[The Federalist] Trade with China has been a factor in American capitalism since the birth of the republic, but only in the 21st century has it become a truly massive driver of American corporate wealth. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank: The American influencer became the influenced. Trade is a two-way street that is meant to be mutually beneficial, but American trade with China has turned into a trade of our values for their money.
Corporations that we used to think of as American wear that allegiance very lightly these days, if at all. Their executives are happy to keep their headquarters here and live here. They love that our Constitution gives them and their owners secure property rights and that our taxation regime is not as onerous as some places and is fairly predictable. They love that our First Amendment gives them the right to advocate whatever cause is popular this week among their class of bien pensant elites.
But these leaders of woke capitalism aren’t so keen on extending those same rights to ordinary people. Their loyalty is to the dollar, not the flag. They outsource production to China, which is bad enough, but in doing so they sell out more than the individual workers whose factories they shutter. Importing Chinese goods and Chinese profits means importing the values of the Chinese Communist Party. On free speech, consumer protections, workers’ rights, the environment, and more, our open trade with China has rendered our laws null and replaced them with the dictates of a hostile, totalitarian state.
[Free Beacon - Jan 2019] Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which means he gets to appear on cable news a lot, and is a recurring character in the fan-fiction fever dreams of the Anti-Drumpf Resistance.
Speaking of fan fiction, the New Yorker reports that Schiff has been moonlighting as a screenwriter for years:
"The first was a post-Holocaust story called ’Remnant.’ " As Schiff recalled, "I had an agent at William Morris tell me it was good but no one would want to see it‐too depressing. Then ’Schindler’s List’ came out, and I was, like, ’Come on!’ " His next, written when he was a prosecutor, was a murder mystery called "Minotaur." "I had a friend who was a producer, and he said there were two answers in Hollywood‐’Yes,’ and ’Here’s a check.’ I was getting lots of yeses." But perhaps there is hope for his third. "It’s a spy drama," he said. "That one is a work in progress."
Schiff will presumably be pretty busy investigating the Trump administration and appearing on CNN, but let's hope he finds the time to finish that spy drama. In the meantime, here are a few other ideas to keep his creative juices flowing.
The congressman could start by teaming up with CNN celebrity journalist Jim Acosta to bring his forthcoming bestseller‐"The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America"‐to the big screen. Given the subject matter, Schiff should have no problem pumping the script full of high-octane suspense. The moment our protagonist learns the bullies in the White House press office tried to ban cameras in the briefing room. Or the time they tried to take his press pass and he fought back with a vengeance. Or the time Stephen Miller blanked him in the hallway, or whatever.
[Babylon Bee] U.S.‐As part of her campaign, Elizabeth Warren has begun sharing stories illustrating the hardship and discrimination she’s faced. Recently, she revealed a particularly tough time back in the early '70s when she lost a teaching job because her fake mustache had fallen off, revealing she was, in fact, a woman. Warren declared it a pivotal incident that shaped much of her life.
"It was tough for a woman back then," Warren said at a campaign stop. "You had to wear fake facial hair and talk in a deep voice, or people would fire you." Warren then detailed an incident from back when she was 22 years old and holding a teaching position. Somehow the spirit gum wore off, and her mustache fell off in the middle of a meeting. She was met with cries of "That’s a woman!" before being chased out of the building followed by shouts of "Jobs are for men!"
Some right-wing news outlets have disputed the story, citing a 2007 interview in which Warren talked about losing the job. In it, she mentions problems with a teaching certificate but nothing about fake facial hair. Still, others have backed up Warren, saying it was very common for women to lose jobs in the '70s when a fake mustache or beard or other disguise failed, revealing the employee’s actual gender.
Warren says things have improved for women since, but they could still be better. To help the situation, she announced a plan to fund R&D for an adhesive that will easily keep mustaches in place all day.
[Washington Examiner] President Trump decided to recall the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine based on foreign allegations that his own political appointees at the State Department regarded as false, according to the ousted envoy. See graphic at right for additional 'sacred trust' perspective.
"I ‐ like my colleagues at the State Department ‐ have always believed that we enjoyed a sacred trust with our government," Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said in her prepared statement to House lawmakers on Friday. "We believe in America and its special role in the world. We also believe that, in return, our government will have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign interests. That basic understanding no longer holds true."
Yovanovitch, 60, rooted that assessment in the circumstances surrounding the abrupt end to her tenure as the top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, a controversy that proved a foreshock of the political earthquake caused by Trump’s push for Ukrainian officials to investigate his Democratic rivals. The ambassador denied any political bias against Trump, but argued that he was duped by former Ukrainian officials who regarded her anti-corruption efforts as a threat.
"Our efforts were intended, and evidently succeeded, in thwarting corrupt interests in Ukraine, who fought back by selling baseless conspiracy theories to anyone who would listen," Yovanovitch said. "Sadly, someone was listening, and our nation is the worse off for that."
Her prepared statement is an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president by a career foreign service officer, all the more scathing because she remains a government employee. House Democrats issued a subpoena for her testimony after the the Trump administration objected to her appearing in the absence of a State Department attorney. Nice bit of opinion-writing by the Washington Examiner Deep Stater
As a diplomat you work for the Orange Man, not the other way around. If you had a shred of integrity you would have resigned at the start if this is your attitude. Clear indication you should have been flushed at the start.
Biden made Ukraine fire top prosecutor investigating son’s firm
Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.
[CarolineGlick] The near consensus view of President Donald Trump’s decision to remove US special forces from the Syrian border with Turkey is that Trump is enabling a Turkish invasion and double crossing the Syrian Kurds who have fought with the Americans for five years against ISIS. Trump’s move, the thinking goes, harms US credibility and undermines US power in the region and throughout the world.
There are several problems with this narrative. The first is that it assumes that until this week, the US had power and influence in Syria when in fact, by design, the US went to great lengths to limit its ability to influence events in Syria.
...This brings us to the second flaw in the narrative about Trump’s removal of US forces from the Syrian border with Turkey.
The underlying assumption of the criticism is that America has an interest in confronting Turkey to protect the Kurds.
...The Kurds are a tragic people. The Kurds, who live as persecuted minorities in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran have been denied the right of self-determination for the past hundred years. But then, the Kurds have squandered every opportunity they have had to assert independence. The closest they came to achieving self-determination was in Iraq in 2017. In Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurds have governed themselves effectively since 1992. In 2017, they overwhelmingly passed a referendum calling for Iraqi Kurdistan to secede from Iraq and form an independent state. Instead of joining forces to achieve their long-held dream, the Kurdish leaders in Iraq worked against one another. One faction, in alliance with Iran, blocked implementation of the referendum and then did nothing as Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk was overrun by Iraqi government forces.
The final assumption of the narrative regarding Trump’s moves in Syria is that by moving its forces away from the border ahead of the Turkish invasion, Trump harmed regional stability and America’s reputation as a trustworthy ally.
On the latter issue, Trump has spent the better part of his term in office rebuilding America’s credibility as an ally after Obama effectively abandoned the Sunnis and Israel in favor of Iran. To the extent that Trump has harmed US credibility, he didn’t do it in Syria this week by rejecting war with Turkey. He did it last month by failing to retaliate militarily against Iran’s brazen military attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations. Whereasthe US has no commitment to protect the Kurds, the US’s central commitment in the Middle East for the past 70 years has been the protection of Saudi oil installations and maintaining the safety of maritime routes in and around the Persian Gulf.
[American Thinker] President Trump’s decision to withdraw our few troops from the Syria-Turkey border area earned him considerable criticism from allies. Senator Lindsey Graham said the decision is "a catastrophe in the making." Representative Lin Cheney said it’s "a catastrophic mistake." Former UN Secretary Nikki Haley said, "We must always have the backs of our allies."
President Trump has answered these critics. The Kurds were engaged in a contractual relationship fighting the Islamic State (ISIS). They were well paid and equipped for their fighting, much like any mercenary group. Further, they were given three years to consolidate eastern Syria to feed their long-held desire to form an independent Kurdistan with other Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They failed.
The Kurds’ problem, and by association that of the U.S., is that regional powers like Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran and Syria have long held the Kurds in disdain. In fact, Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds to be allies of the Kurdistan Workers' Party or (PKK), which are Turkish Kurds and terrorists fighting for independence for the last 35 years.
Basically, the Kurds hijacked our fight with ISIS to feed their regional civil war to earn independence.
President Trump is aware of that agenda and is also trying to constrain American hawks who want to use our military willy-nilly across the world. Remember that Trump frequently said during his 2016 campaign that he wants to escape from endless wars and bring our fighters home.
Also, we need to ask ourselves whether the withdrawal of a few American troops really matters in the conflict either against ISIS, and did it really grant the Turkish government the "green light" to attack "terrorist" Kurds? Perhaps. The Syrian civil war which led to the rise of ISIS is over and the bloody dictator in Damascus won, thanks to the Russians and Iranians. We can blame Obama for that outcome, not Trump. And yes, the Turks have permission from Damascus to cross into Syria and they will now consolidate a buffer zone along the Syrian border to control terrorist actions fostered by the independence-minded Kurds and allow for millions of refugees to return home. I bet the U.S. would do the same if we had a similar problem on either of our borders with Mexico or Canada.
The pregnant question that Trump’s critics don’t answer is: Will ISIS return to fight another day? Not necessarily. Keep in mind that al Qaeda and ISIS are in many more places today than when U.S. forces first pursued them in the mountains of Afghanistan and in the northern plains of Iraq. Also, what remains of ISIS is trapped in a small area in Syria and if they make a ruckus that can be easily handled by Turkish and Russian airstrikes, and they won’t bother with concerns about collateral damage.
Another point about all the fake news about the Kurdish plight is evidence of a basic misunderstanding about the Middle East, which is locked in a constant cycle of war in part because of the English and French fools that redrew the maps after World War I.
Trump’s critics can learn about Middle Eastern culture by watching Lawrence of Arabia. Remember the first time that Lawrence goes into the desert his guide stops at some oasis. As the guide drinks from the well, a dark figure on a camel rides fast towards them and then shoots dead Lawrence’s guide. Lawrence is stunned and asks why the Arab killed the guide. The Arab responds, "He is Hazzami. He is nothing. He knew that he could not drink from our well."
Yes, much of the region is locked in tribal wars and they don’t want democracy. Further, and in part because of those tribal wars, we do not need to stay there another day, much less a century. Rather, let the regional players handle these problems and leave the larger security challenges like China and Russia to the United States.
Nobody ever says much about how Americans who think like a typical Rantburger would feel about say, hypothetically, Canadian troops sent into the US to "protect" Latin American "refugees." (Especially if those refugees were SanFran Nan's "spark of divinity" MS-13 pets) It's an interesting thought experiment
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
10/12/2019 9:19 Comments ||
I explored your thought experiment to the sad end, M.
Quebec and Toronto ended up as markets for Salvadoran meth, Trudeau was almost assassinated by an irate mother of an addict and strangely tattooed men with dead eyes began appearing in local canadian news.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.