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Number 438

The fascist movement…was in reality a religious awakening in which Christianity was to be either sloughed off and replaced or “updated” by the new progressive faith in man’s ability to perfect the world.

The USA’s Political Future

Obviously Trump is teetering on the brink of self-immolation, and Hillary is extraordinarily likely to be the next president. That will probably reduce the Republican party to Stygian irrelevance.

It is therefore appropriate to try to intuit the probable consequences of a massive failure of the Republican party.

Of course losing three or four elections in sequence need not destroy a political faction. If, however, the core of a party cannot cohere — as today’s Republican core cannot — there is a probability that decline will accelerate. The nomination of Trump does seem to indicate that desperation shattered the GOP some time ago. The party’s well-known stalwarts were all bypassed by voters whose loyalty to the GOP is highly suspect.

When Hillary re-enters the White House, the Republican hard core is likely to be devastated. As loathed figures, the Clintons have no current equals. Their enemies are as rabidly sincere as were the Nixon-haters beginning in approximately 1970 and ending some thirty years later.

Consider, therefore, the distinct possibility that a resolutely one-party regime would emerge. Imagine Obama assuming a major role in advising Hillary, while the GOP loses control of Congress. Imagine the reaction of the vast majority of the press: intoxicated triumphalism will greet the final victory over “the vast right-wing conspiracy”.

The political rout might inspire everything from bizarre economic fluctuations to outbursts of “militia” violence. Frustrated veterans of The Tea Party, Libertarians, strict constitutionalists, and admirers of the principled economic policies of Hayeck and Sowell, losers all, might attempt to coalesce and create a new party. And the likely result? Individualists and voters not ensorceled by the Clintons have failed repeatedly. How could they avoid engineering another crushing defeat?Recall that opposition to the authoritarian and unconstitutional presidency of Obama has failed primarily because The One Leader has always had the support of a statistically significant racial minority. Hillary has a similar advantage as a female. Of course neither race nor gender will be considered by rational and ethical voters, but the biased and the ignorant cannot be denied the right to vote.

Recall as well that the power of many voters’ gender bigotry was clearly demonstrated by Hillary’s defeat of Senator Sanders. The articulate spokesman for doctrinaire collectivism was set aside mainly because his corrupt and demonstrably incompetent opponent was genetically advantaged.

At this point, optimism typically fails.

This newsletter suggests that stubborn individualists should abandon efforts to reorganize, rebuild, recruit, and reclaim electoral power. The impending political rout should simply be survived.

Survival provides an opportunity to reflect and understand what defeat means.

In pursuit of that seemingly senseless goal, this newsletter suggests a consideration of the possible relevance of an obscure novel. Its author, Taylor Caldwell, died in 1985. Her The Devil’s Advocate limns a future in which the USA, having utterly lost its Liberty, languishes in the grip of brutal collectivist tyrants. A small cabal made up of Caldwell’s self-sacrificing heroes, determined to reverse the nation’s fortunes, has infiltrated the government.

There the parallel with the coming electoral disaster ends, for this fictional band of pro-Liberty revolutionaries is cruelly, systematically devastating the populace.

The rationale of this surprising misbehavior is simple: the rebels insist that until the people become so angry that they rise up in desperation, no reforms will be possible. The ruling class — which of course includes the secret revolutionaries — will eventually be overwhelmed and utterly destroyed by the enraged populace. That means the covert enemies of the vile dictatorship expect to be killed by the nation’s liberators.

This fantasy argues that under some circumstances, true reform cannot be incremental. Sometimes the old order has to be eradicated because it can be neither tolerated nor modified.

How is that relevant? It suggests that simply resisting unconstitutional tyranny is futile. Instead one should try to determine what the tyrants will probably do.

Now Hillary’s past is a guide to her future, so one can reasonably predict that Hillary will be a deceitful and incompetent leader. She will virtually always have two motives for her decisions: beyond trying to do what is expected and appropriate, she will use her power to benefit successful but ethically depraved business figures. She will accumulate a fortune.

That success could be virtually meaningless. A crisis in which the interests of the nation and of Western Civilization are at risk will be very likely to overwhelm Hillary, exactly as the Benghazi tragedy did. And the crises will come, for Islamofascism intends to eradicate Western Civilization.

Further, Hillary’s thinly-disguised contempt for and ignorance of the populace will repeatedly mislead her. Recall that shockingly tasteless “Kentucky Fried Hillary” accent she adopted when addressing a black audience.

At some presumably subliminal level, Hillary knows that her rabid supporters are irrational. Can she genuinely respect them? Certainly not. She expects to use them.

Hillary instinctively depends on people she can dominate. That dependence clashes with her inflated perception of her own insight and intellect. Her obvious inability to evaluate people accurately (!) results in problems with stress, anger, and frustration; she’s a raging bundle of contradictions and hostility that she hides behind a feigned jovial facade. She considers herself an accomplished actress who can conjure up congeniality at will.

One might wonder whether the voters deserve Hillary. After all, her flaws are obvious; it’s not as if her miserable record as Secretary of State were invisible. She will have prevailed over Trump only because he is what he is.

The real question, then, is whether Hillary will harm the USA in the short term only. Will she be able to achieve a second term? Just how consequential might her blunders be?

At this point, the many strands of a successful strategy begin to mesh.

Thoughtful optimists can and will wonder whether Hillary’s greed and lies might actually work to the eventual benefit of the nation. Could she be an unwitting Devil’s advocate, a powerful negative force that compels the body politic to impose reforms and rise to the defense of fundamentals?

The answer is a definite yes.

One can expect that Hillary will prove to be a feckless leader, confused, impatient, scattered, and uninspiring. Ultimately, she will fail, but not until she has frustrated and angered the electorate.

In a sense, Hillary is her own worst enemy; opposing and defeating her will be a matter of letting the virtual Devil’s advocate inform the voters that she is literally intolerable. Give her a chance to fail.

Remember too that Franklin Roosevelt inspired the twenty-second amendment to the constitution.

Finally, a pair of signal facts must not be forgotten: first, adversity caused by incompetent leadership inspires uniquely convincing arguments. Second, many times things must get worse before they can possibly get better.

Addenda

Most folks don’t know the Scottish legend of the Devil’s advocate (in the USA, an advocate is called a lawyer or legal counsel). Long ago, the Scots captured the Devil and placed him on trial for his many crimes. No lawyer would defend him, so the court appointed a young recent law school graduate. The lad determined to make sure his client was convicted, so he eagerly praised all of Old Nick’s crimes, and laced his final argument to the jury with outrageous excuses for the felonies. The jury was convinced — so the Devil was hanged, along with his advocate. The obvious moral: in order to manipulate naifs, sometimes one can deem it necessary to promote evil. That strategy can be dangerous.Videos: One, Two.

An Unsurprising Reversal

Commentary claims that Hillary’s staff has made the decision to ignore the Clinton Foundation. According to the magazine, the scandals were too well and too widely reported to be ignored, and rebutting the facts was considered to be impossible (or impractical). But of course that wretched “charity” can still be vivisected by Trump, and the facts do demonstrate Hillary’s and Bill’s fatally flawed ethics.

The Icon Of US Journalism Endorses Fascism

This is stunning. The New York Times, a bastion of “Progressive” politics, has tacitly endorsed a New World variety of Das Führerprinzip(see this clarification of that German word). The lengthy commentary appeared above the fold on the front page of the August 14, 2016 issue. You might find it on line under its title, “How the President Came To Embrace Executive Power”. The authors of this shameless explanation/endorsement of autocracy are Binyamin Appelbaum and Michael D. Shear. Do enter the necessary terms into a good search engine.

The facts according to Appelbaum and Shear are simple: Obama saw what had to be done, saw that Congress would never agree with him (the implication being that Congress is morally bankrupt), and issued five hundred sixty “major regulations” that have the same effect as any Congressional legislation. The One Leader is, in other words, not only a law-giver; he is an angelic entity who knows his judgment is superior to the opinions of the elected members of the nation’s constitutionally mandated legislative authority.

That is not to say that Congress is above criticism. It is to insist that no US president can legally assume an extraordinary mandate to ignore the federal constitution when he discovers what appears to him as flaws that mere mortals are slow — or too negligent — to repair.

The federal constitution provides for a separation of powers. According to that document, the president has no authority to make law. Yet that is exactly what Obama and many of his predecessors have done. The fact that the judiciary has yet to rule conclusively on the constitutional limits of presidential authority means that presidents can do more or less what they want. They can serve not only as administrators, but as a legislative organ of the federal government.

That role is justified, according to activists like Obama, by the fact that the Congress disagrees with the president. The chief executive’s sentiments, ideology, and plans can and should overturn the best judgment of Congress, according to Obama and his apologists.

This is precisely the struggle that has been illuminated in detail by Professor Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law School. His scholarship is on view in Is Administrative Law Unlawful?. That volume is reviewed in Number 359 of this newsletter, which appeared on 26 October, 2014.

As valuable as Hamburger’s book is, it is a challenge for most readers. Accordingly this newsletter recommends yet again Jonah Goldberg’s excellent volume, Liberal Fascism; this newsletter’s review of it can be found here.

To this newsletter, there is no dispute to settle. The sheer existence of a controversy was ruled out by the USA’s founders; they wrote the constitution to prevent all future presidents from usurping the legislative authority. Clearly, legislation is the unique preserve of the Congress, and the president has no law-making power. Yet the simple fact is that, due to judicial sloth, every presidential order does have the force of law (it binds some or all of the citizenry), and is treated as if it were of a legislative nature. When Obama amends legislation, he ignores the constitution. That means he is breaking his oath of office.

In fact, when a nation has a single administrator in a position to alter law at his whim (no matter how enlightened he may be), it has a dictator.

Of course the long piece in the NY Times makes no mention of those facts. Instead it dwells incessantly on the narrow claim that Obama, in his wisdom, saw problems and fixed them. His vision, the authors say, existed before he became president, and he was from the first determined to improve the nation. When he could not convince enough people to see the brilliance of his ideas, he realized that since he was the only person in power who could lead the USA forward (yes, “Forward” was once a slogan of the Democratic Party under Obama, and when it was pointed out that the Nazis employed it first, the US version disappeared), Obama took action. Getting away with it proved to be easy, so he wrote more and more executive orders. To hell with the constitution, and to hell with the “Founding Fathers” and their silly concerns about autocracy.

Now imagine Hillary following in the footsteps of Obama. What will she do to show her appreciation for the millions of dollars donated to her and Slick’s “charitable” foundation? How could she tell those eager insiders that their gifts were in vain? Why would she change her ethics, once she is in the Oval Office? Recall how the organization that holds the records of the two Clinton administrations has sequestered well over ninety percent of them, refusing to allow scholars access to the papers.

It is obvious to those who read the constitution that the USA’s founders knew that people like Hitler exist, and always will exist. That’s why the document makes all legislative activity the direct and exclusive responsibility of the legislators, and carefully excludes the president (except for granting him a chance to try to veto new laws).

Obama was once an instructor, not a law professor, in a law school. He knows better. Tragically, he does not care about the constitution or the impropriety of his autocratic hubris, so he hopes that very few people will read commentaries like this one.

Of course some see fascistic governance as alluring. The ethically disenfranchised insist that if the Leader is wise, (s)he will detect the anomalies and inefficiencies, and sort them out. Committees and convocations cannot do that efficiently. Indeed, the argument goes, the advantages of turning the nation into a dictatorship are obvious: what the nation needs is a strong leader, a take-change executive who gets things done.

Well, the seductive promises are subterfuge, and their benefits are illusory. The insight of the USA’s founders celebrated the individual, and tried to hobble would-be dictators who demand submission as the price of efficient governance.

The wise citizen values Liberty above the mendacious promises of fascism.

Obama, a president elected as an inevitable consequence of bigotry, provides an object lesson in how Liberty can be lost. His “inspiring” rhetoric (“hope and change”, “yes, we can”) and theatrical performance in office have moved the USA closer to the realization of das Führerprinzip. His cynical sophistication rivals that of Woodrow Wilson and F. D. Roosevelt. His effectiveness with the electorate reminds of Huey Long. He has prepared the White House for the restoration of an administration as honest, gentle, principled and respectful of economic reality as The Tweed Ring.

US citizens are hereby advised to prepare for interesting times….

The Land Of Obscene Leers

The Tramp Abroad has passed along a disturbing report on what the government of Thailand is promoting. Read it here before you read the rest of this Item.

This newsletter’s editor decamped from a prolonged stay in Thailand almost a decade ago; he tells whomever will listen that living as a foreigner in Thailand is a lot like being on parole in the USA. The protocol calls for an alien to report regularly to the immigration police (who gently threaten to turn his case over to the regular police if he gets uppity), work his way through several tons of red tape, prove financial status, and jump though hoops put up by bored clerks and satraps who are holding down sinecures.

Yes, the standard bureaucratic rat-race is madding, but other dealings with the authorities are infinitely worse: for example, the sadistic immigration cops have a special jail for illegal aliens. A European prince perished in that hellhole some years ago; he was simply ignored, and complications of diabetes ended his suffering. The filthy “cell” into which he was locked was a huge room so overcrowded that some fraction of the prisoners there literally could not lie down to sleep.

The entire Thai system — government, business, industry, agriculture, education — is thoroughly corrupt. Expatriates who fancy a Thai passport or Thai residency will find the required bribes are astronomical, but money does talk, if you have enough of it to buy good connections (good luck is also essential). Of course that means the lower levels of Thai society have neither money nor influence: “Hill Tribes” folks, Northwesterners whose ancestors were born in Thailand, are unable to be Thai citizens. That’s right; Thais can be unashamed bigots. Therefore some very decent people are permanently, hopelessly disenfranchised. Too, many from the Northeast are routinely looked down upon and meet with harsh discrimination.

Pattaya, a seedy beach city southeast of Bangkok, is (or was) a favorite haunt of the Russian Mafia, and the local “Christian” community is (or was) claimed to include a priest who has/had a “shelter” for homeless boys; that individual is/was alleged to be the pedophile’s best contact in the city. Whether that slipshod allegation is true or not, Pattaya is where the homosexual child abusers go when they get off the plane in Bangkok.

The fundamentals are at least as bad as the degenerate veneer. Thailand is a nation in which a baby can literally be purchased. Then there are “tea shops” — actually illegal bordellos — in Bangkok whose workers are not free to leave; yes, that’s true slavery. Of course the police know nothing at all about such things.

Some Westerners dream of opening a bar in Bangkok and raking in the money while cheap labor does all the work. Yes, a watering hole can be profitable, but — the police know that. The tale begins with the fact that a dozen or more various licenses are required before the business can open. The eager entrepreneur soon finds out that getting all those licenses is literally impossible, so he opens anyway — which is exactly what the authorities want him to do. From that point on, staying in business means paying off the visiting cops on a regular basis. The dream can be elusive because the advantage is always to the already wealthy and well-connected competition.

The full story is still worse, for corruption is just one hurdle to be jumped. The Tramp’s link notes that Thailand is degenerating from standard Asian corruption to a nightmarish version of Orwellian totalitarianism. Facts: first, if the Thai cops can track you, they can also arrest you at any time on any charge, however absurd; second, trumped-up charges are Old Hat for the kingdom’s universally filthy cops.

And the judges? Almost all of them can be bought, and the exceptions are waiting for profitable opportunities. The “influential” politicians and big drug smugglers do not fear the courts. In past years, professional assassins were actually listed by name and phone number in the press; today the thugs are virtually immune to the criminal justice system, which often cooperates with the rich, the powerful, and the dangerous.

The military has always been an adjunct to the wealthy politicians and businessmen, occasionally pushing over the government and then receding into the background. Today its role is larger than usual (it has crowded the national police aside to a considerable extent), but the traditional elites have not been stripped of all influence.

What is new is that the current military government of Thailand is not about to return power to the civilians. Instead, the military has created a ruling class that is unsurprisingly transforming itself into a lunatic monstrosity.

About a year ago this newsletter ended its e-mail distribution to anyone in Thailand. The editor was (and still is) concerned for the safety of NTG’s subscribers.

Is there hope? While a tourist boycott of Thailand might seem helpful, its only good result would be to guarantee the safety of people who would otherwise have taken the risk of traveling to a failed state.

Does that mean that Thailand will collapse? No. After all, Nigeria is still extant.

Hope might spring eternal, but — today’s simple truth is that the military is run by control freaks. They know best, and everyone had better remember that.

Well (heavy sigh). This newsletter advises vacationers to skip Thailand and go to Tahiti. True, the French are French, but in French Polynesia they can be ignored. It’s also true that prices are high — but the risks for the tourist are infinitely lower than they are in Thailand, and Opunohu Bay on Mo’orea is stunningly beautiful. Watch out for falling coconuts, and bring mosquito repellent.

heaven

Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad

Fethullah Gülen might not be the peace-loving, mild-mannered Islamic scholar he would like us to believe he is. Has he misled the Western establishment all along? Or did the Western establishment use him to destabilize Turkey? He has had a number of high ranking US diplomats and officers in the intelligence agencies vouching for him. Meanwhile the USA is accused of harboring the suspected mastermind of the failed Turkish coup, and now it is claimed that Putin was on to it all along. He even “warned Erdoğan and provided names”. The Pentagon allegedly gave a tip to CNN to send their star reporter to Turkey to “scoop the coup”. Is this all just a crazy conspiracy theory, or could the USA be back to toppling regimes?

This is one of the most disturbing documentaries I have seen in a very long time. A must see!

“Feed the crow that hacks your eye out — or bite the hand that feeds you.” It’s a Turkish instance of irony: the Kemalist military block that “saved” Erdoğan recently was made up of notables he tried to get rid of several years ago. They were acquitted due to lack of evidence for the trumped-up charges. Source.

This is not listed by the New York Times as a best-seller, but for historians, it will certainly be an interesting read.

Here is an interesting website. Explore….

Perhaps some Greek Cypriots are starting to have pangs of conscience after 42 years. Or perhaps they finally see that they have to reciprocate the Turkish Cypriots’ overtures if there is going to be a settlement on Cyprus. Here is some background information: 1974 and2004.

hrc
HRC Is Not The First

Let’s practice pronouncing the English th, shall we? Yes. Now repeat after me: th….

Will Brexit ever happen? Perhaps not.

Is Judaism a religion that has not impacted the world as much as one might think?

Say what you want about BHO…at least he has a sense of humor.

Unless you are looking for some unusual entertainment, avoid the websites listed on this link.

Don’t mess with Sweden’s female cops, even if they are wearing bikinis!

Argument and counter-argument: do <a=”http: www.filmsforaction.org=”” articles=”” law-professors-epic-response-to-black-lives-matter-shirt-complaint=”” “=””>they matter? Here are scanned copies of original correspondence; there are additional sources here.

Relax and listen to the many accents of English.

Twin bombings in Thai tourism town, Hua Hin. (The name of the place literally means “head rock”; in English, “rock head”. –Ed.)

Will there be any rats left on the SS Trump when November rolls around?

This is a very upsetting “interview“. I wonder how much of it is true and what is sheer propaganda.

Looking back on the early days of Yahoo: Here and here.

The Clintons are not investors — rather they are “normal” wage-earners and take advantage of relatively few tax breaks. Does this make them more honest than The Donald?

Is it time to rewrite the rules?

Links Courtesy Of The Desert Rat

Link.

Japan’s shrunken manhood? From Kamikazes to UAVs.

Here are two gals you probably haven’t heard of, probably because of the evil inherent in their particular Olympic events. The first article is from the Moony Times and the second is from National Palestinian Radio. One and Two.

More Merkel Madness. Be sure to engage your advert blocker, it’s Breitbart.

Climate change for rational investors.

Hillary. ‘Nuff said.

Media liars.

Ordinary Links

Imposing ethics on government is not easy. Here’s evidence supporting that claim.

“Congress wants to put on their Sherlock Holmes hats and decide whether Hillary Clinton should’ve been indicted.” A hotter issue probably does not currently exist; the full story is here.

Clinton corruption, documented.

Newt is very impressed by Trump’s remarks. Recommended.

Surprise! Things are getting more complicated for Hillary. It’s anybody’s guess how many more revelations are still to come.

Here’s a real eye-opener for you admirers of Trump and/or Obama. With a little luck, you might be able to read the surprising story on line, so enter these terms — Sohrab Ahmari Trump Putin Obama Russia Wall Street Journal — into a good search engine.

This smells like a diabolically clever ruse. You decide.

Penn Jillette talks about the presidential aspirants. It’s intelligent commentary.

Global warming update: holy jumping calories — it’s the warmest darn year ever, and it’s all our fault! — Unh, er, wait….

Yes, Hillary does behave bizarrely at times. Her strabismus seems to come and go. Some say she’s “emotionally illiterate”. Is she healthy? Use a good search engine with the search terms “hillary health” and remember that this is the internet, where you can get news about Lemuria, Ouija boards, and the “full truth” of what is going on at Area 51.

What? “Sharia Police” in Germany? That is the equivalent of the return of the Nazi Party! If the Germans have in fact discarded Jew-hatred, they should immediately eradicate all traces of this nauseating Islamofascist enormity.

Reader JW regrets to note bad news regarding another Islamofascist target, Thailand: a BBC report, then an item from The Bangkok Post newspaper, and finally a report from an Australian university. His reaction: “Thailand won’t be on my ‘to visit’ list anytime soon.” He’s far from alone with those sentiments, and that’s very bad news for the Thai economy.

This won’t make any difference in the presidential race, but it might prove interesting to those who find Trump’s personality puzzling.

Context is everything. Recommended.

Here’s a modest and very moderate analysis of Hillary’s server and the FBI’s investigation; it’s quite good, but perhaps a bit weak in its understanding of the spirit of the law. Lack of intent is not always a get-out-of-jail card, now is it? Aren’t reckless endangerment of the nation’s secrets and willful failure to follow standard security protocols punishable?? In fact Hillary’s eradication of many documents might have been a clumsy attempt to hide her activities. Why does that not speak to her intent?

The two major parties have nominated their worst candidates ever, yet Gary Johnson, an exemplary former governor, has no possibility of winning. That the US political system has come to such a pass is devastating.

The masthead includes a quote from the works of Jonah Goldberg.

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