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North Korea Might Be Willing To Follow Trump’s Lead On Talks

“… under the right circumstances …”

Only weeks after it appeared President Donald Trump was steering the United States toward a military conflict with North Korea, a North Korean diplomat has said it might be time to talk.

“We’ll have dialogue if the conditions are there,” Choi Son Hui, head of U.S. affairs for the North Korean foreign ministry, said Saturday.

Trump, who has said he will use every means at his disposal to end North Korea’s aggressive nuclear program, first mentioned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a May 1 interview.

 

If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump told Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

“Most political people would never say that, but I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news,” Trump said then.

“He’s 27 years old, his father dies, took over a regime, so say what you want but that’s not easy, especially at that age,” Trump said. “You know you have plenty of generals in there and plenty of other people that would like to do what he’s doing. So I’ve said this before and I’ve, I’m just telling you, and I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit. I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do.”

At the time, a U.S. carrier group was approaching the Korean Peninsula and Trump was working to have China put diplomatic pressure on North Korea to get the nation to stop its development of a nuclear weapons program.

South Korea’s new president has also said he’ll talk to North Korea.

“I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security. I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula — if needed, I will fly immediately to Washington. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo,” said Moon Jae-in. “If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang.”

Choi’s response to that statement was guarded.

“We’ll see,” the North Korean official said.

Choi was returning from meetings in Norway with Suzanne DiMaggio, director of the U.S. think tank New America, Thomas Pickering and former ambassador to the United Nations, and Robert Einhorn, a former special adviser on arms control.

“I met with Pickering and I will discuss it when given the opportunity in the future,” Choi said.

 

VENEZUELA: What Socialists WON’T Learn, But What Americans CAN

“An error doesn’t become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” Orlando A. — Battista

Socialists don’t care what communism is supposed to mean. Socialists only care about communism’s promises. The socialist fantasy is wildly different depending on which follower you ask. Those fantasies are not real. Sensible people are not shocked when socialism/communism fails again. What should shock us is that socialists in the United States and elsewhere refuse to see socialism’s failures. It is time we asked why.

Poor people in Venezuela supported communism because it promised them food, money, and land. Of course the all-powerful government promised these things for free. In Venezuela today, the poor are starving and poor children are dying in hospitals without medicine or clean sheets. The poor are rioting for food. Supermarkets have become flashpoints in Venezuela, which is now one of the world’s most violent countries. No sensible person is surprised.

Never underestimate the power of a good fantasy.
However, the elites in the US still say we should swallow another dose of big government. Facts don’t matter when you have a good lie to sell, and the fantastic lie says you get something for nothing. Like most fantasies, communism never delivers what it promised. In fact, we never saw streams of poor people building makeshift rafts to escape to Venezuela, to Cuba, or to North Korea. Communism impoverished almost everyone… except the rich elites.

Venezuela has been in decay for years. Like leftists in the United States today, why were the poor in Venezuela so infatuated with the political system that kills them? They are in the streets today, but the poor were reluctant to let go of communism because the government wiped out all alternatives. Today, the poor are destitute and desperate to feed themselves and their families, but they can’t start a farm of their own. They can’t start a new business. The government runs the farms, the markets, and the gas stations. The vast majority of Venezuelans want a new government, but they are disarmed and powerless. Some Venezuelans are now shooting their countrymen because their communist leaders tell them to. There are always those who are eager to follow orders to kill. They feel superior because they kill.

The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
The rich elites never believed that big government could create wealth. The powerful elites knew that totalitarian regimes soon run out of other people’s money. This doesn’t matter to the rich elites, because they were never after money. Not in Venezuela, and not in the US.

No, they wanted something more. The elites ached for communism because it promised them power. Here is where communism succeeded. The poor merely wanted communism because it promised them money. The elites want communism because they intend to control the state. And us.

As communism crumbles, the elites are reluctant to let go of communism. The elites have already siphoned off enough wealth for a hundred lifetimes. María Gabriela, the daughter of the dead dictator Hugo Chavez, is Venezuela’s richest woman. She stole 4.2 billion dollars through political kickback schemes. The political elites in Venezuela, just like the elites in the US, remain green with envy.

The poor hang on to communism hoping for one last meal from the government store.
The rich hang on to communism hoping for one last theft from the government treasury.

So why does the fantasy of big government persist? Dictatorships can have a long and bloody slide into oblivion. The progress of liberty is not sure and steady. Look at the drawn out bleeding history of North Korea and Cuba. These dictatorships brutally oppress their own people for generations while, at the same time, they cry for aid from the UN.

Don’t look to the news media to show the ugly face of communism. Most reporters in Venezuela gave up the fantasy of a free press long ago. At first, they supported “fairness regulations” to drive out their competition. Now, the media’s very existence depends on appeasing government bureaucrats. The power to regulate is the power to control. The tamed press are the last ones who will show the stinking corpse of communism.

Don’t look to Western academics. They are in love with their socialist fantasy despite the millions of bodies laid at the temple of communism. Their intellectual pride tells them that they could make communism work. Even while it fails before their very eyes. Again. These academics are the “mainstream.” They are no longer interested in the truth.

Don’t look to businessmen. Wealthy businessmen and women left Venezuela long ago. Everyone who could have produced wealth has left. The businesses that could have sustained the economy have been nationalized.

Don’t look to the elites in other countries. Don’t expect Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or Jimmy Carter to renounce their longstanding support of communism. Those politicians praised the murdering dictator Hugo Chavez. There is too much wealth to loot here in the US for leftist elites to criticize their fantasy in public. Celebrities like Sean Penn, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell and Danny Glover were chummy with the dictator Hugo Chavez. They live in a fantasy world where they pretend that communism works. Communism remains popular with the New York Times. Together, they would rather pretend the starvation we see in communist countries today never happened.

Communism is a dignified mask stretched over the face of death. See through the mask. Many people will lie to you, so you must see the truth for yourself.

Image: Excerpted from: By Daga95 – http://www.flickr.com/photos/dagastream/13117498833/, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31577938

Share if you’re hoping Americans will learn some valuable lessons from Socialism’s

The Exponential Age

Did you think back in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? In 1998 Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 % of the photo paper used worldwide. Within just a few years their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and most people won’t see it coming.   

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels but followed Moore’s law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen  again with Artificial Intelligence, Health, Electric Cars, Education, 3D Printing, Agriculture and Jobs.  Welcome to the  4th Industrial Revolution.  Welcome to the Exponential Age.             

Software: Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. For example Uber is just a software tool (they don’t own any cars) and is now the biggest taxi company in the  world. And Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world although they don’t own any properties.                     

Artificial  Intelligence:  Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world 10 years  earlier than expected. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. It is forecast that by 2030 computers will become more intelligent than humans. In the US young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM’s Watson you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds with 90% accuracy compared to 70% accuracy when done by humans. So if you study law stop immediately. There will be 90 % less lawyers in the future. Only specialists will remain. Watson also helps diagnose cancer and is 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

Autonomous cars: In 2018  the first self driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020 the complete industry will  start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore.  You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while being driven. Our kids will never need to get a  driver’s license and will never own a car. It will change the cities because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car while tech companies like Tesla, Apple and Google will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on  wheels.                    

Insurance: 1.2  million people die each  year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000  km). With autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles (10 million km). That will save  a   million  lives each  year.  Insurance  companies  will have massive trouble because without accidents insurance will become 100x cheaper. The car insurance business model will disappear. Real Estate will also change because if you can work while you commute people  will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.                 

Electricity: Electric cars will become  mainstream about 2020.  Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity. And electricity will become  incredibly cheap and clean. Solar production has been  on an exponential curve for 30 years but you can now see the burgeoning impact. Last year more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations but that can’t last. Technology will take care of that strategy.                

Water: With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water.  Desalination of salt water now only needs 2k Wh per cubic meter at 0.25 cents. We don’t have  scarce water in most places we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as they want for nearly no cost.                

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the ” Tricorder ” from Star Trek) that works  with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you simply breath into it. It then analyses 54 bio-markers  that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap so in a  few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis nearly for free. Goodbye medical  establishments.

3D Printing: The price of the cheapest 3D  printer came down from  $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing  shoes. Some spare airplane parts  are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the  need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past. At the end of this year new  smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print  your perfect shoe at home. In China they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6 storey office building.  By 2027 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.                       

Work:  70-80 % of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. If you think of a niche you want to go in, first ask yourself, “In the future, do I think we will have that?” If the answer is yes how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone forget the idea.  And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century. There will be a lot  of new jobs but it is not clear if there will be enough new  jobs in such a short time.  This will require a rethink on wealth distribution.

Agriculture: There will be a $100  agricultural robot in the future.  Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their  fields.

Aeroponics: Will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now 30 % of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.  Imagine if we don’t need that space  anymore.

The Times They Are A Changing!

“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~ Ben Hogan

Afghan Explains Difference Between Trump and Obama

By Martin Lioll

In a question-and-answer session at his residence, Afghan ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib revealed that his conversations with the president led him to believe that Donald Trump “wants to win” the war on terror in Afghanistan.

In contrast, “all the (President Barack) Obama administration wanted to do was not lose” the war in Afghanistan, the diplomat said.

According to Independent Journal Review, the exchange came during a dinner for Gold Star wives that Mohib held in March.

His depiction of the president also seemed to dispel the media depiction of Trump as intellectually shallow.

“I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with (Afghan) President Ghani,” Mohib said.

“One call was after he won the election and one after (Trump) became president. Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call.

“However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions,” Mohib revealed. “The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. ‘How can you win in this fight (against terrorism)?’ he asked. ‘What do you need to become financially independent?’ and ‘How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?’”

That, he said, was a huge difference from the prior administration.

“Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did,” Mohib said. “The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with, but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.

“Trump continually asked, ‘How can you win? What does Afghanistan need to win?’ in reference to our fight with terrorism. Trump wants to win. Sincerely. All the Obama administration wanted to do was not lose.”

This sent a dangerous message to the terrorists, said Mohib, who has been his country’s ambassador to the U.S. since September 2015.

“The Obama administration was hesitant with us,” he explained. “The enemy could sense that. When the Obama administration announced its plans to pull troops out of the region, they announced the exact date they would do it.

“All our enemies had to do was wait (Obama) out,” he continued. “They knew the date they had to hang on until — which gave them the will to fight. They used that time to recruit and build up resources.”

We more or less knew that the former administration played not to lose in Afghanistan and had hindered the war on terror with its tactics, but it’s interesting to hear it from the mouth of Hamdullah Mohib. And he should know — according to a Washington Postprofile, the 32-year-old practically grew up in refugee camps and was sent to England to escape the clutches of the Taliban.

One thing’s for sure — for at least the next four years, things are going to be very different.

H/T GOP the Daily Dose

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on what Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib said.

REVOLUTIONARY COMMUNISTS SEEK TO SUPPRESS CONSERVATIVES

Earlier this week at UC Berkeley, an angry young woman named Sunsara Taylor – a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist with a face contorted into a perpetual grimace and a voice modulated as a perpetual harangue – led a discussion event titled “Battle for Berkeley: Why It’s Right and Righteous to Drive Fascists Off Campus, and Out of Power.” Ms. Taylor’s position is simple: Fascists should be prevented from speaking at Berkeley and poisoning the minds of impressionable young scholars.

In case you’re wondering, “fascists,” by Taylor’s reckoning, include anyone who happens to hold conservative values – i.e., anyone who believes in individual rights, the color-blind rule of law, limited government, free enterprise, and the free and open exchange of ideas. Such values are anathema to Sunsara Taylor and her fellow revolutionary communists, who instead favor group rights, identity politics, perpetual interracial grievance, the flouting of laws that don’t conform to their own political preferences (like immigration laws), bloated government that intrudes upon every facet of individual life, a socialist economy, and raging intolerance for anyone who holds an opposing political view.

Last November – shortly after the presidential election in which Donald Trump defeated the woman who had feloniously violated the Espionage Act more often than all other political candidates in American history, combined – Sunsara Taylor and two other Revolutionary Communist Party members co-founded an organization called Refuse Fascism. This wek’s event at Berkeley was part of Refuse Fascism’s “Drive Them Out” campaign.

If you were to ask Refuse Fascism to define fascism, you wouldn’t get a very clear answer. Under the heading “What Is Fascism?” on the organization’s website, for example, no operational definition of the term can be found. The only thing you learn is that President Trump – “the Fascist in Chief” – and his “fascist regime” are the living embodiments of fascism: “The Trump/Pence Regime – the whole thing – every cabinet post, every executive order, every tweet is a link in the chain of a fascist government and worldview …”

Refuse Fascism first laid out its political and ideological platform in a December 2016 manifesto depicting President Trump as an illegitimately elected “fascist” and declaring: “In the name of humanity we REFUSE to accept a fascist America!” Noting that “Hitler himself came to power through the process of elections and established legal procedures,” Refuse Fascism claims that Trump:

  • “has made clear … that he intends to radically attack the rights of immigrants, Muslims, Black people, women, gay and trans people, the disabled, and many others who have been historically oppressed in this society”;
  • “will pursue a geopolitical policy that will be very short on facts and long on aggression, threats of aggression, insane nuclear proliferation, torture and threats of torture, and continually going to the brink of war and no doubt beyond, and all while stoking the fires of xenophobia and scapegoating”;
  • has “no respect for the freedom of the press and expression”;
  • “has already begun to seed the government with Christian fundamentalist theocrats and breathed new life into anti-Semitism”;
  • “has created an atmosphere around women that has further empowered rape culture and already damaged the lives and chances of every woman and girl in this country”;
  • has “super-charged the notion that this is a ‘white man’s country’ in which the rights and existence of Black people and other people of color count for nothing”;
  • “has put proven white supremacists … in positions of power”; and
  • has “given impetus to every fascist, neo-Nazi and bigot to directly express themselves by violently going after people who are not white, male, Christian or straight.”

As a result of Trump’s ascendance to power, Refuse Fascism warns, “the days of white vigilantism and … lynch mobs … will now be back with a vengeance.”

Another of Refuse Fascism’s seminal documents reiterates the notion that “there is method to Trump’s madness” that “echoes Hitler” and is “more dangerous to the world than even Hitler.” Specifically, Refuse Fascism charges that President Trump’s brand of fascism promotes “xenophobic nationalism, racism, misogyny, and the aggressive re-institution of oppressive ‘traditional values.’”

The last three words of that assertion give us a bird’s-eye view into the heart and mind of Refuse Fascism and its adherents. They quite literally regard the values that sit at the very heart of Americanism – individual rights, the rule of law applied equally to all, limited government, free enterprise, and the free and open exchange of ideas – as “oppressive.” A contempt for these values is precisely what defines the Left generally. Leftism is not “liberal” – or concerned with liberty – in any way whatsoever. It is the very opposite of real liberalism. It is fascism.

Another Anti-American Judge Rules Against Trump

In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Wednesday, President Trump said that he might break up the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has been exceedingly hostile to his executive agenda since January.

“Everybody immediately runs to the 9th Circuit,” Trump told the paper. “And we have a big country. We have lots of other locations. But they immediately run to the 9th Circuit, because they know it’s semi-automatic.”

Trump’s latest judiciary defeat didn’t come expressly from the 9th Circuit, but that’s where the case is headed should the Justice Department appeal the ruling.

In a decision rendered Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick blocked the implementation of an executive order President Trump signed on January 25th, guiding the Department of Justice to withhold federal monies from cities and counties that are not in compliance with national immigration law. Although the executive order explicitly states that federal agencies should only withhold funds to the extent that it is legal under congressional law, the judge decided that Trump’s order, if carried out, would be in violation of the Constitution.

In prior rulings, the 9th Circuit put the kibosh on two different versions of Trump’s immigration ban targeting several Middle Eastern countries, claiming that because these countries were predominantly Muslim, the orders were in violation of the First Amendment.

In the interview, Trump accused Democrats of purposely bringing lawsuits against his administration in jurisdictions where they are more likely to get a favorable ruling.

“You see judge shopping, or what’s gone on with these people, they immediately run to the 9th Circuit,” Trump said. “It’s got close to an 80 percent reversal period, and what’s going on in the 9th Circuit is a shame.”

Beyond the obvious biases of the 9th Circuit, the objectivity of Judge Orrick himself is up for debate. Orrick was an active supporter of President Obama, having personally donated more than $30,000 to his election campaign and having bundled more than $200,000 in total. For his tireless dedication, he was appointed to his current federal judgeship. When you consider the extent to which Obama made amnesty towards illegal immigrants a focus of his agenda, one can easily make the argument that Orrick should have recused himself from this case.

After eight years of defending Obama’s right to make law from the Oval Office, liberals have suddenly decided that it’s important to limit the power of the president. Funny how that happens. What’s not so funny is their commitment towards protecting immigrants at any costs – costs paid by American citizens who will be victimized by individuals who have no business in this country.

Another Obama Initiative Bites The Dust

By the time Trump’s done, the Obamas will be just a memory.

Much to the delight of school kids around the country, Michelle’s school lunches program is already under the ax and now another of her initiatives is about the bite the dust..

President Trump plans to end ‘Let Girls Learn,’ former first lady Michelle Obama’s girls education program, according to a Monday CNN report.

The Hill reports,

“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the Let Girls Learn brand or maintain a stand-alone program,” an email from Peace Corps acting director Sheila Crowley to employees reportedly reads.

 

The Trump administration gave order to cease the program’s operation immediately, according to an internal document obtained by CNN.

Aspects of ‘Let Girls Learn’ will continue, although the brand name of the program will no longer be used.

The Obamas started the program in 2015. It aimed to increase educational opportunities for young girls in developing countries.

“‘Let Girls Learn’ provided a platform to showcase Peace Corps’ strength in community development, shining a bright light on the work of our Volunteers all over the world,” Crowley continued. “We are so proud of what ‘Let Girls Learn’ accomplished and we have all of you to thank for this success.”

The Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) primarily ran the ‘Let Girls Learn,’ an inter-governmental program.

A spokesman for the Peace Corps told CNN Monday they plan to continue their efforts to facilitate the education of girls.

“The Peace Corps continues to prioritize girls’ education and empowerment programming,” the spokesman said. “Girls’ education and empowerment has been a hallmark of our work over the past 56 years and we look forward to continuing those efforts with our interagency partners. We remain dedicated to the passionate work of our volunteers and staff to empower and educate girls in their communities.”

We don’t recognize how good we have it in the USA!

A very interesting read, a Marine’s View of what is really going on.  This young man is articulate and has a flare for colorful language, and descriptive prose, Scorpions, Chiggers & Sand Fleas.  It’s a great letter, a must read for every American citizen.

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan :

From the Sand Pit

It’s freezing here.  I’m sitting on hard cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the  Hindu Kush  Mountains, along the Dar’yoi Pamir River, watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave.  Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting.  I’ve actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod.  Hurts like a bastard.  The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.  The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.  That requires couriers and that’s where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy.

I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the hand held, and shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware.  We bash some heads for a while, and then I track and record the new movement.  It’s all about intelligence.  We haven’t even brought in the snipers yet.  These scurrying rats have no idea what they’re in for.  We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.  But you know me; I’m a romantic.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This country blows, man.  It’s not even a country.  There are no roads, there’s no infrastructure, there’s no government.

This is an inhospitable, rock-pit shit-hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes.  There are no jobs here like we know jobs.   Afghanistan offers only two ways for a man to support his family, join the opium trade or join the army.  That’s it.  Those are your options.  Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that’s your idea of a party.  But the smell alone of those ‘tent cities of the walking dead’ is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I’ve been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and Turkmen and even a couple of Pashtu’s, for over a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say for sure: These guys, are Huns, actual, living Huns.  They LIVE to fight.  It’s what they do.  It’s ALL they do.  They have no respect for anything; not for themselves, their families, or for each other.  They claw at one another as a way of life.  They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor.  Just Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other’s barbarism.  Cavemen with AK-47’s.  Then again, maybe I’m just a cranky young bastard.

I’m freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I can’t recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.  Oh yeah!  You like to write letters, right?  Do me a favor, Bizarre.  Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban “smart”.  They are not smart.  I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is “cunning”.  The Taliban are cunning, like jackals, hyenas, and wolverines.  They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, they are cowardly.  They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else.

Smart?  Bullshit!  Yeah, they’re real smart,  Most can’t read, but they’ve spent their entire lives listening to Imams telling them about only one book (and not a very good one, as books go).  They consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil.  They’re still trying to figuring out how to work a Bic lighter.  Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen.   Eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

OK, enough.  Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole.  Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I’m good at it.

Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives.  The story line you are getting from CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and other liberal news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen so you will watch the next commercial.  We’ve got this one under control.  The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we’re doing over here.  You have no idea what we’re doing, and you really don’t want to know.  We are your military, and we are only doing what you sent us here to do.

From a Jack Recon Marine in  Afghanistan , Semper Fi.

“Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps is paying most of your share”.

Send this to YOUR FRIENDS so that people there will really know what is going on over here.

God Bless America .

PS  Why would any civilized country
want to bring these barbarians
into their cities or states. 

To do so is total suicidal insanity!

EVEN WITH AN ANGELIC SUBJECT LIKE “MADE IN AMERICA,” THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS

By John F. Di Leo –

Reflections on government procurement and the Buy American Act

President Donald Trump traveled to southeast Wisconsin to make a speech and issue a proclamation: that he would require that – on the big government spending projects of his administration – everything had better be Made in America.

Hopefully, no one will quarrel with the intent.

A country should be proud of its manufacturing sector, and if tax dollars are to be spent at all, the preference ought to be that they be spent giving business to their own companies, employing their own people, utilizing their own local resources.  It’s important not only for the economy, but for national security as well.  Such an intention is good and honorable.

But we all know what the road to Hell is paved with, don’t we?

The Residency Rule

Before we analyze this rule, let’s spend a moment contemplating a rule with which we’re all familiar: the residency rule that many cities have in place for their employees.

Lots of cities decree that if you want to be a policeman, fireman, school teacher, or other city employee, you have to live in the city that issues your paycheck. The theory is, this keeps fine, upstanding citizens in the neighborhoods (especially important if the city is suffering a loss of fleeing taxpayers), and it keeps rents and home values up for everyone.  Granted, it limits the hiring pool a bit, but the bigger the city, the more manageable that should be. In theory.

So it is that many cities have specific neighborhoods, like Chicago’s northwest side and Milwaukee’s southwest side, for example, that become well-known for being particularly safe because they’re chock full of policemen. Fine, as far as it goes, right?

Until the property taxes, or crime levels, or school system collapses of such a city reach the point at which it becomes unwise to raise children there, or even becomes unaffordable or unsafe to remain at all.  A city may lose good employees when this rule drives them out, to search for other jobs that allow freedom of residency.  But perhaps, sometimes, the cities decide it’s worth the tradeoff.  It’s their choice, after all; that’s what home rule is all about.

And so the cities write rules to manage their residency rule, to deal with a grace period upon time of hiring, or to deal with marriages between city employees and suburbanites, or to deal with employees who own multiple properties, like a couple of small apartment buildings in different towns as their chosen investment method.

The questions get thorny: what if a new employee can’t sell his suburban house within the 30, or 60, or 90 days of his grace period?  Surely we can’t make him sell at a loss just because it’s a slow housing market.  Or what if his child is a junior in a suburban high school; surely we won’t make our new teacher, policeman, or fireman move his kid to a new school at a time like that, just to satisfy this rule, will we?

There are dozens of such questions, and each city writes their rules, and builds in provisions for exceptions.  Every city may handle it differently, and that’s their right.

We all recognize the value in the original goal of a local residency requirement, but we also see the complexity that it causes.  The devil is in the details.

The Buy American Act

Now, in this context, we can address the national issue of a “Buy American” rule.

For the exact same reasons – all good reasons – that cities have residency requirements, nations may want a rule that tax dollars are spent on their own taxpayers.

We want a thriving economy.  We want a strong business sector, full employment, profitable manufacturers.

Because of the scale involved in the national government’s purchases, federal spending can be a huge portion of the GDP.  It shouldn’t be, of course – government is much too big already – but to the extent that we’re stuck with it, it makes sense to at least direct those purchases of asphalt and concrete, steel beams and armaments, toward businesses that keep the most Americans employed.

This is the goal that President Trump reinforced this week, and it’s nothing new; the first major Buy American Act dates all the way back to 1933, and was signed by outgoing President Hoover for the incoming Roosevelt Administration to enforce. There have been plenty of permutations of this well-intentioned concept since.

The Complexity of Manufacturing

As we’ve seen, even a rule as simple as a local residency rule can become complicated in application, as different cities have different levels of affordable real estate for renters, homeowners, parents, and investors.  Cities need to carve out both permanent exceptions and individual waivers all the time, or risk missing out on desirable employees, while mindful of the fact that too many exceptions will infuriate their existing employees who live with the same rule.

By the same token, when the national government attempts a Buy American provision, therefore, it encounters plenty of problems that it likely never anticipated, because so few people in government know anything about the world of manufacturing.

Let’s start by assuming that we do manufacture this kind of product in the United States, so domestic sourcing is at least an option.  What is that product made of?  Is it a single item, such as an injection-molded article of plastic or a cast iron product poured in a foundry?

Or is it a complex manufactured product, like a huge water pump to keep a highway underpass clear during rainstorms, or a whole electrical power station for an airport or army base? Such products have Bills of Material – a manufactured product’s “recipe,” if you will – listing hundreds, or even thousands, of materials.  Cast or molded parts, wire and cable, nuts and bolts, sheet steel and brass rods, dials and controls.

No single company manufactures all those parts, so a manufacturer sources them from vendors all over the world.  Perhaps wire and cable made in the USA, nuts and bolts made in South Korea, dials made in Germany, cast steel parts made in the USA, molded plastic parts made in Mexico, gaskets made in China… the possibilities are endless.

If we require the finished product to be made here, that’s an accomplishment.  That does indeed satisfy the first goal of spending money on American companies that put Americans to work.  But then there is always an effort to go further, to the next tier of production, and manage those purchased raw materials and components as well.

When the government implements a Buy American rule, it first has to decide how far down to go in this supply chain.  In recent years, the choices have run the gamut from final manufacture all the way to requirements of 100% American content, right down to the rawest of raw materials.

Imagine requiring, for example, that a steel part be not only formed here, but made of steel that was alloyed here, of iron, chromium and carbon that were pulled out of the earth and processed here too.  Sound easy?  Well, not so much.  We have plenty of iron in the USA, but chromium just can’t be practically sourced here; most of it comes from South Africa, Turkey, India or FSU sources like Russia and Kazakhstan.  So at a certain point, it becomes impossible to mandate domestic sourcing… and that “certain point” varies by product, by material, by industry.

So at some spot in the sourcing process, we have to stop trying to control it.  We just have to.  We don’t make lots of nuts and bolts in the USA anymore; we’d like to, but we just don’t.    And we make lots of wire and cable here, but maybe not the exact kind that the power station contractor or the pump manufacturer needs for this particular finished product.  So we have to allow them some flexibility in sourcing, if we want our finished product to work.

But all these industries – yes, all of them – have lobbyists in Washington, lobbyists (and unions and reporters and donors and businessmen) who will point out that making the bridge or power station or water pump here is nice, but we really need to create jobs for the American steel industry too, and the American fastener industry, and the American wire and cable industry, and the American electrical controller industry…

Every administration, and even more so, every individual agency issuing government contracts, has to make this decision:  Where to draw the line? Where to give up and realize that the goal of making every single government dollar create an American job is just impossible?

Complexity and Practicality

These rules add complexity to the government contracting process, and also often-unmanageable complexity for the contractors and their subcontractors.  The myriad vendors on these government projects have different skill levels, and the farther back you go from the primary contractor, the less the others upstream may understand just what their commitment actually is.

In addition to making a great product at the right price, delivering it on time at the right place, they now have to meet rules of content origin that vary from contract to contract, but that always bear the exact same title: a “Buy American clause.”

What good is a commitment that means something different in every bid, especially when the contractor offering the project for bidding probably doesn’t understand the commitment himself?

If the vendor can’t meet a requirement because the part isn’t made here at all, he can seek a waiver, of course… but seeking, proving, and obtaining such waivers are an added cost, adding to the cost of the project… and if a vendor knows he’ll need such waivers, he may drop out entirely, costing the bid some potentially good vendors.

In most of the government projects authorized in the 2009 ARRA, for example, simple US origin was required – meaning that the product had to be manufactured here, but they didn’t dig deeper into the materials therein.  The following year, the government revised it, and most 2010 contracts from the 2009 ARRA had an almost impossible 100% US content requirement, extending right into raw materials.

This made compliance difficult for many products, and accomplishment often impossible, which meant more products having the total waiver: when it becomes impossible to meet a Buy American clause, you just give up and fill the order with a foreign product.

Foreign products have no requirement for US content at all, so once you have a waiver on the origin of the “master” finished product, it gets made in Canada or Mexico or Europe instead, and no Americans are hired at all.   This overly-ambitious version of a Buy American clause is truly the textbook example of the old saying, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

So, here is our quandary: Should the government impose a Buy American clause, if it’s so difficult?

Of course we should.  But it’s time to standardize it, and make it reasonable.  If the Trump administration wants to ensure that its projects employ lots of Americans, it needs to abandon the overly-ambitious clauses of the past, and apply a reasonable requirement, based on those used by the Ex-Im Bank or NAFTA in determining US origin.

We can require US manufacture, and set a percentage of minimum US spend on the manufacturer’s purchased materials, such as “50% or 75% must be US-manufactured parts as well. “  Something along those lines.

But we need to put an end to these promises that “Every product will be made of US steel!” that the lobbyists and unionists insist upon. Such pie-in-the-sky promises create more work for lawyers, bean-counters and foreigners than they do for American workers.

Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based Customs broker, writer, and actor.  A former county chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, he has been a recovering politician for twenty years.

California: The Physical Collapse Of A Social State

Welcome to California.  It is a state of a perfect set of laws – at least in the minds of those wedded to the legislative pursuit of social justice.  Under the one-party Democrat rules, spending on fairness tops $100 billion every year. Meanwhile, the basic infrastructure of the state, so necessary for the economy long and short term, is collapsing.

The California legislature has been busy making the news these days.  They are determined to fight President Trump tooth and nail – and they are putting the taxpayers’ money where the legislature’s mouth is.

California Democrat after Democrat has decried President Trump. The day after the election, a “Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election,” issued in part by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (formerly Kevin Leon), stated:

“While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”

The legislature hired former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder as legal counsel for their fights with the federal government.  Their new state attorney general, Xavier Becerra, was appointed “to protect California’s economy and our sensible policies on climate change, health care, civil rights and immigration,” – so said Governor Brown who made the appointment.

 California, of course, is the front-line for Sanctuary Cities – so many of which have also pledged to fight Trump.  Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities – Kate Steinle notwithstanding. They are all willing to risk millions of dollars in federal funds for their current residents essentially to provide social justice for those here now illegally and in the future.

Long before all of that, of course, California has led the way for its brand of social justice on social issues as well.  When they have, they do more than talk about it – they spend money on it, including in the schools.

Finally, we cannot forget that California has the most stringent and expensive regulations in the world as part of its effort to fight “climate change.” Estimates run to over a billion dollars spent in California each year to change the world’s climate – or at least to prevent it from changing any more. Now Mr. de León wants to prevent the use of any fossils fuels in the state by 2045.

Of course, it is no small irony in an epic year of rain, those same Democrats continue to claim that because of a lack of social justice in the hearts of Americans, climate change is real and will result in prolonged droughts in California. Indeed, taxpayer funded NASA climatologist Bill Patzert predicted last year that “We are in a drought forever.”

Mother Nature, of course, does not listen to politicians or predictions.

California has indeed had an epic amount of rain this year – far, far greater than anyone predicted. So much so that California infrastructure is being exposed for what it has been – ignored.

The biggest non-social justice headlines have gone to people fleeing Oroville Dam, which holds back Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California.  For over a decade, despite many warnings, the social justice warriors have not only refused to build new water infrastructure to feed a population growing with the immigrants and now refugees they want to protect, they have also refused to spend money to protect the infrastructure they have.

It is said that California has over $77 billion in deferred road, highway and bridge maintenance.  It showed this week with a sink hole in LA because of the rain they didn’t predict.  There is also the collapse of part of one of its main highways in the North, Highway 50, from the rain they didn’t predict – not to mention the Oroville dam, the break in a Central Valley levee and over-flowing dams causing flooding in places like the southern part of Silicon Valley.

Of course, there is the whole issue of the lack of water infrastructure in California.  There is not enough of it to store and supply the water needed for its industry and residents.  Indeed, the system was designed for half those living in California today. Keep in mind that, three years ago, even the EPA said California needs $44.5 billion to fix the infrastructure that it has.

 Those numbers, as this last winter of damaged infrastructure, roads and dams have proven, are understated.  All of which brings us to . . .

High Speed Rail.  Gov. Jerry Brown wants to spend at least $70 billion to build high speed rail that really no one outside of a construction union and Sen. Diane Feinstein’s husband (his company “won” one of the construction contracts for $1 billion) wants.  Jerry Brown doesn’t want the spending train to stop there, however.

Brown also wants to spend $15 billion to $25 billion (yes, the estimate range is that wide) on water tunnels of unknown value because they will be tied up in courts for years. Keep in mind that it would be far cheaper to simply direct water to the Central Valley instead of releasing so much of it to ocean, which global warming enthusiasts say is rising anyway.

So, what is an impoverished California to do?  It’s not an academic question.  California leads the nation in poverty when cost of living is factored into the equation.

According to Brown and the Democrats, the answer is: fight for future immigrants, refugees, sanctuary cities, social issues and global warming. Social justice for all – in other words – served on high speed rail.

Perhaps one day, the Brown and his Democrat friends will understand as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan did that there is no social justice without a job – but don’t count on that any time soon.

”There simply is so much at stake today. As a result, our governments that benefit so many, employ so many, and tax so widely–in short our governments that pick so many winners and losers–are understandably subject to an intense competition for their control.” So writes author Thomas Del Beccaro in this fascinating study of the history of political unity and division in the US, from the Revolution to the adoption of the Constitution, the Civil War through Reconstruction, The Gilded Age to our present Divided Era.