Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Challenge of China’s Communist Autocracy


Communism failed as an economic system, but it has always led to a tyrannical political regime. 

RealClearWorld -- Senator Marco Rubio

The High Cost of Beijing’s Demands for Uniformity

Beijing’s goal of eliminating religion stems from a broader quest to impose ideological uniformity on China, and increasingly, the rest of the world as it interacts with China. As Xi Jinping is fond of saying, “the Party leads everything.” The CCP aims to maintain its monopoly over the ability to set standards on how people think or act. To achieve that, it must eliminate all significant expressions of difference: cultural, ethnic, religious, linguistic, political, artistic, and beyond.

Deviation from those standards is a challenge to the CCP’s authority -- the ultimate crime in communist China.


Chins’s Promise: A Free Market for Unfree People

It is perhaps the ultimate irony that Marxist collectivism — having been destroyed in Russia and the former Eastern bloc — would three decades later rear its head in America and Europe, thereby making the Beijing job of selling its ideology easier.

See Also

The Far Center

China -- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This post WWII world order is now being challenged by the autocracies of China, Russia, and Iran and their proxies in North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.  What is telling is that China, Russia, and Iran have significant historical and Ideological conflicts, but these are superseded by their common bond of autocratic control of power.  Their common desire is to replace the Western liberal tradition with a new type of world order and to remake the global balance of power.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Federalist Society Conference 11/11/2020

         Cornel West

A Discussion with Professors Robert George and Cornel West on Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and the Cancel Culture highly recommends this video and discussion

“Professors George and West address whether both society, and the ways in which we can discuss its virtues and its deficiencies, are in need of fundamental change.”


         Robert George

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Unlikely Durham Report Will Conclude Before the Election

The extent of the dirty tricks paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to first prevent and then overthrow the election of Donald trump is apparently going to be allowed to continue undisclosed by the Durham investigation until after a second presidential election four years later. If the pertinent parts of the Durham report are not released before this election it will indeed be considered highly partisan. Durham will appropriately be ridiculed if it turns out that critical parts of the report are only released after the election. This was foreseeable and preventable at the start of the investigation which began in May of 1999. It will also be a failure attributed to Bill Barr and Sen. Lindsey Graham who have slow walked investigations and the release of classified information.

The FBI had no reservations in releasing unfounded and indeed later shown to be false charges against Sen.Ted Stevens in 2008 just before the elections resulting in his defeat, which gave the Democrats a 60 vote supermajority in the senate and total control not subject to a filibuster. There continues to appear to be two standards of justice. 

Fox News -- Maria Bartiromo

Durham Report Will Not Be Released Before Election

Fox News -- Brooke Singman

CIA memo on Hillary Clinton “stirring up” scandal between Trump, Russia

“former CIA Director John Brennan briefed former President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported “plan” to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server” ahead of the 2016 presidential election”

Must Read Alaska

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

Thursday, May 28, 2020

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past." George Orwell

RealClearPublicAffairs 1776 Series-- Mary Grabar
Recently, Michael Barone heralded a bipartisan refutation of the New York Times’s 1619 Project. As part of “an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history,” Barone noted, the August 2019 Times magazine supplement had made the case for redefining the founding of the United States from 1776 to 1619, when, presumably, the first slave ship came to Virginia, beginning a chain of exploitation by which the country supposedly built her wealth.
Barone notes how Sean Wilentz, writing in the liberal Atlantic, made “mincemeat” of lead writer Nikole Hannah-Jones’ contention that “protecting slavery was the main motive of the American Revolution.” With distinguished historians James McPherson, James Oakes, Victoria Bynum, and Gordon Wood, Wilentz also co-signed a letter to the Times “lamenting” the Project’s “factual errors.” The National Association of Scholars, Law & Liberty, and World Socialist also published effective rebuttals.

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.

In 1795, Fisher Ames, a congressman from Massachusetts, perhaps recognized the indeterminate but dynamic aspects of our system of government when he compared it to monarchy in the following way. “A monarchy,” he said, “is a merchant- man which sails well, but will sometimes strike a rock, and go to the bottom; a republic is a raft which will never sink, but then your feet are always in the water”

Xi and China Plan to Replace the Western Liberal Tradition with a New World Order Which is Safe for Autocracies

New York Times

   While Mr. Xi is using legislation rather than military force in a territory already under Chinese rule, it is nonetheless a brash move by an autocratic leader willing to risk international condemnation to resist what he views as foreign encroachment on his country’s security.
   “The Communist Party doesn’t care anymore about the reactions, because it’s about survival, the stability of the one-party system, avoiding the fate of the Soviet Union,” 

The Far Center

   This post WWII world order is now being challenged by the autocracies of China, Russia, and Iran and their proxies in North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.  What is telling is that China, Russia, and Iran have significant historical and Ideological conflicts, but these are superseded by their common bond of autocratic control of power.  Their common desire is to replace the Western liberal tradition with a new type of world order and to remake the global balance of power.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Article about Jared Kushner’s paternal Grandmother

Hollie McKay - Fox News

Putin could make move to absorb Belarus, Europe’s ‘last dictatorship,’ 

“But its history is one with tragedy and bloodshed. Upwards of 40 percent – some 3 million – citizens were killed during the Second World War. The country was overtaken by Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, bringing about the absolute destruction of more than two-thirds of its cities and decimating its Jewish population.”

“At one chilling memorial ghetto in the beautifully sleepy western town of Novogrudok, photographs and remnants remain of the hundreds of women escorted out by the Nazis to be shot and the hundreds who survived following a daring tunnel escape. That remarkable act of Nazi defiance was orchestrated by the bold Rae Kushner – Jared Kushner's paternal grandmother – who was just 16 when she was summoned to the ghetto with her family. Subsequently, the Kushner name carries steep remembrance and respect in Belarus, considered to be a front-runner in Holocaust education and commemoration.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Michael Bloomberg Now Under Scrutiny

Bloomberg’s “mercenaries” inside state AG offices

A program funded by 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is paying the salaries of lawyers who are farmed out to liberal state attorney general offices to pursue climate-based litigation -- a compact critics say amounts to Bloomberg buying state law enforcement employees to advance his preferred political agenda.

The Hill -- Heather MacDonald
Bloomberg on “Stop, Question and Frisk”

The New York Police Department’s use of the tactic helped bring the city’s homicide rate down another 50 percent during Bloomberg’s tenure in office from 2002 to 2013, something few criminologists believed possible. Sixteen hundred minority lives were saved in the process.
Forbes -- Rich Karlgaard
Iran and China -- Black Swans No One Mentions

These two black swans get little attention precisely because they are real black swans – low probability risks with gigantic consequences.

Black Swan #1

Hackers Seriously Disrupt the U.S. Power Grid

Consider the U.S. power grid. The electricity grid is the engine that powers all mechanisms of commerce and civilization in the U.S. Should this engine fail, all dependent activities immediately cease to function, including water and sanitation, the food supply chain, financial institutions, healthcare, media, transportation and law enforcement.

Black Swan #2

China Grabs Taiwan for TSMC

There is, however, one critical exception to China’s tech prowess. China, in 2020, and likely for the next three to five years at least, is not world-class at manufacturing chips. (See here, here, and here to learn more.) Now, China can steal IP, but it’s much harder to steal a 3-nanometer fab plant that will cost $20 billion to build. Of the world’s companies that are world-class – including Intel and Samsung – none are in China. Perhaps the best of the bunch is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, or TSMC as it is known.

China's Advances in Technology

TechRadar -- jamie Carter

6 ways that Chinese tech is ahead of the rest of the world

Your smartphone comes from China, a country where ‘phone commerce’ via a messaging app is commonplace. It’s the home of Huawei, Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent and Xaomi, and it’s home to massive investments in AI, 5G, self-driving cars, robotics, electric vehicles and even missions to Mars. Here are just a few ways that an increasingly high-tech China is creeping ahead of the rest of the world.

Monday, January 27, 2020

The greatest threat to humanity in the next 100 years is climate change; that is, nuclear warfare resulting is a “nuclear winter” destroying most of the foundations of life on earth.

Fox News -- Chris Ciaccia
The  Doomsday Clock Moves to 100 seconds to Midnight

“Sharon Squassoni, Georgetown University professor and member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, noted how extreme the nuclear weapons situation has become. She cited the recent collapse of the Iran nuclear deal, the reemergence of North Korea's nuclear capabilities and the continued buildout of weapons from the U.S., Russia and China.”

Monday, January 13, 2020

China is Abolishing Religious Liberty

Fox News
China Imposes Harsh New Rules Governing Religious Groups

China is striking the "final blow to religious liberty" with new administrative measures set to take place in February with total submission to the Chinese Communist Party, according to a watchdog group.

"In practice, your religion no longer matters, if you are Buddhist, or Taoist, or Muslim or Christian," a Chinese Catholic priest told AsiaNews. "The only religion allowed is faith in the Chinese Communist Party."

The Far Center - China: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Demand Absolute Loyalty to Beijing at Chinese Universities Triggers Dissent.

Academic independence and freedom of thought are stripped from charters of three institutions, replaced by adherence to Communist Party rule

WSJ -- Philip Wen
China Draws Fire Over Academic Controls

Amendments to the charters of three Chinese universities that place 
absolute adherence to Communist Party rule over academic independence have provoked heated online debate and prompted some prominent academics to raise concerns amid a backdrop of tightening ideological control on China’s campuses.

References to academic independence and freedom of thought were stripped out of the charter of Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University …. Substituted were references to “serving the governance of the Communist Party” and “dedication to patriotism” 

The Far Center - China: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

What's Wrong with FISA

Fox News
Judge Andrew Napolitano on What’s Wrong with FISA

The Constitution requires probable cause of crime to be demonstrated to a judge before the judge can sign a search warrant. That was the law of the land until FISA came along. FISA set up the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and it authorized the judges on that court to issue search warrants based on a lower standard of probable cause.

Isn't that contrary to the Constitution? Yes, it is. But a challenge has never reached a non-FISC federal court because the government has never used evidence that it admits was obtained from a FISC warrant in a criminal case for fear that a federal court will invalidate the FISA standard.

It gets worse.

Because FISC meets in secret, and because only government lawyers appear before it, we have a dangerous recipe: Secrecy and no defense counsel produce tyranny. That combination has the standard for issuing search warrants sliding even further down the slope of tyranny and absurdity.

FISA established probable cause of foreign agency as the standard that government lawyers must meet. That morphed into probable cause of foreign personhood. That morphed into probable cause of speaking to a foreign person. And that morphed into probable cause of speaking to any person who has ever spoken to a foreign person. All of this happened in secret.

The Federalist -- Mollie Hemingway 1/12/20
Spy Court Picks FISA Abuse Denier to Tackle FISA ABUSE 

The appointment of a former official who served as an apologist for the FBI signals that the court isn't particularly concerned about the civil liberty violations catalogued by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Monday, December 9, 2019

China and Cybersecurity

Gatestone Institute -- Gordon Chang
China adopts malicious cybersecurity rules

After all these "cybersecurity" rules are in place, no foreign company may encrypt data so that it cannot be read by the Chinese central government and the Communist Party of China. In other words, businesses will be required to turn over encryption keys.

Beijing's system, once implemented, will be so invasive that Chinese authorities will no longer need to ask foreign businesses to turn over data. Chinese officials will simply be able to take that data on their own.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Russia has indeed disrupted our presidential politics and democratic elections.

Hill says Russia wanted to "delegitimize our entire presidency" in 2016

The Washington Post announced within minutes of his inauguration that the “campaign to impeach President Trump has begun.”
Newt Gingrich -- Plot against the president is real and bigger than many think
Since the day Trump was elected president, Democrats have been formulating and executing the plot we have been watching unfold. After Trump won a massive electoral majority, Democrats started digging.

Make no mistake: This is not politics as usual. It’s a concerted effort by one political party, the Washington bureaucracy, and the media to overrule the American people.
Newt”s World -- Podcast 46 -- The plot against the president

Start with Transparency to Reform Health Care

Hospital Cost Transparency is a necessary first step in Affordable Health Care

“No one would buy a car without knowing the sticker price. Few would hire a house painter without getting an estimate — or several — first. Yet, hospital patients usually don’t learn the cost of their medical care until after they’ve been treated and receive a bill.”

“A new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rule could change all that by demanding price transparency of every U.S. hospital. By January, 2021, the federal agency will require hospitals to disclose charges for every service they provide, including cash discounts and rates negotiated with third-party payers, such as insurance companies. Additionally, they’ll be required to publish plain-language estimated costs for all associated charges for 300 “shoppable” services, such as joint replacements and other common treatments.”

What Does a Knee Replacement Really Cost?

The actual cost? $10,550 at most, including the physicians. The list price was five times that amount.

The Sanctity of Life, Abortions, and the Death Penalty in Ohio

Some of the Republican legislators in Ohio support both a ban on abortions and the death penalty.  If they were serious about the sanctity of life maybe they should consider abolishing the Death Penalty in Ohio.

Some Ohio Lawmakers Want to Ban Abortions and Charge Doctors with Murder.

One-third of Republicans in the state House of Representatives signed onto a bill that would ban all abortions in the state – and charge doctors who perform them with murder.

The proposed legislation, which has not been introduced, would almost certainly trigger a lawsuit. A federal judge temporarily blocked similar legislation in Alabama last month. 

Reconsidering the Death Penalty in Ohio

In 2007, 88% of the executions worldwide occurred in China, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. This is the company that we keep…

Monday, November 25, 2019

Even the Wealthiest Support at Least Some Tax Reform.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have agreed that they should be paying more taxes and Jeff Bezos could afford to pay out a 38 billion dollar divorce settlement.

Money -- Catherine Clifford
Wealth Number Ranking Shows Inequality
Indeed, in 2018, the world’s wealthiest 26 individuals had the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the population, according to an Oxfam report published in January. That’s down from the 43 wealthiest people the year before.

St.Louis Fed
What Wealth inequality in America Looks Like
Wealth inequality in America has grown tremendously from 1989 to 2016, to the point where the top 10% of families ranked by household wealth (with at least $1.2 million in net worth) own 77% of the wealth “pie.” The bottom half of families ranked by household wealth (with $97,000 or less in net worth) own only 1% of the pie.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Resistance from the beginning has been about trying to nullify the 2016 Presidential election by impeaching Donald Trump. They have spent 3 years not investigating a crime, but investigating to try and find a crime.  

Global News
Adam Schiff slams “charlatan in the White House” at California convention
Schiff urged Democrats to help “send that charlatan in the White House back to the golden throne he came from.”

Hamilton Wouldn’t Impeach Trump
Hamilton on impeachment
 “The prosecution of [such offenses] will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties, more or less friendly, or inimical, to the accused. In many cases, it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side, or on the other; and in such cases, there will always be the greater danger, that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”

Attorney General Bill Barr on the Scorched-Earth War of Resistance

Daily Mail -- Ariel Zilber
Bill Barr says the Left is sabotaging the President by waging a scorched-earth war of resistance.

‘In waging a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred war of resistance against this administration, it is the left that is engaged in a systematic shredding of norms and undermining the rule of law,’ Barr told guests of the Federalist Society convention in the capital.
Barr, who was named Attorney General by Trump after the resignation of Jeff Sessions last year, accused the ‘resistance’ of ‘dangerous’ and ‘incendiary’ language by questioning the legitimacy of the sitting government.  ‘This is a very dangerous and indeed incendiary notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic,’ Barr said.

Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers the 19th Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society's 2019 National Lawyers Convention

   Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called “The Resistance,” and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration.  Now, “resistance” is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous – indeed incendiary – notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic.  What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the “loyal opposition,” as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

It is not just a do-nothing Congress, but one of total resistance and attempts by the Democrats to nullify the election of Donald Trump.

For three years there has been a cabal of the deep state, a “coup” to impeach President Trump. There have not been investigations of a crime, but investigations to find a crime.  This has been “the insurance policy” described by Peter Strzok. The accusations have included collusion, obstruction, racism, mental incompetence, and now abuse of power and possibly still the emolument cause.  The liberal press has promoted these narratives. Since impeachment is a political process the Democratic House of Representatives will bring articles of impeachment and these will be voted down by the Republican Senate.

   The double standards of the intelligence community investigations and the  political nature of the impeachment efforts will be highlighted by the Horowitz report right in the middle of of the hearings.

   In the meantime, there has been a do-nothing Congress with the Democrats resistance resulting in no significant action on infrastructure, USAMC tariffs, funding the budget, immigration policy, or border security.

   This will all play out in the Presidential election of 2020 which will again be very close and with significant consequences.

Fox News

Mark Zaid, one of the attorneys representing the intelligence community whistleblower at the center of the Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry, tweeted conspicuously in January 2017 that a "coup has started" and that "impeachment will follow ultimately."

Then, in July 2017, Zaid remarked, "I predict @CNN will play a key role in @realDonaldTrump not finishing out his full term as president." Also that month, Zaid tweeted, "We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters."

RealClear Politics

Dershowitz said the effort to get Trump on any crime reminded him of Stalin's secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria who famously said: "Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime."

"Whether you’re from New York or the middle of the country, you should be frightened by efforts to try to create crimes out of nothing," Dershowitz said. "The latest twist was people on television, particularly CNN and MSNBC, are saying that if the president or somebody else were to name the whistleblower in the Ukrainian situation that person would be guilty of a crime."

"Well, I spent the afternoon yesterday searching the federal criminal statutes from beginning to end. I couldn’t find the crime."

“First they made up collusion… I searched the statute books. There’s no crime of collusion… with a foreign country. After that, they said obstruction of Congress,” Dershowitz said. "In a desperate effort to try to find crimes [committed by] President Trump, they’re just making it up. And that means we are all in danger."

James H. Rutherford, M.D.

How do artificial intelligence, the American power grid, capital punishment, tariffs against autocracies, the theat of nuclear war, and medical ethics inter-relate.

   Artificial intelligence can be a great step forward, but it can also be used for nefarious purposes and complex computer systems can be vulnerable to attack.  

   The use of facial recognition and all of the tracking done through cell phones, social media, and financial transactions is being used in China to create a “personal social credit score.” The Chinese government can control where you live,work, and travel, where your children go to school, and limit your freedom of expression and religion. 

   The use of coercive power has led to the development of nuclear weapons and a foreign policy of mutual assured destruction.  A combination of brinkmanship and computer controlled response times for nuclear weapons measured in minutes now threatens not only self-destruction, but also the destruction of most of the foundations of life on earth. 

   An electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP) via a high altitude nuclear detonation or a cyberattack could destroy the Amercan electrical power grid. The loss of power, communication, and transportation would lead to total chaos and threaten survival.

   Most autocratic government use capital punishment or the threat of capital punishment to maintain control. This is the company that we keep with our continued use of the death sentence. 

   China, Russia, Iran, and their proxies in North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela have nothing in common except their common goal to overthrow the Western liberal tradition and make the world safe for autocracies.  The tariffs are thus about much more than the economy. 

   Max Weber described government as having a monopoly on coercive force. That coercive power can be used to suppress individual freedoms. Terror tactics, with the use the asymmetrical power of torture, killing, and destruction, can also be used also by anacrhists and non-governmental groups for political purposes.

   We now live in a pluralistic global community with access to weapons of mass destruction. There is a need to pay attention to diversity, but because we are very tribal there is also a need to recognize what we share in common.  Medical ethics are based on a respect for life, understood as a respect for our individual personal dignity and our common humanity. Medical ethics also understand human nature to be multidimensional which leads toward what has been described as a balance of consciousness, a reflective equilibrium, or a parliament of the mind. Medical ethics in this context provide some coherence to moral and political philosophy.  They are one source of an applied moral philosophy that can provide cross-cultural understanding and enable ethical dialogue. In a political context, medical ethics at least have the capacity for accommodation in a pluralistic global community without coercion or alienation.  


Fast Company

Amnesty International

The Far Center

The Far Center

Paper given at the World Congress of Philosophy in Beijing

James Rutherford, MD

Monday, October 21, 2019

Buyer Beware on China

Newt’s World Podcast -- Episode 38

American investors are being conned into investing in Chinese companies traded on U.S. stock exchanges that have misrepresented their values and over-inflated the stock price. 

Why Are American Investors Funding Chinese Fraud?

COMMENTARY -- By Christopher A. Iacovella
...diligence in China is impossible because the Communist Party won’t allow it. This roadblock should have immediately stopped the sale of these securities to America’s retail investors. But, in true Wall Street fashion, it didn’t because the ETF issuers desperately want access to the Chinese market and the index providers bowed to a regime that pressured them to increase China’s access to global capital. As a result, neither the index providers nor the ETF issuers know whether the Chinese companies in the indexes they sold are Enron-like frauds, arms of the Chinese military, or supporting human rights abuses

China has Printed more Money then any Country in History

TheSoundingline -- Kyle Bass
“The Chinese print more money than any other country has printed, in gross terms, in world history… Since 2001, they’ve printed roughly $30 trillion worth of RMB (Chinese Yuan). Think about that for a second. The debate here in the US, about the Fed, is: ‘Is the Fed balance sheet too big? Is it too large? It got to $4.5 trillion. Should it be $3.5 trillion?’ China has printed $30 trillion worth of RMB in a decade (18 years). The scale to which they have printed is… unprecedented. Can the Chinese run their stock market up? Absolutely. They control the price. They control the printing press. They control the police and they control the narrative. ...As we noted here, China has created over three times as much money supply as the US since 2008.