character? Or one who has trouble constructing a sentence using a vocabulary of more than 100 words (everything is just “fantastic”) demonstrates intellectual excellence?

The problem with Trump is not so much his policies, about which reasonable people may disagree, but his character flaws. As David Brook recently commented, Trump is “ripe to be played” by foreign leaders like Putin who are smarter and more wily than he is. But Trump has such a fragile ego that he is likely to react to being played in his typically childish, immature way by lashing out at everyone and anyone he thinks is disrespecting him. He never takes responsibility for anything, always blaming others for his own mistakes, and he does not know how to accept and deal with criticism in a rational way. He also suffers from what, as you classicists know, the Greeks called hubris. And you know what hubris leads to: tragedy.

Let’s just hope that the tragedy ends up being his personally and not ours collectively. With such a man having access to the nuclear trigger, we should all be hoping that we somehow manage to survive these next four years without a tragedy of monumental proportions.

Sincerely,
Sanford G. Thatcher’

P.S. I attach a short bio so that you know my background.

Sanford G. Thatcher
Frisco, TX 75034-5514
https://scholarsphere.psu.edu

“If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying.”-John Ruskin (1865)

“The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.”-Walter Bagehot (1853)

“Logic, n. The art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human misunderstanding.”-Ambrose Bierce (1906)
—————————————————–
Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Sanford Thatcher,

There is no need to attach your biography in our new age of populism; the persuasiveness of your argument should stand or fall by what you have written rather than the authority of your CV.

As you know, I certainly did not equate Trump with proof of non-elite moral excellence; rather I explained his election through the widespread anger at political and media elites that was aired through his populist candidacy.

I voted for Donald Trump when there was a binary between his agenda and that of Hillary Clinton.

There is some truth in what you have written about Trump’s rhetorical crudity and his past behavior, but, of course, the Clintons were a virtual crime syndicate—she using her office to leverage cash for the Foundation (a sinecure for unemployable Team Clinton politicos between campaigns) and Bill’s speaking career. Of course, when she lost and is now permanently out of federal office, she can do no connivers any good and so the money dried up and the Foundation is reeling—proof of sorts that the entire operation was a pay-for-play enterprise of the sort that earns most people an indictment.

Actually hubris is a result of Koros (instability and excess resulting from power and wealth) that leads to leads to Hubris (overweening arrogance) to Ate (madness and self-inflicted destruction) and ends in Nemesis (divine and fated retribution), which is all the stuff of tragedy, given that the sequence is usually associated initially with people of talent and good intentions.

All this may certainly apply to Trump’s earlier business implosions, and it fits Bill Clinton perfectly, and Obama may end up the same way.

My point is that in 2016 the choice was not between two characters as much as two agendas: I preferred a foreign policy of deterrence backed by military strength as a better way of preventing wars and interventions, an end to doubling the debt, zero interest rates, and record low GDP growth, a stop to illegal immigration and racial polarization, a restoration of the health care system, and efforts at tax and regulatory reform to restart the economy, as well as renewed energy production—all as a mechanism to help the so-called forgotten man, the middle classes who were the losers under globalization.

I saw far greater hope that Trump might enact such an agenda, and no hope that Hillary Clinton would.

As far as character flaws, pick your poison. His I thought were mostly rhetorical (as you note with your unease about his limited vocabulary) and in the private sphere; hers were concrete and at the public expense, from her cattle futures fraud, to her Wikileaks scandals to the Clinton foundation criminality to her callousness and lying about Benghazi. Hillary as you know is a serial liar, from the mundane (her landing in the Balkans under sniper fire) to the existential (lying to the families of the Benghazi dead).

You might have noted that we survived Bill Clinton committing sex acts in the Oval Office bathroom with a subordinate intern less than half his age (the sort of thing that gets a professor fired summarily), and then lying about it under oath, resulting in his disbarment—the sort of crudity I think you are implying disqualifies one for high office?

Obama, remember, tapped the communications of AP reporters, monitored the communications of James Rosen of Fox News, droned US citizens, bombed Libya without congressional approval, granted amnesties of the sort that he had once warned were unconstitutional, lied about the ACA, and simply chose not to enforce various federal laws he found at odds with his progressive agenda.

If you are arguing that Trump is a Frankenstein monster, then the Dr. Frankenstein creator is surely Barack Obama whose executive orders, partisan rhetoric, nullification of federal laws, and abject ruination of the Democratic Party at the state, congressional, and presidential level all empowered Trump.

So far job growth and the stock market are up; Trump’s appointments in the national security sphere are centrist and heralded. His selections from the business and military fields are a welcome change from the tired retreads from academia and government. And his illegal immigration initiatives and energy agendas are overdue.

As far as hubris, self-reflect: in the last 90 days liberal commentators and pundits have variously called for Trump’s murder, his immediate removal for health reasons, his impeachment, and his resignation.

His phone calls to foreign leaders and communications have been illegally tapped (and so note that the media is now backing away from their Russian collusion charges that proved so far groundless, as they worry more that intelligence agencies’ tapping and the leaking may be exposed as the felonious acts they were); his wife has been accused falsely of prostitution and immigration fraud. Trump himself has been falsely accused (in print) of urophilia and suffering from neurosyphilis.

One New York Times columnist has begged the IRS to commit a felony and send him the Trump tax returns; another compared his election to the mass deaths of Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Is not all that indicative of classical madness that will surely lead to an accounting? Trump, the supposed buffoon, polls higher in the public’s estimation of veracity than does the highbrow media).

On the larger topic of the “elite,” I think we could say that those in Bakersfield or Des Moines did not give us record debt, serial corruption in the IRS, VA, GSA, or EPA, and a world in free fall abroad. Here in California the best and brightest managed to deliver the highest basket of income, sales, and gas taxes in the nation resulting in infrastructure and schools rated near the very bottom in state-to-state comparisons. The Orville dam is a metaphor of elite indifference to existential problems while it pursued transgendered restrooms and bobcat health.

Sincerely,

Victor Davis Hanson

March 11, 2017

Imprimis Feb 17 Vol 46 #2

Support Imprimis

How Intelligence Works (When it Does)
February 2017 • Volume 46, Number 2 • Herbert E. Meyer
Herbert E. Meyer
Founder and President, Storm King Press
________________________________________
Herbert E. Meyer, founder and president of Storm King Press, served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. A recipient of the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, his articles and essays on intelligence have been published in several major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several books, including Real-World Intelligence and Hard Thinking; two eBooks, How to Analyze Information and The Cure for Poverty; and a recent booklet, Why is the World So Dangerous.
________________________________________

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 15, 2017, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona.

The performance of our country’s intelligence service is the latest example of an issue exploding into the headlines and becoming a shouting match, while failing to clarify anything about the issue itself. This explosion was ignited last fall by allegations that the Russians hacked into Hillary Clinton’s campaign to help Donald Trump win the election. The blast radius expanded after the election, when rumors surfaced that the Russians had deployed their nasty tactic of kompromat to undermine President Trump’s credibility by spreading rumors about his private behavior while in Moscow years ago. All this, on top of failures that had already wreaked havoc at the CIA and our other intelligence agencies—the 9/11 attacks themselves, the mess over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the weird 2007 National Intelligence Estimate whose key judgment was that Iran had abandoned its nuclear bomb program, Edward Snowden’s NSA espionage activities—has kept the issue of our intelligence service in the headlines.

But before addressing the question of why these failures have occurred, we need to define clearly the role and purpose of our country’s intelligence service, with a focus on how intelligence really works when it’s working properly.

Just utter the word “intelligence” and most people conjure up images of spies, secret satellites peering down on foreign cities and terrorist camps, and rooms full of young technocrats reading private emails and listening to private conversations. These images are accurate, but they reflect the tools and techniques of our intelligence service, rather than its purpose. To understand its purpose, think of a jumbo jet flying at night through turbulent skies—thunder clouds, lightning, other airplanes streaking in all directions and at all altitudes. To navigate through this, the pilot and his crew rely on their radar—the instrument that paints a picture of their environment, enabling them to see what’s going on around them and what lies ahead so they can chart a safe course. Radar doesn’t tell the captain and his crew what to do, but it gives them the accurate information they’ll need to make good decisions.

Our intelligence service is our nation’s radar. Its purpose is to provide the president and his national security team with an accurate picture of what’s going on in the world and what’s likely to happen in the days, months, and years ahead. The assumption is that if the president and his team have this information, they can chart a safe course for our country. And if they can see the distant future soon enough and clearly enough—and if they don’t like what they see—they can take steps to change the future before it happens.

Good intelligence is a combination of information and insight. Information is the raw material, while insight is the finished product. Sometimes this insight takes the form of a top secret report that alerts the president and his team to something that’s about to happen, such as a terrorist attack or the military invasion of one country by another. At other times it is a National Intelligence Estimate, whose purpose is to provide an overall assessment of a major issue—such as North Korea’s nuclear bomb program or the rapid growth of Africa’s middle class—along with a prediction of its future course.

The key to producing good intelligence lies in getting this combination of information and insight right. Intelligence work is like science. You don’t collect information randomly and then stare at it in hopes that something important will pop up. You start with a thesis—in other words, you decide what you want to know. Then you send your collectors out to get it. This is why the key to producing good intelligence lies in asking the right question, rather than in just poring over what’s been randomly collected in hopes that somewhere in the pile of reports and intercepts on your desk you’ll spot something important.

Let me give you an example of how this worked during the Reagan administration. From the end of World War II until 1981, every president’s objective had been not to lose the Cold War. If things were no worse when a president left office than when he took office, he’d done a good job. But President Reagan didn’t want to tread water—he wanted to win the Cold War. In other words, he switched from defense to offense. So Reagan’s great director of Central Intelligence, William Casey, asked the CIA’s Soviet Division two obvious questions: Where is the Soviet Union weak? and Where is it most vulnerable? The answer he received was: We don’t know. No one’s ever asked this before. Our spies had been so focused on Soviet strengths—infantry divisions, nuclear missiles, tanks, submarines, and so forth—that we had no intelligence on Soviet weaknesses, such as its imploding economy. Under Casey’s leadership, we refocused our collection efforts and, not surprisingly, found all sorts of Soviet vulnerabilities that hadn’t been grasped because no one had bothered looking for them. President Reagan used these weaknesses and vulnerabilities to put more and more pressure on the Kremlin. Eight years later the Berlin Wall came down, and two years after that the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

In the intelligence business, just as in scientific research, a thesis sometimes turns out to be wrong. The collectors can’t find what you want, because it isn’t there. When this happens—and it happens to even the best scientists and intelligence officials—you must abandon your flawed thesis and re-think the issue. If you refuse to do this, you’re like a scientist who continues to insist that the Earth is flat—or a president who continues to insist that ISIS is like a “junior varsity” team.

February 2017 • Volume 46, Number 2 • Herbert E. Meyer

When the collectors have done their work—when they’ve told the analysts what they want to know—the intelligence process shifts from gathering information to creating insight. It’s the difference between shopping for food in the supermarket and actually cooking dinner.

Insight is the product of knowledge, experience, and, above all, good judgment. You cannot say something insightful, or even something intelligent, on a subject or issue about which you don’t know anything. So the most senior intelligence analysts must be among the world’s most knowledgeable individuals in their fields of expertise—the Mideast, Russia, China, nuclear weapons, economic development, etc. And they must have that one elusive and unquantifiable skill that so often brings success in every venture: the ability to spot a pattern with the fewest possible facts—the ability to look at what’s known and combine this with their own knowledge, experience, and good judgment, to come up with a new idea or insight. This is the skill we see in great scientists like Albert Einstein, in great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, and in great intelligence chiefs like Bill Casey.

Back in January, when U.S. intelligence chiefs released an unclassified version of the briefing they gave to President-Elect Trump about Russian efforts to influence the November election, Americans learned a phrase that’s unique to the world of intelligence: key judgment. It was a key judgment that Russia had hacked into John Podesta’s email server, and a key judgment that Vladimir Putin preferred Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. Since these key judgments understandably erupted into a nasty political brawl, let’s take a moment to understand what a key judgment really is. Simply put, it’s the conclusion reached by our most senior intelligence officials, based not only on the evidence they were able to collect, but also on the insights it enabled them to reach based on their knowledge and experience.

A key judgment isn’t the same as a jury verdict. A jury verdict is based solely on the evidence presented to it. In a murder trial, unless the prosecutors can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, you must vote for acquittal. But in a National Intelligence Estimate, you reach a key judgment by starting with the evidence, then combining it with your own knowledge and experience to reach a conclusion.

Precisely because key judgments go beyond evidence, an intelligence service must be trusted by policymakers to be effective. Policymakers may not always like what they’re told—as when the obvious implication of a National Intelligence Estimate is that a favorite policy is heading for catastrophe—but if they trust the intelligence service, they will know that what they’ve been told is likely true. And this trust needs to be earned.

This is how it was during the Reagan administration, because ev¬eryone from the President on down knew perfectly well that the intelligence official who not only had read the final version of an Estimate and signed off on it—but also played a major role in writing it—was the CIA director himself. Like every other member of the cabinet, Bill Casey was a busy man. But to Casey, being in charge of our intelligence service meant more than merely being its top administrator and dealing with budgets and bureaucracies. It meant that he himself was our country’s top intelligence analyst. When the final draft of an Estimate landed on his desk—more precisely, when I walked into his office and handed it to him—Casey would take that draft, pick up a pen and a yellow legal pad, and go through it word by word.

Sometimes he made a change that clarified a sentence. Other times he asked a question that forced us to go back and re-think what we’d written. When that happened, we either changed the draft or asked to meet with Casey to try and persuade him that the original version was better. He would listen and then make his decision. All of us who worked closely with Bill Casey—he insisted that everyone, including the CIA’s most junior analysts, call him Bill—were astounded by the amount of time he devoted to getting the final draft of an Estimate, or the final version of the President’s Daily Brief, just right. He did this by sitting quietly in his office, reading, writing, and—something that so few officials in Washington, D.C. set aside the time to do—thinking.

February 2017 • Volume 46, Number 2 • Herbert E. Meyer

So why has our intelligence service suffered so many failures during the last decade or so, losing the trust of so many? Because it’s been run by career bureaucrats and administrators who rose to the top by managing intelligence rather than actually doing it. That’s like putting an airline executive with an MBA and a law degree into the cockpit of a jumbo jet. And like bureaucrats and administrators everywhere, our recent intelligence chiefs focused on structure rather than on people. Of course all organizations, including intelligence services, need the proper structure. But especially in an intelligence service, good structure is worthless without the right people—in this case world-class analysts who are deeply knowledgeable about the Mideast, China, Russia, terrorism, and all the rest. Make a list of our country’s leading experts on these subjects. How many of them have held top-level jobs in our intelligence service during the last dozen or so years? How often have the leaders of our intelligence service reached out to these people to seek their advice? The correct answers are: none and rarely.

We are still in the early days of the Trump administration, but to borrow an overused Washington cliché, we should be cautiously optimistic about the future of our intelligence service. Neither Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats nor Director of Central Intelligence Mike Pompeo are professional bureaucrats. They’ve built their careers on substance rather than on management. Each of them has proven he can talk about the key issues that confront us with an impressive level of personal knowledge and insight. Each is capable of actually doing intelligence rather than merely overseeing it.

This will require restoring the correct balance between collection and analysis. Obviously, collecting information is crucially important work. Collecting information through technology—satellites, intercepts, and so forth—is intense to the point of exhaustion. Collecting information through espionage is dangerous and sometimes fatal. All of us owe these collectors a huge debt of gratitude. What they need now is guidance from the top—a clear sense of what to look for, rather than just being told to sweep in whatever information they can in hopes it will prove useful.

Turning this raw material into first-rate intelligence will require the active participation of our country’s best geo-strategic experts in think tanks, universities, corporations, and increasingly the blogosphere. Directors Coats and Pompeo should recruit the ones they can, and be in close touch with the others. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything these experts say and write. It means listening to them and blending their information and insights with what’s been gathered covertly, in order to reach the clearest, most accurate conclusions about what’s happening now and what’s likely to happen in the future.

Finally, Coats and Pompeo will need to do the one thing their recent predecessors didn’t do, either because they didn’t recognize the need to do it or didn’t have the ability. They will need to set aside time—quite a bit of time—to sit quietly in their offices and think. Their objective must be to paint an accurate picture of what’s going on in the world and of what’s likely to happen in the future. If they can do this, President Trump and his national security team will have what they need to see America safely through today’s global turbulence: radar.

March 10, 2017

Hanson angry reader reply, 10 Mar 17 [nc]

03/10/17
From an Angry Reader:

Mr. Hansen –

In this commentary, you appear to be engaging in sophistry. In other words, you appear to be decisively imparting falsehoods. First you fabricate a definition of the “American elite” comprised exclusively of progressives. Then you fabricate a reality where the mainstream press disseminates lies, where college campuses lack diversity and muzzle free speech and where progressives have fallen down in addressing the problems of the inner cities. Finally you fabricate an argument that the so-called elite have “titles, brands and buzz” but no “demonstrable knowledge or proven character”. This is a perfect example of deflection and psychological projection. You have, wittingly or not, described your populist hero Donald Trump, a man with “brands and buzz”, who disseminates lies, impugns minorities, muzzles the press, cares little about the inner cities and clearly lacks knowledge or character.

– Allan Cooper

Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Allan Cooper

One of the themes of the Angry Reader column is the predictable use by Leftists such as yourself of personal invective (“sophistry”, “falsehoods”, “fabricate”, etc.) along with intellectual laziness.

Take your allegation that I wrote that elites are “comprised exclusively of progressives”.

How does that assertion square with my allusion in the column on elites to “many in the Republican Party as well” or to the “Bush or Clinton families”. Are the Bushes and the Republican Party progressives?

So it is hard to take you seriously when the first allegation you make is demonstrably false.

And it sadly it is all downhill from there:

1) Are you arguing for intellectual diversity on campus? I think the recent Middlebury and Berkeley violence highlights my suggestion that there is little intellectual tolerance on campus.

2) Are you suggesting that the media is not progressive? JournoList, Wikileaks, and the epidemic of fake news from Rathergate and Brian Williams to the MLK bust allegation or Trump’s supposed romps in a Moscow hotel room substantiate the unreliability of the press, which by all polls and its own admission is overwhelming liberal.

3) You doubt the nature of life in the inner city or its governance? The inner cities are in crisis; most have had Democratic mayors and councils for the last thirty years and more; again are you contending that fact?

Donald Trump is not “my populist hero”; can you find any indication that I wrote that?

More to the point: what Trump says and what he actually does are two different things. I will find him guilty of “muzzling the press” when his Justice Department hounds journalists of the Associated Press or taps the communications of a reporter in the fashion of Obama’s treatment of James Rosen, or expands the reach of the NSA and the dissemination of its intelligence or depends on fawning press coverage to advance his agenda in the fashion of the “god”, “smartest president ever” and leg-tingling Barack Obama.

There are various ways of defining knowledge and character.

Trump is, of course, a flawed individual like many of us; but his failings are transparent, quite unlike those of Barack Obama, to take one example (Hillary Clinton is another).

With Trump, what you see is what you get. With Obama and his subordinates we were given constant utopian platitudes about hope and change, but experienced quite different dangerous deeds: expansions of NSA electronic surveillance, lying under oath by Eric Holder and James Clapper, the warping of the IRS, scandals in the VA, GSA, Secret Service, EPA, etc., nullifications of federal law by executive order non-enforcement, the jailing of a video maker on the false narrative of culpability for Benghazi (about which lies were promulgated by Susan Rice), the “echo chamber” manipulation of the “know nothing” press, assassinations abroad of US citizens, bombing Libya without congressional consent, the likely illegal monitoring and leaking of communications of the Trump campaign (as reported by the NY Times, Washington Post, and BBC), constant mellifluous untruth (you can keep your doctor and health plan, the president will not by fiat grant amnesties, the mythologies of the Cairo Speech), and often bizarre references to foreign leaders (from the open mic promise to be more flexible with Putin but only after the election to the gratuitous insults of Netanyahu [“coward”, “chickenshit”]). I learned in farming early on that the loud and uncouth are easier to deal with than the glib and shifty-eyed; the former may assault you senses, but the latter your person and livelihood.

So I think you need to redefine the boundaries of wisdom; they are not just calibrated by “57 states”- and “corps-men”-like Columbia and Harvard degrees.

Surviving the Manhattan real estate cauldron may take more savvy and cunning than the sorts of identity-politics navigation in colleges and liberal circles as outlined in Dreams From My Father. I have spent most of my adult life in two pursuits: academia, often in the circle of those with impressive graduate degrees, and farming with those sometimes without high school diplomas.

I saw little difference among the two groups in terms of ethics, saw the less articulate often more direct and transparent, and could never quite tell which group was the smarter, although what I heard in the faculty lounge and academic senate was a few rings down on the intelligence scale from what I heard and saw when talking to well drillers, pump installers, and tractor mechanics.

Sincerely,

Victor Davis HansOn (Swedish not Danish)

March 7, 2017

“Russian Collusion”, Joseph R. John, Capt USN [nc]

Joseph R. John
To jrj@combatveteransforcongress.org
Today at 7:41 AM

The Duplicity of the “Russian Collusion” is the Collusion Between Obama, Democrat Senators, and the Russians

By Capt Joseph R. John, March 7, 2017: Op Ed # 340

Since the 1920s Russian Communists have tried to destabilize US elections, as they are currently trying to destabilize elections in France. Russian Communists have been very successful in supporting candidates for Congress in the US who want to bring down the US Constitutional form of government. Over the last 100 years, Russia promoted the philosophies of candidates in the US that resulted in the election of 70 Democratic members of Congress who are Socialists, Leftists, Communists, Progressives, and Muslims (you can easily obtain their names by making a request of Google for the “Socialists, Communists, and Progressives in Congress”).

The goal for all elections in the US should be to prevent the Russians, China, groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, and any other foreign power from influencing US Congressional and Presidential elections. Following the defeat of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and the left of center liberal media establishment have been promoting Russian conspiracy theories as the reason why Hillary lost the election. The assertion is that the Russia worked with the Trump Presidential Campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee, to interfere with, and deny Hillary what she felt was her right to be elected to the presidency.

The Russian narrative of collusion is fake news propped up by the left of center liberal media establishment, in order to delegitimize President Trump. After 4 months of investigation, there is absolutely no evidence of collusion, or one source that the press can identify who can prove collusion. The Director of National Intelligence in the Obama administration, James R. Clapper, stated that there has been no evidence that Russia colluded with anyone in the Trump Presidential Campaign Organization, that there is no proof that Russia affected the votes in any state, or that Russia’s actions actually caused Hillary Clinton to lose the election.

Many leftist and progressive organizations have been working closely with Obama’s Organization For America (OFA), with Soros, Bill Ayers, and Valerie Jarret (who moved into Obama’s rented house in Washington) to initiate a silent coup d’état, to oust President Trump from office. Sources told the Daily Mail that Obama hates Trump and plans to bring down the Trump administration. Obama is employing 32,000 Alinsky trained radicals, operating out of 250 offices across the nation, who are being paid by Soros to sabotage the Trump administration.

Obama puts on a charming face for the press, but his hate for President Trump is evil. OFA is leading a full-fledged effort to deny President Trump control of the US Government, with the help of thousands of Obama’s political appointees, still in positions of leadership in the Intelligence Agencies and other departments of US Government. For the last 4 months, Obama has showed his true colors, in his concerted effort to employ OFA and the left of center liberal media establishment to allege that Russia colluded with the Trump Campaign to defeat Hillary and to support violent demonstrations in the streets.

The slow approval of members of President Trumps Cabinet by Democrats in the Senate, and the reluctance to approve over 500 sub-cabinet appointees requiring Senate approval. The slowdown has been orchestrated to allow the Obama political appointees to remain in their appointed positions throughout the government. The goal is to undermine the Trump administration and provide leak of damaging information to the press. All Obama appointees should be required to submit their resignation, as is custom following a presidential election, when a new administration gains power.

In June 2016, it was reported that Obama administration surrogates approached the FISA Court to surveille Donald Trump; the application was rejected by a Federal Judge. In October 2016, the Obama administration Justice Department submitted a second request to a FISA Court to surveil two Russian Banks that was approved. They were apparently successful with that wiretap, because in November the New York Times reported that it was learned “thru a wiretap” that General Flynn had spoken to Russian representatives in the course of communicating with 45 other governments (incidentally that was his job; Obama’s representatives were negotiating with Iran in meetings in the country of Oman long before Obama was inaugurated). Someone in Justice or in one the intelligence agencies leaked to the New York Times, that a wiretap had revealed that General Flynn had communicated with a representative of the Russian government.

On inauguration day, the New York Times reported in a front page story, that The White House received information from a wiretap, that there was no conclusive evidence of any wrong doing by the Trump Campaign with Russia. That was the second violation of federal law by leakers to the New York Times: those leakers should be prosecuted for violating the Espionage Act.

Yet the New York Times keeps reporting that President Donald Trump has given no proof of a wiretap of the Trump campaign; they refused to inform their readers that revealing details of a FISA wiretap is against federal law and details can’t be revealed to the general public. Certain provision s of the Espionage Act and Federal Law EO 1333, Section 23c allows the President of the United States to wiretap phones without a FISA Warrant (that is called collecting incidental intelligence); that may have been the way that Obama’s Justice Department wire tapped Donald Trump’s phones. The wiretap was not an FBI wiretap.

Only 17 days before Obama left office, he changed President Eisenhower’s, tried and true, method of handling very sensitive highly classified signal intelligence. Obama changed the manner in which highly classified and sensitive signal intelligence could be shared by the NSA; he didn’t make that damaging changed the previous 8 years. By authorized the NSA to share very sensitive information with 17 US Intelligence Agencies, Obama allowed too many people access to intelligence that had no need to know. That last minute change by Obama, made it very difficult to track who is currently releasing the classified intelligence information today. Ever since Hillary lost the election, intelligence leaks by intelligence agencies have been ongoing and damaging seriously National Security.

The Democrats tried to hide the fact that the Russian Ambassador had meetings in the Obama White House and Valerie Jarret 22 times to advance the extremely dangerous Iranian Nuclear Weapons Agreement and support Valerie Jarret’s allies in Iran. In addition, 30 Democratic Senators met with Communist diplomats from Russia and China on Capitol Hill to tamp down opposition to, and advance Obama’s dangerous Iranian Nuclear Weapons Agreement.

It is not far-fetched to report, and there should be no surprise for the American people to learn that the Obama administration instigated the surveillance of the Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign, by simply reviewing how Obama tried to restrict the rights of American citizens, listed below, and learn how Obama violated the US Constitutional rights of Americans over the last 8 years:

(1) The Obama Justice Department wiretapped the telephone of James Rosen, a TV Press Reporter in violation of Freedom of the Press.

(2) The Obama Justice Department wiretapped and compromised the personal information of 28 AP Reporters.

(3) Obama’s IRS targeted Conservative Groups in the “Tea Party Scandal” and prevented them from registering as tax free organization to participate in national election; a violation of Freedom of the Right to participate in elections.

(4) Obama’s ATF “Operation Fast and Furious Scandal” perpetrated by then Attorney General Eric Holder transferred 2000 weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels was aimed at somehow compromising the right of Americans to purchase weapons from gun dealers in the US, in violation of the 2nd Amendment. Holder became the first sitting member of the Cabinet of a US President to be held in contempt of Congress for his actions.

(5) When it was discovered that Hillary Clinton had transmitted Top Secret SCI messages via a private unclassified server located in the basement of her home for 4 years, and that some of the compartmented messages with even higher classifications may have compromised the safety of intelligent assets in foreign countries, and possibly resulted in their deaths, Obama said that he had no problem with her unclassified server. Hillary and Obama were responsible for compromising very sensitive national security information. Hillary’s transmissions may have led to the attack in Benghazi, because Hillary’s intercepted messages insisted on the removal of security for the Libyan Ambassador, leaving the US Mission virtually unprotected.

A review of the duplicity by Obama, Hillary Clinton, Valerie Jarret, Democratic Senators, and Democratic Congressmen in their meetings with Russians, that was ignored by the left of center liberal media establishment for 8 years. The Democrats can make the below listed egregious agreements with the Russians, yet the press didn’t accuse them of colluding with Russia. President Trump’s staff is being accused daily of wild Russian conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact. When the American people compare the below listed information with the few phone calls made by General Flynn in the function of his duties, there should be no doubt about who has been colluding with Russia to the detriment of the United States:

(1) In 2012, shortly just prior to the presidential election, Obama was meeting with Putin’s number two, (then Russian President) Dmitry Medvedev). There was an open microphone and Obama was overheard — and it was reported — “You tell Vladimir that I’ll have a lot more flexibility after the election.”

(2) Then Russia invaded Crimea, and conquered the first country, since WWII, and Obama did absolutely nothing.

(3) Then Russia had their military personnel in unmarked uniforms attacked Ukraine; Ukraine literally begged the US for defensive weapons, and Obama did nothing.

(4) Despite the warning of Israel and many other US allies, Obama did nothing when Putin provided surface to air missiles to protect Iran’s nuclear weapons development facilities, protecting them from military strikes by Israel.

(5) When Putin joined Iran and Assad in killing US trained Sunni freedom fighters throughout Syria, Obama did nothing.

(6) Obama allowed Hillary, his Secretary of State, to authorize the transfer of 20% of the United States Uranium to Russia.

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/10/obama-approved-giving-iran-116-metric-tons-of-uranium-as-a-thank-you-gift/

(7) Hillary’s Clinton Foundation in Canada received support from a Putin Front Company and John Podesta received stock and was placed on the Board of Directors of that company following the transfer of the 20 % of the US’s uranium to Russia

The true “Russian Collusion” is the collusion between Barack Obama, the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton, and the Russians. Obama approved giving Russia, 20% of the United States uranium production, as a thank you gift for supporting the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Agreement on the international stage, and gave Iran 116 metric tons of US uranium. Obama’s team used the pretext of Russian interference in the election to justify wiretapping the Trump Campaign, and to authorize illegal leaks to the press. Obama continues to oppose the legitimacy of President Trump’s election, opposes the retention of Attorney General Session, and was successful in opposing the retention of General Flynn as the National Security Advisor.

Obama is the first former occupant of the Oval Office in 240 years to try to bring down his successor by sabotaging his programs on a daily basis. The below listed article outlines the 64 ways Obama is sabotaging the Trump administration!!!

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John. All Rights Reserved. The material can only posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author. It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt USN(Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

https://www.facebook.com/combatveteransforcongress?ref=hl

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

WND Exclusive

64 ways Obama is sabotaging Trump

Ex-president plots to force resignation or impeachment

Garth Kant

818

WASHINGTON – It might seem outrageous and unprecedented that a newly departed president would devote himself to overthrowing his successor, but that is exactly what a mountain of growing evidence appears to indicate.

“Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment,” the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The source also told the paper that Obama loathes President Trump and considers his presidency illegitimate.

“Obama is dismayed at the way Trump is tearing down his legacy – Obamacare, the social safety net and the welcome mat for refugees he put in place,” the source told the

The following is a list of what has been publicly reported, by WND and others, about what Obama is trying to do to oppose — many say destroy — the Trump presidency and how he is doing it:

1) Obama is using his new mansion, just two miles from the White House, as his headquarters in his insurgency against Trump.

2) Obama’s shadow White House has a taxpayer-funded office, a chief of staff and press secretary.

3) He is working behind the scenes to set up a shadow government to protect his legacy and sabotage the incoming administration.

4) A family source said Obama was reluctant to lead the opposition to Trump because he was “weary and burned out.” But top adviser Valerie Jarrett convinced him it was the only way to salvage his legacy.

5) The source said, “Obama doesn’t make a decision without her,” and he has now embraced his new role leading the campaign to sabotage the administration because he loathes Trump, whose presidency he considers illegitimate.

6) To guide and counsel Obama, Jarrett has moved into his 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million mansion.

7) According to the source, Michelle Obama and Jarrett will strategize to topple Trump.

8) The former first lady and the Obama Foundation will both have offices in the mansion. Presumably, Jarrett will, too.

9) Obama will implement his plans through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action, or OFA, the organization that grew out of his campaign group, Organizing for America.

10) That will give Obama a virtual army of agitators and organizers at is disposal. Federal tax records show OFA has 32,525 volunteers nationwide. Another 25,000 are actively under training.

11) OFA has more than 250 offices across the country.

12) OFA is equipped with Obama’s 2012 campaign database, which it will use to rally resistance to Trump and get out the vote for Democratic Party candidates.

13) OFA is registered as a “social welfare” non-profit 501(c)(4), that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. OFA has raised more than $40 million in contributions and grants since 2013.

14) OFA volunteers are professionally trained organizers who go through a six-week training program that includes Alinsky agitation tactics. OFA is run by ex-Obama officials and staffers.

15) OFA plans to stage 400 rallies across 42 states this year to attack Trump’s effort to repeal Obamacare.

16) Obama appeared to be behind anti-Trump protests. He praised demonstrations against Trump’s travel ban. And, after the election he personally rallied OFA troops to protect his legacy in a conference call. “Now is the time for some organizing,” he said. “So don’t mope” over the election results.”

17) After Trump’s victory, Obama also promised OFA activists he would soon join them in the battle. “Understand that I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen, but that’s not so far off,” he said. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff.”

18) He also said, “I promise you that next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you, and the clouds are going to start parting, and we’re going to be busy. I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and ideas about it, but this isn’t the best time to share them.”

19) Since the election, OFA has added staff and accelerated its recruitment of liberal activists.

20) OFA promises to fight Trump on illegal immigration, Obamacare, race relations and climate change.

21) Some of the anti-Trump marches organized by OFA across the country turned into riots.

22) OFA is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists.

23) The manual is published with OFA newly formed partner “Indivisible,” and advises protesters to go town halls held by GOP lawmakers, blend in, then protest.

24) OFA is working with Indivisible to conduct online training for protesters.

25) Indivisible leaders are associated with groups financed by radical leftist billionaire George Soros.

26) An OFA post on Facebook called on activists to mobilize against Republicans until Feb. 26, when “representatives are going to be in their home districts.”

27) The protesters disrupted town halls including one held in Utah by House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry protesters claiming to be his constituents.

28) The manual advised protesters to spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposed the Republican host’s positions. It said, “This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.” It also urged them to ask “hostile” questions – while keeping “a firm hold on the mic” – and loudly boo the GOP politician.

29) An audio recording obtained by a Louisiana radio station documented that progressive activists plotted to take over a town hall meeting held by Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. Activists were instructed to dress like conservatives and leave at home “any signifier that you’re a liberal in order to blend in.”

30) The station identified one of the voices on the recording as James Proctor, a leader of Indivisible Acadiana, a local branch of the national Indivisible organization, which has organized hostile Republican town halls all around the country.

31) Protesters were advised to send video footage to local and national media. “Unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating” for Republican lawmakers, the manual said, when “shared through social media and picked up by local and national media.”

32) Protesters gave networks footage of their confrontations with Chaffetz, forcing him to issue statements defending himself.

33) A study by the Media Research Center found that 88 percent of the broadcast news coverage of the Trump administration was “hostile” during the first 30 days of office. The study analyzed both tone and content for evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS.

34) A script in the training manual advised callers to complain: “I’m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office … It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.” But the document provided no evidence to support the accusations.

35) The manual also advised protesters to flood lawmakers’ offices with phone calls and emails demanding the resignation of top White House adviser Steve Bannon.

36) Protesters also stormed Republicans’ district offices. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., blamed a mob of anti-Trump activists for knocking unconscious a 71-year-old female staffer at his Southern California office.

37) Talk-show host Rush Limbaugh said he was certain the former president and elements of the Democratic Party were behind the protests because they have been too organized and too professional to be random eruptions of grass-roots discontent. “Obama. George Soros money, I’m certain, is involved,” he said. “They also discuss how to play up to the media, and they illustrate that the media’s not very hard to convince. The media is on their side. The media is only too eager to cooperate, as we know.”

38) Trump agreed Obama was probably behind the protests. “Well, you never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes,” Trump said. “You know, you’re probably right, or possibly right, but you never know. No, I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it. And the some of the leaks possibly come from that group, you know, some of the leaks which are really very serious leaks because they’re very bad in terms of national security. But I also understand that’s politics. And in terms of him being behind things, that’s politics, and it will probably continue.”

39) Limbaugh said, “Hedge funds and Hollywood are assisting him (Obama), so there is money and propaganda on his side. ABC is among the worst in the mainstream media, which is a total disgrace for Disney.”

40) Limbaugh also noted that impeachment talk is being used by Democrats to derail Trump: “Now, they don’t have the numbers in Congress to pull it off, but can you imagine if Democrat House managers even start breathing the word seriously? The media is gonna be all over it! The media’s gonna eat it up! The media’s gonna be asking Republicans, ‘Why aren’t you joining the Democrats? Don’t you understand? This is a serious movement to impeach the president. He’s doing great damage to the country.’ I can see it all now.”

41) “Obama has circumvented the Democrats with [Organizing for America] and has established a clandestine unaccountable political party taking money from questionable people,” said Martin Armstrong, whose Armstrong Economics provides commentary on a wide range of issues extending beyond economics, including history, global warming, real estate and world events.

42) Armstrong added: “Obama is behind the effort to derail and block the Trump administration on everything. However, Obama may be sowing the seeds of the destruction of the Democratic Party altogether. Those who think Obama is not behind this coup are blinded by their bias.”

43) Armstrong explained that Obama “is deliberately trying to create an uprising and is side-stepping the Democratic Party himself because they will not agree with his agenda.”

44) At the same time, Obama is said to be angling for control over the party by installing his former civil rights chief, Tom Perez, as the newly elected head of the Democratic National Committee. Perez vowed, “It’s time to organize and fight … We must stand up to protect President Obama’s accomplishments,” while also promising, “We’re going to build the strongest grassroots organizing force this country has ever seen.”

45) OFA is working with the Obama Foundation, run by Obama’s former political director, and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, or NDRC, launched recently by Obama former attorney general Eric Holder, to end what he and Obama call GOP “gerrymandering” of congressional districts and to try to redraw the districts in a way more favorable to Democrats to increase their members in Congress.

46) Holder said he had discussed Obama fundraising for the NDRC and interacting with state lawmakers on the group’s behalf.

47) Spokesman Jared Leopold described the tax-exempt NDRC as a “super group” that brings together the efforts of the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC.

48) On Tuesday, Holder promised Democrats that Obama is getting ready for a public return to politics. “It’s coming. He’s coming,” Holder said while discussing NDRC, which Obama asked him to chair last year. “And he’s ready to roll,” and “will be a more visible part of the effort,” Holder added.

49) Obama signaled his intention before leaving the White House last fall, saying that his post-presidency focus would be on general assembly races and redistricting after the 2020 Census, trying to recapture some of the enormous number of seats Democrats lost at the state level during his presidency.

50) Obama said in September, “Once out of office, I’m gonna stop being polite and start getting real.”

51) Obama hinted that he planned to start speaking out more like an activist than a president. There are “things,” he said in an interview, “that in some ways I suspect I’m able to do better out of this office.” He elaborated that because of the “institutional constraints” of the presidency, “there are things I cannot say.”

52) Obama went on to essentially say he would be an activist after leaving office. “There are institutional obligations I have to carry out that are important for a president of the United States to carry out, but may not always align with what I think would move the ball down the field on the issues that I care most deeply about,” he said.

53) Then, in his final news conference as president, Obama vowed to take action if President Trump dared to “round up” children of illegal immigrants, “roll back voting rights” or engage in “systemic discrimination.”

54) Obama also indicated he would take a more activist role to defend “core values that may be at stake” under a Trump administration. “The reason that we are the only country among advanced democracies that makes it harder to vote, it traces directly back to Jim Crow and the legacy of slavery,” he said.

55) Obama warned Trump not to roll back his executive actions. During his campaign for president, Trump promised to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.” Obama also lectured Trump about the use of executive orders, telling the incoming president to avoid taking unilateral action.

56) The Obama administration apparently spied on Trump’s presidential campaign and transition team. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was concerned by the extent of surveillance but not completely surprised, because he “suspected that they were going to do that anyways.” Anonymous sources have been feeding information to the New York Times suggesting the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials, including intelligence agents.

57) In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election – and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians – across the government.

58) Those sources from the Obama administration claimed Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed – or its sources exposed – once power changed hands. So they reportedly pushed to preserve the alleged intelligence.

59) Obama White House officials took steps to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see the intelligence.

Sensational new report documents start of “CIVIL WAR II” in America. Enraged at losing the election, the left has launched an all-out effort to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency.

60) The sources claimed to suspect the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks, but the Times also reported that American officials acknowledged there is not confirmation of that.

61) The Times reported some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators – including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

62) Intelligence agencies kept the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government – and, in some cases, among European allies.

63) There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress.

64) In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials. However, the Times acknowledged, the nature of the contacts remains unknown, and several of Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, and it was unclear if any of the contacts were related to business dealings.

March 1, 2017

False Documents, by Victor Hanson [too true, nc]

‘False Documents’
March 1, 2017 8:07 am / Leave a Comment / victorhanson
by Victor Davis Hanson// National Review

The Wall Street Journal wrote an unfortunate and misleading op-ed today on the new protocols on illegal immigration issued by the Department of Homeland Security — epitomized by the Journal’s weird sentence, “Mr. Kelly’s order is so sweeping that it could capture law-abiding immigrants whose only crime is using false documents to work.”

Only crime? (And what a string of oxymorons: “law-abiding”/“crime”/“false documents”!)

The WSJ should know that “false documents” are seldom used just “to work,” but are part and parcel of a continuous process of misleading or defrauding the system in nearly every transaction with government and private enterprise.

“False documents” do not imply a misspelled middle name or a day or two off the correct date of birth, or some sort of innocuous pseudonym. No, they involve the deliberate creation of a false identity, sometimes at the expense of a real person, and often with accompanying fraudulent Social Security numbers and photo identifications — crimes that both foul up the bureaucracy for law-abiding citizens, facilitate other crimes, and are the sort of felonies that most Americans would lose their jobs over and face either jail time or stiff fines. And often they are the second crimes — following not “law-abiding” behavior but the initial crime of entering and residing in the United States unlawfully.

The WSJ’s editors some time should wake up and find a wrecked car sitting on their property (that went off the road and airborne and did thousands of dollars of damage), the driver having fled and the registration on the abandoned vehicle proving to be a “false document,” or better yet, discovering that one’s check-routing number was printed on “false document” checks to facilitate theft of thousands of dollars, or having someone speed off after hitting your mailbox only to find from sheriffs that the license-plate numbers revealed a “false document” identity, or going to a market in the San Joaquin Valley while the person ahead of you tries four EBT cards in succession under “false document” names before one is found to have a positive balance, or waiting in line in a doctor’s office as the receptionist politely explains to the person ahead of you that the health card presented has a name that does not match the driver’s license presented. The use of “false documents” is not an end game or mere infraction, but rather the doorway to all sorts of subsequent falsification and fraud that does enormous damage both to the system in general and to individuals in particular.

As I wrote today, Americans are compassionate people and might well countenance allowing illegal-immigrant aliens without subsequent criminal records, but with a record of some years of established residence and a productive work history without dependence on social welfare, to pay a fine, apply for a green card, and become legalized residents — all the while maintaining residence in the U.S.

But the idea that illegal immigrants who assume false identities or lie on government documents thereby commit minor infractions is, well, outrageous.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445176/wall-street-journal-immigration-editorial-false-documents-crime

February 10, 2017

Imprimis 1/17 – How and Why the Senate Must Reform the Filibuster

How and Why the Senate Must Reform the Filibuster
January 2017 • Volume 46, Number 1 • Tom McClintock
Tom McClintock
U.S. House of Representatives
________________________________________
Tom McClintock has served as the U.S. Representative for California’s 4th congressional district since 2009. He received his B.A. from UCLA. He is a senior member of the House Natural Resources Committee, where he chairs the Subcommittee on Federal Lands, and serves on the House Budget Committee. Prior to his election to Congress, he served for 22 years in the California legislature and ran for governor in California’s recall election in 2003.
________________________________________

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on January 11, 2017, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.

The Senate prides itself as being the greatest deliberative body in the world. When Jefferson asked Washington why the Constitutional Convention created the Senate, Washington compared it to the hot tea Jefferson cooled in a saucer. “We pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.”

The Founders designed the two houses of Congress to have different perspectives and temperaments. The House, representing smaller constituencies and constantly up for re-election, would reflect the hot passions of popular will. This is a vital component of representative government, but more is required in making good decisions. The Founders knew, as Benjamin Franklin put it, that “Passion governs, and she never governs wisely.” The Senate, with longer terms and generally larger constituencies, was designed to temper passions with reason, which requires deliberation. A lot of deliberation.

Central to ensuring this deliberation is the unfettered freedom of debate accorded in the Senate. While the House rations time parsimoniously, often to just a single hour of debate even on major legislation, the Senate insists on giving all its members the widest possible latitude to hold a question up to every light.

A popular aphorism in the House of Representatives is, “The other party is the opposition; the Senate is the enemy.” As a member of the House myself, I find the Senate’s byzantine rules frustrating; but after all, frustrating House members is part of the Senate’s mission. Yes, the Senate is a pain, but where would we be without it?

On the other hand, deliberation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is a means to achieve wise and enlightened legislation with the consent of the people. And this is where the Senate is on the verge of dysfunction.

Over the last several congressional elections, and most conspicuously in the recent presidential election, the American people have sent a clear signal that they want a major change in public policy. It is the duty of Congress to respond. To do so, it needs to deliberate wisely and in good faith, with all sides participating and all voices heard. But then this deliberation must result in laws that accord with the people’s will.

Some in the new Congress have set a positive tone, but we have also heard reactionary elements vow to thwart the popular mandate. It is natural for the minority to use every available means to try to change the majority’s mind or temper its fervor, and our system offers it many ways to do so. But that’s different from obstruction, which is why these vows by some senators are as disturbing as they are credible.

They are credible because the modern Senate filibuster has become a tool for the minority to block any meaningful legislation from being enacted or even considered. Given its record of abuse in recent years—by both parties—the Senate needs to repair its rules regarding the filibuster if it is to have any hope of performing its constitutional duty.

January 2017 • Volume 46, Number 1 • Tom McClintock

The parliamentary tactic of a minority thwarting the will of the majority by talking a bill to death is nothing new. The Roman Senate’s rules required business to conclude before sunset. Cato the Younger discovered that he could block Julius Caesar’s initiatives by talking until dusk descended on the Senate chamber.

Caesar responded by throwing Cato in jail. Common parliamentary practice dealt with the tactic by allowing a motion to “order the previous question”—in other words, to close debate and vote—often requiring a two-thirds vote. This super-majority threshold to close debate is rooted in the principle that a significant minority should be able to extend debate. After all, a minority exists to convince the majority to its way of thinking and often identifies flaws in a proposal that a majority doesn’t see in its rush to adopt. This is the fruit of deliberation and the essence of deliberative assemblies.

But this parliamentary principle assumes that there is an actual debate, that it is germane to the subject at hand, and that it is not conducted in a manifestly dilatory manner.

Within a few decades of the Amer¬ican Founding, senators rediscovered Cato’s practice of killing a bill by killing time, and the Senate filibuster was born. Yet it was rarely used because of its natural limitations. A filibustering senator had to remain for the most part at his desk and on his feet. In 1908, for example, Robert La Follette of Wisconsin held the floor for 18 hours—speaking for long periods of time, and demanding dozens of quorum calls and roll-call votes—to stall a banking reform bill. The bill eventually passed, but not without significant consternation on both sides, due to the fact that until the filibustered matter was disposed of, the Senate could not move on to other business.

The filibuster is fundamentally different today because of two changes to Senate rules—changes that explain the body’s current inability to act. The first occurred in 1917 in response to a filibuster of something called the Armed Ship Bill. The Senate adopted a cloture rule setting the threshold for ending debate at two-thirds of those present and voting, later changed to three-fifths of the whole Senate. Even then, this change was in keeping with common parliamentary practice. And even after its passage, the filibuster’s physically demanding nature meant that it was seldom employed. There were only 58 filibusters in the next 52 years—barely one per year.

But beginning in 1970, the number of filibusters exploded by a magnitude of 36-fold. There have been 1,700 in the 46 years since then. Why? Because in 1970, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield instituted a “two-track” system that allowed the Senate, by unanimous consent or the approval of the minority leader, to bypass a filibustered bill and go on to another. This relieved a filibustering senator of the job of having to talk through the night and it relieved his colleagues of their frustration.
The filibuster thus entered the couch-potato world of virtual reality, where an actual speech is no longer required to block a vote. Today the mere threat of a filibuster suffices to kill a bill as the Senate shrugs and goes on to other business. The filibuster has been stripped of all the unpleasantness that discouraged its use and encouraged compromise and resolution.
Whereas the filibuster prior to 1970 was designed to ensure debate, after adoption of the two-track system it mutated into a procedure that prevents debate. As a result, the greatest deliberative body in the world now has difficulty deliberating on anything of importance.

During the last session of Congress, the House sent hundreds of bills to the Senate, including appropriations bills required to fund the government. In¬stead of amending those bills and sending them back to the House, the Senate seized up—not for lack of majority will, but because of minority recalcitrance and the post-1970 filibuster.

January 2017 • Volume 46, Number 1 • Tom McClintock

This represents three serious dangers to constitutional government.

First, the legislative branch cannot function if one house proves unable to act on major legislation, and the atrophy of the legislative branch drives a corresponding hypertrophy of the executive branch. It is perhaps the single greatest reason for the rise of the imperial executive in recent decades. President Obama’s constant refrain, “If Congress fails to act I will,” is poisonous to a constitutional republic—but it is inevitable if the legislature wastes away. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the modern Senate filibuster has created one at the heart of our Constitution.

Second, because the American peo¬ple hold the sovereign authority in our country but delegate sovereign power to their elected representatives, they have every reason to lose faith in their government if their broad sentiments expressed in elections are not translated into law. This is why the belief that “my vote doesn’t matter”—a belief suicidal to a democratic republic—is increasingly heard expressed in our country today.

Third, the ability of the minority to cause gridlock in the legislative branch undermines the authority of the Constitution itself. Implicit in the design of Congress is its power to act on most matters by majority vote. Ex¬traordinary majorities are reserved only for extraordinary matters such as treaties, constitutional amendments, impeachments, expulsions, and veto overrides. The practical effect of the modern filibuster is to replace the constitutional benchmark of majority rule with an artificial threshold of three-fifths.

A central concept in maintaining the balance of powers is the assumption that the members of each branch of government will jealously and aggressively defend their prerogatives against the others. So why do senators allow their body to be paralyzed?
Many argue that the current 60-vote cloture threshold is necessary to prevent one party from running amok; that the requirement for an extraordinary majority assures bipartisanship and compromise. They rightly warn that if legislation is to stand the test of time, it must have a certain degree of bi-partisan consensus that the cloture rule facilitates. Yet when one looks at the Senate today, it’s hard to find much collegiality or compromise, both of which require the give-and-take of good-faith deliberation. Nor is compromise possible if the matter to be compromised can’t be considered. If the minority can block an initiative by a mere threat to filibuster, it has no incentive to pursue compromise.

Republican defenders of the modern filibuster note that the greatest growth of government occurs when Democrats hold both the White House and Congress. The current rules, they argue, are an essential brake for the minority to use at such times. But unfortunately, these rules have proven even more effective at blocking legislation that shrinks government. The result is a ratcheting effect that locks in every government expansion, even those that prove disastrous.

January 2017 • Volume 46, Number 1 • Tom McClintock

One obvious solution to the filibuster is to require a simple majority to close debate, as the House has done for centuries. But this defeats one of the chief purposes of the Senate: a significant minority ought to be heard over the objections of a majority. So how can this purpose be preserved, while restoring the Senate’s ability to legislate?

First, the Senate should get rid of the two-track system that allows it to bypass a filibustered bill and reinstitute the pre-1970 requirement that filibusterers hold the floor. The fact that the number of filibusters exploded after the two-track system was introduced speaks for itself. Once the Senate removed all the fuss and bother of the filibuster, filibusters became common. Yes, this means the Senate would have to deal with a filibuster before moving on to other matters—but it is precisely this inconvenience that made it such a rare event and built pressure on both sides to resolve an impasse.

Second, the Senate should restore the parliamentary principle that debate must be germane to the pending piece of legislation. The Senate may pride itself on colorful tales of Huey Long reading Cajun recipes on the Senate floor. But how does this practice fulfill the role of the Senate as a deliberative body? Time on the Senate floor is a critical and limited public resource. Tolerating irrelevant speeches squanders that resource and makes a mockery of the Senate. Senate rules already require germane debate during the first three hours of a legislative day—but not after that! Go figure.

Third, make the “motion to proceed” undebatable, or at least subject to a maj¬ority vote. This incidental motion is itself now subject to filibuster, which prevents the Senate from even getting to actual bills. Great debates should be had on great matters—but not great debates on whether to debate.

Fourth, limit senators to two speeches on a question. Under current Senate rules, a single senator can make two speeches on every motion every legislative day.

Fifth, after a certain period of debate has elapsed—during which filibustering can occur—allow a majority to set a limit for individual speeches on a pending question to something like two hours. A senator who can’t get to the heart of a matter in two hours isn’t trying very hard.

January 2017 • Volume 46, Number 1 • Tom McClintock

Some senators have argued that the Senate can repair itself within its current rules. The majority leader could decline to sidetrack filibustered bills, force a debate until the minority is exhausted, and hold the Senate in session to avoid resetting the two-speech per day limit. But experience has shown that in a battle of wills, a determined minority will prevail. The surer course is to restore the original parliamentary principles of debate to Senate rules.

There are two ways to implement these reforms. One is to follow the precedent established by Senate Democrats in 2013 when they lowered the cloture threshold to a majority for non-Supreme Court presidential nominees: ignore the rules as they are written, declare a new and fictitious interpretation, and impose that interpretation by overturning the parliamentary ruling of the chair.

This “nuclear option” might be effective, but it is highly corrosive to the parliamentary procedure required for a well-functioning legislature. Pretending that a rule says something different than it does is a shortcut to anarchy.

The other way is to invoke what re-formers over the years have called the “constitutional option.” Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution grants each house the power to establish its own rules. Senate tradition holds that, by virtue of its staggered terms, it is a continuing body and therefore its rules continue in full force from session to session until amended. Those rules require a two-thirds vote for cloture on a change to the rules, creating the paradox that the very provision that needs reform prevents reform.

This doctrine of the Senate as a continuing body, however, is belied by the fact that all pending motions at the close of one Congress do not extend into the next. It also runs afoul of the bedrock principle that one Congress may not bind the next. A strong case can be made that until the Senate adopts rules to govern its two-year session, it is operating solely on precedent. It retains its constitutional authority to adopt new rules by a simple majority vote for the current session unfettered by hindrances imposed by a previous one.

The choice of whether the Senate majority restores its constitutional role in lawmaking is its own to make, to live with, and to answer for. In making that choice, it needs to consider whether its current rules of debate advance or obstruct its role as a deliberative body with the responsibility of passing reasonable laws that comport with the public will.

Of historic moments like these, Shakespeare’s Brutus said, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves or lose our ventures.”

Voters elected Republican majorities in both houses of Congress and they expect action. They’ll get it from the President and from the House. But in order for the Senate to rise to this occasion, it must reform its rules.

Imprimis 9/16 – Restoring America’s Economic Mobility

Restoring America’s Economic Mobility
September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley
Frank Buckley
Author, The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America
________________________________________
Frank Buckley is a Foundation Professor at Scalia Law School at George Mason University, where he has taught since 1989. Previously he was a visiting Olin Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and he has also taught at McGill Law School, the Sorbonne, and Sciences Po in Paris. He received his B.A. from McGill University and his LL.M. from Harvard University. He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and the author of several books, including The Once and Future King: The Rise of Crown Government in America and The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.
________________________________________

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on July 11, 2016, at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family Foundation Lecture Series.
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote that “the history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.” Today the story of American politics is the story of class struggles. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. We didn’t think we were divided into different classes. Neither did Marx.

America was an exception to Marx’s theory of social progress. By that theory, societies were supposed to move from feudalism to capitalism to communism. But the America of the 1850s, the most capitalist society around, was not turning communist. Marx had an explanation for that. “True enough, the classes already exist,” he wrote of the United States, but they “are in constant flux and reflux, constantly changing their elements and yielding them up to one another.” In other words, when you have economic and social mobility, you don’t go communist.

That is the country in which some imagine we still live, Horatio Alger’s America—a country defined by the promise that whoever you are, you have the same chance as anyone else to rise, with pluck, industry, and talent. But they imagine wrong. The U.S. today lags behind many of its First World rivals in terms of mobility. A class society has inserted itself within the folds of what was once a classless country, and a dominant New Class—as social critic Christopher Lasch called it—has pulled up the ladder of social advancement behind it.

One can measure these things empirically by comparing the correlation between the earnings of fathers and sons. Pew’s Economic Mobility Project ranks Britain at 0.5, which means that if a father earns £100,000 more than the median, his son will earn £50,000 more than the average member of his cohort. That’s pretty aristocratic. On the other end of the scale, the most economically mobile society is Denmark, with a correlation of 0.15. The U.S. is at 0.47, almost as immobile as Britain.

A complacent Republican establishment denies this change has occurred. If they don’t get it, however, American voters do. For the first time, Americans don’t believe their children will be as well off as they have been. They see an economy that’s stalled, one in which jobs are moving offshore. In the first decade of this century, U.S. multinationals shed 2.9 million U.S. jobs while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. General Electric provides a striking example. Jeffrey Immelt became the company’s CEO in 2001, with a mission to advance stock price. He did this in part by reducing GE’s U.S. workforce by 34,000 jobs. During the same period, the company added 25,000 jobs overseas. Ironically, President Obama chose Immelt to head his Jobs Council.
According to establishment Repub¬licans, none of this can be helped. We are losing middle-class jobs because of the move to a high-tech world that creates jobs for a cognitive elite and destroys them for everyone else. But that doesn’t describe what’s happening. We are losing middle-class jobs, but lower-class jobs are expanding. Automation is changing the way we make cars, but the rich still need their maids and gardeners. Middle-class jobs are also lost as a result of regulatory and environmental barriers, especially in the energy sector. And the skills-based technological change argument is entirely implausible: countries that beat us hands down on mobility are just as technologically advanced. Folks in Denmark aren’t exactly living in the Stone Age.

This is why voters across the spectrum began to demand radical change. What did the Republican elite offer in response? At a time of maximal crisis they have been content with minimal goals, like Mitt Romney’s 59-point plan in 2012. How many Americans remember even one of those points? What we remember instead is Romney’s remark about 47 percent of Americans being takers. That was Romney’s way of recognizing the class divide—and in the election, Americans took notice and paid him back with interest.
Since 2012, establishment Republicans have continued to be less than concerned for the plight of ordinary Americans. Sure, they want economic growth, but it doesn’t seem to matter into whose pockets the money flows. There are even the “conservative” pundits who offer the pious hope that drug-addicted Trump supporters will hurry up and die. That’s one way to ameliorate the class struggle, but it doesn’t exactly endear anyone to the establishment.

The southern writer Flannery O’Connor once attended a dinner party in New York given for her and liberal intellectual Mary McCarthy. At one point the issue of Catholicism came up, and McCarthy offered the opinion that the Eucharist is “just a symbol,” albeit “a pretty one.” O’Connor, a pious Catholic, bristled: “Well, if it’s just a symbol, to Hell with it.” Likewise, the principles held up as sacrosanct by establishment Republicans might be logically unassailable, derived like theorems from a set of axioms based on a pure theory of natural rights. But if I don’t see them making people better off, I say to Hell with them. And so do the voters this year. What the establishment Republicans should ask themselves is Anton Chigurh’s question in No Country for Old Men: If you followed your principles, and your principles brought you to this, what good are your principles?

September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley

Had Marx been asked what would happen to America if it ever became economically immobile, we know what his answer would be: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. And also Donald Trump. The anger expressed by the voters in 2016—their support for candidates from far outside the traditional political class—has little parallel in American history. We are accustomed to protest movements on the Left, but the wholesale repudiation of the establishment on the Right is something new. All that was solid has melted into air, and what has taken its place is a kind of right-wing Marxism, scornful of Washington power brokers and sneering pundits and repelled by America’s immobile, class-ridden society.

Establishment Republicans came up with the “right-wing Marxist” label when House Speaker John Boehner was deposed, and labels stick when they have the ring of truth. So it is with the right-wing Marxist. He is right-wing because he seeks to return to an America of economic mobility. He has seen how broken education and immigration systems, the decline of the rule of law, and the rise of a supercharged regulatory state serve as barriers to economic improvement. And he is a Marxist to the extent that he sees our current politics as the politics of class struggle, with an insurgent middle class that seeks to surmount the barriers to mobility erected by an aristocratic New Class. In his passion, he is also a revolutionary. He has little time for a Republican elite that smirks at his heroes—heroes who communicate through their brashness and rudeness the fact that our country is in a crisis. To his more polite critics, the right-wing Marxist says: We are not so nice as you!

The right-wing Marxist notes that establishment Republicans who decry crony capitalism are often surrounded by lobbyists and funded by the Chamber of Commerce. He is unpersuaded when they argue that government subsidies are needed for their friends. He does not believe that the federal bailouts of the 2008-2012 TARP program and the Federal Reserve’s zero-interest and quantitative easing policies were justified. He sees that they doubled the size of public debt over an eight-year period, and that our experiment in consumer protection for billionaires took the oxygen out of the economy and produced a jobless Wall Street recovery.

The right-wing Marxist’s vision of the good society is not so very different from that of the JFK-era liberal; it is a vision of a society where all have the opportunity to rise, where people are judged by the content of their character, and where class distinctions are a thing of the past. But for the right wing Marxist, the best way to reach the goal of a good society is through free markets, open competition, and the removal of wasteful government barriers.

Readers of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose will have encountered the word palimpsest, used to describe a manuscript in which one text has been written over another, and in which traces of the original remain. So it is with Canada, a country that beats the U.S. hands down on economic mobility. Canada has the reputation of being more liberal than the U.S., but in reality it is more conservative because its liberal policies are written over a page of deep conservatism.

Whereas the U.S. comes in at a highly immobile 0.47 on the Pew mobility scale, Canada is at 0.19, very close to Denmark’s 0.15. What is further remarkable about Canada is that the difference is mostly at the top and bottom of the distribution. Between the tenth and 90th deciles there isn’t much difference between the two countries. The difference is in the bottom and top ten percent, where the poorest parents raise the poorest kids and the richest parents raise the richest kids.

September 2016 • Volume 45, Number 9 • Frank Buckley

For parents in the top U.S. decile, 46 percent of their kids will end up in the top two deciles and only 2 percent in the bottom decile. The members of the top decile comprise a New Class of lawyers, academics, trust-fund babies, and media types—a group that wields undue influence in both political parties and dominates our culture. These are the people who said yes, there is an immigration crisis—but it’s caused by our failure to give illegals a pathway to citizenship!

There’s a top ten percent in Canada, of course, but its children are far more likely to descend into the middle or lower classes. There’s also a bottom ten percent, but its children are far more likely to rise to the top. The country of opportunity, the country we’ve imagined ourselves to be, isn’t dead—it moved to Canada, a country that ranks higher than the U.S. on measures of economic freedom. Yes, Canada has its much-vaunted Medicare system, but cross-border differences in health care don’t explain the mobility levels. And when you add it all up, America has a more generous welfare system than Canada or just about anywhere else. To explain Canada’s higher mobility levels, one has to turn to differences in education systems, immigration laws, regulatory burdens, the rule of law, and corruption—on all of which counts, Canada is a more conservative country.

America’s K-12 public schools perform poorly, relative to the rest of the First World. Its universities are great fun for the kids, but many students emerge on graduation no better educated than when they arrived. What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor. One study has concluded that if American public school students were magically raised to Canadian levels, the economic gain would amount to a 20 percent annual pay increase for the average American worker.

The U.S. has a two-tiered educational system: a superb set of schools and colleges for the upper classes and a mediocre set for everyone else. The best of our colleges are the best anywhere, but the average Canadian school is better than the average American one. At both the K-12 and college levels, Canadian schools have adhered more closely to a traditional, conservative set of offerings. For K-12, a principal reason for the difference is the greater competition offered in Canada, with its publicly-supported church-affiliated schools. With barriers like America’s Blaine Amendments—state laws preventing public funding of religious schools—lower-class students in the U.S. must enjoy the dubious blessing of a public school education.

What about immigration? Canada doesn’t have a problem with illegal aliens—it deports them. As for the legal intake, Canadian policies have a strong bias towards admitting immigrants who will confer a benefit on Canadian citizens. Even in absolute numbers, Canada admits more immigrants under economic categories than the U.S., where most legal immigrants qualify instead under family preference categories. As a result, on average, immigrants to the U.S. are less educated than U.S. natives, and unlike in Canada, second- and third-generation U.S. immigrants earn less than their native-born counterparts. In short, the U.S. immigration system imports inequality and immobility. If immigration isn’t an issue in Canada, that’s because it’s a system Trump voters would love.

For those at the bottom of the social and economic ladder who seek to rise, nothing is more important than the rule of law, property rights, and the sanctity of contract provided by a mature and efficient legal system. The alternative—in place today in America—is a network of elites whose personal bonds supply the trust that is needed before deals can be done and promises relied on. With its more traditional legal system, Canada better respects the sanctity of contract and is less likely to weaken property rights with an American-style civil justice system which at times resembles a slot machine of judicially-sanctioned theft. Americans are great at talking about the rule of law, but in reality we don’t have much standing to do so.

Then there’s corruption. As ranked by Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, America is considerably more corrupt than most of the rest of the First World. With our K Street lobbyists and our donor class, we’ve spawned the greatest concentration of money and influence ever. And corruption costs. In a regression model, the average family’s earnings would increase from $55,000 to $60,000 were we to ascend to Canada’s level of non-corruption, and to $68,000 if we moved to Denmark’s level.

In a corrupt country, trust is a rare commodity. That’s America today. Only 19 percent of Americans say they trust the government most of the time, down from 73 percent in 1958 according to the Pew Research Center. Sadly, that is a rational response to the way things are. America is a different country today, and a much nastier one. For politically engaged Republicans, the figure is six percent. That in a nutshell explains the Trump phenomenon and the disintegration of the Republican establishment. If the people don’t trust the government, tinkering with entitlement reform is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
American legal institutions are consistently more liberal than those in Canada, and they are biased towards a privileged class of insiders who are better educated and wealthier than the average American. That’s why America has become an aristocracy. By contrast, Canadian legal institutions aren’t slanted to an aristocracy.

The paradox is that Canadians employ conservative, free market means to achieve the liberal end of economic mobility. And that points to America’s way back: acknowledge that the promise of America has diminished, then emulate Canada.

January 28, 2017

Quote of the Day – 28 Jan 17 – probably true

Filed under: Military, Political Commentary, US Marine Corps — Tags: — justplainbill @ 3:21 pm

Quote of the day

When asked what he thinks about General Mattis being considered for Secretary of Defense, Rob O’Neill (the man who killed Bin Laden) said: “General Mattis has a bear rug in his home, but it’s not dead – it’s just afraid to move”.

January 16, 2017

Basketball Coach educating his players about The National Anthem

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 4:43 pm

http://www.topbuzzapp.com/article/i6260659452401566212?app_id=1106

January 11, 2017

His (Obama’s) Legacy: Ignoring The Genocide Of Christians Over An 8 Year Period, By Capt Joseph R. John, January 9, 2017 [nc]

Joseph R. John
To
jrj@combatveteransforcongress.org
Jan 9 at 7:26 AM
His Legacy: Ignoring The Genocide Of Christians Over An 8 Year Period

By Capt Joseph R. John, January 9, 2017: 330

For 8 years Obama failed to condemn the genocide perpetrated by Al Q’ieda, ISIS, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) who continued to butcher over 200,000 Syrian and Assyrian Christians. Current media reports state Obama is trying to salvage, what he calls, “His Legacy.” Obama will never be able to salvage “His Legacy”, because he turned a blind eye to the genocide that Al Q’ieda, ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorist, and members of the MB perpetrated against Syrian and Assyrian Christians. Obama repeatedly ignored pleas by 56 US Congressmen, on both sides of the isle, to provide Christians families with small arms weapons to protect themselves.

Al Q’ idea, ISIS, and the MB crucified Christians, beheaded them, burned them alive, drowned them in cages, buried them alive, cut small children’s bodies in two, forced men to kneel in order to shoot them behind the head, and threw Christians from high buildings to their deaths. In the last 2 years, ISIS has perpetrated 143 “Radical Islamic Terrorists” attacks in 29 countries, murdering 2043 people in “Hate Crimes” and “Crimes Against Humanity”; those murderous acts were executed to prevent Christians from exercising their “Freedom of Religion.”

While Obama was ignoring the genocide in the Middle East, he minimized the 93 “Radica Islamic Terrorist” attacks in the United States (2/3rd of those attacks occurred in the last 4 years). Yet for 8 years, Obama refused to allow personnel in the White House, the National Security Agency, the CIA, the FBI, Department of Defense, the Justice Department, 17 Intelligence Agencies, the US Armed Forces, and the State Department to properly identify terrorists killing Americans, as “Radical Islamic Terrorists” nor did he allow Government Agencies to associate ISIS, MB, MB Front Groups, or Al Q’ieda with Islam.

House Speaker Paul Ryan called President Obama’s failure to protect persecuted Christians “abysmal.” He said Obama has had a distinct disinterest in including “Religious Freedom” and the “Genocide of Christians”, among his foreign policy priorities. Obama even left the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom vacant for nearly two years.

On September 30th, the New York Times reported on a leaked recording of Secretary of State John Kerry conversing with leaders of the Syrian opposition fighting Syria’s President, Bashar Assad. It cast light on Obama’s “Laisez Faire” attitude toward ISIS, and his continued minimization of the strength of the ISIS, which he referred to as a “JV Team”.

In 2012, Kerry indicated that Obama believed that allowing ISIS to grow in strength and receive weapons delivered from Libya would serve his objective of helping oust Syria’s President, Bashar Assad, without the need to employ US Military combat personnel on the ground. WikiLeaks E-mails back up Turkish President Erdogen’s assertion that the US has given support to terror groups, including ISIS in Syria.

In 2008, Obama said the reason he ignored the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Intelligence community, and pulled all US Military forces out of Iraq, was because there wasn’t a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. Today there are nearly 5000 US Military combat personnel on the ground in Iraq, and hundreds of US Military combat personnel in Syria, and still there is no Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq (2 US Military combat personnel have been killed, and 14 were wounded in Syria in October).

According to the New York Times report on Kerry’s conversation with Assad’s Syrian opposition, Obama did not calculate that Assad would turn to Russia for military support, making ISIS’ opposition to his regime irrelevant. During the period when Obama was hoping ISIS would oppose Assad, ISIS genocide against Christians increased; Obama turned a blind eye to ISIS’ genocide and the rapid growth of ISIS from several thousand terrorists, to an multi-national trained force of over 50,000 “Radical Islamic Terrorists”.

Obama tried to minimize and ignore the growth in strength of what he called the ISIS “JV Team”. Obama’s continued minimization of ISIS resulted in 50 frustrated Central Command Intelligence Analyst co-signing a letter, protesting the fact that they were being pressured by Generals to produce intelligence reports that underestimate the true strength of ISIS and the danger ISIS’ Islamic State posed in the Middle East. Those Generals were, being pressured by their superiors in the Pentagon, to go along with Obama’s underestimated strength of ISIS.

In the last 8 years, while Obama occupied the Oval Office, ISIS easily grew rapidly because there were no longer a US Military force in Iraq, and it spread its tentacles into 29 countries, perpetrating over 8986 murders worldwide (1123/year), as well as the genocide of 200,000 Syrian and Assyrian Christians. In the previous 27 years Radical Islamic Terrorist murdered 4278 people worldwide (158/year).

In a 2013 Congressional hearings, evidence was presented from DIA intelligence reports that from 2011-2012, US Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens was shipping weapons from deposed Libyan Ruler, Muammar Gaddafi’s armory. Tons of weapons were being shipped from the port of Benghazi to Syria via Turkish ports, then on to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Q’ieda, and ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorists, who were opposing Bashar Assad.

It was another of Obama’s “Gun Running Operations”, following the “Fast and Furious Gun Running Operation” to Mexican Drug Cartels, that resulted in the death of a US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

An April 22, 2014 report entitled, “How America Changed Sides in the War On Terror”, identified Hakim Belhaj, as a key Al Q’ieda operative, was known Libyan terrorist who the European Union banned, and who was identified as the principal organizer of the Radical Islamic Terrorist attack on the US Mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2011, played a major role in moving Gaddafi’s weapons from US Ambassador Chris Stevens to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Q’ieda, and ISIS in Syria.

The below listed comments and acts by Obama, reveals his state of mind, and why for 8 years, he refused to properly identify the terrorists killing Americans as “Radical Islamic Terrorists”, why he referred to ISIS as a “JV Team”, and why he refused to authorized the bombing of the Islamic State’s Capital of Raqqa (the Joint Chiefs recommended the strike, in order to decapitate the Islamic State’s leadership):

1) On ABC News Obama referenced—“My Muslim Faith.”

2) Obama wrote that in the event of a conflict—“I will stand with the Muslims.”

3) Obama refused to label the Ft Hood shooter who yelled “Allah Akbar” while he was killing 13 US soldiers as a “Terrorist.”

4) Obama provided $100 million of US Taxpayer dollars thru Hillary’s State Department to build “foreign” Mosques.

5) Obama exempted Muslims in the US from fines that Christians and Jews were forced to pay for, for not signing up for Obamacare.

6) Obama appointed members of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Front Groups to NSA, DHS, CIA, DOD, STATE, & Justice.

7) Obama refused to join world leaders in Paris after the Paris massacres, to show US solidarity against “Radical Islamic Terrorists”.

8) Obama ordered Georgetown and Notre Dame to cover up all vestiges of Christianity before he would agree to speak there.

9) Obama freed 195 of the 240 most dangerous detainees in GITMO; 30% returned to combat and are killing US Military personnel.

10) Obama terminated the military tribunals established to put captured “Radical Islamic Terrorists” on trial in GITMO.

11) Obama assured Egypt’s Foreign Minister that—“I am a Muslim.”

12) Obama was the first US President in 240 years who refused to send a Christmas greeting from the White House.

13) Obama had Dept. ED install mandatory Arabic language, and Muslim Religious studies in the nation’s grammar schools.

14) Obama said NASA’s “Foremost Mission” would be to develop an outreach to Muslim communities.

15) In an Islamic Dinner with Muslims, Obama said—“I am one of you.”

16) Obama followed the Muslim custom of not wearing any jewelry (rings/watches) for 8 years during Ramadan.

17) Obama said the Muslim call to worship is “The most beautiful sound on earth.”

18) For 8 years, in the Executive Office Building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC, silence was enforced during the five times of
Islamic prayer each day (25 minutes/day, 7 days/week). Prayer rugs and crescent moon symbols were made available in several
areas of the Executive Office Building for Muslims visitors and Muslims working in The White House.

Millions of unprotected Assyrian Christians living in their ancient ancestral homeland of Mesopotamia, on the Plains of Nineveh, and Syrian Christians living in Syria who have practiced their religion since Christ walked the surface of the earth, were butchered by Al Q’ieda, ISIS, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood, while Obama ignored their repeated requests for small arms for the self-defense of their families.

Despite the repeated petitions by 56 US Congressmen from both sides of the isle, who pleaded with Obama to provide Syrian and Assyrian Christians with self-defensive small arms weapons, to protect their families from the on-going genocide by ISIS, Obama refused to authorize self-defensive aid. At the same time, Obama was accepting over 900,000 Middle East Muslim refugees, he refused to accept any of the over 300,000 Middle East Christians Refugees who fled from the genocide by “Radical Islamic Terrorist”.

The US Congress must terminate all funding for the UN Middle East and African “Muslin Only” Refugee Program, run by Muslims in the UN—it has been discriminating against Christian Refugees for the last 8 years, and is an ongoing violation of “Freedom of Religion” and US Law.

While the genocide of Christians in the Middle East continued, Obama brought in over 900,000 Middle East and African Muslin Refugees into the US, thru the UN Refugee Relief Program. They were settled in 187 cities throughout the US, at a cost of billions of US tax payer dollars, while Obama prevented the FBI from determining if they had terrorist ties. Obama refused to inform local and state elected government officials, and Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Officers where those Middle East and African Muslim Refugees were resettled.

For 8 years, the “Republican” and “Democratic” leaders in Congress, worked closely with Obama and the US Chamber of Commerce to ensure the wide open Southern Border remained open. For those 8 years “Radical Islamic Terrorists”. who have set up terrorist training camps just south of the US/Mexican border, were able to simply walk into the United States thru that wide open southern border.

The FBI has opened over 1000 “Radical Islamic Terrorist” cases in all 50 states, to apprehend and prosecute “Radical Islamic Terrorist” operating in the United States. To date the FBI has disrupted and prosecuted over 100 “Radical Islamic Terrorist” potential attacks within the United States, resulting in the arrests and prosecutions of 180 “Radical Islamic Terrorists.”

Despite the 180 arrests, there have been 93 ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorist attacks within the United States by Muslim Refugees from the Middle East and Africa and/or from their off springs; 2/3rd of those attacks occurred in the last 4 years. Those attacks and threats of attacks have been covered up by the left of center liberal media establishment working very closely with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood Front Groups, and the Obama administration. The attachment details many, but not all of those “Radical Islamic Terrorist” attacks initiated in the United States, that resulted in the death of hundreds of Americans Citizens on US soil.

Please review the below listed article to fully understand the “Step by Step” procedure Obama and Hillary Clinton followed to incubate ISIS “Radical Islamic Terrorists”, that allowed ISIS to grow and gain in strength.

Copyright by Capt Joseph R. John. All Rights Reserved. The material can only posted on another Web site or distributed on the Internet by giving full credit to the author. It may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without the permission from the author.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62
Capt USN(Ret)/Former FBI
Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC
2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184
San Diego, CA 92108

http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

https://www.facebook.com/combatveteransforcongress?ref=hl

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

WND EXCLUSIVE
STEP BY STEP: HOW HILLARY, OBAMA INCUBATED ISIS
Jerome R. Corsi
NEW YORK – By piecing together recently revealed WikiLeaks emails with evidence that has emerged over the past several years, it’s become increasingly clear that President Obama and his secretary of state at the time, Hillary Clinton in 2011, armed the Free Syrian Army rebels in an effort to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, mirroring a strategy already under way in Libya to help al-Qaida-affiliated militia overthrow Moammar Gadhafi. A consequence of the strategy was the emergence of ISIS out of the loosely coordinated Free Syrian Army coalition as well as the disastrous Benghazi attack in which a U.S. ambassador was murdered.

Various WikiLeaks emails examined by WND indicate the Free Syrian Army was among the first splinter rebel groups Clinton and Obama armed. The Obama administration apparently was hoping to replicate the regime-change strategy in which it armed al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya, including Ansar al-Sharia, the group responsible for the Sept. 11, 2012, attack at Benghazi.

The WikiLeaks email evidence shows a shift in policy in which Clinton and Obama appear to have decided in 2011 to topple the governments of Gadhafi in Libya and Assad in Syria, even if it meant arming “Radical Islamic Terrorist” groups that traced back to al-Qaida.

As WND reported last week, WikiLeaks emails back up Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s assertion that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terror groups, including ISIS in Syria.

The claim derived further support from a recording leaked to the New York Times of Secretary of State John Kerry admitting the Obama administration not only hoped ISIS would depose the Assad regime, it also gave arms to the jihadist army and its allies to carry out the task.

Blumenthal recommends Free Syria Army to Clinton

Hacked emails to Hillary Clinton from longtime adviser Sidney Blumenthal that were published in October by WikiLeaks tell the story.

On June 20, 2011, Blumenthal sent a confidential email to Clinton at the State Department that included an article by David W. Lesch, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Trinity University in San Antonio. Lesch argued a strategy of regime change could be effected in Syria if the U.S. could find opposition groups in Syria capable of establishing “a Benghazi-like refuge from which to launch a rebellion and to which aid can be sent.”

In a subsequent confidential email July 24, 2012, Blumenthal further advised Clinton that the “growing success of the rebel forces of the Free Syria Army” caused him to believe the Assad regime was increasingly vulnerable to being toppled.

In an email Feb. 24, 2012, Blumenthal characterized the FSA as “loosely organized and uncoordinated,” noting it was “for the most part, local militias, many of them civilian based, that are simply calling themselves the FSA to appear to be part of a whole.”

Blumenthal commented in the email that the armed resistance to Assad “is not well funded or well armed.”

On Feb. 28, 2012, Jacob Sullivan, a State Department senior policy adviser to Secretary Clinton, forwarded to Clinton an opinion piece published in the New York Times by foreign correspondent Roger Cohen suggesting the strategy Obama and Clinton had used to topple Gadhafi in Libya should be used to bring down Assad in Syria.

“As the Bosnian war showed, the basis for any settlement must be a rough equality of forces. So I say step up the efforts, already quietly ongoing, to get weapons to the Free Syrian Army. Train those forces, just as the rebels were trained in Libya,” Cohen wrote. “Payback time has come around: The United States warned Assad about allowing Al Qaeda fighters to transit Syria to Iraq. Now matériel and special forces with the ability to train a ragtag army can transit Iraq – and other neighboring states – into Syria.”

Then, on Sept. 18, 2012, one week after the Benghazi terror attack, Blumenthal, in a confidential memo, alerted Clinton to the possibility of the FSA military taking over Damascus.

The prospect caused Assad’s wife and close relatives to urge Assad to flee Syria to avoid “the fate of Assad’s former ally Muammar al Qaddafi of Libya, who was captured and killed by rebel forces while attempting to flee his home territory in Sirte.”

Clinton sought to arm Free Syrian Army

In an Aug. 17, 2014, email released by WikiLeaks, Clinton, after her service as secretary of state, suggested to adviser John Podesta: “At the same time, we should return to plans to provide the FSA [Free Syrian Army], with some group of moderate forces, with equipment that will allow them to deal with a weakened ISIL, and stepped up operations against the Syrian regime.”

Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute, tied the statement to the Obama administration’s plan to equip Syrian fighters, either the Free Syrian Army or “other moderate forces,” to a U.S.-led operation in coordination with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to steer weapons to Syria, “ostensibly to fight both Assad and ISIS.”

McCarthy noted, however, that Clinton’s 2014 memo to Podesta asserted the Saudi and Qatari governments both supported ISIS and other “radical Sunni groups.”

In September 2013, WND reported Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., had relied on the work of Elizabeth O’Bagy, a 26-year-old graduate student, to argue in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Obama administration should send weapons to arm the “moderate” Free Syrian Army to oppose the Assad government in Syria.

In that article, WND detailed the extensive lobbying efforts conducted in Washington to advance the FSA as a “moderate group,” despite clear evidence the al-Nusra Front – operating under the FSA umbrella – had been declared a terrorist organization by the State Department; had pledged allegiance to al-Qaida’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri; and was the group of choice for foreign jihadi fighters pouring into Syria.

Clinton ‘changed sides in war on terror’

WND reported in 2015 the Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Hillary Clinton “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Gadhafi, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded in its interim report.

The April 22, 2014, report, “How America Changed sides in the War on Terror,” alleges “the U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the Al Qaeda-dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion.”

The report asserted the agenda of al-Qaida-affiliated jihadis in the region, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces, was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy.

“The rebels made no secret of their Al Qaeda affiliation, openly flying and speaking in front of the black flag of Islamic jihad, according to author John Rosenthal and multiple media reports,” the interim report said. “And yet, the White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress Al Qaeda.”

The report concluded: “The result in Libya, across much of North Africa, and beyond has been utter chaos, disruption of Libya’s oil industry, the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles), and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The report identified a key al-Qaida operative who played a major role moving U.S. arms into both Libya and Syria as Abdul Hakim Belhaj, (aka Abdallah al Sadeq). Belhaj was a veteran jihad fighter of Iraq and Afghanistan; commander of the al-Qaida franchise militia, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), aka Libyan Islamic Movement for Change; a post-revolution military commander of Tripoli; and the Libyan delegation leader to the Free Syrian Army in late 2011.

In September 2014, WND reported Elizabeth O’Bagy, who had been fired from her job with a Washington think-tank after her exposure by WND as a source for Kerry’s argument that the FSA is a “moderate” rebel force in Syria, had also arranged for McCain a trip to Syria in May 2013 in which senator met with Belhaj, who was then represented as a leader of the FSA.

In November 2013, WND reported trusted Libyan expatriates had claimed Belhaj was at large in Libya. The expatriates identified Belhaj as an al-Qaida operative, noting he was at the top of a list of Libyan terrorists banned by the European Union from obtaining entrance visas and was the principal organizer of the terrorist attack in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2011, in which Ambassador Stevens was murdered.
McCarthy reported Aug. 2 Ambassador Stevens had “moved an enormous shipment of weapons from Benghazi to the Syrian ‘rebels’ in Turkey,” as the Obama administration was working in 2011 to determine which Syrian “rebel” forces should be armed.

McCarthy pointed to a New York Times article in 2012, some three months before the Benghazi massacre, that reported CIA operatives were secretly in Turkey helping the Obama administration to decide which Syrian opposition fighters would receive arms clandestinely from the United States to fight the Syrian government.

The Times further reported the weapons including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons were being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries, including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

McCarthy further noted that before becoming ambassador, Christopher Stevens was the Obama administration’s official liaison to Gadhafi’s Islamist opposition in Libya, including its al-Qaida-linked groups. Among them were the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, with Stevens working directly with Belhaj.

Below is a partial list of Refugees and Radical Islamic Terrorists who have perpetrated Terrorist Attacks against American citizens—the partial list is truly unbelievable, and the Obama administration and the left of center liberal media establishment have done their best to cover up every one of those terrorist attacks for 8 years—it is part of a continuing criminal conspiracy that is damaging the National Security Interest of the United States!!!

The United States is under attack from coast to coast in places like Sacramento (CA), Houston (TX), Morganton (NC), Philadelphia PA), San Bernardino (CA), Times Square (NY), Moore (OK), Detroit (MI), Boise, Orlando, West Orange (NJ), Fort Hood (TX), Portland (ME), Chattanooga, Garland, Boston (MA), Portland (OR), Minneapolis, Buffalo (NY), Jonesboro (GA), Ashtabula (OH), Bingham (NY), Glendale (AZ), Phoenix (AZ), Little Rock (AR), Merced (CA), Marquette Park (IL), Seattle, Skyway (WA), Denver (CO), Aspen Hill (MD), Baltimore (MD), Arlington (VA), Fredricksburg (VA), Missouri, Kentucky, Scottsville,(NY), Richmond (CA), Washington (DC), Irving (TX), Port Bolivar (TX), Warren (MI), Waltham (MA), Manassas (VA), Buena Vista (NJ), and many more cities too numerous to list here.

The left of center liberal media establishment is working hand in glove with Obama, to covering up the fact that there have been 93 Radical Islamic Terrorist attacks in the US since 9/11. To date, 100 ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorist plots have been foiled by the FBI, resulting in the arrests of over 180 ISIS Muslim Refugees and Radical Islamic Terrorists by the FBI across the United States, and there are 1000 FBI ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorist cases under investigation in all 50 states. We encourage all American citizens to put pressure on their Congress to pass the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Act, and to get the Republican Leaders in Congress to finally do something after 8 years to protect American citizens and their children from Radical Islamic Terrorists.
The below “partial list” of the Muslim Refugees and Radical Islamic Terrorists who have participated in Jihad killings and attacks against the American citizens since Obama took office—are only listed, because the complete numbers of Radical Islamic Terrorist attacks are just too many, to all be listed here.
There are now over 900 open cases on potential ISIS Radical Islamic Terrorists in all 50 states being prosecuted by the FBI, those terrorist are a percentage of the 900,000+ Muslim Refugees Obama forced fed into 180 cities resettling them throughout the US thru the UN Muslim Refugee Resettlement Program while ignoring FBI warnings that they cannot vet them to determine if they have terrorist ties. Now we find out that Obama had his appointees at DHS scrub clean the data base of hundreds of Radical Islamic Terrorist suspects they maintained records on—that was a conspiracy that damaged the national Security of the United States:
• On January 7, 2016, Aws Mohammad Younis Al-Jayab, a Palestine born Iraqi, was arrested in Sacramento, CA on charges of assisting jihadi organizations.
• In an unrelated case, also on January 7, 2016, Omar Faraj Saeed al Hardan, an Iraqi Refugee, was arrested in Houston, TX on charges of providing material support to ISIS and going thru terrorist training.
• In Philadelphia, PA, a jihadi opened fire on a cop on January 8, 2016. He fired 13 shots and hit the police officer three times, grievously wounding the man.
• On January 11, 2016, Sens. Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions said the number of people implicated in radical Islamic terrorist plots in the U.S. has jumped to 113.
• On January 16, 2016, Mohamed Elmi, 31, and Mohamed Salad, 29, both of Calgary,
Canada, were arrested after they invaded the doorway of a neighborhood bar and grievously wounded a 38-year old stranger.

• On February 16, 2016, a court magistrate ruled after hearing the FBI testimony that Khalil Abu-Rayyan, a 21 year old Dearborn, MI man was too much of a threat to public safety and ordered him held without bail. He gets excited by thoughts of beheading Americans, burning people alive and throwing homosexuals off of tall buildings. He’d actually made plans to shoot up a 6,000 member Christians in Detroit, in conversations with an undercover FBI agent.. (If I) can’t go do jihad at the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.” He also told the agent that “shooting and death make me excited. I love to hear people begging and screaming. … I wish I had my gun.” The FBI claims Abu-Rayyan has since late 2014 used Twitter for “retweeting, liking and commenting” on Islamic State propaganda.

On February 12, 2016 a machete wielding assailant known to the FBI, identified as Mohammad Barry, a Somali living in Ohio attacked Jewish and Christian patrons at a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, wounding four people. Witnesses said it was carnage. Some of the patrons fought back by throwing chairs. Police later shot and killed Barry after a short chase. Investigators are trying to determine if Barry attacked the Nazareth Restaurant because he thought the owner was Jewish. In actuality, the restaurant is owned by an Israeli Christian.

• On January 7, 2016, Aws Mohammad Younis Al-Jayab, a Palestine born Iraqi, was arrested in Sacramento, CA on charges of assisting jihadi organizations.

• On June 12, 21016, Omar Saddiqul Mateen, the son of Afghan refugees, massacred 49 gentle & innocent Americans, and wounded 53 others, in the Orlando night club, Pulse, in the deadliest mass shooting in US history

• In an unrelated case, also on January 7, 2016, Omar Faraj Saeed al Hardan, an Iraqi Refugee, was arrested in Houston, TX on charges of providing material support to ISIS and going thru terrorist training.
• In Philadelphia, PA, a jihadi opened fire on a cop on January 8, 2016. He fired 13 shots and hit the police officer three times, grievously wounding the man.
• On January 11, 2016, Sens. Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions said the number of people implicated in radical Islamic terrorist plots in the U.S. has jumped to 113.
• On January 16, 2016, Mohamed Elmi, 31, and Mohamed Salad, 29, both of Calgary,
Canada, were arrested after they invaded the doorway of a neighborhood bar and grievously wounded a 38-year old stranger.
• On February 16, 2016, a court magistrate ruled after hearing the FBI testimony that Khalil Abu-Rayyan, a 21 year old Dearborn, MI man was too much of a threat to public safety and ordered him held without bail. He gets excited by thoughts of beheading Americans, burning people alive and throwing homosexuals off of tall buildings. He’d actually made plans to shoot up a 6,000 member Christians in Detroit, in conversations with an undercover FBI agent.. (If I) can’t go do jihad at the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.” He also told the agent that “shooting and death make me excited. I love to hear people begging and screaming. … I wish I had my gun.” The FBI claims Abu-Rayyan has since late 2014 used Twitter for “retweeting, liking and commenting” on Islamic State propaganda.

On February 12, 2016 a machete wielding assailant known to the FBI, identified as Mohammad Barry, a Somali living in Ohio attacked Jewish and Christian patrons at a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, wounding four people. Witnesses said it was carnage. Some of the patrons fought back by throwing chairs. Police later shot and killed Barry after a short chase. Investigators are trying to determine if Barry attacked the Nazareth Restaurant because he thought the owner was Jewish. In actuality, the restaurant is owned by an Israeli Christian

• On May 3, 2015 an attack with gunfire was carried by two Radical Islamic Terrorists followers of ISIS at the entrance to the Curtis Culwell Center, in Garland, TX featuring cartoon images of Mohammad—both were shot and killed by a police officer. Just prior to the attack one of the gunmen posted “May Allah accept us as Mujahedeen”—he wrote both pledged allegiance to “Amirul Mu’mineen”, a likely reference to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
• An immigrant from Ghana, who applied for and received US citizenship, pledged allegiance to ISIS and plotted a terrorist attack on the US soil (June 2015).
• An immigrant from Sudan, who applied and received US citizenship, tried to join ISIS and wage Jihad on its behalf after having been recruited on line(June 2015).
• In November 17, 2015 A Uzbek Muslim refugee in Boise, ID was convicted of plotting to bomb US military bases.
• On August 14, 2015 three Somali Muslims, Mohamud Mohamed, 36, and Osman Sheikh, 31, Abil Teshome, 23, brutally beat and murdered Freddy Akoa, 49 a Christian in Portland, ME. The attack allegedly took place over the span of several hours, in which Akoa suffered cuts and bruises all over his body, a lacerated liver and 22 rib fractures. However, according to the autopsy, Akoa died as a result of blows to his head.
• Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez murdered five US Armed Forces (1 Navy and 4 Marines) in Chattanooga, TN in July 2015. Mohammad was an immigrant brought here by his family from Kuwait at a young age, and who was later approved for U.S. citizenship, who carried out the Islamist attack that killed the 5 military personnel in Chattanooga.
• The Somali refugee who recruited the San Bernardino killers also recruited the jihadist who attacked the Garland, TX “Draw Mohammad” contest in May 2015, fled the United States.
• An Iraqi immigrant, who later applied for and received US citizenship, was arrested for lying to federal agents about pledging allegiance to ISIS and his travel to Syria (May 2015)
• An immigrant from Syria, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, was accused by federal prosecutors of planning to rob a gun store to “go to a military base in Texas and kill three or four American soldiers execution style.” (April 2015)
• Six Somalian Muslim refugees were arrested in Minneapolis, Minnesota for attempting to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.
• Five Muslim refugees (same family) were arrested in Missouri, Illinois and New York for sending arms and cash to ISIS.
• Five Somali Muslim refugees were charged in July 2014 with fundraising for jihadi groups in Africa.
• On December 14, 2014, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, born to a Muslim African American family, executed two NYC police officers as they sat in their patrol car. Brinsley is reported to have approached the two officers as they were sitting in their patrol car in the notorious crime ridden Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, New York and began firing rounds into the vehicle before fleeing on foot to the closest subway station where he later committed suicide.
• Two Bosnian Muslim refugee in Portland, Oregon was arrested in November 21, 2014 for trying to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
• On November 4, 2015 18 year old Faisal Mohammad who had a black ISIS flag in his possessions and a terrorist manifesto, stabbed 4 of his fellow student at U C Merced; police had to shoot him to stop his stabbing spree. He had pro-ISIS propaganda on his computer. The FBI said he was self radicalized.
• In San Bernardino in December 2015 two Middle East Radical Islamic Terrorist, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who said they were ISIS, attackers (immigrants) killed 14 civilians and wounded 21 others, were recruited to their jihad by a Muslim Somali refugee who has now moved to Syria, but continues to recruit Jihadist in America using social media.
• A refugee from Uzbekistan was convicted of providing material support and money to a designated foreign terrorist organization. According to the Department of Justice, he also procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil. (August 2015)
• An immigrant from Albania, who applied for and received Lawful Permanent Resident status, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for giving over $1,000 to terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, and for attempting to join a radical jihadist insurgent group in Pakistan. (August 2015)
• An immigrant from Egypt, who subsequently was granted U.S. citizenship, was charged with providing, and conspiring to provide, material support to ISIS, for aiding and abetting a New York college student in receiving terrorist training from ISIS, and conspiring to receive such training. (August 2015)
• A second Immigrant from India, who is married to a US citizen, who was indicted on charges of conspiring to provide thousands of dollars to Al Q’ieda in the Arabian Peninsula, in order to assist them in their global Jihad, and on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud (November 2015)
• A Kazakhstani immigrant with lawful permanent resident status conspired to purchase a machine gun to shoot FBI and other law enforcement agents if they prevented him from traveling to Syria to join ISIS. (February 2015)
• An immigrant from Pakistan, who entered the United States on a fiancé visa thru Canada, and subsequently became a Lawful Permanent Resident, along with her husband, killed 14 people at a Christmas Party in San Bernardino, CA on December 2, 2015 , and wounded 22 others, in the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.
• A Somali-American was arrested after encouraging several friends to leave the United States and join ISIS, and giving one individual over $200 for their passport application. (December 2015)
• The son of Pakistani immigrants, along with his Pakistan bride, murdered 14 coworkers, and wounded two dozen, in that same terrorist attack. His Pakistani-born father has since been placed on the no-fly list (December 2015).
• A Bosnian refugee, along with his wife and five others, donated money and supplies, and smuggled arms, to terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. (February 2015)
• An Uzbek refugee living in Idaho was arrested and charged with providing support to a terrorist organization, in the form of teaching terror recruits how to build bombs. (July 2015)
• An immigrant from Saudi Arabia, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, swore allegiance to ISIS and pledged to explode a propane tank bomb on U.S. soil. (April 2015).
• An immigrant from Yemen, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, along with six other men, was charged with conspiracy to travel to Syria and to provide material support to ISIS. (April 2015).
• A Uzbek man in Brooklyn encouraged other Uzbeki nationals to wage jihad on behalf of ISIS, and raised $1,600 for the terror organization. (April 2015)
• An immigrant from Bangladesh, who applied for and received U.S. citizenship, tried to incite people to travel to Somalia and conduct violent jihad against the United States. (June 2014)
• In September 30, 2014, Alton Nolan, a proponent of Sharia and suspect Radical Islamic Terrorist, beheaded an employee of Vaughan Foods, and was prevented from beheading a second employee in Moor, Oklahoma.
• An immigrant from Afghanistan, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, and a legal permanent resident from the Philippines, were convicted for “join Al Q’ieda and the Taliban in order to kill Americans.” (September 2014)
• A Somali immigrant with lawful permanent resident status, along with four other Somali nationals, is charged with leading an al-Shabaab fundraising conspiracy in the United States, with monthly payments directed to the Somali terrorist organization. (July 2014)
• A Moroccan national who came to the U.S. on a student visa was arrested for plotting to blow up a university and a federal court house. (April 2014)
• The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev; those brothers and their family were Muslim refugees. -The Boston Bombers were granted political asylum and were thus deemed legitimate refugees. The younger brother applied for citizenship and was naturalized on September 11th, 2012. The older brother had a pending application for citizenship. (April 2013)
• A college student who immigrated from Somalia, who later applied for and received U.S. citizenship, attempted to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon. (December 2013)
• On February 18, 2012, two Radical Islamic Terrorists from Pakistan, who later applied for and received US Citizenship, were apprehended trying to detonate a bomb in New York City
• In September 15, 2012, Amine El Khalifi, and al Q’ieda Radical Islamic Terrorist plotted to do a suicide bombing of the US Capital.
• In 2011 Mohammad Alfatlawi a proponent of Sharia Law was charged with the “Honor Killing” of his wife and daughter in Detroit, Michigan.
• In May 4, 2010 Faisal Shahzad conducted a terrorist car bombing plot in Times Square that failed.
• On June 1, 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a convert to Islam, who had gone to Yemen in 2007 and stayed for about 16 months, open fire on a Little Rock, Arkansas US Armed Forces Recruiting Office in a drive by shooting with a rifle, against a group of US Army Soldiers standing in front of the Recruiting Office. He killed Private William Long and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula.
• On November 5, 2009, Maj Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 US Army soldiers and wounded 32 others in Fort Hood while yelling “Allah Akbar” at the top of his lungs—Obama insisted it was simply “Work Place Violence” and not a Radical Islamic terrorist attack by a disciple of Anwar Al-Awlaki. Prior to the shooting, in his previous assignment as an intern and resident at Walter Reed Army Medical Center his colleagues and superiors were deeply concerned about his behavior and anti-American comments—but because they were cowered by the Obama’s administration’s warnings and perceived threats to their military standing, that they better be “politically correct’ and not disparage such anti-American comments—nothing was done to drum that Radical Islamic Terrorist out of the US Armed Forces
• In December 2009, the bombing terror plot to kill 290 innocent passengers on a flight from the Netherland to Detroit the Nigerian Radical Islamic Terrorist, Umar Farouk Abdulmutlallab (aka the Underwear Bomber) failed to detonate on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 because the explosives in his underwear malfunctioned, and passengers were able to subdue him until he was arrested.
• Two Al Qaeda members who had killed American soldiers in Iraq were arrested in Kentucky in 2009 – and, both were refugees!

December 17, 2016

Note on Pearl Harbor, Capt John [c]

To jrj@combatveteransforcongress.org
Dec 7 at 3:35 AM

December 7, 2016: The 75th Anniversary of the Sneak Attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor

The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Forces of Japan, executed by Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s strike plan “Z”, commenced at 7:48 AM Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese fighters, bomber, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six Japanese aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona (BB-39) were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight the Imperial Forces of Japan in the WWII. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. In addition 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. However, important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light; 29 aircraft and five midget submarines were lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

In the wake of the attack, 15 Medal Of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Stars, 4 Navy and Marine Corps Medals, one Distinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Star Medals were awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor. Additionally, a special military award, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative medal was later authorized for all military veterans of the attack

Japan’s Prime Minister’s Will Visit Pearl Harbor Today

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he would travel to Pearl Harbor today, to recognize the 75th Anniversary of Japan’s attack on the home port of the, US Navy’s Pacific Fleet. Prime Minister Abe is the first Japanese leader to visit Pearl Harbor to “pay tribute [and] comfort the souls” of those who died from both countries during World War II. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto said that Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor “awoke a sleeping giant”. The attack was labeled “A Day of Infamy” by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the next 3 years, 7 months, and 25 days, the US Armed Forces and their Allies in the Pacific Theatre, defeated the Imperial Forces of Japan. On September 2, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, USMA ’03, USA, representing the Combined Allied Forces, accepted the “Unconditional Surrender” of the Imperial Forces of Japan aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) in Tokyo Bay.

Pearl Harbor – 75 years on

In the below listed Op Ed, by Admiral James A. Lyons, Jr. USNA ’52, USN (Ret), who was the Commander–in-Chief, of the US Pacific Fleet, and the Senior US Military Representative to the United Nations, exposes the US military personnel who were responsible for failing to alert Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Fleet, and Lt. General Walter Short, who was responsible for the defense of Hawaii, of the pending attack by Japan, were accused of dereliction of duty following the attack. Admiral Kimmel was reduced in rank to Rear Admiral, and retired from the US Navy. Lt General Short was reduced in rank to Major General and retired from the US Army. Admiral Lyons recommends in the below listed Op Ed that Rear Admiral Kimmel and Major General Short have their honor, reputations, and ranks restored by Congress.

Joseph R. John, USNA ‘62

Capt USN(Ret)/Former FBI

Chairman, Combat Veterans For Congress PAC

2307 Fenton Parkway, Suite 107-184

San Diego, CA 92108

http://www.CombatVeteransForCongress.org

https://www.facebook.com/combatveteransforcongress?ref=hl

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
-Isaiah 6:8

From: James A. Lyons, Jr
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2016 6:27 AM
To: Joseph R. John
Subject: Op-Ed – Pearl Harbor – 75 years on

My latest op-ed published in the Washington Times.

As an aside, it made the cover of the National Enquirer.

All The Best
Ace

James A. Lyons, Jr.
Admiral, USN (Ret)

Pearl Harbor, 75 years on

Remembering the grim day and an ongoing injustice

By James A. Lyons – – Sunday, December 4, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The 75th anniversary of the Imperial Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor will soon be remembered again as a “Day of Infamy.” On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched over 353 aircraft from six carriers, flawlessly executing Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto’s strike plan “Z” and succeeded in crippling the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

How could the commanders in Hawaii be so unprepared when in Washington both the Army and Navy intelligence organizations had broken key Japanese diplomatic codes, including the high level “Purple” code in which Japan was conducting its peace negotiations with the United States? Whether the Japanese naval code “JN-25” was broken prior to the attack remains unknown.

In their new book, “A Matter of Honor,” by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, the authors provide information never before revealed. The authors make the case for restoring the personal reputation, honor and ranks of the two Pearl Harbor commanders who were unjustly made the scapegoats.

The second new book, “Into the Lion’s Mouth” by Larry Loftis, discusses the most successful British double agent, “Dusko Popov,” the real life inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Popov’s relationship to Pearl Harbor. In short, the Japanese were fascinated by the British surprise airstrike at Taranto, which destroyed the Italian Fleet primarily by dropping torpedoes in relatively shallow water. They prepared questions and passed them to Germany who in turn gave them to Popov. He turned them over to the FBI on his arrival in New York in August 1941. The U.K. raid on Taranto became the blueprint for the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Mr. Loftis contends that J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI Director, never turned over the questions to the military or to the president. Former CIA Director William Casey made the same charges in 1988 and blamed Hoover for failing to share the information with the military. However, according to Mr. Summers and Ms. Swan, Hoover did turn over paraphrased versions of the question to military intelligence who failed to recognize the significance of this information.

Of the eight official inquiries, the most biased conducted was by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts shortly following the attack. Neither Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, or Lt. Gen. Walter Short, who was responsible for the defense of Hawaii, received any information from the decrypted codes which would have alerted them to the Japanese fleet’s intentions. Yet the Roberts commission declared Adm. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Short derelict in carrying their duties and held them solely responsible for the Pearl Harbor disaster. None of the 10 Washington officials authorized to receive the decrypted information was held accountable. Cover up?

The Washington officials authorized to receive the decrypted “Purple” intelligence, referred to as “Magic,” included the Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall; Chief of Naval Operations Harold Stark; Chief of Navy War Plans RADM Richmond K. Turner; Brig. Gen. Gerow; head of Army War Plans; heads of both Army and Navy Intelligence, Secretary of War (Army) Stimson; Secretary of Navy Knox; the president and the Secretary of State Cordell Hull.

The president only saw brief summaries of “Magic” decoded information and at times only received verbal briefings. Further, Marshall and Stark at one point denied the president and secretary of State any “Magic” information for four months because they didn’t trust people around them. Of course, one person who did see Magic was Winston Churchill. The U.S. provided three “Purple” machines to the U.K. to facilitate their breaking of the code. Another machine went to the U.S. Army and two went to the Navy. Interesting, one “Purple” machine was sent to the naval station CAST at Cavite in the Philippines for use by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Harold Hart. Astonishingly, none were provided to the Hawaii Commanders Adm. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Short. What use MacArthur made of the Purple intelligence is unknown. Further, he was unprepared for the Japanese attack that destroyed our FAREAST Air Force at Clark AFB nine hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was never held accountable.

One other aspect that is seldom mentioned is that the Dutch Army cryptanalysts had also broken the Japanese diplomatic code “Purple.” According to Brig. Gen. Elliot Thorpe, USA (ret.) when he was the army attaché in Java, Gen. Tec Pooten, CINC of Far East Dutch Army, provided him a decrypted message from Tokyo to the Japanese Ambassador in Bangkok which told of the upcoming attack on Hawaii, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. After sending four messages about the upcoming attack, Thorpe as he recalled was directed by our War Department to send “no more on this subject.”

“Magic” decrypted information held a wealth of information. There was the “bomb plot” grid message #83 of Sept. 24, 1941, which divided the fleet anchorages in Pearl Harbor into bombing sectors. We also had the Nov. 30, 1941 message to designated Japanese Embassies to destroy their codes, files, etc. Washington cleared officials also had the 14-part message on Dec. 6 1941, the Japanese response to the secretary of State’s Nov. 26 ultimatum, ceasing all negotiations to which President Roosevelt remarked, “This means war.” Yet none of this critical intelligence was passed to the Hawaii Commanders. As an aside, Churchill was getting much of this information as well. We do know it was his goal to involve “isolationist” America in the war.

The three principals that should have been held accountable were Gen. Marshall, Adm. Stark and Adm. Turner, who assumed responsibility for distributing the decrypted information for the Navy. It clearly is time for Adm. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Short to have their honor, reputations and ranks restored. It is a matter of honor for the Navy, Army, and country to correct this terrible injustice.

• James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

[Personal note on this: for over 40 years I have been a proponent of the position that FDR withheld information for the purposes of involving the U.S.A. in the war and to get himself out of the Great Depression. The first purpose is self-evident. However, few know that FDR kept the U.S. in the depression for longer than necessary by, among several wrongful acts, allowing the dollar to become the global currency, and by fixing the dollar to gold during this economic crisis instead of letting it float. By 1938, most of Europe was out of the depression as they prepared for war. FDR did not. Instead, this stalwart liberal insisted on domestic policies that included the National Recovery Act, unconstitutional on its face, called the Negro Ruination Act by integrationists. The NRA permitted businesses to fire colored employees before firing white employees, just one of many discriminatory and crony features. JPB]

December 13, 2016

Portland Oregon taxes CEO pay of CEO’s not in Oregon [c]

NEWS RELEASE: Portland City Council Combats High CEO Pay
NEWS RELEASE: Portland City Council Combats High CEO Pay
(December 7, 2016)—Today, Portland, Oregon, became the first jurisdiction in the United States to use the tax code to address the phenomenon of outrageous CEO pay. The City Council passed an ordinance, sponsored by City Commissioner Steve Novick, that requires publicly traded corporations to pay a surtax if they pay their CEO more than 100 times their median worker.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted a rule in 2015 requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of the compensation of its chief executive officer to the median compensation of its employees. Companies will begin reporting the data for tax years beginning in January 2017. The new disclosure will help shareholders better evaluate chief executive officer compensation based on performance, and it offers local, state, and federal governments a tool for establishing policies that address increasing ratios of chief executive officer to median worker pay.
“When I first read about the idea of applying a higher tax rate to companies with extreme ratios of CEO pay to typical worker pay, I thought it was a fascinating idea—the closest thing I’d seen to a tax on inequality itself,” Commissioner Novick said.
World renowned economist Thomas Piketty stated in his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, that “60 to 70%…of the top 0.1% of the income hierarchy in 2000-2010 consisted of top managers’ in large firms.” Piketty goes on to say that “the increase [in inequality in the United States] was largely the result of an unprecedented increase in wage inequality, and in particular the emergence of extremely high remunerations at the summit of the wage hierarchy, particularly among top managers of large firms.”
Novick believes that Piketty’s comments affirm the idea that extreme CEO pay is not just an eye-catching example of, but a major cause of, extreme economic inequality. “Extreme economic inequality is—next to global warming—the biggest problem we have in our society,” said Novick. “The top 1%, and especially the top one-tenth of one percent, have a far larger share of wealth and income than they did forty years ago.”
In an interview with the Guardian, Branko Milanović, a former lead economist at the World Bank and a professor at New York University who specializes in income inequality, reflected on Portland’s surtax: “What I find quite interesting is that it seems [to be] the first tax that targets inequality as such.”
For Milanović, the idea was novel because “it treats inequality as having a negative externality like taxing carbon emissions.”
The surtax will also benefit the city by generating an estimated $2.5 million to $3.5 million per year. Portland’s Revenue Bureau has identified more than 500 publicly-traded firms that do business in the city and therefore will be subject to the tax if their CEO-worker pay ratios are above 100 to 1. The list includes major corporations known for sky-high CEO pay, including Wells Fargo, Walmart and General Electric.
Portland City Council passed the surtax thanks to the support of Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Novick credits Steve Silberstein, a member of the Patriotic Millionaires, and U.S. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, who first proposed the idea as a California State Senator, for developing the idea for the surtax. Novick also thanks Sarah Anderson from the Institute for Policy Studies for her expert advocacy and support for this proposal.
Without the partnership and innovation of these leaders, adoption of this surtax in Portland wouldn’t have been possible.
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/novick/article/620318

[Taxation without representation. This is socialism at its worst. Accordingly, not only can they, and will they, limit top pay, but they already raise minimum pay, next will be YOUR pay. It violates the sanctity of Contracts!]

December 2, 2016

Happening in the Missouri Senate

Filed under: Political Commentary — Tags: , , — justplainbill @ 8:18 pm

Introducing the representation credit

By Rob Schaaf Nov 27, 2016 (4)

This Election Day, we Missourians voted overwhelmingly against pay-to-play politics and in favor of anti-corruption reform. We reinstated contribution limits at the state level, elected a governor committed to fighting corruption in Jefferson City, and chose a president who ran against the status quo, promising he would return government to the people.

Those of us in the Legislature now have a duty to answer Missourians’ call for reform. Though the voters reinstated contribution limits, serious problems remain. The problem of dark money is worse than ever, with many millions spent this year by funders who hid their identities from the people of Missouri. The new contribution limits are coming under attack, challenged in the courts. Meanwhile, lobbyists are still free to lavish lawmakers with gifts, purchasing undeserved access and influence. And small donors still play little role in our election campaigns, far outspent by big-money special interests.

To address these problems, I will be filing several reform bills this December. First among these will be Senate Bill 1: The Taxation With Representation Act. This bill carries forward the spirit of the original Tea Party — that of our Founders — its title reflecting their motto: “No Taxation Without Representation.” It would let each Missourian subtract up to $100 per year from their state income taxes, letting them claim a dollar-per-dollar credit for donations to county-level party committees and to candidates for state representative, state senator and statewide office.

In effect, it would let each Missourian take control of the first $100 of their own taxes and allocate those dollars to political campaigns of their choice. By doing so, it would give each more say in how the rest of their taxes would be used. More generally, it would decentralize the funding of political campaigns, diluting the influence of big-money special interests and making government more accountable to the people. Such a system has worked in other states, and it would work here.

If this bill were passed, imagine how it would change the way that candidates run for office. No longer would they need to spend so much time attending special-interest fundraisers or calling the rich and powerful to ask for money. Instead, to win their races, they would need to mount broad-based grassroots campaigns, appealing to small donors for support. They would have more reason to mobilize volunteers, go door-to-door, and even hold fundraisers in middle- and working-class homes. They would depend more on their constituents and spend more time hearing from them, so they would better represent those constituents’ interests once elected.

This bill also would help political parties work better for the people of Missouri. In recent years, parties have become less and less accountable to everyday citizens, increasingly competing for financial support from big-money special interests. This bill would put everyday citizens back in charge, empowering them to hold their own against big donors by donating to locally run party committees. Parties would become more accountable to their grassroots supporters, and local party organizations would be able to reclaim some of the relevance they have lost as special-interest money has flooded the political system.

Finally, this bill would bring new life to grassroots democracy, giving citizens more reason to engage in the political process. Just as expanding the right to vote has allowed more citizens to participate in voting elections, this bill would allow more citizens to participate in what now amounts to a highly exclusive money election. Today, one usually must be wealthy or know wealthy people to meaningfully influence the money election. But if this bill were passed, everyday citizens would find not only themselves but also those around them ready to donate to political campaigns. They would be able to make a real difference just by raising funds from friends, family and neighbors. Because of this, many would be more inclined to participate in political campaigns, become active in their parties, or even run for office themselves.

I hope you will join me in fighting to pass this crucial reform, one that would empower small donors and put grassroots organizing back at the center of political life.

Rob Schaaf, a Republican, is the state senator for Platte and Buchanan counties.

The Time has Come, the Walrus Said …

The Time has Come, the Walrus Said,
To Speak of Other Things:
Of Sealing Wax, of Cabbages and Kings

United States Constitution Article V
AMENDMENTS: The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendment to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress … (omitted, the, Prohibition on the Slave Trade, and, Equal Suffrage in the Senate).

Read Article V again.

Now is the time to push for amending the Constitution. The GOP controls both houses and over two thirds of the States’ Legislatures.

Now is the time for a Term Limits Amendment.

Now is the time for a Balanced Budget Amendment.

Now is the time for Congress Shall Pass No Law that does NOT apply to itself first Amendment.

Now is the time for a Constitutional Convention to re-write the entire thing. Mark Levin, Kevin Gutzman, and myself, have published works that may be used as starting templates.

If we start pushing now, the mid-term elections may bring the various Legislatures up to the numbers necessary to defeat the socialist oppressions of the two coasts.

The Time has Come, the Walrus Said, … .

Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences, by Victor Hanson [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 1:51 pm

Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences
December 1, 2016 2:04 pm / Leave a Comment / Megan Ring

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

Moderation and humility help politicians avoid results contrary to what they earnestly want.

The mix of politics and culture is far too complex to be predictable. Even the best-laid political plans can lead to unintended consequences, both good and bad — what we sometimes call irony, nemesis, or karma.

Take the election of 2008, which ushered Barack Obama and the Democrats into absolute control of the presidency, House, and Senate, also generating popular goodwill over Obama’s landmark candidacy.

Instead of ensuring a heralded generation of Democratic rule, Obama alienated both friends and foes almost immediately. He rammed through the unworkable Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote. He prevaricated about Obamacare’s costs and savings. Huge budget deficits followed. Racial polarization ensued. Apologies abroad on behalf of America proved a national turnoff.

By the final pushback of 2016, the Obama administration had proven to be a rare gift to the Republican party. The GOP now controls the presidency, Congress, governorships, and state legislatures to a degree not seen since the 1920s. “Hope and change” ebullition in 2008 brought the Republicans salvation — and the Democrats countless disasters.

The Republican establishment hated Donald Trump. So did the conservative media. His unorthodox positions on trade, immigration, and entitlements alienated many. His vulgarity turned off even more. Pundits warned that he had brought civil war and ruin to the Republican party.

But instead of ruin, Trump delivered to the Republicans their most astounding political edge in nearly a century. The candidate who was most despised by the party unified it in a way no other nominee could have.

Obama proved Israel’s best friend — even though that was never his intention. By simultaneously alienating Israel and the Sunni moderates in Jordan and Egypt, and by warming up to the Muslim Brotherhood, appeasing Iran, and issuing empty red lines to the Assad regime in Syria, Obama infuriated but also united the entire so-called moderate Middle East.

The result was that Arab nations suddenly no longer saw Israel as an existential threat. Instead, it was seen as similarly shunned by the U.S. — and as the only military power capable of standing up to the soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran that hates Sunni Arabs and Israelis alike.

Today, Israel is in the historic position of being courted by its former enemies, as foreign fuel importers line up to buy its huge, newly discovered deposits of natural gas. As the Arab Spring and the Islamic State destroyed neighboring nations, Israel’s democracy and free market appeared as an even stronger beacon in the storm.

Almost every major initiative that Obama pushed has largely failed. Obamacare is a mess. He nearly doubled the national debt in eight years. Economic growth is at its slowest in decades. The reset with Russia, the Asian pivot, abruptly leaving Iraq, discounting the Islamic State, red lines in Syria, the Iran deal — all proved foreign-policy disasters.

Yet Obama has been quiet about one of the greatest economic revolutions in American history, one that has kept the U.S. economy afloat: a radical transformation from crippling energy dependency to veritable fossil-fuel independence. The United States has become the world’s greatest combined producer of coal, natural gas, and oil. It is poised to be an energy exporter to much of the world.

The revolution in fracking and horizontal drilling has brought in much-needed federal revenue, increased jobs, weakened Russia and our OPEC rivals, and given trillions of dollars in fuel savings to American consumers.

Yet Obama opposed the energy revolution at every step. He radically curtailed the leasing of federal lands for new drilling, stopped the Keystone XL pipeline, and subsidized inefficient and often crony-capitalist wind and solar projects. Nonetheless, Obama’s eventual failure to stop new drilling ended up his one success.

Hillary Clinton, in her presidential bid, did everything by the playbook — and therefore her campaign went catastrophically wrong. Her campaign raised more than $1 billion. She ran far more ads than did Trump. She won over the sycophantic press. She got all the celebrity endorsements. She united the Democratic party.

Logically, Clinton should have won. The media worked hand in glove with her campaign. Her ground game and voter registration drives made Trump’s look pathetic.

Yet all that money, press, and orthodoxy only confirmed suspicions that Clinton was a slick but wooden candidate. She became so scripted that even her Twitter feed was composed by a committee.

The more she followed her boring narrative, the more she made the amateur Trump seem authentic and energized in comparison. Doing everything right ended up for Hillary as doing everything wrong — and ensured the greatest upset in American political history.

The ancient Greeks taught us that arrogance brings payback, that nothing is sure in a fickle universe, that none of us can be judged successful and happy until we die, and that moderation and humility alone protect us from own darker sides.

In 2016, what could never have happened usually did.

December 1, 2016

All Hands FYI Armed Islamic Groups training in the U.S.A.

FYI:

I’ve looked, it is true and verified by Stuart Varney of Varn&y Co., the most watched business news show on cable.

http://www.fuqrafiles.com

Be advised of the Islamaburg NYS compound and remember what happened with Bill Clinton’s AG, Janet Reno, and Ruby Ridge in Waco TX.

November 30, 2016

Two new points on cultural change (30-11-16)

Two things to review. See what you can learn about Islamaburg New York State, and review this video on Dearbon MI

From John, with thanks.

> This is the FUTURE,
> accept it, or disbelieve, (and hide
> in the closet). YOUR CHOICE!
> Near Chicago, here
> is Bridgeview,
> Illinois. You’ll be concerned!
> https://safeshare.tv/x/w5oLoW9jZJc#v
>
>

November 23, 2016

Victor Hanson responds to an Angry Reader, [nc]

Filed under: Political Commentary — justplainbill @ 4:42 pm

November 23, 2016 8:33 am / Leave a Comment / Megan Ring
From an Angry Reader:

The new kind of Republican party is part 1930’s Nazi and 1950’s Dixiecrat.

Raye Harper

——————————
Victor Davis Hanson’s Reply:

Dear Angry Reader Raye Harper,

Since you assert rather than argue or explain, it is hard to fathom what you are getting at. But in the spirit of the Angry Reader, I’ll give it a shot.

There is a reason why etymology is a valuable pursuit. Seek the root meaning of words and thereby learn. Our English word Nazism derives as an English transliterated abbreviation for the German Nationalsozialismus (“National Socialism”)—Hitler’s effort to combine fanatical nationalism with socialist and anti-capitalist principles.

Take also your “Dixiecrat” (which incidentally was a one-time phenomenon of the election of 1948, and did not reappear as you suggest in the “1950s.”) Note the suffix “-crat” (Greek, kratos, “power/rule”). It was so named in 1948 because it was a derivative of the Democratic Party. It was not called the Dixiepublicans because it had no similarities to the Republican Party.

Ironically, Dixiecrats’ official name (“The States’ Rights Democratic Party”) reflected and championed the idea of federal nullification (in this case school integration), which had been the source of the 1828 (in this case tariffs) and 1860 (in this case slavery) secessionist fervors. How odd, then, that 300 liberal jurisdictions currently are now “Sanctuary Cities” (perhaps better described as “Nullification Cities”) that defy federal immigration in the neo-Confederate spirit. Ask yourself which party, in the spirit of the Dixiecrats, is more likely to excuse race-base segregation, where on-campus “theme houses” or “safe spaces” with impunity discriminate on the basis of superficial appearance. Who is more tolerant of the idea of La Raza (“the Race”), a noun whose pedigree is found in Franco’s fascist Spain and Mussolini’s (as Razza) fascist Italy—Democrats or Republicans?

Is there any need to ask further where the impetus of contemporary anti-Semitism originates? Just walk on any contemporary campus, and visit the free-speech area. Being Jewish and pro-Israel is far more likely to incur left-wing anti-Semites than old-fashioned right-wing ones.

In sum, I don’t see how the present pro-capitalist, pro-federalist, pro-Israel Republican Party can derive from either a foreign imported socialism or an indigenous states’ rights Democratic Party.

Finally, most readers are aware of your insidious liberal trope. In 1980 Reagan was called a Nazi. When he left office, newly-elected George H.W. Bush was the next extremist and suddenly the Left nostalgically called Reagan moderate, given that he was out of power. In 2000 George W. Bush was the new Nazi, and his father reinvented as a moderate in comparison. By 2016 a “new” Republican Party under Trump is now supposedly Nazi-like and W. is now seen as sober and judicious. So the playbook is transparent: assassinate the character of your present adversary by claiming he is an extremist by the standard of his predecessors, whom you of course smeared when they were in power as well.

Bottom line: a lot of incoherence in your short sentence.

Sincerely,

VDH

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