The Problem with Libertarians and Foreign Policy

While I agree strongly with Libertarians on many things, I cannot bring myself to identify as a Libertarian due to their hostility to the American Military and foreign policy. I can’t really identify myself as anything because my views and convictions are a mixture of various existing ideas and certain contrarian views that I’ve come up with independently. I simply identify as a Capitalist nowadays but I am probably most aligned with Classical Liberals if I had to pick a label. I agree with Libertarians when it comes to individual freedoms, absolute embrace of the free market, income tax is theft, legalization of most or all drugs,  allowing far more school choice or even eliminating the public school system, eliminating entitlement and welfare programs, eliminating the Federal Reserve and most government departments, second amendment rights, and various other issues.

My general view is that any policy that is being considered by government should primarily be concerned with whether that specific policy increases or decreases freedom, if it does the latter it should not be implemented. I believe in having limited government in the fashion our Founders designed. I believe in having as near to invincible national defense apparatus as possible. The overall strategy should comprise military, foreign policy, intelligence services, border security, immigration policy, homeland security, and law enforcement. I believe America must continue to be the premier economic, military, and diplomatic power in the world and should remain the only superpower because we have demonstrated our ability to lead the world into unprecedented security and prosperity. We have committed some aberrations over the years, but overall the world is lucky that the American Republic stands strong and proud to lead. We should have our air, naval, ground, intelligence, and diplomatic presence all over the world to ensure that our interests and the interests of our allies are being secured. In my view, we should seek to intimidate and strike fear into the hearts of our enemies which may include global terrorist organizations, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Now many reading this will immediately arrive at the conclusion that I am a Neoconservative or unabashed interventionist. This is not true. I don’t believe that the United States should attempt export individual freedoms and democracy all over the world through military means or forceful foreign policy. We should seek to share and advocate our ideas across the globe and allow sovereign nations and their peoples to make decisions that they feel are right for them. We should take a very long-term view of foreign policy and should refrain from making short-term reactionary decisions as we have in the past. In my view, the U.S. shouldn’t intervene in every single issue across the world but there are certain issues which merit U.S. involvement such as the capture and killing of terrorists, the destruction of global black market and illicit trade networks, stopping irresponsible regimes from gaining access to WMD’s, and other similar issues. We should ensure that our adversaries fear us and do not try to interfere in or invade other nations because they have not proven themselves responsible enough to lead the world. Those 3 nations previously mentioned specifically have demonstrated themselves to be mendacious in policy and action and have made it their goal only to weaken our nation due to their envy of our power, wealth, and individual freedoms.

This brings me to many Libertarians and their view of our foreign and defense policy. Many Libertarians agree with left wing talking points such as the Iraq War, Afghanistan War, Drone Strikes against Pakistan, etc. actually caused the increase in the proliferation of global terrorism. They believe the international security situation is currently fraught with risk directly as a result of our foreign policy, which I have criticized on numerous occasions. This view is not based on reality and is something that is pushed by the left despite no credible evidence to support it. We have had an issue with radical Islamists since the Thomas Jefferson Administration when we had the First Barbary War. The majority of Islam is not compatible with American values and political institutions and it is damn time that we recognize that reality, I don’t know what the solution is but our foreign policy did not cause this problem. Islamic terrorism and imperialism has tormented India for hundreds of years even before the United States existed. How do the left and Libertarians explain that? The reality is that the United States needs to maintain a global presence to eliminate these terrorist scum on a direct basis and to find unconventional ways to stamp out their funding, ideology, and recruitment channels. Isolationists like Ron Paul are a prime example of people who believe and promote these fallacies. While I greatly respect Dr. Paul and his son Rand Paul, their foreign and defense policy views are not based in any sense of reality. We cannot just “bring the troops home” from Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. As soon as we do that there will be massive terrorism proliferation and possible destruction of semi-stable governments. This will be a massive national security risk to our country and we will have to send the troops back just like when President Obama pulled out of Iraq and had to send them back. Achieving conventional decisive victory in an unconventional war of this sort is not exactly possible because there are various networks that have to be stamped out and we have to ensure that there are zero havens across the world to plan attacks to hurt our country. Libertarians refer to this as the “warfare state”, as if all terrorism will stop if we just bring home our brave men and women and cut the defense budget. The leaders of various terrorist organizations have publicly and privately said they will not stop attacking us even if we leave their land, stop hitting them with air and drone strikes, and completely abandon our presence in their homelands. They said they will continue to attack us because they despise our way of life and we are “infidels” in their estimation. Our Defense Secretary James Mattis has said we should take these terrorists words at face value and believe that they will do what they say they will. We have not had any major attacks on the homeland in 16 years because our warriors and allied nations are with us all around the world to find terrorists in their caves and holes and kill them. Domestic terror or terror-like incidents increased strongly during the Obama Administration due to his inability to admit that we are still at war and his ridiculous immigration and refugee policies that allowed possible terrorists to enter the nation with  inadequate vetting. His pandering to the terrorists was also very encouraging to them, he was one of the main people pushing the disingenuous claims that our foreign and defense policy was leading to more terrorism. He made all those statements whilst simultaneously bombing 7 countries and essentially declaring war on Syria without Congressional permission. While there are many criticisms to be made about the extremely short-term thinking of our foreign policy and the militarization of our diplomacy, it doesn’t mean we can just leave everywhere. Those thoughts are not based in reality. Although there are criticisms to be made about the strategic and tactical failures in the Iraq War, we can never say that we lost the war. The United States and Coalition Military Forces very quickly invaded and took control of Iraq and on that basis it was a strong military victory.

Many Libertarians and leftists say that the United States has been at war or involved in some kind of military operations for most of its existence and use that as a point of criticism. My question is, so what? The world is safe and peaceful because we have been bearing the brunt of continental and global security since our founding. Our country was meant to lead and this is simply evidence of it. I laugh with derision when people in our country and abroad criticize our military budget for being so large and approximately the size of the next 12 nations combined. First of all you need to eliminate salaries and benefits of personnel to arrive at the actual military budget. Then you consider the fact that many countries, especially Russia, Iran, and China lie about their military budgets, so the United States will become complacent. You know why our budget is large? We ensure global security. All countries spend money on defense, but our defense budget secures Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Jordan, Qatar, various African Nations,  etc. from Chinese, Russian, Iranian, North Korean, and terrorist aggression. Our defense budget would shrink rapidly if we stopped securing the majority of the world, but that would weaken our national strength as the worlds only superpower. Our foreign and defense policy lead to victory in WWI, WWII, partial victory in Korea, and most importantly our resounding victory in the Cold War. Without intervention, victory in the Cold War would’ve been impossible. While our nation blundered in Vietnam, that was largely due terrible leadership and policies from Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, Defense Secretary McNamara, and General Westmoreland.

The imagination of President George W. Bush and his advisers that we could rapidly turn Iraq into a prosperous Democracy was ridiculous and unworkable. Additionally, the failure of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to ensure that American Personnel were protected from IED and RPG attacks with adequate technology and vehicles was a major disappointment in tactical planning. Additionally, the inability of American leadership to foresee a terrorist insurgency and Iranian interference in the war are disappointing. The United States foots the budget for the majority of global security and we have shown ourselves capable on most occasions of maintaining a prosperous world. We need to grow our economy to ensure we dominate the world with American power as we have since WWII. We need not intervene in the issues of every nation but we must keep a capable watch to ensure our interests are secured and that anyone who dares to challenge our Republic is destroyed. We must continue to build constructive partnerships with nations that are interested in working with us and helping them combat terrorism and attempts to bring down semi-stable governments such as the missions our warriors are undertaking all over Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America, and Asia.

 

America is the mightiest Republic upon which the sun ever shone and I sure as hell hope it remains that way. God Bless the Republic of the United States of America.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

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Ted Cruz vs Bernie Sanders GOP Tax Reform Debate

I just finished watching Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) debate Senator Bernie Sanders (I/D, VT) on CNN and I have got to say it was hilariously entertaining yet also quite depressing. The debate is what you would expect if you are familiar with both of these guys. Ted Cruz was extolling the virtues of the free market and allowing taxpayers to keep more of their money to invest, save, or spend as they choose and Bernie was extolling the imaginary virtues of socialism and spent the majority of the debate railing against the usual boogiemen of the top 1%, the Koch brothers, and corporate greed. Interestingly Bernie was aware that he was losing the debate miserably throughout the majority of the program and he kept hinting to the “unbiased” moderators at CNN to step in and help him out in some fashion or the other. I caught him giving suggestive glances to the moderators several times and incidentally the moderators either cut off Ted Cruz, cut to commercial break, or interrupted the debate.

Bernie Sanders for some reason despises people of wealth as does the majority of jealous society. Disdain for the wealthy is probably the only universal value across the country and probably the world. It is a fact that most people are jealous of those who are rich and successful and wish to steal their wealth from them and redistribute it by the coercive hand of government. This is true of rich countries, poor countries, western nations, eastern nations, communists, socialists, and even those who believe in capitalism. It seems common or even a natural phenomenon to hate the rich. Bernie spent a lot of his talking time railing against wealthy Americans and specifically the Koch brothers whose combined net worth is upwards of $90B (Good For Them!) and talked about how they would be getting trillions of dollars in tax breaks from the proposed GOP plan and how they don’t deserve it. Is it a sin to become rich in America? In a free, capitalist society it is virtuous and worthy of congratulations when someone becomes rich without encroaching upon the natural and constitutional rights of others. The Koch brothers, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, Jamie Dimon, etc. did not become wealthy by stealing from others. They became wealthy by providing a set of goods or services that was deemed valuable by consumers and they were paid what the market determined and over time they became wealthy. Wealth is not some pre-existing economic pie which stays the same forever and keeps getting redistributed among economic groups. Wealth grows and an individuals wealth changes over their lifetime. These economic facts are not understood by many leftists and it is quite dangerous to allow such woefully uneducated folks to run our nation. Bernie Sanders doesn’t understand economics and that much is sure, if I were one of the citizens allowed to ask questions during the debate I would’ve thrown a copy of Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell at him. CNN even placed Jacob Kirkegaard, a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics to supposedly rebuff Ted Cruz on socialized medical systems in countries such as Denmark. It was obviously a political stunt intended to shore up Democrats and Sanders’ argument. Kirkegaard is not a pure economist and spends a lot of times in his papers and articles that I’ve reviewed using left wing talking points to promote government healthcare. I will admit that I do not care for his opinion. Milton Friedman, arguably the greatest economist of all time was vehemently opposed to any form of socialized medicine for reasons that are too long and complicated to enter into in this post, but I think I’ll agree with his view rather than some random think tank guy.

Overall, income tax is theft and was likely implemented illegally by President Woodrow Wilson and the fact that Bernie wants to raise more than $13T in taxes over 10 years to pay for a slew of new government programs is both unrealistic and unlikely to happen. Our national debt is already $20T and continuously growing, our 2017 budget deficit was $666B due to the profligate spending by Congress and signed off by prior Presidents. We are reaching a 104% Debt/GDP ratio and it is the highest we’ve ever had since it was 119% in 1946, after WWII. Now is the time for America’s Government to start tightening her belt and deliver policies that boost economic growth, cut federal spending, reform and phase out entitlement programs, and pay down the national debt. It is imperative that we start generating budget surpluses in the near term, perhaps 4-5 years to start paying down debt or things will become unmanageable and default may loom in the horizon.

I only hope that this nominal GOP tax reform and especially the corporate tax cut happens soon, our economy desperately needs it.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

Rex Tillerson’s Dilemma

I called it. I have been predicting this for a long time. I knew Rex Tillerson would get sick of this administration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference today to confirm that he is not currently considering resigning his position and that he plans to stay on as Secretary of State. According to recent media reports, Mr. Tillerson has had a fractured relationship with President Trump since July and was considering leaving his post. The report also mentioned that Mike Pence (VP), John Kelly (Sec. DHS, Chief of Staff), and James Mattis (Sec. of Defense) managed to persuade Tillerson to stay for the good of the country. I’ve observed President Trump undercut his Secretary of State on a number of occasions, whether it be by tweet or statement to the media. It is communication and leadership 101 to not disrespect your team members and especially foreign policy 101 not to undercut the leader of your foreign policy in public. The world is an increasingly dangerous place and Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil is working extremely hard to conduct international diplomacy and resist President Trump’s childish impulses to publicly contradict him every few minutes. It has also been reported that Tillerson called Trump a “moron” after a Pentagon meeting, he did not deny it at todays press conference. I can see why he would think that.

Current Foreign Policy Issues:

  • The Korean peninsula: Kim Jong Un’s fast growing nuclear capability and the prospect of war.
  • The Saudi led blockade against Qatar.
  • The development and execution of a clear political strategy after the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria by U.S. backed coalition forces.
  • The execution of a clear strategy in Afghanistan to bring the 16 year war to an end and reach a political solution that will allow Afghanistan to grow into an independent nation.
  • Stopping Iran’s nuclear program and working to stop their political and military interference all over the Middle East.
  • Reassuring U.S. allies all over the world that we are still the dominant economic, diplomatic, and military power in the world and we will protect them.
  • Fighting the resurgence of Russian militarism and expansionism.
  • Fighting China’s ambition to become a superpower.
  • Creating new alliances with partners such as India for global peace and security.
  • Fighting global terrorism and extremism.
  • Solving the Libya question after the Obama Administration left the country in shambles and a hotbed for terrorism.
  • Trying to facilitate a settlement between Israel and Palestine. I doubt this will ever happen but it is on every American President’s foreign policy agenda.

 

I’ve always felt that Rex Tillerson is a very smart individual and the right choice for Secretary of State. He is not an entrenched political operative and he has deep operational business experience all over the world, specifically in the Middle East and Russia. I assume that is why he was chosen for his position, although a recommendation from Condoleezza Rice (Former National Security Advisor and Sec. of State) certainly can’t hurt. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to be attacked 24/7 for being a former Oil & Gas Executive (as if that were a sin), a Trump Administration official, and then on top of that your own boss constantly contradicts you and conducts his foreign policy in a haphazard manner. The Trump Campaign didn’t have a very clear strategic or tactical view of foreign policy, his election win was largely because of his outsize focus on domestic issues.

Having a clear foreign policy is essential and the United States is the most powerful diplomatic force in the world, it is essential we are a strong and reliable leader that the world can depend on to resolve conflicts through sincere diplomacy or military force if necessary. We have not demonstrated that reliability in the last few decades due to the extremely short-term thinking of U.S. foreign policy leaders and it has taken a heavy toll on the citizens of our nation and the worlds view toward us. It is essential that we rethink every single aspect of our foreign policy and reconcile it with our defense and domestic policies to ensure that the interests of the United States are being served and that we are continually building goodwill in the world as being a force for good. China’s foreign policy is focused on long-term strategic domination, they will bare a few setbacks and hiccups along the way as long as their long-term goals are achieved. Their strategy is working and their ideas are inherited from our post World War II strategy for achieving a U.S. led world order that contains and destroys the Soviet Union and any other challengers. The issue is that our foreign policy and domestic policy lead to unprecedented success and our experts started to experiment and lean towards short-term thinking just because it was possible. The problem of the ages is that success leads to complacency.

 

The U.S. is facing a world that is on fire and having a strong Secretary of State who is empowered to make decisions is good for the country. I can understand why Rex Tillerson is getting sick of this administration and would enjoy retirement on his ranch, but I hope he stays on for the good of our country.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

The GOP’s Tax “Reform”

In recent weeks the Republican Party has been struggling to build consensus in Congress to pass a bill that reduces tax rates and reforms the tax code to some extent. The combined bill seeks to implement changes to both the individual and corporate tax code. Many questions regarding specifics of the plan remain unanswered and are currently being decided by the respective tax writing committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

These are the highlights of the individual tax plan:

  • Individual tax rates will be collapsed from 7 to 3 brackets which will be 35%, 25%, and 12%. A higher bracket may be added for high earners which is ridiculous to even consider but lets hope it doesn’t happen.
  • Congress is considering eliminating the state and local tax deduction. This is a step in a positive direction as it stops the subsidization of high tax states and cities by low tax states and cities. This is also a large source of revenue for the Treasury, this squeeze will incentivize states like California, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey to address the immoral tax burden they are placing upon their citizens.
  • No changes announced to capital-gains or dividend taxation. This is particularly regrettable as taxing capital is one of the single most unproductive and anti-growth policies of all time.
  • The estate tax and alternative minimum tax are gone.
  • The so called “sacred cows” of mortgage interest, municipal bond income, and charitable donations deductions are protected.
  • The standard deduction will be expanded to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples. This is politically popular but is likely to narrow the tax base instead of broadening it. This may hurt revenues.
  • There will be a $500 tax credit for households with non-child dependents.

 

These are the highlights of the business tax plan:

  • Cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. President Trump promised 15% throughout his campaign, but it seems as if he has capitulated on the rate so he can score a political victory.
  • Pass through businesses that pay taxes through their owners individual returns will be taxed at a maximum rate of 25%.
  • There will be some unspecified limits placed on interest deductions. So equity financing may become more favorable than debt financing.
  • Allows immediate write off of capital expenses over 5 years.
  • Preserves ridiculous tax breaks for low income housing and research credits.
  • Repeals deduction for domestic manufacturing.
  • There will be an unspecified one time tax on the repatriation of U.S. corporate foreign profits.
  • An unspecified one time tax will be placed on cash.
  • From now on there will be tax free repatriation of foreign profits. Double taxation is essentially coming to an end. The U.S. will hopefully move to a territorial tax system.

 

The fact that this is considered reform and simplification is laughable. Our tax code is so ridiculously complex that taxation in the United States needs a total rethink. Elimination of the income tax and all these other taxes would be a good start. Implementing a flat tax for all businesses and individuals or a national sales tax that taxes consumption rather than savings and investment would be a good idea as well. The stupidity of our citizens is that they’re woefully uneducated when it comes to basic economics. Institutions such as corporations do not pay taxes, people do. The cost of the corporate income tax is borne by workers, investors, and consumers. The workers get paid less and are less productive due to lackluster capital investment, less new jobs are created, investors returns are stolen by the government which hurts the efficient allocation of capital to productive uses, and consumers pay higher prices for goods and services. None of this is good for economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The plan is nothing close to what we really need but it does have some strong pro-growth elements such as cutting the corporate tax rate substantially and transitioning to a territorial tax system. This may generate growth and increase revenues in the long run but the main issues with the United States Government is the lack of spending cuts or cutting the rate of growth in spending. If Congress doesn’t address spending, we will have to face severe austerity and/or a massive devaluation of the dollar to pay for our burgeoning national debt. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other social spending will ruin the nation. We need to alter, reform, and preferably eliminate those programs.

Our problems are caused directly by us, not politicians. We vote for and support people so that they can go to Congress and get us stuff. If we started supporting politicians who won’t give us anything but will push and pass legislation that will solve some problems and make some trade offs, then we might get somewhere. We were the ones who voted for budget busters, socialists in disguise, dumbasses, fake conservatives, etc. We have to vote for people who won’t give us any free stuff, but those will give us back our right to liberty and freedom which has been stolen from us by the all encroaching government.

 

I believe Founding Father Patrick Henry said “Give me liberty or give me death”. Not “give me welfare, subsidies, and carveouts or give me death”.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

Is the U.N. worth it?

In recent political discourse many Americans and people around the world are considering the question of whether the United Nations is still a productive and useful supranational body dedicated to fostering global peace and security or a body of self serving kleptocrats that is basically opposed to the United States and Israel.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 as an organization for all governments to cooperate on issues of mutual interest and avoid a future catastrophe such as World War II. It was headquartered in New York City and the United States bears the majority of the financial and logistical brunt. To my understanding every single sovereign nation in the world is a member or an observer state. The U.N. is generally a network where nations can directly deal with each other in an ostensibly cooperative environment and avoid actions such as war, crushing sanctions or embargoes, diplomatic crises, etc. Yet, the U.N. couldn’t prevent the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq-Iran War, 4 India-Pakistan Wars, 2 Sino-Indian Wars, the Sino-Vietnamese Wars, the 6 Days War, the Yom Kippur War, the Rwandan Genocide, the Persian Gulf War, the Soviet-Afghan War, the Afghanistan Civil War, the Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and countless other wars, military actions, or diplomatic crises. Yet, the U.N. continues to spend more and more in its usual profligate manner and we cannot see many achieved results. The world is a dangerous place and the threat landscape is constantly changing.

I see the main threats on the quest for global security as follows:

  1. The rise and spread of global Islamic Terrorism and the inability or unwillingness of governments and international bodies such as the UN to recognize the root of the problem which is fundamentalist Islamic ideology that proliferates not just throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia but also has a presence in the Western World, Russia, and China.
  2. The rise of Chinese militarism evidenced by their construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and their quest to deny access to the U.S. Navy and to hurt the interests of India, Japan, and South Korea through expansion of their force projection capabilities and to cause chaos with their cyber warfare capability.
  3. The ability of rogue states such as North Korea to obtain access to weapons of mass destruction and use that to conduct nuclear blackmail to their neighbors and the United States. It is also troubling that China and Russia are upholding Kim Jong Un’s regime and are resisting efforts by the United States to act more forcefully on the North Korean question.
  4. The resurgence of Russian militarism evidenced by their incursion into Crimea and their conduct in Syria. They don’t seem to have another national goal other than to best the United States wherever we are conducting operations and policy. They are also conducting cyber warfare operations on a global basis to cause chaos and discord.
  5. Islamic Theocracies/Dictatorships like Iran conducting military actions such as killing U.S. service members during the Iraq war, firing upon the U.S. led coalition in Syria and Iraq, and continuing their path to develop a powerful arsenal of ballistic missiles. They will likely become another North Korea if action is not taken on that front.
  6. The inability of Pakistan to maintain a stable government and the frightening possibility of terrorists being able to take over their nuclear sites if they wish to. Pakistan’s government and institutions are so weak that it may possible for terrorist organizations to quickly take over nuclear sites or military bases and to fire upon the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, U.S. allies, or most frightening of all the homeland itself. Additionally the mendacity of the Pakistan government when it comes to harboring terrorists and not being reliable partners in the war on terrorism.

 

These are very complicated issues that will take principled diplomacy, strong military capabilities, and resolute American leadership to solve. The U.N. doesn’t have the capability to solve any of these problems as a body. The leaders at the U.N. are mostly career bureaucrats and kleptocrats who are looking to enjoy their careers on the American taxpayers dole, they cannot solve any of the major issues because that is not the original mission of the organization. The U.N. has so far outgrown their role as a body meant to be conducive to global communication. It has now become an unelected global government that has started telling the United States, Israel, and others it doesn’t agree with at the current moment what actions to take when it comes to domestic policy. The U.N. is to afraid to reprimand Russia or China because those countries will forcefully protest to ensure their “national prestige” is ever hurt again. The language of China is to deflect and make every single negative action the fault of the opposite party and that is the same general policy followed by Russia and Iran. The United States, United Kingdom, and Israel have become easy targets for the elitists at the United Nations. The U.N. had the gall to warn the Trump Administration earlier this year that repealing the Affordable Care Act could lead to action from the U.N., this is the kind of domestic interference I was referencing earlier. The U.N. human rights commission would do well to leave the freest and most prosperous country in the world out of their ridiculous statements and pronouncements on “human rights.” The United States didn’t invent liberty and human rights but we perfected it. The United Nations is obviously too afraid to issue any of their bombastic statements in Russia’s, China’s, Iran’s, or even North Korea’s direction. Evil nations and dictatorships will continue to behave however they wish regardless of the U.N’s statements and reprimands, the only way those nations will be stopped is with crippling economic sanctions and powerful military force. These two things have been provided by the United States on numerous occasions, albeit imperfectly at times. Due to the birth of a nation called the United States of America on July 4th, 1776 the world has been better off and we as a nation have been a force for good and have have been the driving force for so much prosperity with our introduction of democracy and free enterprise all over the world.

 

The U.S. pays 22% of the United Nation’s total budget, by far the largest share and we haven’t really seen any tangible benefits from it. The U.N. hasn’t been very helpful in stopping or even honestly discussing any of the major issues I’ve listed above. It is a massive unaccountable global bureaucracy that provides cushy employment off the backs of global taxpayers. The U.N. should largely be reduced and trimmed to a small global organization that simply offers a place for countries to have discussions and negotiations.  The U.N’s various councils, sub organizations, and mini-burecracies should be eliminated and U.S. funding should largely be reduced. The U.S. should reassume global leadership and stop following the whims of various U.N. “leaders.” The American Republic is the force moral good in the world and we will gladly partner with any nations who agree with our mission such as the United Kingdom, Japan, India, Australia, and numerous other likeminded nations. The U.N. seeks to equalize countries like the United States with Iran or North Korea. They are not the same as us and aren’t even worth the dirt on our boots. The U.N. has failed much like its predecessor the League of Nations. It is time for a change in thought and action.

 

In my view, the U.N. is ineffectual, bloated, and incapable of achieving the goals it has set out for itself.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

The President and the Democrats

It has been observed that President Trump has been having discussions and ongoing negotiations with Congressional Democrats on the topic of illegal immigration and more specifically the unconstitutional policy known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) that was enacted by President Obama. President Trump on several occasions promised his base that he would end this policy and likely deport the illegal immigrants that are permitted to stay in America on a temporary basis with work permits. He is now looking forward to a deal with the Democrats that would allow these individuals to stay here and possibly provide them with a path to citizenship. President Trump’s communications are as usual haphazard and it is unclear as to whether anything will come of this or not.

 

I know President Trump is not perfect and will not be able to fulfill all or even most of campaign promises, but he was voted in partly on the basis of getting very tough on illegal immigration. He essentially promised to deport all of the estimated 11 million people illegally living in the United States. I was very receptive to that idea. Illegal immigrants have no right to be here period. There isn’t any strong evidence to substantiate the leftist belief that many illegal immigrants pay taxes, work hard and should be given a path to citizenship. My parents and many others waited years to get their opportunity to come to America the right way and the legal way. It is an insult to every immigrant who came here the legal way. I do not care whether they are economic migrants, people who overstayed their visas, or those who ostensibly came as children through no fault of their own. It is my inalienable right as an American citizen to expect the law to be enforced and for these folks to be deported with the possibility for return through the legal process. Amnesty is a no go for me and tens of millions of Americans. We will not accept government capitulation to the business lobby, leftwing groups, and lawyers to legalize these people. It is a matter of principle and I doubt it can pass through both chambers of Congress. One of Ronald Reagan’s biggest mistakes was to legalize 3 million illegal immigrants, we cannot let that happen ever again.

I do think that there is substantial reform required to our current immigration process and that border security needs a comprehensive strategic and tactical rethink. A border wall may not be the most efficient use of Federal money. A mixture of technological solutions, physical barriers, and a military presence will likely work very effectively. I like the idea of building watchtowers at high infiltration areas with military personnel ready to go. We need to take control of our borders in order to ensure that terrorists, criminals, and people who aren’t allowed to be here cause harm to our nation and citizens.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

A Moment of Reflection on 9/11

It has now been 16 years since that horrific day of September 11, 2001 when our nation was under attack by a depraved group of radical islamic terrorists. Our Republic was shaken, our own New York City and Washington D.C. under attack, and thousands of Americans died. Our brave firefighters, police officers, EMS members, and volunteers stepped up to the plate to offer their help and brought safety and security very quickly back to our country. Our nation launched the war on terror and sought to destroy the recreants who did this. Our young men and women, went over to foreign lands to kill the enemy. We succeeded to some extent. But due to our leaderships’ constant mistakes, we have not achieved decisive victory. We have become weak as a nation and willing to submit to evil. Take this 9/11 day to reflect upon what happened to our country 16 years ago and why we have because so soft and unwilling to face the facts. Evil is out there and we must seek it out and destroy it. We must become strong and protect our Republic. God bless the souls of those who passed away on 9/11, during the War on terror, and may he bless those who are fighting to keep us safe everyday.

 

God bless the United States of America.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

Book Reviews: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex by Edmund Norris

I’ve just finished reading two books that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex, both by Pulitzer prize winning author Edmund Norris. These books are parts one and two of a trilogy biography on President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt has always fascinated me because of all the stories and legends I heard about him in school, on TV, and in movies. He was a physically powerful specimen, yet very gentle and self aware. He was a powerful political force, yet he tended not to behave like every other politician who sold out his principles for votes. These attributes attracted me to the idea of T.R. (I’ll be referring to him as T.R. sometimes) even more. So, over the past couple weeks I’ve had the pleasure of reading these volumes about his life and philosophy.

 

I have to say after reading these detailed books, I admire T.R. very much as man and a leader. He was all action and simply did what he wished by sheer force of will. He rarely wasted time, lazed around, wallowed in self pity, or babbled without continuously moving forward. A young and sickly boy with numerous health problems grew into a powerful physical specimen that was fascinated with the world around him. He spent a lot of time exploring nature and learned all he could about the flora, fauna, birds, and animals around him and was very passionate about protecting this environment later in life. He grew up wealthy so he rarely had the worries of working or feeding his family at a young age. He worked hard on his physique, his education, and his relationships in order to achieve his goals. Originally planning for a career as a natural historian, he ended up graduating with a B.A. from Harvard and J.D. from Columbia University. Eventually he became a New York State Assemblymen, Federal Civil Service Commissioner, New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Colonel in the Army, Vice President, and finally two term President of the United States of America. He also had a side career as an accomplished author and speaker and a not so successful career as a rancher and investor. He had the ability to move the crowds and have everyone admire him for what he was, a political warrior with unshakeable principles. He believed in his country through and through and believed America should rise to become the worlds’ foremost economic, diplomatic, and military power and it did thanks in part to his policies.

Unfortunately, I had a sort of “being disappointed by your hero” moment when I read further about his economic policy. Personally, I am not a fan of major parts of his domestic policy. I profoundly disagree with his ideas to regulate business, increase taxes, create social programs, consolidate millions of acres of American landmass under federal control, centralize vast powers into the Federal government, his excessive use of Executive power, his gross disrespect for the Constitution and separation of powers, his wish to control railroad rates and commerce, and other policies such as those. I disagree with his view that business and capitalism should be controlled by the government. I believe that a small, reliable government is necessary for a free society, but when it comes to policies such as income taxes or business regulation, that’s where the buck stops for me.

 

I did really enjoy reading about his foreign and defense policy, which with  I agree emphatically. His foreign policy was focused on making America the number one force in international relations and global diplomacy. He wanted America to be viewed as a strong and peaceful nation that could be relied upon to resolve disputes peacefully when possible and by force when necessary. He resolved several major foreign policy crises during his Presidency such as the insurrection of rebels in American controlled Philippines, Germany trying to annex Venezuela for lack of debt repayment, the Russo-Japanese war, the breakdown of the Cuban government, and Germany wanting to go to war over control of Morocco. To that end he worked with his diplomatic staff to maintain healthy relationships with global diplomats and continue to maintain dialog to see where America could be of help in global affairs. He did not allow other powers to come near American territory or undermine growing American prominence. He pestered Congress for funds to massively increase the size of the U.S. Navy which is today by far the largest and most powerful in the world. He understood that if a nation controlled the seas, she controlled the planet. That is evident in our sway over global affairs in present day. With his expansive knowledge of history and global affairs T.R. predicted that America would eventually go to war with Germany, Japan, and Russia which we did during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. I think President Trump should undertake a study of President Roosevelt’s foreign policy to guide him on his path through the Presidency.

 

Overall, the books were fascinating to read and very inspirational. I look forward to completing part 3 at a later date.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

Kushners in the White House

Ivanka and Jared Kushner (Daughter and Son-in-law respectively of the President) are apparently powerful policy forces inside the White House. I don’t like this and frankly I think it is absolutely outrageous. Ivanka holds the role of Assistant to the President and Jared holds the role of Senior Advisor to the President, Director of the Office of American Innovation, and apparently unofficial Chief Middle East Diplomat. This kind of nepotism is not to be tolerated and Trump’s base should call on him to fire his family members effective immediately. It is well known that Ivanka and Jared are liberal New York Democrats and their views don’t really coincide with those of Trump, his base, or the GOP.

Trump is an odd duck in that he has has populated his White House with Democrats and “moderate Republicans” instead of the type of people who voted for him and brought him into office. Where the hell are the strong conservatives and pro-capitalist forces within the White House? While I strongly commend his picks for Defense Secretary (Ret. Marine General James Mattis), Secretary of State (Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson), Commerce Secretary (Billionaire Investor Wilbur Ross), Treasury Secretary (Multi-Millionaire Investor and Bank Executive Steven Mnuchin), National Security Advisor (Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster), Interior Secretary (Former GOP Rep and Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke), Health and Human Services Secretary (Former GOP Rep Dr. Tom Price), Energy Secretary (Former TX Governor Rick Perry), VA Secretary (Dr. David Shulkin),  OMB Director (Former GOP Rep Mick Mulvaney), CIA Director (Former GOP Rep Mike Pompeo), Ambassador to the U.N. (Former SC Governor Nikki Haley), Trade Representative (Former Deputy Trade Representative Robert Lightizer), and White House Chief of Staff (Ret. Marine General John Kelly) I have to say he has got an odd assortment of people within his White House. His closest advisors are Ivanka, Jared, Gary Cohn (Former Goldman Sachs President/COO, Democrat, Chairman of National Economic Council), Dina Powell (Former Bush Admin Personnel, Moderate GOP), etc. These people have opposing views on important issues such as government involvement in the economy, climate change, trade, military policy, etc. Ivanka and Jared Kushner cannot be controlling National policy simply because they are related to the President. I despised it when Hillary Clinton did it during her husbands administration and I thought JFK naming his brother Attorney General was a disgrace too. Ivanka and Jared are neither very successful independent entrepreneurs, academics, policy analysts, military personnel, political strategists, or government officials. They aren’t qualified for the power they are being given. Why the hell is Jared Kushner going to the Middle east to attempt an Israel-Palestine solution when President Trump has got a very able Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of State plus Ambassadors and policy staff? Jared Kushner is not an expert on any of those areas, he isn’t qualified to be speaking on America’s behalf. Rex Tillerson should threaten to resign if President Trump doesn’t fire him immediately. Undercutting the Secretary of State’s authority on countless occasions has caused Mr. Tillerson a lot of difficulty but he should draw the line and threaten to quit if Kushner isn’t fired.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off

The Ignorance Problem

It is my belief that America has a profound ignorance problem. Too many of America’s citizens: men, women, and children face a lack of basic knowledge. Our public school and university system has failed our people. Most young people in our country do not even possess a rudimentary knowledge of our country’s history, philosophy, or culture. They seek to destroy and eliminate all painful periods of American history which they don’t politically agree with. They seek to paint America as a perpetually immoral nation that doesn’t even deserve to exist.  They don’t understand basic economics or even human nature. They seek to live in an idealistic utopian society in which reality is not a factor. This kind of thinking amongst the masses will lead to the downfall of the nation.

 

This phenomenon is demonstrated by the various occurrences happening in our nation as of late. Many “protesters” in the form of organizations like Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and others are coming together to get rid of confederate monuments and other pieces of our nations history. History was sometimes cruel, deal with it. You cannot erase unpleasant history. I am worried that there will once be a day when I cannot show my children the monuments of the past and explain to them what the civil war was, what slavery was, why it existed, why it is immoral, etc. Will these nut jobs get rid of our great Founding Fathers because some of them owned slaves? Will I be able to show my children a monument of George Washington or is that politically incorrect? What they did was wrong but they were a product of their time, it isn’t an excuse for that part of their behavior but it is reality. We cannot block out things and get rid of the past because we don’t like it. We have to deeply understand our history, learn from the mistakes of the past and move on. Historical revisionism sets a very dangerous precedent, every time loud voices in society dislike something from the past, they will simply erase it. We will lose the opportunity to learn from the past and personal accountability for actions will disappear.

 

In our education system, media, and popular culture young people are being taught that America is an evil, morally bankrupt, and illegitimate idea and country. This is not true. America is the greatest country in the world, it is the richest, it is the most powerful, it has the most personal freedom and liberty, and it is the land of opportunity. There are very few if any “institutional barriers” to success in this nation. It is not India or China where you have to peddle your influence to get a local police job. It isn’t South Africa, where you have to pay a large bribe to get a job at a bank. In this mighty Republic, merit and hard work will take you beyond what anyone thought was possible. This country achieved so much in so little time because this country’s philosophy was based on maximum individual freedom, economic freedom, very limited government, and a strong national defense. This country is the most moral in the world, we have shed our blood and spent our treasure for people around the world on countless occasions. We have fought for global peace, security, human rights, and maximum freedom. We have made some mistakes along the way, but this world is much better off because on July 4th, 1776 the United States of America was born. This is not what we are taught in our schools, now is it? We are taught that America is fundamentally wrong, socialism is the right way to go, and minorities are being held down by “society” or “institutions”. This is bullshit, the culturally marxist education system seeks to destroy this country from within, they are teaching children to be weak and entitled from birth and to suck on the teat of almighty and all powerful government in order to survive. They preach hate and ignorance and accuse all their opponents of those traits. They seek to do this because they don’t believe in a strong America, they do not want people to be independent and free. They seek to control the masses and consolidate power in their hands, they don’t want standout individuals to become successful and rich. They want everyone to stay the same so that they can rationalize their own mediocrity. That is the philosophy of a communist or socialist, be jealous of the man who earns and produces more than you.

Why do people even protest the President?

  • Because he wants to cut taxes for everyone?
  • Because he wants to eliminate a wealth redistribution and socialized medicine scheme known as Obamacare, which has failed miserably?
  • Because he wants to develop a strong and secure border?
  • Because he wants to remove people who are ILLEGALLY here in this country?
  • Because he wants strengthen our national defense to protect our sovereignty and our allies?

 

Those all sound fine to me, but to a raging leftist college student it is terrible.

This is what the left is teaching.

  • He wants to cut taxes for “the evil rich and corporations.”
  • He wants to kill people, as if people weren’t doing just fine without Obamacare or any other failing government program.
  • He wants to implement racist policies to get rid of hispanic and muslims.
  • He wants to separate families and cruelly ruin peoples lives.
  • He’s giving money to the military industrial complex when he should be spending money on social programs. Apparently we already spend way too much on defense, nuclear weapons should be eliminated. Why can’t we all just get along? Lets hug ISIS, Iran, and Russia. That’ll definitely work to foster global peace and security.

 

Kids need to read and they don’t anymore, they just passively absorb the media, teachers, and social media posts. Read books about our nations history and read about politics and economics. Understand truths and realities rather than absorbing political rhetoric. Become critical thinkers and have your own opinions. This ignorance will bring the downfall of the nation if it is not remedied. I worry about America’s future, we are a country filled with some gems and far too many fools. The balance needs to change if this country is to survive, thrive, and prosper.

 

This is Saint Reagan signing off