foreign affairs

“Political Corruption: Can the Swamp Be Drained?” (youtube, 56 minutes) by Kimberley Strassel – This lecture was given as part of the April 2018 National Leadership Seminar, “What is American Greatness?” The previous president bragged about the lack of scandals on his watch. Strassel explains otherwise. She spends 34 minutes defining political corruption and the swamp before describing a growing awareness of the problem and some of the approaches towards finding solutions and remedies.

Cutting NRA ties is taking sides in culture war. That’s bad for business and America by Jon Gabriel – “Do we really want separate financial systems for Republicans and Democrats? Because that’s where we’re headed if this witch hunt continues.”

“Across social media, left-leaning accounts have pressured a slew of companies offering modest discounts to NRA’s 5 million members. These deals are in the companies’ interest, and they extend them to thousands of organizations. When an airline offers 10% off a ticket to a national conference, that helps the bottom line.

But as soon as a vocal group started yelling online, many of these companies cancelled the programs — some within 24 hours.
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The NRA’s critics don’t understand that the group’s power doesn’t derive from minor discounts from travel companies or donations to politicians. It comes from the more than 5 million members who make up the organization.
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The larger problem isn’t this temporary tempest. All of these pressure campaigns accomplish nothing but alienate people based on their politics. The result is to divide Americans into ever smaller subgroups in which we can’t sit in the same town hall or, apparently, shop in the same stores.

The Real Russian Disaster by Victor Davis Hanson – “Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status.”

“The verdict on Russia, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign is now becoming clearer. Russian reset resurrected Putin’s profile and hurt U.S. interests. It grew out of a partisan rebuke of the Bush administration’s perceived harshness to Russia and was later massaged to help Barack Obama’s reelection campaign by granting Russia concessions in hopes of a foreign-policy success that would lead to perceived calm. Russia deliberately inserted itself into the 2016 election, as it had in previous elections, because 1) it had suffered few if any prior consequences, 2) it wanted to sow chaos in the American political system, and 3) it saw a way to warp Clinton’s efforts to smear Donald Trump, first, no doubt to compromise a likely President Clinton, and, in unexpected fashion, later to undermine an actual President Trump.

At very little cost, Russia has embarrassed American democracy, played the media for the partisans they are, completely discredited the Clinton campaign and name, and created a year of nonstop hysteria to undermine the Trump administration.

And it is not over yet.

The Cold War With China By Paul Mirengoff – “The left can’t seem to make up its mind. Is President Trump a tool of Putin or an anti-Russia cold warrior?”

“I say he’s neither. Instead, I think Trump is slowly recognizing, as President Obama never seemed to, that Russia and China are waging a Cold War against us, and is beginning to respond accordingly.

This time around, China is the stronger of our two adversaries. And it signaled its determination to escalate its Cold War against the U.S. when Xi Jinping became, in effect, dictator for life.
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The problem for China is that the U.S. stands in the way of Chinese aggression and visions of regional, and indeed global, domination.
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But Trump is not a dictator and he won’t be president for more than the next seven years.

If China fails in its quest to dominate Asia, and indeed the globe, it probably won’t be due to sustained U.S. resistance.

One of the rationales for state support for Amateur Radio was one-on-one citizen reactions promoting international friendships. The I’net and social networks have taken this up several notches. That changes how governments interact with each other and behave in the international theater. But human nature has not changed, only its expression. 

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