China should think twice before threatening to attack Americans | Fox News

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Pictured: the name-ship of the newest class of the US Navy’s nuclear-powered supercarriers, the USS Gerald R. Ford, officially commissioned on July 22, 2017.

China is betraying a level of strategic anxiety not yet seen as the impact of trade tariffs looms and its return to its historical power role in the Asia seems to have stalled.

Source: China should think twice before threatening to attack Americans | Fox News

People – mostly people on the political left, and media “talking heads” (who are often also people on the political left) – often complain about U.S. President Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff and sometimes controversial remarks on Twitter.

But even his most outrageous “tweets” can’t match Chinese Rear Adm. Lou Yuan, who, while speaking at a military trade conference, “announced that what the United States feared most was casualties and that the easiest way to defeat China’s main rival was to sink two American supercarriers, killing over 10,000 sailors in the process.”

China is not the first Great Power to misunderstand and under-estimate American capabilities, and American resolve. Japan made that mistake once, and Germany twice. It did not end well, for either. China should take the advice of the author of this essay, Captain (USN, Ret.) Jerry Hendrix, who writes,

“Those who would believe that the sinking of two aircraft carriers would trigger an impulse toward retreat would do well to make themselves aware of the United States’ history and the impact events such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the attack on Pearl Harbor and the collapse of the World Trade Center had on the national psyche.”

Noting that

“Any attack upon a single U.S. aircraft carrier by long-range aircraft, cruise missiles or ballistic missiles would surely generate a response against the bases from which those weapons were launched, the sensors associated with them and the command-and-control nodes that directed them, and then the United States would turn its attention on the Chinese naval and merchant fleet.

“Before China knew what was happening, it would be cut off from the overseas sources of energy and raw materials that fuel its import/export economy. Within weeks it would be without fuel and its factories would be shuttered. The American economy, established in a nation that has most resources domestically available, would be able to ride out the storm, even if China attempted to climb the escalation ladder and attack targets in North America,”

he cautions that

“[Chinese President] Xi Jinping should try harder to understand his real strategic position while remembering that he who rides the tiger finds it difficult to dismount.”

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We Are Ruled By Mercenaries Who Feel No Long-Term Obligation To The People They Rule | Tucker Carlson

“The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children.”

Source: Tucker Carlson: We Are Ruled By Mercenaries Who Feel No Long-Term Obligation To The People They Rule | Video | RealClearPolitics

Paleo-conservative commentator Tucker Carlson hits the nail squarely on the head! To his inestimable credit, he steers between the Scylla of socialism, and the Charybdis of mercantile plutocracy to place conservatism in its proper context: protection of family, culture, and society.

“Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions. But they’re less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live?

“These are the only questions that matter. The answer used to be obvious: the overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven’t so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. Yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.”

Amen! There is a world of difference between mere economic standard of living – which has been slipping for decades, anyway – and quality of life. Far too many, on both sides of the political aisle, absolutely fail to realize or appreciate that fact! Economic solvency is essential to life and security. Until one is economically secure, one has difficulty focusing on the higher things, as I have reason to know from my own experience.

FDR, liberal progressive though he was, was absolutely correct when he asserted, in his so-called “economic bill of rights,” that “true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men,” and called for, among other things,

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad

The right of every family to a decent home

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.

These ought not, in my opinion, to be arguable. We may argue about how they may best be accomplished; but not, I believe, about the fundamental principles themselves.

Note that FDR starts, not with “entitlements,” but with “a useful and remunerative job,” and the rights to “earn enough,” to “raise and sell [one’s] products,” and “to trade.” Only then does he move on to what is sometimes called the “social safety net,” for those who, for reasons beyond their control, suffer from “old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment.” That is putting things in their proper order!

Note also that (despite the expression “second” or “economic bill of rights”) these were “proposed not to amend the Constitution, but rather as a political challenge, encouraging Congress to draft legislation to achieve these aspirations.”

At any rate, economic security, grounded in fair and equitable employment, and a fair and equitable return on one’s investment – whether capital or labour – is essential for a reasonable quality of life. But prosperity, for its own sake, or as an absolute goal, is not only an illusion, it is an idol. Here’s Tucker Carlson again:

“The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It’s happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They’re what our leaders should want for us, and would if they cared. But our leaders don’t care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They’re day traders. Substitute teachers. They’re just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can’t solve our problems. They don’t even bother to understand our problems.”

As a Christian and a traditionalist, I would add a proper relationship with God, and the pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, to the list of ingredients required to be fully happy! But Carlson, of course, is speaking to a wider audience, and I cannot disagree with anything he says, here.

The problem is that our supposed “elites” are generally made up of neoliberals and neoconservatives who are basically two sides to the same coin. I strongly recommend that you read and/or listen to all of Carlson’s rather epic monologue! But as he accurately points out,

“Both [libertarians – which include many who claim to be either “liberal” or “conservative,” politically and socially – and social conservatives] miss the obvious point: culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can’t separate the two…

“[Doing so] is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it’s still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.”

Yet (as Carlson points out) a culture which set up investment bankers or Facebook executives as the goal for which we ought to be striving is, itself, a big part of the problem! As I say, economic prosperity, pursued for its own sake, is not only an illusion, but idolatry. In contrast, Carlson asks us to consider:

“What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don’t accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you’re old. A country that listens to young people who don’t live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Amen!

“What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it.”

Which means, of course, that we the people will have to elect them! And / or, pressure our existing leaders to behave more like the servants of the people they are supposed to be, and less the “mercenaries” of which Carlson speaks.

“For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There’s no option at this point. But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. [emphasis added] Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You’d have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families isn’t worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.”

Again, amen. Amen and amen!

Read the essay, or listen to / watch the monologue. It’s worth it!

And then, let’s do what we can to work toward that sort of country. We had it once, and therefore we can again.

Donald Trump’s Nationalist Moment | The American Conservative

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Trump’s election to the presidency was widely considered part of a nationalist resurgence in the wider Western world. With the Brexit revolt against the European Union in the United Kingdom and the ascent of populist and nationalist parties – some of them far right and identitarian, others more moderate and compatible with classical liberalism – from Paris to Poland, voters are speaking up for borders and sovereignty against supranational organizations and outside forces.

Source: Donald Trump’s Nationalist Moment | The American Conservative

Donald Trump is a President who is proudly and unabashedly nationalist. In fact, he may be the first U.S. President to use the word, openly:

“Trump and many of his supporters use the words ‘patriot’ and ‘nationalist’ interchangeably. ‘I’ve never heard that theory about being a nationalist,’ the president said in the Oval Office in response to questions about the term’s putative racist baggage. ‘But I’m somebody who loves our country. I am a nationalist.'”

He has publicly defended and promoted nationalism as a positive good:


“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?”

— President Donald Trump, speaking in Poland in 2017


“… Trump had a similar message for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam. ‘Finally, let us never forget,’ the president said, ‘the world has many places, many dreams, and many roads, but in all of the world there’s no place like home.’ Trump has challenged world leaders to be nationalists for their own countries.

“’Inside everyone in this great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland,’ Trump said at the UN. ‘And so, for family, for country, for freedom, for history, and for the glory of God, protect your home, defend your home, and love your home today and for all time,’ he said in Vietnam.”

And this is why I support Donald Trump, regardless of the fact that I don’t always agree with him, either in word or action. For all his admitted faults and foibles, he is a man who loves his country and people, and encourages others to do so, too.

As such, he stands against utopian (remember, the word means “no place”) globalists, whose “new world order” makes claims of peace and freedom – but in fact, is an Orwellian nightmare, standing for the repression and destruction of much of goodness, truth, and beauty in the name of global corporate domination, enforced social engineering, or both.

For his stance against these destructive forces, I can forgive much.

“The president had the same message for international leaders as he did for the press. ‘America is governed by Americans,’ Trump declared last year. ‘We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the doctrine of patriotism.'”

Even some so-called conservatives find this a hard pill to swallow. But even among those who find it so, there are signs of a change of course – or at least, an understanding that our present course is not sustainable:

“Goldberg described a major shortcoming of the ‘fusionist’ synthesis of traditionalism and libertarianism on which modern American conservatism is largely built. ‘Left out of the fusionist project or the fusionist formula was the importance of national identity,’ he said. ‘That’s not to say that conservatives didn’t talk about it, that’s not to say it wasn’t part of the national debate. But this trade-off between liberty and order, freedom and virtue, this idea that it was either the individual or the state gave I would argue at least politically considerable short shrift to the importance of maintaining and forging a sense of national identity.'”

Precisely. Without a sense of national identity, there can be no national consensus; and without at least some level of national consensus, we find the situation we see today: a nation floundering without direction, divided and polarized.

We don’t have to agree on everything, of course, and of course, we never will! But what we do need is a sense that we are all in this together, that we have a shared sense of history and heritage, a shared respect for shared values and institutions. Without these things, we are at least badly handicapped, and at worst doomed.

The old American “melting pot” worked, for at least two reasons: first, those coming in had an earnest desire to become Americans, and were willing to put considerable effort into accomplishing that end. They not only willingly, but eagerly sought to learn the language – English – and to assimilate to the common culture, even as they also retained and enriched the mix with elements of their own.

And second, most of the “ingredients” in that melting pot were already reasonably compatible to begin with: until the immigration reforms of 1965, most of those coming into the United States were Europeans, and most of them were from northwestern Europe. Consequently, despite significant diversity among the various European nations and ethnicities, they nonetheless shared a lot in terms of values and culture.

Now, we have what at best is a “tossed salad,” and not all of the ingredients being tossed together seem to be very compatible with one another. Some of them don’t even want to be coated in the thin vinaigrette that is what’s left of American common culture! Given this incompatibility of ingredients in the dish, is it any wonder that indigestion is a common result…?

As the linked essay notes,

“The fraying of a shared common national identity is a threat to both the conservative project of restoring constitutionally limited government and the progressive crusade for a more robust national welfare state. Both goals rely on a level of solidarity, community, and mutual trust that is in short supply in contemporary America, as we have fragmented into red states and blue states along with a host of other identity-politics subgroups. “Such political cohesion is rare in arbitrarily assembled human populations,” writes Hazony.

It goes on to add,

“A nationalist politics that seeks to shore up that identity would not be illiberal in any meaningful sense of the word. It need not be racist or collectivist in economics. A political coalition that includes all Americans who are uncomfortable with the current pace of change and perceive themselves to be losing out from globalization has the potential to reach a larger constituency than Democratic liberalism does today or than the mainstream conservative movement has since Ronald Reagan handed over the keys to the Oval Office to George H.W. Bush.”

Furthermore,

“the new nationalism’s goals are modest: remind those in government that their primary fiduciary duty is to their current lawful residents, not the population of the whole planet, even in powerful and affluent countries like the United States; remain independent of the supranational entities that would transform mutually beneficial trade among self-governing peoples into rule by Davos-approved bureaucrats; police one’s own borders rather than the world.”

That hardly seems like too much to ask!

Now, I do not agree with everything in this essay. Somewhat oddly, considering its focus, the author – W. James Antle III, editor of The American Conservative – stoops to the seemingly mandatory Trump-bashing in the concluding paragraphs. And he is, I think, insufficiently sensitive to (or, perhaps, unwilling to admit) the very real differences that exist between various peoples and cultures. As I’ve commented above, whether melting pot or tossed salad, not every potential ingredient is compatible with every “dish.”

Nonetheless, there is a great deal of good in this article, and I hope it is widely read, and taken to heart. We – and by “we,” I mean not only the United States, but the West, and indeed the world – are badly in need of that “new nationalism” described above.

“The Boy Scouts of America Filing for Bankruptcy after Embracing Liberalism” (Dr. Steve Turley), with further reflections

Source: The Boy Scouts of America Filing for Bankruptcy after Embracing Liberalism!!! | Dr. Steve Turley (YouTube)

Dr. Steve Turley comments on the (formerly Boy) Scouts of America’s plan to file for bankruptcy, as I reported earlier. While acknowledging that part of the economic aspect has to do with a botched job of handling some sexual abuse allegations dating to the 1970s, Turley accurately notes that the bigger issue for the Scouts is allowing themselves to be caught up in the contemporary liberal-leftist social matrix.

Noting that the Boy Scouts is at root – or has been, historically – a very traditionalist organization, with very traditionalist goals, he points out,

“The vision of the Boy Scouts has historically been to train boys in the virtues of obedience, courtesy, hard work, loyalty, [and] patriotism, through the physical rigors of camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, first aid, and the like. We taught boys such virtues because we believed that manliness, and specifically Christian manliness, was something that contributed inordinately to the flourishing of human society, and thus ought to be emulated and aspired to.
Continue reading ““The Boy Scouts of America Filing for Bankruptcy after Embracing Liberalism” (Dr. Steve Turley), with further reflections”

Boy Scouts of America may declare bankruptcy | New York Post

a Boy Scouts of America uniform beside an American flag

The organization has reportedly lost two-thirds of its members — some 4 million boys — since the 1970s.

Source: Boy Scouts of America may declare bankruptcy

“The Boy Scouts of America is mulling declaring bankruptcy amid flagging membership and an avalanche of costly sex abuse allegations, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

This is tragic. As a former Boy Scout and sometime Scouter, and the son of an Eagle Scout (who was also a Sea Scout), I would love to see a coalition of traditional Scouts and Scouters bringing suit to take back the organization from the idiots who have hijacked and destroyed it.

I deeply believe in the classical values, ideals, aims, and methods of the Boy Scouts of America. Of all the terrible things that have happened to and in this country in recent years (decades, actually), the decline and fall of the BSA is to me one of the – if not the – saddest.

The Left Case against Open Borders – American Affairs Journal

The destruction and abandonment of labor politics means that, at present, immigration issues can only play out within the framework of a culture war, fought entirely on moral grounds.

Source: The Left Case against Open Borders – American Affairs Journal

To say that the Left has “painted itself into a corner” on the topic of open borders and mass migration is to say no more than the truth:

“The destruction and abandonment of labor politics means that, at present, immigration issues can only play out within the framework of a culture war, fought entirely on moral grounds. In the heightened emotions of America’s public debate on migration, a simple moral and political dichotomy prevails. It is ‘right-wing’ to be ‘against immigration’ and ‘left-wing’ to be ‘for immigration.’ But the economics of migration tell a different story…

“While no serious political party of the Left is offering concrete proposals for a truly borderless society, by embracing the moral arguments of the open-borders Left and the economic arguments of free market think tanks, the Left has painted itself into a corner. If ‘no human is illegal!,’ as the protest chant goes, the Left is implicitly accepting the moral case for no borders or sovereign nations at all. But what implications will unlimited migration have for projects like universal public health care and education, or a federal jobs guarantee? And how will progressives convincingly explain these goals to the public?”

As this article points out in stark terms, the American Left in general, and the Democratic Party in specific, is going to have to wrestle with the fundamental question that leftist and center-left parties in Europe are already grappling with, namely, what does it want to be when it grows up? What are the core values, and the core constituency, on which it wishes to focus?

Ultimately – and probably sooner rather than later – American Democrats are going to have to choose:

Do they want to be the party of mass migration and open borders, or do they want to be party of a social safety net that assists the disadvantaged (and really, anyone who is not part of the infamous “1%”) and those struggling here at home? They are going to have to choose one or the other, because there is not enough money, and there are not enough resources, to do both.

Lofty ideals and stirring rhetoric aside, we simply cannot “feed the world.” There is too much world out there. So are we going to do what we can to help, while focusing our finite energy, attention, and resources on the plight of our own people? Or are we going to tear down the borders, and lay prostrate at the feet of a wave of economic migration that will diminish if not destroy everything we have built here over the last several centuries, for little if any improvement in their own situation?

The time of choice is drawing near. Indeed, it is already upon us!


N.B.: I am looking at this from the perspective of my own country – the U.S. – and the West in general, but the article also makes the point that mass migration is actually harming rather than helping the migrants’ countries of origin:

“Despite the rhetoric about ‘shithole countries’ or nations ‘not sending their best,’ the toll of the migration brain drain on developing economies has been enormous… Developing countries are struggling to retain their skilled and professional citizens, often trained at great public cost, because the largest and wealthiest economies that dominate the global market have the wealth to snap them up… It is not difficult to see why the political and economic elites of the world’s richest countries would want the world to ‘send their best,’ regardless of the consequences for the rest of the world. But why is the moralizing, pro–open borders Left providing a humanitarian face for this naked self-interest?”

“According to the best analysis of capital flows and global wealth today, globalization is enriching the wealthiest people in the wealthiest countries at the expense of the poorest, not the other way around…. Global wealth inequality is the primary push factor driving mass migration, and the globalization of capital cannot be separated from this matter. There is also the pull factor of exploitative employers in the United States who seek to profit from non-unionized, low-wage workers in sectors like agriculture as well as through the importation of a large white-collar workforce already trained in other countries.”

But what do we hear about this from the Left, traditionally the defenders of workers and the poor, against rapacious capitalists? Nothing. Nada. Crickets.

I have often talked about the unholy alliance between Washington, DC, and Wall Street; an even more unholy and damaging one may be between the corporate capitalists, profiteers, and neo-robber barons, and the supposedly “moral” Left, with its apparent desire to welcome anyone who is not of Western (read: European) origin.

In their desire to pull down what they see as “oppressive” structures of Western civilization, the Left is willing to make common cause with their greatest historic enemy – capital – and sell out their own natural constituency, labor. Want to talk about “collusion”…? There’s your collusion!

In any case, read the article, all of it. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest! Much that’s worth thinking about in it, although it’s far from comforting.

A message from The Queen to The President of The United States of America | The Royal Family

Prince Philip and I offer our deepest sympathies to the people of California, who continue to suffer from the devastating fires across the state.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims, and to all those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. I pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the US emergency services and the volunteers that have provided support.

Elizabeth R

Source: A message from The Queen to The President of The United States of America | The Royal Family

God bless Her Majesty. God save The Queen!