Views on the News
Views on the News*
January 7, 2017
2016 will go down in history as the time when the West’s inexorable march towards oblivion halted in its tracks. It was the year that the tyrant’s mask slipped and showed the world that its Global City was really a poisoned ant hill. It was a year when the glory of the hive was stripped bare. A year when cowardice and whoredom were checkmated. A year when men exchanged the safety and security of the rendering plant for a new breath of liberty. Indeed, the Brexit and Trump elections were the modern day shots heard around the world. We have been given an opportunity to strengthen what yet remains, and to bottle up the secularists who would scrub the public square clean of any hope for a moral-political regeneration. The libs had control of every institutionalized avenue of power, and still they lost! As Progressivism is merely the contemporary “Happy Face of Marxism,” it should come as no surprise that an aversion to the sacred is the movement’s default judgment. Liberalism is the world’s moral-political Peter Pan complex. It is narcissism arrayed in utopian longings. It believes that the wisdom that once fueled our civilization was merely a shattered stepping stone to its own bloodless ideal of perfection. It believes without question the perennial delusion of the Serpent in the Garden: that once we had rebelled we would achieve our own homogenized Valhalla. This collectivist monstrosity could never give birth to eagles, only pitiful flies of a season circling the corpse of its decaying state. As for Obama, the lord of those flies: we knew from the beginning that he was a Wrecker. A friend to our enemies and an enemy to our friends, he hated what was best and unique in us and wished nothing more than to set fire to America as he danced around in her ashes. His judgment is forthcoming, and his legacy will be as a burnt offering in Hell. He was never of us, for we were made for far better things than the devil can offer. Awakened from the nightmare, we found that noble principles had not perished in our exile. A manly fire is now burning fiercely and it will soon be unstoppable. If we allow it, its spirit will cleanse the land of leaders who had broken faith, and made common cause with the lowest among us. Let their names be stricken: men tentative in their masculine virtues and unwavering in their resolve to dishonor the patrimony of America. These years have been brutally long, but not long enough to forget the proud and singular spirit that stirs in the best of us; and if given time, will cauterize the wounds self-inflicted by the treacherous, the self-serving, and the panderer. With the new year comes new hope; I can hear it now as it builds, and it will continue to crescendo until it sweeps down like a star and scours away the venomous rabble that truly believed they had poisoned us forever; it is nothing less than revolution.
(“Can You Hear It?” by Glen Fairman dated January 1, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/01/can_you_hear_it.html )
Americans have despaired over the state of the nation’s economy for eight long years, but now, even before Donald Trump officially becomes president, their outlooks are turning rosier. The New York-based Conference Board, which monitors issues affecting businesses, reported that consumer confidence in December soared to its highest level since August 2001. That followed a steep rise in November, after Trump won the election. The measure is considered a key economic indicator and may provide clues to the economy’s direction. So it’s good news, and there’s more of that, it seems, to come:
· Americans are more upbeat about their outlook than at any time in the last 13 years.
· More consumers, 24%, foresee brighter “business conditions” in the next six months, the highest level since 2011.
· A greater share also believes job availability, and their incomes, will grow.
· Some 44% had a positive outlook for stock prices, the most upbeat appraisal since 2004.
· More Americans say they plan to buy cars and major appliances.
The findings are in line with survey results from the University of Michigan and the National Federation of Independent Business. A new Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll also reflects swelling optimism. While only 18% thought things got better for the nation in 2016, compared to 33% who thought they got worse, a whopping 55% think conditions will improve for them personally in 2017. It’s hard not to see a link to Trump’s vows to grow the economy and create jobs through tax cuts, streamlining regulations and energizing the energy market. No one, not even the leader of the Free World, can guarantee any particular level of growth. The economy’s fate rests in part on perceptions; a positive or negative outlook can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people spend and invest based on their personal expectations. So if folks believe Trump will “make America great again”, bringing back jobs and raising income levels that in itself is a big step toward making it happen.
(“With Trump’s win, America sees a brighter future” by Editorial Board dated January 3, 2017 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2017/01/03/with-trumps-win-america-sees-a-brighter-future/ )
Conservatism can be defined as an attitude of resistance to radical change marked by caution and prudence. Because progressives reject the American idea, American conservatism quite naturally over time came to define itself as resistance to the progressive project of "fundamentally transforming" America. It is prudent to live in a way that does not invite life-threatening risks, but if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, prudence may demand something other than caution. Donald Trump sensed that America is at such a crisis point. The Obama administration had gone far beyond not defending America's borders. It was promoting a tsunami of illegal aliens while actively importing a hostile population from the Middle East, which included terrorists. Government intrusions into private life and government debt threatened to reach a point of no return. A truly anti-constitutional Supreme Court was in the offing. In addition, the person the Democrats were planning to run for President would have been living in the Big House instead of heading to the White House if she had been an ordinary citizen, and the Democrats were calling her the most qualified candidate in American history! America having reached a point of no return, none of the varieties of conservatism were ready, willing, or able to rise to the emergency. Tragically, some establishment conservatives chose to defend their settled way of operating instead and became NeverTrumps. Trump had parachuted into a closed system of liberal "news" media, "expert" opinion, academia, and a Republican political establishment that was about to lose the whole game and didn't realize it. Needless to say, he was not welcomed by any of them. Trump calls himself a common sense conservative which has more in common with the commonsense thinking of the American founders than Trump's conservative opponents realize.
(“Trump and the crisis of American Conservatism” by Robert Curry dated January 3, 2017 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2017/01/trump_and_the_crisis_of_american_conservatism.html )
The election of Barack Obama, the first black president of the United States, was seen as a landmark achievement for a nation that once dehumanized blacks and held them as slaves. The expectation was that President Obama would lift up the socioeconomic status of blacks throughout the nation and rid the country of its attitudes of racial discrimination and bias, but the exact opposite has happened. Obama’s record of black achievement is not just dismal, it is shocking. Obama’s policies have put blacks out of the work force, their unemployment rate has risen. Welfare use and food stamp enrollment have also seen startling and disappointing increases. At first one could argue that this is because the nation was too prejudiced to allow him to establish any programs that would elevate blacks in the U.S., but this argument cannot be made, since Obama spent and borrowed more money than any government leader in world history, not just U.S. history. An analysis of Obama’s failure to help blacks can only be understood when the long-term policies of Democrats toward blacks are acknowledged. The plain truth is, Democrats have never been concerned with raising the socioeconomic status of blacks. To the contrary, history shows that Democrats have been solely focused on controlling blacks, segregating them into impoverished communities, and restricting their families to lives of poverty, crime, incarceration, and desperation. The oppressive Democrat policies toward blacks has a history over two hundred years old. When the U.S. was first being formed as a nation, some northern representatives wanted to completely abolish slavery, but their efforts were curtailed by southern slave owners. When efforts were made to allow slaves to escape to free states, the states’ rights movement, led by Democratic politicians like John Calhoun, argued that a slave belongs to his owner no matter if he goes to a free state or not. This states’ rights approach is still being seen today when Democrats argue they have the right to promote illegal immigration. The Civil War was fought to abolish slavery. Two amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Thirteenth and Fourteenth, were passed to abolish the practice. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing blacks from the bonds of slavery. Democrats have never wanted equality for blacks. In retaliation for losing the Civil War, Democrats in the South started oppressive vigilante groups and wrote laws to hinder the participation of blacks in politics. The laws written to suppress black voting were not banned until the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which was filibustered by Senator Robert Byrd, who was an active KKK leader and recruiter. The KKK was started after the Civil War to intimidate blacks and keep them from voting. Blacks are no longer held by chains, but by poor education, poor education guaranteed by the institutions of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association. These two organizations have millions of members through the U.S. ensuring that blacks will never overcome the oppression Democrats have institutionalized for them. Democrats are now renewing their efforts to maintain their control of blacks by introducing the concepts of “white privilege” and “white supremacy.” They fail to confess that their institutions, established through Democrat government policies, are the real obstacles blacks, and now Hispanics, face. Liberal Democrats make sure that blacks and Hispanics will never improve their socioeconomic status. An improvement in their socioeconomic status will threaten the Democrat Party’s control. The 2016 election was narrowly lost, and Democrats see their only hope as restoring their absolute control of black and Hispanic voters. To do this they are blaming the oppression of racial minorities on Republicans, but Republicans were not responsible for creating the big city ghettoes and barrios where Democrats are now creating a second, oppressed racial group, Hispanics. In fact, the promotion of illegal immigration and the segregation of illegal immigrants into barrios in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York proves that liberal Democrats still cling to their principles of impoverishing minorities by race and then using their despair to obtain votes. This intentional degradation of an entire group of people is shocking to see practiced today, but it has been done with such subtlety and rhetorical sleight of hand that it has worked. Liberal Democrats institutionalized white supremacy by keeping blacks and Hispanics in poverty through government institutions, particularly education and the support of single motherhood through entitlement programs, and these facts are indisputable. The only way blacks have improved their lives is to leave, on their own, their institutionalized poverty of place: they have begun to leave the ghettoes of New York and Chicago, leaving the cities of the Northeast and moving back South.
(“How Liberal Democrats Institutionalized White Supremacy” by Michael Bargo, Jr. dated December 31, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/how_liberal_democrats_institutionalized_white_supremacy.html )
Historians will look back on 2016 as an inflection year in world history, perhaps not as momentous (or violent) as the years that follow but marking a major global turning point, when the old order of world politics could be seen as crumbling. This disintegration actually has been going on for some time, but it was not so readily discernible during the intervening years as it became in 2016. As we peer into 2017, consider some of the old structures, both global and domestic, now under threat:
· The European Union: This 70-year-old experiment in European integration is buffeted by a powerful wave of nationalism reflected in Britain’s Brexit vote and other rising political currents in France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands and elsewhere. Designed to ensure peace and foster economic growth among European nations, the EU has become an antidemocratic bureaucracy dominated by elites and increasingly removed from, and hostile to, traditional national and cultural sentiments of the European peoples. Old structures seldom die quietly.
· Asia: America’s military and economic dominance remained unchallenged; China joined the world as a nation in good standing, positioned to help foster tremendous economic activity; and a U.S. network of alliances with Asia’s economically progressive nations (Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia) served as a counterweight to any possible Chinese threat. That structure now is breaking down as China disrupts global commerce with intricate non-tariff trade barriers and seeks dominance over the western Pacific, particularly the vast South China Sea. The ultimate aim, it seems clear, is to remove American power from the region and push the United States back to Hawaii so China can effectuate a regional dominance. Either China backs down; or the United States retreats from Asia; or hostilities eventually will ensue.
· The Middle East: This is a region of progressive conflagration; Sunni versus Shia, Palestinians versus Israel, the geopolitical interests of Saudi Arabia versus those of Iran. Iran’s regional influence has expanded, largely due to Bush’s invasion of Iraq and destabilization of that country. This in turn has spurred Saudi Arabia into a brutal aggression against the Iran-supported government of Yemen. Iraq’s destabilization has fostered the rise of the Islamic State, which is drawing Western nations into the region, further exacerbating tensions between the West and Islam. The cancer of Islamist terrorism is metastasizing throughout the region and spreading more and more into Europe.
· America: The American status quo, like Europe’s, was not sustainable because too many voters felt beleaguered by the globalist juggernaut, their economic well-being and their heritage threatened. Alone among 2016 presidential aspirants, Trump demonstrated contempt for the old order, including the lack of border security, the shibboleths of free trade, the globalist contempt for nationalism, even the old rules of political comportment in national elections.
Will President-elect Trump, the scourge of the old order, manage to steer a course toward some kind of new order of stability in domestic politics and global arrangements? Or will he turn out to be an instrument of creative destruction, destined merely to scrape away the lingering remnants of the status quo while leaving the world with the task of fashioning some form of stability out of the enveloping chaos? Will his assault on America’s political status quo lead to a new coalition of electoral equilibrium in the country or enflame its politics for years to come? Will his trade policies level the playing field of international commerce or throw the global economy into decline? Can his recognition of China’s menacing ways lead to a new concept of coexistence in Asia, or will it exacerbate martial tensions there? These questions and many similar ones hover over America and the world as Trump prepares to assume America’s leadership. He didn’t create the situaltions that caused the leadership crisis , but he exploited it. The question is whether Trump can tame the crisis or whether the crushing forces of history are simply too powerful for him or anyone else to subdue.
(“Why 2016 was a major turning point for the world” by Robert W. Merry dated December 29, 2016 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/dec/29/why-2016-was-a-major-turning-point-for-the-world/ )
Representing America on the World Stage is one of the primary duties of any President, and with Obama’s time in office soon ending now is a good time to evaluate his conduct of foreign affairs. The whole point of diplomacy is to engage with other countries in a manner that furthers the security of this country and its ability to engage in world trade on a fair and equitable basis. For a country that is a “Friend”, the goal is to maintain or strengthen that friendship in a manner that is beneficial for both parties. With an “Opponent”, the goal is to deter it from engaging in acts that make it an Opponent, or better yet, to convince that country to change from Opponent to Friend. However, in no case should America compromise its core principals in either winning Friends or influencing Opponents. With these basic principals in mind, how did we fare under Obama: Very clearly, not well at all. Israel has been one of America’s closest allies. Obama recently betrayed Israel at the UN, allowing passage of a resolution contrary to historic U.S. policy and which undermines the Jewish Nation. He allowed passage of the Resolution not by voting for it, which would have at least been honest, but by allowing it to pass by refusing to vote, all in a cowardly effort to avoid being accused of voting for it. No one was fooled by this, and by betraying a close Friend he has embarrassed both himself and this country. Unfortunately, betraying Friends is not a new policy for Obama. Consider his abandonment of Iraq after the success of the Surge (which allowed the rise of ISIS and necessitated the redeployment of American forces there), his cancellation of an agreement with Poland on missile defense in a failed attempt to appease Russia, and his refusal to act when Russia invaded Ukraine in violation of America’s treaty obligations to that country. In the latter case, Obama only gave Putin a “tongue lashing” for his misbehavior, which Putin no doubt replays for his own amusement. Afghanistan is in even worse shape than when Obama took office, and remember that this was the “good war” that the Democrats said had to be won, and that would be won by them. Then there are the Opponents that could have become Friends, such as Libya. His abandonment of that country and the misery that has caused its people was disgraceful. Sometimes “leading from behind” really is little more than cowardice. Such was also the case with the Green Revolution in Iran, which Obama refused to support. If successful, it would have brought some measure of democracy to Iran and Iran’s likely abandonment of terror as an instrument of state policy. This clearly was in the best interests of both America and the Iranian people, but Obama squandered that opportunity in a failed attempt to appease that murderous regime. Obama then doubled down on failure, providing Iran with the means to expand its nuclear research and create a nuclear arsenal, furthering the cause of nuclear proliferation and the destabilization of the Middle East, which are clearly contrary to America’s interests. As with the Resolution on Israel, he did this by hiding behind a UN Resolution that contravened historic U.S. policy and which the U.S. could have vetoed, and which if presented to the U.S. Senate as a treaty would have been soundly defeated. America received nothing in return from Iran except well deserved contempt, and the increasing likelihood of an Iranian nuclear arsenal will probably trigger a regional nuclear arms race among nations not very stable to begin with. Moreover, on Obama’s watch, U.S. influence in the Middle East has dropped so far that when the war currently winding down in Syria finally ends, the U.S. may not even be invited to the peace conference. Then there are the Opponents that have been emboldened. Iran is an obvious example, but there is also Russia and China. Russia has moved aggressively to modernize and expand its nuclear forces (with no real U.S. response), has invaded its neighbors without consequence (other than suffering the perfunctory Obama lecture), and thanks to Obama’s incompetence is now the dominant diplomatic power in the Middle East. China is moving aggressively to modernize and expand its nuclear forces (with no real U.S. response), and now claims ownership of much of the South China Sea. This frightens U.S. allies such as Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines, who rightly question America’s commitment to their defense. Then there are America’s borders which were porous when Obama took office, but now are nearly non-existent. A typical estimate of the number of individuals who entered this country illegally last year is 500,000, which is more than the population of the City of Atlanta. When half a million people cross your border illegally, there is a word for that and that word is “Invasion”. Obama has done virtually nothing about it, except demonize Americans opposing his inaction as being un-American. Obama’s backbone only seems to make an appearance when attacking Americans. The U.S. has fewer Friends than it did eight years ago, and the strength of the friendships that remain are weaker than when he took office. Obama has not moved any country from the Opponent column to the Friend column with the possible exception of Cuba, and that came at the cost of compromising our principles. With our Opponents, instead of deterring them from engaging in those acts that make them Opponents, Obama has only emboldened them through policies that are simultaneously flaccid and inconsistent. The danger of nuclear war has increased because of him. He has done all of this while also weakening our borders, and our military defenses, further compromising our security. Any sober assessment of Obama’s conduct of Foreign Policy is that he has been an abject failure, and this is what Trump will inherit, and I don’t envy him.
(“Obama’s Conduct of Foreign Policy Was a Disaster” by Paul Revere dated December 30, 2016 published by The Daily Caller at http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/30/obamas-conduct-of-foreign-policy-was-a-disaster/ )
There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following sections:
· Middle East at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/middleeast.php