Napolitano: Spying on Trump, you and me

By Andrew Napolitano After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Senate’s Church Committee had attempted to grasp the full extent of lawless government surveillance in America during the LBJ and Nixon years, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The Roots of Trump’s Economic Policy

By John Hendrickson

President Trump’s economic policy, while seemingly foreign to today’s Republicans and conservatives, is rooted in a Republican and conservative tradition. President Trump, in an economic policy speech in Michigan arguing for the need to resurrect American manufacturing, called for a “new economic model — the American model.” President Trump in his many speeches often recalls the economic nationalism of past presidents such as Abraham Lincoln. As President Trump noted: “Our great Presidents, from Washington to Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln, all understood that a great nation must protect its manufacturing, must protect itself from the outside….”

President Trump’s American model of economic policy is not necessarily new, but rather, a rediscovering of the older Republican tradition. Patrick J. Buchanan wrote that “in leading Republicans away from globalism to economic nationalism, Trump is not writing a new gospel. He is leading a lost party away from a modernist heresy—back to the Old-Time Religion.”

“The economic nationalism and protectionism of Hamilton, Madison, Jackson, and Henry Clay, and the Party of Lincoln, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Coolidge, of all four presidents on Mount Rushmore, made America the greatest and most self-sufficient republic in history,” noted Buchanan.

Republican presidential administrations, especially before World War II, followed an economic approach that was based on similar ideas that President Trump is advocating. Charles Kesler, a Senior Fellow at the Claremont Institute, wrote that “Mr. Trump’s policies suggest that what he calls his ‘common sense’ conservatism harks back to the principles and agenda of the old Republican Party, which reached its peak before the New Deal.”

Although President Trump may not fit easily into the Republican Party or conservatism some of his ideas reflect the pre-World War II Republicans. As Kesler explains:

Mr. Trump remains the kind of conservative president whom one expects to say, proudly and often, “the chief business of the American people is business.” Although Calvin Coolidge said it first, Mr. Trump shows increasing signs of thinking along broadly Coolidgean lines, and of redirecting Republican policies toward the pre-New Deal, pre-Cold War party of William McKinley and Coolidge, with its roots in the party of Abraham Lincoln.

Charles Kesler described some of the policies of the pre-World War II Republicans that are similar to President Trump’s policy preferences:

In those days the party stood for protective tariffs, immigration tied to assimilation (or what Theodore Roosevelt called Americanization), judges prepared to strike down state and sometimes federal laws encroaching on constitutional limitations, tax cuts, internal improvements (infrastructure spending, in today’s parlance) and a firm but restrained foreign policy tailored to the defense of the national interest. Are these not the main elements of Trump administration policies?

In describing the electoral victory of Donald Trump, Tom Piatak, wrote in Chronicles that “the America First GOP of McKinley and Coolidge may be on the way back.”

President Trump can look to past Republican presidents for guidance such as William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, among others as examples who followed an “American model” of economics. …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Young Man At A Crossroads

By Rod Dreher

Vulcano/Shutterstock

A reader writes:

I write to you asking for a bit of advice, not just for myself, but for the many young professionals attempting to discern which graduate school programs to attend (if any), and which vocations will allow for both a virtuous life and a sufficient salary.

A key argument of your writing references the ideas of agrarianism and distributism, advocated by Wendell Berry and J.R.R. Tolkien, respectively. In your opinion, should young professionals shift their studies to these more practical matters, such as sustainable farming and the economics of cooperatives, abandoning the expensive and compromised masters programs of major universities?

As an intelligence professional, I worry that another degree spent rehashing the same tired arguments about international relations lacks relevance in this era of cultural disruption. Alternatively, by mastering the field of Middle East language and culture, could I provide a service to whichever Catholic community my wife and I find as a teacher? Should everyone aspiring to bring the Benedict Option into our lay culture become a farmer, teacher, or small business owner? Has government service become too hostile to our way of life to maintain virtue? Is migrating to the Washington DC bubble only perpetuating the loss of rural culture and values?

This young man asks serious questions about vocation. With his permission, I’m asking you all for your answers. Serious responses only, please.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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#Covfefe

By Rod Dreher

All I want to say is that it’s both humiliating and frightening to think that the President of the United States, the most powerful man in the world, is lying in bed after midnight tweeting while falling asleep. This is a man whose words could start a war, and this is how reckless he is, and how childish.

We’re going to be lucky to get out of this presidency without a national security crisis caused by something as stupid as a midnight tweet.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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The Atrocious U.S.-Backed War on Yemen Continues

By Daniel Larison

Horrific conditions in Yemen continue to grow worse:

Cholera deaths in war-torn Yemen have surged into the hundreds, more than a quarter of Yemenis face famine, and parents are selling girls into marriage to buy food, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

It bears repeating again that the humanitarian catastrophe now consuming the people of Yemen is entirely man-made. This catastrophe could still be prevented from getting worse if there were sufficient pressure on the warring parties to halt the fighting along with adequate funding for relief efforts and a lifting of the blockade that has been starving the country for over two years. Unlike some other conflicts where the U.S. and other Western powers have little or no influence, the war on Yemen is one waged by U.S. clients and fueled by U.S. and British support for the intervening governments. Washington has considerable leverage that it could use to rein in the Saudi-led coalition and possibly halt their campaign all together, but only if it is willing to use it. To date, neither the Obama nor the Trump administration has been willing to do that.

The U.S. and the coalition governments also have ample resources that they could use to alleviate the hardship of millions of starving and diseased Yemenis. These people suffer in large part because of the coalition intervention that our government has supported to the hilt, and so there is a special obligation on the governments responsible for this to redress the wrongs that have been done to them. Millions of Yemeni lives are threatened and thousands are being lost because of a foolish decision to try to reimpose a discredited leadership on Yemen, and the U.S. has helped enable the creation of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in a misguided desire to “reassure” the client states responsible for wrecking the country. Yemenis have done nothing to us or their neighbors that could possibly justify the treatment that has been meted out to them, and they are the victims of an indefensible and atrocious war that most of the world chooses to ignore. Meanwhile, some of the world’s most powerful governments–including ours–seek to profit from the death and destruction.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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I, Spiritual Pornographer

By Rod Dreher

When last you read about Prof. Alan Levinovitz, it was my commenting on an essay he had published in Slate, defending intolerance. A quote from that Levinovitz essay:

Just as it is foolish to condemn all intolerance, it is also misguided to make strict rules about permissible forms of intolerance. No shouting. No breaking the law. The correct form of intolerance always depends on its object and its context. If Charles Murray were to hand out copies of The Bell Curve in a supermarket, it would be entirely acceptable to shout at him. Sometimes laws need to be broken—sometimes you need to sit at the front of the bus. And for all but the staunchest pacifists, violence can be a perfectly justifiable way to express intolerance when someone attacks you.

Earlier I claimed that it’s no longer controversial to think that civil liberties don’t depend on race, gender, or religion. Unfortunately, a clear-eyed assessment of the evidence shows that many people would likely embrace a return to the (not so) good old days. In this country, a congressman can publically [sic] express ethno-nationalism—“We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies”—and be praised by colleagues for it. The longtime best-selling book of Christian apologetics—C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity—calls for religious nationalism (“all economists and statesmen should be Christians”) and argues that God wants men to be the head of the household. These are popular ideals, but they are poisonous and deserve fierce resistance, not complacent tolerance.

As I wrote in response, note well that Levinovitz believes that C.S. Lewis — C.S. Lewis! — advocated “poisonous” ideas, ones that deserve “fierce resistance.” And he believes that Charles Murray deserves to be shouted down — and Levinovitz is highly ambiguous on whether or not people should beat Murray up.

In another piece, an “open letter” to Sen. Marco Rubio, who is a Christian, Levinovitz goes on to say that academia is a universalist religion that instantiates a “sacred order.” And:

In fact, humanities professors like me work against many of your core values. Explaining the origin and persistence of creationist pseudoscience? Religion and philosophy. Shutting down racists and sexists who explain discrimination with “natural differences”? Anthropology and history. We can’t take all the credit, of course, but the fact that the arc of history seems to bend toward justice is due, at least in part, to the efforts of humanities scholars.

As I said at the time:

This man is not a disinterested scholar. He’s a zealot, and an extremely self-righteous one at that. Prof. Levinovitz is as ardent for his own god as any hidebound fundamentalist is for his.

Note well that Levinovitz believes that ideas he finds offensive are “poisonous,” and that those who advocate for them ought to be shouted down, and perhaps subject to violence. And note also that he forthrightly boasts about people like him working to undermine “many of your core values.”

With that in mind, let’s have a look at his recent Los Angeles Review of Books piece, in which he …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Janice Dean: Last Man Out — A New York City firefighter’s legacy

By Janice Dean Everyone knew Ray would die of cancer. What was different is Ray’s cancer came from saving others – something he spent his career doing as a member of the Fire Department of the City of New York. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Joe Lieberman would have been a great FBI director

By Lanny Davis Former Connecticut Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has been my friend for more than 40 years, going back to the days when we changed diapers together when our now oldest children were newborns. …read more

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