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.