No need to get scared about Trump tariff talk on steel and aluminum

Oh no!  A trade war!  It will hit consumers!  It will make investors nervous!  Foreign nations will become our enemies!  The damage we do to ourselves will be worse than we do to importers of competing products!

The sky is falling!

The sky will fall eventually, but not on account of this tariff.

It is so funny to hear MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, and other media outlets sounding alarms practically in unison.  I am beginning to think that all the media are becoming contrarians.  If Trump says something decidedly unambiguous, then the right thing for any media outlet to do is oppose it, just on principle.

If you look at the stuff I’ve written about Trump in the run-up to the 2016 elections, then you know I supported candidates other than Trump in the primaries and urged voters to consider all the presidential candidates, not just Trump and Clinton, when voting in the general election.  I distrusted Trump at the outset just by the fact that he is a casino tycoon (I have always opposed gambling).  I have not written of Trump in flattering terms.

There are many troubling things that could topple our nation and the world.  The financial system was not fixed by the 2008 bailouts.  The bad actors in the financial sector implicated in that meltdown fiasco are still there, right?  There will still be a huge financial disaster in our future.  Count on it.  Prepare your families for it.

But this tariff?  In the bigger scheme of things, this is no big deal.

Trump is right.  Steel and aluminum are strategic industries.  If worse comes to worst, our nation does not want to be in a position of having outsourced all of our steel and aluminum production.

Also, those who insist that the government, by imposing tariffs, is picking winners and losers in what is supposed to be a free marketplace need to acknowledge that these proposed tariffs are small potatoes compared to many of the other government interventions in our economy that have distorted the marketplace.  Consider the health care insurance industry, for example, and the lobbyist-bought legislation at state and federal levels that have led to a captive marketplace.  Consider the telecommunications giants, especially ISPs, cable TV systems, and cell phone companies and the terrible, even predatory, customer “service” they provide because they do not fear new start-ups entering the marketplace in their industries.  Lobbyist-bought legislation and executive branch administrative code regulation at state and federal levels has pretty much guaranteed that Comcast, CenturyLink, Time Warner, and their ilk will never be dislodged from atop the heap, no matter how deeply dissatisfied customers become.  Obviously, the financial industry does not operate on a level playing field.  We all saw that with the undeserved bailouts in 2008 of financial companies deemed “too big to fail.”

Sure, a tariff my cause jitters on Wall Street.  Free trade ideologues will denounce protectionism.  But the government’s most insidious protectionism is not embodied in these tariffs.  The government is very protectionist when it comes to Wall Street.

Remember why Trump won the election?  He flipped several states in the Great Lakes region from blue to red–Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin–in addition to carrying purple states like Ohio.  Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio all have robust Democrat Party organizations, but rank-and-file Democrats stopped taking marching orders from East Coast and West Coast elites within their party.  The #MeToo movement has finally addressed some of the West Coast hypocrisies that sowed distrust among Midwest Democrats.  The East Coast enjoys the protectionism of the federal government.  The East Coast elites and West Coast elites atop the Democrat Party do not share as much common ground with Midwest Democrats as they used to.

The coastal elites drive foreign cars.  On the roads of the Midwest, the concentration of American-branded cars is much greater than on the coasts.  Midwest Democrats are faced with bread-and-butter issues that the elites do not face.  Sales of American-branded cars put food on the tables in the Midwest.  Why don’t the coastal elites care whether Midwesterners have food on their tables?  With all their wealth, why do they buy so many imports?

The coastal elites want to create sanctuary cities in the exact same locations where the minimum wage is being boosted to $15 an hour.  The reason undocumented immigrants are shielded in the cities with high minimum wages is obvious to the average Midwesterner.  The undocumented immigrants are being exploited–paid under the table at less than minimum wage–to create a mirage that steep minimum wage hikes are actually viable.  “Who will scrub your toilets?” asked a celebrity–one I will not name here–in defense of encouraging undocumented immigration.  In the Midwest, we scrub our own toilets.  I, myself, worked as a hotel housekeeper and laundry attendant back in the day.  I also worked agricultural jobs like picking strawberries in the summertime.  But I scrubbed toilets and labored in farm fields in Ohio, not California.  I am a white male, not an undocumented immigrant.  Midwesterners WILL DO and HAVE DONE the kind of work that the coastal elites say that we are unwilling to do, but Midwesterners do not like competing with exploited workers being paid under the table.  If there were no undocumented workers, employers would have to pay more for toilet-scrubbing workers’ wages.  The presence of an exploited undocumented class of workers totally undercuts any organic efforts at improving compensation for toilet-scrubbing work.  Raising the minimum wage is not organic–it’s artificial.  And when raising the minimum wage occurs artificially at the same time that undocumented immigration is encouraged, then that only persuades employers to bypass the minimum wage and exploit undocumented workers for toilet-scrubbing duties.  The Midwest does not want this coastal trend to infiltrate the Midwest, but that infiltration has already gained a foothold.

The steel and aluminum tariffs, if they pan out, will mostly aid the midsection of the country.  Why should the midsection of the country be worried that Wall Street does not approve?  The midsection of the country did not approve of Wall Street bailouts, but had to swallow them anyway.  The tariffs would hardly turn the tables on the status quo, but it’s a start.  To the Midwest voter, Clinton was status quo and Trump was the only hope at turning the tables.  One might further qualify that Midwest voter as being Midwest white voter due to the strong preference for Clinton among nonwhite voters, but one also has to acknowledge that the nonwhite voter turnout in 2016 did not measure up to nonwhite voter turnout in the prior two presidential election cycles, suggesting the coastal elites may have lost some ground there, too.

So the protests against the tariffs are loudest along the coasts.  The Midwest does not have a problem with that.

In the GOP presidential primaries of 1996 and 2000, I voted for Alan Keyes.  He was an ambassador, so he has some sense of international consequences of domestic policies.  In terms of taxation, Alan Keyes favored tariffs over income taxes.  Our nation’s founders levied tariffs.  They did not tax personal income.  The US Constitution had to be amended to even allow for income taxes.  Keyes made a very persuasive case that the national government should be leveraging trade for generating government revenue, and that income taxes erode the sovereignty of the people of this nation.  I do not fear tariffs.

As for trade wars, they might be scary with another president at the helm, but I have to acknowledge that Trump is not your usual president.  In fact, Trump has a level of expertise in negotiating deals that other presidents have not possessed.  I actually feel quite confident in Trump’s capabilities in the trade arena.  There are things Trump is terrible at and there are things that Trump is good at.  This is something Trump could excel at.  I’m on board with the tariffs.

Clearly, the US Dept of Justice has become a political apparatus

FBI Director James Comey held a press conference on Tuesday morning, July 5, 2016, to reveal publicly what had become of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and computer server during her term in the office of Secretary of State.  Criminal charges are not forthcoming from the investigation, but Clinton was characterized as being “extremely careless” in her handling of classified communications in ways that violated federal statutes.  It is also clear that Clinton’s accounts of her own conduct on the matter are untruthful.  MSNBC’s Morning Joe has a clip highlighting excerpts from Comey’s speech juxtaposed with excerpts of Clinton’s false narrative of her handling of classified information via email and computer devices.  This clip is less than 2 minutes in length:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_mj_intro_160706

James Comey has a “straight shooter” reputation.  He has heretofore been considered highly ethical by politicians of both major political parties.  Some are now second-guessing his ethics, for liberal politicians are complaining that he overstepped by sharing investigation results when he shouldn’t have, for no criminal charges are forthcoming, while conservative politicians are complaining that Comey has overstepped by precluding the bringing of criminal charges by “reasonable” prosecutors.

I appreciate that Comey was forthcoming.

This CNN article points out that Comey’s press conference was not what the US Department of Justice had planned for Clinton’s “exoneration.”

As an aside, I have been severely disappointed by CNN coverage of Clinton this year.  They have played too much softball with her, which amounts to carrying water for her.  The fact that I can find more probing questions and scathing criticisms of Clinton on MSNBC signals how far off the track CNN has become from providing fair and balanced coverage.  Yes, CNN prepared a video clip similar to the one above from MSNBC; what is lacking is the harder hitting conversations such as shown in the 15-minute Morning Joe segment below:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_mj_toptalk1_160706

Also, headlines favorable to Clinton are not only as easy to find as on MSNBC, the headlines unfavorable to Clinton are buried deeper on CNN than MSNBC.  Part of this is a function of MSNBC’s focus on politics over other types of news stories, but though CNN covers a broader range of news, I still call into question the newsworthiness of many of said headlines compared to the newsworthiness of the stories critical of Clinton.

But back to the center of the story:  The press conference the Obama administration envisioned for the wrapup of the FBI investigation of Clinton was to be a joint one, with a spokesperson (perhaps Attorney General Loretta Lynch, herself) or spokespersons from the US Department of Justice accompanying whoever the FBI provided as a spokesperson.  Comey decided to spring this press conference as a surprise, both as to the timing and as to the content, in order to avoid the appearance of the complicity of the US Department of Justice in letting Clinton off the hook.  In my view, this ironically underscores that the US Department of Justice is complicit.  I have no doubt that the US Department of Justice would have stage managed this press conference very differently and would have not shed nearly as much light into the investigation as Comey did in his solo appearance.  Though I, like other conservatives, wonder at Comey’s seemingly premature or misguided ruling out of prosecution, I find it easy to forgive him for it when I consider that the public would not be in possession of the truth were it not for Comey’s initiative in stepping to a microphone on short notice . . . such short notice that he effectively circumvented any other government entity from interfering with his message.

Loretta Lynch was coming up short in appearing to be above-board.  However, even before she had a private meeting last week with Bill Clinton, in fact, even during the term of her predecessor, the politicization of the Department of Justice was already becoming visible.  As I mentioned in my prior post, at some depositions, the Justice Department had dispatched its own lawyers to make sure that the scope of questions asked during investigations were narrow.  The Justice Department appears to have much to hide.  They have skin in the game.  As I wrote in the prior post, not only is Clinton susceptible to blackmail by our geopolitical foes, like Russia, so is the Obama administration.  This brings me to my next point: Clinton had to dodge prosecution in order to keep Obama’s flank protected.  It’s why Obama has been certain from the get-go that there would not be a prosecution of Clinton.  He couldn’t allow a prosecution because it would have exposed his own vulnerabilities and culpabilities.  The envisioned stage-managed joint press conference had apparently been discussed well in advance of the conclusion of the investigation, showing that a determination to not prosecute had already been made.  Comey’s preemption of that joint press conference by his own solo appearance is, I’m sure, more than a little bit worrisome to both Obama and Clinton.

We can expect to see Obama on the Clinton campaign trail a lot for the remainder of the election season.  His best protection is getting her elected.  Her best shot at election in light of these damaging revelations is to energize Obama voters.  Expect her campaign to be contacting all voters that were identified as supporters of the previous Obama campaigns.  Black voters are especially important to Obama and Clinton.  Black voters have held Obama in very high esteem and they absolutely would not want Obama’s legacy tarnished.  Any further erosion of confidence in Clinton leaves Obama that much closer to the possibility of being tarnished.  The two, Obama and Clinton, will likely meet the same fate:  They are triumphant together, or they are doomed together.  Do not marvel that former intraparty foes are now cooperating closely, for they both have much to lose if Clinton does not succeed.

Obama, Clinton, Kerry inaction in Syria caused by Russian blackmail

Syria is a place where the Islamic State thrives but where the USA has been unwilling to go. There are even rumblings, purportedly from Foreign Service officers, that the USA ought to change strategies in Syria, including ousting Assad as ruler of Syria along with taking the fight to the Islamic State. VP Biden has said that we don’t dare do that because no one has a crystal ball to show how such a story would end. It could end quite badly, with a failed state (chaos) in a strategic location.  Nonetheless, with the Islamic State taking credit for violence in Bangladesh overnight, and an airport bombing in Istanbul just a couple of days ago, and a mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub, on top of still-seared-in-our-memory attacks in Brussels, San Bernadino, and Paris, the USA’s actions against the Islamic State confined to just Iraqi territory, do not appear to be bringing an end to the terror.  Russia has taken some actions against terrorists on Syrian soil, but Russia is also interested in protecting Assad, a useful pawn, just as Iran has, for many decades, been a useful proxy for Russia.

I ran across a video clip from MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday, July 1, 2016 wherein the pundits just acted bewildered over the Obama administration’s ineptitude in countering the Islamic State.  The plan appears to be to leave all Syrian-territory campaigns against the Islamic State in the hands of the Assad government (which is allied with and militarily aided by Russia and Iran).  The pundits on Morning Joe, in their bewilderment, surmise that the Obama administration is too risk-averse to do what needs to be done in Syria: Extinguish the Islamic Stand and depose Assad.

Click the following to open up the Morning Joe segment referenced above:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/7wvmTC/MSNBCEmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_mj_burns_160701

I’m not at all bewildered.  Russia has all the leverage.  They are blackmailing the Obama administration.  How do I deduce that?  I think if I just connect a couple of dots for you, I think you’ll be able to connect them with other dots so that you can see a bigger picture emerging.

When Syria crossed the red line of using chemical weapons, instead of punishing Assad, Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated with the Assad regime so that chemical weapons would be dismantled.  This is a clear signal that the USA did not envision anyone leading an independent Syria other than Assad.  So, despite the various factions jockeying for power in Syria, and despite the fact that we may feel sympathetic to one or more of the factions fighting to topple Assad, Kerry’s agreement reached with Assad underlines that the Obama administration will not seek regime change in Syria.  I am not surprised by this.  As for the reason why I am not surprised at this stance, it flows from a postmodern ideology (which I don’t agree with).  I don’t plan on delving into the ideology in this blog post.  It is sufficient to merely connect the dots to show Obama had no intention of toppling Assad or mobilizing our military in Syria.

But I will go further to say that not only does Obama have no intention of intervening in Syria, the Russians will make sure that Obama does not change his mind.

Remember that Clinton email server controversy?  Oh, yeah!  It’s all over the news!  The FBI has been investigating it!  Right?  But oftentimes, when key witnesses have been deposed, not only do the witnesses lawyer up as they head into these depositions, but the State Department and Justice Department have also, from time to time, sent their own lawyers.  Why?  To limit the scope of what questions the FBI asks.  So, connect this dot.  What does it mean when the State Department and the Justice Department (of which the FBI is a part!!!) see to it that the FBI inquiries are very narrow?  It’s one thing when questions go unanswered (and some witnesses have pled the 5th Amendment).  We, the public, are only permitted transcripts, so even our window into whatever little answers there are is a very narrow window.  It’s entirely another thing when question after question that the FBI would like to ask is considered out-of-bounds.  I say that the dots connected here are that the integrity of both the State Department and the Justice Department could be compromised if all questions could be asked and were answered.  If all facts came to light, it would devastate more than just Hillary Clinton.  State and Justice have skin in the game.

Hillary Clinton, for her part, wanted to be sure that any personal communications were to be safeguarded on the private server.  Never mind the classified top secret government information, for concern over leakage of that would be secondary to leakage over Clinton’s personal communications.

The mainstream media, for the most part, have been downplaying the Clinton’s private email server as a mistake.  The server could have been successfully hacked, but we don’t know that, so says the MSM.  So as long as we don’t know if the server was hacked, this mistake is forgivable and no harm has been done?

What if, on the other hand, the server was successfully hacked and Russia possesses ALL of the information that was on it, not just the top secret classified stuff, which might include troubling info about State and Justice, but Hillary’s personal stuff, too.  Since the Reagan administration, the Bush family, the Clinton family, and the Obama family have safeguarded each other’s White House secrets.  Though Republican voters had very little interest in a Jeb Bush POTUS candidacy, I think the Obamas and the Clintons were very much depending on a Bush nomination.  If Bush had been the presumptive nominee, his interest would have probably been confined to winning, not exposing Clinton or Obama, for they could expose two former Bush presidents.  If Russia possessed ALL of that information, Bush would probably suppress as much of the information as he could.  The mood of the electorate, though, has been for outsiders to oust the insiders.  If we, the voters, could trade places with an “outsider” candidate, like Trump, and we, as the outsider candidate, became dimly aware that the Russians possessed ALL of that information, would we want it?  Somewhere in that information that Russia would have is something that is “Kryptonite” to not only Hillary, but to the Justice Department, and to the State Department, for that’s what we can infer by all the lawyering up and the narrow limits placed upon the FBI inquiries.  So, if we as the outsider candidate, were aware that records exist of scandal and corruption, would we, unlike a Jeb Bush, have an appetite to expose it?  Such a scenario, then, would strengthen the hand of the Russians, for Clinton and Obama are in a more precarious situation than if they were running against Jeb.

The only way to wipe out the Islamic State is to get Russia and Iran to do it, for the Assad regime is not powerful enough to repel the Islamic State, nor will Russia allow anyone to interfere with Assad or Iran.  They have blackmailed the Obama administration with all that they know about our government’s corruption and scandals at the highest levels.  Obama cannot change course on Syria even if he wanted to (but he doesn’t).

How bad could the corruption, the scandals, possibly be?  For now, I leave those dots for you, the readers, to connect.  You’ve been hearing bits and pieces of things, haven’t you?

By the way, Saudi Arabia:  For all the influence that you think you bought by donating to the Clinton Global Initiative, you are not as protected from Iran as you think you are.  Russia poses an existential threat to Clintonian power, so that means Iran has more leverage than you.

 

Trump University fraud . . . is this news? Trump’s a casino owner, which means he’s been in the fraud business a long time . . .

If you’ve been reading Buckeye RINO since its inception, then you probably know how I feel about the gambling industry.  I’m totally against it.  I’m even against state lotteries.  I don’t even play bingo or buy raffle tickets . . . even for charity.  If I feel like contributing money to a charity, I’ll do it as a straight up donation rather than as an entry into a game of chance.  I’ve written many times about how the gambling industry is a fraud industry.  All the marketing for gambling tells you that you have chances to win.  The truth is, the house always wins.  This means, in the aggregate, gamblers lose.  Right now the media is fixated on the fraud that was Trump University.  It would be helpful if the media would also fixate on the even bigger fraud that the gambling industry perpetrates.  Hey media! . . . want to go after Trump University?  Fine.  How about going after Trump casinos, too?  How about going after all the casinos no matter who they’re owned by?  After all, the more money consumers spend on gambling, the less money they have for anything worthwhile.  Gambling redistributes wealth in the wrong direction.  Gambling feeds economic contraction.  Gambling compromises law enforcement, especially casinos, for casinos are used for money laundering.  The sad tales of those few consumers who complained about the value of their education at Trump University pale in comparison to the sad tales of those who have lost so much more at casinos.  Leave it to the media to strain at gnats and swallow camels.

Why should we be surprised that Trump cannot admit that Trump University is a fraud?  Why should we be astonished that Trump lashed out at a judge, any judge, for releasing information about suits being pursued against Trump University?  Casino owners would never admit that they perpetrate fraud and that an important part of their business is laundering money.  Deflect, deflect, deflect.  Trump has called into question the bias of the judge because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.  Guess what?  If the judge had been a white Presbyterian New York Republican male, like Trump, the strategy would still have been to deflect, deflect, deflect.  The demographic background of the judge wouldn’t have saved any judge from Trump’s attacks so long as the judge did something that met with Trump’s disapproval.  Remember that casino owners are special people with special rights.  Casino owners are entitled to more than the average citizen.  When it comes to public servants such as judges and legislators, casino owners view them with contempt because either they are contemptible because they can be bought or they are contemptible because they can’t be bought.  Gambling buys politicians.  Remember why Trump has donated to Hillary Clinton in the past?  Because Trump buys all the politicians that he can.  He finds that contemptible.  Trump self-funded his primary campaign to show that he could not be bought like Hillary.  But then there are other public servants, like the judge in this Trump University case, who can’t be bought or persuaded, who, since they stand in Trump’s way, they are also to be treated with contempt.

What is novel about this election cycle is that casino owners in the past were donors to political campaigns.  They weren’t politicians, themselves.  Donald Trump is now a politician.  He’s on the ballot.  A casino owner’s business is a sleazy one, which makes running for office quite a dicey proposition, as it’s hard to dismiss the sleaze factor when the political opposition puts a target on one’s back.  I think the fact that Hillary Clinton was anointed as the inevitable Democrat nominee emboldened Trump to run.  I think if the undisputed Democrat frontrunner were trustworthy, ethical, and incorruptible, Trump would have stayed away from the presidential race.

My disparagement of Trump should not be mistaken for support for Clinton.  I believe Ambassador Stevens is dead because someone in the administration wanted him dead.  The terrorists who took him out in Benghazi acted on information.  Clinton didn’t safeguard information.  I find it telling that at a Cheryl Mills deposition (Mills being a chief operative of Hillary Clinton’s), not only did Mills have three attorneys there to help her navigate the interrogation, there were also two attorneys for the State department and two attorneys for the Justice department, meaning that a lot hinged upon what was permitted to be asked and how minimal the responses needed to be.  In other words, if Cheryl Mills had been inclined to freely answer truthfully about every last detail, the integrity of the State department and the integrity of the Justice department would have been impugned just as much as the integrity of Hillary Clinton.  Mills had to walk a tightrope.  She wanted to keep all of the information to herself, but she had to make at least a minimal effort to appear that she was cooperating.  We’ve only been given transcripts of the deposition, for the judge agreed that video would have been too politically damaging to the Clinton campaign.  The State department is putting on a charade that they are cooperating.  They allowed the inspector general report to come out (but if State were really on top of things, they would have had an inspector general in office throughout Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, but, instead, there was never an inspector general at State for the whole of Clinton’s tenure there).  The Justice department is putting on a charade by conducting an investigation (but if the FBI, a branch of Justice, is doing the questioning, why were two lawyers from Justice present to make certain that the FBI’s inquiries were limited and make certain that Mill’s responses were also limited?).  Just now, the media is starting to learn that archived footage and transcripts of official press conferences at the White House and at State have been doctored so that future historians would only able to cobble together a revised history.  I think Ambassador Stevens was the type of person who personally understood shady things were going on and also personally disliked that he had to put up with them.  I think someone in the Obama administration figured that they’d rather have a dead Ambassador Stevens than a whistleblower Ambassador Stevens.  I think Edward Snowden is convinced that the Obama administration would have preferred a dead Edward Snowden than a whistleblower Edward Snowden, because Snowden didn’t blow the whistle until he was safely away.  I think if Hillary Clinton is elected to office, the corruption of the federal government will only worsen.  We’ve seen the IRS politicized, the FBI politicized, the State department politicized; and the list will go on.

I will not vote for Hillary Clinton; I guarantee that.  I’m hoping that Bernie Sanders will succeed in his quest to wrest the Democrat nomination away from Hillary.  I also don’t plan to vote for Trump, though I see a silver lining if he were to be elected (a shake-up of the establishment).  Especially if there’s no Bernie in the equation (but maybe even if there is), I will probably vote for a minor party candidate, which is not unprecedented for me.  I vote my conscience.

James Williamson guest blog post: The disruptor of the disruptors

Editor’s note: James Williamson is a native and former resident of Ohio who currently lives in Nevada.  He is also one of the brothers of yours truly, Daniel Jack Williamson, the owner of this blog.  He has written many other guest blog articles for Buckeye RINO, and for that, I am grateful. –DJW

The Disruptor of the Disruptors

Following announcements by Ted Cruz and John Kasich that they have suspended their campaigns [and with the unofficial delegate count for Trump exceeding the 50% mark before reaching the end of May], it appears that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee. Much to the chagrin of the Republican old guard they are going to get a candidate that broke all the rules (never ran for office before, didn’t spend large sums of cash in the primary, ignored political correctness… … … … list goes on) as the de facto leader of their party. You might call it a coup. You might call it a collapse. Many are heralding the end of the Republican party. I don’t think it’s any of those.

I’ve read numerous op-eds by pundits that Trump became the presumptive nominee because no one took him seriously. What precisely do they mean by “taking him seriously?” Are they suggesting that they weren’t trying hard enough to get the public’s attention early on in the race? All the Republican candidates were trying to get media attention and Trump sucked all the oxygen out of the room. I think they all knew that even if they thought his ideas were a joke they could not ignore his persona. Trump has spent the last 40 years in front of a camera and he knows how to get attention. I don’t think they underestimated him there. I think the operative word here is frustration.

Maybe they are suggesting the other candidates should have spent more money? Some of the candidates spent much more money than Trump (most notably Jeb Bush before he bowed out) to no avail. Apparently money can’t buy what Trump has to offer. Or perhaps, Trump recognized that people really don’t want to see political ads for 18 months straight? Maybe Trump will start a new trend in politics: Save your money early in the campaign. Even though Trump spent very little money I don’t think that was a factor in the other candidates taking him seriously.

Perhaps what these pundits mean is that they should have attacked Trump more? If negative attacks would be effective on Trump he would probably get more of them. Unfortunately that is the name of Trump’s game. Even Hillary Clinton learned the hard way that Trump has an amazing ability to take a negative statement and turn it on you. (Remember what happened when she said he was sexist?) I’m not sure what taking Trump seriously would have done to change the other candidate’s campaigns. Can someone help me here?

I’m also not sure how Hillary and company taking him seriously is going to make a difference.I read that Reid (who is obviously supporting Clinton) is already starting the criticism and gearing up for a fight. So what does he bring on in the first round of the fight? Trump is a sue happy tax cheat and a hater… You’re going to have to come up with a better one than that Harry. Maybe you need to revisit what happened when Hillary called him sexist. If you did you’d be putting your armor on because if you get his attention you just might end up in the line of fire. Oh, and make sure you protect your whole body because Trump apparently doesn’t have any issues with hitting below the belt….

I have a news flash for the Democrats: Negative attacks won’t work, spending more money won’t work, ideological arguments won’t work, even charm won’t work (if Hillary had any…).

Unfortunately for politicians you can change your views and you can change your rhetoric but you can’t change who you are and that’s what they would have to do to defeat Trump. People are voting for Trump because of who he is, but more importantly because of who he is not. He is not a career politician. He is not an apologist. He is not a sell-out (well so far…). He’s not hiding who he is or what he believes (just changes his mind a lot). He’s not a pushover and probably most important he’s never been a resident of Washington DC.

I saw this coming late last year.The event that convinced me that he was going to be the nominee is when he suggested blocking all Muslim immigration and his numbers went up… his numbers went up!!!! Labeling him as a xenophobe has not worked at all. That’s because I don’t think he is a xenophobe. I think what is happening here is that Trump is the only one who is listening to the key swing voter constituents that are going to decide the elections. Yes, you heard that right: Trump is the only one listening. Cruz appealed to his base, not swing voters. Sanders is doing the same. Hillary is making an appeal but with the media in her back pocket she is still thinking she can shape public opinion rather than listen to it.

Let’s analyze this for a minute. What has the public liked about Trump? Well, they actually like the idea that he wants to slow down immigration and more thoroughly vet immigrants. I don’t think he ever intended to keep them all out and of course he won’t but the bluster and outrageous promises are his style. I think that for him it’s not important to be precise in what you say but to show passion when you say it. It really seems to be resonating with rust belt voters in particular. Contrast this with the open door policy of the Democrats and even some of the Republican field. The candidates think they are being reasonable but what the public hears is: “We don’t care what you think!”

The public also likes it when Trump talks economics. Why? Because he, and only he, is articulating many of their frustrations. Decrying rising cost of health care, part time work, stagnant wages, dwindling manufacturing resonates with voters in key states like Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. Obama is crowing about how wonderful things are and Hillary has to follow in that wake because she is, after all, the heir apparent. Voters don’t like to be told that everything is rosy when they think it’s not. Message to voters: “We don’t have a clue what is really going on.”

The last area that Trump is strong on is his America first slogan. Even I’m on the bandwagon there. Bad trade agreements, half-committed involvement in foreign conflicts, offering protection to everyone without getting reimbursement, apologizing for our history, and squandering our hegemony on goals that don’t further America’s best interests have been the fruits of several administrations now and Americans don’t like it. In particular I think that Trump’s message on national security resonates with voters. It’s closely related to the issue of immigration. While I certainly don’t advocate starting wars going around publicly announcing you aren’t willing to get involved in one is precisely the sort of thing that invites it. I think the average American knows this and they get nervous when they hear the doves saying we need to show more love and compassion toward antagonistic nations. Message to voters: “We’ll still be spouting rhetoric while the country burns, just like France in WWII.”

While I certainly believe that war should be avoided, what good does a military do if it’s never an option? How is a nuclear weapon a deterrent if the enemy knows you will never use it? I think Reagan proved that being willing is often all that it takes. Jimmy Carter couldn’t get Iran to release hostages because they were certain he wouldn’t send troops in after them. They weren’t sure that Ronald Reagan wouldn’t. History is rife with similar situations. Unfortunately for us, while our “leaders” have forgotten history the Russians have been learning from it. They are running amok because they know the current administration won’t do anything serious. That may change if Donald Trump becomes president. He said in his America First speech that we need to be more “unpredictable.” Yes, I believe Trump is a poker player. He knows that showing all your cards up front doesn’t help you win. After all that’s what America really wants right now: a winner. Right or wrong I think that there are enough people in the country now that believe that Trump is the winner they are looking for. Can you say, “President Trump”?

James Williamson guest blog: Imminent Rebellion: The Perfect Storm

Editor’s note: James Williamson is one of my younger brothers and is an Ohio native currently residing in Nevada.  He has written a number of guest blog posts for Buckeye RINO previously.  The topic he keeps revisiting is the tension between state governments and the federal government, and the phrase “Imminent Rebellion” is included in title of each blog post in the series, for he predicts that one day, several states may part ways with the federal government, which he believes might even lead to another civil war.  The other posts in the Imminent Rebellion Series are linked here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

In this post, James tackles the topic of Jade Helm.  I have presented a competing viewpoint on Jade Helm here on my Buckeye RINO blog titled, “The Meaning of Jade Helm 15 for the Future of the United States of America.“–DJW

Imminent Rebellion: The Perfect Storm

When I first started writing about the split between the Feds and the states it was not a common topic of discussion, nor did another civil war seem imminent to many besides me. Now with the many conspiracy theories surrounding Jade Helm 15 it seems to be a little more vogue. For those that don’t know, Jade Helm 15 is a series of military exercises that are to be held over the next two months in several states, with many of the exercises being conducted in populated areas. This has caused quite a stir in the states where the exercises are being conducted, most notably Texas. Even Chuck Norris felt the need to speak about it and called it “more than a military exercise”.

One of the reasons there are so many conspiracy theories is because the government is not saying what the purpose of the exercises are beyond training in urban environments . . . and they are prohibiting direct coverage by the press. That, of course, is just nectar for the bees (or wasps as the case may be…) and no one should be surprised that the bees are swarming. While there are many theories about the operation the most popular are that the federal government is either 1) preparing to fight ISIS insurgents (some saying on foreign, others on domestic soil) or 2) they are getting ready to declare martial law that would be triggered by riots or some other national crisis. I suppose that you could take a third road and say it’s both. If ISIS took hold here in the US, martial law might have to be declared to effectively counterattack especially if some of the ISIS fighters happen to be US citizens.

For more on the nationwide race riot conspiracy theory, you can read about an alleged race database that is being compiled by “Big Brother” here:  “Obama collecting personal data for a secret race database.”

If Jade Helm 15 is preparation for a foreign campaign, as the few public comments on it from the military indicate, then we have little to be concerned about, right? Well, it does’t fit the rhetoric. The administration has been consistently talking about reducing the number of troops in the Middle East, not increasing them. The administration has also stated that they don’t want to be involved on the ground in Syria. This could be just for Iraq to keep the hard fought gains there, but that doesn’t fit the rhetoric either. We are supposed to have a smaller footprint there, not a bigger one. There is not popular support for any more military invervention in the middle-east anyway so what would the exercise be for if not there? The Ukraine? That makes even less sense. Whose side would we even be on? Aren’t Obama and Putin striking a more conciliatory tone toward each other and calling for “cooperation”? There are reports that the administration is trying to get help from Russia in Syria again. It wouldn’t be prudent to help the Ukrainians put down the pro-Russian movement there if we are trying to get something from Russia. Then again, this administration has never made a lot of sense regarding foreign policy unless you are a cynic. Any other possibilities? China? Not likely. North Korea? Not worth our time. Iran? In the words of Jack Sparrow, “Why fight when you can negotiate?” The ink is not even dry on the agreement with Iran. Intervention on foreign soil just doesn’t make sense (unless you want to start making comparisons to the German/Soviet nonaggression pact…) so we come back to the domestic soil theory.

If Jade Helm 15 is indeed designed for a domestic operation then there is even more cause for concern. Regardless of the trigger, having live military operations on US soil means there is trouble in our own back yard. Many are saying that it’s not just coincidence that Texas, Utah, and the southern tip of California are listed as “hostile” territory for the drills and that they will be targeted first.  Maybe this is all just crazy talk, but why, after more than a decade of urban warfare in Iraq, do we suddenly need urban warfare training in populated areas within the United States? We didn’t need them when we invaded Baghdad. Why now? One thing is for certain: Uncle Sam is not giving answers, so we are left to ponder and let our imaginations run wild. That doesn’t seem like an effective way to run a public relations campaign.

If martial law were declared while President Obama is still in office it would put the liberal Democrats in a tough spot ideologically as they generally are the group that derides Abraham Lincoln for essentially imposing martial law by suspending habeus corpus after the start of the Civil War. On the other hand President Obama is a Lincoln admirer. He started his presidency by riding the train along the same route that Lincoln did on his way to Washington DC. Maybe President Obama wants to follow in Lincoln’s footsteps in more ways than one?

The Meaning of Jade Helm 15 for the Future of the United States of America

Editor’s note:  My brother, James Williamson, wrote a guest blog article also about Jade Helm, titled, “Imminent Rebellion: The Perfect Storm,” in which he theorizes that the federal government may be conspiring to quash rebellious states and/or rioters by declaring martial law . . . or worse. Feel free to compare my post with his and post comments with your thoughts.–DJW

What is Operation Jade Helm 15?

Operation Jade Helm 15 is a joint military exercise currently underway in the southwestern United States of America that is due to wrap up on September 15, 2015. In addition to coordination between branches of the US Armed Forces, these exercises will also entail working hand-in-glove with other federal agencies not usually known for pairing with the military during combat missions—oh! . . . and I should clarify for you that these military exercises are, in fact, combat drills. Without that clarification, you might think that these are emergency preparedness drills for either civil defense or disaster relief, because several of the odd partners in these exercises are agencies within the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

In this simulation, some of the southwestern states will be designated as allied territory, i.e. staging grounds for combat missions. Other states will be designated as hostile territory, within which targets are designated for the missions launched from allied territory. Two states are considered neutral territory with one seemingly sympathetic toward the allies and the other seemingly sympathetic toward the enemy, but not otherwise actively engaged in the skirmishes between the two sides. In this scenario, California has been partitioned with the two counties that neighbor the Mexican border designated as hostile territory while the rest of California is in allied territory. The other hostile territories are Texas and Utah while the other allied territories are Nevada and Colorado. New Mexico is seen as sympathetic toward the enemy and Arizona is seen as sympathetic toward the allies.

Jade Helm 15 has become a popular topic among conspiracy theorists.

A number of skeptical individual citizens, as well as those in social circles (Tea Party?) and self-styled civilian militias who are distrustful of the federal government, are concerned that Operation Jade Helm 15 is a preparation for carrying out future military operations directed at muting government critics. They point to combat missions planned for Jade Helm wherein small special ops teams, prior to any battlefield engagement, are to quietly swoop in to capture or kill the leaders of the opposition. The FBI and the DEA, both of which are federal policing agencies that operate mostly within the United States rather than abroad, will be the ones detecting and tracking the opposition leaders in advance of the arrival of the special ops teams that will take those targets out.

Put more bluntly, the states designated as allied or hostile territory for the purposes of Operation Jade Helm 15 are not stand-ins for foreign nations, if the rumors of FBI and DEA cooperation with the military are true. The states are cast in the role of actual states of the United States. Thus, another conspiracy theory is that this is more than just eliminating self-styled civilian militias and anti-government propagandists. Instead, many of the conspiracy theorists interpret these special ops missions as preparation for the initial stages of another civil war.

The military has reached out to communities to refute conspiracy theorists.

These military exercises are mostly being conducted on private properties with permissions from property owners. Without some kind of advance public notice of these exercises, the military worried that civilians dwelling near these properties would become alarmed by the noises of helicopters and rifle fire, thereby unnecessarily swamping 911 operators with phone calls while drills were taking place. Communities near where these exercises are or will be taking place have been notified that these are only drills. No real emergencies are anticipated. In some communities, the military has held actual town hall meetings to offer reassurance that these exercises are merely tests of coordination between military branches and federal agencies to enhance military readiness for operations in other parts of the world.

Some conspiracy theorists have been in attendance at the community town hall meetings hosted by the military to confront the military officers with their suspicions of preparation for martial law and/or civil war. The military officers conducting the meetings repeatedly gave assurances that the federal government has not and is not planning for either the implementation of martial law or the onset of civil war.

The conspiracy theorists were not persuaded or placated by the assurances, and military officers privately conceded that nothing they could say would have changed the minds of the conspiracy theorists. The view of the military officers was that the conspiracy theorists would not put their minds at ease until September 16th arrived—the day after wrap-up—without the occurrence of any alarming incidents in the meantime.

In many cases, the conspiracy theorists in attendance were not local townsfolk. They traveled some distances to attend these town hall meetings. Overall, local townsfolk in the vicinity of the planned exercises were apt to believe the military officers, or at least give them the benefit of the doubt. Public support for our nation’s troops has characteristically been very strong since 9/11, and perhaps that is why the townsfolk responded to the military in a favorable way. Theories of conspiracy apparently failed to gain traction among locals.

I think Jade Helm is a trial balloon for a contingency, not confirmation of a full-fledged conspiracy.

Perhaps I am drawing a fine distinction, but I hope readers can discern my meaning. Let me first pose a hypothetical question: What if the federal government experienced a financial meltdown? I’m not talking about a Congressional debate that failed to yield enough votes for raising the debt ceiling and thus causing a government shutdown. No, I am talking about a much worse fiscal environment, as I blogged about four-and-a-half years ago, where the value of our money or the sources of our money just evaporate.

If there is a full-fledged conspiracy afoot in the federal government, it is a conspiracy to continue government “stimulus” spending and central bank (the Federal Reserve) quantitative easing that will surely bankrupt our government.

Crony capitalism and government intervention in the private sector is at the heart of the problem, just as it was during the Wall Street bailouts of 2008. Please do not misconstrue my disdain for crony capitalism as disdain for capitalism as a whole. I very much favor free-market capitalism. For more talking points about crony capitalism—what it is and what it brings about—beyond what I share here, perhaps you should follow the 2016 presidential campaign messages of Carly Fiorina, as she has been outspoken on the matter. Big businesses within a myriad of industries have lobbied successfully over the course of decades for federal laws that provide them with distinct marketplace advantages. Incumbent politicians of both major political parties crave campaign donations to retain power. The corporate PACs have been rewarding members of Congress for favorable laws by filling campaign coffers. The Wall Street bailouts of 2008 were not only motivated by a concern that a disastrous nationwide economic meltdown would occur, but also by a concern that politicians would be biting the hands that feed them had they not approved the bailouts. Bailouts only constitute a portion of “stimulus” spending designed to lengthen the careers of professional politicians via rewards to big business political benefactors. Growth of government, for example, leads to growth of private-sector government contractors, thus providing economic “stimulus.” As the government grows, so also does the power of the politicians that run it. The government has intruded on our private economy, and even our private lives, at an ever-accelerating rate. Considering government intrusion, it is no wonder that conspiracy theories abound. The conspiracy theory that I fully subscribe to is avarice. The government and the politicians that run it want money and power in the worst way.

The government’s greed for money and power is unsustainable. When the fiscal system collapses, when the government defaults on debt payments, when the government can only pay its employees with IOUs, when the government can no longer reimburse doctors for Medicare and Medicaid, when no more monthly Social Security benefits can be paid out, when no more unemployment checks can be issued, when no more Temporary Assistance to Needy Families can be provided, when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can no longer protect your bank deposits if your bank fails, when there is no longer any ability to bail out well-connected political benefactors, when U.S. Treasury bonds can no longer be redeemed (and when no one with any common sense will buy them), I predict the government will shift into confiscatory mode. Do you think the day will never come that the government is starved for money? I think we’ve already passed the point of no return. That day is coming. I’m convinced of it.

As the federal government becomes insolvent, forget about debt ceiling debates, the government will repeal or ignore any such ceiling in a desperate attempt to retain some kind of purchasing power. Woe unto all who may have cheated on federal taxes, owe federal loans, or otherwise committed offenses wherein laws allow for asset seizure, for private assets will be seized—forcefully, if necessary. Expect that more laws will be passed that allow for more private property forfeiture to the government. Expect the federal government to try to commandeer the resources of the states. Expect tax exemptions to evaporate. Expect federal taxes to be levied on assets that were never taxed before in American history. Does it sound far-fetched to you? If so, have you been paying attention to Greece and some of the measures the government has resorted to there? Greece hasn’t resorted to all of these measures, because they still are milking the European Union for as much as they can get, but, if you’ve paid attention, Greece has already resorted to some of these measures. Have you noticed what the Greek government has done to the banks?

Okay, I will concede that the government has not yet conspired to resort to any such measures. The conspiracy for money and power still rings true to me. So, if you, dear readers, will at least humor me by assuming that the federal government conspires to accumulate more money and power, what might the fallout be if the government cannot sustain its efforts to do so? You don’t know? You can’t be sure? You have some vague ideas of what might happen, but no crystal ball to show you exactly how it all plays out? If you are not sure what might happen in such a scenario, I think you are in good company. I think the federal government, though it has some vague ideas, doesn’t know exactly how such a situation plays out, either. I think they are mulling over the multitude of possible ramifications and seeing what options they can put on the table to mitigate against any negative ramifications that may arise. In other words, they are beginning to examine contingencies.

This is the distinction I am drawing. In my mind, Jade Helm is not a government conspiracy. The government has not committed itself to implementing martial law. It has not pledged to engage in civil war. It has not fully formulated plans for either of these actions. These are not the unspoken intentions behind the conception of Operation Jade Helm 15. Instead, the federal government is just brainstorming—throwing things at the wall, so to speak, and seeing what sticks—in case all hell breaks loose. The government does not yet know if they would put martial law, let alone civil war, on the table if the people and/or states revolt. Maybe there will be no revolt. Maybe citizens will pull together, help each other out, and keep the peace, giving the federal government time to regroup and conceive of a new way forward. Jade Helm, to me, is an exploratory mission to see what may be feasible in planning for the contingencies that may arise in an uncertain future.

In my opinion, the future will bring revolt and the U.S. government will act with hostility toward the people and the states.

The revolt I foresee will not be premeditated and the harsh actions of the government will not have arisen from conspiracy. It will unfold spontaneously. The federal government’s unsustainable avarice for money and power will be the underlying cause of the actions that follow. People desperate for basic essentials will riot and plunder. States will want to insulate themselves from the chaos to the degree that they will assert their autonomy and move toward secession.

The United States, to my knowledge, has not set up internment camps since they forced Americans of Japanese heritage to live in such camps during World War II. It was a mistake to set up the camps in the first place. The threat posed by those detained was minor to negligible. Their constitutional rights were suspended for the purpose of security, but in my mind, civil liberty trumps the small risks to security that a few individuals may pose. Jade Helm, from my understanding (but I hope I’m wrong), includes exercises in setting up and maintaining internment camps for government dissidents. I believe that if such exercises are conducted, that it may embolden the federal government to put internment camps on the table as an option should widespread popular revolt materialize.

The supposed joint exercises involving special ops, the FBI, and the DEA may encourage the government to put another option on the table to neutralize dissidents. I believe the DEA will be active, anyway, even without revolt, because the greedy government will act aggressively to seize property in connection with suspected drug crimes. We can only hope, in such desperate times, that the actions of the DEA will be directed only at legitimate drug criminals rather than impacting innocent civilians via dragnets too broad in scope. But, if things get out of hand and there is an uprising, particularly among self-styled militias, I can easily conceive of the FBI sniffing out the leading dissidents and special ops, in turn, snuffing them out.

Secession would first be attempted by states that have already passed measures in their legislatures asserting their sovereignty over their own territory. Many states have done so. Some of these states, like South Carolina, Utah, and Texas, have planned for contingencies that anticipate the possibility of the collapse of our national currency. South Carolina has reserved for itself the right to mint coins. Utah has reserved for its people the right of the people to mint their own coins. The Texas treasury’s investments include gold, held in a New York vault. The Texas legislature has garnered media attention for its call to relocate that gold to a yet-to-be-built vault on Texas’ own soil. Not only would these states be among the first to move toward secession, they would also be the first targets of federal military power, were the situation to escalate, in efforts to both block secession and commandeer states’ resources. Civil war may materialize. South Carolina—the last holdout in banishing the Confederate flag (not only a detestable symbol of slavery but a symbol of secession) and the first to engage in combat at the start of the Civil War, could conceivably be the starting point of a new civil war. This time, if such a scenario were to arise, instead of South Carolina’s troops assaulting a federal military installation, it will be the federal government that initiates an assault against South Carolina.

Seizing state assets in Texas and Utah before those states can secure them will serve as prime motivation for the federal government to strike preemptively in those states as well. I point to Operation Jade Helm 15 as evidence of the federal government’s conspiracy to obtain more wealth and power, for the whole states of Texas and Utah are designated as hostile territory in Jade Helm. You decide. Is this coincidence, or not? Is this a way to explore a contingency, or not?

As further evidence that designating Texas and Utah as hostile territory for the purposes of Jade Helm may not be coincidental, the neutrality of New Mexico and Arizona along with their supposed political leanings make little sense unless viewed through the eyes of federal avarice. After all, Arizona has had several high-profile squabbles with the federal government, so sympathizing with the federal government, as conceived of in Operation Jade Helm 15, doesn’t ring true. Meanwhile, the blue-leaning state of New Mexico has very different political leanings than Texas or Utah, so why would New Mexico, though sitting on the sidelines, be leaning away from the feds? In my travel through New Mexico, the bilingual nature of the state is evident. Spanish is spoken nearly everywhere, and a large proportion of New Mexico’s population speaks Spanish as its first language (which, in my mind, is not a bad thing). I am assuming that while the U.S. is reaching a point of meltdown, the nation of Mexico is still intact. I think New Mexico may seek to strengthen economic ties with Mexico as an economic stopgap measure, and though the New Mexico legislature may make no movement toward formal secession, the U.S. government may look upon New Mexico’s commerce with envy and have to make a decision whether to take action against New Mexico or look the other way. Meanwhile, Arizona has already burned its bridges with the Mexican government, so expanding commerce in that direction is not an option. Could the California counties bordering Mexico take even bolder action than New Mexico in engaging commercially with Mexico by going a step further and adopting a political stance defiant of the federal government? If the designations of hostile and friendly territory for the purposes of Jade Helm are totally innocent and random, so be it. But if the federal government has an appetite for plunder, doesn’t the map of Jade Helm finally make sense?

Putin is an opportunist, and Russia will swing into action if the U.S. is in disarray.

In the 2012 presidential campaign, the Obama campaign ridiculed Republican rival Mitt Romney for stating that Russia is the USA’s number one geopolitical foe. Now, even President Obama’s new appointee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff admits the ill will and great danger the US faces from Russia. We knew Romney was right before the POTUS and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did. That ridiculous Russian relationship reset button is reason enough for me to dismiss support for Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid out of hand.

Close observers of Putin say that he looks at adversarial situations through the lens of a judo martial artist.  (On that note, I really like this article by Matthew Hedrick at Fortune magazine.)  Martial arts are comprised of more than just rehearsed moves and strategies, for, at the highest level, they are accompanied by a mindset, a way of perceiving interactions between external entities, a way of perceiving self in society, a way of perceiving one’s place in the world, a way of perceiving one’s internal thoughts and emotions, and a way of perceiving the spiritual and supernatural. Putin has achieved a black belt in judo. His instinct is not to be the aggressor when his adversary is most wary and least vulnerable. His instinct is to throw his adversary to the ground when his opponent exposes a vulnerability. Often, the force of the throw is not just determined by how much muscle Putin puts into it, for it is also significantly determined by how much momentum carried the adversary in the direction of the throw. With the United States already moving in a military direction against its own states in a civil war, a direction that could potentially result in the demise of the federal government, Russia may make a grab at the opportunity and finish the job—throwing the United States government to the ground.

The Russian propagandists have been bragging to their own nation that they have refined the abilities of their nuclear arsenal through advanced technology while the U.S. has stood pat with weaponry based on the designs of yesteryears. The Russian public loves this propaganda, and recent public opinion polls show that Russians have a very dim view of America. The Russian government propagandists have gone so far as to say that it can win . . . WIN . . . a nuclear war with the United States. If Russia indeed possesses this capability, we should look upon that nation with dread, for the Russian people have the political will to see it through.

I think that while the casualties mount in the United States, Russia will choose a time and place to strike with nuclear weapons that will break the back of the federal government as we know it. For those of us old enough to remember the Reagan Administration, the U.S. military proposed the development of a neutron bomb. I believe the Russians possess such bombs. The bombs are intended to leave buildings and infrastructure largely intact while killing off all inhabitants within the blast area. The radioactive fallout decays more rapidly than the nukes in our arsenal so that, in a short number of years (maybe less), the blast area can be occupied by the victors. Instead of blasting the planet to oblivion and radioactively poisoning the planet’s remains forever, Russia’s nukes can allow for surgical strikes that take out the populations of much smaller targets with little worry about incurring many casualties from radioactive fallout drifting over the Russian homeland. They win and we lose.

I do not believe Russian troops will be deployed to occupy American territory (with maybe exceptions for Alaska and the very strategically placed Hawaii). I believe Russia may use proxies for that purpose. Much as we won’t put boots on the ground to beat ISIS, but instead use airstrikes to enable allies such as the Kurds to occupy liberated territory, I think Russia will do likewise with their long-range military strikes while enabling an occupying invasion from elsewhere in the Americas. I believe Canada will not be able to maintain its territorial integrity as the invaders will not respect Canada’s borders and the Russians, coveting the whole of the Arctic Ocean basin, will strike our ally to the north, as well. The Russians will then turn toward reaching military objectives in their own hemisphere without any worry of intervention emanating from the United States.

If Jade Helm convinces the federal government that resorting to civil war is an option to put on the table as a response to widespread revolt over the government’s strong arm tactics in the wake of a fiscal emergency, then woe to the United States as we know it, for Russia will strike a crippling blow and America will be overthrown.

I believe there will be a rebirth of the nation, but it will take perhaps a decade for it to happen.

The new occupants of this region of North America will have swept in seeking the riches and the abundant life that was characteristic of the United States in its heyday and will not find it. Feeble regional governments will dot the landscape. They will totter until they find the right formula for governance. At some point, one of those governments will adopt principles contained in the U.S. Constitution and enjoy some prosperity as a result. Peoples of other regions will discover that the prosperity of the United States of the past proceeded not from an abundance of natural resources, but from the checks and balances upon government that the Constitution affords a sovereign people. Other regions will then seek to participate in a republic governed by that Constitution and will seek to have their territory annexed to that republic. In time, even peoples in distant parts of the Americas will seek the advantages of governance according to the principles of the Constitution. After all the destruction and chaos, a new American power will arise and immigration from the Eastern Hemisphere will start to swell.

If these events unfold, I project the onset to be quite soon, but I’ve been wrong before.

As mentioned in a blog post written in December 2010, I projected an utter economic collapse far worse than the one experienced in the fall of 2008. I said at that time that I could not envision, with our government’s fiscal condition so out of order, that the smoke and mirrors supporting the illusion of a strong fiat currency could be maintained for more than four years into the future. I was wrong. I am glad to be wrong. I hope to continue to be wrong. I hope our national debt turns out to be a mirage. I hope crony capitalism yields to free markets. I hope Americans can find meaningful employment that allows them to support their families. I hope that American prosperity leads to diminished demand upon government resources for family survival. I hope that economic growth yields sufficient growth in the tax base that we can trim tax rates. I hope that the working population grows so much and makes so much money that the money paid into Social Security and Medicare will help provide for the nation’s retirees and disabled. But I cannot see a turning point in our future that allows us to merrily proceed toward that utopia.

The crumbling of Greece may very well cause the European Union to crumble. Japan has never really recovered from its economic crisis dating back to the mid 1990’s. China has overextended itself with massive infrastructure projects, a number of which are underutilized even after completion. The Middle East has discovered that oil is becoming a common commodity. Russia sees the economic writing on the wall and is working feverishly to insulate themselves from the coming crisis as best they can. At least Russia has a jump on attempts to stay on its feet in relation to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. South America is likely to escape the full brunt of the coming crisis, though Venezuela is already deluged in its own crisis. Much of this I rehearsed in that 2010 blog post. I see no reason to retreat from this falling domino scenario. The United States will not be able to withstand the economic blows reverberating around the world.

From what I can piece together, first shoe falls this fall. It is summer, already. I believe Jade Helm will wrap up on September the 15th without incident. It will be in the weeks after that during which the foundation shakes. I think many of us will still be leading normal lives through the end of this year, but we will no longer be so naïve about what might transpire. Perhaps Social Security payments will be suspended sometime in 2016 and the federal government finally shows its desperation for all to see.

I think that we might not have a federal election in November 2016. I think that is how calamitous the turn of events may turn out to be and how soon things might become unraveled. We will still exist in the fall of 2016, I think, but be too dysfunctional to carry through with the election. Or perhaps the elections take place, but quickly deteriorate in the aftermath so that the transition to a new Congress and POTUS is rocky and highly disputed, with states perhaps not sending their full delegations to Congress in a show of real intent to assert their own sovereignty. I think the majority of the states will be embroiled in violence in 2017, with an invading force from elsewhere in the Americas already mustering. I think the Russians will strike by 2018, the invasion will ensue, and we will hit the nadir and stay there for two or three years. I think worldwide recognition of a renewed America does not occur until 2025. I think it may take until 2030 before the renewed America encompasses as much territory as it does now (though I think the borders are not likely to be located where they are now).

The rapid onset of these events, I believe, will cause the federal government to revert to the playbook scripted for Jade Helm. Following the Jade Helm script will not be directly due to a conspiracy, but will merely unfold that way because the federal government will have little time to formulate a better response to an uprising that the government will feel it cannot ignore.

James Williamson guest blog: Somber thoughts

Editor’s note: James Williamson, an Ohio native, currently resides in Nevada.  He has written several other guest blogs for Buckeye RINO, for which I thank him–DJW

SOMBER THOUGHTS

I am an outspoken person.  Everyone that works with me knows that I am not afraid to talk politics.  That’s because I often do.  With the recent attacks on the American embassies in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen there has been much to talk about and yet many seem reluctant to say much.  There is something ominous about what is happening.  I think the general populous now senses what they least want is about to come to pass:  Peace is quickly fleeing the world.

The day after Mitt Romney spoke in Israel and re-affirmed their right to defend themselves I heard two people at work say they were having second thoughts about Romney for fear he would invade Iran and start another war.  I’m not sure why they came to that conclusion from Romney’s remarks but that was enough for them to talk about voting for Obama.   One of them will probably vote for Obama regardless, but the other is the one that concerns me.  He was favoring Romney, mostly on the grounds that he would have more fiscal discipline.   As time goes on I get the feeling that this sentiment is more and more prevalent.  This makes me uneasier than ever about this election.

First, let me start by saying that war is inevitable.  I am now convinced of that.  It is not a matter of if but when.  Unfortunately everyone who remembers a time like we are going through right now is in his or her late 80’s.

We may not want to face up to what is about the happen.  We may not want to be involved.  We may not want to rise to the occasion, but what is about to happen will come whether or not we are ready and whether or not we want it.

Those who know me well know that I have often said that no one will make any serious attempts at world conquest until the United States is too weak to fight–militarily, economically, or politically, does not matter much (although I believe they are inter-related).  The end result is the same:  freedom to conquer without fear of repercussions.    I think that day has almost arrived.

Already the Obama administration has sent signals to the Middle East that the US will not fight back nor will they leave.  The warships and marines being sent are just a token gesture.  I don’t think the president is serious about protecting our embassies.  (I don’t think he is serious about anything except getting re-elected right now…)  This will happen again.  I will say it now before it’s even abated.  This will happen again, only next time there will be more casualties.

Those who study history will be able to draw many, many parallels between what is happening now and the period before WWI and the period before WWII.  I will not take the time to explore them all here.  I will say however that we do have a choice.

This is not really about the election for president, although it is an indicator of the will of the voting public.  This is about whether we are ready to defend our country when it is attacked.  I don’t know anyone who wants war.  I don’t.  I especially don’t want war in my neighborhood where my children would be exposed to it.  That is what the United States military is all about.  Taking the fight to the enemy so that such things never happen on our soil.  The irony of that is that our current administration seems to think that the Department of Defense is the only expendable government agency there is.

The constitution delegated very specific powers to the federal government.  One of the most important was the ability to provide for the common defense.  There is no constitutional mandate to provide health care to everyone, much less free contraception.  There is a mandate to protect the American public from foreign invasion.  So why are we gutting the military budget so we can offer everyone something they should have the responsibility of securing themselves?

With freedom comes responsibility.  With freedom also comes the ability to succeed or fail.  With liberty comes the responsibility of constant vigil to preserve that liberty, otherwise it will be lost.  Ease and comfort are not guaranteed, nor are they even to be expected in a free society.  When the Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness, many of them complained about the difficulty of the journey and yearned for the “flesh-pots” of Egypt.  If we as a nation yearn for those “flesh-pots” to the point we are derelict in our duty to protect and defend our rights and liberty, we will lose them.

Who gets elected in November may affect the timing of the outbreak but regardless of who is in the White House this nation will face a test.  Will we make the sacrifices necessary to prepare for the worst?  Or will we bury our heads in the sand, ignore the signs of what is coming, and clamor for more entitlements?

I hope we all choose the former.

James Williamson guest blog: Mitt Romney, Hispanics, and the Vice Presidential nominee

Editor’s note:  I am grateful to one of my younger brothers, James Williamson, for contributing another guest op/ed to Buckeye RINO.  In the interest of disclosure, James is a native Ohioan who currently resides with his wife and four children in another swing state: Nevada. Nevada, of course, has a much larger Hispanic population than Ohio does. James has attended several GOP functions while residing in Nevada, including attending the presidential caucuses earlier in the year and serving as a delegate to Nevada’s Clark County Republican Party Convention.  James has a couple of things in common with Mitt Romney.  First of all, James is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, or Mormon) like Romney.  That being said, Romney was not James’ first pick for the nomination.  When Rick Perry first announced his candidacy (before it imploded), James was on board for Perry.  By the time the Nevada caucuses were held, the field had been winnowed down to Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.  James caucused for Paul and went to the county convention as a Paul delegate.  Now that it is clear that Romney is the party nominee, James supports Romney against Obama.  The second thing James has in common with Romney is that he served a Mormon mission in a foreign country.  Romney was a missionary in France.  My brother, James, was a missionary in Ecuador.  James is fluent in Spanish (as is the rest of his family), and circulates among those in Las Vegas’ Spanish-speaking community.  Therefore, though he’s a gringo, I tend to lend some credence to James’ viewpoint on this topic. –DJW

MITT ROMNEY, HISPANICS, AND THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE

There is much talk about the Hispanic or Latino votes this election and whom they will vote for.  Many experts believe that it is a crucial swing group that may decide the presidential election.  I believe that may be true. Having now become the largest minority group, they certainly have sufficient numbers to have a significant political voice.  Perhaps more importantly they are not loyal to either party and will vote for whomever they believe has more to offer them.

The desire to capture the Hispanic voting community has many suggesting that Mitt Romney should pick a Hispanic running mate to improve his chances with that group.  While I think that the Hispanic vote is still in play I don’t think that simply picking a Hispanic running mate will be enough to tip the scales in Romney’s favor.

I’d like to weigh in on both issues:  1) the Hispanic vote and 2) the VP selection.

The Hispanic Vote

While some may believe that Obama has the Hispanic vote locked up I have some first-hand evidence that he does not.  I was recently riding in a vehicle with two Hispanic women that were discussing the election.  While the women both reside in Henderson, Nevada (hardly a bastion of liberalism…) I’m sure that their views are not unique among the voting (and, yes, both are voting citizens) Hispanic community.  Both women had voted for Obama and expressed disappointment in his performance.  Both indicated that they would probably not vote for him again.  Unfortunately both women had some reservations about voting for Romney.  They said that Romney did not inspire them.  Moral to the story:  the Hispanic vote is still in play but Romney better get moving if he wants it.

So how do you get the Hispanic vote if you are Mitt Romney?  If I were running this is what I would do:

1.              Remind the Hispanic community that Obama has only put a temporary measure in place regarding immigration and is only a partial solution.  A permanent solution requires the cooperation of Congress.  Obama is not going to get that cooperation if he is re-elected.  Hispanics that are paying attention know this.  Even if Obama is re-elected, the work permits that the White House plans to issue to immigrants who came as minors will only be good for 10 years.  They will not have full residency status and will have no path to citizenship unless Congress acts.   After 10 years (or less, if someone else is elected, or someone takes the case to the Supreme Court), the “dreamers” will wake up to reality that they do not have permanent legal status.  This is not a solution this is political pandering.  The pandering is only necessary because of argument #2.

2.              Point out that Obama spent his time, energy, and political will urging congress to pass the Affordable Care Act instead of immigration reform.  Instead of spending an inordinate amount of time and political capital on a bill that is not only unpopular, but also unconstitutional (Chief Justice Roberts overlooked the fact that by defining the penalty as a tax, the bill became an appropriations bill . . . that originated in the . . . Senate!  If I’m right, and Obamacare, by way of Roberts’ ruling, is an appropriation, then it needed to be originated by the House! However, I’m completely open to the possibility that Roberts was wrong on ruling that it was a tax, hence the bill is unconstitutional, by a 5-4 decision, in that the Commerce Clause does not uphold it!), the president should have lobbied for comprehensive immigration reform. Yes, it is a difficult issue, and can be divisive, but it is an enumerated power in the Constitution and clearly a responsibility of the federal government, a responsibility that the democratic Congress and White House abdicated during the 2009-2010 session.  That, of course, needs to be followed with assurances that immigration will be addressed during the first year in office.  Bush promised immigration reform, received the Hispanic vote, and then failed to deliver after three attempts.  Obama promised immigration reform, received the Hispanic vote, and then didn’t even try to deliver until it was too late.  Romney has to convince the Hispanic community that he can do better.

3.              Hispanic issues are everyone’s issues.  When I was attending a town hall meeting here in Nevada I managed to get on the Spanish news that night even though I am not Hispanic and Spanish is my second language.  The reason is because the town hall was about e-verify and several of the attendees complained about being stopped by police that asked them for their social security numbers.  I stood up and said that this was not just an issue for Hispanics.  I was stopped by a BLM officer who demanded my social security number and even threatened to broadcast it over his radio if I didn’t provide it willingly. (This is why I really don’t like the BLM.)  These issues affect everyone.  If the police can demand proof of residency or a social security card from a Hispanic they can also demand it from an Asian, African, or Caucasian.  I personally don’t want to carry my passport everywhere I go.

There are many other messages that will get the attention of the Hispanics but I believe these three are the key to opening up the dialogue.

The Vice Presidential Selection

While I don’t think that the VP pick will greatly influence the Hispanic vote I do think it will impact the election if it garners media attention.  Contrary to popular opinion, I think Sarah Palin helped the McCain campaign.  It wasn’t enough, but it brought media attention to a campaign that desperately needed it.  This time the Republican still desperately needs media attention but one other factor is very different:  A Democrat is the incumbent.  In today’s world of anti-incumbent fervor, the challenger has a much better chance of winning than 8 years ago.

The biggest challenge that Romney faces is that people are not excited about him being president.  Many of them will vote for Romney just to vote against Obama.  Romney needs people to vote for him and I think the right VP candidate will help that if it is coupled with a higher-energy campaign.  Romney is sending the right messages, but his delivery is not energizing the voters who are wary after being burnt by Obama.

Voters like Romney’s business aptitude.  We need it right now.  They also like the idea of American exceptionalism and, with that, generally like Romney’s foreign policy.  What they don’t like is Romney’s perceived vanilla flavoring.  He is viewed by many as just another politician who won’t be able to control the beauracracy or slow the entitlement tsunami.

How can the VP help that perception?  Pick a high-energy, relatively unknown conservative that does not live or work in Washington DC, preferably a resident of a swing state.  Someone like Palin with one difference:  Don’t pick a first term governor.

I don’t know exactly who that person is.  I wouldn’t pick any of the other Republican candidates for president.  (Although I might pick Ron Paul as Secretary of the Treasury.)  Mitch Daniels has taken another job.  Marco Rubio is already working in Washington.  Susana Martinez and Scott Walker are still in their first term.  Donald Trump would be viewed as a corporate crony.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is not eligible for the office.

Who does that leave?  Ken Blackwell? Wayne Allen Root?  Joe the Plumber?

Who would you pick?

A basketball player like no other in NCAA was key to Toledo’s WNIT championship

Usually when March Madness rolls around, my stomach is tied up in knots, I’m pacing the floor, hoping against hope that my teams will win.

This year, I had a calm feeling. I took it as an omen that, as a fan of both men’s and women’s NCAA basketball, I’d be celebrating a championship this time around.

Lo and behold, it’s the University of Toledo hoisting the championship trophy of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT). The Blade has printed a recap of Toledo’s win over the University of Southern California in the title game.

Toledo features a player like no other in the NCAA, Naama Shafir. In the championship game, the junior guard from Israel scored 40 points. Here’s a summary of her basketball feats dating all the way back to high school, but that’s not what sets her apart from all the other players. That information can be found here. She’s a very principled woman, to be sure.

Halfway agreeing with Kucinich on Libya

The rest of the world is wondering when the United States will officially make up its mind on the appeal put to it to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.  I suppose the rest of the world appeals to the U.S. to perform this task because they know full well that we are capable of this task in a way that no other nation is capable of doing.

The Obama Administration has dithered on the issue as time passes and dissenters get crushed by tanks.  The Obama Administration has said that it will not act unilaterally, so it is sending out feelers to see whether the U.S. has a mandate from the international community to take action on the request for the no-fly zone.  The Obama Administration dithers because the international community is divided on the issue.  For some strange reason, the President can’t decide which nations’ opinions count and which ones don’t.  If one were to base a decision upon what other nations think, one would suppose that the opinions of the Arab League, France, and the U.K.  would be more persuasive than the opinions of Russia and Germany, don’t you think?

Umm . . . I think, in one sense, it is OK for the U.S. to act unilaterally.  We don’t  need to ask the international community what the U.S. ought to do.  We never did need to.  Our nation makes up its own mind and then acts accordingly.  The international community is not the entity that is entitled to mandate what the U.S. does.

In another sense, the President should not act unilaterally.  It is the people of the United States of America who are sovereign.  We are the ones who issue mandates, and in the case of war, we do that through our representatives in Congress.  The U.S. Constitution even says so.

Congress moves as slowly as molasses running uphill in January.  Waiting for an act of Congress would cost precious time.  I’m of the opinion, however, that the President has wasted precious time already consulting the international community when he should have been using that time to appeal directly to Congress to affirm, one way or the other, what action is to be taken.  He might have to take a whip to Congress to swiftly draft a resolution and vote upon it, but Congress, as the representatives of We, the People, are the ones who make the binding decision, not the international community.

Legislatures prescribe what the executive branch is to do.  The executive branch is to carry out the directives of the legislative branch.

Some would argue that it is the prerogative of the President to make an executive decision on the matter in his role as Commander-in-Chief.  He does command the armed forces of the United States, true.  He’s directed some armed forces to assist Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.  Assisting Japan, though, is not an act of war.

The President could reasonably take immediate action against Libya if Libya were engaged in an assault upon the U.S., its citizens, or its diplomatic or military institutions abroad.  Libya is not carrying out an assault against the United States.

Under these circumstances, military intervention against the government of Libya, such as imposing a no-fly zone upon it, would require a Declaration of War from the United States Congress.  Upon that point, I readily agree with Dennis Kucinich, who has posted his position on his website.

My question is:  Where is the resolution at?  What I mean is, where is the bill before Congress that would officially declare war if it won passage?

Senator Kerry and Senator McCain have talked about resolutions to authorize implementation of a no-fly zone, but I agree with Dennis Kucinich that such authorization is insufficient because it is not in keeping with the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul has vowed to introduce a resolution that stipulates that the President cannot take part in any action in Libya without first being approved by Congress.  Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy, . . . and redundant.  That’s not the resolution that’s needed, since it only repeats the Constitution.  When it comes to foreign policy, when has Ron Paul ever exhibited signs of leadership?  That’s why I can never vote for him in GOP presidential primary elections.  Do you, Ron Paul, want to demonstrate leadership?  Put a war resolution before Congress, even though you’ll obviously vote against it.  Get the matter decided right now and put an end to Obama’s dithering.  Do whatever you want within the rules of Congress to ensure that your side prevails and wins the day, but cease the inaction.

Likewise to Dennis Kucinich.  Urge the Congress to vote on a war resolution, nothing less.  Put the matter to rest once and for all.

Some have said that our Congress should never vote in favor of a declaration of war when it is taking sides in some other nation’s civil war.  They say that a declaration of war should only win passage if the United States is under attack.  I don’t agree with that assessment, and neither does history.  During our Revolutionary War (a civil war within the territory ruled by the British crown) the American army did, in fact, receive valuable assistance from abroad.  Likewise, during our Civil War, some foreign influences aided the North and some foreign influences aided the South.  We did not waive off foreign involvement.  We accepted whatever foreign aid we could lay hold of to support our war efforts.  This precedent was set from the very founding era of our nation, so I reject the notion that we must automatically vote against going to war amidst some other nation’s civil war.  We can consider each proposed war resolution without being bound by such constraints.  I’m not saying we should be hawkish.  I’m not saying we should be dovish, either.  I’m saying we can make such decisions on a case-by-case basis, and whatever decision the Congress makes, yes or no, carries the full weight and force of the Constitution with it.

Having said that, I’d like to review a few specific sentences within Kucinich’s statement.

“A no-fly zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya.  It is an act of war that can only be approved by Congressional action, not by any international body.  There is a civil war in Libya, which must be resolved by Libya.”

Instead of underscoring the words “It is an act of war” as Kucinich did on his webpage, I have highlighted those words in italics and bold print, since I think, on my blog page, the contrast with the rest of the text stands out more.  I do need to disclose, though, that Kucinich underscored it.

I agree with the first sentence.  It is an attack on Libya.

I would take the second sentence a bit further:  Not only is it an act of war that can only be approved by Congress, I would add that the approval from Congress (should it decide to do so) must come in the form of a declaration of war.  Authorizing a no-fly zone, I believe, would not pass muster.  The Congress declares war, then the Commander-in-Chief determines how to execute the war, whether to include a no-fly zone as part of the strategy, or not.  The chief purpose of the war would be to vanquish the forces of the government of Libya.  If that is accomplished, then a treaty is drafted, then ratified by the Senate, and the war is concluded.

The third sentence jumps to a conclusion.  That conclusion is that it is a civil war that must be resolved by Libya.  Instead, I wouldn’t speak for the rest of the nations of the world whether they are content to let Libya resolve this on its own or not.  Other nations might decide to involve themselves in the war and shape how it is resolved.  We might disagree with the actions of other nations who choose to involve themselves, but even if we disagree with the interference of any and all nations on the principle that Libya, itself, settle the matter as an internal concern, the word “should” needs to replace the word “must.”  We can have an opinion on what should happen, pertaining to the resolution of the Libyan civil war, but we aren’t able to decree what must happen.  In addition to not speaking for the rest of the nations, I don’t believe that Kucinich can speak for our own nation until the votes are tallied on the war resolution.  The Libyan civil war is not a matter that the U.S. should try to resolve if the Congress says “no” to a war resolution.  However, the U.S. will not leave the matter to be resolved by Libya, alone, if the U.S. Congress declares war on Libya.

Here are two more sentences from Kucinich that I want to examine:

“It is time for the Administration to stop looking for someone else to make the decision.  The U.S. must make a firm declaration that it will not intervene in Libya by means of enforcing a no-fly zone or any other aggressive military means.”

Kucinich hits the nail on the head with that first sentence, as the “someone else” refers to someone beyond Congress, and that especially applies to looking for other nations to make our decision.  Congress makes the decision.  Obama has no authority to look to someone else.

As to the second sentence, I would have to say, “Has the Congressional vote been held and tallied already?”  Only if the Congress has already voted against a declaration of war on Libya can the second sentence be binding upon the United States.  As much as Kucinich would like to dictate how all other members of Congress should vote, he can’t tell them how to vote.  If the other side prevails, then Kucinich ought to acknowledge that the United States really is at war with Libya.  The Constitution does not constrain the Congress from voting one way or the other.  What does the Constitution do?  It requires the United States to act upon the will of Congress, whether the vote is yes or no.  Much as Kucinich doesn’t like it, nothing bars a colleague from voting “yes.”

The bottom line here is that the Congress should render a decision on the matter so that President Obama knows what the mandate is.  Don’t tell him he can’t act without a mandate from Congress and then withhold a Congressional decision on what the mandate is, which is what Ron Paul’s proposed resolution amounts to.  Once Congress acts decisively, then Obama can act decisively.  Got it?  Do it!

Japanese store shelves tell the tale: The time to hoard is long before the calamity strikes

I’m hopping back up on my soapbox again.  I’ve been blogging about preparing your family for catastrophes since 2008.  I’ve racked my brain to pinpoint of a number of ways in which your family can prepare, and put those thoughts on my blog, too.  I’m blogging again to remind everyone that the time to prepare for catastrophe is sooner rather than later.

AP business writer Yuri Kageyama produced this report about consumers throughout Japan, not just in the earthquake/tsunami ravaged zone of northeast Honshu island, descending on stores to buy up all products with any shelf life that could have some use in an emergency. (Hint: Just click on the above link and read the AP article. You need to take a look at it. Got that?)

The scarcity of these consumer goods throughout Japan is hampering the humanitarian relief efforts.  How do you ship survival goods, such as food, water, blankets, batteries, flashlights, tents, sleeping bags, etc., to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami when the unaffected population throughout the rest of the nation has siphoned away all those supplies?  Government officials are urging the public not to hoard, but the public is panicked.

Don’t feel vulnerable in a crisis.  You should have what you need for an emergency now.  If you don’t have it now, when will you have it?  In your hour of need?  And if a natural disaster, such as a house fire or tornado, wipes out your own emergency supplies, won’t you be grateful to your neighbors if they’ve got emergency supplies on hand that they can share with you?  Wouldn’t you be glad you could help out a neighbor if the roles are reversed?  And then, when widespread disasters wipe out the emergency supplies of everyone in the community, wouldn’t you be thankful that humanitarian relief efforts aren’t starved of resources because the population beyond the disaster zone has no reason to panic, since they’re already prepared?

One more thing to keep in mind:  The world economy is fragile.  This earthquake/tsunami disaster has sent seismic waves rippling out into the rest of the world.  If our nation’s economy collapsed (and there’s so much that’s straining our economy and threatening our currency right now), what you already have on hand might be all that you can obtain . . . until an economic recovery ensues.  How long would it take before you can rely on economic recovery to lift you out of your emergency?  Who knows?

No community is immune from disaster.  Don’t bet that it won’t be your family that is calamity-stricken next.  If you haven’t already, get your family ready for emergencies ASAP.

. . . And the walls come tumbling down!

Our economy is a house of cards. Our dollar isn’t backed by gold. It’s fiat money. It’s worth is determined by how much confidence the world has in it. If confidence in the dollar is destroyed, so is the dollar. It just becomes worthless paper at that point.

The politicians in DC and the cheaters on Wall Street and the Chicago Democratic Party machine have brought us to the brink of collapse. The bailouts have done nothing to strengthen the house of cards. Keep mounting card on top of card, and, at some point, the house of cards must fall. It must. So long as there are laws of physics it must fall. Our economy will topple. The only question is when. Which card will be the final one that the other cards can support? Which card will be the one that brings the
walls tumbling down?

Is your family prepared to survive through an economic collapse? I saw a big storm coming back in September 2008, and I think it’s here. Maybe it can be staved off until 2012. I definitely think we cannot get past 2014. But maybe it hits us this month.

Sure, we just elected Republicans to take control of the US House of Representatives, and the two major parties now have checks and balances that will prevent extreme partisan agendas from becoming the law of the land . . . in January, that is. The new Congress takes office in January. But maybe the collapse will occur much sooner than 2014. Maybe much sooner than 2012. It might happen this month. Despite the elections, it’s just too late. The wheels are already in motion. All the Democrats, all the Republicans, even all the Libertarians, all the Greens, all of the Constitution Party, all of the Socialist Party, cannot stop what’s already in motion. It’s a bigger mess than we can handle.

If we suffer a total and complete collapse, all your dollars in your bank accounts become worthless, despite any FDIC guarantees.

Therefore, I hope you have supplies already on hand for your family to depend upon if the worst comes to pass. Right now, you may be holiday shopping, and the sales figures seem to be better than expected, as, perhaps, some consumers have so much pent-up desire to shop that they just can’t keep a lid on it anymore. That’s okay. You might as well shop for tangible items right now if the dollar is going to be worthless later. But while you’re doing that shopping (if you’re one of the fortunate ones who still has an income in this economy), make sure you’ve got at least enough necessities on hand to last your household for at least a month. If you can stash away lots more supplies so that you can be self-sustaining for longer than a month, by all means do so. Preparedness can mitigate your feelings of vulnerability when a crisis arises.

I worry about what predicament our deployed troops might find themselves in if our government becomes insolvent, the financial industry is wiped out, and the currency loses all its value.

There are two things in the news that may possibly cause the dam to break this month. The first is the lame-duck Congress, ramming through the rest of the ill-advised uber-liberal agenda in desperation as the clock ticks down and this session ends.

The second is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks supposedly has 10,000 pages of documents that they are preparing for posting on the web, and the USA’s financial sector will be the object of the expose.

We saw how WikiLeaks caused a scramble at the Pentagon when documents from the war in Iraq were splashed online. After that, the US Department of State was hit by an earthquake that not only may have irreparably harmed our relations with all other nations, but the field of diplomacy, itself, in every country, is now standing outside naked in a cold winter. If WikiLeaks can derail diplomacy worldwide with just a few documents, what could it do to our financial sector?

I think the documents about the financial sector will be so damaging that all confidence in it will be lost. The collapse here will then cascade all over the globe. The worst hit will be Europe. Europe is already teetering. Africa will be in dire straits because so many of those nations only squeak by because of foreign aid. The Far East owns so much of our national debt, they’ll take a big hit. South America might actually weather the storm the best.

Iceland, the first to become insolvent, and Greece the most recent to become insolvent, are relatively small nations in Europe, but when their governments finally scraped the bottom of the barrel and there was no more money there, it had destabilizing effects on the Euro.

Now it’s Ireland’s turn. Ireland denied for weeks and weeks that they were the next to follow in the footsteps of Iceland and Greece, yet it is coming to pass. The politicians in Ireland who are to blame for it all simply wanted to stay in power as long as they possibly could, thus they tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Irish as long as they could. Sorry, but the crisis is too big to hide. The European Union is coming up with a plan to put Humpty Dumpty together again with the help of the IMF. It still might not be enough, and Europe will teeter on the brink, the Euro imperiled.

Portugal will likely be next. Their politicians are denying that their government will become insolvent, too. If the rescue of Ireland doesn’t crash Europe, maybe Portugal will.

And after Portugal, Spain is suspect. The politicians of Spain are in denial, also. If Europe managed to hold things together during Portugal’s implosion, that’ll be the end of the line. Once Spain implodes, forget it. The Euro is dead, and the European Union is in a shambles. The more solvent nations will retreat back to within their own borders, because they’ll be hard-pressed to meet the demands of their own public, let alone the demands from elsewhere. When America falls, though, not even the most solvent European nations will be spared the bloodletting.

The IMF won’t be of any help, as its chief backing comes from the United States.

If the United Nations weren’t reeling enough from the WikiLeaks targeting the U.S. State Department, it’s biggest donor, the United States, will no longer be able to fulfill its financial commitments to the U.N. The U.N., itself, hasn’t ever had its financial house in order, so they’ll easily buckle under the weight of the wreckage.

Of course the politicians in Washington DC are just as much in denial about the coming collapse as the politicians in Ireland, Portugal, and Spain are. For one thing, they are complicit in our economy’s troubles, so they really don’t want to believe that it will crash, because then everyone will know it was their fault, and from there, power will slip away from them.

The incoming Congressional Republicans are thinking, “OK, now we can get to work and make things better.” They are naive. It’s already out of their hands. They will be so utterly dumbfounded when everything falls apart. “What? How did it happen so quickly? Just when we were about to make a difference for the better with our best-laid plans, it’s a moot point because we’ve already crashed!”

Obama’s Chicago White House may have been planning to bring about this disaster. What? Sabotage? Yes. The liberals he hobnobbed with in Chicago weren’t your run-of-the-mill latte-sippers. Remember Bill Ayers? He’s only one person. There are many others who have programmed this President to sail this course. These are people who have always clamored for a revolution to overthrow the American government and the Constitution that upholds it.

Some of the wonks in Obama’s close circles have clamored for such things as:

  1. using the “green energy” push to accomplish Marxist objectives of redistributing wealth (“economic justice”);
  2. zero population growth, or perhaps even phasing in a depopulation of the planet;
  3. having a domestic military force that could perform security policing of our citizenry not unlike that of the policing our Armed Forces do on foreign soil, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan;
  4. writing a Constitution that would spell out what the government can and will do for you rather than the current Constitution, which states what the government cannot do, thus replacing limitations with bold initiatives;
  5. use the urban public schools to groom the urban youth to become the watchdogs of political correctness and become a massive voting bloc that will support progressive causes (Bill Ayers, himself, advocated for such “education reforms.”);
  6. denuclearize America so it can set the example for other nations to denuclearize, be the vanguard of peace, send no one out to foreign battlefields, and drastically reduce our military;
  7. use the persuasion of power in manipulating the American public if the power of persuasion doesn’t yield the desired effect;
  8. collaborate with the arts community and the media to amplify the desired message, and discredit sources of dissent;
  9. workers of the world unite to usher in a world government guided by the proletariat;
  10. never let a crisis go to waste, as each crisis must serve to consolidate power, and carefully and intentionally orchestrating the emergence of crises may be very desirable if doing so serves to make the public feel more vulnerable and, by extension, dependent on leadership;
  11. shape public opinion with astroturf if grassroots support for the desired agenda is weak, since those who dissent will feel powerless and offer less resistance if they are made to believe they are in the minority;
  12. it is acceptable to overthrow the government if it interferes with the propagation of progressive principles and policies.

There are other radical ideas bandied about within the circles of Chicago political power, but these give you some flavor of the voices that influence the White House.

On that last point, about government overthrow: it can be accomplished through a quisling that is able to consolidate power, through a manipulation of public sentiment, through gaming the system, through martial law, through weakening the power of the people, through violence (Bill Ayers, again), or through scrapping the existing system of governance by causing it to collapse.

I believe the Chicago White House is advancing on all of those fronts.

I’d like to credit the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance (SOB Alliance) for raising the red flags of warning back in 2008 before the presidential election took place. Many of those on the SOB Alliance blogroll posted a 13-part series collectively titled HOPE ON (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now). There were detractors that insisted that the HOPE ON series was over-the-top propaganda, but re-reading those posts now, especially the ones dealing with economics, the HOPE ON series has hit the nail on the head.

HOPE ON part 1 Obama is part of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac problem
HOPE ON part 2 Obama’s reluctance to drill
HOPE ON part 3 Above Obama’s pay grade
HOPE ON part 4 Can the other side of the aisle even be reached from where Obama is?
HOPE ON part 5 Obama requested $740 million in earmarks
HOPE ON part 6 Obama’s stances ill-defined when voting “present”
HOPE ON part 7 Obama not inspiring our trust
HOPE ON part 8 What are Obama’s intentions for the middle class
HOPE ON part 9 Measure Obama and McCain by their character
HOPE ON part 10 Obama will tax us
HOPE ON part 11 What would Ronald Reagan do?
HOPE ON part 12 Obama isn’t just liberal–he’s extremely liberal
HOPE ON part 13 McCain the real deal

Some excerpts that stand out in my mind:

Part 8: Obama has attempted to portray himself as the champion of the middle class, but the windfall profits taxes and the high-bracket income tax increases proposed by Obama will backfire in the form of rising unemployment as the government dampens earning power, not just of individuals, but of employers as well.

Part 10: Obama talk of federal initiatives and taxes make it sound as if the government creates wealth, but the government doesn’t. The people create the wealth of the nation, and tax policy must reflect that, but Obama’s principles don’t even acknowledge that.

Part 12: The Citizens Club for Growth rated Obama tied for last place with a zero rating in Obama’s first year in [U.S. Senate] office.

Part 13:  Obama has revealed himself to be a socialist. We now have the smoking gun. Now that he’s been pinned down, his counter-argument is that McCain’s platform is based on “selfishness,” which is hardly the way I’d describe John McCain when the chips are down.

Also Part 13:  It’s now been shown that Obama’s reluctant shift toward an all-of-the-above approach toward energy was just a sham, as it’s now come out that the regulatory burden to be imposed on the coal industry during an Obama presidency will be prohibitive. How many more industries, not just in the energy sector, could be impacted by regulatory burdens imposed by Obama remains to be seen.

More part 13:  Obama’s views on education reform aren’t directed at learning or achieving academic success. As shown by his work with Bill Ayers, “social justice” is to be the ultimate imperative that the schools are charged with achieving.

What strikes me about the excerpt from Part 8 is that, indeed, we have higher unemployment than anyone had projected, and Obama’s highly complicated tax proposal presented to the Congress ensures that the government’s regulatory burden upon businesses will only increase, plus, of course, he still wants the taxes to be raised on the very people who are more likely to be business owners, and, in turn, businesses are the very entity that hires workers and brings our unemployment rates down.

The excerpt from Part 10 shows that Obama’s government is very heavy-handed and intrusive. We know that government does not create wealth, but that’s exactly what Obama’s meddling with. Government does not make people healthy, but the government is meddling there, too. The rhetoric loftily asserts that we now have a government who will work on your behalf, that will no longer allow problems to be swept under the rug. Aren’t we all just happy that our government will no longer turn a blind eye to anything? Ooh! Big Brother sees what you’re going through and is here to help. Big Brother will interfere (no, not intervene, I chose the right word: interfere) on your behalf. The funny thing is, I don’t think the main motive for transforming our government into Big Brother is to spy on us. I suspect that they are trying to grow the government big enough to collapse the system so that is is scrapped and can then be replaced with a system of their own design.

The Part 12 excerpt about Obama’s voting record during his first year in the U.S. Senate speaks volumes about where we find ourselves today. How far have we come since then? Back then, he stood for zero growth. Now it’s less than zero. His radical philosophy prevents him from wanting to sustain our employment base.

To placate the citizens, of course Obama’s going to say, with his mouth, that he wants to put people back to work. He’s putting obstacle after obstacle in the way of putting people back to work, so we need to wake up and realize there is another agenda afoot. Obama’s agenda is not a jobs agenda.

If Obama’s agenda were a jobs agenda, he wouldn’t:

  • be pushing for Cap and Trade
  • on top of Obamacare
  • on top of a more complicated tax code
  • on top of a tax hike
  • on top of extending unemployment benefits
  • on top of confusion at the Federal Reserve
  • on top of bailouts for America’s least successful most unethical companies
  • on top of subsidies for industries that aren’t sustainable
  • on top of a Dream Act that will add incentives for additional foreign nationals to immigrate here illegally
  • on top of a moratorium on tapping additional oil and coal energy resources
  • on top of compensating government employees better than the private sector does
  • on top of letting SEIU union leaders shape economic policy
  • on top of continued dysfunction at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • on top of a mind-boggling budget deficit
  • on top of an unfathomable national debt.

That’s not how you create jobs. That’s how you collapse the system!

The first excerpt from Part 13 includes a link to the radio interview in which Obama emphasizes “economic justice,” which is a progressive’s euphemistic jargon for the rise of the proletariat A.K.A communism.

On energy, in the 20d excerpt of Part 13, the timing of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was impeccable. We knew that Obama wasn’t sold on the all-of-the-above approach to energy, and now he can smile like a Cheshire cat that he has the most perfect of excuses for continuing our dependence on foreign oil and subsidizing “green” fuel technologies that are money pits because none of them are on the pathway toward self-sustainability. If you want to help Americans, especially during the expensive winter heating season, stop throwing up obstacles to getting the cheapest most reliable domestic sources of energy. The agenda is collapsing the system. Everything points to it.

And from the final excerpt of Part 13, it appears that the Ayers-propelled education reforms will, once implemented, groom the youth for their role in the new system that replaces the collapsed one.

The WikiLeaks website founder is on the run right now. He’s given the ultimatum that if he is taken into custody, all the documents at WikiLeaks will instantly go public. That could happen any day now, and Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks will be the “fall guy” whose infamy will be forever memorialized in history books as the one who precipitated the crash of the world’s economy.

When we reach the “What do we do next?” phase when we’re all shell-shocked and feeling vulnerable, Obama, as President of the United States of America, will set forth a new blueprint, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, and when he does, we will finally come to understand what his meaning of the word “transformation” is.

Guest blog: NY State may be awash in red ink, but a state taxing the indigenous Seneca Nation is unconstitutional

Editor’s note: This blog article was written by James Williamson, one of my younger brothers, who is an Ohio native and, for now, an Alaska resident (his employer, a company owned by Alaskan Natives, soon plans to transfer him to another office in another state).  James married a woman from among the indigenous Otavalo people of Ecuador, so his learning curve pertaining to indigenous American peoples is fairly steep.  James has written three prior guest blog pieces for Buckeye RINO that dealt with recent schisms between states and the federal government.  In the last two guest blog pieces, Imminent Rebellion: The Tar Pit, and Imminent Rebellion: the new Fort Sumter, the federal government and several states, most notably Arizona, do not see eye to eye on the immigration issue.  His initial guest blog piece Imminent Rebellion: States vs the Federal Government spotlighted the rising tide of states reasserting their 10th Amendment rights, such as Texas, with its governor, Rick Perry, openly talking about secession.  The state of New York has not seceded, but they are acting like a nation unto themselves when they ignore treaties between the USA and indigenous tribes, such as the Seneca Nation (counted among the league of Iroquois Nations), with their latest tax grab scheme.  NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, representing a city with a voracious appetite for tax revenues collected beyond the city limits, stated he’d grab a cowboy hat and a shotgun to forcibly seize money from the Senecas on behalf of a fiscally irresponsible New York State.

Don’t Mess with the Natives!

Recently I read an article that caught me by surprise.  The mayor of our nations largest city is calling for the governor of New York to grab “a cowboy hat and a shotgun” and beat the natives into submission.  You can read the text here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/19/seneca-nation-wants-bloomberg-cowboy-hat-shotgun-comment/

And the follow-up article here:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/21/american-indian-tribe-miffed-bloomberg-remark-sues-block-ny-cigarette-tax/

Of course the natives are not happy…

At first this may seem a trivial dispute, but what caught my attention was that the taxes were being levied upon the Iroquois Nations not by treaty, but by a state legislature.  Why is it that all dealings with American Indians in the early days of our country were by treaty and had to be signed by the president and ratified by the senate, but the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City are able to levy a tax on the Nations of the Iroquois through state legislation?

Let’s start with the U.S. Constitution, specifically Article 1 Section 2, which reads, “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”  This of course was later modified by the 14th Amendment.  You will note a striking similarity between the previous sentence and the following sentence from the 14th Amendment.  “Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.’

This may appear to be trivial but I assure you it is not.  Why were the Indians (Native American tribes) not taxed?  Could it be that they were considered sovereign nations?  If they were not considered sovereign then why was it necessary to sign treaties with them and have them ratified by congress in the same manner as any other sovereign nation?   The answer of course is that they were recognized as sovereign then.  Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution states that “Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes”.  Sorry Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Paterson, you are not allowed by the constitution to regulate commerce with the Indian tribes.  Congress is.

Interestingly enough American Indians in their entirety were not considered citizens until 1924 with the passage of the Native American Citizenship Act.  (Everyone else got it in 1868 with the 14th Amendment.)  Even so, the first state to guarantee the right to vote was Utah in 1957.  Yes, that’s right it took longer for them than women or blacks.   But I digress…

Returning to the question of sovereignty and citizenship the 14th Amendment of the Constitution states:  “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”  Hmm… If the American Indian nations are sovereign then are they subject to the jurisdiction of the US and therefore citizens?  If the child of an ambassador is born in the US, the child may not be considered a citizen because an ambassador is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  They are subject to the jurisdiction of the country of their parents because they are on U.S. soil for diplomatic purposes and, as such, granted immunity (at least in theory) from U.S. laws.   So what conclusions can we draw?  Well, it would appear to me that an American Indian is only a citizen and bound by the laws of the United States if he so chooses.  Otherwise he is a citizen of, and subject to the laws of, the tribe or nation to which he belongs and not subject to the federal government of the United States or to any of the states.

Interestingly enough, the Iroquois nations are the only tribes that issue their own passports.  Yes, the very nations that are balking at this unconstitutional taxation of the Indians.  Why would they issue their own passports and refuse to travel on U.S. passports if they wanted to be counted as U.S. citizens and be subject to its laws?  See the link below for the story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/17/sports/17lacrosse.html

Now it’s understandable the Mr. Paterson and Mr. Bloomberg would want to tax the Iroquois nations.  Their governments are bleeding red ink and they want revenue wherever they can get it.  Since they have already been squeezing the life out of everyone else, the relatively tax-free Iroquois Nations probably look like a popsicle in the middle of the fires of hell…

I would have to question the wisdom in this policy.  Is it wise to antagonize a group of people who don’t consider themselves part of your culture, race, or nation when you have already removed them from their ancestral lands, decimated their population, destroyed their culture, and deprived them of liberty?   You have taken their coat and cloak already and now you want the sandals, staff, and undergarments as well?  Why not beat up a kid for his shoes and then take his lunch money too?  Why not chase a bear into its den to take the food right out of its mouth?  What Mr. Bloomberg fails to understand is that, in the mind of the Seneca Nation, he is the bully that has been stealing their lunch for a very, very long time.  He better pray that the kid getting his lunch money taken neither finds bigger, meaner friends, nor suddenly experiences a growth spurt and gains some more muscle mass…

Next time Mr. Bloomberg pick on someone your own size.  Try riding through downtown New York City with your cowboy hat and shotgun and get the mafia bosses to comply with the law and let’s see how you fare…

An open letter to the political leaders of the newly emerging Afghanistan: Try religious tolerance to defeat the Taliban

To Hamid Karzai and all the other political leaders in the newly emerging modern Afghanistan:

You are in the process of setting up your government.  You are in the process of winning the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people to win their allegiance to the government you are setting up.  You are in the process of framing your constitution and laws by which the Afghan nation will be governed.

I wish to offer a suggestion that at least a small measure of religious tolerance be incorporated into the legal framework of the new Afghan nation that you are working to establish.  I wish to explain how it could benefit your government.

The United States of America, while not perfectly exercising religious tolerance, has pioneered incorporating religious freedom into a nation’s constitution.  Since the founding of our nation, other nations have seen wisdom in some of the provisions of our Constitution, and have used some of them in writing their own body of laws.

I am not aware of any nation, however, that has granted to their people the same or greater magnitude of religious freedom that our Constitution affords us, the people of the United States.  Even many of the nations of the supposedly “more enlightened” Europe still, nominally, have state religions.  As a result, no non-Muslim nation is more accommodating to the Muslim faith than the United States of America.

Sure, a national debate in the U.S. has arisen surrounding plans to erect a mosque in New York City near Ground Zero, where terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center by flying airplanes into them.  Public opinion polls show that the decision to build a mosque there is an unpopular one.  Certainly much public pressure will be exerted in an effort to dissuade from proceeding with those plans.  President Obama has said that he has made no pronouncements on whether or not there is wisdom in the decision to build a mosque there.  But, at the end of the day, there is the Constitution of the United States, and if anything were to stave off the abandonment of the plans to build a mosque there, it is the Constitution that will do so.  President Obama has affirmed this.

Meanwhile, there are other non-Muslim nations, such as Australia, which has no Bill of Rights, that have experienced violent strife between non-Muslims and Muslims.  The Australian government seems to have little effect in eliminating the occurrence of such vigilante mob riots.  Also, there are non-Muslim nations, such as many in Europe, that seek to regulate how Muslims within their borders dress themselves, and even regulate against the erection of minarets on mosque properties.  Despite the public opinion polls showing the unpopularity of the plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero, I am of the firm opinion that no non-Muslim nation is a greater friend to the Muslim faith than the United States of America.  Muslims within our borders thus derive benefits from a Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion.

I do not expect the new Afghan nation to mirror the United States in this regard.  I know that the people of Afghanistan are not prepared nor predisposed to allow such a degree of religious freedom.  But I would like to suggest some “baby steps” that can be written into Afghan law that would be of benefit to the new Afghan government.

The more a government wishes to enforce adherence to the tenets of religion, the more it will resemble the Taliban.  In a world where global communication takes place ever more frequently, populations are more exposed to philosophies outside that religion, and the temptations that accompany such exposure.  It can’t be helped.  A government can’t stop communications from beyond the borders from reaching its citizens to the extent that it once was, when travel occurred at a much slower pace, and communications from outsiders much less frequent.  To ensure adherence to religious tenets, such as Sharia law, governments must resort to more and more oppressive measures if they wish to counteract the influence of outside philosophies.

Behold the nations that do, in fact, desire to counteract outside influences.  The measures they take become increasingly more invasive into the daily lives of private citizens.  In the West, we might call it Big Brother.  The origins of that term “Big Brother” are contained within writings that are not permitted by Islam, but I don’t know what corresponding term is that’s used among Muslims to convey the same meaning.  Perhaps it suffices to say that governments wishing to counteract such influences will seek to spy on every citizen’s life to guard against any departure from the tenets of Islam, such as banning Blackberry devices until the means of decoding the encryption is disclosed to the government.

Another more oppressive way to counteract outside influences is through fear, with harshly severe penalties meted out against citizens and their families for increasingly smaller infractions of Islamic tenets.  Fear is the means adopted by the Taliban to counteract outside influences.

The grip of government over citizens must grow ever more tightly over time in order to maintain compliance.  Citizens are chafed by such measures, and voluntary allegiance to such a government may be compromised.  Will dealing with citizens much more harshly counteract the waning voluntary allegiance of citizens?  I suggest that there are more underpinnings of the Muslim exodus to the West, particularly to America, than just economic opportunities or the desire to spread the Muslim faith among infidel nations.  I suggest that many Muslims that have migrated to America do so, in part, because they do not choose to live in fear.

If you want to win allegiance away from the Taliban, you must not only provide greater economic opportunities, you must also grant citizens a relief from fear.  To do so, the new Afghan government must relax the grip upon the citizens to regulate every aspect of life.  They must trust the conscience of the citizens.  The government must trust that citizens will make decisions compliant with Islam of their own volition.  On the occasions where citizens deviate from the tenets of Islam, the penalty must not be so severe that citizens feel a lesser allegiance to the government.  If the government is to mete out much milder penalties, then the ultimate aim and desire of the government must not be to strictly enforce adherence to the tenets of Islam.

Instead, peace that mitigates against the rivalries that always exist among diverse populations should be paramount.

That peace, through the laws that you design and through the order that you exercise in your administration, yields a more stable government and a more stable society.  As volatility decreases, outside investments in Afghanistan will increase.  As investment increases, economic opportunities and prosperity will increase.  As prosperity increases, loyalty to the government will increase.  This has been the experience of the United States.

Allegiance to the Taliban will dissipate, and the new Afghan government will have no tendency to evolve into a regime that resembles the one under Taliban rule.

When the foreign troops withdraw, more than military and policing measures must be put in place to prevent the overthrow of your new government by the Taliban.  A population that will not tolerate nor cooperate with the Taliban is also essential to such resistance against the Taliban.

Relaxing the grip on the citizenry can only coincide with a small measure of tolerance toward deviation from Islam.  If you do not permit any deviation, then your government must become like the harsh regime under the Taliban, or the harassing and increasingly invasive regime governing neighboring Iran.  Those are the choices.  Make your decision about what kind of a government you want to be.

I spoke of “baby steps” incorporated into the legal framework of the newly emerging Afghanistan, and now that I’ve explained some of the reasons why and some of the benefits that will accrue, let me suggest what those “baby steps” might be.

There must be freedom of conscience.  This means freedom to believe the philosophy that one wishes to believe.  Acting on those beliefs, or practicing the tenets of those beliefs, however, would be subject to law.  In essence, one would not be penalized for beliefs, only for actions proscribed by law.  Therefore, an infidel, such as a Christian, would be permitted Afghan citizenship, with all that is entailed by citizenship, such as the right to vote and the ability to apply for and receive a passport, without being punished for merely believing what the infidel believes.   In the past, Afghan citizens discovered to be Christians might face execution.  For those who are discovered, by whatever means, to be infidels, such as Christians, no legal penalty would apply so long as their actions were within the parameters allowed by law.

Beyond beliefs, infidels ought to have a right to act upon those beliefs in a small measure.  Such actions permitted under the law, and the prohibitions subject to penalty under the law, might be as follows:

Infidels may assemble and worship together under the following circumstances:  They must not worship outdoors or in any place that is designed to make their worship conspicuous to passers-by.  The infidels cannot purchase property on which to build an edifice for worship, as such an edifice would be construed as advertising a religion other than Islam.  The infidels cannot assemble for worship in public buildings or businesses.  The infidels must assemble in tents and private homes unadorned by any images incompatible with Islam.  The infidels must not advertise.  The infidels must not solicit more followers, such as carrying out missionary, evangelizing, or any other ministries designed for recruitment.  The infidels shall not operate schools.  Any instruction must only be given clandestinely in private homes or during the course of the worship assemblies.

Infidels shall not speak ill of Islam, even in private conversation, even when assembled privately for worship, nor by writing or drawing.

Infidels may possess books of scripture so long as they are only viewed or used in private homes or at worship assemblies.  They must be stored in an enclosed space that conceals them from view to visitors to the home (in a closed box or trunk or wrapped in an opaque material would be okay, but not on a bookshelf, nor resting, uncovered, upon the floor).  They must be concealed when carrying them outdoors, such as to another private home or to a worship assembly.  The book cover can only label its title in words.  It cannot be adorned with religious symbols.  No sales of such scriptures can be transacted entirely within Afghanistan.  They must be purchased from beyond the nation’s borders, whether purchased in person and conveyed back to Afghanistan concealed in the buyer’s luggage, or purchased by orders placed inconspicuously by mail, phone, internet, or some other third party, to be shipped to the buyer by mail or other parcel courier.  If shipped to Afghanistan, the book should be wrapped to conceal the book completely, and the packaging can only display the name and address of the buyer, and the return address, with no name, of the distributor or seller, along with any postage stamps, bar codes, or other markings that couriers need for routing the packages to their destinations.  If foreign sellers balk at complying with such shipping requirements, do they want to do business with Afghan citizens, or not?  If they do, they’ll meet the requirements.

Only when assembled, or alone in private, so as not to have the intent of being heard by passers-by, may infidels utter prayers or speeches that are not in keeping with the Muslim faith.

In any week, the holy day used for religious observances by the infidels shall be the same as the holy day used by Muslims.  Saturday or Sunday assembly for worship, such as is customary in non-Muslim nations, will, instead, take place on Friday.

Apparel worn by infidels must be apparel that is also acceptable for Muslims to wear.  The same applies to hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, purses, wallets, and body markings.

There must also be some kind of legal penalty against Muslims who harass infidels on the basis of religion when the infidels are compliant with all Afghan laws, with the penalties meted out on a sliding scale commensurate with however egregious the harassment was proven to be.

With these minimal “baby steps,” Afghan exiles who left the Muslim faith might consider being repatriated, further strengthening the population’s resolve not to tolerate nor cooperate with the Taliban.  Those who are repatriated might also benefit the nation by bringing back whatever skills or wealth they may have acquired abroad.  Foreigners may feel less endangered by guarantees of these minimal religious protections, whether conducting business or performing volunteer service.

I believe when Afghan citizens sense the difference between the new Afghan government and the old Taliban regime, they’ll prefer rule under the new government over rule under the Taliban.  I believe the citizens will favor more freedom over more fear.

Perhaps Afghans will be able to tolerate more than these “baby steps,” and maybe religious freedom can be expanded a little bit more.  Yes, there is a risk of more exposure to Western ways, and all the perceived negatives entailed with it, but Western ways will be increasingly exposed, anyway, by virtue of the shrinking global village we all live in.  Helping Muslims to withstand the temptations of Western ways little bit by little bit by peacefully living with infidels in their midst is more useful than not building up the strength of one’s convictions, and becoming easy prey to temptations when the Western world, inevitably, bursts upon them with full force.  When that day comes, isolation from infidels will not have prepared them.

The American experience with religious freedom has been a good one.  Even “baby steps” in that direction will reap some benefits.  If you step in that direction, don’t fear the future.  It will be better than the past.