Posts

PODCAST: Coronavirus Rules Don’t Apply to Sharpton’s 100,000 Racists March!

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

ERIN ELMORE

Erin Elmore is an attorney, political strategist, on-air correspondent, and the Executive Director of USA Strong, a grassroots organization focused on rebuilding American greatness. Her commentary has been featured on Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Nation, CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Daily Mail, and The New York Post, among others. During the 2016 Presidential election, Erin was a spokesperson (“surrogate”) for Donald Trump,whom she met as a contestant on the NBC show, “The Apprentice 3”. She was even called one of Trump’s favorites.

TOPIC: TikTok: Communist China’s Latest Breach of Freedom

DANIEL GREENFIELD

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism. Daniel’s original biweekly column appears at Front Page Magazine and his blog articles regularly appear at Family Security Matters, the Jewish Press, Times of Israel, Act for America and Right Side News, as well as daily at the Canada Free Press and a number of other outlets. The scope of Daniel’s writing covers everything from domestic American politics to creeping Islamism in Scotland and how foreign aid makes its way into the hands of terrorists to white aborigines in Australia, Islamist Imams in Libya, flogging in the Maldives and the hunt for witches in the Muslim world.

TOPIC: Coronavirus Rules Don’t Apply to Sharpton’s 100,000 Racists March!

TIM BRYCE

Tim Bryce is is a freelance writer residing in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. An avid writer and speaker discussing everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology in our ever changing world. In addition to his columns and blog entitled “The Bryce is Right’ which is read by thousands of people worldwide. Tim has also been published in a wide range of publication from the WASHINGTON TIMES to the HUFFINGTON POST.. Tim’s new book, “ “Before You Vote: Know How Your Government Works”, What American youth should know about government”

TOPIC: HOW DO THE DEMOCRATS MANAGE?

Why Have So Many American Conservatives Embraced COVID-19 Pseudoscience?

With almost 150,000 COVID-19 deaths, the United States, putative leader of the free world, now is competing with Brazil and Russia for global supremacy in pandemic mismanagement. Not only does the United States lack any kind of coherent federal leadership on this issue, but even state and city leaders have fallen into bickering—and even lawsuits—over the correct response. While many Western nations have all but extinguished COVID-19 within their borders, the American pandemic is raging with a new ferocity. Yet some conservatives continue to protest even basic public-health measures, including masks. How could some of America’s best and brightest abet their country’s collapse into dysfunction in the face of a once-in-a-century pandemic?

The most obvious answer lies with their president, Donald Trump, who has continued to hold large rallies even into July. He and his most fervent supporters boosted the patchwork of conspiracy theories, crank medical science, and plain apathy that informed much of the American response. At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference in Washington, D.C. back in February, the president’s then acting cabinet chief, Mick Mulvaney, assured everyone that no country is better equipped to deal with this kind of crisis, and that “the press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president… That’s what this is all about.” This was in late February, a full five months ago, when the American death count was still in double digits. Yet now that it is well into six digits, we still get the same script. People die all the time, from all sorts of causes, they tell us. Take the flu. It kills tens of thousands every year, right?

As someone who has a wide network of conservative friends and ideological allies, cultivated over decades of writing on the Middle East conflict, anti-Semitism, terrorism, and related issues, I’ve watched in horror as writers I’ve long respected succumbed to this nonsense. On January 30th, well before many people had even heard of COVID-19, in fact, American Thinker writer Jeffrey Folks was already warning that this was merely a case of “Dems rooting for a global pandemic”:

Russiagate didn’t work. Ukraine didn’t work, the economy is growing at a healthy rate. Nothing works against this president—but maybe the coronavirus will do it! … Things would have to be a lot worse than [the SARS outbreak] in 2002–3, when there were 8,098 cases and 774 deaths worldwide.

Of course, plenty of leaders and pundits botched their response to COVID-19 in January and February. But even in March, by which time it had become obvious that COVID-19 wasn’t just another iteration of the seasonal flu, Trump continued to act as if the disease could be fought on the basis of hunches and pseudoscience. Confiding in Fox News host Sean Hannity, the president said that reports of a high mortality rate were false. Around the same time, an American Thinker writer blithely assured everyone on the basis that “the odds of recovering are far higher than the odds of dying” (which is also true of many kinds of cancer). In the conservative blogosphere, the idea of communist China waging germ warfare against the West was conflated with alleged Democratic efforts to profit from the political fallout—with Trump cast as the adult in the room resisting the call for panic. Or as one writer put it: “Thank God for the cool, calm, collected and seasoned business mogul, President Donald J. Trump, who is guiding us.”

In his weekly articles on the American Greatness site, New Criterion publisher Roger Kimball conferred legitimacy on the no-big-deal approach to the unfolding pandemic with highbrow literary references and Latin phrases. As the body count climbed, he began insisting on picayune distinctions between “dying from the virus [or] with the virus.” This pedantry continues to this day, as various conservatives spin the death numbers this way and that, in order to present the plague as an artifact of testing, natural mortality cycles, or media bias.

Meanwhile, the actual scientists trying to save lives, Anthony Fauci foremost among them, have been demonized. In May, Kimball proclaimed that “the country has been on a moral bender, intoxicated by fear and panic,” and then luridly demagogued the “Svengali-like Anthony Fauci” as some kind of Rasputin figure, noting that the doctor was accompanied by “his comely, Vanna White-like assistant Dr. Deborah Birx.” To this day, Trump himself insists that Fauci is an “alarmist.” Among the president’s supporters, Sweden’s failed effort to let the disease progress toward a state of herd immunity remains an object of admiration.

Even the usually sure-footed Heather Mac Donald wrote that:

Fear-mongering news stories should begin by admitting that there is [as of March 13th], a total of 41 deaths in the United States, half of them from a ‘poorly run nursing home outside of Seattle.’ The chances of dying from the disease in America are infinitesimal compared to the economic damage. In 2018–19, 34,200 people died from influenza. The annual death toll from automobile accidents is 38,800. Even if the current Covid-19 fatality rate were multiplied by a factor of one thousand, it would outnumber traffic deaths by a mere 2,200.

As of late July, in fact, the death toll already has spiked upward, compared to March 13th, by a factor of about three thousand—and no one knows how high it will go. As for the dead, Mac Donald nonchalantly noted that no children under the age of nine had died, while 89 percent of the Italian victims were over 70, “nearing the end of their lifespans. [They] might have… died from another illness.” Succumbing to Godwin’s Law, Dennis Prager argued that the economic effects of the lockdown would be worse than the disease itself, and, in the same breath, that “the Nazis came to power because of economics more than any other single reason.”

The demand that the medical community recognize the miraculous COVID-19-curing qualities of hydroxychloroquine formed another absurd subplot. In his in-depth report on Didier Raoult, the controversial French professor who championed the drug, journalist Scott Sayare explained that much of the misinformation began spreading in early March, when Gregory Rigano—who falsely presented himself as an advisor to Stanford Medical School—self-published a Google Docs report on the subject that he’d formatted so that it looked like a legitimate scientific paper. Fox News host Laura Ingraham picked up on his misinformation, and pronounced hydroxychloroquine to be a “game-changer.” Sean Hannity followed suit. Rigano appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show, where he claimed that Raoult’s study had shown a 100 percent cure rate. At a March 19th White House task force briefing, President Trump repeated the claim that the drug was a “game changer.”

In time, the debate over hydroxychloroquine became suffused with misinformation on both sides, as even the debunkers who opposed Trump’s claims ignored the usual scientific safeguards. In May, the Lancet published a report declaring that hydroxychloroquine wasn’t merely ineffective in regard to COVID-19, but dangerous, too. In June, that work was retracted. This was around the same time that progressive media and public-health groups were insisting that mass attendance at Black Lives Matter events was perfectly safe because the underlying political cause was important—an absurd contradiction of the same health protocols these same experts had properly defended since March. When it comes to COVID-19, Trump and his followers may have led the assault on the sanctity of science. But many of his opponents have made a bad situation worse, proving that political extremism can be a risk to human health no matter which direction it comes from.

What I have described here represents a crisis of ideology—an abstract, electronic-media-driven phenomenon by which conservatives prioritized partisanship and wishful thinking over saving lives. But the results played out all over real-world bricks-and-mortar America: Healthcare workers begging for PPE, governors bidding against federal emergency-management officials for desperately needed supplies, scenes of triage at hospitals, and chaotic protests outside state capitols. Meanwhile, the nation’s elderly remained holed up as prisoners in nursing homes (the decrepit state of which has been revealed as a scandal in and of itself). The whole world is now watching Trump’s America degenerate into the kind of dysfunction that we usually associate with failed states.

As with all important policy issues, the best approach to fighting COVID-19 is open to debate. Even scientists don’t fully understand the role of drugs, including hydroxychloroquine, or the medical side effects of lockdown. But what I’m describing here isn’t evidence-driven debate: It’s angry, ideologically driven luddite mysticism masquerading as hard-headed conservative skepticism.

Here in France, I’ve already lost two precious friends to COVID-19: Jewish community leader Claude Barouch and senior politician Claude Goasguen. Others who are close to me have suffered horribly from this illness. Ideologues didn’t create the virus that struck these people. But they did let themselves become trapped in a partisan rabbit hole at a time when they could have been lending their influential voices to productive, scientific, life-saving ends.

©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — McCarthy was right!

TRANSCRIPT

I was talking with a priest friend the other night, and the discussion came up about various Vortex topics. He offered — correctly — that there are so many insane things going on in the Church, which then spill over into the culture, that there’s no shortage of things to talk about. That’s true.

While all of that can have the effect of depressing people because it just seems overwhelming, allow us to suggest another approach. This could be called the “Age of the Great Enlightenment,” as opposed to the phony, prior “Age of Enlightenment.” That Enlightenment, in short, was based on the false premise that religion was no longer needed and man was self-sufficient.

Entire philosophical schools arose around that foundational approach. In truth, there was nothing “enlightening” about it. In fact, like all things of the diabolical, it said one thing, but the reality was exactly the opposite. No, this current “Enlightenment” is something very different — 180 degrees different. Far from ignoring reality, this one is revealing reality — the depth of the corruption in the Church and the world.

It’s like a doctor opening up a patient complaining of some mild symptoms, only to find a huge, cancerous tumor strangling every organ. It’s a horrible thing to look at, but if the patient’s life is going to be saved, there is no choice but to stare headlong at the tumor and come to grips with what needs to be done.

Now granted, not everyone has the stomach to handle blood and gore. That’s fine — we’re all different. And looking at the massive diabolical tumor spreading throughout the Church and culture can be extremely off-putting.

But like it or not, this tumor must be looked at and understood, grasped, talked about, made known and attacked. Closing your eyes to the lies, corruption, abuse, theft, malfeasance, cowardice and so forth will not make it go away. In fact, it will only increase all that.

This is what President Trump has run headlong into in his attempt to “drain the swamp.” The swamp is a lot wider and deeper than even he realized — just like the “swamp” in the Church. But the Church swamp is deeper and darker than almost anyone wants to face.

But, what’s the alternative? To do nothing? To shoot the messenger? To behave as though all the information being surfaced is not real? We, as Catholics, have to own up to the reality that the Church and the culture have been infected with sweet poison and that poison is killing souls and civilization. That is the very top of the mountain — the big picture, the 60,000-foot view!

All the rest is merely detail, footnotes and fine distinctions. Back in the 1950s, a Catholic U.S. senator from Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy, deeply suspicious that Communist spies from the Soviet Union had penetrated various levels of the U.S. government, began a campaign to identify them. It was dubbed “the Red Scare” and resulted in congressional hearings, loads of testimony, etc.

Educational elites as well as Hollywood producers, directors and studio giants were among those labeled as “commies.” He accused the Democrats of 20 years of treason and said he had a list of over 200 names of people serving in the government who were Communist plants.

It was (eventually) the liberal media that began the derailing of McCarthy, specifically the famed CBS prima donna Edward R. Murrow, who, in 1954, began a series of reports hammering McCarthy. Back then, the media was actually trusted. Fast forward 35 years to the collapse of the old Soviet Union and the exposing of the KGB files. (The KGB was the secret police and spy agency of the former communist nation.)

It turns out, as revealed in those files, that a project called the “Venona Project” proved what McCarthy had been saying all along. The only thing he got wrong was the number of spies and subversives. He had undercounted them. There were far more than he had known about.

So look around today and ask yourself, “The educational elites, Hollywood, a large percentage of political leaders — are these people Marxists? Have they infected the institutions as part of a master strategy to destroy Western civilization?”

The answer is obvious, but the proposition is incomplete. It’s not just academia, Hollywood and Congress, but also the law schools, along with the courts and most especially, the media — and most importantly, the Church. McCarthy was right; he just didn’t go far enough.

A major aim of the Marxist subversion was not necessarily to co-opt the Church (although in many ways that has happened) but, at a minimum, just to neutralize it — take it out of the game. Mission accomplished.

Through a succession of unfaithful men — many sexually active homosexuals, or at least sympathetic and silent — the Church has become irrelevant in any modern-day calculus for the culture at large. The U.S. hierarchy is little else than a bunch of feckless, money-grabbing men either unaware of their own cowardice or complicit in the cultural destruction.

What’s left of the Church in the United States is little else than a small band — maybe a few million scattered about the country — who still live trying to be faithful to the Church’s teachings, with all the sacrifice that entails. They have been abandoned by their spiritual fathers, just as children have been abandoned by their biological fathers.

The only time the bishops (collectively) even give a nod to the faithful is when the annual fundraising campaign kicks in. They are exploited and de-formed and left to fend for themselves otherwise. They are exposed to the vilest of men (many in collars or miters) preaching spiritual poison wrapped up in nice-sounding platitudes like “We have a reasonable hope all men are saved,” or “God would never throw a soul into Hell,” or “God understands” — which is meant to convey, without actually saying it, not that God doesn’t understand your weakness or sin (which, of course, He does) but that He actually approves of it.

So back to the opening point: Why is it bad to understand that this is the lay of the land — that this is the tumor infecting the body and leading it to death? Yes, it’s horrible. It’s awful. It’s frightening. It’s scary. And … so what? That’s what evil is — all of the above and more.

McCarthy was right. But more importantly, Our Blessed Lord was right.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Tears for Hong Kong

What a sad day for freedom when the splendor of Hong Kong with its open society and free market enterprise was forced into the CCP’s portfolio of oppression. To make it worse, it happened on 7/1 – the anniversary of when the UK turned her over to China who allowed it a good amount of autonomy and a day to protest any CCP encroachment.

I discuss this latest blow to the world and a warning about Taiwan’s future.

©All rights reserved.

The Scale of the Chinese Lockdown — What to make of these scary figures?

The official death toll from the Covid-19/coronavirus now stands at over 2,500 people. There are over 80,000 cases worldwide.

The people I’ve talked to about this epidemic fall into two camps.

Those in the first camp say that this needs to be put into perspective, the number of people who die each year from the flu dwarf the number of coronavirus deaths and it is likely that survival rates will be much better in a first-world, Western health system where the doctors aren’t in fear of the secret police when they say that there is something wrong.

Those in the second camp say that we can’t trust any of the numbers coming out of China, that it is worrying that there seem to be cases cropping up in countries around the world, and that China would not lock down half of its country for a disease that is less deadly than the flu.

“But Marcus!” I hear you say, “Don’t use hyperbole for effect! China hasn’t locked down half of its country!”

Well, according to this report from CNN, I am not exaggerating that much. Almost half of China’s 1.3 billion-strong population remain subject to varying forms of travel restrictions and other quarantine measures. Or, to put it another way, some 780 million people are living under some form of restrictive movement. This is an unbelievably large number.

These restrictions are in place across all of Hubei, the northeastern province of Liaoning, as well as Beijing and Shanghai. Now, these restrictions are not uniform and range from self-quarantine (also known as my normal Friday night … thank you, yes I’m here all week – try the veal) to limits on who can come and go from neighbourhoods.

Some of the restrictions are very strict: Wuhan, Huanggang, Shiyan and Xiaogan (the four cities at the epicenter of the outbreak in Hubei province) have completely sealed off all residential complexes and communities and the use of non-essential vehicles is banned. Residents have food and other necessities delivered to them because they are not permitted to leave their homes. (Apparently online gaming is surging in China at the moment…)

This is all having a massive effect on the Chinese economy. I saw a graph based on shipping that showed that imports to China were down a third and exports from China were 50 percent below their post-Chinese New Year historical averages. For a country that is heavily dependent on its economic growth to distract its citizens attention from its horrific human rights abuses, restricting half of its citizens’ movements in some degree seems an overreaction to what is apparently less deadly than the flu.

But let us have some optimism!

China has announced that some of the restrictions in Wuhan have been lifted…oh wait, no, it has renounced that announcement and the officials that prematurely announced that easing have been “reprimanded” (and their families have been invoiced for the 5.8mm “reprimand”).

What a wonderful country we have economically bound ourselves to hand and foot.

COLUMN BY

Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts is co-editor of Demography is Destiny, MercatorNet’s blog on population issues.

RELATED ARTICLES:

CDC announces first US case of coronavirus with ‘unknown’ origin

Trump offers coronavirus reassurance as he tries to end days of mixed messaging and market free fall

Death is becoming very efficient in Canada

Nigeria must be held to account over Christian persecution

Divided loyalties: the 737 Max warning light glitch

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

PODCAST: What You Need to Know About New US-China Trade Deal

Will the new deal boost the American economy? Is it normal for a trade deal to demand one party spend a certain amount? Will it curb China’s theft of intellectual property from U.S. companies? Riley Walters, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation who focuses on Asia’s economy and technology, has answers. Read a lightly edited transcript of the interview, posted below, or listen on the podcast:

We also cover the following stories:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces the seven impeachment managers.
  • Rep. Jerry Nadler, one of the impeachment managers, dismisses calling Hunter Biden as a witness.
  • As Russian President Vladimir Putin makes moves to secure his control after 2024, the prime minister and entire Cabinet resign.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Kate Trinko: On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed a new trade deal with China. … Joining me to discuss this deal today is Riley Walters, a policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation who focuses on Asia’s economy and technology. Riley, thanks for joining us.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Riley Walters: Thank you for having me.

Trinko: Before we get into the new trade deal, I actually want to roll back the clock a little bit. We’ve seen a lot of tension between President [Donald] Trump and China over trade during his presidency. How intense have the negotiations and the fights been? And does that color how we should look at this new deal?

Walters: I think if you look at the last couple of years of negotiations between Washington and Beijing, you see a lot of back and forth. There was certainly some times when it seemed like negotiations were going well, both sides seemed to have been making progress. But there were clearly some times where things fell out of line. During those turbulent times you’d see exculpatory efforts on both sides by imposing new tariffs and such like that.

Last year, I think it was last year around May, we saw probably the biggest dispute between the two sides and it almost seemed like negotiations fell apart completely, almost as if they weren’t going to go anywhere from there.

So I think what we see today is a complete 180. I mean, we have a deal now, right? And so this, I think, marks the point where we sort of returned to some sort of level of normalcy between the United States and China on economic and trade issues. And so I think it’s good.

Obviously, this is just phase one of a two-phase deal and so over the next year we should hopefully see a lot more progress.

Trinko: OK. So, our listeners won’t know this, but when Riley came to the studio, he had a huge sheath of papers with all the details, so obviously this trade deal is very complicated. But could you break down for us, what are some of the highlights and key things that people should know about the trade deal?

Walters: So, it’s almost a 100-page document. It gets into some very technical trade and legalese issues. It touches on a variety of issues.

I mean, there are roughly eight chapters in this text … touching on everything from the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets [to] reducing technology transfers from American companies to Chinese entities. It touches on exchange rates and increase in trade efforts. It touches on a whole variety of things.

Throughout the document there are new metrics, dates by which certain government officials need to have certain reports. There are certain trade measures. For example, China needs to purchase over the next two years an additional $200 billion worth of a variety of American goods.

And, of course, there are communications that are set up, dialogues that are making sure that this agreement goes into force, that every part of the agreement is disputable to some extent, and, of course, this has been agreed to on both sides.

So what is in this document right now is the new policy. I would actually say this is probably the most comprehensive trade agreement we’ve had with China since their joining of the WTO [World Trade Organization] 20 years ago. So this is pretty significant.

Trinko: You mentioned that the deal requires China to buy $200 billion worth of additional goods over the next couple of years. I am not an expert on trade deals. Is it normal for a deal to include this kind of mandatory buy with it? And what do you think about this provision?

Walters: This is not normal. This is certainly something new generally. So I think this is actually probably one of the few things that’s covered regularly in the news, is this $200 billion in additional purchases by China over the next two years.

What they’re supposed to do is buy $200 billion in addition to what they bought in 2017, which was roughly $190 billion worth of goods and services from the United States.

So, for the rest of this year and all of next year, they need to buy roughly $390 billion worth of goods and services, and those break down by industries, manufactured goods, agricultural energy, etc.

But again, this is not normal. This is not something you usually find in trade agreements because trade agreements are usually about removing barriers. It’s about removing the tariffs or taxes on imports that countries maintain. It’s about removing regulatory barriers.

… For example, biochemical restrictions or chemical or scientific restrictions on agricultural products, removing those so that the goods that we trade are free from restriction.

This is different. This sets up a sort of a mandatory “you must buy,” and there are going to be a lot of questions about how China does this.

Who in China is actually going to start buying these goods, right? Is it through state-owned enterprises? Is it “private Chinese companies” at the behest of the Chinese government? And, of course, the question of whether the United States can actually provide these goods.

There’s going to be a lot of, I think. questions about just the way that this is actually implemented.

Trinko: OK. So the deal reduced some tariffs. It also eliminated some other potential tariffs that could have been coming down the pipeline. Overall, did you think what the deal did for tariffs made sense or didn’t, and if so, why?

Walters: As a part of this deal, there will be some tariffs that remain in place by this administration. They are going to keep a 25% additional tariff or import tax on roughly $250 billion worth of goods and a 7.5% tariff tax on roughly $120 billion worth of imports from China. So all those will roughly remain.

The president said he’s more than willing to get rid of those as part of a phase-two deal. We don’t know when the phase-two deal could happen. Some suggest 10 months, it could be longer, especially things could change if the election outcome changes. And so those will remain in place for at least the next year or so.

There’s been no reports about how China will be decreasing its import taxes. Obviously, they too have been implementing their own tariffs over the last couple of years in retaliation to the United States. But that’s going to be, I think, what to expect for at least the next year.

Trinko: Did this deal address intellectual property concerns at all? Obviously, there’s been a lot of concern that China is taking intellectual property from U.S. companies. Does this address that?

Walters: It does. The first two chapters are 21 pages long. They address intellectual property protection or trade secret protections and technology transfer.

Not to get too much into detail, but basically it says China will protect American intellectual property, our trade secrets, the things that actually make companies profitable and want to invest in and do business. And they won’t require American companies or entities to transfer their sensitive technology to Chinese entities for any reason.

Sometimes in China you hear stories of American companies who want to get into China, they are by law sometimes required to enter into a joint venture with a Chinese company. And then the Chinese company says, “Well, if you want to make the deal, we need to have access to your intellectual property.”

So that’s supposed to no longer happen. We will see, of course, over the next a year or so whether that’s true or not.

And there are some other interesting changes in how American companies can sort of fight their legal case in China when they feel that their intellectual property has been stolen. So some real interesting stuff there. Again, we’ll have to see whether it actually produces anything of substance. But I think on paper at least it’s a positive step.

Trinko: I know you don’t have a crystal ball to see America’s economic future, but how would you guess this deal would or wouldn’t affect the U.S. economy?

Walters: One of the couple of things that are a drag on the U.S. economy right now, not, of course, pushing us into recession, I mean, there’s a lot of positive economic activities that the Trump administration has helped with over the last couple of years, but a couple of the drags are the fact that tariffs will be remaining on over $300 billion worth of goods.

The silver lining is that U.S. trade with China only makes up roughly 3% of our GDP [gross domestic product] so it’s not that significant. I mean, it is hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods. The Trump administration has collected roughly $43 billion in new taxes from Americans who import from China. So that is a cost.

But I think one of the biggest gains from this, and it’s going to be harder to actually quantify, is the uncertainty it removes. I think the trade deal today brings back a lot of certainty. I think anyone who thought the Trump administration’s goal is to decouple from China, with this deal, I think that idea is dead.

This deal is building a new U.S.-China economic relationship, I think for good cause, too. And so this will bring a lot of certainty back to our economic relationship.

Trinko: And how do you think it might affect China’s economy?

Walters: Again, same way. I think perhaps marginally, a positive marginal.

They themselves have a lot of domestic issues that they need to take care of. Looking forward toward the way that debt is accumulated in China, the way that their demographics are shaping up, the fact that, as a part of phase two, we’re going to have to negotiate a lot of sensitive issues like state-owned enterprises and the support that they get from the government and how those not just affect the U.S. economy, but how they negatively affect the Chinese economy as well.

Trinko: OK. Riley Walters, thanks so much for joining us.

Walters: Thank you.

COLUMN BY

Katrina Trinko

Katrina Trinko is editor-in-chief of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Daily Signal PodcastSend an email to Katrina. Twitter: @KatrinaTrinko.

RELATED ARTICLE: Meet House Democrats’ 7 Impeachment Managers


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: China Shuts Down American Teen on Tik Tok

Sandwiched between a makeup tutorial, 17-year-old Feroza Aziz used her Tik Tok account to turn her beauty vlog into an awareness campaign about China’s severe abuse of the Uighur (Muslim) population. She quickly felt the brunt of the long arm of China’s ever-increasing censorship.

To learn more about the horrific abuse of the Uighers by China, see below

Aziz made a series of viral videos on her Tik Tok account @getmefamouspartthree exposing the abuse, Aziz found that her account had been suspended. The videos begin as makeup tutorials but quickly switch to exposing how the Chinese are putting the Uighurs into “concentration” camps, separating family members from each other, raping and murdering them.

Business Insider explains:

“[Aziz’s videos] are designed in such a way in an attempt to fool TikTok’s moderators from cracking down and removing her content. TikTok — an app not available in China but owned by the Chinese company ByteDance — has faced increasing scrutiny over fears it censors content considered “culturally problematic” and offensive to the Chinese government.”

Here is one of Aziz’s videos that Tik Tok shut down:

For its part, TikTok said her account was suspended because it was connected to another accounts of hers (@getmefamousplzsir), which the platform said it banned for “violating rules.”

But after the teen took to Twitter to publicize her suspension, Tik Tok reinstated her account and issued a public “apology.”

While it was not much of an apology (the company stood behind its initial decision to suspend Aziz’s account), they did admit that their review process “will not be perfect.”

Americans felt the brunt of Chinese censorship last month when the general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted an image with the caption, “Fight for Freedom. Stand for Hong Kong.”

Chinese companies immediately suspended their ties with the Rockets, and the Chinese Basketball Association ended their cooperation with the team.

In response, Morey and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver groveled, issuing apologetic statements distancing themselves from the protesters in Hong Kong who are demanding democracy and freedom from China.

Again, Business Insider explains:

“With a population of roughly 1.4 billion people, China is the NBA’s most important international market.”

Although TikTok insists it is independent from China, many have noted that there have been no videos documenting the unrest in Hong Kong, but many have appeared telling a whitewashed story of the region.

Who Are the Uighurs and Why is China Putting Them in “Reeducation” Camps?

Ethnically, the Uighurs are Turkish Muslims. Eleven million Uighurs live in Xinjiang, a territory in northwest China. As Clarion Project has documented since 2013, the Uighurs are under systematic persecution from China in what can authentically be labelled Islamophobia.

Where as a privileged Muslim population in the West will cry Islamophobia if they didn’t get their Diet Pepsi on a airline flight, one million Uighurs are experience actual psychological and physical torture.

The world has been watching stunned as horror story after horror story comes out about exactly what goes on in the Chinese government-run detention centers about one million Uighurs are forced into.

The abuse of the Uighurs is also happening to their children:

Leaked videos have shown children as young as four- or five-years old that are separated from their parents and placed 20-30 at a time in a single room with a fraction of that number of beds and nothing else — languishing, their childhoods wasted, their potential crushed.

RELATED STORIES:

China Suspends US Navy Visits to Hong Kong Following Signing of Pro-Democracy Legislation

Border Patrol Confiscates Thousands of Fake IDs Produced in China 

Google is Teaming up With Chinese Authorities

Two-Million Chinese Muslims Incarcerated in Secret Camps

Ahmatjan Osman: Why You Can’t Be Muslim in China

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column with videos is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

The cost of lifting U.S. Sanctions on Sudan: GENOCIDE by Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah

Sudan’s volatile security situation and human right abuses have worsened despite the partial lifting of sanctions by former President Obama, just days before the onset of the Trump Administration in January 2017. Under the terms of that partial sanctions lifting, there is a six months ‘look back’ period which could be reversed if evidence of ethnic cleansing, genocide or support for Jihad terrorism persisted. This report graphically presents evidence that genocide, war crimes and human right abuses have not ended in Darfur, Kordofan, and Blue Nile regions of the Sudan. Random killings, torturing, rape and extra-judicial executions continue unabated in all parts of these regions. There is evidence of aerial bombing attacks and the alleged use of banned chemical weapons.  Syria is not the only Muslim country in the Middle East and Africa where indiscriminate use of weapons of mass destruction have been used against civilian populations. This has been delivered through by bombing attacks of the Sudan Air force.  Both China and Russia are supplying weapons and equipment in support of Sudan’s genocidal Jihad funded by Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia.  Time for the Trump Administration to re-impose Sudan sanctions and to consider establishing no-fly safe zones in Sudan conflict areas.

Sudan peace force Massacres of Kababiish and Hamar Tribes in South Kordofan

Over 119 people were killed in South Kordofan in early April 2017 and the fighting continues. This is another tragedy wrought by President Bashir with funding support from the Arab cabal of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The massacre of 119 Harmar and Kababiish tribal people comes in the wake of a $200,000,000 gift from Her Royal Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Naser of Qatar donated while on a recent trip to Sudan for the purpose of helping children in the Kordofan region. As we have written previously, the actual use of those funds was to support recruitment and arm more Janjaweed Arab “peace force” militias.

The Sudan Tribune reported Kababiish tribesmen shot and killed 36 people of the Hamar tribe. These people had their hands tied, were shot, slaughtered and their bodies burned and buried.  According to Ambassador Hassan Ibrahim Jadkerim those involved in the massacre were wearing Sudan regime’s military uniforms and were armed with heavy weapons provided by the government.

According to the eye witness report the fighting erupted between the two tribes of Hamar and Kababiish because of alleged stolen camels, despite both tribes using government supplied weapons and trucks killing each other. Both tribes are trained and armed by the government and they are part of the Janjaweed peace forces militias. The current governor of South Kordofan, Ahmed Harun, an indicted war criminal wanted for arrest by the International Criminal Court ICC), has been organizing, training and arming these militias to attack the people of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. He is directly responsible for these government trained militias, financially sponsored by the State of Qatar. Fighting has been going on between these two tribes since the beginning of April, 2017. Instead of providing security protection, the Sudan regime National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) is supporting both conflicting groups with both weapons and logistic supplies.

Mass killing of Hamar-Kababiish by Sudan regime’s tribal militias clashes April 6, 2017 Sodori, North Kordofan, Sudan

The Sudan regime NISS security apparatus recruits, organizes, trains and arms these tribes with heavy weapons. The regime also provides them with trucks and logistic supplies. Moreover, the Bashir regime has granted them with full authority to kill anyone who opposes the implementation of the Arab Coalition plan directed at establishing a virtual Caliphate making demographic changes in Darfur and in the entire African Sahel region.

The Janjaweed peace forces Arab militias were established to enable the survival of the Bashir regime, fomenting international Jihad terrorism; the end state of the Muslim Brotherhood organization of the Islamic movement. The Bashir regime duplicitously arms these Arab militias.  However, when they committed heinous crimes, such as the massacring innocent civilians, the regime will deny that it had connections with them calling them outlawed groups. It is the regime’s strategy arming such groups and denying them when they committed crimes, so that they did not have to reveal that to the public and the international community. Effectively, the regime would eliminate any Arab militia group that refused to recruit its militants to fight for the regime. The fighting between Kababiish and Hamar is not the first instance of Arab militias fighting among themselves. It is an example of the internecine war to eliminate those opposing the Bashir regime to implement the strategy of the Arab Coalition.

Arab tribal militias armed by Sudan regime Sodori, North Kordofan, Sudan March 6, 2017

Arson and Killing in Darfur

The Sudan NISS and its armed Janjaweed peace force militias continue executing innocent civilians. They are massacring people, robbing, seizing of properties, committing arson and raping women. This is in furtherance of its strategy to dismantle Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.  The regime intelligence apparatus recruited and trained individuals unleashing them to conduct arson of homes in IDP camps and markets.  Since late March 2017 several IDP camp homes and shops were burned in Nertiti, Zalengi, Central Darfur and Greida in South Darfur, and Garsila, in the Western Darfur region. These fires destroyed homes, food supplies, clothes and belongings of the IDP residents.   Losses from this arson in Greida alone were estimated at approximately $3 million US dollars. The government’s intention is to force the IDP camp residents into cities or move elsewhere so their land and wells are left to Arab Janjaweed peace force new settlers.

Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (reorganized Janjaweed militias. Formerly riding horses and camels but currently equipped with Toyota Pickup trucks and heavy weapons). Sodori, North Kordofan, March 6, 2017

The National Congress Party Sudan regime is surviving only through crisis. The regime’s security apparatus instigate such crises just to create confusion among Arab Janjaweed peace force militia and Darfur people alike and keep them busy fighting among themselves. The tribal clashes in Darfur and Kordofan regions are using government provided arms killing hundreds of people. These clashes are fomented, logistically supported and controlled by the NISS.

On March 31, 2017 nine Janjaweed militia fighters riding camels attacked a group of villagers driving their livestock to Tawal Shala water wells in eastern Jebel Marra. The militias opened fire and killed 3 people on the spot while others being pursued escaped for their lives. They seized all the possessions of those people killed including cows, donkeys and goats.

On April 3, 2017 Janjaweed militias shut and killed two brothers, Ali Ismael and Hamad Ismael. They were caught with their motor-cycle in the Kasab IDP camp, Kutum, North Darfur.

On April 6, 2017 another group of Janjaweed militias riding camels intercepted a vehicle between Buram and Greida killed one man and wounded two others then robbed the passengers.

Human violations in Darfur have continued for more than fifteen years. In addition to Janjaweed militias’ attacks, the Sudan government planes continue air bombardment on Jebel Marra and elsewhere. On April 6, 2017 Sudanese war planes dropped bombs in the area west of Dereibat.

These attacks demonstrate that the Sudan regime and its militias target innocent civilians and their property.

Muslim prayers for two Brothers: Ali Ismael and Hamadi Ismael Janjaweed Militias shut and Killed and taken their motor cycle in Kasab IDP camp, Kutum North Darfur April, 3, 2017

Why Obama Lifted Sanctions on Sudan

Why did the former Obama Administration lift sanctions on Sudan if its militias continued to kill innocent people? Over 3 million people of Darfur are now living in IDP and refugee camps and their land is occupied by Janjaweed militias.

By lifting partial economic sanctions President Obama ignored long-standing US commitments to put an end to Sudan’s years of internal conflicts and security instability caused by the National Islamic Front/Muslim Brotherhood regime. Former US President Obama’s  cooperation with the Islamic regime in Khartoum undermined United States engagement that might have  prevented  human right violations and protected  indigenous populations targeted  for ethnic cleansing by the Sudan regime. Instead the Obama Administration’s inaction in the face of these humanitarian violations by President Bashir was pursued in the vain hope of obtaining of counterterrorism intelligence information. Effectively the Bashir regime provided little useful information and cooperation with US in the global war on terrorism.  The National Islamic/Muslim Brotherhood regime continued to recruit, harbor and support terrorist organizations including fighters from the Islamic State.  Obama’s cooperation with the Sudan’s indicted President Bashir compounded the problem by opening a door for other Western governments, such as Great Britain, Italy and Germany, to establish various types of bilateral and multilateral economic and security cooperation agreements despite the Bashir regime’s worsening human rights record.

Sudan’s NISS burning of IDP camps and markets, March 2017 in Greida, South Darfur, Sudan

Failure of African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur

The African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) deployed in Darfur since 2007 with the mandate to protect civilians has unfortunately has become a puppet of the National Congress Party regime of President Bashir. Since its inception in Darfur none of the UNAMID Secretaries have reported human right violations in Darfur. None of the UNAMID forces have protected any civilian that has his or her life threatened by the Janjaweed militias. Most of the killing, rape, torture, and other human right abuses committed by the Janjaweed occur close to or in the vicinity of UNAMID camps. The Janjaweed militias commit these crimes because they know UNAMID’s movement is strictly controlled by the regime’s security forces who are mainly Janjaweed militias themselves. That is the reason UNAMID forces could not investigate incidents or protect innocent civilians even one kilometer outside their camp. The UNAMID forces cannot move without obtaining permission from the Sudan regime. Effectively they cannot file a report or conduct an independent investigation without consulting the Sudan regime’s officials and its security forces.

Sudan NISS burning of IDP camps to dismantle Otach IDP camp, Nyala South Darfur, Sudan March 7, 2017

 Failure of UNAMID to investigate incidents and write independent reports is probably the main reason that the international community distanced itself from Darfur. Darfurian people were internationally neglected and abandoned because UNAMID forces deployed to protect them had no capability to freely conduct operations.

The organization abandoned its primary role of protecting the innocent civilians and monitoring of human right violations instead policing the behavior of the Sudan government.  Witness the newly appointed Secretary of UNAMID openly demanding UN pressure Darfur resistance movements to cease armed struggle and sign false peace deals with the Bashir regime. Peace deals that bring no benefit to our people but instead more suffering.

How could the international community appoint a South African as head of the UNAMID mission in Darfur since South African President Jacob Zuma refused to arrest President Bashir in his country even announcing they were resigning membership in the International Criminal Court? The Darfur people have not healed from the wounds of Thabon Mbeki who became the right hand man of Bashir establishing false roadmaps and calling upon the international community to rally behind the genocidal regime.

The former South African President Thabon Mbeki who worked in the Darfur crisis for over 9 years said he brought peace in Darfur because he had been working closely with the African Union to help maintain Bashir in power and undermine the ICC.

The newly appointed Chief of UNAMID is another South African who has already begun ignoring human right violations that the regime is continually committing against the people of Darfur. Addressing the UNSC on April 4, 2017, the South African diplomat failed to mention Janjaweed militias committing daily atrocities on innocent civilians on Darfur. He also failed to mention the mission’s inability to provide security to the very people that they were mandated to protect. He called the Janjaweed, a well known government militia, just bandits.

The United Nations Security Council must appoint qualified officials who are impartial and empowered with the capacity to speak truthfully and act against the menace of genocide.  Peace and justice for the Darfurian people must prevail.

The UNSC has no capability to force Sudan’s regime to stop human right violations. Moreover, the Bashir regime has the power to dismiss any UN employee working in Sudan. The UNSC cannot protect them. Ivo Freijsen the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs in Sudan was expelled. Over the last two years the Bashir regime expelled four UN officials from Sudan while the UNSC did nothing. Sudan simply did not recognize any of the UNSC resolutions. The UNSC issued over 18 resolutions on Darfur but none of these resolutions were implemented.

Indicted President Bashir has not been committing genocide alone without aid from Arab countries.  China and Russia supply arms.  Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, European Union and some European states provide financial assistances that ends up recruiting and training Janjaweed Militias, Rapid Support Forces or what President Bashir calls ‘peace forces.’ African Union and many Arab League member states collectively provide protection for Bashir to avoid arrest and prosecution by the ICC.

Conclusion

The Chinese and Russians are providing weapons that Sudan President Bashir uses to kill our people.  Arab countries and the European Union provide funds that are funneled to finance the recruitment of Janjaweed peace force militias that commit genocide against indigenous people of Sudan. We seek US and international assistance to stop the genocidal Jihad regime of President Bashir by seeking his arrest and establishing no-fly zones in Darfur, Kordofan and the Blue Nile region to save the lives of the country’s indigenous people.

ABOUT LIEUTENANT GENERAL ABAKAR M. ABDALLAH

Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah is Chairman of the Sudan United Movement (SUM). He is a native of North Darfur who joined the Sudan Liberation People’s Army (SPLA) in 1984 and became active in the Nuba Hills and Darfurian resistance. In 1989 he joined the Patriotic Salvation Movement in neighboring Chad based in Darfur. He served as an officer in the Chadian army for 23 years. He held senior intelligence and counterterrorism posts including as Coordinator of the Multi-National Joint Task Force of Nigeria, Chad and Niger. He is a December 2002 graduate of the Intelligence Officers’ Advanced and Combating Terrorism Courses, US Army Intelligence Center and Schools, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was a Graduate Terrorism Fellow and is a Graduate of the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University, Washington, DC, 2005. He was an International Fellow and Graduate of the US Army War College, Class of 2008.

EDITORS NOTE: Jerry Gordon, Senior Editor of the New English Review assisted in the preparation of this article. This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Cyber Warfare — A Clear and Present Danger

In a January 2014 column titled “The Cyber Attacks are coming, the Cyber Attacks are coming!” I wrote:

According to experts like John Jorgenson, CEO and founding partner of the Sylint Group, our government is woefully behind the times in capability and capacity to deal with the threat of cyber attacks let alone the cyber warfare being conducted on a global scale by nation states such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

[ … ]

“Nothing of substance to protect commercial industry, the countries infrastructure, or the citizen has come out of the [Obama] White House. From the attacks being made on the United States on the Cyber Battlefield our advisories are taking Cyber Warfare seriously while we can’t find a credible Field Marshall let alone decide what needs to be done,” notes Jorgenson.

Read more…

On February 26th, 2016 I was interviewed by Denise Simon on The Denise Simon Experience regarding the issue of cyber warfare. I spoke about the clear and present dangers of enemies, both foreign and domestic, using technology to commit crimes, steal national secrets and impact our way of life.

Denise called cyber attacks “the poor man’s nuclear weapon.”

I talked about the current threat (attacks from nation states, cyber hackers and groups like Anonymous) to the looming future threat of cyborgs, chipping and Internables.

Internables are internal sensors that measure well-being in our bodies may become the new wearables. According to Ericsson’s ConsumerLab eight out of 10 consumers would like to use technology to enhance sensory perceptions and cognitive abilities such as vision, memory and hearing.

Fast forward to December 2016 and the media’s obsession with the successful phishing of the DNC and release of John Podesta’s emails. What they are missing is:

  1. As technology has become ubiquitous, cyber warfare has become the preferred method of attacking one’s enemies.
  2. President Obama turned over control of the Internet to the United Nations in October of 2016, which increases the cyber warfare threat against U.S. public and private entities.
  3. All nation states, with the exception of the U.S., conduct offensive cyber warfare as a matter of public policy including: China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to name a few.
  4. The Obama administration has made neither cyber security nor cyber warfare a priority during the past 8 years.

My greatest concern is that the United States government is only conducting defensive operations against the threat, and not doing that very well. The Obama administration does not conduct effective offensive operations against our enemies which include: China, Russia, Iran, the Islamic State, North Korea and many others.

Our warnings went unheeded by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the White House.

So who really is to blame for these unrelenting cyber attacks?

Why its U.S.!

Foreign Student Visas: Educating America’s Adversaries

Guess who Obama’s State Department issues hundreds of thousands of student visas to?

It has been said that if you give a man a fish you will feed him for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime.  This simple saying illustrates how important training/education is.

Incredibly, the United States’ immigration policies formulated by the Obama administration welcome hundreds of thousands of Chinese STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students into our nation’s premier universities while it is clear that China demonstrates hostility to the United States acting not as a partner, but rather as an adversary.

Chinese computer hackers attack computers in the United States as a matter of routine. The obvious question is how many of those Chinese computer hackers may have been trained and educated in the United States.

China’s recent theft of a U.S. Navy drone in the South China Sea underscores this hostility as do the arrest of numerous spies operating on behalf of China to steal America’s military and industrial secrets.

Not surprisingly, China has offered to return the drone while President-Elect Donald Trump has been quoted as saying that China can keep that drone.

China may have had two reasons for its illegal action.  It is clearly attempting to demonstrate that it has unilateral control over the strategically important South China Sea although this claim is not based on law or fact.  Additionally, China has an obvious interest in America’s military technology.  By now China’s engineers have had ample opportunity to study the design of the drone and, perhaps, has managed to embed technology within the drone that would continue to provide intelligence about the use of that drone.

The U.S. Navy’s underwater drones seem to have drawn particular interest by China’s military.  In fact, on April 22, 2016 Newsweek reported, “Chines Spy In Florida Sent Drone Parts To China For Military.”

On April 14, 2016 Newsweek published a report about a naturalized United States citizen, Edward Lin, who had joined the U.S. Navy only, allegedly, to be able to spy on the Navy.  I cannot help but wonder if his application for citizenship had been more effectively scrutinized if his alleged disloyalty to the United States could have been uncovered sooner.

That report, “Accused Navy Spy Edward Lin Had Friends In Sensitive Places” began with the following:

Edward Lin, the U.S. Navy officer suspected of spying for China and Taiwan, had scores of friends in sensitive places, if the number of contacts who “endorsed” him for military and security “skills” on LinkedIn, the professional networking site, is any guide.

Among those who endorsed Lin, a Taiwan-born officer assigned to a highly classified naval air reconnaissance unit in Hawaii until his secret arrest last year, are senior Taiwanese military officers and a Beijing-based venture capitalist specializing in “mobile internet applications and mobile games,” according to their LinkedIn bios. His American endorsers on the site include the second in command at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Guantanamo; the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s senior political-military analyst on Southeast Asia; a Navy congressional liaison officer; and fellow former aviators in his reconnaissance squad, including one now working at the Northrop Grumman Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory in Sacramento, California.

Lin also served as a congressional liaison for the assistant secretary of the Navy for finance management and comptroller from 2012 to 2014, a position that presumably gave him access to highly classified strategic weapons planning and put him in regular contact with senior members of the House and Senate armed services and military appropriations committees.

Lin’s assignments and the relationships that he developed positioned him perfectly to have access to extremely sensitive information.

Chinese citizens are not only allegedly spying on our military.  On May 19, 2016 Reuters reported, “U.S. charges six Chinese nationals with economic espionage.”

On December 8, 2016 ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) released a press release that provided the latest statistics concerning foreign students who are present in the United States.

This press release began by noting that there are currently 1.23 million foreign students who have been admitted with F (academic visas) or M (vocational visas) studying at 8,697 schools scattered across the United States.

Consider this excerpt from that press release:

Nearly 42 percent of all F and M students pursued studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This marks a 10.1 percent increase in international students pursuing STEM studies compared to November 2015.

Out of the nearly 514,000 international students pursuing STEM studies, almost 450,000 were from Asia, with the majority of all STEM students from India and China.

Concerns about foreign students with malevolent goals is not limited to students from China.

On February 24, 1998, two days short of the fifth anniversary of the first World Trade Center bombing, the Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information conducted a hearing on the topic, “

The full text of that hearing, “Foreign terrorists in America : five years after the World Trade Center” includes Senator Dianne Feinstein’s prepared testimony.

Here are a few excerpts from her testimony well worth considering:

There are also a number of glaring loopholes in our immigration laws. As I serve on the Immigration Subcommittee, I just wanted to spend my time touching on some of them.

I have some reservation regarding the practice of issuing visas to terrorist-supporting countries and INS’ inability to track those who come into the country either using a student visa or using fraudulent documents, as you pointed out, through the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.

The Richmond Times recently reported that the mastermind of Saddam Hussein’s germ warfare arsenal, Rihab Taha, studied in England on a student visa. And England is one of the participating countries in the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, which means, if she could have gotten a fraudulent passport, she could have come and gone without a visa in the United States.

The article also says that Rihab Taha, also known as “Dr. Germ,” that her professors at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, speculate that she may have been sent to the West specifically to gain knowledge on biological weaponry.

What is even more disturbing is that this is happening in our own backyard.

The Washington Post reported on October 31, 1991, that U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq discovered documents detailing an Iraqi Government strategy to send students to the United States and other countries to specifically study nuclear-related subjects to develop their own program. Samir AJ-Araji was one of the students who received his doctorate in nuclear engineering from Michigan State University, and then returned to Iraq to head its nuclear weapons program.

The Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy found in September 1997 that many terrorist-supporting states are sending their students to the United States to get training in chemistry, physics, and engineering which could potentially contribute to their home country’s missile and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs.

[ … ]

The defendants of the World Trade Center bombing are also an example of those coming in through non-immigrant or employment-based visas or abusing our political asylum process and then committing crimes.

For instance, Nidal Ayyad, one of the defendants in this case, used his position as a chemical engineer for Allied Signal to obtain the chemicals used in the World Trade Center bombing.

There is Gazi Abu Mezer, who was arrested in a suspected terrorist plot to detonate bombs in Brooklyn last year. He came in illegally across the Canadian border to Washington State and attempted to seek asylum, but withdrew his application and agreed to leave the country. Once he was released on voluntary departure, he fled Washington to Brooklyn, NY, where he was arrested for plotting suicide-bomb attacks in Brooklyn.

Back then Senator Feinstein’s testimony made perfect sense and asked the right questions.

Inexplicably, even after the terror attacks of 9/11, the attacks at the Boston Marathon and at San Bernardino, today Feinstein’s commonsense approach would be the source of derision by her colleagues of the Democratic party.

Meanwhile, as I discussed in a recent article, so-called, “Sanctuary campuses” shield and harbor illegal aliens from detection by ICE agents.

Finally, increasing numbers of American high-tech professionals are being fired and replaced by foreign H-1B workers, often from India.  The obvious question is how many of those aliens with H-1B visas who have gone on to replace Americans were educated in the United States?

“Knowledge is power.”  The time has come for Americans to be empowered to be successful.  Educating foreign students who may, in one way or another, use their training against America or Americans must end.

January 20, 2017 cannot come fast enough.

EDITORS NOTE: This column first appeared on FrontPage Magazine.

Is the North Korean Satellite Launch a Game Changer?

FoxNews reported these developments following the success of North Korea’s satellite launching confirmed by the Pentagon:

We’ve been able to determine that they were able to put a satellite or some space device into orbit,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.

He said the Pentagon will, in light of this, begin “formal consultations” with South Korea over improvements to their own missile defense systems.

“We’d like to see this move as quickly as possible, but we’re beginning the consultations now in the coming days with the South Koreans and we expect that this will move in an expeditious fashion,” Cook said.

The U.S. and other world powers have condemned the launch of a long-range rocket, describing it as a banned test of ballistic missile technology.

At an emergency meeting Sunday of the U.N. Security Council which includes the U.S., all 15 council members approved a statement condemning the launch and pledging to “expeditiously” adopt a new resolution with “significant” new sanctions.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said a new U.N. resolution targeting North Korea over its rocket launch and recent nuclear test must be adopted very quickly and include “unprecedented measures” that its leader, Kim Jong Un, doesn’t expect.

The United States and China have been trying to agree on a new sanctions resolution since North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Gordon Chang in a Fox News interview said the North Korean satellite launch is something to worry about. Chang is a veteran North Korea and China analyst, Forbes columnist  author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes On the World.  He said the Hermit State “demonstrated the mastery of missile technology.” He was referring to the three stage Unha-3 space vehicle launcher (SLV) that successfully placed a satellite in orbit. Chang further commented that the North Koreans demonstrated they have the means to successfully develop a true ICBM. An ICBM  , as we wrote in an NER/Iconoclast post, yesterday, that  both North Korea and its ready customer Iran could use at attack both coasts of this country. Where yesterday, we posted the news of the North Korean satellite launch with the question“is this a game changer?”  Chang’s comments and the reaction from the Obama White House suggest maybe it is.  US UN Ambassador Samantha Power, called it a missile launch because the SVL and a true ICBM she shared the same technology. That meant in the Administration’s view the successful satellite launch violated UN sanctions against missile testing. However, given the track record will the UN Security Council do anything about this latest North Korean action?

Chang holds that sanctions don’t work with North Korea. Instead He suggested that we might control the aid to North Korea endeavoring to separate the people from the autocratic ruling Kim family. He also suggested that South Korea move 143 companies out of the Kaesong industrial shared with North Korea.  He noted that after the January 6, 2016 nuclear test, no further sanctions were proposed at the UN because China would effectively block them. China he pointed out does a fair amount of banking with North Korea.

The success of the North Korean orbit prompted GOP hopeful Texas Senator Cruz at Saturday night’s to raise the question of whether we should pre-emptive attack North Korea’s missile launches.  Ironic, as this proposal was suggested by the current Administration Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and former Clinton Pentagon Chief William Perry, a decade ago.

DS-north-korea-13000-km-769x1024

The Administration is scrambling now that the Pentagon confirmed that the North Koreans successfully launched a satellite. Launched in a southerly direction, the 200kg.observational satellite is in polar orbit. That means it passes over the US every 95 minutes, perhaps providing imagery and GPS coordinates for possible later use. Yesterday, it missed the window of opportunity, by an hour, to pass over the stadium for 50th Super Bowl Championship game with tens of thousands of fans intent on watching the Denver Broncos beat the North Carolina Panthers for the title.

The Pentagon is talking about providing South Korea with Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system to complete the shorter range missile defense umbrella that the Republic of Korea has in place.

As we said on the Sunday Lisa Benson Show yesterday “it’s great that the U.S. has THAAD and ship borne X band radar floating in the Pacific and both ship and shore based Aegis installations in Eastern Europe (Romania) protecting us from missiles fired towards the East Coast. However, we have nothing in place to provide missile defense our vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coast.”  Ambassador Hank Cooper, the Reagan era SDI chief, warned about the absence of Aegis missile defense installations on our Gulf coast in November 2015 and most recently in a Feb.2, 2016 High Frontier alert. He argues that that our ballistic missile defense shield  on the Gulf coast lacks  the means  to combat the threat of a possible North Korean bomb in a satellite (Fractal Orbital Bomb) or missiles launched from either ships in the Gulf or those silos that allegedly Iran has been building in the Paraguana Peninsula in Venezuela. Ex- CIA director R. James Woolsey and Dr. Peter Pry discussed  in a July 2015 article the threat from FOBS that could trigger an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) effect over the US sending us back to the dark ages of the 19th Century before the advent of electricity.

This issue came up in the ABC GOP New Hampshire debates, Saturday night. Sen. Cruz raised the matter of a preemptive attack against a future North Korean ICBM launch during those debates. We may have had a hand in prompting it. A twitter rally was held last week by the Nation Security Task Force of America (NSTFA) of the Lisa Benson Show on the missile defense issue. The twitter rally sent out messages at the rate of 400 an hour, one of which caught the attention of a South Carolinian with a close connection to the Senator’s campaign staff. Another NSTFA twitter rally is on deck this Thursday night on the same issue.

The irony is the preemptive attack proposal originated a decade ago in 2006 in a Time Magazine article co authored by then Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, now Pentagon Chief and former Clinton Pentagon chief William Perry. Four nuclear and several space launches and missile tests later, we have a President whose response is to hold more UN sanctions talks with China at the UN that North Korea continually violates.

Meanwhile the North Korean satellite launch coupled with the January 6, 2016 nuclear test exposes the vulnerability of the US to possible missile attack by rogue regimes like North Korea and ally Iran. The lack of a Ballistic Missile Defense demonstrated by this latest successful North Korean satellite launch now vaults the issue to the top of national security issues along with Islamic terrorism for serious discussion in the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Watch, the Fox News report with the Chang interview:

RELATED ARTICLE: In One Graphic, What Countries North Korea’s New Missile Could Hit

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Why do we have an Oil Glut?

The world is awash in oil and gas. Amazing.  Less than two decades ago in 1998, the predictions were by this time in 2016 oil production would be past its peak. In fact the gloom and doom experts were called Oil Peakists. Note this from Science magazine back in 1998:

From Science magazine’s “The Next Oil Crisis Looms Large—and Perhaps Close,” Aug. 21, 1998:

This spring . . . the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for the first time that the peak of world oil production is in sight. Even taking into account the best efforts of the explorationists and the discovery of new fields in frontier areas like the Caspian Sea . . . sometime between 2010 and 2020 the gush of oil from wells around the world will peak at 80 million barrels per day, then begin a steady, inevitable decline, the report says.

However, technology, especially here in the U.S., relegated that prediction to the proverbial dust bin of history. With the private developments of  revolutionary shale fracking and horizontal drilling technology, vast new energy resources were opened up in places like North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and even in the older Permian field in West Texas. The U.S. is now pumping 9 million barrels of oil a day, and trillions of cubic yards of gas. We are no longer dependent on importing Middle East oil. In fact much of the oil that we import comes from our neighbors Canada and Mexico.

In the wake of lifting sanctions against nuclear Iran, oil is beginning to flow again to the European Union from Tehran which says it could add another 500,000 barrels in production this year.  U.S. oil is also flowing to Europe now that the 43 year old ban on oil exports was lifted and signed in law late in 2015. The first shipment of sweet crude drawn from the Eagle Ford Shale field in South Texas left the port of Corpus Christi, Texas on New Year’s eve and landed at the port of Marseilles on Friday. Another shipment out of Houston made it to Rotterdam on Thursday. A third one out of Houston is on its way to Marseilles. The oil is the equivalent of the so-called Saudi light or sweet crude which doesn’t require as much refining producing profit margins for the refiners.

So, why do we have this glut? 

The world’s economies are not growing as fast or rather slowing down, especially in the big consumer of raw materials and energy, China.  China’s economy and trade is impacting on those exporters of commodities like oil, gas,  copper, aluminum  and  iron ore like Australia,  Brazil, Canada,  Russia, Venezuela  and African countries. Where China was growing at a purported 10 percent plus, annually, the evidence is it has fallen to less than a third of that towering inflated level. We have come to realize those growth estimates were based on questionable figures  prepared by the Chinese government.  Some economic experts suggest the annual growth in GDP may be less than three percent.  So with that news came the sudden plummeting in the world trading markets for commodities, especially oil.

There is  also the great geo-resource political game in the Middle East going on between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and let’s not forget Russia.  Saudi Arabia as the keystone in the OPEC oil Cartel is not listening to the complaints of the other members of the group at meetings in Vienna demanding that it reduce domestic production. It is pumping oil and still making money, because it costs less than $5 a barrel. This despite a yawning budget deficit of $98 billion. The Saudis have an estimated $600 billion in hard currency reserves, which provides a cushion to ride out the geo-political storm. They are using the oil weapon to beat back competitors including Iran across the Persian Gulf, Russia which  has military in Syria supporting the Assad regime, and  the newly resurgent producer, the US.   Russia, as Shoshana Bryen of the Washington, D.C.-based Jewish Policy Center pointed out in a recent interview, mispriced its budget at $119 a barrel of oil, then redid the numbers at $87 dollars only to see it plummet to less than $30 at one point.

So what is the impact here in the U.S.?

When was your last trip to fill up your car at the gas station?  Here on the Gulf Coast in the U.S., regular unleaded gas is currently selling for less than $1.80 a gallon.  That means savings to consumers who appear to be putting away the difference awaiting a return to a more confident economy.   Diesel that at one point was priced at nearly $1 dollar a gallon above gasoline has shrunk to less than ten cents a gallon differential. That means that the cost for moving shipments via long haul truckers has gotten cheaper. It means that jet fuel cost is less reflected in the huge profits being declared by the major airlines. Some of that may be due to the lagging airline ticket surcharges that remain in place.  However, the drop in oil production is also impacting the profit margins of rail carriers who minted money from train loads of combustible leaving the Bakken formation in North Dakota. The drop in oil prices occasioned by the glut also means that the cost of petro chemical feed stocks is enhancing profit margins for plastics,.

Remember, the discussion about lifting the 43 year old oil export ban?

One of the by-products of that was the convergent pricing of U.S. crude has converged with world pricing.  If you went onto the COMDEX oil trading floor in lower Manhattan, you would see traders vying for futures contracts in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) versus Brent-the so-called North Sea crude oil benchmark. The lifting of the oil export ban in the U.S. virtually eliminated the difference making Brent the world standard.  As of Friday, January 22, 2016 WTI was $32.19 per barrel for March 2016 deliveries, a 9.0 % jump, and Brent priced out of the London ICE was $32.18. Heavier grades like Canadian Tar sands or Venezuelan heavy sulfur crude require more refining to produce various products. These grades actually sell at discounts from those benchmarks by as much as five dollars.

Can we expect the oil glut to last? Hardly. The current excess supply will work itself off and oil futures will gradually begin to rise again. That will bring rigs on stream here in the U.S. to start producing again, it may cause Iran to produce more than the declared 500,000 barrels  annually and the Saudis would just be minting more billions to add to its hard currency reserves. However, by mid century those fabled Saudi sweet crude reserves may likely begin to tail off. Energy, whether oil or gas will reflect the cyclical demands of the world economies.  The U.S. stands in pretty good shape to weather the current volatility in trading markets; thanks to technology, entrepreneurial prowess and the lifting of the oil export embargo. Don’t panic and consider investing in contrarian values in the equity and debt markets. That is what the long term value investors do. They buy when values are relatively cheap compared to long term returns.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. An earlier version was published in the Newsletter of the Lisa Benson Show National Security Task Force Newsletter, January 23, 2016.

Asia Will Build 500 Coal-Fired Power Plants This Year No Matter What the U.S. Does

Two stories about coal use in Asia highlight the futility of EPA’s efforts to reduce global carbon emissions by straightjacketing the U.S. economy with draconian carbon regulations.

First, there’s The New York Times story that China has been using more coal than anyone thought:

China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases from coal, has been burning up to 17 percent more coal a year than the government previously disclosed, according to newly released data. The finding could complicate the already difficult efforts to limit global warming.

Even for a country of China’s size, the scale of the correction is immense. The sharp upward revision in official figures means that China has released much more carbon dioxide — almost a billion more tons a year according to initial calculations — than previously estimated.

The increase alone is greater than the whole German economy emits annually from fossil fuels.

The new data, which appeared recently in an energy statistics yearbook published without fanfare by China’s statistical agency, show that coal consumption has been underestimated since 2000, and particularly in recent years. The revisions were based on a census of the economy in 2013 that exposed gaps in data collection, especially from small companies and factories.

Illustrating the scale of the revision, the new figures add about 600 million tons to China’s coal consumption in 2012 — an amount equivalent to more than 70 percent of the total coal used annually by the United States.

To borrow from the management mantra, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

China has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions from a peak level “around” 2030–assuming anyone knows how much is being produced by then.  However, this pledge isn’t anything exceptional. It’s “little more than business as usual,” writes the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s Stephen Eule. “In other words, the Chinese have committed to doing what they are doing already.”

The second story is that Asia’s appetite coal for it isn’t letting up [h/t GWPF]:

While much attention has been given to a potential peak in China’s coal demand and worries about emissions, in Asia alone this year power companies are building more than 500 coal-fired plants, with at least a thousand more on planning boards. Coal is not only cheaper than natural gas, it is often available locally and has no heavy import costs.

“Electricity is increasing its share in total energy consumption and coal is increasing its share in power generation,” said Laszlo Varro, head of the gas, coal and power markets division for the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Some of the biggest growth in coal use is in India, where it meets 45 percent of total energy demand, compared with just over 20 percent each for petroleum products and biomass/waste.

“We’re absolutely sure India’s coal demand will continue to grow,” Varro said.

Coal will continue to be used in developing countries because it’s a cheap source of electricity. To think U.S. negotiators at upcoming climate talks in Paris will be able to convince China and India to abstain from using cheap energy to better the lives of their citizens is living in a fantasy world.

These facts won’t stop the Obama administration from touting EPA’s Clean Power Plan as the United States’ key contribution to the Paris talks. For them it’s full speed ahead to push aside cheap and abundant coal as a source of electricity no matter the costs to our economy.

As Eule writes:

What’s more of a mystery is why the administration is content to throw away the United States’ energy edge in favor of an agreement that will put us at a competitive disadvantage for no discernible environmental impact. In fact, when other nations choose not to impose carbon restrictions as stringent as those in the U.S., we will be likely to see “carbon leakage,” where emissions are not reduced at all, and instead simply moved (along with the jobs that come with them) to our global competitors.

RELATED ARTICLES:

New York Attorney General Tries to Criminalize Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

Spooking Small Businesses: Scary Regulations Lurking in Washington by J.D. HARRISON

The Wide Canyon Between Carbon Regulations and the Real World by  SEAN HACKBARTH

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a coal-fired electric power plan in Datong, China. Photo credit: Stefen Chow/Bloomberg,

Market Corrections Inspire Dangerous Political Panic by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Some kinds of inflation people really hate, like when it affects food and gas. But now, with the whole of the American middle class heavily invested in stocks, there is another kind inflation people love and demand: share prices that increased forever.

Just as with real estate before 2008, people seem addicted to the idea that they should never go anywhere but up.

This is the reason that stock market corrections are so dangerous. The biggest danger is not economic. It is political. Such corrections push politicians and central bankers to undertake ever-more nutty political in do order to fix them.

To make the point, Donald Trump immediately blamed China, which has the temerity to sell Americans excellent products at low prices. Bernie Sanders blamed “free trade,” even though the United States is among the most protectionist in the world.

Nothing in this world is more guaranteed to worsen a correction that a trade war. But so far, that’s what’s been proposed.

Tolerance for Downturns

It was not always so. In the 1982 recession, the Reagan administration argued that it was best to let the market clear and grow calm. Once the recession cleaned up misallocations of resources, the economy would be well prepared for a growth path. Incredibly, the idea was sold to the American people, and it proved wise.

That was the last time in American history we’ve seen anything like a laissez-faire attitude prevail. After the 1990s dot com boom and bust, the Fed intervened in an effort to repeal gravity. After 9/11, the Fed intervened again, using floods of paper money to rebuild national pride. That created a gigantic housing bubble that exploded 7 years later.

By 2008, the idea of allowing markets to clear became intolerable, and so Congress spent hundreds of billions of dollars and the Fed created trillions in phony money, all to forestall what desperately needed to happen.

Now, with dramatic declines in stock markets around the world, we are seeing what happens when governments and central banks attempt to counter market forces.

Markets win. Every time. But somehow it doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no more science, no more rationality, no more concern for the long term, so far as the Fed is concerned. The Fed is maniacally focused on its member banks’ balance sheets. They must live and thrive no matter what. And the Fed is in the perfect position now to use public sentiment to bolster its policies.

The Right and Wrong Question 

In the event of a large crash, the public discussion going forward will be: What can be done to re-boost stock prices? This is the wrong question. The right question should be: What were the conditions that led to the unsustainable boom in the first place? This is the intelligent way to address a global meltdown. Sadly, intelligence is in short supply when people are panicked about losing their retirement funds they believed were secure.

Back when people thought about such things, the great economic Gottfried von Haberler was tapped by the League of Nations to write a book that covered the whole field of business cycle theory as it then existed. Prosperity and Depressioncame out in 1936 and was republished in 1941. It is a beautiful book, rooted in rationality and the desire to know.

The book covers six core theories: purely monetary (now called Chicago), overinvestment (now called Austrian), sudden changes in cost (related to what is now called Real Business Cycle), underconsumption (now called Keynesian), psychological (popular in the financial press), and agricultural theories (very old fashioned).

Each one is described. The author then turns to solutions and their viability, assessing each. The treatise leans toward the view that permitting the recession (or downturn or depression) run its course is a better alternative than any large policy prescription applied with the goal of countering the cycle.

Haberler is careful to say that there is not likely one explanation that applies to all cycles in all times and in all places. There are too many factors at work in the real world to provide such an explanation, and no author has ever attempted to provide one. All we can really do is look for the primary causes and the factors that are mostly likely to induce recurring depressions and recoveries.

He likened the business cycle a rocking chair. It can be still. It can rock slowly. Or an outside force can come along to cause it to rock more violently and at greater speed. Detangling the structural factors from the external factors is a major challenge for any economist. But it must be done lest policy authorities make matters worse rather than better.

The monetary theory posits that the quantity of money is the key factoring in generating booms and busts. The more money that flows into an economy via the credit system, the more production increases alongside consumption. This policy leads to inflation. The pullback of the credit machine induces the recession.

The “overinvestment” theory of the cycle focuses on the misallocation of resources that upsets the careful balance between production and consumer. Within the production structure in normal times, there is a focus on viability in light of consumer decisions. But when more credit is made available, the flow of resources is toward the capital sector, which is characterized by a multiplicity of purposes. The entire production sector mixes various time commitments and purposes. Each of them corresponds with an expectation of consumer behavior.

Haberler calls this an overinvestment theory because the main result is an inflation of capital over consumption. The misallocation is both horizontal and vertical. When the consumer resources are insufficient to realize the plans of the capitalists, the result is a series of bankruptcies and an ensuing recession.

Price Control by Central Banks

A feature of this theory is to distinguish between the real rate of interest and the money rate of interest. When monetary authorities push down rates, they are engaged in a form of price control, inducing a boom in one sector of the production structure. This theory today is most often identified with the Austrian school, but in Haberler’s times, it was probably the dominant theory among serious specialists throughout the world.

In describing the underconsumption theory of the cycle, Haberler can hardly hide his disdain. In this view, all cycles result from too much hoarding and insufficient debt. If consumer were spend to their maximum extent, without regard to issues of viability, producers would feel inspired to produce, and the entire economy could run off a feeling of good will.

Habeler finds this view ridiculous, based in part on the implied policy prescription: endlessly inflate the money supply, keep running up debts, and lower interest rates to zero. The irony is that this is the precisely the prescription of John Maynard Keynes, and his whole theory was rooted in a 200-year old fallacy that economic growth is based on consumption and not production. Little did Haberler know, writing in the early 1930s, that this theory would become the dominant one in the world, and the one most promoted by governments and for obvious reasons.

The psychological theory of the cycle observes the people are overly optimistic in a boom and overly pessimistic in the bust. More than that, the people who push this view regard these states of mind as causative of economic trends. They both begin and end the boom.

Haberler does not deny that such states of mind are important and contributing elements to making the the cycle more exaggerated, but it is foolish to believe that thinking alone can bring about systematic changes in the macroeconomic structure. This school of thought seizes on a grain of truth, and pushes that grain too far to the exclusion of real factory. Interestingly, Haberler identifies Keynes by name in his critique of this view.

Haberler’s treatise is the soul of fairness but the reader is left with no question about where his investigation led him. There are many and varied causes of business cycles, and the best explanations trace the problem to credit interventions and monetary expansions that upset the delicate balance of production and consumption in the international market economy.

Large-scale attempts by government to correct for these cycles can result in making matters worse, because it has no control over the secondary factors that brought about the crisis in the first place. The best possible policy is to eliminate barriers to market clearing — that is to say, let the market work.

The Fed is the Elephant in the Room

And so it should be in our time. For seven years, the Fed, which controls the world reserve currency, has held down interest rates to zero in an effort to forestall a real recession and recreate the boom. The results have been unimpressive. In the midst of the greatest technological revolution in history, economic growth has been pathetic.

There is a reason for this, and it is not only about foolish monetary policy. It is about regulation that inhibits business creation and economic adaptability. It’s about taxation that pillages the rewards of success and pours the bounty into public waste. It is about a huge debt overhang that results from the declaration that all governments are too big to fail.

Whether a correction is needed now or later or never is not for policymakers to decide. The existence of the business cycle is the market’s way of humbling those who claim to have the power and intelligence to outwit its awesome and immutable forces.

Jeffrey A. Tucker
Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

How would President John F. Kennedy deal with the threats facing America today?

Given the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, the bloody onslaught of the Islamic State, Russian saber rattling in Ukraine and China’s cyber warfare against U.S. interests perhaps we should remember what President John F. Kennedy said when confronted with such evil:

“We in this country . . . are—by destiny rather than choice—the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility . . . and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago, ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain’.”

America has historically been the watchman on the wall! That has all changed under President Obama.

Peace through Strength

President Kennedy once said, “It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.”  Today, JFK would be called a “warmonger” by Democrats for his words.  This idea provided the foundation of Reagan’s policy of “Peace through Strength.”  JFK believed in preserving America’s military might as a force for good, not in destroying it by dismantling its most effective weapon programs.  (Read about Obama’s elimination of programs.)

On Israel

Kennedy said this about America’s Jewish allies:

“Israel was not created in order to disappear—Israel will endure and flourish.  It is the child of hope and the home of the brave.  It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success.  It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”  (Read more here.)

Contrast this with the rhetoric of Jimmy Carter and Hillary Clinton about the Jewish State, calling it an “occupying force in Palestine.”

JFK and the Second Amendment

In an age when the Islamic State is conducting attacks within the U.S., JFK’s statement, of April 1960, is more prescient now than ever:

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our Founding Fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy.  Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.”

On March 20, 1961, JFK accepted a Life Membership in the National Rifle Association.

JFK and the Role of the Media

In an address given before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, on April 20, 1961, Kennedy said,

“The President of a great democracy such as ours, and the editors of great newspapers such as yours, owe a common obligation to the people: an obligation to present the facts, to present them with candor, and to present them in perspective.”

President Kennedy would be horrified by today’s corrupt journalism that omits stories about the high crimes and misdemeanors of impeachable politicians.  JFK would have been horrified by any president who actively orchestrates the destruction of American dissident opposition and its rights of free speech and press.

It was JFK who inspired me the become a U.S. Army officer. I was a JFK Democrat until the Democrat Party left me and JFK behind.