Petition to defend the Electoral College

petition-video-still

To sign read and sign petition at change.org click:
http://tinyurl.com/DefendElectoralIntegrity !

I learned today that Daniel Brezenoff’s petition to get electors to change their votes and elect Hillary Clinton president, in defiance of the constitution of the U.S.A., has garnered nearly 5 million signatures, the highest in the history of change.org.  Are we going to be governed by social media and street demonstrations?  One of the instigators of such efforts, Daniel Brezenoff, is himself a danger to the constitution.   I think it is time to use modern technology ourselves, and maybe a dose of it in the Electoral College.
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Will you support a constitutional amendment to keep 19 year old electors from changing their vote, and to remove the 18th century winter travel delay? The electoral college needs to be preserved to prevent the dictates of an immature narrow majority from making the country into a clone of childhood whim. They’ll grow up eventually, and it is our duty to preserve the country, even for those that do not know they would miss it. Sign the petition today! Show the other side that your vote was not a joke!
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The agreement for the former colonies, then independent states, to associate to form the United States under the constitution of 1789, addresses the need for the values and methods of the states not be consolidated or co-opted by a simple national majority.  This refers to the rights of the state populations, which would then become minorities of the whole, to maintain not only existing but future cultural and governance differences as they might wish.  Not to be forced to comply in a unified “Tower of Babel.
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The constitutional provision allowing for travel time in early winter for the electoral college to convene is no longer necessary and introduces a degree of uncertainty that encourages opportunists to attempt to contravene the electoral process.  This petition recommends a constitutional amendment to do away with electors, but keep the existing historical elector vote counting system, and to allow one week for any election uncertainties to be resolved, and subject to the decision of state election officials to automatically cast the required number of electoral college votes at that time.
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States have legitimate differences in founding principles, traditions and style of governance and cooperation.  Massachusetts is called a “CommonWealth” for a reason.  It has a tradition of regarding the welfare of all in common and reliance on government for personal needs.  Texas has a tradition of the open range and self-reliance.  There was no one near to help.  A handful of men died at the Alamo fighting Santa Anna own their on rather than run away to join Sam Houston’s army – which they could have done!  If you don’t like either of those extremes, move to Colorado, they’ve got everything.
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When my son grows up I want him to have these choices.  Do you want to have choices?  Do you want a few people who actually “like” living piled on top of each other in cities, reproducing like rabbits, to be able to control your life?  No!  I have only one child exactly so that he can have more of everything I can give a child.  Including the future.  Freedom is exactly the preservation of that choice, the most important choice any of us will ever make.  I have nothing against rabbit people.  They tend to stay in the cities and make an interesting cultural environment to visit.  I don’t want to live there and they are not entitled to make my state exactly like their state.  That is the function of the electoral college.
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The archaic travel delay allows modern mass-media powered movements too much time to grow and challenge a legitimate election.  The election process should use the same technology the rest of society uses, and this delay should be removed as a window of opportunity for undemocratic progressive so-called democracy to dictate how the rest of us live and plan for the future.
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Thank you for your support.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Goodbye, and the best to you.  Sign today, and tell all your friends.  Heck, tell your enemies too, even people you don’t know!
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P.S. Brezenoff is Russian.  My wife is Russian.  There is no cultural bias in play.  We are even on that count.  Half my friends belong either to a minority or immigrant status.  A Vietnamese friend voted for Trump because his sister lost her Bank of America job to outsourcing.  An Hispanic-Latin friend (he doesn’t like any of those labels) who has lived right here for generations as the border moved voted for Trump.  Don’t be fooled.  No one was joking.

Chinese Cars now at a Dealer Near You!

No I’m not kidding and no they are not crackerjack box cars, but Volvos.  And expect more to come.  On Nov. 2, 2016, days before the surprise election of a certain Donald Trump as POTUS, partly on trade issues, Volvo made the following announcement:

“… production capacity will be increased and China will be developed into a global manufacturing and export hub servicing growing demand for its new range of cars in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific.”

volvo-s90
Volvo S90 – Made in China – Sold & driven in the U.S.

The U.S. has a record of suspicion at letting China directly import cars, or generally letting China own stakes in major U.S. industries.  But there is no bar on them buying companies that sell here.  China owns $1.157 Trillion in U.S. Treasury Bonds, mostly long term, and the market value of that is about to plummet because the Fed is raising U.S. interest rates.  Indeed, 30-year bond rates have already risen from 2.25% to 3% since about the first of October.  To find the price of bonds you have to use a price calculator like this one.  If the Chinese bonds were all 30-year, this would be a 20% or $231 billion loss in value.  Even if they were all 10-year holdings (pretty much all the Chinese holdings are at least that), they have taken an $80 billion “haircut” in the last two months.  It must be dawning on them they should use that money to buy companies in Europe which sell us things.

There was a glimmer of hope today with the announcement Trump had talked with the leader of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, breaking “decades of diplomatic tradition” (since Nixon I presume) and risking China’s anger.  I have no confidence there is the economic will to resist cheap trinkets from China, especially if they have quality Swedish nameplates on them.  But if the debate can become a diplomatic one, with military overtones, then we might get tough.  Americans understand military threats much better than economic ones.

Share the country! … or go to Canada

Got a problem?  There is a solution.  Sometimes we are too close to see them, so I made a list.

Unhappy about Trump being elected?  Some do’s and don’ts …

  1. SHARE THE COUNTRY!  I’ve been putting up with all of you that I disagree with since about 1990.  It is so bad I went to the other side of the world to find a wife I wouldn’t argue politics and religion with.  That’s right, I don’t like the left or the right, and not many in the center.  But I’ve shared the country and I haven’t protested a single time.  Grow up!  Believe me, it wasn’t pleasant.  I hated just about every second of it.  You can do it too.
  2. MAKE GOOD ON YOUR CANADIAN THREAT!  Did you say you would leave if Trump was elected?  If so, why are you still here?  If Canada is too cold, go to Mexico.  Either country would love to have you.
  3. DON’T PROTEST!  How 3rd world can you get?  Protest and chaos are the techniques that absolutists and totalitarians use to take over when they don’t get their way.  In this country if one doesn’t like the status quo, one conducts a political campaign, which is pretty much like a protest, but civilized, in a rented building, not blocking traffic.  Trump rallies were mass protests.  You didn’t see the masses?  The press used tight head-and-shoulders shots to conceal the mass attendances.
  4. PICK AN HONEST CANDIDATE NEXT TIME!  Clinton had a foreign policy plan to re-assert American might in Europe and the Middle east, to get involved in Syria, that she didn’t talk about during the campaign because she knew Obama supporters wouldn’t like it.  It’s a consistent pattern – she planned her first healthcare in secret, wrote her emails on a private server in secret, etc.  Sometimes if a guy says things you don’t like during a campaign, maybe he is just not willing to lie to you.  There might be some advantage to that.  Someone who seems too polite and all-embracing is always lying.  Someone who seems too good to be true is (too good to be true – and lying).

Happy about Trump but unhappy about the 3rd world reaction from the love-in-now-turned-protest-potentially-chaos spoiled brats?

  1. DON’T PROTEST YOURSELF!  Funny thing is, to protest didn’t even occur to Trump supporters.
  2. JOIN A WELL REGULATED MILITIA if you are really worried, one with a connection to the government of your state.  National Guard will do fine.  You don’t need to buy a gun, they will give you one.  If you don’t like the government of your state, move permanently to another one.
  3. START A BLOG, TWEET, express your opinion.
  4. WRITE OR TWEET TO THE REPORTERS WHO ARE ENCOURAGING THEM!  The media live in a group think fish bowl and hear nothing but their own ideas.  If they get enough negative feedback, they will begin to feel overwhelmed by it and at least a few of them will begin to cover the other side.  THE PRESS ARE CLAIMING EVEN THOSE WHO VOTED FOR TRUMP DON’T REALLY WANT HIM!  Disabuse them of this notion.

On that last point, I have talked with many people about who they voted for.  I find that people who didn’t like either Trump or Clinton, didn’t vote for either.  One young woman in Texas voted Republican except for President she voted for a 3rd party candidate, for example.  Some people just didn’t vote.  I found no one “holding their nose” after voting for Trump.  The people who DID vote for Trump enthusiastically include:

  1. An immigrant whose sister lost her job to offshoring and had to train her replacements.
  2. An Hispanic/Latino who is not an immigrant, whose family has lived here for generations (actually, he points out we of European descent are the immigrants).

The protesters don’t care about trade and jobs.  They are using slogans I haven’t heard since Woodstock.  If they had jobs, they wouldn’t be protesting in the middle of a work day.

 

 

British Inquisition vs. Sharia Law

british-inquisition
The British “Inquiry” into Sharia Law initially shared Theresa May’s tolerance, but as Muslim women who are anti-Sharia join with MPs who are opposed to any non-British law in the country, it may gain a different flavor.  article

I am often asked, regarding my views that religions that advocate killing non-believers should not be allowed, well what do you do about it?  There seems to be a presumption that the only alternative is a Stalinesque purge.  That is a position suggested by the Politically Correct (not!) globalists to scare you into thinking there is nothing you can do.  It is useless to resist.  Well, the Borg said that and Picard resisted them.  So can we.

It has been done before.  Muslims took over large parts of Europe, especially most of Spain, in the mid 700’s.  They were rolled back gradually over centuries, and finally Isabella and Ferdinand united the two major kingdoms via their marriage, and financing Columbus was the least of their accomplishments.

The Catholic Inquisition, operating since the mid 1200’s, was not what you think.  It did not burn witches.  Since the late 700’s burning witches was illegal in Catholicism and itself a capital offense.  Catholics weren’t supposed to believe in witches, and so burning someone for witchcraft was murder, pure and simple.

My friends, the purpose of the inquisition was to prevent sectarian violence, of which burning witches was one example.  A few hundred years later it became abusive, but that is another problem.  When I learned it’s true purpose in relation to the witch-burning, I was stunned at how inaccurate my education in history had been.  What other lies have we been fed?

Ferdinand and Isabella wanted a peaceful, cooperative country.  They asked first the Jews and then the Muslims to convert or leave.  Then they got a special version of the inquisition approved by the Pope, the Spanish Inquisition, and they hired a converted Jew to head it, and determine if the converted congregations were secretly practicing their old ways.  Very wise, as I’m sure he knew what to look for.  Those found in violation were simply detained until they really converted or really left.

It worked.  A few hundred years later, Spain again allowed Muslims to enter, but they have the most tolerant Muslim community in the world, which even tolerates intermarriage with non-Muslims.

The later abuses of the Spanish Inquisition, however, are a perfect example of the fact that once you start an “inquiry,” you rapidly lose control of it, as the British are finding out.  The British Inquiry will become the British Inquisition and at the end of the day, they will have no Sharia Law in Britain.  The various inquisitions of Europe eventually found their way to America and so will this one.

It is made inevitable by the Muslims themselves.  They will not quit killing infidels until their scripture directing them to do that is erased.  And it will make populations madder and madder until they do something.  An “inquiry” is quite civilized compared to “Armageddon,” which some Evangelical Christians are advocating as the “final solution” to the “Muslim problem.”

Frankly, the Christian scriptures need to be purged of a few things too, Armageddon and the entire book of Revelation being high on my list of what needs to go (it was only marginally admitted at Nicea in the first place).  How about a trade, Revelation for Killing of the Infidels?  Political Christianity for Political Islam?  (Without “political Islam” the impetus to export Sharia Law to other countries is considerably less.)

We already have LGBT marriage and recruiting (what do you think Gay Parades are about anyway?), which to me is, well, doesn’t need to be public, let’s put it that way.  If we are going to take something from Islam, why not polygamy?  It is very useful.  Built-in child care as the wives take turns at it while the other one gets a break.  The single spouse idea came from pagan Greeks and Romans, not from the Bible.  God knows that it doesn’t work!

Anyway, back to the subject.  Let’s start a movement to bring “The Inquiry” here.  We probably can’t burn billions of electronic copies of the Koran, but artificially intelligent computers residing on the soon-to-be 5G network that wirelessly can download a movie in a couple of seconds will need something to burn their CPU cycles on.  Why not monitoring the converts from traditional to tolerant Islam?

And don’t even mention religious freedom to me.  I have never been free of religion.  It is in my face everywhere I go, and I suck it up and tolerate the one I grew up with.  I have no use for another one, especially if it has 92 verses saying to kill me.  Get real, folks.  And get rid of the 92 verses, and Revelation while you are at it.  If that’s too difficult, just get rid of religion.

Bing-Google rigging black shooter search results: evidence

Emergency – tier 1 level – red alert.  You cannot trust the US-based internet search and news sources anymore than you can trust the Russian press, perhaps not as much.  I accidentally stumbled across this evidence and was shocked!  The following data were screen captured on November 1, 2016 using a browser I don’t normally use, so that it wouldn’t be influenced by my past searches or cookies.

I compared two search services, and two searches.  There are differences between Bing and Google, and the racial black-white searches are much more heavily rigged than the Muslim searches.  I compared both the search suggestions and the first page of results, vs. recent high profile news stories I know to exist which I could pull up by city name.  There is no telling how deep this goes.

This is very cleverly done.  The search services have conditioned you to think they don’t know the difference between “police shot by blacks” and “blacks shot by police.”  Both searches might well produce just a list of articles with the words in any order, and perhaps they do.  But it is well known that Google hand tweaks results as well.  It appears they are either doing this on a massive scale, which must be very expensive, or their algorithms are much smarter than they have let on.

Here are the Bing suggested searches, which indicate probably the number of people searching for something similar:

bing1suggestions

Here are the Bing results:

bing2blacks

100% of the first page results in Bing are of the opposite type – blacks shot by police.  There could be more than one explanation.  Let’s try Google.  Here are the suggestions:

google1suggestions

Far fewer suggestions on Google suggests that they don’t want you searching for this kind of stuff.  I certainly don’t believe Google users are less interested in violent news than Bing users, in fact I’d guess the other way around.  Bing is sort of erudite compared to Google.  OK, here are the results:

google2black

Again 100% backward on the first page.  I looked at many further pages, and actually it remained 100%.  I could not find ANY black shooter stories from a general query, and I tried many other ways to word the search.

Maybe no black shooter stories exist?  Hardly.  Some very recent very high profile stories should have been near the top of the results, such as this one from Baton Rouge:

bing4batonrouge

Pretty dramatic, huh?  It’s actually somewhat harder to find using Google.  I’ll leave you to explore that for yourself.

There is another way to establish that such stories probably are common, but being suppressed.  Search for black crime statistics:

google4crime

Take the statistics from the top story and divide 52/13 and you find the black homicide rate is 4 times higher.  Now even if they are only shooting other blacks (which may be mostly true if you believe Donald Trump), a lot of police officers are black and they should be standing in the way of the bullets of black shooters at a high rate even if the shootings are totally incidental to committing crimes and not involving any prejudice at all.  Some black officers have been shot, by people of various races including black.  So the job of a search engine, if I ask it, is to select the ones that meet my criteria.  They are not only not doing it, these results prove they are suppressing it.

The racial identity of the Baton Rouge shooter is much harder to find on Google by the way.  I don’t know if that is deliberate or incidental to their sparser use of photographs.

I asked the question whether this was being done for Muslim shooters.  Here are the Bing results:

bing3muslims

Well, they come right up with a nice mix of Muslims shooting and getting shot, just like you’d expect from a keyword search with no semantic understanding.  What about Google?

google3muslim

Google provides a slightly different mix of stories and no photos, but still believably a keyword search with no semantic understanding.

If we let news suppression get a foothold in this country (apparently it already has) then it’s all over.  News media are virtually the only source of information we have to decide on facts and policy far from our home communities.

I’d say write your Congressman but we already know from the recent campaign, they agree with all this political correctness brainwashing.  I’d say write the reporters but frankly I’ve tried that several times in the last year and it does nothing.  I’d say boycott Google and Bing but then what?  The Fox-CNN-etc. outlets basically admit that they are biased.  Even Fox (not my favorite, too repetitively biased) has gone PC with Megan Kelly.

I tried my search on the BBC.  Same results.  It’s possible the search engines could be innocent.  The media outlets might be suppressing the mention of the word “black” in stories about blacks shooting cops.  I actually used the photo to identify the race of the Baton Rouge shooter.  It was hard to find in the text of the first article I looked at.

But even this would not let the search engines off the hook, because there are lots of news outlets, some of them rabidly biased in all sorts of directions, and as they say on the X-Files, the truth is “out there.”

Who won at the end of that series anyway?  The truth remained buried, right?  If that is our unconscious expectation, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

How much of this is not so much the political ideals of these business, but the necessity that they please advertisers?  Blacks are enjoying growing economic success, despite their whining, and most of the growth in consumer marketing targets blacks and Hispanics.  If blacks are boycotting a news source because it ran too many stories on black shooters, then they won’t be getting any ad revenue targeted at black audiences, because their ratings among this audience will go to zero.

We need to have news we pay for, I think.  The reverse of vast consumer choice in news outlets’ obverse is the effectiveness of consumer pressure, making all the choices the same.  That’s probably the reason for Megan Kelly.  She appeals to the women and liberals and minorities necessary to get Fox’s ratings up.  Again, I don’t like Fox, just pointing to a principle.  In some ways the BBC is less biased with regard to US News, but even there the black shooter suppression was evident.

What is the reason?

Why would the black shooter searches be censored and not the Muslim shooter searches?

This would need some research, but I have some guesses that might make good starting points.  There has been an attempt since the late 1960s to ERASE RACE from American demographics.  Nothing is supposed to depend on race, except in a perverted way (blacks are poor because someone discriminated against them, otherwise it would not be so – which may be true as far as I know, I’m just reporting the social logic of the time), so nothing should be reported by race.  Especially black race.  If there is a shooter, it’s racist to report that he is black.  So race doesn’t get reported.  “Black man shoots cop” headline would result in a boycott and loss of ad revenue.  I had trouble finding the word “black” in the Baton Rouge article, except with respect to the one black police officer killed, which was probably deliberately included to portray the crime as against police, not against whites.  Maybe so, I don’t know the shooter’s motive.  But failing to collect basic statistics is inexcusable.  And as I said, this doesn’t let the search engines off the hook, but merely suggests they favor the politically correct news sources.

My wife reads the Chinese and Russian news sites to learn what is going on in the US.  Maybe she is on to something?

Look like, act like, live with?

Margaret Thatcher once said of the profession, economists are okay if you don’t inhale.  What are we smoking?  What is the danger of talk?

Paul Krugman is an eloquent liberal economist.  He referred to Trump supporters and indeed the entire anti-globalist movement independent of Trump, who he says will “shrink” after the election, as having the position “We don’t like people who don’t look like us.”

My interest is not in whether the liberals or conservatives are “right.”  It is in whether Krugman asked anyone on the other side of the fence if his summary actually reflected their views!  If he did not, then he’s not speaking as a professional, but as a hate-mongering political operative himself.  Worse than Trump, because actually, that is an extremely broad indictment, accusing some 44% of the American population of being Hitlerian.

Most of us do like people who don’t look like us.  They are fascinating.  Exploring them and their culture is much more interesting than exploring some barren rock in the solar system.  I fondly recall every minute of my trip to Turkey in 2011.

More important is whether they act like us.  But there again, most of us are fascinated.  People just like us are boring.  Neither of these things are issues with the 44% Krugman targets with his hate speech.  I suspect that to some degree, he doesn’t even realize this.  If he does, then he really is a hate monger who is doing it deliberately.  I will send him a tweet and see if I can get a response and post it here if he replies.

The question is, are they threatening to change the way we live, either intentionally or unintentionally?  And will the change be good or bad for all concerned?

Variety is good.  We need some countries to try out socialism, and some to try out individualism, and different religions and other cultural values.  We accused communism of being in error because they thought they could centrally plan one way of doing things for the whole world.  But one way of doing things for a country I do not object to.  In fact, it is necessary in many cases.  Otherwise, nothing gets done, there is just chaos.  We can’t have both opportunity and socialism.

Is America the land of opportunity?  Then some will come to be better off than others, much better.  Is America the land of equal wealth where the good of the many outweighs the good of the few?  Then there is no opportunity for anyone, is there?

There is an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”  That is all the anti-globalists ask.  They don’t hate anybody.  I know I don’t.  Well, except I guess I’m coming to hate people who’d force globalism on me.

So I celebrate differences in culture and appearance.  If I get tired of the U.S., I can go to one of those “different” countries and live.  My wife is Russian, and I’ve thought of going to live there.  When I go to Russia, I act as they do.  I do not criticize their government.  I have spent the night in a Russian village and eaten the village bread, far from the internet, and many cold outdoor steps from the toilet.  I have driven in Russian traffic, hiked in Russian mountains, and gone out drinking with a Russian policeman, ex special forces, and his wife.  My wife voted communist in the 2012 election.  I don’t go there and advocate that they change.  All the 44% asks is that people not come here and advocate we change, change our working conditions, change who we marry, change our laws, give up our jobs and way of life.  They also ask that countries do not trade with us in such volume and at such prices that the trade forces similar changes.  This is not hate.  It is respect both for ourselves and the culture and way of life of others, in which we (should) agree not to meddle.

Obama meddled in the Middle East, saying they ought to overthrow their governments.  What was the result?  Hundreds of thousands dead, millions of migrants threatening to change Europe, governments overthrown and then re-overthrown because it didn’t work out and the new governments were more oppressive than the old.

“Politically correct” speech is the art of labeling a thing something that it is not, to manipulate a population into submission.  It was practiced in the Soviet Union, and in every dictatorship I’ve ever known.  The essence of free speech is that to some people it always seems incorrect.  So I’m completely opposed to political correctness.  It is just an attempt to usurp power by those who haven’t actually been voted into office.  That is why “media bias” is so objectionable.

Another example shows even Fox News, former bastion of conservatism, has gone over to the dark side, using political correctness to manipulate us into a Clintonesque World Government in which every country is equally impoverished.  Newt Gingrich calls it “inflammatory language,” and Megan Kelly is using it to distract attention away from policy issues of trade and jobs and illegal migration by focusing on personal behavior.  Fair enough, Newt concedes.  If you want to have sexual predators to talk about for the next 8 years, put Bill Clinton back in the East Wing.

 

 

Aleppo, Clinton, ISIS & Trump

aleppo2
Photo from The World Bulletin Syria doctors plead with Obama over Aleppo siege.
Mahmoud Rashwani in The Guardian, read hereI have become an expert in pulling people out from wreckage, in distinguishing how deeply buried under rubble the screaming victims are, how to spot them in the chaos – they look very much like statues covered in dust  Those tight, shocked hugs that I get from the kids I carry out of the ruins of their homes won’t ever be erased from my memory. Nor can I clean their blood from my T-shirts. … After one of the latest air force attacks inside the city, I found a mother hugging a young girl’s leg, just a leg, and shouting: “I found it. It’s my daughter’s leg. I won’t lose it, it’s hers.”

Everyone agrees what’s happening in Aleppo is a tragedy – the civilians caught in the fighting who accuse the US of not doing anything to deter civilian casualties, the Assad government who blames rebels for starting the conflict, the Russians dropping the bombs to try and stabilize the Syrian government and fight ISIS, POTUS Obama who no one would suggest is not a softhearted liberal (or would they?), and last but not least and most important for the future: candidates Clinton and Trump.

Clinton’s position:  The rebels deserve more aggressive (military) support, which she argued for in Libya and just about everywhere else when Secretary of State.  It seems likely the rebellion in Syria started with the belief that the US would almost immediately provide air support as it did in Libya.  But it did not, as Obama choked.

Note:  The pro-rebel position is made less clear by the fact that Aleppo is defended by a coalition of US-backed rebels and the al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate (or former affiliate if you trust them) which may or more likely may not have changed its ideological goals about things like the imposition of Islamic Sharia Law.  They even changed their name to Jabhat Fateh al Sham (see CNN article) which means “Front opening Sham.”  Sham is a Caliphate term for Damascus, Syria or the Eastern Mediterranean generally, suggesting the same “Caliphate” goals as ISIS.  Perhaps, since most of these terrorists are pretty fluent in English, it is an open admission the name change “is a sham”?

Trump’s position:  We do not know what’s best for these countries and are causing problems by meddling.  We should focus on the US (and implicitly, lead by example).  Some of the meddling likely contributed to the development of ISIS (or said with typical Trumpian flare, Clinton & Obama “founded” ISIS).

Trump has no political record.  As for his business record, we know that by the minimum attribution of others, he’s done decently from the starting point obtained from his father.  He does not chase lost causes but cuts them off (via bankruptcy, a normal business practice), and as a result has left some contractors bitter about unpaid bills.  Kind of like leaving rebels bitter about unmet expectations of support?  We are left to guess.

Clinton does have a political record, as the 2nd most influential person over US foreign policy for four years as Secretary of State.

Does Clinton’s political record contain evidence for Trump’s contention?  I’ve asked this question in a particular way, so that it is factual, but not conclusive.  If one asks “Did Clinton [unintentionally] foment ISIS, and are her policy views consistent enough going forward to suggest future similar mistakes?”  Then, the answer likely depends on who is selecting and interpreting facts from the record.  But the way I have asked it is just to determine if there are supporting facts in the record, not to conclude whether they are even sufficient, much less forward determinants.

Something unexpected emerges, however, which reminds me of Sarah Palin resigning as governor of Alaska, and makes me wonder if Hillary will have staying stamina as president.  I’ll just let that come out as it comes out, and you can decide if it means anything.

Most of the following points are summarized from the Wikipedia article on Clinton’s tenure as Sec. of State.

  • Mid-January 2011:  Clinton makes 4-country trip to Middle East, criticizing Arab governments’ failure to move more rapidly vis à vis reform in unusually blunt language.
  • January 29, 2011:  Obama puts Clinton in charge of sorting out administration response to Egyptian protests.
  • January 30, 2011:  Clinton combined appearances on all five Sunday morning talk shows – stating publicly for the first time the U.S.’s view that there needed to be an “orderly transition” to a “democratic participatory government”and a “peaceful transition to real democracy”, not Mubarak’s “faux democracy.”
  • Mid-February 2011:  Beginning of Libyan civil war.
  • Early March 2011:  Clinton stated the administration’s position that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi “must go now, without further violence or delay“.
  • Mid-March 2011:  In CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer during her post-revolution visit to Cairo’s Tahrir Square [Clinton stated] that she had no interest in becoming Secretary of Defense or vice president or of running for president again.
  • January 26, 2012:  In a State Department town hall meeting Clinton [again] indicated her desire to remove herself from “the high wire of American politics” after twenty tiring years of being on it and added, “I have made it clear that I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur.”
  • Summer 2012:  Clinton developed a plan with CIA Director David H. Petraeus to send arms to, and perform training of, vetted groups of Syrian rebels, using the assistance of a neighboring state.  Obama rejected the idea.
  • July 2012:  Clinton visited Egypt for the first time since Mohammed Morsi became the first democratically elected president of the country.  As she arrived in the country, her convoy was met with a protest and had shoes, tomatoes and bottled water thrown at it, although nothing hit either Clinton or her vehicle.  Protesters also chanted “Monica, Monica”, in reference to the Lewinsky scandal.  She also faced conspiracy theories (in a country that tended towards them) that the U.S. was secretly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • September 11, 2012:  An attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi took place, resulting in the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans
  • November 6, 2012:  Obama was re-elected for a second term as president. Clinton said shortly before the election that she would stay on until her successor was confirmed, but that “this is not an open-ended kind of time frame.”
  • Mid-December 2012:  Clinton fell victim to a stomach virus contracted on a trip to Europe. She subsequently became very dehydrated and then fainted, suffering a mild concussion. As a result, she cancelled another trip and scratched an appearance at scheduled Congressional hearings on the Benghazi matter.
  • December 30 2012:  Clinton admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for treatment and observation after a blood clot related to the concussion was discovered.
  • January 2, 2013:  Clinton was released from the hospital.  She returned to work at the State Department on January 7, when co-workers welcomed her back with a standing ovation and a joke gift of a football helmet featuring the department’s seal.  The illness did, however, put an end to her days of travel in the job.
  • January 23, 2013:  Clinton … gave more than five hours of testimony on the Benghazi matter before hearings of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

These events made no impression on me at the time, as I suffered an important personal loss, and was spending a lot of time traveling (to Ukraine, Russia, Turkey).  During this time I met my wife and was getting her into the country and getting married in the fall of 2012.  It was only in retrospect, researching this article, that I saw the events laid out in the timeline.

The “context” of my analysis is having grown up during the cold war, in which stability was accepted as preferable to revolution, at least “communist” revolution.  Oddly, I eventually married someone who voted communist in the 2012 Russian election and argues eloquently that the reform in Russia was a mistake.  Perhaps she has influenced my views.  I do not care for Putin’s repression, but his platform was to avoid “color revolutions” as too disruptive of society, and to evolve instead.  Some campaign signs were painted as graffiti on buildings, and here is a photo I took of one:

R-Evolution

In said context, agitating for dramatic change in the form of government in Libya, Egypt, Syria and other countries would be assumed to run a high risk of resulting in chaos and unending civil war, or, if it ended, with some interests in power who were much more inimical to the US (and to the style of treatment of citizenry we favor) than the ones they replaced.

Let it be said that, in my opinion, Clinton did not cause war or unrest in the Middle East.  Some of that has been going on since … well, almost as long as we have records, certainly since the dramatic end of Bronze Age stability in about 1250 BCE (just over 3000 years).  Nor was it the existing governments, to tell the truth, as they had all been there for some time.

The proximate cause for the “Arab Spring” was some financial shenanigans with bundled mortgages pulled by Wall Street banks.  How, you ask?  I was struck when visiting Ukraine in 2009-2010 how they complained of being hard hit by the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis.  We hardly even trade with Ukraine.  But we trade with the EU, their largest trading partner, and the world trades with Russia, a major supplier of oil and a big Ukraine trading partner at the time.  Since Ukraine’s trading partners got hit, they were slung about like the tail end of a rope and their economy smashed, which as we saw later led to a bloody conflict there, as they tried to join the EU and Russia and some regions resisted.

The man who immolated himself in Tunisia to set off the Arab Spring did not shout any religious or anti-Western slogans.  He did shout something, though.  “I just want to work!”  He supported a number of relatives, the sole worker, and his fruit vending cart was confiscated by police for lack of a license one too many times.  Unemployment was over 25%.  Just like Ukraine, they were whipped about and given undeserved “lashings” at the tail end of the economic trade rope – that Trump wants to cut or restrain.  Oh yes, we hear all about the benefits of trade, but never mind the fact that a region of the world that has supported itself for 5000 years is devastated and foments a major US enemy (ISIS) because of newfound and unmanageable connections to the new global economy.  “What economy?” the unemployed ask.  They aren’t getting any benefit.

Clinton herself cannot be blamed for this “root cause” of the Arab Spring.  Or can she, by association?  Is she a member of a class of people who believe in and routinely foster unstable global connections?

There have been several eras of global trade.  I already mentioned the end of the Bronze Age, an era noted for extensive trade between the then four main empires, destabilized by migrants (the Sea Peoples) among other things and falling flat in a mere 25 years.  The Assyrian Empire was thought to have destabilized and emerged more militant because of rapidly expanding trade contacts.  The Arabs and then the Ottomans obtained a stranglehold on the East-West trade from about 400 AD (or CE, if you prefer) to the end of World War One.  The European diaspora of “exploration” appears like a bunch of ants running in any direction imaginable (including some infeasible ones) to find a way around that blockage.  By 1900, for purposes of trading with the European empires (especially Britain) the US adopted the “gold standard,” and by 1914 the first World War began.  Add to that a technological revolution (automobiles and radio in the 1920s) along with a severe debt crisis (Germany’s war debt due in gold) and you have a recipe for another World War and the development of nuclear weapons.

After a period of relative isolationism – at least the Eastern bloc traded mostly unto itself, and the Western bloc had relatively high tariffs – a re-globalization era was initiated after WWII, thinking that trade would bind nations together and prevent world war.  This eventually became the WTO, EU, NAFTA, TPP (yet to be signed), etc.

Ah, yes, WWIII has [so far] been avoided, at the cost of whipping about the weaker coupled nations and creating things like the Arab Spring.  Clinton can be found in association with her husband in the adoption of NAFTA, and 20 years later advocating the TPP which could lead to the largest loss of American jobs ever.  To be sure Republicans are not found wanting, as Nixon initiated relations with China, and Bush let them join the WTO in 2001.  However the process was begun and fostered from 1996 by a Clinton administration that saw only exports to China and failed to see the overwhelming wave of imports.

There is nothing to suggest Hillery Clinton’s thinking has changed since then, or differs substantially from her husband’s.

So, we can associate Clinton legitimately with trade forces that caused [most directly if not entirely] the Arab Spring, which in turn permitted chaos to develop in Syria, where ISIS was in fact able to form under the protective umbrella of a standoff between the US and Russia – supported aggressively and actively by Secretary Clinton – which created an ungoverned territory favorable for ISIS’ development.

Certainly Clinton is not the sole cause, as Bush instigated the war in Iraq, which most people now realize was a mistake – an “add on” to the war with the Taliban and Al Qaeda under pretenses about WMDs that were either mistaken or misleading.  Incidentally, Bush promised less intervention in foreign affairs during his campaign.  Presidents do change their minds.  We have no guarantee about Trump.  We do have repeated reliable performance from Clinton.  We know she will intervene and aggressively pursue globalism without a thought as to any of its negative consequences, except insofar as they are brought up by opposing candidates.  She’ll have four years with no opposing candidate.

That is the data I promised to present.  You can stop here and draw your own conclusion.  Now there are two loose ends, if you care to see them tied up:

Staying power – Clinton either doesn’t have it, or isn’t honest.  The strain of the failures in Libya and elsewhere seem [this is interpretation and opinion] to have gotten to her.  She is no Iron Lady.  The final five or so of the points above show her collapsing and retreating from politics.  Either that or as some would say, she might be lying about her true motives.  Take your pick.  Either one portends a risk.

Trump’s insight – Say what you will about him personally.  Almost no one likes the man except those who profess to be close to him (actually, this is “normal” except for celebrities, who are often intolerable to those close to them).  But he either came up with his insights on globalism and trade, or listened to someone carefully when it was not in vogue to listen to that point of view.

What we CAN conclude – While we might only conclude that there is some evidence in Clinton’s record on the matter of her contribution to ISIS, but that the weights are “in the eye of the beholder” so to speak, some other conclusions are more definite:

  • I wrote my first book analyzing the negative side of trade (it’s in the Equity Premium Puzzle) during the government furlough of 2013, long before Trump announced his ideas.  And he certainly didn’t get them from me.
  • Clinton’s predilection for globalism was in evidence before that, and aside from campaign hedging, she is vocal in that it has not changed.
  • Trade and globalism are connected to the Arab Spring and the formation of ISIS (and Al Qaeda before, as bin Laden was widely known to be opposed to the dissemination of Western culture through trade).  Clinton contributed to these problems not only in the obvious way through advocacy of interventionism and meddling in the affairs of other countries, but also in her positions on trade and excess inter-dependency.
  • Trump is therefore more likely to advocate and implement policies in concurrence with my own prior findings than Clinton, findings which I believe will lead to more stability, more even distribution of wealth, and greater happiness for more people generally, than “trade-trade-overthrow governments.”

These policies likely may sacrifice the maximum possible economy, what would we call it, not domestic product, it’s global.  World Total Product – WTP?  Does that even sound like something we want?

MIT now says that diverse teams are the most successful (see article), but not the most happy.  Even the Commission for Racial Equality admits that its own research shows that diversity does not lead to happiness.  Could it be that a globalized world is a bit like a diversified team – leading to the most success in economic terms, but not really enjoying it?

If that is true, and here we have two approximate if not exact studies, one from a source so unexpected as to be absolutely unimpeachable, then arguments that Trump’s policies will not lead to maximization of WTP are not actually negatives, but positives.  After all, last time I checked, only humans are allowed to vote in elections, and most humans, if pressed, will choose happiness over WTP.  Or any other acronym for that matter.