Views on the News
Views on the News*
August 20, 2016
We are in the midst of a major restructuring of the world because of the digital revolution, with unlimited information at our fingertips and the ability to communicate with anyone anywhere any time. However, the dark underbelly of this technology is that a small, rich, educated elite has unlimited influence throughout the world. For them now is the time to fulfill the 100-year-old dream of a small group of enlightened individuals to humanely and efficiently manage the world to create Utopia. The United Nations, the EU, and multilayered trade deals are steps along this path. The major issues of our time are nationalism versus internationalism, elites versus individuals, and freedom versus tyranny. The elite, no matter their residence, have more in common among themselves than with their countries of origin. They can avoid the consequences of their policies, such as unfettered immigration and bloated bureaucracies. The genius of Donald Trump, who has set all the parameters of this campaign, has recognized this shift and is trying to stem the tide. Predictably, he is suffering from all sides unprecedented opposition. He is still in the race because of his message, political instincts, and ability to command all forms of media. He takes a boxer's instincts to the race: be fit, be persistent, be punishing, and always be on offense. Reagan's massive electoral victories were also missed. Trump is waging a continuous and accelerated offensive: two to three rallies to large crowds, often unrehearsed, compared to Hillary's less frequent, poorly attended, staged events. He presents a 30-year history of achievement while she presents a résumé of positions without positive consequences, some with disastrous results. Trump presents proposals that should help our economy, while she is promising much what we already have. This is beginning to have an effect, as she is looking ever more frail. Questions about her health are becoming more common. In the digital age, a bloated control-and-command country and campaign loses badly to a lean and mean machine. Trump presents a message he deeply believes, and he doesn't need someone to modify his message for a particular audience. Trump wants to punch through the media, and with the help of further damaging emails, he will get Hillary and the media to say "no más."
(“Can Trump orchestrate a paradigm shift?” by Michael F. Angel dated August 17, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/08/can_trump_orchestrate_a_paradigm_shift.html )
Donald Trump announces that in all matters, be they domestic or foreign, his policy and attitude will be "America first." Why is loving one's nation and putting its countrymen first, which is the definition of nationalism, so offensive to liberals, elitists, and neo-conservatives? Political leftism, which is today's dominant variant of liberalism, disdains distinctiveness and yearns for a universalism manifest in an across-the-board leveling in which everything is the same, be it in sexual conduct, values, morality, religion, or country. Nothing riles left liberals more than nationalism, which places one's country and its unique ideals and traditions over another country. Nationalism is the foremost obstacle standing in the way of socialism and global trans-nationalism wherein nations purposely shed their identity and distinctiveness in favor of a bland, non-distinct shell. The goal of trans-nationalism is one set of universal laws not worked out by the native population, but rather something imposed from above by a multicultural power structure that boasts it knows better what is best for everyone. Political and social elitists are drawn to universalism since they intend to be part of the controlling class, the anointed and select who fraternize with the well connected. They boast of their worldliness and international "understanding and tastes" that transcend mere parochialism and nationalism of the hoi polloi and their countrymen. It is cosmopolitanism over nativism, a badge of sophistication, of being a citizen of the world, masters of the universe... part of the ruling class. Too many remain unable to distinguish between the toxic nationalism of pre-World War II Europe and what has been the favorable norm and condition here in America. Here nationalism is a positive phenomenon, since it is based on the quintessential American belief in fair play, meritocracy and idealism and is kept in place generation after generation by an overwhelmingly good-willed people who are philo-Semitic, an Old Testament-inspired citizenry, where Judaism is highly respected and where Jews have been welcomed as part and parcel of the very fabric of American life itself. Americanism is an admirable and safe form of nationalism, something not to be feared, reviled, or looked down upon as a display from mass, brutish malcontents. Plain, old-fashioned Americanism is separate from that category we call American exceptionalism. American exceptionalism speaks to those grand, larger-than-life ideals in which America excels: liberty and freedom, meritocracy, fighting for what's right, individualism, equal justice under the law, hard work, moral clarity, volunteerism, optimism, can-do ingenuity. Americanism is the patriotism and natural inclination to love our country and to put the legitimate needs of our people first, especially when those requests are not for freebies and entitlements, but the right to work for a living and to be treated as well as the incoming immigrant. Evidently, the critics of nationalism do not extend to the American people the capacity for discernment, the "smarts" to distinguish between people per se and conduct and consequences. Common sense tells us that open borders bring in unchecked diseases, terrorists and criminals, and an overload of unprepared people collapsing our nation's infrastructure and local institutions. It has nothing to do with being a "racist" nationalist. Illegal immigration is a brazen disregard for our laws, and it has left many areas of the country vandalized and many of our citizens harmed and victimized. Today's unbridled immigration is a tactic, a purposeful importation of millions of people who will later vote for the Democrat Party that will pay for these votes (with our tax dollars). Instead of assimilating into our existing culture, many immigrants are demanding that we surrender our way of life and beliefs to accommodate theirs. When Donald Trump expresses the conviction held by tens of millions of honorable citizens that Islamic immigration needs to be temporarily halted until we make sure that those arriving will not harm us, as is the case in Europe, it is not bigotry against a people, but rather, it is a reasonable and natural desire to protect ourselves and our loved ones from an ideology that is changing the face of Europe and actively and forcefully ushering in Western and Christian oblivion. A major component of Americanism is ensuring that jobs for Americans receive priority when considering trade agreements. Some call this economic nationalism. Being indifferent to Americans who wish to do an honest day's labor is more emblematic of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, who in the name of environmentalism will eagerly shut down the livelihood and family dignity of those men relying on jobs in the coal mines, fracking acreage, the oil and gas fields, timber, beef raising, fishing, and other jobs tied to the land. In redefining conservatism, too many have made "nation building" a foundational principle of "conservative" foreign policy. Forgetting that Islamic/sharia societies are viscerally against our Western ways and do not, and never will, share our values and aspirations, Americans simply no longer want to send our young men and women, and national treasure, to enact global pipe dreams. Nation building is simply social engineering on a global scale. This is not a philosophy of the people, for the people, and by the people. It certainly does not rise to the amber waves of basic, old-fashioned Americanism. As for me and tens of millions of others, we'll take Americanism over globalism and trans-nationalism any day because it's a much better fit.
(“Americanism is an Admirable and Safe Form of Nationalism” by Aryeh Spero dated August 13, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/americanism_is_an_admirable_and_safe_form_of_nationalism.html )
All types of organizations, both for- and non-profit, will mimic a biologic life-form. It will first and foremost fight to stay alive, then it will seek to expand and grow. It seeks out resources and will fight to retain these resources for its own uses. It will attempt to take care of its own in all of its actions. Although directed by living people, the organization has a life of its own in many profound ways. In a for-profit organization all of these organizational drives are tempered by the reality of the marketplace. They must convince individuals to voluntarily part with their money for whatever goods and services are offered and to do so in a profitable manner. Otherwise they will cease to exist. These organizational heartbeats depend on success to survive. Non-profit organizations aren’t bound by this reality. The biggest, most powerful and most threatening non-profit organizations that exist are governments. The non-profits we call “government” don’t have to convince people to voluntarily part with their money. They don’t have to provide quality goods and/or services and achieving these goals at a profit or even breakeven is not required. There are no feedback loops whereby reality can alter the path of these non-profit entities. Effective feedback allows for gradual change and adaptation. A lack of feedback sets the stage for catastrophic failures. Government is often said to be inefficient, but it is not because it is very efficient but its goal is not necessarily what we the people believe. Analyze almost any government program and you will see how efficient the entity is in retaining resources for itself. This is also the reason the non-profits we call government will never be satisfied with the money sent to them via taxes. These non-profits generally grow by constantly adding people, either directly as employees or indirectly by making others dependent on their actions and favors. These individuals will almost always vote in their own self-interest and thus the entity rewards and strengthens itself in a democracy by this constant expansion. Government people can all be quite moral and “good public servants”, yet the organization will operate as it will. It is easy to blame one political party for the expansion of these non-profits but this growth occurs with either a Republican or Democrat at the helm. We see this most spectacularly in the transformation of the federal government. Rather than the constitutionally construed federation of states with federal power being strictly limited, the non-profit we call the federal government has expanded to effectively subjugate the states and all citizens. Left unrestrained, government is much like a kudzu plant, because sooner or later it is destined to overgrow its environment until it collapses in a catastrophic failure.
(“The Organization as Life Form” by John Conlin dated August 13, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/the_organization_as_lifeform.html )
Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, when in fact the results never change, is one definition of insanity. That definition works for economic insanity, too. Over the past seven-and-a-half years, President Obama has maintained a steady course of burdensome new regulations, significant tax increases, and massive federal spending on so-called infrastructure. He has unconstitutionally ordered executive actions, favored labor over business, attacked banks, insulted successful corporate leaders, and backed federal-government mandates on business. With all this, strong economic recovery from a deep recession never came to pass. A recent Wall Street Journal news headline proclaimed: "The Worst Expansion Since World War II." Another recent Journal headline asserted: "Productivity Slump Threatens Economy's Long-Term Growth." Yet Obama has continued to do the same thing over and over again. Now comes Hillary Clinton's economic plan, which will deliver more stagnant growth, falling wages, dropping productivity, and depressed investment. Her program would raise taxes on so-called rich people, corporations, capital gains, death, and stock transactions. She would spend massively on infrastructure and again mandate rules for private businesses. Remarkably, she has no corporate tax reform (even Obama had a plan) to revive corporate investment and boost productivity, wages, and living standards. By repeating Obama's policies, how does Clinton expect the economy to do any better than it did during Obama's presidency? Clinton's goal is not economic growth, but reducing inequality and social injustice in the name of "fairness." She never tells us what "fair" means, although we know it is code for higher taxes and larger government. Donald Trump wants to lower taxes across-the-board for individuals and large and small businesses, significantly reduce burdensome regulations, and unleash America's energy resources. Trump's corporate tax reform would restore America's position as the most hospitable investment climate in the world. For a change, businesses and their cash would come back home. The contrast between the two economic-policy strategies couldn't be clearer: Clinton has a recession strategy; Trump has a recovery strategy. When you read Clinton's Detroit economic speech you see repeated references to making sure the top 1% pays its fair share, and ditto for corporations. There's a big factual mistake. A CBO study shows that "the rich" don't just pay a "fair share" of federal taxes, they pay almost everybody's share, particularly when it comes to financing government-transfer payments. IRS data shows that in 2013 the top 1% paid an average 34% of federal taxes, while the middle 20% paid only 12.8%. What's more, numerous studies show that cutting business taxes will benefit wage earners the most. That's the middle class. Plainly, Trump intends to reward success, while Clinton will punish it. She wants the government to run the economy. He believes in the growth engine of free enterprise. Trump understands that you can't have good-paying jobs unless you have strong, healthy businesses. But if investors and businesses are harassed by overregulation and uncompetitive taxes, firms will stagnate or fail and jobs and wages will shrink. Hillary never ran a business. So she doesn't understand this model. It's not a Republican or Democrat model. It's a commonsense, American model of prosperity.
(“Insanity Once More: The Clinton Economic Plan” by Larry Kudlow dated August 13, 2016 published by Real Clear Markets at http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2016/08/13/insanity_once_more_the_clinton_economic_plan_102304.html )
The core strategic problem we face is two conflicts with two ideologies that operate subversively until they are in power. That is, instead of stating their agenda openly, Islam and the left operate as false fronts maintaining a friendly moderate image while pursuing a far more radical agenda. The distinction between moderates and radicals is at the heart of the debate about Islamic terrorism. Much as it used to be at the heart of the debate about Communism and its fellow travelers. What they will deny is the extent of the complicity and, more significantly, the fact that the radicals were pursuing the same ends as the moderates, an Islamic Caliphate or a Communist dictatorship, only more rapidly and ruthlessly. The thing that must be understood is that moderates do not disavow radicals. Rather they bridge the gap between the radicals and the larger society, justifying their ends, and eventually their means, while pretending to disavow them. Radicals reject any dialogue, while moderates emphasize dialogue. Moderates will verbally reject the means with which an end is pursued. If you accept the premise that Israel’s presence in its ‘67 territories is driving terrorism, then you have signed on to everything from BDS to the destruction of the Jewish State. If you concede that crime and violence are driven by class and racial inequities, then you accept that the only way to end this “class war” is massive taxation and wealth redistribution through government intervention that addresses the root cause. That is not the way it seems to most people, and that is why the “moderate” strategy works so well. Once you have accepted the moderate definition of the root cause, you will inevitably be forced to accept the radical remedy. This is true across a spectrum of lower level policies. For example, accept that homosexuality is genetic and gay rights become the inevitable and inescapable outcome. That is how the root cause defines the outcome, and this is how moderates achieve radical goals. Moderates convince you to accept their premise of the root cause. Then they argue for sensitivity to the radicals whose motives have suddenly become understandable. Finally they argue for a settlement in which a compromise is reached that will allow the radicals to achieve a moderate version of their ends. The radicals are not any kind of serious physical threat. We could destroy ISIS easily if we chose to unleash our full force against them. The same is true for every single Islamic terror group in the world, and, for that matter, their state sponsors too. The real threat is always the subversion of the moderates. The challenge then becomes the need to expose the false facade of the moderates. The moderates cry that they are being unfairly victimized by hateful people. There are shouts of red-baiting and McCarthyism, profiling and bigotry. Their critics are paranoid and unhinged, which is the core argument made by the two allied subversive ideologies. It is “ugly” to expose their views, to quote them, to bring them to the surface. It is intolerant. It’s not the way that respectable people should behave. And the moderates, who pose as respectable people precisely to play on the weakness of the middle class for being respectable, understand that this is the ultimate weapon. Moderates, who pretend to be respectable, excel at pushing the respectable shame button. It doesn’t matter if it’s true. It’s ugly to discuss it. The majority of those on the left aren’t harboring secret plans to build gulags. They would find the idea horrifying. Likewise many Muslims in Western countries don’t support Islamic terrorism. They are moderates, but only in the sense that they have not yet signed on to radical ideas. Not in the sense that they would fight and oppose them to their very last breath. They are mostly moderates out of a lack of conviction rather than a surplus of it. Subversive organizations operate through incremental radicalization. The average American liberal of twenty years ago would not have supported half of what he vocally advocates for today. Even Obama and Hillary were against gay marriage when they ran for office. In a few years they moved from opposing a policy to threatening to prosecute those opposed to it. The process operates the same way across a spectrum of policies. The left keeps its more moderate followers in the dark about its real goals. Then once the stampede begins, the moderates who derive their sense that they are good people from following the ideas of the left, quickly fall in line. The same is true of Islam. Many Muslims would not be happy with an immediate transition to ISIS, but plenty are willing to back the more incremental attempts to build a Caliphate through political Islam in Turkey or through the Muslim Brotherhood. Their greatest weapon is respectability, and when cornered, they insist that they are just nice people who want to make the world a better place, and their critics are bigots, nasty people, who don’t want everyone to get along and spread disunity. The chief ally of the moderates is this sort of middle class respectability. The moderates paint their critics as radicals who have no solutions, when in fact they themselves are radicals with a final solution. Middle class respectability is a function of a sense of security. When that sense of security begins to implode as a society experiences chaos, the middle class stops clinging to respectability, and then the real conflict begins. We may well be approaching that phase. Economic decline and Islamic terror are leading to a radical break with respectability. We are entering a radical age in which the moderates take off their masks and radicals of various stripes gain great influence and openly recruit for their cause, as history is repeating itself.
(“Moderates and Radicals in Islam and the Left” by Daniel Greenfield dated August 13, 2016 published by Canada Free Press at http://canadafreepress.com/article/moderates-and-radicals-in-islam-and-the-left )
Secular humanism takes a political form called liberalism or progressivism, promising better days, delivering worse and profiting from the manufactured villains it wrongly blames. Given liberalism’s elite, self-designated managerial class is on average no more competent than the rest of us, the policy failures are unsurprising. However, the opportunistic blame shifting that follows and its resulting strife are appalling threats to the common good. Consider that over the last eight years, median family income is down, food stamps up, labor participation down, cost of healthcare up, federal debt doubled, mass shootings up, black poverty/teen unemployment up and black homeownership down. It is particularly non-objective and etymologically imprecise that the progressive liberal either cannot or will not define what constitutes diversity, but unsurprising because the question is a threat. Communist regimes used fear to turn citizens against each other, consolidating control by dehumanizing people. The goal was never the promised post-revolution utopia; it was just continued revolution, for the elite who benefitted from it. It is telling that Hillary Clinton's top five contributors are hedge funds. Seven financial firms alone have generated $48.5 million for Clinton. Today, it is the 1% elite that profit from unfettered global flows of goods, labor and capital. It is the 1% elite that are comfortable in any Four Seasons Hotel of any city of the world. It is the 1% elite that promote a lifestyle libertinism they rarely practice. Our rulers live in a different reality. Unfortunately, most of the rest of us are disoriented as a result of our severance from the traditional foundations of reliable employment, a savings account, family and vibrant mediating institutions like PTAs, neighborhoods, churches and even nation itself. Consider that liberal managers have decided that these are threats: policemen, unborn babies and American flags. You are right that the number of depressed and confused men driven to enter the ladies’ room is practically zero as a percentage of American men, but that's not the point. You are right that good studies show police are less likely to shoot and kill black men than other men, but those facts don’t matter. The point is to elevate the perceived victimhood of all minorities through the girls’ bathroom issue, of black Americans by making "all lives" a slur, of successful women by converting reasonable and humane abortion restrictions into a century-reversing threat to their livelihood. Diversity trumps unity, autonomy trumps community, black lives trump other lives and either-or trumps both-and. This elevation of differences over commonalities, and deliberately creating divisiveness are strange because secular humanists should know we are humans first, and a very distant second black, brown and white. The faithful, on the other hand, know to avoid deliberate divisiveness. Because their reason is bettered by faith, the faithful know we all have the dignity of being God’s children and that our minor differences (color, sex, etc…) are unimportant. We are in the sad situation where everything political is personal for everyone, and the anachronistic “public servant” has been replaced by the “public irritant.” This obsessive contest for power won’t end well if it continues unless we move toward the common good, self-forgetfulness and the virtues.
(“Manufactured Grievance: The Engine of Progressivism” by Steve Craig dated August 16, 2016 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/08/manufactured_grievance_the_engine_of_progressivism.html
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. No updates have been made this week to the issue sections.