Saturday, March 4, 2017

Two Brilliant Minds. Schumer: Make America Worse. California Land of Collapsed Campus Discourse.

The rightful comments of a brilliant mind: 

More from another brilliant mind. (See 1 below.)
Schumer has a plan. Make America worse. (See 2 below.)
California campus is where education and rational discourse collapses. (See 3 below.)
Lebanese Army says it will fight along side Hezballah should war with Israel occur? (See 4 below.)

Why the Central Valley votes more conservative

Voters living in 85 percent of the country preferred Donald Trump, but he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
Not long ago on a farm south of Fresno, I watched a poorly paid mechanic in silence repair a gate’s hydraulic ram as easily and rapidly as if he were Googling on a smartphone. He seemed to me a genius in oily clothes engulfed in a cloud of cigarette smoke.
Later that same day, in Palo Alto, I talked to lots of mellifluent and highly compensated academics theorize about politics. I wondered whether they could tell hydraulic fluid from the engine oil in their imported cars. Who is really wise, who not?
A red/blue political map of the 2016 election reflects these two antithetical worlds. 
Eighty-five percent of geographical America voted for Donald Trump. But more than
 half the country’s voters living in just 15 percent of its land area went for Hillary 
How did we split into two countries? Why does rural America vote more 
conservative than liberal?
Those in rural and small-town America — who were more likely to pump their own 
water, to worry about their septic tank and to fret whether the weather will allow 
them to profit or lose money — think, talk and vote differently from those who 
expect the tap always to flow, the toilet to flush regularly and to get paid on time, 
rain or shine, drought or flood.

A line of San Francisco police officers separates demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate, an issue that divides urban and rural voters. Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
Photo: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle
A line of San Francisco police officers separates demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate, an issue that 
divides urban and rural voters.
Pragmatic, autonomous and struggling people of the countryside think about 
building new dams and freeways to match population growth; affluent urbanites 
and suburbanites, with the greater luxury of second and third chances, more often 
dream of stalling or dismantling them to allow the landscape to return to a pristine 
I work at Stanford University but live on a farm between Fresno and Visalia. What 
one place values does not necessarily mean much in the other.
Writing an essay no more impresses my rural neighbors than knowing how to drive 
a tractor or use a chainsaw is of interest to my Palo Alto colleagues. Rural people 
who mine, log, farm and build hold a tragic view that they are always but a day away
from nature’s revenge — drought, flood or storm — and that the human experience 
is always a war of sorts.
But urbanites are more assured that their degrees, good intention and sophistication
properly bring prosperity and security. They more likely assume that they can move
on to greater things than worrying about where their food, water and fuel come from.
What America watches on television and on the silver screen is created either in Los
Angeles or New York. The nation’s world-ranked Ivy League and West Coast 
universities are almost all in blue America. Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the 
preeminent financial institutions are likewise centered in urban corridors. The 
federal government operates in the progressive culture of Washington, D.C. The 
reasons for this lopsided concentration are part historical and part geographical, 
but not necessarily a referendum on either contemporary competency or character.
The result nonetheless is an abyss, in which power brokers who shape the way 
America is entertained, educated, financed and governed are often unaware of how 
half the country lives — or the effects of their own tastes and policies upon them. 
Yet the hinterland is no cul-de-sac, but rather the proud generator of most of the 
nation’s fuel, food and manufactured goods — the traditional stuff of civilization.
The Trump revolt was also a push back against winner-take-all globalization that 
enriched the populated coasts far more than the open spaces in between — that 
made London spiritually closer to Manhattan than to upstate New York, and Tokyo 
or Bangalore more attuned to the Bay Area than to the Central Valley a hundred 
miles away.
People outside of New York and San Francisco seemed to have the strange idea that 
the wheat they grew or the oil they fracked were just as important to Facebook and 
Goldman Sachs employees as the latter’s social media pages and stock portfolios 
were to farmers and oil drillers.
In part, the rural backlash was fueled by a sense that half the country — the quieter 
and more hidden half — did not like the cultural and economic trajectories on which
the cities were taking the country. It was not just that they saw a $20 trillion debt, 
the slowest economic growth since the Hoover administration, a federal takeover of 
the health care system, offshoring, outsourcing and open borders as part of their 
Rather, they cited these as symptoms of a blinkered elite that had lost its bearings 
and was insulated from the reality that governs life elsewhere: debt really does have 
to be paid back rather than doubled in eight years. Something like the Affordable 
Care Act that is sold as offering more and costing less simply cannot be true. The 
cyberworld still does not bring food to the table, put fuel in the gas tank or produce 
wood floors and stainless steel appliances.
Urban elites seldom experience the full and often negative consequences of their 
own ideologies. And identifying people first by race, tribe or gender — by their 
allegiance to their appearance rather than to the content of their characters — has 
rarely led anywhere but to tribalism and eventual sectarian violence.
The result was that when Trump, the outsider without political experience, 
appeared as a hammer, rural America apparently was more than happy to throw 
him into the glass of the bicoastal establishment, without worrying too much about
the shards that scattered.
There was one final goad that explains the startling Electoral College defeat of 
Clinton. Voters in key swing states got tired of being talked down to — as if their
views on illegal immigration, abortion, identity politics, fracking, campus speech 
codes and the environment were the result of ignorance (or being deplorable and 
irredeemable) rather than due to honest differences of opinion and quite different 
life experiences from those of big city-dwellers.
Red-state America felt that those who lectured about the dangers of school choice 
often seemed to put their own kids in private academies.
Those who insisted that open borders were good for the country never seemed to 
live in neighborhoods side by side with undocumented immigrants. Walls on the 
border were proof of ignorant xenophobia; gates and walls around private tony 
residences were logical measures to ensure security.
Those who praised sanctuary cities certainly would not approve of other 
jurisdictions likewise nullifying federal laws that they too found bothersome, 
whether federal gun registration requirements or the Endangered Species Act. 
Fairly or not, for the hinterland, the election became a referendum between crude 
authenticity and polished hypocrisy.
In the age-old stereotyped divide between city and country — the caricature of the 
city slicker versus the hick, the thinker set against the maker — the urban world 
during the last 30 years of globalization became richer, cooler, edgier and more 
powerful, while its rural counterpart became poorer, stagnant, more silent and 
stymied. A divide widened even as it remained unknown to scientific pollsters and 
in-the-know pundits.
In 2016, rural America finally pushed back. And not just its conservatives and 
Republicans. Millions of exasperated red-state Democrats, union members and a 
displaced middle class sought change through a reckless and unknown outsider 
rather than more of the same from their own all too familiar and predictable insider.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
2) Dems become party of never
By Nolan Finley
Chuck Schumer could not find a thing to feel good about in President Donald Trump’s address to 
Congress last week.
Spending billions on infrastructure projects to put American construction workers, many of them union Democrats, to work rebuilding the nation’s roads, bridges and water lines? Nope.
Paid family leave for new parents? Nope. Expanded child credits? Nope. Fixing Obamacare while keeping the promise of universal coverage? Nope.
The whole speech, the Senate minority leader says, was “detached from reality.”
Here’s what Schumer’s reality looks like: Donald Trump will get no victories if he can stop it, even when it means a victory for the American people. Or delivers on a Democratic priority.
Schumer and his partisan posse are positioning Democrats as the party of never. The resistance movement they’re leading expands tenfold the early commitment by Republicans to block President Barack Obama’s agenda.
The Democratic governing strategy is to discredit Trump and his administration at every turn. As justification they cite the various reasons — the popular vote, Russian meddling, his tweets — they consider him an illegitimate president.
In doing so, they have the strong backing of the Democratic base.
A late February poll from the Pew Research Center found 72 percent of Democratic voters are concerned that Democratic leaders in Congress will not do enough to oppose Trump. Only 20 percent worry the opposition to the new president will go too far.
Hard-left activists are warning Democratic officeholders they will face primary opposition if they cooperate with the president. Sounds like a tea party brewing.
Meanwhile, there are urgent challenges the nation must face. Another four years of policymaking paralysis on top of the dozen or more already on the books will not meet them.
When partisans dig in and reject any suggestion of compromise because they lost an election to a man they detest, it is the American quality of life they’re playing games with.
The average household income is roughly $73,000. The average family health insurance policy costs about a quarter of that at $18,000 a year. There’s no chance of saving for retirement or college tuition when that much of a family’s resources goes to health care.
Democrats broke the health insurance market with the Affordable Care Act. And now they’re rallying their supporters to shout down a fix. But Obamacare is collapsing, and if something isn’t done, it won’t just be those with subsidized polices who will be without insurance; it will be everyone.
What’s very much at stake here is the deliberative government the Founders designed. Trump and the Republican congressional majority are not likely to allow the Democratic resistance movement to stop them from doing what voters elected them to do.
If Democrats won’t engage, the risk is the GOP-controlled Senate will invoke the Harry Reid rule and get rid of the 60-vote requirement not just for appointments, but also for legislation.
That would be a loss for the country. But Democrats are too obsessed with destroying Trump to care about the collateral damage
3)THIS IS APPALLING – A Pro-Trump rally took place at the University of California, Berkeley but volence quickly erupted.

The  rally in Berkeley has broken out in violence four minutes before the march is supposed to start.
4)The Lebanese Army will fight alongside Hezbollah in a war with Israel'

Since the second Lebanese war the Lebanese army has rearmed itself, strengthening its ability in the air as well as on the ground and sea, with the help of the United States, France and Saudi Arabia.

In the past two years, a new challenge has risen on the northern front. Should Israel go to war with Hezbollah, the Lebanese army would fight on the Shi’ite terrorist organization’s side, Maariv, the sister publication of The Jerusalem Post, quoted Israeli security officials as saying on Friday.

According to the officials, unlike Israel’s 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, a future war would feature the Lebanese Armed Forces on Hezbollah’s side.

The army had originally rearmed itself in order to deal with internal terrorism, however they also strengthened their ability to fight an army such as the IDF.

While the army may not have specifically advanced weaponry, they do currently have more ability than before to fight the IDF, including more precise anti-tank rockets.

The Lebanese army is made up mostly of Christians, although Lebanese from all ethnic groups and religions serve in the army as well, which is under the rule of President Michel Aoun, a political ally of Hezbollah.

Many Shi’ites also serve in the army, as well as in Hezbollah.

“Shi’ites serving has no correlation to the strengthening of the army,” officials in Israel said. “They have always served. The strengthening came from the army’s rearming as well as its commander- in-chief, Aoun and Hezbollah.”

Aoun, 81 years old, was once a Lebanese Armed Forces officer, and in the 1980s was an ally to Israel. He has since changed his views. Due to changing circumstances in the country, the Christians have grown closer to the Shi’ites, and Aoun was able to win their support, taking office four months ago.

In an interview with Egyptian TV two weeks ago, Aoun hinted that Hezbollah and the Lebanese Armed Forces are working side-by-side.

“The Lebanese army is not strong enough to fight Israel face-to-face,” he stated.

“Because of that, Hezbollah is necessary. There is no contradiction between them.

The people of Hezbollah are southerners, they are people of the earth. They protect themselves when Israel threatens or invades them.”

Aoun has said that Hezbollah’s weapons are not considered a problem for Lebanon.

“Hezbollah is a significant factor in protecting Lebanon,” Aoun said.

The website Al-Ahed, which works closely with Hezbollah, published on Thursday what it called a “bank of targets for the next war” with Israel.

According to the website, Hezbollah is targeting nine centers it has declared are holding nuclear and chemical weapons. The site has also declared how many employees each center has.

The article featured photos depicting Hezbollah members using Russian-made F-300 missiles to damage the Dimona reactor, which they claim boasts 10 floors and 2,700 employees.

The list included other targets it claimed store missiles and nuclear weapons.

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