Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Liberal Education Should Include the History of our Constitution

NYT -- Thomas L. Friedman

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution.

Real Clear Politics -- Peter Berkowitz

Mission statements provide organizations the opportunity to present considered opinions about their primary goals. Yet little recognition is found within the mission statements of our institutions of higher education that among their chief responsibilities is conserving the wisdom of the ages and of our civilization in particular — for its intrinsic merits, as essential to the pursuit of truth; for guidance in understanding the nation’s fundamental principles and constitutional order; to grasp the diversity and unity of the world’s cultures and peoples; in the name of liberty of thought and discussion; as an antidote to the conceits and blind spots of the age; and to orient sensible reform.

From Moral and Political Philosophy by James Rutherford

The Moral Foundations of United States Constitutional Democracy was written for students of Western civilization and teachers of ethics, law, history, and government. It develops a framework for understanding moral and political philosophy. The framework takes into account several different aspects of human nature and the world in which we live. This provides a basis for understanding several different aspects of universal equality, the unifying “central idea” or primary moral concept of our form of government. The several aspects of universal equality are also traced historically as they developed in different ethical and legal systems of Western civilization. Constitutional democracy in the United States attempts to integrate and balance the several aspects of universal equality as they apply to the coercive powers of government.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Intelligencer -- Andrew Sullivan

  Yes, it is now confusing.  Andrew Sullivan has a thoughtful
perspective about this in his blog.  Biology and culture, Trans and
Cis are discussed in challenging way to all sides of the debate.

  “The proposed Equality Act — a federal nondiscrimination bill that has been introduced multiple times over the years in various formulations — would add “gender identity” to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, rendering that class protected by anti-discrimination laws, just as sex is. The TERF argument is that viewing “gender identity” as interchangeable with sex, and abolishing clear biological distinctions between men and women, is actually a threat to lesbian identity and even existence — because it calls into question who is actually a woman, and includes in that category human beings who have been or are biologically male, and remain attracted to women. How can lesbianism be redefined as having sex with someone who has a penis, they argue, without undermining the concept of lesbianism as a whole?”

  Studies of identical twins separated at birth tend to indicate that genetics and culture both contribute about evenly as to how we develop into adults. Usually, however, we can separate a respect for the dignity of all persons from making a judgment about their behavior.  When it comes to sexual preferences and “gender identity”, however, this familiar framework is complicated because the sexual preferences are presented as essential to who the individual is an not just a matter of behavior or choice. Yet at other times the claim is made the all values are only about the individual or social will. The confusing issues are thus likely to persist.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Demographics favor Kamala Harris in the Democratic primary

Senator Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris is now officially running for president. Her California base is a large part of the Democratic party. This is also reflected in the Pledged delegates and Superdelegates. She has already visited South Carolina which holds the fourth democratic primary election. She is likely as an African-American to replicate the success of Barack Obama in the southern states from Maryland to Louisiana based on the demographics of the Democratic party in these states. As a female candidate Senator Harris also doesn’t carry all of the baggage of Hillary Clinton. She is much younger than either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden, and yet she has good experience as the Attorney General in California and as a Senator. She appears to be likable unless she is attacking you.
Sen. Harris has taken a “Never Trump” stance on his nominations for cabinet positions and the Supreme Court. On policy she opposes Trump on immigration, taxes, healthcare and guns. Some of her rhetoric, however, has been over the top, such as at least referencing and thus promoting a comparison between ICE and the Ku Klux Klan. She also attempted to apply an anti-Catholic religious test to a judicial nominee because he belonged to the Knights of Columbus. Like most of the other candidates she is moving toward the far left. In a general election it would again be a battle between red states and blue states.

Wikipedia article on Sen. Kamala Harris

LA Times -- Kamala Harris makes it official: She’s running for president

Wikipedia -- The 2008 Democratic Primary

WSJ -- The Making of Kamala Harris

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Economics and Culture

There are now many ways that people put together loving and supportive families and there are many ways to be financially successful.  We also don’t control what can be some of the unseen circumstances and tragic aspects of life It has also been shown, on the other hand, that if two people finish high school, and first get a job and then get married before they have children that they seldom end up in poverty.  The nuclear family has been an economically efficient way of raising children and it also contributes to their social development. This is not disputed in the statistics, but it is seldom discussed. Tucker Carlson recently challenged both the conservatives and the liberals on this issue that connects economics and culture.

Tucker Carlson Tonight

Jan 2, 2019

Economics and Culture

Jan 7, 2019

Thursday, December 13, 2018

This article is a good perspective on perhaps the underlying objectives of
Trump’s domestic and foreign policy.  A good read whether or not you agree
or disagree.

Real Clear Politics -- K. S. Bruce

Donald Trump’s China Trade War Is Not About Trade

Their basic economic formula is simple: The economy
is, by definition, equal to the size of the labor force times the
productivity of the labor force. The Administration has been
working in various ways to increase both the labor pool and its
productivity, and to make sure that a fair portion of
benefits from economic growth will accrue to the workers

The Administration’s more recent analysis has determined
that China will not simply become one, more mild-mannered
“club member” if left unchecked. Rather, the Administration
has concluded that China is seeking to surpass the U.S.
as a global leader, and is promoting centralized government
power as the model for the world to follow, at the expense of
Western, liberal-style democracy, personal freedoms and
individual rights.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

When the FBI and the DOJ under Mueller obstructed justice and changed the important results of a pivotal national election

Must Read Alaska
Senator Ted Stevens

Does this sound familiar yet?
The allegation was that Senator Stevens had not paid full price for improvements to his Alaska cabin. As Roll Call reported, he had actually overpaid for the improvements by over twenty percent. Roll Call went on to state:
“But relying on false records and fueled by testimony from a richly rewarded ‘cooperating’ witness… government prosecutors convinced jurors to find him guilty just eight days before the general election which he lost by less than 2 percent of the vote.”
Don’t forget, one vote in the Senate was critical to ObamaCare becoming law also. If Senator Stevens was still there, it would not have become law.

After a report substantiated massive improprieties by the FBI and DOJ in the investigation and prosecution of Senator Stevens, the result was ultimately a complete dismissal of the conviction.

If you wonder what happened to the valuable FBI agent who was an upstanding whistleblower with a conscience, you should know that in Mueller’s FBI, Special Agent Joy was terribly mistreated. Orders came down from on high that he was not to participate in any criminal investigation again, which is the FBI management’s way of forcing an agent out of the FBI. On the other hand, the FBI agent who was said to have manufactured evidence against Senator Stevens while hiding evidence of his innocence was treated wonderfully and continued to work important criminal cases for Director Mueller.

Monday, June 25, 2018

If it walks like a duck, swims and flies like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is usually a duck.

Sometimes appearances count and there is a clear appearance of bias in the handling of all of the investigations related to Hillary Clinton and those related to Donald Trump.


Washington Post - June 14

By Devlin Barrett, Karoun Demirjian, John Wagner and Matt Zapotosky

Inspector general blasts Comey and also says others at FBI showed ‘willingness to take official action’ to hurt Trump

“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” the lawyer, Lisa Page, wrote to Strzok.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,”

The inspector general concluded that Strzok’s text, along with others disparaging Trump, “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”

The messages “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the inspector general wrote.

“Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias,” the report said.


Mr Horowitz thus stated that there was an appearance of bias and an implication of a willingness to take official action, and furthermore that they did not have confidence that the prioritizing of the Trump investigation over the Clinton investigation was free from bias. Peter Strzok led both the Clinton and Trump investigations.. Yet, Mr Horowitz did not say that what looked like a duck was a duck.

Testifying before Congress earlier this week, Mr. Horowitz was asked if he believed whether Mr. Strzok’s texts showed political bias. “I think as we found it clearly shows a biased state of mind,” Mr. Horowtiz said. Later, Mr. Horowitz was asked if Strzok’s bias led to the start of the Russia probe. He responded, “that’s a matter that we have under review and are looking at right now.”


See also: WSJ -- June 23, 2018 -- David E Rivkin Jr. and Elizabeth Price Foley

Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree

“All special-counsel activities -- investigations, plea deals, subpoenas, reports, indictments, and convictions -- are fruit of a poisonous tree, byproducts of a violation of due process.”


Since Mr. Horowitz’s report, Mr. Strzok was escorted out of the FBI building last week.

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte has now subpoenaed FBI agent Peter Strzok to be deposed by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.

James H. Rutherford, M.D.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mutually Nonconsensual Sex

The Atlantic  - Caitlin Flanagan,  June 1. 2018

A Title IX case at the University of Cincinnati—rife with legal, anatomical, and emotional improbabilities—illustrates the potential excesses of policing sex on campus.

“Male and female student have a drunken hookup. He wakes up, terrified she's going to file a sexual misconduct complaint, so he goes to the Title IX office and beats her to the punch. She is found guilty and suspended.”

"Doe vs. Miami University found that a school acts in a discriminatory manner when it finds that both a male and a female student are intoxicated and engage in sexual activity yet chooses only to discipline one of the students."

"A half-century ago a group of American college students realized that the American university had assumed a role in their lives that was fundamentally at odds with their constitutional right to live in freedom. They wanted personal freedom, political freedom, sexual freedom….Now, in many regards, universities monitor the sexuality of their students more intrusively than in the 1950s.
…..the strongest and smartest and bravest among the students are beginning to realize that the beliefs and practices that dominate these places are irrational and hugely political."

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kim Jong-un -- The Only Fat Man in North Korea

Why would Kim Jong-un consider giving up his nuclear weapons and shifting from a military based regime to an economic based regime?

First, President Trump has made it clear that the United States will not allow North Korea to fully develop the nuclear capacity to destroy American cities and to use that as a method of blackmail. A military confrontation with the United States would mean the end of the both the regime and Kim Jong-un, whose primary goal is to retain power. China, as the only nuclear power in the Far East, has apparently now decided that a nuclear North Korea is also not in its best interests. The combined economic sanctions are further crippling a N. Korean economy that is in chaos. How long does Kim Jong-un think that he can stay in power when he cannot feed his people, but also cannot provide for his military and bureaucracy? That is the stick. How long does Kim Jong-un think that he can be the only fat man in Korea.

The carrot is a way out by shifting from a military based regime to an economic based regime. The United States, like it did at the time of the Cuban nuclear crisis, can give assurances that it will not invade or destroy N. Korea. It can bring a formal end to the the Korean War. It can provide immediate food relief and South Korea can also help to provide economic assistance and some cultural integration. By actually providing for his people and developing a modern economy similar to that of China or Vietnam, Kim Jong-un could continue his autocratic rule and still be seen as the adulated leader of his country. The odds might be fairly good that he will see the development of a prosperous N. Korea also as his best chance for a prosperous survival.

Monday, May 7, 2018

39% of colleges have 0 Republican professors

The latest study of American campuses shows that nearly 40 percent of the colleges surveyed did not have even one professor on their faculty who identified as Republican – confirming that liberal indoctrination in classroom politics is no myth.

In recently released research conducted by National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) Mitchell Langbert of Brooklyn College, 8,688 fulltime professors with Ph.D.’s from a sample of 51 of the 60 top-ranked liberal arts colleges – as ranked by a 2017 U.S. News report – were surveyed, and overall results reveal that for every 10 professors who register as Democrat, there is only one registered Republican professor.

"The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted indeed in some degree to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman & a professor. The former will decide it as well, & often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules."
-- Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Peter Carr 1787

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The White House Correspondents Dinner and the Race to the Bottom in Civility

This is an example of why other countries may not consider the United States to be a “City on a Hill” or our culture something they would want to emulate.

 From C-SPAN coverage -
 Michelle Wolf remarks at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Dinner

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tributes to Stephen Hawking

Singularity Hub

Stephen Hawking: Martin Rees Look Back on Colleague’s Spectacular Success Against all Odds
(Perhaps this article along with the autobiographies of Frederick Douglass and Helen Keller should be on the recommended reading lists for young students.)


What you need to Know About Stephen Hawking’s Final Paper

A Smooth Exit from Eternal Inflation?
  1. W. Hawking, Thomas Hertog
Oxford Science Blog - (Example of Current Theoretical Physics)
The other side of the Big Bang

Barak Kol

Head of Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics
It is common knowledge that Prof. Stephen Hawking was one of the greatest scientists of our time, as well as an inspiring instance of human spirit and humor in the face of illness and difficulty. It is perhaps less known that his single most scientific achievement, namely the theoretical discovery of Hawking radiation from black holes was intimately related to the ideas of the late Prof. Jacob Bekenstein from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1972 Bekenstein, then a Ph.D. student at Princeton University, suggested that black holes might have properties of heat (more precisely entropy, known today as Bekenstein-Hawking black hole entropy). This idea was met with disbelief as scientists, including Hawking, thought that black holes absorb everything, yet nothing can escape them, and therefore their temperature would have to be the absolute zero.
Yet in 1974 it was Hawking who discovered theoretically that once the effects of quantum physics are taken into account a weak radiation must escape that black hole. This radiation is known as Hawking radiation and it is accompanied by a temperature of the black hole. In this way it was Hawking who established and confirmed Bekenstein’s earlier ideas and together they form the basis for Black Hole Thermodynamics, which is one of the pillars of contemporary theoretical physics. As this story illustrates, sometimes debate and even controversy, work towards a better and more united scientific understanding.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Justice by Robert Mueller and the FBI is Biased rather than Blind

Concerning all of the legal issues related to Hillary Clinton they tried not to make a case.
Against Trump they are being exceedingly aggressive.

National Review
The Trump Collusion Case Is Not Getting the Clinton Emails Treatment

“If the Justice Department is hell-bent on making a case, it plays an intimidating game of hardball. In July 2016, the Obama administration announced its decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for felony mishandling of classified information and destruction of government files. In the aftermath, I observed that there is a very aggressive way that the Justice Department and the FBI go about their business when they are trying to make a case — one profoundly different from the way they went about the Clinton emails investigation. There, they tried not to make the case.”

“Mueller succeeded in convincing a federal judge to force an attorney for Manafort and Gates to provide grand-jury testimony against them.”

“Interestingly, the jurist who rendered the 37-page memorandum opinion is Beryl A. Howell, who served for years as a senior Judiciary Committee adviser to the fiercely partisan Democratic Senator Pat Leahy (of Vermont) before being appointed to the bench by President Obama. Howell is now the district court’s chief judge. Why do I think that, in choosing to set up shop in Washington, Mueller and his team noted the district court’s local rule that vests the chief judge with responsibility to “hear and determine all matters relating to proceedings before the grand jury”? (See here, Rule 57.14 at p. 168.)”

“Compare that with the Justice Department’s treatment of the lawyers representing Mrs. Clinton and her accomplices. Actually, I shouldn’t really put it that way because . . . Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers were her accomplices.”

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wealth discrepancy and taxes in the US

Washington Examiner
Top 20% pay 95% of all taxes

Any tax cut for middle income earners will also provide a benefit for those further up the income scale, including the top 20 percent who now pay 95 percent of all income taxes.

If you break the income tax universe into what we call quintiles, so equal sized 20 percent columns, the first two columns, the first quintile and the lower quintile, don't pay any taxes at all. In fact they net positive. We pay them when they file a tax return.

Gates, Bezos,Buffet have more wealth than half the US combined

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett have collectively more wealth than the 160 million poorest Americans, or half the population of the United States.

Also adding to the stark dichotomy between the top and the bottom economic stratus in America, the bottom 19 percent of Americans are financially underwater, meaning they have zero or negative net worth, the report finds.

Over 60 percent of Americans report not having enough savings to cover a $500 emergency."

Monday, October 30, 2017

Who investigates the investigator?

Who investigates the investigator?
New York Post

What we had here wasn’t a leak from intelligence sources, but a piece of opposition research — contracted and paid for by President Trump’s opponents and prepared by a firm with a record of Russian-linked smears — which the FBI glommed onto.

Indeed, it looks very much like the whole Trump “collusion” probe was prompted by the Democrat-commissioned hit job. The same dossier seems to have been the FBI’s pretext for FISA warrants on Trump officials.

Meanwhile, the latest disclosures about the FBI, the Clintons and the Russian uranium scheme raise big questions about former FBI chief Robert Mueller — who’s now the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 race. Who investigates the investigator?

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Comey and Mueller Imperil the Rule of Law

WSJ - Peter Berkowitz - 10/24/2017 Comey and Mueller Imperil the Rule of Law

“The former FBI directors tend to investigate Republicans far more zealously than Democrats.”

“The Hill reported that in 2009 the FBI “gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States.”

“The FBI kept that information from Congress and the public, the Hill reported, even as Hillary Clinton’s State Department in 2010 approved a deal that transferred control of more than 20% of America’s uranium supply to a Russian company. The Hill also reported the FBI had documents showing that during this period Russia engineered the transmission of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

The FBI director at the time was Robert Mueller.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Clinton-Russia-FBI Scandal

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier
Fusion GPS was hired by a Democratic lawyer acting on behalf of campaign and committee.

“Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.”

“People involved in the matter said that they would not disclose the dollar amounts paid to Fusion GPS but that the campaign and the DNC shared the cost.”

The FBI’s Political Meddling
The Wall Street Journal

“Mueller is the wrong sleuth when his ex-agency is so tangled up with Russia.”

Why Is The Press Ignoring The Exploding Clinton-Russia-FBI Scandal?

In other words, while top Obama administration officials were deciding whether to hand over control of one-fifth of the nation's uranium supplies to Russia, the FBI had piles of evidence that officials at Rosatom were flagrantly violating U.S. laws and possibly compromising national security. The FBI also had evidence that officials had directed millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's family charity, creating a clear conflict of interest.

But as the Hill notes, none of this information was made public before the Obama administration approved the sale.

Even more intriguing, key people at the FBI at the time of the Uranium One deal are now spearheading the special counsel probe into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the November election.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Nothing on Health Care, Nothing on Taxes, Nothing on Immigration

Another “Do Nothing Congress” That didn’t work out too well for the Republicans in 1948. The “Resist Trump” Democratic Party will vote no on any proposals. There are four or five Republicans in the Senate who for their own reasons will not support bills on these issues. Thus nothing has been done and one cannot expect anything to be done without what will very soon be a train wreck in health care and probably a government shutdown or financial crisis related to taxes, the national debt, and the budget.

Immigration and DACA will be another issue which will remain unresolved. The Republicans would need to gain probably four seats in the Senate to pass the Trump agenda. The Democrats have at least three more years where they have to deal with President Trump. Congressional approval will continue to drop as these issues progressively continue to cause real harm to voters. The dysfunction is in Congress.

Real Clear Politics
Congressional Approval 13.4%

Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Largely Overlooked Huge Mistake in Foreign Policy

A Largely Overlooked Huge Mistake in Foreign Policy
The Telegraph
US votes against UN resolution condemning death penalty for gay sex -- joining Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Human rights advocates and LGBT activists have condemned the US government as it became one of just 13 countries, including China, to refuse to condemn the "imposition of the death penalty as a sanction for specific forms of conduct, such as apostasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations". That resolution passed by a vote of 27 in favor, 13 voted against it and 7 abstentions. The UN ruling also condemned the use of the death penalty on people with "mental or intellectual disabilities, persons below 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the crime, and pregnant women".

The US has never supported any measure at the UN that condemns the death penalty.

The most powerful psychological tool of tyrannical governments is the use of executions. In 2015, the five countries with the most capital punishment executions worldwide were China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This is the type of company that we continue to keep. These other countries are quick to point to the use of the death penalty in the United States to justify their use of coercive power and the death penalty. This is just one of the reasons why we should consider abolishing the death penalty as a matter of foreign policy. The UN resolution was just to place restrictions on the use of the death penalty.

After the tragedies of two world wars, the United Nations in 1948 set forth and aspired to a standard in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which began by stating, “ Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,”

Many of our elected leaders attended law school where the prevailing philosophy of law has been legal positivism which draws a separation between morality and law. The strong advocates of legal positivism then go further and argue that all morality as well as all law is relative. Legal positivism can be supported because it is merely descriptive of what is or has been the prevailing law without moral judgement. It is not prescriptive. It is thus entirely local and relative to time and place, with there being no universal values. The laws of Nazi Germany, for example, would simply be recognized as the laws of Nazi Germany.

Legal positivism is thus entirely relative and does not recognize any universal values or Natural Law concepts such as human rights. It is thus disarmed in an international “battle of ideas.” Perhaps this background of legal positivism is one of the reasons that our leaders have problems conveying American values even in the presence of radical terrorism with beheadings, the abduction of young girls into slavery, the burning and drowning of men in cages, and a genocide of minority groups and threats of a nuclear catastrophe.

Why are we not supporting the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family even in the issue of death penalty?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The North Korean Nuclear Dilemma

Kevin Rudd
The North Korean Nuclear Dilemma

An Address to the Swedish Institute of International Affairs
The Honourable Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, President of the Asia Society Policy Institute Stockholm, Thursday 31 August 2017

The entire speech is worth reading. This is an excerpt:

Possible Scenarios

So what are the scenarios we face? Broadly and simply, there are three. One, that the United States, as the Chinese would wish, accepts the inevitability of North Korea becoming a full member of the international nuclear weapons club, and that the North develops its own sets of rules, procedures and nuclear doctrine that enables it behave “responsibly” as a nuclear weapons state.

Scenario two is that of the US unilateral military strike to destroy or to retard the North Korean nuclear capability. Scenario three is diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. The current direction of diplomacy in terms of what is expected of China, North Korea and the United States appears not to be going very far.

But I think there is a broader proposition which is much discussed in the international media, and I’ve certainly sought to promote it myself in pieces I’ve written recently, which goes by the name of the “grand bargain”. The reason why we need a strategic grand bargain is because of the vast array of Chinese deep interests alive in the Korean Peninsula that I referred to earlier in this presentation, as well as core North Korean interests. Not to mention the fundamental interests of most of us in avoiding North Korea becoming a permanent nuclear weapons state in the first place.

So what would such a grand bargain entail?

First, Beijing needs to accept that the threat of a unilateral US strike is credible enough to warrant a change in Chinese diplomacy towards North Korea.

Second, the US would need to be clear with Beijing about what is at stake here for China. And if China succeeds in bringing about a cessation of North Korea’s nuclear program, and the destruction of its existing arsenal, the US would then accept the following:

  • a formal peace treaty following the armistice which has been in operation since 1953
  • formal diplomatic recognition of Pyongyang by the United States
  • external security guarantees for the future of the regime and the North Korean state, provided by the Chinese, the Americans and possibly the Russians
  • for the Chinese then to be able to assist North Korea to continue to reform and develop the North Korean economy; and possibly, and most problematically, a staged program for the eventual withdrawal step-by-step of US forces from South Korea.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Confronting Terrorism and Totalitarianism in Our Time

Confronting Terrorism and Totalitarianism in Our Time

What you have in North Korea is a replay of the atrocities of Stalinist communist totalitarianism in Russia and Hitler’s Nazi totalitarianism in Germany. These each resulted in the lost of about 20 million lives and these tragedies were possibly exceeded by the loss of life under Mao’s communist totalitarian rule in China. It is China and Russia that have sponsored and supported a similar totalitarian rule in North Korea.

The United States has consistently unvalued the role of ideas in foreign policy. First, we have not conveyed that our primary moral concept is equality, understood as a respect for human dignity and our common humanity. We have certainly struggled to live up to this ideal, but Jefferson, Madison, Tocqueville, Lincoln, and the great reformers such as the women suffragettes and Martin Luther King, Jr. all considered equality be our primary moral concept. It is the concept of a respect for personal dignity our common humanity that would make possible the accommodation of diversity and a wide variety of attributes possible in a pluralistic global community without coercion or alienation.

The political tragedies of the 20th Century bore witness to the need for a respect for human dignity and our common humanity. In 1948, the United Nations, for example, thus passed The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Preamble begins, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

Second we have failed to effectively contrast the concepts of universal equality and human rights to even the most brutal tactics of ISIS and the totalitarian regime in North Korea. We have even been reluctant in these cases to even identify and condemn the extreme brutality of both terrorism and totalitarianism in our time. This ideological battle of ideas, however, should also be a foundational part of our foreign policy and our defense of civilization against both anarchy and totalitarianism.

Fox News -- Anne Pierce
Stress North Korean Atrocities and China’s Shameful Role

“Trump administration officials should more frequently condemn North Korea’s extreme human rights violations. It is the extremism of the regime that makes its nuclear weapons so dangerous.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

Justice is not blind with James Comey or the FBI

Justice is not blind with James Comey or the FBI

Baseball umpires and referees in basketball and football have leeway in how they apply the rules to the game. They are expected, however, the be consistent in how they call the game and thus treat each side the same and fairly. James Comey and the FBI by this standard have been very partisan, neither consistent nor fair.

James Comey was told to call the Clinton email inquiry a “matter” rather than an investigation by the Attorney General after she had had a meeting with Bill Clinton and that is what he did. Dr. Obama made his own declaration that Hillary had not done anything illegal.

We now learn that James Comey had been making plans to exonerate Hillary Clinton in the e-mail scandal even before all all of the witnesses, including Hillary, had been heard.

On the other hand, after there was a false leak that President Trump was under investigation for a collusion which the Russians, James Comey told Trump that he was not under investigation but he would not publically deny the false accusation which only fueled a media frenzy. Only after he was fired did Comey leak a conversation through a friend to the press with the intent of compelling the appointment of a special counsel. The only clear crime was the leak of information concerning General Flynn. Even though there was a very small number of people who had access to that information, The FBI did not determine the source of the leak.

American Thinker -- Daniel John Sobieski
Corrupt Comey Had the Fix In

Now we know why the FBI made the absurd claim that it would not release its files on the Hillary Clinton email investigation for alleged lack of public interest. The FBI was covering up its obstruction of justice in the, er, “matter” knowing full well that former Director James Comey had already exonerated Hillary Clinton before the alleged investigation was complete and all witnesses had been interviewed and months before Comey falsely claimed in his announcement that no competent prosecutor would take Hillary’s case.

National Review
Mueller Scorches the Earth

"The way it’s supposed to work, the Justice Department learns of a crime, so it assigns a prosecutor. To the contrary, this Justice Department assigned a prosecutor — make that: Seventeen hyper-aggressive prosecutors — and unleashed them to hunt for whatever crime they could find."

Washington Examiner
Stonewalling by the FBI on the “Dossier” issue

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Another Reason Ohio Should Reconsider the Death Penalty

Another Reason Ohio Should Reconsider the Death Penalty
Harvard University's Fair Punishment Project


“Ohio intends to execute three more people in 2017 and then 23 more between 2018 and 2020.2 We examined the cases of these 26 men, relying on available legal pleadings, court opinions, and where accessible, trial testimony. We found that these men are among the most impaired and traumatized among us – a pattern replicated across America’s death rows. At least 17 out of the 26 men experienced serious childhood trauma – horrifying instances of extensive physical and sexual abuse. At least 6 men appear to suffer from a mental illness, and at least 11 have evidence of intellectual disability, borderline intellectual disability, or a cognitive impairment, including brain injury. Three were under the age of 21 at the time they committed their offenses, a period during which an individual’s brain, especially the section related to impulse control and decision-making, is still undeveloped. Many of these men fall within several of these categories, which compounds the impairments.”

Read the article for the stories of these men on death row.

See also: Reconsidering the Death Penalty in Ohio