Our dragon slaying days are over

“Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy.”  President John Quincy Adams.

According to Peter Zeihan, author of the excellent The Accidental Superpower,  NATO died yesterday.  His latest analysis on NATO is an epitaph to America’s century long plunge into globalism.  I urge you to read it.

He doesn’t give President Trump the credit, or the blame.  Our gradual disengagement from Europe has been evolving since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Trump is just being candid, where others have been coy.

We went to war in Europe 100 years ago, and we’ve been the great imperial power of the world ever since.  No more, according to Zeihan.  With Trump’s very public and intentional refusal to affirm American commitment to NATO’s Article V (all for one, one for all) our century of wars around the world is over.

No more Vietnams, or Koreas, no more fighting Germans, or Japanese, or Russians.  No more war.  What, really, is it good for?

Our world, America’s world, is devoid of natural, geopolitically preordained enemies.  We are the Lord’s most rich and favored nation, the only great power in world history with no natural enemy, and no fear of invasion.

In the 1960’s, when I was a young man, we were ready to go to war with the Russians, if it came down to it.  But it wasn’t because they were Russian.  It was perhaps they were communist, and the fires of crusading anti-communism burned brightly in this country.

Lyndon Johnson, a name that will live in infamy, took that flame of anti-communism into Vietnam, and it died there.  But we were still ready to fight the Russians if we had to.

But then down came the Berlin Wall, and from that moment forward to this, there has been no stomach in this country for another European war.  NATO, and Article V of its charter, are dead not because of Donald Trump.  They are dead because of American public opinion.  The mothers and fathers of America will simply refuse to send their children to die in a European war.

I got Zeihan’s emailed article after I posted yesterday, and I thought a lot about it.  He’s a tad exuberant, and this will all take time to play out, but he’s as right as rain.  NATO, and the American Imperial Century, are over.  Oh, happy day.

 

 

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A fireside chat with Donald Trump

A week from today, on June 1st, Trump will hold a rally for the faithful in Iowa.  He’ll celebrate the success of his first overseas trip as President.  He has a lot to celebrate, and being the insecure man he is, he’s liable to do a little boasting.  Or a lot.

My suspicion, and hope, is that he’ll do something a lot smarter, politically, before he goes to Iowa.  He’ll give a prime time speech from the Oval Office.  He’ll give all of the American people a report on where he’s been, and who he’s seen, and what he’s done.

He doesn’t need to rally the faithful.  He needs to persuade the skeptics, who are legion.

He’d have a lot to say.  It could have a major impact, if done properly.  Rather than brag, he needs to show some humility, even if it’s false.  He, his family and staff have just been to the religious capitols of the three great monotheistic religions of the world, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

He had to have been emotionally moved by the experience.  If he could share that, with real sincerity, he could get a new start with a lot of people.  He’s missing a great opportunity if he doesn’t try.

On foreign policy, he continues to shine.  While he was visiting the Pope, the U. S. Navy conducted a freedom of the seas exercise in the South China Sea, sailing within twelve nautical miles of islets claimed by China.  According to the Chinese, our Navy sailed inside their territorial waters.

The Chinese squawked, but didn’t respond in any other way.  They are no match for the United States Navy.  No one is.  This naval show of force was absolutely called for, and the timing was perfect.  This is no big deal to us.  We sail our Navy in what the world considers to be international waters every day of the year.  Bravo.

Montana Republican House candidate Greg “Gianforte” (translation: John the strong) missed the part of candidate training where they tell you not to body slam reporters, and has emerged as a hero to red blooded American patriots across the country.  We all want to body slam a reporter, and Gianforte actually did it!  What a guy!

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t agree, and he could lose.  Actually, from a cold blooded Article V perspective, that’s a good thing.  It would mean there would be two incumbent Democrats running in 2018, Sen. Tester and the new Rep. Quist, and more Republicans running statewide against them.

We want to get all of these Republican candidates to endorse the use of Article V to get a Balanced Budget Amendment.  One of them, State Senator Al Olszewski, who’s already filed to run against Tester, supported our bill in the 2015 session.  We want this to be a political issue in the Republican primaries for both House and Senate.

We’ll need a local organization, like Montanans for a Balanced Budget, and we’ll need someone to be its spokesman.  Maybe Greg Gianforte would be interested.

The House leadership is moving toward the Monster Reconciliation Bill of 2017, where we solve all our problems with one bill.  They’ve given up on regular order, and will fund the government after Sept. 30 with some kind of Continuing Resolution.  They don’t have enough legislative days to do a regular budget.  Takes too much time, and they have to take August off.  It’s a tradition sacred to the heart of every Congressman.

What can be done with this useless Congress?  Article V.  That’s what it’s there for.

 

 

 

See you in September

I was born in a watershed year, 1945, a month after Japan surrendered.  It was the year my country became an Accidental Superpower, as brilliantly described by Peter Zeihan in his prescient 2014 book.  It’s sub-titled “The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder”, and as far as I’m concerned it’s spot on the money.

For almost 3/4 of a century we’ve lived in that postwar world described by Zeihan, and it’s coming apart as I write.  You read about it on the internet every day.  In Alaska, spring break up is a very big deal, as the whole state watches the ice on the Tanana River.  This year breakup came just three weeks ago, and $267,000 was awarded to the winning guesses in the Nenana Ice Classic.

When the breakup of the postwar world order really hits, and the ice jams break, and the swollen river begins to send great chunks of ice careening downstream, the time will be right for a new order.  But we’re not there yet, and contingencies abound.  Unless we completely blow it, by the time a new order emerges, the U.S.A. will be sitting pretty.  Geography, geology and American ingenuity will see to that.

1945 was also the year racism became not just wrong, but un-American.  The Holocaust showed where racism could lead, even for an enlightened nation like Germany, and the American people, collectively, wouldn’t put up with it any more.  In reaction, strident racist Strom Thurmond’s 1948 campaign for President was run on the States’ Rights ticket, and from then until now states rights has been code for racism.

It still is, in some quarters.  The federal government may be the enemy to a lot of Americans, but it has to have a special place in the hearts of black Americans.  It was the federal government that took on racist Governors like Orville Faubus and George Wallace, and it was the federal government that gave blacks in the South the right to vote and killed Jim Crow.

Racial justice and the federal government are still associated with each other, and that’s not going to change.  But it’s been taken too far.  Once the great civil rights advances were won, victory should have been declared and everybody could have gone about their business.

But an industry had been created, a lucrative one, and racial grievances are now big business.  It’s a scab that the left won’t let heal.  They keep picking at it, making it worse.

So even though most Americans have about had it with the federal government, the same cannot be said of blacks.  And black Americans are at the heart of the modern Democratic Party.

But all Americans, blacks just as much as anyone else, have a stake in keeping their country out of national bankruptcy.  We hope and expect to see a lot of Commissioners from Democratic states at the Phoenix Convention of States.  A fair number of them will surely be blacks.

We can’t expect to detach them from the federal government.  But we can expect them to help us save it from itself.

 

It’s official: The first Convention of States since 1861

Last week Arizona Speaker J. D. Mesnard and Senate President Steve Yarbrough invited their counterparts in the other 49 states to attend a Convention of States in Phoenix on September 12th.  This letter of invitation is pursuant to the Call for the Convention contained in a Concurrent Resolution recently adopted by the Arizona legislature.

The stated purpose of this formal meeting is the adoption of rules and procedures which will govern a subsequent, Article V Amendment Convention.  Congress will set the time and place of that Convention when 34 state Resolutions have been passed calling for it.  The states, assembled in Phoenix, may choose to express their preferences for the time and place of the Article V Convention.

Each state is being asked to send Commissioners to Phoenix, preferably odd in number, which can either be jointly appointed by the Presiding Officers of a legislature, or chosen by legislative resolution.  Each state decides how many Commissioners it will send.  Voting will be conducted on a one state, one vote basis, and each state’s vote will be determined by a majority of its commissioners.

The reason this Convention of States is necessary is because of the Big Lie.  Spread initially by the John Birch Society, and now adopted by left wing Common Cause, the lie is that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a runaway Convention, and the adoption of the Constitution was a violation of the Confederation of States Constitution, and thus illegal.

The Big Lie is that the delegates to Philadelphia only had the authority to amend the Articles of Confederation, not replace them.  And the Bigger Lie is that, since amendments to the Articles of Confederation had to be unanimous, the adoption of the Constitution had to be unanimous.

The Biggest Lie is that the Articles of Confederation in any way lessened the absolute sovereignty of each individual state.  The Articles were a voluntary association, no more.  The states were not subject to its decisions any more than the United States is subject to the decisions of the United Nations.  Only in adopting the Constitution did the states partially surrender their sovereignty to their new creation, the federal government.

The part of their sovereignty the states did not surrender is contained and expressed in Article V.  There the states reserve for themselves the right to amend the Constitution.

This is the ultimate, highest power, which the states have never chosen to exercise, until now.  27 of the needed 34 states have now called for an Article V Balanced Budget Amendment, and the first such Convention in American history may well be held in 2018.

Because it will be the first such Convention in 230 years, an Article V Convention scares people.  Who will be in control?  Will they somehow abuse their power?  How will the proceedings be conducted, and by who?

All these are legitimate questions, and they will be answered in Phoenix.  The Commissioners from the 50 states in attendance there will be the very same people, by and large, who would be Commissioners to the subsequent Article V Convention.

If you wish to see what the Article V Convention will look like, look no further than Phoenix.

 

 

How’s Flight 93 working out for you?

Last fall Michael Anton informed us that, as a nation, we were on Flight 93, and if something wasn’t done to defeat Clinton we were all going to die.  In the face of certain death, extreme measures were warranted, like voting for Donald Trump.  With all his warts.

Who knows?  The election was close enough, maybe that metaphor played a part in Trump’s win.  A lot of people voted for him, eyes wide open, holding their nose, only because the alternative was truly frightening.

So these people aren’t particularly surprised by his erratic behavior.  It’s more or less what they bought into.  It’s very disappointing nonetheless.  It’s all so entirely unnecessary and wasteful.  And it all stems from Trump’s inferiority complex, and his constant need to feed his own ego.  He’s a very strange man.

So we’re all on Flight 93, with Trump at the controls.  The problem is, he’s never flown a plane in his life, and he has no aptitude for it.  He has a co-pilot, Vice President Mike Pence, with the needed temperament and experience.  But Donald Trump likes to fly, and we’re all in Disneyland on Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride.

In foreign policy, Trump underpromised and is over-delivering.  So far, his moves in the Middle East, and around the world, have been impressive.  He may have the instincts of a statesman.  He understands power, and geography, and oil, and people, and how they’re all tied together.   In foreign policy alone, he could justify his Presidency.

We haven’t had a coherent American foreign policy since 1989, when Reagan left office and the Cold War ended.  The Bushes, Clintons and Obamas of this world are globalists, and Wilsonian idealists.  They’ve done a great deal of harm, and undoing their mischief is enough to keep Trump busy for his entire first term.

He has the opportunity (and he’s taking it) of revolutionizing American foreign policy, along Kissingerian lines.  My favorite moment of Trump’s Presidency was a photo of the Oval Office, showing Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Henry Kissinger seated around a table.

That would be a conversation to be privy to.  Henry Kissinger is a great man, and a great American patriot.  The fact is that Lavrov is talking to the same man Leonid Brezhnev was taking on a private boar hunt in 1971.

Henry Kissinger has been operating at the very highest levels of American foreign policy for 50 years.  He’s seen them come and go.  He’s seen it all.  And he’s a brilliant man, respected around the world.  With Kissinger providing strategic advice, we have nothing to fear, and a lot to look forward to, in our new foreign policy.

I think it’s very significant that the first three places Trump will visit are the holy sites of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.  Whoever put that itinerary together had their thinking cap on.

Trump goes into the NATO and G-7 meetings with a hot hand.  The deals he’s inking in Saudi Arabia represent an enormous wealth transfer from the Saudis to the United States.  Trump got himself, and his country, one hell of a deal.  He’ll be going into Brussels on a roll.