Thursday, July 6, 2017

America Remains Vulnerable. Trump's Accomplishments Are Building, Stature As President Rising. Stay Tuned.

Dagny and Daddy.
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Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price joined Brian Kilmeade to talk about the current state of the Senate's health care bill immediately following the 4th of July holiday. Secretary Price does believe that there is a path to get this done and wants to do exactly what President Trump wants, to put a bill on the President's desk that makes health care better. Turning to Senator Schumer's challenge to involve Democrats in the process Mr. Price had this to say "I would respectfully request of Senator Schumer to put a plan on the table."

Listen here:
More commentary regarding why we are a very vulnerable nation. (See 1 and 1a  below.)

The world is seldom at peace.  There always seems to  be some villains who defy social norms and today the world has five major protagonists and a variety of pipsqueaks sprinkled among the general populace in Africa, Cuba and The Middle East..

Our main tyrannical adversaries, in varying degrees, reside in N Korea, Iran, Russia, China and Syria.

Each dictator demands our attention and a separate approach from military, diplomatic to  economic confrontation.

Trump has a full plate and he needs a lot of aspirin but what he gets from Democrats are more headaches, impeachment threats and tons of serious efforts to stiff him at every turn.

Obama remains annoyed by McConnell's comment that his job was to resist/oppose Obama.  When McConnell uttered this, I understood what he meant but knew it would come back to haunt him because the mass media would purposely mis-interpret it and claim it was racially motivated.. 

Legitimate loyal opposition means oppose policies you do not agree with but it never means oppose everything at all cost simply for the purpose of obstructing as Schumer and his radicals are currently doing. I believe Democrats may pay a high price for their obdurateness and, once again, the mass media will misjudge  because they continue to live in their antagonist bubble.

If Schumer wanted to be constructive he would stop carping and submit his own health care program rather than continue defending Obama's bankrupt ideas.

Meanwhile, Trump holds his cards close to his chest.  I believe Ken Langone Co-founder/financier of Home Depot) is right when he says Trump has the potential for being a very good president. Most NATO members, for instance, have already begun to kick in more funding of their own defense etc.

It will take a while, and maybe it will never happen, but I believe many who opposed Trump for emotional reasons and because of hostility towards him and unsubstantiated lies/accusations  that were thrown around,  the so-called  anti-Trump crowd, will come around.

Trump is stubborn but also a quick learner. Consequently, I believe he will improve as he spends more time in The Oval Office and more ant-Trumpers will end with egg on their sallow faces.

You decide. (See 2, 2a, 2b, 2c  and 2d below.)
Trump has every right to believe Merkel is on the wrong track because she is and might well pay for it when she goes before German voters. (See 3 below.)
Starting tomorrow and for the next three days I will be picking up family who are flying in for our 40th consecutive annual week vacation at Tybee.  This year 10 family members out of our 23 will be attending so I will not be posting memos for probably the next week or so.

North Korea Dreams of Turning Out the Lights

Pyongyang doesn’t need a perfect missile. Detonating a nuke above Seoul—or L.A.—would sow


By Henry F. Cooper

Conventional wisdom holds that it will be years before North Korea can credibly threaten the United States with a nuclear attack. Kim Jong Un’s scientists are still testing only low-yield nuclear weapons, the thinking goes, and have yet to place them on ballistic missiles capable of reaching America’s West Coast.

While its technological shortcomings have been well documented, North Korea’s desire to provoke a nuclear conflict with the U.S. should not be minimized or ignored. Pyongyang is surely close to getting it right.

For South Korea the danger is more immediate. According to physicist David Albright, the founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, the North Koreans have between 13 and 30 nuclear weapons and can build as many as five more every year. If Mr. Kim were to detonate one of these bombs in the atmosphere 40 miles above Seoul, it could inflict catastrophic damage on South Korea’s electric power grid, leading to a prolonged blackout that could have deadly consequences.

The United States has 28,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in South Korea stationed below the 38th parallel—and more at sea nearby. An electromagnetic pulse attack on South Korea could play havoc with America’s ability to mount an effective response to North Korean aggression. One hopes the troops manning the two already-deployed batteries of the Thaad ballistic-missile defense system are prepared for such a scenario (in a concession to China, the newly elected South Korean government suspended this week the deployment of four additional launchers).

In 2001 Congress established a commission to study the danger of an electromagnetic pulse generated by the detonation of a high-altitude nuclear weapon. It concluded that while there would be no blast effects on the ground, critical electricity-dependent infrastructure could be rendered inoperable. The commission’s chairman, William R. Graham, has noted that several Russian generals told the commissioners in 2004 that the designs for a “super EMP nuclear weapon” had been transferred to North Korea.

Pyongyang, the Russian generals reported, was probably only a few years away from developing super EMP capability. According to Peter Vincent Pry, staff director of the congressional EMP commission, a recent North Korean medium-range missile test that was widely reported to have exploded midflight could in fact have been deliberately detonated at an altitude of 40 miles.
Was it a dry run for an EMP attack? Detonation at that altitude of a nuclear warhead with a yield of 10 to 20 kilotons—similar to those tested by North Korea—would produce major EMP effects and inflict catastrophic damage to unhardened electronics across hundreds of miles of surface territory. It is a myth that large yield nuclear weapons of hundreds of kilotons are required to produce such effects.

Although some analysts have dismissed the possibility of a successful North Korean EMP attack—either on South Korea or the United States—several factors could make it a more appealing first-strike strategy for Kim Jong Un’s nuclear scientists than a direct, missile-delivered nuclear strike. For one thing, accuracy is not a concern; the North Koreans simply need to get near their target to sow chaos. Nor would they need to worry about developing a reliable re-entry vehicle for their ballistic missiles.

Conventional wisdom aside, a North Korean EMP attack on the U.S. may also not be far-fetched. “North Korea could make an EMP attack against the United States by launching a short-range missile off a freighter or submarine or by lofting a warhead to 30 kilometers burst height by balloon,” wrote Mr. Graham earlier this month on the security blog 38 North. “Even a balloon-lofted warhead detonated at 30 kilometers altitude could blackout the Eastern Grid that supports most of the population and generates 75 percent of US electricity. Moreover, an EMP attack could be made by a North Korean satellite.” Two North Korean satellites currently orbit the earth on trajectories that take them over the U.S.

This is not mere theory. In 1962 the United States detonated a 1.4-megaton nuclear warhead over the South Pacific, 900 miles southwest of Hawaii. Designated “Starfish Prime,” the blast destroyed hundreds of street lights in Honolulu, caused electrical surges on airplanes in the area, and damaged at least six satellites. Only Hawaii’s undeveloped electric power-transmission infrastructure prevented a prolonged blackout. It was the era of vacuum-tube electronics. We are living in the digital age.

The U.S. and South Korea should ensure their ballistic-missile defenses are effective and harden their electric power grids against EMP effects as soon as possible. The day of reckoning could come sooner than anyone in either country thinks.

Mr. Cooper was the U.S. ambassador to the Defense and Space Talks during the Reagan administration and director of the Strategic Defense Initiative during the George H.W. Bush administration.

1a) Trump Moving Toward Hard Line With China on North Korea Crisis, NEWSMAX,

Donald Trump is grappling with the limits of his strategy to rely on China to get North Korea to limit its nuclear and ICBM programs following Kim Jong Un’s July 4 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The U.S. president must now decide whether the test, coupled with the death last month of an American college student who had been imprisoned in North Korea, means giving up on collaboration and more directly confronting Beijing. Those advocating a hard line within the administration are emboldened by the recent North Korean actions, and the White House is weighing a series of gestures that could antagonize President Xi Jinping’s government.
But Trump’s options are limited by practical and economic realities. The president must calibrate a response that would prompt Chinese pressure on Kim without causing difficult repercussions for U.S. interests. Trump must also convince Beijing he’s willing to follow through on his threats, particularly after Chinese authorities appeared to shrug off promises to solve the North Korean issue on his own, if necessary.
Trump has expressed increasing exasperation with China on Twitter. “So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.
His United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, threatened on Wednesday to cut off U.S. trade with any nation that does business with North Korea. The U.S. will present a new resolution to punish North Korea for its missile test in coming days, Haley said during an emergency session of the UN Security Council.
North Korean ICBM Push Ramps Up Pressure on U.S. Missile Defense
“We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime,” Haley said.
Christopher Hill, who led U.S. talks with North Korea under former President George W. Bush, said the U.S. can get China to do more, “but it has to be in the context of working with China, not outsourcing to China.”
“We need to put our heads together with the Chinese,” Hill said in a phone interview. “Assuming we can’t get a responsible negotiation with the North Koreans, figure out what we can do together to slow up this movement toward nuclear weapons.”
So far, Trump’s approach is cautious escalation. The administration plans to increase pressure on China by letting the country know it can be squeezed on economic issues, including currency and trade, according to a State Department official who requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The U.S. is also encouraging other allies to publicly declare how they’re working to cut off North Korea, seeking to build momentum on the world stage.
“I think the Chinese are afraid that if they really put the squeeze on Kim Jong Un he would do something desperate, he could cause a conflict, he could cause a war,” said Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction under President Barack Obama.
“Or if North Korea did collapse you’d have chaos, North Korea being absorbed by the south, refugees fleeing across the border,” according to Samore, now the executive director for research at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Bank Sanctions
If Trump does want to ratchet up direct pressure on China, he may move to increase sanctions on Chinese banks. In late June, the Treasury Department cut off the Bank of Dandong — which operates 101 outlets in northeastern China and reported 78.3 billion yuan of assets ($11.6 billion) at the end of March — from the international financial system because of its dealings with North Korea.
Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Wednesday that China should take note of the message.
“That ought to send a clear signal that we can do that with other Chinese banks and that’s going to hurt not only the economy of North Korea, but also hurt the economy of China, and maybe get China to take the actions that are necessary to get them to step in,” Grassley said during an appearance on KXEL News/Talk radio in Waterloo, Iowa.
But China is likely to respond forcefully to any action that seriously impacts its banking sector. Chinese state media said Xi warned Trump that “negative factors” are hurting U.S.-China relations after the move to sanction the Bank of Dandong.
Currency Manipulator
Trump could also take the largely symbolic step of labeling China a currency manipulator. In April, he violated a campaign promised by opting against the move, saying explicitly his reversal was meant to encourage China’s cooperation on North Korea.
“Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We’ll see what happens!” Trump said in an April 16 tweet, one day after the Treasury Department released its foreign-currency report.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to host his Chinese counterpart for an annual economic meeting in Washington later this summer. Mnuchin has said he plans to hammer out trade, investment and other economic issues between the nations.
Steel Tariffs
Trump could resort to another campaign promise — protecting the U.S. steel industry — to needle China. The president has ordered a review of the effect of steel imports on the U.S. economy, and recently has issued repeated public criticisms of the practice of steel dumping.
Those comments appear to explicitly aimed at China, which accounts for more than a quarter of the U.S. steel market. They may signal Trump’s willingness to impose new tariffs on Chinese steel.
That move carries its own problems: it would likely drive up steel prices for U.S. manufacturers and builders while also risking retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Gary Cohn, the president’s top economic adviser, said Trump plans to raise the issue at this week’s G-20 summit in Germany, where Xi and Trump plan to hold a one-on-one meeting.
Military Action
The U.S. has increased its military presence in the Pacific in response to North Korean provocations, and increased activity there could also antagonize the Chinese.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries held a drill after Tuesday’s ICBM test, and China has repeatedly expressed anger over U.S. installation of a missile defense shield in South Korea. China was also piqued after the USS Stethem, a guided-missile destroyer, sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea. China has claimed sovereignty over the island, which was previously controlled by Vietnam, since 1974.
On Tuesday, China and Russia proposed that North Korea declare a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests if the U.S. and South Korea halt large-scale military exercises.
Hill said that such a deal would “fall unwittingly into the North Korean desire that somehow they can decouple the U.S. from South Korea and I think we ought to stand against that.”
“We should not be acceding to a Russian or Chinese idea that does the North Korean bidding for them,” he said.

2) The Vile, Crazy Left

On the political spectrum, I land just to the right of Moses. As I’ve pointed out before, my political positions are the result of my Christian faith. So yes, I’m a bit bothered by how President Trump -- for whom I voted, and given the same circumstances, would gladly do so again -- chooses to fight back against the “progressive” press. However, I’m glad he is fighting back against the relentless tide of hate-filled rhetoric and lies that are a daily part of the discourse spewed by liberals in the mainstream media and the Democrats.
One of the frequent talking points of those on the left today is that because of the way Trump has dealt with the media -- especially through Twitter -- and others with whom he disagrees, he is vilevulgar, “trashy,” undignifiedunpresidential,piggish, childish, and as Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it, with “all the self-control and discipline of a spoiled four-year-old throwing a temper tantrum at the grocery store.” Yeah, well, at least he’s not a liberal -- or, better put, at least he’s not beholden to a liberal agenda.
I’m afraid much of what we read and hear from the President that is undesirable is the result of living most of his life under significant liberal influence. As even Rush Limbaugh himself pointed out less than two months prior to the election last year, Donald Trump is not a conservative -- at least not in the sense that most define real conservatism. But as Rush also pointed out, strong conservatism hasn’t been at the top of the GOP ticket since 1984. What Donald Trump is, and what he can continue to be, is a great ally in the battle against liberalism and the radical, perverse agenda of the modern left.
President Trump has proven this many times over since his inauguration on January 20. From (most of) his cabinet appointments, to his Supreme Court appointment, his lower court appointments, his executive orders, and so on, President Trump has gotten much done to aid the cause of conservatism and hinder the cause of liberalism. Of course, liberals are not blind to this, and thus the continuous “nasty” attacks from the left.
And nasty is as nasty does. The left simply can’t help itself, because, for the most part, it is simply who they are. In addition to their dishonest attempts to undermine President Trump and the GOP’s agenda, time and again, liberals have left nearly no insult unturned as they have sought to ridicule and insult President Trump and his family. Along with the countless vile attacks on the President,Ivanka (see here, here, and here), Melania, (see herehere, and here), and even 11 year-old Barron Trump (see herehere, and here) have suffered the evil ire of the modern left.
Yet President Trump is supposed to remain “dignified” and “presidential?” He is probably doing well to respond only in the manner he has. I’m not sure there is a husband and father the world over who has been forced to endure such attacks on himself and his family as has Donald Trump.
The vulgar and crazy attacks against Trump and the GOP aren’t only from the liberal media. Many Democratic politicians have not only remained silent—and thus given tacit support to their cohorts in the media -- but they’ve joined in the abhorrent attacks against Republicans of every stripe. Whether publicly dropping “f-bombs” -- as did two Democratic senators (so much for the “dignity” of “the world’s greatest deliberative body”) recently in attacking the GOP and President Trump -- or comparing the Trump camp to Nazis, Democrats across the U.S. are unhinged in their rhetoric.
In late March, no less than the newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez, ignorantly and defiantly declared that Mr. Trump “did not win the election.” He colorfully followed that up with the all too common Democrat refrain “Republicans don’t give a sh*t about people.”
Just where are the cries for dignity and decent behavior for those on the left? Where are the high expectations for those of the esteemed “Fourth Estate?” Shouldn’t we demand honest and upright behavior from those worthy of specific protection in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
Alas, whether elected officials, members of the press, entertainers, educators, and even those devoted to ministry, liberalism corrupts. And liberals still wonder how -- just how any self-respecting person could support Donald Trump. Maybe those devoted to killing children in the womb, killing the family, killing capitalism, redefining the oldest institution in the history of humanity, redefining gender, redefining the Second Amendment, defending and promoting pornography (and virtually any other sexual perversion imaginable), defending and promoting socialism, defending and promoting the myth of global warming, and so on, should consider how vile and vulgar many Americans find the tenets of modern liberalism.
In other words, if modern liberals want to see something really revolting, most of them need to examine their own politics and policies.
Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
2a) The Democratic Party's Ominous Shift

Democrats have long believed they alone occupy the intellectual high ground, regardless of the issue.  Recently, their party has undergone an ominous shift.  Part of this involves their staunch refusal to engage in any meaningful debate of the issues -- considering everyone else as just a bunch of cultural infidels.  This is a dangerous mindset, as it threatens the fundamental underpinnings of our civility, and thus the overall stability of America.

The political energy driving the Democratic Party today primarily comes from the Left’s dominance in academia, entertainment, and media.  This affords them an unprecedented ability to influence what most people learn, see, and hear -- carefully controlling both the medium and the message to keep certain demographics increasingly mired in grievance, fear, and hate.  At the heart of it all, of course, is identity politics, producing hotbeds of victim identities that form the basis for the incredibly divisive actions we’re now seeing.

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA) called the Trump administration a “bunch of scumbags” and on Twitter the #KremlinKlan.

  • One of her staff added, “It’s white supremacy all over again.”
  • Phil Montang, an official with the Nebraska Democratic Party, was captured on audio railing against Republican Congressman Scalise (LA): “I’m glad he got shot. I wish he was f---ing dead.”
  • Madonna exclaimed at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., “Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I am outraged.  Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” 
  • Comedian Kathy Gifford posed with a mock decapitated head of President Trump, willingly associating herself with ISIS style propaganda.
  • New York’s Shakespeare in the Park staged a production of Julius Caesar with a Donald Trump look-alike playing Caesar.  He was violently stabbed to death by senators in a grotesquely graphic and bloody scene for everyone and their children to see.
None of these examples are about free speech or artistic expression. They’re reflections of extreme intolerance and absolute refusal to accept the outcome of an election. Such public manifestations serve only to feed a political environment already overflowing with agitators propagating violent fantasies about taking down the President by any means possible.

Before the 2016 Presidential election, a video aired showing how Democratic operatives paid people to pick fights at Trump rallies to create a perception of right-winged anarchy, a tactic called “bird-dogging.” Later, Wikileaks revealed that bird-dogging was approved by Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook in a July 4, 2015 email.  This all coincided with a DNC plan to cite “incidences of violence” in order to create the perception that “Trump is dangerous.” Consequently, violent assaults against Trump supporters skyrocketed.

Joining student activists, the militant group antifa successfully prevented conservative authors from speaking on college campuses. The recent highly destructive riot at UC Berkeley stands as a prime example. Shamefully, Democrat Congresswoman Val Deming (FL) described the Berkeley calamity as “a beautiful sight.”

With the Left now openly glorifying political violence, it wasn’t surprising to see hostilities jump to the next level with the recent targeted assassination attempt of Republicans at a congressional baseball outing, leaving several seriously wounded.  Later that day, Republican Claudia Tenney (NY) received an ominous email stating, “One down, 216 to go.
Unfortunately, even with Republican Congressman Steve Scalise (LA) still suffering in the hospital from the assassination attempt, prominent Democrats are going ahead with their plans to ratchet-up the political rhetoric by increasing their usage of an old term associated with overthrowing governments – “resistance.”  To capitalize on this, the Democratic National Committee launched “Resistance of Summer,” a series of anti-Trump events designed to attract impressionable activist-voters to the DNC’s inflammatory rhetoric and then turn them out into the streets. Even some of the party’s more high-profile individuals are getting in on the action.
  • Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine (VA) Tweeted, “Democrats have to fight in the streets against Trump.”
  • Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General under President Obama, made an impassioned video plea that was posted on the US Senate Democrats’ Facebook page:  
“I know it’s a time of concern for people who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back.  I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy.  We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our Founding Fathers.  It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals, who have made the difference.  They’ve marched, they’ve bled, and yes, some of them died.  This is hard. Every good thing is.  We have done this before. We can do this again.”
Lynch’s attempt to distort history with improper context while stoking the flames of revolution is pure Saul Alinsky. What Lynch and others of her ilk always fail to mention is that our Founders, while very outspoken, were incredibly tolerant individuals of honorable character who understood and, more importantly, practiced the art of debate and diplomacy.  Unlike Lynch and others, they didn’t encourage violence as a way to resolve every little issue that didn’t go their way.
Nevertheless, perhaps the most disturbing thing about all of these statements and events is that they collectively work to inform a desperate sociopolitical impatience on the part of the Left that clearly seeks to effect a quicker change in governance than is allowed through proper discourse, demonstrating at the very least their tacit approval of the use of such violent rhetoric and tactics.  Moreover, after further analysis, it becomes difficult to ignore certain glaring historical similarities to how this rhetoric and tactics has been previously used to control certain demographics of the American populace.
This same approach combining violent rhetoric and actual violence was commonly used by the pro-slavery Democratic Party leading up to the Civil War.  But the dark and sordid history of the Left’s violence didn’t end there.  Later, from 1882 to 1964, the Ku Klux Klan -- formally organized by the Democratic Party in 1866 -- was used to help gain control of the electorate through intimidation and terror, ending with an estimated 3,446 blacks and 1,279 white Republicans being lynched.

'Sanctuary cities' giving citizenship to migrants to oppose Trump

By Christine Douglass-Williams, JIHAD WATCH

“Sanctuary cities” are so virulently against President Trump that they are willing to put the well-being of American citizens at stake.
Sanctuary Cities Vow to Make ‘1 Million Immigrants’ Citizens to Oppose Trump
And taxpayers are given no option but to pay for unvetted migrants and absorb whatever damage ensues from these irresponsible decisions that threaten innocent people, all because of a deranged hatred for Trump. According to a pro-migrant campaign “Naturalize NOW”:
“At a time when xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric has inundated the presidential campaign trail,” the group’s mission statement reads, “we must empower the immigrant community so that their voices may be heard at the polls.”
It would seem that the “immigrant community” only comprises of unvetted migrants to the exclusion of all others, since their vote is being sought by corrupted leaders at the expense of national security and economic reason. Such leaders are sacrificing freedom so that migrant voices can be “heard at the polls.”
“Sanctuary Cities Vow to Make ‘1 Million Immigrants’ Citizens to Oppose Trump”, by Tim Donnelly, Breitbart, July 4, 2017:
“Sanctuary cities” across the country are pledging to make one million immigrants into U.S. citizens this year, partly as a response to the policies of President Donald Trump.
According to the Washington Examiner, the initiative is being pushed by a group called “Naturalize NOW!”—which is tying its campaign to patriotic American holidays like the Fourth of July.
Announced on Flag Day, the Examiner reports:
[t]he ‘Naturalize NOW!’ campaign, which includes liberal and progressive groups and elected officials, heralded the mayors of the cities in joining the national effort.
Among the cities cited in an Independence Day notice from Mi Familia: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Knoxville, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Miami-Dade County, FL; Montgomery County, MD; Paterson, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; New York City, NY; Salt Lake County, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, CA; South Gate, CA & Tucson, AZ.
Most of these jurisdictions are sanctuary cities and counties.
Los Angeles, which has long been a “sanctuary city” under a local ordinance known as “Special Order 40,” has been in the hot seat nationally ever since President Trump publicly befriended Jamiel Shaw, Sr. Shaw’s 17-year-old son with the same name was gunned down by an illegal alien gang member released onto the streets of LA instead of being turned over to federal authorities for deportation.
The mayor of Los Angeles, home to millions of legal and illegal aliens, is an enthusiastic supporter of the Naturalize Now! campaign:
“We celebrate our independence on July 4, and honor the values of freedom, justice, unity, and equality that make us who we are,” Garcetti reportedly said. “Los Angeles joined the Naturalize NOW campaign because those principles are still worth fighting for — and to encourage eligible Angelenos and people across the country to seek a path toward citizenship and join the American family.”
According to the “Naturalize NOW!” website, the campaign to make 1 million new citizens (and presumably voters) is motivated in large part by a desire to shield the immigrant community from the policies of President Trump.
“At a time when xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric has inundated the presidential campaign trail,” the group’s mission statement reads, “we must empower the immigrant community so that their voices may be heard at the polls.”…..

2d) Our President Is a Street Fighter

George W. Bush is a gentleman and his father, George H.W. is too, even more so. Both were attacked maliciously and aggressively by the media and by their political opponents. I admired the civility of both presidents who were above the fray. But their presidencies suffered defeats because they were unwilling to fight fire with fire.  Donald J. Trump is a different man, a different politician and a different president. Trump is a street fighter. He is going to be aggressive and cunning when politicians and the media come after him.

President Trump is naturally combative, having honed his skills on construction sites among hard-hat workers. He knows the common man and he believes that if you don’t stand up to a bully, he’ll run over you and enjoy doing it. He does not back off from a fight, and that’s exactly why working class and middle-America elected him President. The American people are tired of political bullies who throw their weight around and hit below the belt rhetorically. Donald Trump in effect said, “You hit me, I’ll hit you 10 times harder and I’ll throw you out of the ring.” Voters in 2016 responded that they wanted the bullies busted!

I prefer civility. I like a good debate. I was a champion intercollegiate debate coach. I like confronting opponents with respectful, cordial and logical argument. Generally speaking, that’s how things are or should be done. The GOP was fairly good at that -- but in the past the media-political complex generally were also playing by common rules of engagement; civil exchanges were expected in the halls of power. Yes, there were exceptions and media distortions are nothing new, but there used to be limits (celebrity children were off limits and the public didn’t learn of John F. Kennedy’s infidelities until after his death); civility was expected in the media and in person.

A dividing line of sorts was crossed by the Democrats and the media when got away with their war on the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. Things got progressively worse under President George W. Bush. Books and movies presented fantasies of his assassination.

With Trump, the media has come totally unglued. The old rules of the past no longer apply. Not only are the POTUS and FLOTUS subject to personal invective, their pre-teen son, Barron, is also fair game.

President Trump knows the American culture, probably better than his critics. He saw what happened to the Bush presidencies. He has seen the political establishment coast along without direction or impact. He intends to be an effective president and the media-political complex believe it is up to them to stop him. They are determined and will stoop to any level.

The degree of personal vitriol and the politics of personal destruction that we are seeing today were rare in the past and was immediately squelched when it erupted. The current levels of public ridicule and character assassination against a sitting President and his family are unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Immediately after the election, Howard Kurtz noted that Madonna claimed she “often thought” of “blowing up the White House” and there was no media pushback. A Saturday Night Live comedienne, Katie Rich, “tweeted a sick joke about Trump’s son” and then deleted it. Another journalist contrasted the “honorable and elegant” Obama with the “crass and morally bankrupt” Trump. Since then, the commentary and reporting has become worse, as seemingly one after another tries to outdo the other with gutter language and inappropriate images.

There was the infamous cut-out of Trump’s bloody head held aloft by the unfunny “comedienne” Kathy Griffin. That media storm was nothing compared to the most recent brouhaha. The star of the “Morning Joe” show –– a staple of political Washington –– Joe Scarborough, a former GOP Congressman and long-time Trump “friend,” spent many a morning praising Trump and was among the first to predict his primary victory. Then, the tone changed (ironically the change coincided with his engagement to his co-star, Mika Brzezinski and, some say, a desire to jump from MSNBC to the supposed higher ground of CNN). Trump became “the greatest liar that’s ever sat in the White House.” In a shift of tone and rhetoric Trump became a “thug” and a “goon.” When Trump responded in a street fighter tweet, the media went on overdrive. Trump, according to CNN, became, “crude, false and unpresidential.” Our culture and the foundations of our nation have been savaged, the Media and self-righteous bleated.

The Bushes would have ignored the attacks, but Trump appears to relish the attention it generates when he gets into a brawl, and he launched a counter-offensive. Trump is fighting back against those who seek to destroy his presidency. Many of us would have been more comfortable with a more dignified response, but we cannot deny the effectiveness of Trump’s approach. Thus far, the public has seen through the media hypocrisy and is sticking with Trump.

It is laughable to hear the outrage and the moral posturing of the media-political complex. Yes, Trump can be crude. Remember LBJ? Yes, Trump has bragged about exploiting women. Uh, remember what Kennedy and Clinton actually did? Trump has made no pretense of being anything other than himself, but he does respect Christianity, America and the Judeo-Christian values and morals that we celebrate.  He intends to curb the excesses of today’s media and shake up the political establishment. While many of us may be uncomfortable with the way he is doing it, we can certainly applaud the fact that the corrupt, contemptible media-political complex has met its match in what appears to be turning into a duel to the death.

Of all of his many remarkable tweets, President Trump’s infamous one from last Thursday mocking Mika Brzezinski now has the distinction of being the most viewed and covered.  Much of the coverage has been decidedly negative and, as one would expect, most of those offended are either Democrats, establishment Republicans, or media figures.  But this weekend Alan West weighed in against President Trump.

As you probably know, Lieutenant Colonel West served in the House of Representatives as a Republican from Florida.  And he’s certainly no “flailing old woman of the nominal right.” Before his time in Congress, he saw combat in the Army during both Iraq wars, and you’d be hard pressed to find any public figure who’s been more consistently, comprehensively, and unflinchingly conservative.  So, what exactly is his beef?

Well, surprisingly, some of his complaints are typical of those who have a visceral distaste for the President’s style.  In an opening aside, he tells us that defending the President’s tweets would be “no different from liberal progressives who were able to excuse the abhorrent actions of President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office with a young intern.”

It’s hard to know what to make of this criticism, because it’s almost impossible to believe that Lt.  Colonel West doesn’t see the difference in scale between President Trump’s insulting words and President Clinton’s reprehensible actions.  But West goes on to criticize the former on purely tactical grounds, so it’s here that his real complaint surely must lie.  West garnered the lifelong esteem of all hardcore conservatives when he famously fired his gun close to a prisoner’s head during an interrogation in Iraq.  West’s bold move was a success -- the prisoner talked –  and West later justified his action as follows: "I know the method I used was not right, but I wanted to take care of my soldiers." So, he clearly wouldn’t engage in this silly and out of proportion moral fussiness if he thought President Trump’s tweets made tactical sense. 

But West’s critique of the President’s tactics depends upon misunderstanding the circumstances, the man, what he’s doing and, oddly enough, West’s own political history.  He advises the President:
So what if folks are over-the-top critical of you and speaking of you in demeaning, disparaging and denigrating terms? Hey, welcome to the world of being a black conservative.  The professional and adult response is not to respond at all; never punch down Mr.  President.  You must maintain the moral high ground… If you continue to show yourself as being so very thin-skinned, well, this little Pavlovian experiment will continue.  The liberal progressive media is truly unhinged.  You should not continue to take the bait or be an accomplice and follow them over the edge.  The first course of action is to ignore the left, and realize that you won.  You are the president.  The left and their media are not required to legitimize you, but you must stop giving them legitimate reasons for their assessments.  They want a reaction.  Stop giving them one.  When you willingly provide them a reaction, you lower yourself to their level.  I know Mr.  President, you’re from New York and pride yourself as some kind of “street fighter.” But toughness isn’t measured by blindly swinging and wasting energy at every single affront.  You sir must learn to “fight smarter, not harder.” There’s no honor in what you did and how you responded.  I know there’s many a sycophant telling you to go git ’em, and you’re really showing them up? Really? You want to show up the left? Defeat them ideologically, as you have the world’s greatest platform, the bully pulpit, so there’s no need to just be a bully on Twitter.  How about this Mr.  President, tweet out why Medicaid for everyone is a really stupid idea.  Stay on a disciplined policy message, and don’t allow yourself to be like a dog seeing a squirrel and completely losing focus. 
In comparing the President to a dog seeing a squirrel and describing his responses as Pavlovian, West makes the same mistakes that Trump’s enemies make.  He can’t understand President Trump’s responses in any other terms except as indicating someone out of control and blindly giving in to impulse.  The President’s critics very likely make this mistaken assumption because it’s the only way they could imagine themselves responding as he does. 
But, if we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that President Trump isn’t like everyone else.  And upon reflection, it really ought to be impossible for any unbiased observer to believe that President Trump has succeeded as a developer, television star, and in so many other walks of life, with the impulse control of a five-year-old.  The President’s wife not only knows him better than his critics, she also gave a much more plausible account of what’s going on.  President Trump acts on a principle: when attacked, counter attack 10 times harder.  And someone as successful as President Trump almost certainly acts on this principle because he believes it makes strategic sense.
Thomas Lifson and Keith Koffler have each explained that the President’s strategy is, in fact, well grounded in human psychology.  To quote Koffler:
Trump’s calculation is this: By baiting the media with his Twitter account, Trump is both revealing and provoking their instinctive liberal bias, helping undermine their legitimacy.  And he is maintaining the energy and commitment of his voter base, which reviles the mainstream press.
And  Gregory Winkeleer has pointed out that the President’s tweets serve the further purpose of distracting his media opponents from other news, like the House passing Kate’s Law, that would have otherwise generated a lot of melodramatic and misleading negative coverage.  And Winkeleer appears to be right on target here.  If you google “Kate’s Law” you’ll get many results like this:  'Kate's Law' would usher anti-immigration policies in the U.S  But they are all from June 29th, the day of the infamous tweet, or earlier.  And it’s hard to believe that absent that tweet, these stories wouldn’t have continued for days. 

West’s suggestion that the President should have tweeted on policy matters instead also makes no sense.  President Trump sent out 13 tweets on July 29th, 11 of which touted policy successes.  But the media focused entirely on the two insulting tweets directed at Mika Brzezinski.  A brief perusal of the President’s twitter feed shows that he’s constantly tweeting about policy but that these tweets are virtually never covered.  And it’s ridiculous to suppose that the hostile media would cover them if only he’d stop with the few and far between insulting ones.

So, contrary to Allen West and the President’s enemies, the President very likely knows exactly what he’s doing.  But West was an early Never Trumper.  And, though he changed his mind and declared his willingness to support the President as soon as it became clear that he’d clinched the nomination, it’s perhaps not surprising that he still doesn’t quite get Donald Trump.

But what is surprising is that West’s advice to the President seems to misconstrue his own political history.  As West says, being a black conservative means he knows exactly what it’s like to be attacked unfairly.  In his 2012 race to retain his congressional seat, his opponent ran an ad in which West was depicted as repeatedly punching a white woman in the face.  West did exactly what he’s now advising the President to do.  He took the moral high ground, responding that the ad “played on stereotypes” and reflected “the sad state of politics in our Republic.” But, unfortunately for both the Lt.  Colonel and our Republic, he lost his bid for re-election and thereafter abandoned politics.  This was West’s third campaign and his second loss, this time as an incumbent.  One can only wonder what the results would have been had he adopted the President’s strategies rather than his own.

Taking the high road in the face of offensive attacks certainly allows one to feel morally superior.  But it also lends credence to your opponent’s attacks and de-energizes your base.  I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering how demoralizing it was to watch President W.  Bush take the vilest insults without responding or breaking that good-natured smile. 

Donald Trump’s intuitive understanding of human psychology allowed him to win the Presidency in his very first run at public office.  Moreover, he did so with virtually all the media, both left and right, and even much of his own party against him.  He also buried both the Bush and Clinton political dynasties and he did so spending a fraction of the money they did.  These accomplishments are remarkable but it’s perhaps more remarkable how little his opponents, and even some friends like Allen West, appreciate them and give him the credit he so obviously deserves.  Whether one likes his style or not, the President has a record of winning that should command respect from any clear eyed and rational person.

Michael Thau works as a freelance ghostwriter and content marketer.  He can be reached at

3) Is Radical Islam Horrifying the West into Paralysis?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy was not a masterpiece of humanitarian politics; it was dictated by the fear of television images spread all over the world. In so many key moments, it is the photograph that dictates our behavior: the image that dishonors us, that makes us cringe in horror.
(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy was not a masterpiece of humanitarian politics; it was dictated by the fear of television images spread all over the world.
  • Even the suffering of our enemies disturbs us, in the humanitarian culture of the West. We are therefore increasingly amenable to policies of appeasement, censorship and retreat in order not to have to face the possibility of such horribleness and actually having to fight it. That is why radical Islam has been able to horrify the West into submission. We have paralyzed ourselves. We censor the cartoons, the graphic photos of the terrorists’ victims and even the faces and names of the jihadists. The Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, are not publicity-seekers; they are soldiers ready to kill and die in the name of what they care about.
  • Images, as in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, are published only if they amplify the West’s sense of guilt and turn the “war on terror” into something more even more dangerous than the jihad causing the war. The result is to erase our enemy from our imagination. This is how the “war on terror” has become synonymous with lawlessness throughout the West.
September 2015. Thousands of Syrian migrants crossing the Balkan route were heading toward Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel was on the phone with Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, talking about a number of measures to protect the borders, where thousands of policemen were secretly located along with buses and helicopters. De Maizière turned for advice to Dieter Romann, then head of the police. “Can we live with the images that will come out?” de Mazière asked. “What happens if 500 refugees with children in their arms run toward the border guards?”
De Maiziére was told that the appropriate use of the measures to be taken would have be decided by the police on the field. When de Maizière relayed Romann’s response to the Chancellor, Merkel reversed her original commitment. And the borders were opened for 180 days.
“For historical reasons, the Chancellor feared images of armed German police confronting civilians on our borders,” writes Robin AlexanderDie Welt’s leading journalist, who revealed these details in a new book, Die Getriebenen (“The Driven Ones”). Alexander reveals the real reason that pushed Merkel to open the door to a million and a half migrants in a few weeks: “In the end, Merkel refused to take responsibility, governing through the polls.” This is how the famous Merkel’s motto “Wir schaffen das” was born: “We can do it.”
According to Die Zeit:
“Merkel and her people are convinced that the marchers could only be stopped with the help of violence: with water cannons, truncheons and pepper spray. It would be chaotic and the images would be horrific. Merkel is extremely wary of such images and of their political impact, and she is convinced that Germany wouldn’t tolerate them. Merkel once said that Germany wouldn’t be able to stand the images from the dismal conditions in the refugee camp at Calais for more than three days. But how much more devastating would images be of refugees being beaten as they try to get to Austria or Germany?”
Merkel’s refugee policy was not a masterpiece of humanitarian politics; it was dictated by the fear of television images spread all over the world. In so many key moments, it is the photograph that dictates our behavior: the image that dishonors us, that makes us cringe in horror.
Now, the main German sentiment that seems to be driving public opinion and politics is a dramatic sense of guilt. It is a “secular sin”, according to a new book by German sociologist Rolf Peter Sieferle that is topping the German bestseller list, “Finis Germania“.
The behavior of Germans during the current migrant crisis, however, is symbolic of a more general Western condition. On April 30, 1975, the fall of Saigon was part of a war fought and lost by the United States as much on television as in the Vietnamese forests and rice paddies. It ended with the the escape of helicopters from the rooftop of the US embassy.
In 1991, the imagery of the “highway of death” of Saddam Hussein’s bombed army of thugs fleeing a plundered Kuwait also shocked the public in the West, and led to calls for an immediate cessation of the fighting in Iraq and Kuwait. The result was that Saddam Hussein’s air force and Republican Guard divisions were spared; during the “peace” that followed, it was these troops who butchered Kurds and Shiites.
The photograph of a dead American soldier dragged through the streets of Mogadishu after the “Black Hawk Down” incident pushed President Bill Clinton to order a shameful retreat from Somalia. That photograph also led the US Administration to rethink and cancel plans to use US troops for United Nations peace operations in Bosnia, Haiti and other strategic points. General David Petraeus would describe America’s engagement in Afghanistan as a “war of perception“.
Even the suffering of our enemies disturbs us, in the humanitarian culture of the West. We are therefore increasingly amenable to policies of appeasement, censorship and retreat, in order not to have to face the possibility of such horribleness and actually having to fight it.
That is why radical Islam has been able to horrify the West into submission. We have paralysed ourselves. We censor the cartoons, the graphic photos of the terrorists’ victims and even the faces and names of the jihadists. The Islamic terrorists, on the other hand, are not publicity-seekers; they are soldiers ready to die and kill in the name of what they care about.
This week, the German media was shocked by the revelation that the German air force will probably come under fire during its Syrian mission. “Endangering German soldiers!” — with an exclamation point — wrote Bild, the largest-selling newspaper in Germany. The statement exposed the anxiety of what John Vinocur of the Wall Street Journal called a “country where the army and air force basically do not fight”. A pacifist Germany is now a source of trouble also for its own neighbors, such as Poland. “For centuries, our main worry in Poland was a very strong German army”, said former Polish Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz. “Today, we’re seriously worried about German armed forces that are too weak.”
The Western establishment censors images of our enemies’ crimes while giving prominence to our “guilt”. The French government censored the “gruesome torture” of the victims at the Bataclan Theater, who were castrated, disemboweled and had their eyes gouged out by the Islamist terrorists. It was a mistake: it was in the public interest to know exactly what enemy we are facing.
The FBI and Department of Justice released a transcript of the Orlando jihadist’s 911 call, but omitted all reference to the terror group ISIS and to Islam. These authorities did not want the public to know that Omar Mateen identified himself as an “Islamic soldier”.
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance then told the British press it should not report when terrorists are Muslim.
The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, suspended accounts that showed photographs of the beheading of John Foley, along with other Islamist beheadings and savagery. But Twitter did not mind being flooded by images of a little dead boy, Alan (Aylan) Kurdi on a beach.
The mainstream media in the US fought hard to lift the photo ban on military coffins during the war in Iraq. Its goal, apparently, was to humiliate and intimidate the public, to lower the support for the war.
Images, as in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, are published only if they amplify the West’s sense of guilt and turn the “war on terror” into something more even more dangerous than the jihad causing the war.
Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Irene Khan — referring to concentration camps in the Soviet Union, where millions of people perished — infamously called Guantanamo “the Gulag of our time“. The result is to erase our enemy from our imagination. This is how the “war on terror” has become synonymous with lawlessness throughout the West.
Ten years ago, after the brave surge in Iraq, US soldiers discovered Al Qaeda’s torture chambers. No one — not ABC, not CBS, not the New York Times — published one photo of them; they just filled our eyes with naked bodies at Abu Ghraib.
We are utopian technophiles and, contrary to the traditional Western view that we are flawed human beings in a tragic world. We now believe in Mark Zuckerberg’s brave new world where no one should ever suffer and everyone should be happy and peaceful all the time. That is an exorbitant dream. For a short time we can afford it, as with Angela Merkel and Europe’s migrant crisis. Unfortunately, that fantasy will not last. The conflicts at our gates, together with our aversion to making hard choices, will exact a far higher price.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

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