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A Warsaw Speech in Missouri

July 19, 2017

President Trump’s speech in Warsaw on Wednesday, July 5, reminded us of the need to adhere to the values of civilization in the West.

Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield — it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls. Today, the ties that unite our civilization are no less vital…. Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory.

It is interesting that the reaction from the Left to that passage was that the President’s speech was “dark.” Others reported that this speech was read from a teleprompter, but the real Trump has no unified worldview.

That argument–that there is “no there there”–should be confronted by the White House—and especially Stephen Miller who wrote the Warsaw speech—by finding a way to reaffirm the importance of Western Civilization to the United States.

The National Association of Scholars demonstrated in a recent study that courses on Western civilization were no longer required in American colleges and universities. Even graduate students in History were no longer required to study that subject.

If I were advising President Trump, I would suggest he find a public space where the argument for the values of the West can be reaffirmed, and the lack of intellectual diversity in higher education declaimed.

Ordinarily, a President would give that speech at a major university like Harvard, Princeton or Yale. The Left is so dominant at those universities, however, that is no longer possible. The right place to give that speech is somewhere in the Heartland, perhaps at the Missouri state fair in August or during a session of the Missouri State legislature.

 

Cong. Mac Thornberry: Space Lunatic

July 15, 2017

Texas Congressman Mac Thornberry represents the 13h Congressional District and is Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee According to the Congressman’s website, The Armed Services Committee has the responsibility to oversee the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies.  The 13th Congressional District is home to Sheppard Air Force Base and to a nuclear weapons assembly factory.

Congressman Thornberry’s position as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee is important, powerful and requires steady resolve to defend the United States by assuring that our Armed Services are equipped and trained to fight the next war.

Why then is Congressman Thornberry pushing for creation of a Space Corps which is opposed by the Department of Defense?

I’ve been interested in America’s desire for space travel since first reading the study of NASA by Professor Walter McDougall’s Pulitzer Prize study of the the space industry, The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age. Deep into McDougall’s book a careful reader will discover the connection between commerce in space and a will to master nature.

Now mastery of nature has a long history going back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth when Christianity has begun to lose its grip on the minds of Englishmen and another religion–“magic”–became popular. That fascination lingers today in our daily newspapers that feature “horoscopes” that pretend to predict the future. In other words, man’s desire to master nature is a substitute for the Christian love of God’s creation with the desire to become like God.

All this is serious stuff that I researched in my Development of Political Theory and which features a long chapter on political religion. You can read about that in Chapter Ten that has been posted online. Though my research took me as far back as the ancient Gnostics, there is a move in present day America by wealthy men who are engaged in constructing vehicles for space travel. Their motivations–not unlike those of magicians like John Dee–bear close observation.

I wrote about that on April 6 when I made note of Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Paul Allen and Robert Bigelow. All are enormously wealthy and beginning to construct what promises to become a space tourism industry.

Is there a connection between their lunacy and Congressman Mac Thornberry? I intend to find out!

Higher Education in Decline

July 14, 2017

Higher education has been in decline since 1968 when college administrators gave in to rioting students who demanded the removal of required courses. But, now we are seeing that financial decline is also in American higher education’s future.

The Hechinger Report has published a study indicating that there has been a 2.4 million student enrollment decline since 2011. Hardest hit are non-profit private colleges.

I make the case for what I call the “Coming death” of American higher education in my new book which will be published next month. Here’s what my publisher writes:

In The Coming Death and Future Resurrection of American Higher Education, Dr. Richard Bishirjian describes how, beginning in 2000, he founded Yorktown University and immediately confronted barriers designed to block entrance of his University from operating as a low cost, regionally accredited, high tech, Internet university.

Dr. Richard Bishirjian’s book is a Cri de Coeur in which he passionately criticizes the higher education Establishment and laments the loss of millions of dollars of investor’s equity and twelve years of work and sacrifice.

Unlike any other study of American higher education, Bishirjian tells all, names names, and exposes how the education Establishment imposes tuition costs that force parents and students into crippling debt.

To name a few names cited in my book, Governor Jim Gilmore (R-VA) and Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia (D-CO), U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and Education Deputy Undersecretary, Robert Shireman, and Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama equally contributed to this coming death.

 

 

Melania Trump and German Protesters

July 7, 2017

Many of us expected that Melania Trump was going to become an asset to the President. Born and raised in the former Soviet satellite nation of Slovenia, she apparently has no illusions about totalitarian ideologies.

She is also a practicing Christian and began a speech with the Lord’s Prayer. And her introduction of her husband at the monument of the Warsaw Uprising in Poland on Wednesday, July 5, was well done and without a script.

It is unsettling, therefore, that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has not adequately provided for Melania Trump’s security. ABC News reported this morning that her exit from a residence provided for her and President Trump was blocked by protesters.

One of the protesters interviewed by ABC News said “he came out to protest because Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other “fascist” leaders had arrived in his city. “I want them out,” he said. “I don’t want them here.”

Well, how long do we need to put up with the naiveté of Germany’s Chancellor?

The enormous protests in Hamburg during the G-20 could have been predicted, yet the German government’s planning was inadequate.

Inadequate? Every G-20 has been the occasion for rioting and violent Leftist protests.

Chancellor Merkel should make a formal apology.

 

 

Deal-making versus Diplomacy

July 7, 2017

Today’s meeting, July 7, 2017, between President Trump and President Vladimir Putin pits an experienced autocrat against a New York real estate tycoon.

The economy of the United States is vibrant and able to adapt to even the most extreme internal and external challenges.

The economy of Russia is crippled by close to three-quarters of a century of captivity to an ideology that compromised Russia’s orthodox Church, broke the spirits of the Russian people, squandered Russia’s resources and threatened the world with nuclear war.

Though many in the West hoped that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, that Russia would join the community of democratic nations, more knowledgeable persons, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn especially, understood that Russia was different from the West and, if it survived captivity by Communist ideologues, would always be governed by authoritarian rulers.

The President of Russia is a former totalitarian ideologue for whom governing as an autocrat is acceptable, as long as he is the autocrat.

A career as an intelligence officer in the KGB shaped how he views rivals and at tomorrow’s meeting with the President of the United States, President Putin will be guided by deep appreciation of Russia’s weaknesses, the strengths of the United States and the personality and character of President Trump.

The President of the United States, unlike his counterpart, has no experience in international politics, has not organized his government to support his foreign policy initiatives, and seems to have an exaggerated view of his own skill as a deal maker.

President Trump’s policy of not filling key administrative positions with political appointees brings him tomorrow with few experts, other than the former Generals he has hired. His Secretary of State, a former corporate executive, has been rebuffed when he sought to complement the State Department with specialists to fill the several top positions requiring Senate confirmation. Tillerson knows he is exposed to making mistakes and wants to hire experts with experience and knowledge of every aspect of international relations.

The President will have none of that.

Fortunately, the President is learning from immediate past experience. His personal diplomacy with China’s President, Xi Jinping, did not yield cooperation in constraining North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. He will seek detente with President Putin on Syria, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states but, in the long run, President Trump will be disappointed.

In the short run, President Putin may be expected to attempt to manipulate President Trump by flattery and concessions that he has no intention of honoring. He will give the American President a “deal,” a “win” of some sort that President Trump may take back to the United States and declare that his meeting with President Putin was a huge success. That may deter the United States from exercise of its economic superiority and military strengths.

Putin does not want defensive missiles in Poland or Ukraine or in the Baltic states. Instead he wants to gather them up and include them within greater Russia.

He will not offer to desist from occupying the Crimea nor will he relent from attempting to weaken Western Europe or NATO. He will use this meeting to test whether President Trump’s negative views of NATO can be exploited to Russia’s advantage, and, if he has compromising information about the President or ties to Russian banks, he will remind President Trump that he can, at any time, trump Trump.

If we are very fortunate, President Trump–in the long run–will understand that he failed to make a deal with President Putin and, finally, and realize that he needs a team of experts to develop an American foreign policy based on the national interest.

That isn’t deal making, it is diplomacy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs of Decline, July 4, 2017

July 4, 2017

Donald Trump, won the election for President in November 2016 defeating former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Both Trump’s defeat of the Democrat candidate and his nomination as nominee for President of the Republican Party were surprising. Few predicted his election and even fewer thought that a thrice-married, former Democrat and real estate tycoon from New York would win the Republican nomination.

In retrospect, we should not have been surprised because the Grand Old Party has shown lack of conviction and imagination and was still suffering from the influence of Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush, often celebrated for his distinguished record of appointive public service, lacked a philosophy of government consistent with that of his predecessor, Ronald Reagan.  George “W” as he is called when distinguishing him from President George H. W. Bush, had a likeable personality–critical in American politics–and was sufficiently unprincipled to run for President as a tax cutter though the only reason he didn’t raise taxes as Governor of  Texas is because movement conservatives in the Texas Party fought his every move.

The Bush family was the committed enemy of movement conservatives and George H. W. Bush himself was elected to political office in Texas only as a member of Congress. Texans saw him for being what he was, a New England political Liberal who was favored by President Richard Nixon. Under Nixon’s protection “H. W.” served as Ambassador to the United Nations and Chairman of the GOP. Nixon’s successor, the ill-fated Gerald Ford, nominated “H.W.” to serve as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (commonly referred to as “Communist China” in an earlier time) and then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

As a result, “H.W.” was often referred to as “the Resume” because few politicians brought as many significant appointments to his candidacy for President of the United States in 1980.  George H.W. Bush lost the election to Ronald Reagan who, against the advice of conservative Republicans, and contrary to his personal pledge, chose George H.W. Bush as his Vice President.

Movement conservatives from the political circle of Senator Jesse Helms preferred Paul Laxalt, Governor of Nevada, and one of their number, Tom Ellis, told friends that, upon hearing of Reagan’s selection of G. H.W. Bush as his Vice President, “I cried like a baby.”

You can be active in politics for decades and never see a politician cry, but that event signified the future watering down by the GOP of principled limited government.

In other words, the beginning of the crisis of American civil society that we sense today can be traced to an unwelcome decision by the GOP’s nominee in Detroit, Michigan on July 17, 1980.  I was at that convention and was sitting behind George H.W. Bush staffers who were downcast to learn that Reagan had begun negotiations with Gerald Ford to be his Vice President nominee.

Clearly, something was awry in the Reagan camp because neither Gerald Ford nor George H.W. Bush shared the Gipper’s political principles.

A timeline of the forty-two years from August 1974 when Richard NIxon resigned the Presidency through November 2016 when Donald Trump is elected President shows evidence that the American political order is in decline.

1974               President Nixon resigns

1974               Vice President Ford assumes Office of the President

1976               Jimmy Carter elected President

1980               Ronald Reagan elected President. George H. W. Bush is Vice President

1981               James Baker named Chief of Staff

1985               “Iran-Contra”

1988               George H. W. Bush elected President + “Read my Lips”

1990               George H.W. Raises Taxes

1991               Soviet Union collapses

1992               William Jefferson Clinton elected President

1998               Clinton Impeached

2000               George W. Bush elected President

2003               Invasion of Iraq

2008               Banking Crisis

2009               Barack Obama elected President

2010               GOP captures U.S. House of Representatives

2014               GOP captures U. S. Senate

2016               Donald Trump elected President

Whether these politicians who were elected to the office of President of the United States were the source of public disorder, or the American people who elected them, is the great question of our times. Is it our political system that attracts aspiring politicians lacking in commitment to principle?

If it’s the politicians’ fault, replacing them solves the problem. If the American voter is the problem, then we face a long period of decline ending in the death of constitutional government.

In 1978, a time of grave danger for the United States, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn declared that we lacked courage. Two years later, a committed anti-Communist was elected President of the United States. Nine years later, the Berlin Wall fell and in 1991 the “evil empire” itself collapsed, but the United States has continued along a path of decline. On that we should reflect this 4th of July 2017.

When Medicare and Medicaid Die

July 3, 2017

The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is now projected to run out of resources in 2028 two years earlier than expected in 2015.

As reported by Rhode Island’s office of Health and Human Services, a reason is that “Medicaid has expanded beyond the traditional role of a safety net to become the principal source of health coverage.”

Americans with aging parents understand that Medicaid that pays for nursing home coverage is their only alternative, if their parents are unable to care for themselves.

The Manhattan Institute’s Yevgeniy Feyman observed in a NY Times OpEd that “Without reforms, the two programs are on course to either sink the economy through massive tax increases, or fray the safety net from draconian spending cuts.

Despite predictions that our system of healthcare Entitlements will fail within five years, the U.S. Congress has dropped the ball and cannot seem to pass legislation to address the problem.

One commentator, however, has a plan.

James Pinkerton, a former advisor to Presidents Reagan and G. W. H. Bush, writes in an essay in Breitbart that we can afford Medicare and Medicaid and ought simply to own up to paying their costs.

I’m not sure I agree with Pinkerton’s logic, or his conclusions, but if he’s right, the direction of healthcare in the United States will lead to greater direct investments in welfare programs that have been opposed by conservative Republicans.

How do we conservatives adjust our thinking to accept an even greater role for the federal government in our lives. Or do we continue to fight for individual freedom?

Take a look!