×
↓ Freedom Centers

Blog

On 9/11, We Failed to Remember

By Peter Roff • Newsweek

9/11 flag
The National 9/11 Flag, an American flag recovered nearly destroyed from Ground Zero, is viewed at the 9/11 Museum in New York City (Photo by Spencer Platt) GETTY

“Never forget.”

That’s what we all said nearly twenty years ago while struggling to cope with our grief. Since the days of George Washington, we’d thought of ourselves as more or less removed from what he called “messy, foreign entanglements,” protected from the rest of the world by two great oceans and divine providence.

We’d jumped into the thicket a time or two. America saved the world at least twice during the 20th century, probably three times given our willingness to contest an expensive, global Cold War which occasionally turned hot in places like Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East at the cost of our greatest treasure: the young men and women sent to fight.

Was it strange that we never asked to be thanked for it? No, that’s just the way we are. We want to live our lives in peace, left alone to make our own choices, secure in our liberties as God gave them to us. We flirted with the building of empires but that really wasn’t for us. We wanted to be, and often were, the good example for others to follow.

Then came 9/11. A group of religious fanatics hijacked four U.S.-flagged airliners, turning them into flying missiles aimed straight at the heart of our political and commercial institutions. Two of them hit New York’s Twin Towers with such explosive force the buildings crumbled to the ground as if they were made of sand.

A third jetliner reportedly headed for the White House crashed instead into the Pentagon. On the fourth plane, the passengers who’d learned what had happened on the other three revolted against their captors. The ensuing struggle meant their plane, instead of piercing the dome of the U.S. Capitol as planned, broke apart in a field in Pennsylvania.

“Never forget,” we said afterward. “Never forget the everyday Americans and the others from all walks of life who perished that day,” we said. “The people who represented the multitude of differences between Americans but were, for a brief moment, united by their humanity.”

“Never forget,” we said about the first responders from the police and fire departments and emergency techs in New York City, Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and rural Pennsylvania who came to the aid of those injured, dying, or dead. Especially those who died that day because their jobs had them rushing into the burning buildings rather than out of them.

America, we forgot—and we should be ashamed.

Over the last decade, we’ve watched as the nation turned in on itself. First responders are being shunned, even assassinated. In California this past weekend, so-called peaceful protestors gathered outside the hospital where two Los Angeles County deputies who’d been ambushed were being treated, shouting their hopes the officers would die.

This didn’t start with Donald Trump. This didn’t start with Barack Obama. It started outside politics, in the American culture where somehow we’ve been divided up, piecemeal, into groups airing grievances. Left or right, it makes no difference. We’ve allowed ourselves to be pitted against one another, and we should be ashamed.

We’ve forgotten that in America each life matters. We’re all created equal, as individuals, not assigned at birth into groups because of skin color, economic status, education, or biological sex. We are an imperfect nation, to be sure, but almost certainly less imperfect than any other.

The fanatics responsible for the murder of more than 3,000 of our brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers on that dark day nineteen years ago didn’t attack us in protest of the country’s history of systemic racism. Or because women get paid less on average than men. Or because some people think you should have to show a government-issued photo ID that proves you are who you say you are before you can exercise your right to vote. Pick any complaint you want; it isn’t why America was attacked.

We were attacked because, out of all the nations of the world, America stands for the idea that all men and women are by their birthright free and should be treated equally under the law. We were attacked because of our ideas about religious liberty—that different faiths can coexist respectfully and peacefully—and because we believe women have just as much right as men to pursue an education. And for many other reasons, all of which have to do with what is best about us, because of the ideas that make our civilization strong. We are one nation and, fundamentally, we all matter. In the heat of the moment, we’ve forgotten that. Yet rather than dwell much longer on our errors, let’s come together in our strengths to make this nation all it can be, for now and for generations to come.


Wealth Gap 2020: The destruction of the American dream

Is feudalism our future?

By Larry Fedewa Ph.D. • DrLarryOnline.com

The closer the 2020 election comes, the more urgent the necessity for understanding the wealth gap which underlies the entire debate.

The fundamental issue at stake in this election is how America will deal with the fact that the American Dream we all pursue has in fact become unattainable for many Americans. With most national politicians in their 70’s – or even older – the reality is that they simply do not understand that too many Americans today face a gloomy future. They are at a loss to explain why the nightly riots and violence can happen at all let alone why the public officials at least tacitly, and some openly, support such chaos.

What they don’t understand is that there is a great deal of anger in our land, that the traditional mantras of the American ethic just don’t work anymore for a segment of the American population. “Work hard, keep your nose clean, and you too can live the American dream” just isn’t true for these folks, and hasn’t been for a long time. 

Who are these people? And why are they so desperate for change?

One of the oldest questions in the American lexicon is, “What happens to the manual workers when the American quest for labor-saving technologies finally succeeds and the need for human labor ends?”

Now we know the answer to that question: The many American workers who have lost their jobs to technology are still there. But now they have nothing – not even their pride.

There is, of course, another segment of our society which has done somewhat better financially through these years. They are the so-called “upper middle class” who have adapted to the technological society, although they are concentrated now in the service industries, since manufacturing has all but disappeared.

Even their children, however, have been affected by their estrangement from two work-alcoholic parents, whose closeness to their children is questionable as is their loyalty to each other. Many of the protesters are white, middle class youths, whose sympathies lie closer to their African American comrades than to their befuddled parents.

It is well known that a coalition opposing this President exists, consisting of the Democrat Party, the Deep State bureaucracy, and the Press, as well as the dedicated Far Left organizers and followers, who have coalesced around the  issues of class and race so prominently featured in the violent summer of 2020.

It is clear that while these players have picked by various names the wealth gap as the key issue in this campaign, their timing of the current crisis was not dependent on their discovery of this issue. They have simply taken advantage of the uproar as it occurred.

So, what did happen?

What happened was the transfer of the asset wealth of the American population from the middle class (approximately 50% of the population) to the super rich (1% of the population). (The term, “assets”, is used instead of “income” because income can go up and down while assets tend to be more stable.)

How did this happen? Many factors came together and finally created one of the worst nightmares Americans have ever faced. The most obvious of these factors are three:

  1. Inflation: between 1971 (when Nixon ended the gold standard) and 2015, the value of the US dollar declined nearly 600%, causing the buying power of wages to become stagnant.
  2. Expansion of the workforce:
  • between 1960 and 2020 the American workforce nearly doubled as women entered the labor market;
  • the globalization beginning in the 1990’s expanded the American labor market to the third world
  1. American foreign policy which allowed, even encouraged, American firms to move production overseas. 

The result of this movement on the US working man was catastrophic. As the factories left American soil, the skilled workers were left behind with no job, no marketable skill, and eventually no hope.

The principle victims of this exodus were American men. Whereas their place in society and the family had always been respected and secure, they lost that place in both as they sought and were forced to take lower paying jobs or welfare.

Their self esteem followed their decline. Divorce rates soared along with family abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, desertion, homelessness, and suicide and the decline of our cities left social services rare and bankruptcy all too common.

Through all this, the latch-key children bounced around helplessly, caught up in the whirlwind that their life had become. As they grew older, they asked “Work hard?” –“At what?” “College?” — “OK” and then no jobs available. “American dream?” — “What a crock!”

What they want is change. The old system isn’t working for them. Why is socialism suddenly becoming so popular? After all, it has been around since the 1930’s. Franklin Roosevelt’s Vice President, Norman Thomas, was an avowed socialist. Few believed in socialism as long as we had the American dream. People believe in socialism now because for them the American dream is gone. And socialists are the only ones listening to the cries of our suffering youth.

What now?

First, we must all recognize the underlying problem: it is the transfer of wealth! Prosperity for all tends to reduce all social tensions, as the Trump economy was beginning to show before COVID.

Secondly, if we do not want to watch our beloved country go the way of Venezuela, we had better face the realities of our situation and find a solution.

Finally, while some our people were caught in a vortex of tribulation, others were developing a new way, a new path to the American dream.

A third way: Luckily, many of these pioneers of a new capitalism have been not only inventing a new type of business process, but also organizing a potentially vast new movement to what will become, in my estimation, a new America, open to all races, genders and religions.

The most advanced of these renewed American businesses seem to be the Conscious Capitalistorganization, currently with 16,000 member companies, representing 3 million workers.

It aspires to become a new kind of business, one which is driven by its service to the community – whether that be a local factory, a retailer, or a worldwide marketplace.

The idealism of this brand of business is appealing to the young, who may not know socialism from a community swimming pool, but who do know that they are Americans who value their personal freedom and the room to grow into a happy future without a government telling them what they can and cannot do.

The dilemma facing this country is that conscious capitalists see politics, as do most Americans, in the light of partisanship. As a result, they want to be apolitical so that all sides feel welcome.

Nevertheless, in today’s America, you are either a socialist or a capitalist, either in favor of big government controlling the transfer of wealth from the 1% or in favor of devising a solution which is voluntary and based on merit rather than welfare.

Unfortunately, there are no candidates running for national office who present new alternatives to the socialist programs of the Democrats. The Republican alternative stands for continuing to implement Reagan economics, believing that the wealth gap will solve itself in time.

It seems clear that this is a better alternative than the opposition. At least a victory here would buy us time. By 2024 perhaps a “third way” capitalist will come forward.

As Alexander Pope wrote in 1734, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.”


Biden: ‘Firmly Planted to the Left’

By Peter Roff • American Action News

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America via Wikimedia Commons

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s deliberately projecting a moderate image in his campaign against President Donald J. Trump, was accused Monday of being “firmly planted to the left” by Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna Romney McDaniel.

Ms. McDaniel, the niece of one-time GOP presidential nominee Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, told FBN’s Stuart Varney that Biden, to win the backing of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and other hard-left leaders in the Democratic Party, had positioned himself well outside the mainstream of U.S. politics in his latest effort to win the White House. 

“I do think he is firmly planted in the left,” the top RNC official said, citing Biden policies that would raise taxes and abolish jobs in the U.S. energy industry to underscore her point. Rather than be vague or misleading about his intentions as he has been doing, she said it would be fairer to the voters if the onetime U.S. Senator from Delaware went “on the road with Bernie and AOC” to talk about his real agenda.

Objectively, Biden is running farthest to the left of any Democrat seeking the presidency since Michael Dukakis ran in 1988. After famously bragging that he was a “card-carrying member of the ACLU” and defending the controversial state prison furlough program that allowed even those convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole to be allowed out on weekend passes, the former Massachusetts governor ended up losing the popular vote to then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in what amounted to an Electoral College landslide. 

Biden has vowed to roll back the recent tax cuts that sparked considerable job creation and growth in the U.S. economy before the economic lockdowns instituted in many states because of the onset of the novel coronavirus brought on a recession. He’s also pledged to end fracking, which would severely threaten America’s new-found energy independence, expand Obamacare, and has suggested he would abolish the federal law preventing labor unions from requiring workers to join them as a condition of employment. He’s also suggested that as president he would push for the repeal of the so-called “Hyde Amendment” that prohibits federal dollars from being used directly to fund abortions.

The political potency of the abortion issue, which generally adheres to the benefit of candidates who take what is known as “the right to life” position, will be tested in the upcoming election. Trump has made his opposition to abortion rights a cornerstone of both his campaign and his presidency, pointing frequently to the number of judges he has appointed to the federal bench whom he believes are in sync with his thinking on the issue. Stunningly, several recent polls suggest that Biden is nonetheless gaining support among Catholics and self-described evangelicals who the abortion issue is a major motivating factor in determining how they will vote. 

Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, are also on the leftward edge of the gun issue. During the campaign, both have talked openly about banning the private ownership of certain kinds of weapons and accessories like high-capacity magazines as well as suggesting they are willing to consider confiscation of firearms already in private hands.


Secretary Of Education Betsy DeVos Issues Final Rule Protecting Religious Liberty On College Campuses

By Jordan Davidson • The Federalist

Secretary Of Education Betsy DeVos Issues Final Rule Protecting Religious Liberty On College Campuses

The Department of Education published a final rule Wednesday that expands religious liberty protections on college campuses and allows DOE to suspend or cut federal funding from colleges that violate the First Amendment.

Known as the “Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities” final rule, it ensures the equal treatment of religious student groups at public universities, and “provides clarity for faith-based institutions with respect to Title IX.”

“This administration is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of students, teachers, and faith-based institutions. Students should not be forced to choose between their faith and their education, and an institution controlled by a religious organization should not have to sacrifice its religious beliefs to participate in Department grants and programs,” said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

If public universities fail to give religious student groups the same rights as other campus organizations, such as use of campus facilities and access to student fee funding, they could lose federal funding.

The final rule also seeks to promote “free inquiry” and to protect “academic freedom” on college campuses. “Denying free inquiry is inherently harmful at any institution of higher education because students are denied the opportunity to learn and faculty members are denied the opportunity to freely engage in research and rigorous academic discourse,” the rule reads.

In extreme cases of First Amendment violations, DOE can determine a university is ineligible for future grants. Private universities can also face the same consequences if found violating their own speech codes.

“These regulations hold public institutions accountable for protecting the First Amendment rights of students and student organizations, and they require private colleges and universities that promise their students and faculty free expression, free inquiry, and diversity of thought to live up to those ideals,” DeVos explained.

While the final rule claims that universities must allow for differing ideas and viewpoints on campus, it also gives private or religious institutions the freedom to adopt their own speech standards, so long as they comply with them.

“Religiously affiliated institutions, in freely exercising their faith, may define their free speech policies as they choose in a manner consistent with their mission,” the rule states.

The rule also states that “religious student organizations should be able to enjoy the benefits, rights, and privileges afforded to other student organizations at a public institution” as well.

The final rule will going into effect 60 days after the date of official publication in the Federal Register.


Where The World Is Heading To?

By Dr. Miklos Radvanyi • Frontiers of Freedom

Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the political, economic, financial, cultural, and moral health of the world have been quite unsettling.  Most importantly, for centuries there has existed a yawning gap politically  between nations whose constitutional foundations have been based on democratic principles and authoritarian states in which the participation of the people in their governments have been either non-existent or merely fictitious.  While in the former elected politicians have been accountable in regular intervals to their respective electorates, in the latter either a single dictator or a small minority have reduced the people to fearful, passive, indifferent, and easily corruptible masses.  Adding insult to injury, these authoritarian dictators have pretended to use their unlimited powers to transform their states from poverty stricken entities to developing and prosperous democracies.  In reality, their sole objective has been to maintain absolute power regardless of the short and long term harm and damage they have caused to the states they have ruled by ruthless brutality.

To wit, this wholesale demoralization on the state level has metastasized globally and has succeeded to corrupt every single international organization.  Presently, under the pretext of the notion of absolute equality of states and the aggressive promotion of multiculturalism, this spirit of authoritarianism threatens to annihilate the international order.  Furthermore, it is an axiom of every authoritarian dictatorship that a fellow power-crazed and corrupt state is a better partner than a cumbersome democracy.  Anti-democratic disposition, therefore, is an absolute sine qua non of acceptance into the club consisting of these malcontent collections of authoritarian dictatorships.  Naturally, under their wretched conditions, an almost unimaginable degree of cynicism, falsehood, ignorance, cruelty, and ruthlessness have flourished.  Logically, ideological subversion and psychological warfare have been the necessary global extensions of these authoritarian dictatorships, which comprise the majority of states in the world, to maintain their powers domestically as well as internationally.

Today, the whole world faces real turbulent times due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The decline and even the ruin of national wealth in many countries caused by the highly contagious disease, the expected world-wide recession and even depression, the initial and ongoing mistakes and errors of the various bureaucracies, and the lack of coordination in responding to the pandemic have all contributed to the feeling of uncertainty and outright fear across the globe.  In this situation, everyone suffers and will suffer.  Moreover, general discontent with governments, their bureaucracies, financial institutions, businesses will certainly lead to silent or open protests.  Conspiracy theories are already abound resulting in a spike of ethnic and religious hatred.  The circumstances are ripe for sowing ideological confusion, pernicious brainwashing, and even extremist revolutionary schemes.  The Communist Party of China and a colorful assortment of communist and socialist organizations throughout the world are pushing a mostly corrupted form of Marxism, hoping to capitalize on the peoples’ fresh misery.  As usual, they traffic in an all encompassing revolution that will overthrow capitalism and replace it with a perfect earthly paradise.  Conversely, the exploitation of the ubiquitous fear momentarily gripping the vast majority of the world’s population is equally dangerous to domestic as well as international tranquility.     

The world is in dire need of global political leadership and great statesmanship.  Contrary to the prevailing misplaced admiration, China is not ready, and will not be ready in the foreseeable future, to assume even a leading regional role in Asia.  Although President Xi Jinping might disagree, he is not a statesman.  Rather he is a tactician in the clothes of a dictator.  As a dictator for life, i.e. dictator perpetuus, he has accumulated an immense amount of power.  Simultaneously, his list of enemies has also grown exponentially.  On the one hand, he has continuously violated both his country’s constitution and the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party, of which he has repeatedly declared himself a faithful servant.  On the other hand,  even with his enormous powers, he has not been able to stop the slow erosion of his government’s powers in the periphery of the People’s Republic.  In this context, the continuing disintegration of the Party’s rule is a certainty.  Equally importantly, China’s economy has been in steady decline since 2010.  Furthermore, China’s finances are a mess, especially within its banking sector.  International overextension, mainly driven by President Xi’s personal ambitions and hubris, will only exacerbate China’s financial woes.  The undeniable fact that the COVID-19 virus originated in Wuhan will only add to his mounting problems and challenges.  Information disseminated by a multitude of officials and media personalities controlled tightly by the Chinese Communist Party, have been mostly lies and fictions.  Of course, having been conditioned by over seventy years of ruthless dictatorship,  the Chinese people have known better.

However, the least believers in the official propaganda have been those close to President Xi and his colleagues in the Politburo, their top advisers, attendants, and secretaries.  Not surprisingly, the most gullible individuals have been those foreigners whose knowledge of China is close to zero.  Starting with the corrupt and incompetent director general of the WHO and continuing with the multitude of  foreign politicians and journalists, they have been babbling on in unison about how great the Chinese government has been in managing of the coronavirus crisis.  Yet, most alarmingly for President Xi, the circumstances of the emergence of this new coronavirus have shed a very negative light on the most vaunted ancient and allegedly superior Chinese culture.  The ubiquitous existence of the “wet markets” are stark reminders of the devastating backwardness and periodic hungers of the destructive Mao era.  One does not have to possess prophetic qualities to predict that President Xi will fail in his quest to make China the premier superpower.  Moreover, it is almost certain that he will not remain the president for life.  During his reign and thereafter, China will experience major upheavals and perhaps even a bloody revolution.

Beyond the domestic repercussions, the People’s Republic of China and its Communist Party will certainly face a great and protracted backlash internationally.  The list of states demanding to hold China financially responsible for the pandemic and the resulting health, economic, and financial crises is growing daily.  In the likely case that China would refuse to pay off, based upon relevant court decisions, confiscations of Chinese properties across the globe must be initiated. Finally, the United States of America must lead the campaign to clean house at the WHO, beginning with the immediate removal of its corrupt and incompetent Director General, the Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  

 Next in line is Russia or as it is officially designated the Russian Federation.  As in the case of President Xi, Vladimir Putin is not a statesman.  Like the former, the Russian president is also a tactician.  Although his declared lofty objective has been to restore Russia to its 20th century greatness, his real political ambition is to cling to power indefinitely.  Strategically, Russian politicians have been unable to overcome their geophobia, namely the fact that their territorially immense state stretches from continental Europe to deep into Asia.  This geopolitical reality historically has manifested itself in a psycho-ideological schizophrenia.  The resulting division between the so-called Westernizers and the Slavophiles has left Russia in a political, economic, and cultural vacuum.  This permanent oscillation between two cultures only gave the Russian people uninterrupted misery in the form of autocracy and dictatorship.  Byzantine Christianity merely exacerbated the basic characteristics of the Russian people, namely, deceit, dishonesty, falsehood, prevarication, superstition, and fatalism.  Putin’s Russia combines all these forces and characteristics into an old fashioned centralized autocracy, in which stagnation and arrested development will keep both the state and the people in shackles.  Fundamentally, Russia will never regain its 20th century international status.  Beyond its militarism, it will remain both economically and financially a second or even a third rate power.  

 In its current condition, the European Union is a barely functioning chaotic mess.  Unless its member states understand that the key to their survival as a powerful organization is a more perfect union based on undivided solidarity, the European Union’s political, economic, financial, monetary, and cultural disintegration can be predicted with high certainty.  Politically, the most important problem is the lack of leadership within and among the various institutions.  The European Council presently headed by Donald Tusk has been incapable of providing strategic guidance and of setting policy objectives.  The European Commission has been a bureaucratic bottleneck.  Its efficiency in implementing EU decisions and common policies has been abysmal.  The Council of the European Union, also known as the Council of Ministers, has always resembled more a marauding society than an organ of legislation and execution.  The European Parliament has traditionally been the weakest part of the European Union.  Its bloated membership and its many caucus groups have relegated the European Parliament to a veritable debating society with questionable legislative benefits.  

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union might signal the beginning of a mass exodus from the organization.  The list of unhappy member states is long.  Perhaps with the exception of the founding members and the Scandinavian countries, all the other member states have registered their specific complaints and reservations against the political, financial, and economic policies of Brussels.  In short, the vision of a united Europe after two devastating wars was and is still very appealing.  Yet, in its current condition, the European Union is unbalanced and highly susceptible to real and imaginary dangers.

 One of these real dangers is financial.  The other closely related danger is the state of the economy.  The EURO and the economy have suffered from the fact that both have been designed as inflexible models, incapable of adjusting to changing circumstances.  Unlike the United States of America, China, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, and a score of other states, there is not a single new company within the European Union that is based on the emerging technologies of the fourth Industrial Revolution, such as Artificial Intelligence.

Compounding the economic stagnation, the single currency has not contributed to the promotion and a more efficient functioning of the single market.  As a result, the eurozone economies have shown anemic growth in the last three decades.  Even the quantitative easing (QE) of the European Central Bank (ECB) of the last ten years has run its course and has worn off before the pandemic.  The obvious solution would be to correct the inflexible structure within the monetary union.

As far as its defense and foreign policies are concerned, the European Union resembles another chaotic mess.  The so-called Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) has remained an unfulfilled dream.  Disappointments with the competency and efficiency of various organizations of the European Union have caused Greece, Italy, and Spain to act upon their perceived national interests, often to the detriment of the common foreign policy objectives of the entire union.  Moreover, the newly admitted members of the now defunct Warsaw Pact have openly revolted against many foreign policy directives of the European Union.  In the extreme case of Hungary, its Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pursued a clearly revanchist foreign policy by awarding Hungarian citizenship and voting rights to ethnic Hungarians residing in the neighboring countries.  

Emerging anti-Americanism in the guist of anti-Trumpism has only aggravated the already existing tensions between the United States of America and the European Union.  Yet, these two powers are also allies in NATO.  They both need each other politically, economically, and militarily.  The overall effects of the pandemic call for a comprehensive conference with the objective of readjusting the relationship to the new realities of world politics and thus strengthening the alliance between the United States of America and the European Union.

The greater Middle East coupled with South-East Asia are real powder kegs.  Enormous domestic problems and challenges have weighed heavily on the politics and the histories of these regions.  Centuries old ethnic differences and pigheaded grievances return to inform policies in predictable intervals.  Historically, every minority in these two regions has been a volcano ready to erupt at any moment.  Religious hostilities disguised as political controversies have been tearing apart families, clans, tribes, societies, and nations to the detriment of their political and economic progress.  Added to this mix of enduring miseries are the personal ambitions and hubrises of political leaders that as a rule do not tolerate any competition.  Turkey’s Erdogan is feuding with the Islamic Republic of Iran on politics and religion.  He also fights the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the leadership of the Sunni world.  Meanwhile, the Arabs do not want to return to the past 1918 Ottoman domination, in which the former were treated as less than second class citizens of an Empire.  And then there is the Islamic Republic of Iran.  A country that was Islamicized by the sword of the Arabs but succeeded to maintain its Persian character and language.  Having had adapted a minority version of Islam in the mid-17th century to fight the Sunni Ottoman Empire, the Shi’a religious establishment have fought hard since 1979, to regain Iran’s historic glory and influence.  

Meanwhile, the leading Arab states are facing mounting domestic pressures and international challenges.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is struggling to modernize, while its oil revenues are on the decline.  Egypt is on the verge of political and economic bankruptcy and total financial ruin.  Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan have been destroyed by the ongoing civil wars.  Algeria and Sudan are oscillating between military rule and attempts at civilian transition.  

Foreign interference has only exacerbated these situations.  None of the intervening powers has contributed to the solution of any major problem in these two regions.  On the contrary, they only added new complications to the already existing predicaments.  To expect any meaningful changes in the near or longer term is futile.  Thus, the greater Middle East and South-East Asia will remain the two regions ready to explode.  A second so-called “Arab Spring,” more bloody and more transitional than the first in the near future is a real possibility.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, drew out most of the states of the African continent of their collective socialist slumber.  However, this hiatus did not last long.  Instead of putting their political houses in order, most of these states reverted back to mild or strict authoritarianism.  In this process, they have succumbed to the corrupting influence of Chinese bribes to the detriment of the present and the future of their peoples.  Presently, African rulers are busy propping up their autocracies, while keeping the bulk of their nations as near to the lowest degree of miserable existence as possible.  Under these conditions, no person could develop his or her abilities without losing every vestige of human dignity,  independence, and individuality.  

 The overall picture is not much better in Central and South America.  Mismanagement, corruption, organized criminal syndicates, and masses with mentalities of slaves have rendered the states of the southern hemisphere teetering on the verge of political, economic, and financial abyss.  As a consequence, the numbers of peoples voting with their feet and storming the northern borders are staggering.  In spite of the new USMCA, the possibility of Mexico turning the corner politically, economically, and financially are fairly slim.  The other large South American states, such as Brazil and Argentina are also in dire political, economic and financial conditions.  Even Chile, the poster child of the past of good governance, has descended lately into a protracted political chaos.

 Indubitably, the only power that could lead a worldwide recovery from the current economic and financial malaise is the United States of America.  Although the outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus, has been unexpected in its scope and gravity, domestically the Trump Administration has mostly taken the right steps in a timely fashion to curb and mitigate the effects of this pandemic.  The closing of the borders, the creation of the Coronavirus Task Force headed by the Vice President, the enhancing of public private partnerships, the stimulus packages, the actions of the Federal Reserve, the harnessing of the nation’s scientific, technological, and manufacturing potential, the rapid increase of tests, and the establishment of daily consultations with the governors, all have contributed to the saving of lives.  What is needed now is an exit strategy that will hopefully help the United States of America to move forward by speedily returning to normalcy.  Mainly, people must return to work and children to the schools.  

Encouragingly the leaders of this nation have been setting a good example.  From the daily press briefings at the White House one can surmise that the President, the Vice President, and members of the Task Force understand that the fight against the coronavirus is a learning process, and that mistakes made must not be repeated.  Moreover, the stimulus packages and all other measures taken are designed to strengthen the free market by not favoring special groups but the nation at large.  In other words, financial and economic assistance is not based on the strength of the players but on what the national economy needs.  Finally, the way the Trump Administration has managed the coronavirus crisis has shown the rest of the world the quality of leadership and the character of the American nation.

For the United States of America the question now is:  What in addition needs to be done domestically and internationally?  For starters, the coronavirus pandemic is not just a political, economic, financial, and health crisis.  It is equally important to recognize that the COVID-19 has also unleashed a psychological crisis.  To put it more succinctly:  the coronavirus pandemic has shaken the entire world and within it almost every large and small community.  For these reasons, the recovery measures in the United States of America must be created with a global perspective in mind.  Within this global framework solutions must be formulated by strategic thinking.  This strategy, in turn, must be based on what the national and the global economies require and not on the political influence and relative economic strength of the players.  The rebuilding of the shrinking middle class is imperative.  Otherwise, the next crisis will destroy the American economy.  Equally important is the need to strengthen the relationship between the politicians and the scientific community.  Finally, citizens must vote for politicians with creative ideas and not for political hacks whose only concern is to grab power and cling to it at any cost to the present and the future detriment of the nation.

Internationally, the United States of America is still looking for its place in the world.  This search takes place in a world that lacks enduring guiding principles.  Presently, nothing is stable.  Everything is changeable and replaceable.  Consequently, chaos and anarchy are mounting.  Disorders are ready to explode into bloody civil wars, regional armed conflicts are multiplying, and even the specter of a larger worldwide confrontation is not out of the question.  Under these multiple threats merely managing international affairs is not enough.  Successive Republican and Democrat administrations have failed to build on the international successes of the Reagan Administration in the 1980s.  Political appointments have been made in the State Department as well as on the ambassadorial levels that have harmed American foreign policy and the global reputation of the United States of America.  Civil servants at the State Department have also been hired based on their political leanings and personal connections than their professional abilities.  Ambassadors have been rewarded exclusively for their political contributions to presidential campaigns without questioning their suitability to represent the United States of America in the designated country.  This practice must be stopped.  Otherwise, the United States of America will be considered either unserious or a nation of morons across the globe.  Collectively, these individuals cannot inform knowledgeably the policy makers in the federal and local governments.

The multitude of international organizations, starting with the United Nations, must be paid more attention.  Discipline must be enforced.  Rogue states with outlandish actions must be punished immediately and severely, mostly through economic and financial actions.  NATO must be reformed and its cohesion must be strengthened.  Those member states that deviate from the political and joint security interests of the organization must be forced to fall in line.  The relationship with the European Union must be taken more seriously.  Particularly, in light of the present condition of the organization, the White House must rethink its globalist approach and begin to deal more intensively with the individual states.

The bilateral relationship with the People’s Republic of China must also be reevaluated.  Instead of viewing it through the fog of five or three thousand years of idealized culture, China must be judged by its past failures and its 20th century misery.  Even the successes of the post-Deng era must be objectively analyzed.  In particular the role of the Chinese Communist Party that has proven its inflexibility concerning the country’s political and economic progress.  The demise of the Soviet Union might provide a fair indication regarding the future prospects of the People’s Republic of China.  In this context, to designate China as an enemy does not really help in formulating a coherent American policy.  Clearly, Beijing cannot continue taking advantage of Washington and Brussels the old ways.  Its expansionist designs must be countered, curbed, and stopped.  Its corruption as a tool of foreign policy must be exposed.  The inherent racism of the Chinese must be revealed.  The false propaganda concerning its successes must be shown to be mostly lies.  The substandard quality of Chinese manufactured products must be unmasked.  The United States of America must stop relying on the cheap Chinese labor.  Manufacturing must be brought back, especially for strategic goods.  Otherwise, cooperation where it is mutually beneficial must be maintained and expanded.

In the greater Middle East Iran must be contained without humanistic consideration.  The Mullahcracy, particularly an Islamic Republic of Iran armed with nuclear weapons, must be eliminated.  The Arab world must be helped to sort out its many problems and challenges.  However, getting again involved in the many internal squabbles and rivalries must be stopped.  Russia and  Turkey will fail abysmally in their quests to benefit from the present chaos and anarchy.  The special relationship with the state of Israel must be further strengthened.The only true meaning of a superpower is a system of government that serves as a positive example to the rest of the world.  Therefore, the objective domestically must be to strengthen the constitutional principles of the Republic.  Within this democratic framework, there is no rational reason to experiment or modify the political and spiritual realms of the nation.  Conversely, states across the globe have made repeated attempts at experimenting and modifying their political and spiritual realms.  As Italian Fascism, German National Socialism, and Soviet Communism were rejected and defeated in the 20th century, the fashionable cannons of the early 21st century, such as the idiotic doctrine of political correctness, the self-serving call for social justice, and the rallying cry for ersatz human rights, will also end up in the proverbial dustbin of history.  In a peaceful and stable world no social policies that contradict the historic traditions of the majority of nations can be sustained for a long time.  Due to these factors, the United States of America will continue to remain the shining light of the world throughout the 21st century and beyond, unless the American people will decide otherwise.


Aerial Warfare: American Bald Eagle Takes Down Drone

By Paul Crespo • American Action News

Lewis Hulbert via Wikimedia Commons

Many agree that the United States is fortunate that the soaring Bald Eagle was chosen over the lowly Turkey, proposed by Benjamin Franklin, as its national bird. It is majestic, powerful, swift, and deadly. But now, it has also accidentally proven to be a capable anti-drone weapons system.- Advertisement –

Last month, a Bald Eagle engaged and defeated a Michigan state government drone flying over the Great Lakes. The drone the eagle took down was ironically operated by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

According to USA Today, the $950 drone was 162 feet above the waters of Lake Michigan mapping shoreline erosion when attacked by the Bald Eagle. The bird reportedly swooped in and ripped a propeller off the drone causing it to fall into lake 150 feet offshore.

Despite an exhaustive search, the downed drone was not found.

“The motive for the attack is currently unknown, though territorial disputes and hunger are the leading theories,” reported USA Today, adding, “The drone team is considering ways to prevent future attacks, such as using designs that would make eagles less likely to mistake EGLE drones for seagulls.”

In a tweet, Michigan State Representative Beau M. LaFave said this about the “Eagle vs EGLE combat”:  Michigan Eagle takes on EGLE (Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy) and wins. Bird can be heard singing “I fought the law, and I won”

One major positive from this incident, noted USA Today, is that it highlights a “thriving eagle population. A 2019 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey showed 849 active nesting sites in Michigan, up from a low point of 76 nesting sites in the 1970s.”

Another takeaway is that the Bald Eagle may be able to serve as a natural counter-drone defense system. Perhaps DARPA, DOD and DHS are already secretly working on this.


Cancel Culture Comes to Cronkite

The journalism school at Arizona State University caves to student activists.

By BRIAN ANDERSON • National Review

Walter Cronkite during a forum at the Kennedy Library in Boston, Mass., in 2005. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

Walter Cronkite said on receiving a global-governance award in 1999: “I am in a position to speak my mind. And that is what I propose to do.”

Today, those who attend the journalism school named after the famed broadcaster are not so lucky.

The spread of “cancel culture” in newsrooms — declaring people henceforth “canceled” from society owing to ideological disagreements — is nothing new. Look no further than the hysterical reaction to Senator Tom Cotton’s New York Times op-ed urging government to use its authorities under the Insurrection Act to “restore order to our streets” amid riots and looting. Newsroom activists flooded Twitter, objecting to its publication. The opinion editor was forced out. And the Times attached a note at the top of the op-ed (nearly 40 percent as long as the piece itself) apologizing for daring to publish the opinion of a sitting U.S. senator.

It was entertaining that Cotton’s tame commentary provoked such a disproportionate meltdown from those who consider themselves serious journalists. But that this scourge is seeping into local campus newsrooms is deeply worrisome — and seep it has.

The first sign of cancel culture bubbling up at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication involved Sonya Duhé, whom the university named dean this spring. Her tenure was cut short almost instantly after she published a tweet praying for “the good police officers who keep us safe.”

The protest-allied campus revolted against the incoming dean’s “racist” tweet and provoked a former student to accuse Duhé of committing “four years of microaggressions” against her. Other students would come forward to allege that she had made similar “microaggressive comments” to them.

It wasn’t one week before the Cronkite School revoked its offer and pledged to be more “inclusive” moving forward.

Things have only gotten worse — and, now that administrators have gotten used to the sweet taste of cancel culture, it appears that student journalists themselves are on the dinner plate.

When Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS, published a poll following a May looting spree in Scottsdale, progressive students complained that the poll’s language was too friendly toward police officers — so Cronkite News folded to the pressure. It deleted the poll and apologized for causing “divisiveness”: “It was not our intention to downplay the actions of law enforcement.”

When a second young journalist published a Q&A with a former police officer in June, students complained that this exchange also was too friendly. Once again, Cronkite News folded to the pressure. It wiped the Q&A offline and replaced it with an apologetic note pledging to “better serve and represent our communities, especially the black community and other communities of color.”

The list goes on.

The most recent “cancel” target is Rae’Lee Klein, a young journalist at the Cronkite School’s Blaze Radio. After the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., Klein, on her personal Twitter account, linked to a New York Post investigation and wrote: “Please read this article to get the background of Jacob Blake’s warrant. You’ll be quite disgusted.”

Progressive students were apoplectic. The board voted to remove her as station manager, threatened to resign if she did not, and released a statement from “Blaze Radio alumni” condemning her for trying to “dehumanize and insinuate blame on the victims of police violence.”

Luckily, Klein has refused to resign or succumb to this cancel culture flare-up, explaining on-air her decision to push back against “a situation where our opinions and our beliefs are held against us or [are] characteristic of our ability to lead.”

While she plants her feet, other young journalists at ASU understandably are reaching for the escape hatch. In August, two such undergraduates founded The Western Tribune, an “independent student journalism” website, as a home to “the oft unheard voices of our generation.” They won’t be the last.

These campus newsrooms are a means for tomorrow’s leaders to write down, or say out loud, the opinions they’ve been keeping in their minds and to see if those ideas stand up to the scrutiny of the real world. These young ideas rarely do — and the invaluable lesson that students glean from that realization will be lost forever if administrators cut them off at the knees by continuing to appease oversensitive cry-bullies whose antics threaten these vital sandboxes.

If things continue as they do, soon there will be no conservatives left to cancel, and progressive journalists will only be left to cancel themselves like a scorpion stinging itself to death.

And that’s the way it will be.


Trump Announces Another Historic Middle East Peace Deal, With Israel And Bahrain

By Jordan Davidson • The Federalist

President Donald announced another historic peace deal for the Middle East on Friday between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

A joint statement released by the United States, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the State of Israel announced the “establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

The agreement also specifies that “peaceful worshippers of all faiths” will be allowed to visit mosques and holy sites in Israel.

In the statement, King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed their intent to “achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and praised Trump for “his dedication to peace in the region, his focus on shared challenges, and the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to bringing their nations together.”

President Trump tweeted his support of the deal, calling it “another HISTORIC breakthrough” with “our two GREAT friends.”

The peace deal is the second of its kind involving Israel in the last month in a broader effort by the Trump administration to facilitate “stability, security, and prosperity” in the Middle East. A similar deal was struck between the United Arab Emirates and Israel in early August, making it the first “Gulf Arab country to open relations with the Jewish nation.”

In the Israel and UAE peace deal statement, the White House signaled the United States will be helping Israel continue to facilitate peace in the region with their largely Islamic neighbors.

“As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President’s Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world.”

Because of his efforts in facilitating peace in the Middle East, President Trump received two nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize.

White House Innovations Director Jared Kushner praised Trump for assisting in two previously “unthinkable” deals for the Middle East. He said the deal met much “optimism” on his most recent trip overseas.

“This makes America safer, allows us to bring our troops home, and allows us to work on bringing prosperity to American communities,” Kushner said.

According to the joint statement, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani will sign the official “Declaration of Peace” on Sept. 15 at the White House.


The Charter School Advantage

A new study shows African-Americans and children from poorer backgrounds outpace their peers in traditional district schools.

By Paul E. Peterson and M. Danish Shakeel • The Wall Street Journal

A student at Miami Community Charter School in Flagler City, Fla., Aug. 31.
PHOTO: MATIAS J. OCNER/ZUMA PRESS

Public charter schools were once viewed as a nonpartisan compromise between vouchers for private schools and no choice at all. Not now. In its 2020 national platform, the Democratic Party calls for “stringent guardrails to ensure charter schools are good stewards” and says federal funding for charters must be conditioned on “whether the charter will systematically underserve the neediest students.” Charter schools are indeed acting as good stewards by outpacing district schools on achievement growth—especially for the most at-risk students.

In a new study we compare the progress made by cohorts of charter and district school students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress from 2005-17—a sample of more than four million test performances. Overall, students at charters are advancing at a faster pace than those at district schools. The strides made by African-American charter students have been particularly impressive. We also see larger gains at charters, relative to district schools, by students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds.

Sometimes known as “the nation’s report card,” the NAEP administers math and reading tests every other year to representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade students in all 50 states. Ours is the first study to use this vast storehouse of information to analyze changes over time in the charter and district sectors. By adjusting for student background characteristics—sex, ethnicity, income, and (for eighth-grade students) computer availability and the number of books in the home—we made direct comparisons between student outcomes at charter and district schools. Because NAEP data don’t allow us to track specific students, we looked at changes in performance from one student cohort to the next over 12 years. 

In 2003 an exploratory precursor to these NAEP surveys revealed that the average performance in reading and math of fourth-grade students attending charter schools trailed that of students attending district schools. When these results became public, the finding garnered widespread media attention.

Much has happened since then. For one thing, the charter sector has grown to include 6% of all U.S. public-school students—up from 2%. Just as important, we are now able to report that student achievement at charters has been rising at a considerably faster pace than at district schools. Nationwide, eighth-graders attending charter schools show learning gains over students at district schools amounting to three months of learning from 2005-17. The differences between charters and district schools is smaller at the fourth-grade level. 

Relative to district schools, the most striking gains at charters are for African-American students, who constitute about 30% of the charter-school student population nationwide. Even after adjustments for background characteristics, their achievement gains in eighth grade exceed those at district schools by about six months of learning. African-American student performance in fourth grade rose by an extra four months of learning. Progress at charters by white students was more measured. Gains for charter-school student cohorts were two months of learning above those in the district sector. 

Eighth-grade student cohorts from poor families are also making more-rapid progress at charters than at district schools. The scores of those in the bottom 25% of the socioeconomic distribution increased nearly twice as much as those of students in the district sector. 

The charter advantage isn’t universal—Asian-American and Hispanic students are doing equally well in both sectors, as are students in the Western U.S. more generally. But the sizable gains for African-Americans and students from poorer backgrounds bolster President Trump’s claim that school choice is a civil-rights issue. Much more progress needs to be made to close the achievement gap. But if charters haven’t resolved social divides, they have proved to be a healthy tonic for the American educational system. Charters are improving outcomes even without the “stringent guardrails” proposed by the Democrats.


Cohen’s Hit on Trump Misses in a Big Way

By Peter Roff • American Action News

IowaPolitics.com via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Cohen seems to believe his former boss threw him under the bus. If he did, it was only because the man called Donald J. Trump’s one-time “fixer” was standing in front of it at the time. Now, disgraced, disbarred, and in need of money, he’s written a book and is trying to get even.

Good luck with that. The public may be eating up what the major media is hyping in some detail but everything Cohen has to say, no matter how vile, won’t have much of an effect on the upcoming election. Neither will anything the other salacious books say about him – and that includes the books written by his niece, by a former confidant of the first lady, and by former members of his administration. As far as his conduct in business and in office is concerned, the president is bulletproof.

The country knows Trump and the voters have made up their minds. They either love him or hate him, with not much space in between. Some consider him the savior of a nation rapidly descending into permanent decline. Others see him as the cause of the decline. Either way, one more book about what a bad guy he is and who and why people might have gotten paid off and whatever else Cohen mentions in his book won’t move the needle.

Character counts, not just for the president but for the people who cover and criticize him in the public square. Cohen’s skirts aren’t exactly clean, which raises plenty of issues about whether anything he has to say now can be trusted. After all, he’s currently confined to his home while serving out a three-year sentence for tax evasion, violating campaign finance rules, and lying to Congress.

Cohen may have his regrets but most of them probably have more to do with getting caught than with any genuine pangs of conscience. Maybe he’s a transformed person but that doesn’t explain why he stayed in his employ for so long if Trump was so evil as to merit being called, among other things a “cult leader” and a “mob boss”.

Rather than take Cohen and the other “tell-allists” at their word we ought to be at least considering their motivations even if we don’t go into as much detail as the investigations of the president have. These former associates have, alongside the anonymous sources and so-called whistleblowers who’ve helped populate the pages of the daily paper with powerful allegations of political and presidential misconduct throughout the entire Trump administration, imperiled not just a presidency but the nation and the constitutional process.

Are these attacks coordinated? Probably. It takes more imagination than most people have to believe the way they all dovetail together to the benefit of the Democrats – especially to Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden – is mere coincidence. Most people believed Hillary Clinton when she blamed a “vast, right-wing conspiracy” for the problems her husband experienced while in office. Is it therefore that much of a stretch to believe a similar but ideologically opposite group are at work now?


WP2FB Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com