How do we honor our dead?

Today – Memorial Day – is supposed to be a remembrance of all those who perished while serving in uniform, defending this nation.  It’s fitting that we have such a day.

But do we really honor our fallen?  This picture captures well the fact that today’s peace is underpinned by yesterday’s carnage:

holding up society

Would you be incensed if the young man in jeans was wearing a swastika armband?  I’d venture most Americans would.  It would show an appalling lack of appreciation how many of the dead represented in the image died to destroy Hitler’s regime.  But what if the young lady were wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt?  Or if the child were dressed in the uniform of the Soviet-era Young Pioneers, complete with a badge picturing Lenin?

Continue reading

Tariffs and national self-interest

Patrick Buchanan provides a succinct summary of why Trump’s emphasis on tariffs in the relationship with China is hardly unprecedented.  In fact, one could say it’s a return to the policies that once made a young nation great:

A tariff may be described as a sales or consumption tax the consumer pays, but tariffs are also a discretionary and an optional tax. If you choose not to purchase Chinese goods and instead buy comparable goods made in other nations or the USA, then you do not pay the tariff.
China loses the sale. This is why Beijing, which runs $350 billion to $400 billion in annual trade surpluses at our expense is howling loudest. Should Donald Trump impose that 25% tariff on all $500 billion in Chinese exports to the USA, it would cripple China’s economy. Factories seeking assured access to the U.S. market would flee in panic from the Middle Kingdom.
Tariffs were the taxes that made America great. They were the taxes relied upon by the first and greatest of our early statesmen, before the coming of the globalists Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
Tariffs, to protect manufacturers and jobs, were the Republican Party’s path to power and prosperity in the 19th and 20th centuries, before the rise of the Rockefeller Eastern liberal establishment and its embrace of the British-bred heresy of unfettered free trade.
The Tariff Act of 1789 was enacted with the declared purpose, “the encouragement and protection of manufactures.” It was the second act passed by the first Congress led by Speaker James Madison. It was crafted by Alexander Hamilton and signed by President Washington.

As Buchanan mentions, tariffs were once an integral part of an economic policy that became known as “The American System” — a policy so successful that other nations emulated it.  It’s worth noting the Federal government undertook its first infrastructure projects with almost no other source of funding other than tariffs (land sales being the main exception).  I’ll admit: I’m not a fan of the Federal government doing public works projects.  But the limited revenue stream tariffs provided kept such activity modest in the early republic, and for the most part it’s easy to see the wisdom of such projects as lighthouses, postal routes and the Cumberland Road.

Still, public works projects were controversial, even then.  Many in the South believed tariffs disproportionally benefitted northern industrial interests through protectionism and infrastructure.  Tariffs sparked the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina, and was cited as one source of discontent as States left the Union after Lincoln’s election in 1860.  Sectionalism aside, the nature of tariffs as a voluntary tax that promotes national self-reliance and internal growth recommends it as one of the best ways to fund a limited government.  Certainly, the explosive growth of Uncle Sam after institution of the Income Tax is evidence of that.  I’ve said before that a national sales tax would be preferable to an income tax (provided it didn’t result in both being in effect).  Many of the same reasons apply to tariffs.

Buchanan rightfully points out that abandoning so-called “free trade” for a tariff system that enforces fair trade will be painful in the short term, much like a junkie getting over their addiction.  American wages have been stagnant in inflation-adjusted terms since the 1970s.  The only reason we appear to have a higher material standard of living is the influx of overseas goods that appear cheap on the price tag, but which in reality take a heavy toll on the nation in terms of lost industries, disappearing jobs and a growing economic dependency on outsiders.  That doesn’t even take into account that many of the reasons goods made in places such as China are ‘cheaper’ is that they lack protections for workers and the local environment — impacts we considered so important here that we willingly added them to the economic burden of production.  In short, “free trade” as it’s currently practiced is an apples-to-oranges comparison that hides or downplays the negative aspects of globalism.

Removing incentives for invasion

The southern border of the United States is little more than a line on a map these days.  Migrants are flooding across it in unprecedented numbers, overwhelming the Border Patrol and the immigration courts charged with sorting legitimate claims of asylum from the far greater number of people using it as a wedge for entry.

The word is out: if you want to cut the long line of people waiting legally to immigrate to America, just sneak across the southern border and ask for asylum. Every day now, Customs and Border Protection agents stop more than 3,000 people entering the U.S. illegally and the number has been trending upward rapidly. No one knows how many others slip through undetected.

Almost all of these people fail to meet the definition of a refugee, which is someone with a specific and well-founded fear of persecution in the place they are fleeing. But they have been coached to say the magic words necessary for arresting officers to begin a lengthy adjudication of whether or not they are bona fide refugees deserving asylum — which can take years. Thanks to permissive laws and activist progressive judges — especially those on the renegade Ninth Circuit based in San Francisco — the government must often release these asylum-seekers into America, after which most will evade authorities unless they are caught for another crime.

This is ridiculous.  The current broken process is nothing but incentive for more of the same, as people realize once they’re here, they’re here more or less for good, legitimately or not.  But there’s a way to remove that incentive:

We should take a page from the past and transport asylum-seekers to our base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  The public is most familiar with the use of “Gitmo,” as it is known in military lingo, for detaining high-level terrorists — illegal combatants caught on the battlefield who are awaiting military tribunals (at which the Pentagon has also failed). But Gitmo was used to house two large waves of Haitian immigrants trying to come to America illegally in the 1990s during the administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Keeping them there and repatriating the vast number who were not legitimate asylum-seekers created a disincentive for more to come.

Yes, let’s get the word out that dubious claims of asylum will get you an indefinite stay on Cuba until your hearing, after which you will be returned directly to your country of origin, having never been turned loose within the United States.  To top it off, let’s get a complete biometric profile on everyone we have to process this way, and make it clear that future attempts to enter the country illegally will be met with much more unpleasant consequences.

This is hardly cruel and unusual.  I’ve been to Naval Station Guantanamo.  The weather is lovely, and so is the island.  No need to use the prison facilities – just set up large campgrounds within which they’re free to move around until their case is adjudicated.  There is no legitimate objection to doing this — the only people who would complain are those within our own country who seek to facilitate this invasion under legal cover.  Frankly, I think some of them could use an extended stay in Guantanamo as well.  The word ‘treason’ is thrown around lightly these days.  But actively undermining one’s own nation and its sovereignty would seem to fit the classic definition pretty well.

Save up all your tears

Shocked at Trump’s intention of giving Sanctuary cities exactly what they say they want — more illegal immigrants — Cher cries “what about Americans?”

Cher Tweet

I particularly liked the “(Many are VETS)” part, given current trends:

Democrats in Albany may be having second thoughts about blocking a bill that would help children of injured or fallen veterans go to college…

The committee instead approved $27 million in tuition assistance to so-called “dreamers” – students brought to the country by their parents illegally when they were children.

“Taxpayer money for free college for illegal immigrants… yet struck down a bill that provides free college tuition to gold star families. Absolutely wrong and insulting,” Assemblyman Michael Lipetri of Long Island’s 9th District added.

That a leftist like Cher is suddenly tweeting like a “deplorable” shows how effective Trump is at twisting them like a pretzel around their own politics.  It’s my fervent hope that undecided and independent Americans are looking at the Democrats’ reactions to his proposal to send illegals to “sanctuary” cities and asking “so wait… then why is it OK to inflict that on everyone else?”

We don’t need to just reelect Trump in 2020.  We need to give him a Congress fully prepared to support him.

Boo-frickin’-hoo

Democrats, who profess such love for illegal immigrants, are now upset that Trump wants to give them more of what they love:

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” the president wrote in a post on Twitter.

“….The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!” the president wrote in a second tweet.

It appears not:

“This reflects how much policymakers at the highest level of a government don’t understand what they’re dealing with,” [Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.)] said before Trump’s tweet. “When they say they’re going to punish sanctuary states, don’t they understand these workers are needed in this economy?”

If they’re so necessary, then what’s the problem, Congressman Correa?  Why would any Democrat have a problem with the administration placing illegal immigrants in their precious sanctuaries?

We’ve been told for years by these people that illegal immigrants are a net positive. They supposedly commit less crime (they don’t), do the jobs Americans won’t do, and provide valued diversity. The Democratic party believes that so much that they refuse to do anything to stem the tide. The media believes it so much that they run cover 24 hours a day for lax immigration efforts. CNN’s Jim Acosta once quoted the poem on the statue of liberty asserting that it was our duty to allow illegal immigration.

Given that, how is it consistent to now complain that the President wanted to send them exactly what they claim they want? I also think it’s silly for The Washington Post to describe this as “targeting foes,” as Democrats constantly proclaim illegal immigration is a general good. If I give you a something you say is good, no one would say I’m “targeting” you.

Something is off here.

No, we’re on to something here.  It’s the ultimate “NIMBY” (Not In My Backyard): Democrats virtue-signal about bringing in a limitless number of “tired, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” — so long as they don’t have to deal with them.  That’s for all the rubes in flyover country.

If they were consistent, they’d be begging the President to send buses of illegals to their sanctuary cities. That’s what they exist for right? Why have sanctuary cities at all if not? They aren’t supportive of the President doing that though because they don’t actually want to help these people. They just want to use them as political pawns.

Trump needs to press this issue hard.  Democrats are proving they don’t believe their own bull about the value of illegal immigration invasion.  Time to tear them up about it.

I love having a President who’s capable of hoisting the Left on their own petard!  For all his faults, I look at Trump the way Abraham Lincoln looked at recovering alcoholic Ulysses S. Grant: “I can’t spare this man; he fights!”

Speaking of the Civil War, I’d be remiss if I didn’t note today is the anniversary of the firing on Ft. Sumter.  I frequently wonder these days when and where the next spark will ignite.  The powder is awfully dry.

Be grateful or be gone

The depths of ingratitude some people possess is simply astonishing:

(Congresswoman) Ilhan Omar’s country collapsed as a child. She lived for years in Kenya in that refugee camp. She may have died there without outside help. But help came, from where? From here, America. And this country didn’t just welcome Ilhan Omar to America, we paid to relocate her family and many others from a foreign continent purely for the sake of being good people, for altruism. Because no country in history has been as generous as we are. To places we have no ties to and no obligation to, we have been kind anyway because that’s who we are. Despite her humble and foreign birth, Omar has been elected to our national law-making body. And good for her. So how does she repay her adopted country, the one that may literally have saved her life? She attacks it as hateful and racist, and for that she is applauded by the Democratic Party because they view this country as hateful and racist too.

It should be noted that among the many freedoms enjoyed here is the freedom to leave at will.  Unlike the old Soviet Union or today’s Communist China, there is nothing preventing any resident of the United States from picking up and relocating to a country they believe suits them better.

So why don’t we see millennials migrating to Venezuela, or Cuba, or some other alleged “workers’ paradise?”  It’s because no matter how strongly they rail against America in public, they know full well how good they have it here.  In Omar’s case, she knows first hand what conditions can be like outside of a stable, representative, capitalist country.  She simply chooses to ignore that because her preferred rhetoric, sad to say, helps her accrue power via today’s ignorant masses.

Our country is not, and never has been, perfect.  But I defy anyone to name any country, anywhere, that has provided a better standard of living and greater freedoms than has the United States.  And yet so many of our people listen to the siren songs of these pied pipers that we need to throw out all of the social and legal foundations upon which those successes rest.  Arrogance, ignorance and ingratitude are a toxic cocktail.  That’s how we end up with freshmen in Congress who believe socialism simply hasn’t ever been implemented correctly, or that somehow Islamic Sharia law is to be preferred to secular self-governance guided by Christian principles.

We have such representatives because we’ve allowed ourselves to be invaded and colonized.  An enclave of Somali refugees is the base of Omar’s political ascent.  Immigrants who fail to understand the fabric of how our system works, along with Americans who’ve failed to learn about it, are the constituency of people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (also known appropriately as “occasional cortex.”)

The Musketeers’ Mom isn’t known for being publicly political very often.  She made a good point yesterday, however.  In response to an online story about Hollywood celebs threatening not to make films in Georgia if the State passes a heartbeat bill protecting the unborn, she posted “aren’t ya’ll supposed to be in Canada already?”  It’s time we extend that sort of dismissive shunning to everyone who takes routine potshots at our country without acknowledging the many things it gets right — particularly those who come here from abroad, then disparage the country that’s taken them in.  They act like spoiled children throwing temper tantrums, so I don’t see why anyone needs to take them seriously.

It’s time that when these ingrates bite the hand that sustains them, that hand smacks some sense into them.  Don’t like it here?  Get out… there’s over 190 other countries you can choose to call home.  So stop tearing down the one I live in and gave two dozen years of my life in uniform to defend.  I have no sympathy for it.  Neither do many, many other Americans.  So don’t be surprised when there’s broad public support for keeping people out and sending people home.  America’s not a flop house, people.

 

Such lovely expressions of civic virtue… let’s adopt them.  (Not)

Middle-Finger

A shift in the narrative?

I can only hope that Conrad Black is correct, and that the majority of people are waking up to the fact the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) have been projecting false realities as smokescreens since late 2016:

For more than two years, the United States and the world have had two competing narratives: that an elected president of the United States was a Russian agent whom the Kremlin helped elect; and its rival narrative that senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative. It is now obvious and indisputable that the second narrative is the correct one.

The authors, accomplices, and dupes of this attempted overthrow of constitutional government are now well along in reciting their misconduct without embarrassment or remorse because—in fired FBI Director James Comey’s formulation—a “higher duty” than the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution compelled them. Or—in fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s words—“the threat” was too great. Nevermind that the nature of “the threat” was that the people might elect someone he and Comey disapproved of as president, and that that person might actually serve his term, as elected.

Black concludes that “Without realizing the proportions of the emergency, America has survived the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War.”  Call me a jaded pessimist, but I think it might be too early to say that with any certainty.  Just because Trump’s enemies’ narratives are unravelling doesn’t mean they are any less committed to removing him from power, or at the least trying to hobble his freedom of action through “lawfare.”  Their actions over the past two years define the term “subversion.” Meanwhile, Trump’s base (including me) is increasingly exasperated that those miscreants have yet to see any semblance of justice applied to them, and that States and cities continue to defy the Federal government by declaring themselves “sanctuaries” for unauthorized invaders.

No, we haven’t “survived” anything yet.  We just don’t know how long the fuse is on this particular powder keg, or whether anybody can unlight it.  And yes, it’s appropriate to compare it to the crisis of the Civil War.  These are not ordinary political differences.  They are instead existential in nature.

Stay tuned, boys and girls.  In the meantime, ask yourself how prepared you and your loved ones are if the explosion does occur, and take action accordingly.