Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Refugees, Then and Now

For John, BLUFSurprisingly, not everyone wants to come to America, to become an American.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the web page Red State we have Mr Joe Cunningham commenting on statements by New York Times OpEd Columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Here is the quote Mr Cunningham zeros in on:

KRISTOF:  I think that we all think that Anne Frank and the European Jews were simply murdered because the Nazis regarded them as inferior, and in some sense that's true.  But it's also true that they died because mainstream America in some sense regarded them as inferior as well.
So, basically Mr Kristof is saying that when the getting was good, we failed to open our doors and arms.  As in 1939, when we turned away refugees aboard the MS St Louis, strangely a German liner, with 908 Jewish refugees.  They ended up back in Europe.

On the other hand, in 1939 there were no death camps such as Auschwitz, which at first housed Polish political prisoners, from May 1940.  Jews began arriving in early 1942.

There was no strong voice in the United States on this issue, except for some Jewish voices.  President Franklin D Roosevelt was not a strong supporter.  A proposal to bomb Auschwitz, first raised in 1942, went nowhere.

But, what lessons can we pull from this?  I think the war in Europe from 1939 until 1945 was different from what is happening in the Middle East.  What we are seeing in the Middle East is a civil war, not only between the Sunni and Shia, and all the smaller sects, but within Islam between those who would go back to the way it was in the 700s and those who would like to accommodate more modern ways of thinking.  To quote a friend of mine:

This is a war WITHIN Islam, among Muslims, over what they want their faith to be…what they want to keep or change about their culture.  This war is being played out in Pakistan (the murder of children, lawyers, those debate blasphemy laws, women) Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, etc…across the Muslim world and where Muslims have gone.

This is a religious war among the faithful.

This is NOT about economics or nation state dynamics.  Sure, politics are always involved, but as most of the scholars on the Middle East and ISIS state…this is about religious images, ideology, tradition, tribe, revenge.

And then, that is the rub. Our “influence” often is seen as our arrogant, mindless, interference.  What are we going to influence them to do about their religion and culture?  Sure we can offer one way to address these issues, we can even pose hard questions to them on these questions, especially the issue of tolerance.  But these are NOT issues that respond to jobs programs, pro democracy groups.

Bringing in refugees is not the German Gastarbeiter program of the 1960s and 1970s, nor the French welcoming immigrants from the Maghreb.  Those were immigrants coming to a place with some expectation of assimilation and accommodation.  The over 1 million refugees out of Syria and other locations in the Middle East may not see themselves as being assimilated.  That may mean a culture within a culture.  Are refugee camps in Europe and the United States the best way to deal with these displaced persons or should we be finding other solutions, closer to their homes, to which they may wish to return?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  As an additional piece of information, they were also not allowed to land in Cuba or Canada.
  On the other hand, there is the SS Navemar, which, in 1941, brought 1,120 Jews to New York City.

To Much Information on Hillary's Health?

For John, BLUFAnd, he is not the attending physician.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the pen of Lisa Hagen of The Hill.

This is like a self-inflicted wound on the part of the Democrats.  Why is this person not smart enough to say nothing, or if actually not a Democrat, why did someone not speak to him and ask him to say nothing?

Is President Obama, for some reason, secretly pulling for someone else to win, other than former SecState Hillary Clinton?

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Yes, this is the flip of the theory that Mr Trump is in the race to ensure The Honorable Mrs Clinton wins.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Amazon and the Reduced Work Week

For John, BLUFWhile I have laughed at the French and their 35 hour work week in the past, I do think there is a place for this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Granted, for 75% of the pay of 40 hour workers.

So reports Karen Turner of The Washington Post.

The program will have a few technical teams made up entirely of part-time workers.  These 30-hour employees will be salaried and receive the same benefits as traditional 40-hour workers, but they will receive only 75 percent of the pay full-time workers earn.  Currently, the company employs part-time workers that share the same benefits as full-time workers.  However, the pilot program would differ in that an entire team, including managers, would work reduced hours.

"We want to create a work environment that is tailored to a reduced schedule and still fosters success and career growth," states a posting by the company on for an informational seminar.  "This initiative was created with Amazon's diverse workforce in mind and the realization that the traditional full-time schedule may not be a 'one size fits all' model."

I like it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Civilians Checking Up On Military Officers—US Civil War

For John, BLUFA Civilian Commander in Chief should not just turn the fighting over to "the generals" but should follow what is happening and who is doing well and who is not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Modern War Institute at West Point, we have a short paper by Major Dan Maurer, on the issue of civil-military relations.  Major Maurer a former Combat Engineer and now an Army JAG, looks at President Lincoln checking on General Ulysses S Grant, when the General was still fighting in the Mississippi River area, around Vicksburg.

Here is the part of the article on Mr Lincoln's "observer", Mr Charles Dana:

Lincoln, through his Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, dispatched the former managing editor of the New York Tribune, Charles A. Dana, now employed as Assistant Secretary of War and the Administration’s go-to “troubleshooter.”  Stanton gave Dana an unusual mission:  He would travel to the Western Theater, ostensibly as a Special Commissioner to investigate and inspect the Army’s paymaster service, but would, actually, observe Grant’s command—of his Army and of himself—and report regularly back to Stanton and Lincoln.  His task was to “settle their minds as to Grant, about whom at that time there were many doubts, and against whom there was some complaint.”
It seems to have been a satisfactory report, in that General Grant was then elevated to the commander of all ground forces.

The flip side of this would be the politicalization of the officer corps, such that officers did not feel free to speak their minds and to provide their civilian masters with that all important "but sir".

Regards  —  Cliff

Mr Trump for Blacks

For John, BLUFWe are not going to get better results applying the same methods.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

At the New Yor Post Mr John Lott lays out why Ms Clinton really doesn't have have policies that will help Blacks, particularly poorer Blacks:
Hillary Clinton claims that some of Donald Trump’s appeal is “xenophobic, racist, misogynistic.”  On Thursday she asked, “If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?”

But who actually cares more about blacks, in particular poor blacks?

On everything from education to jobs to crime, Trump’s policies offer a lifeline to people who have been losing ground for decades.  Hillary’s policies will just exacerbate them.  And no amount of speeches will change that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ms Clinton Tries Fog

For John, BLUFAdmit it and move on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Miss Elise Jordan, of NBC, got an item in Time, a couple of days ago.

Here is the sub-headline:

'It's not only about what the Clintons did, but how they react'
So, the story starts out with a personal remembrance:
I recently sliced the tip of my toe on an ocean barnacle.  This happened at 6pm on a Friday of a long-awaited beach weekend, so I avoided the emergency room for stitches.

Overdosing on rosé was no cure.  My minor wound kept bleeding.  I finally went to the doctor when I got home where I got crutches, antibiotics for the infection, and an avoidable weeklong recovery for a tiny cut, for no reason other than my bullheadedness.

As I watch Hillary Clinton wish away the fallout of the Clinton Foundation’s unseemly ties with the State Department during her tenure as Secretary of State, I can’t help but think that her self-inflicted wound just bleeds and bleeds and bleeds.  Every day that she fails to seriously address the rotten consequences of her poor judgment, Clinton further erodes the already lacking public trust in her.  By avoiding a sincere display of contrition, she risks her candidacy and the foundation her family built.

Does no one on the Clinton team remember the aphorism "It's not the crime, it's the coverup"?

Had young Lawyer Clinton left the the Watergate Committee, and Washington, before we learned that lesson?

Ms Clinton brings all the paranoia of Richard Nixon, but without the Foreign Policy acumen.

Hat tip to the Breitbart.

Regards  —  Cliff

  "Elise Jordan is an NBC News/MSNBC political analyst. She has worked for the Department of State and the National Security Council."

Friday, August 26, 2016

How Much Diversity Is Good For The Nation?

TRIGGER WARNINGS:  Professor Victor David Hanson says history suggests that "diversity" is not a path to national success.
For John, BLUFE pluribus unum doesn't mean numerous individual fiefdoms with a common border.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Townhall, and the pen of former Professor Victor David Hanson.

Here is the lede plus three:

Emphasizing diversity has been the pitfall, not the strength, of nations throughout history.

The Roman Empire worked as long as Iberians, Greeks, Jews, Gauls and myriad other African, Asian and European communities spoke Latin, cherished habeas corpus and saw being Roman as preferable to identifying with their own particular tribe.&in so; By the fifth century, diversity had won out but would soon prove a fatal liability.

Rome disintegrated when it became unable to assimilate new influxes of northern European tribes.  Newcomers had no intention of giving up their Gothic, Hunnish or Vandal identities.

The propaganda of history's multicultural empires -- the Ottoman, the Russian, the Austro-Hungarian, the British and the Soviet -- was never the strength of their diversity.  To avoid chaos, their governments bragged about the religious, ideological or royal advantages of unity, not diversity.

Frankly, I like diversity, but I recognize there has to be a unity of political and cultural understanding.  We need a common understanding of all men being created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.  We need a common agreement on the value of capitalism and a place for small businesses.  We also need a place for faith, but without the belief that any religion should dictate to others, or substitute for government judicial judgements.  Finally, we need an understanding that DNA has no place in determining one's worth before the Government, before the law.

Hat tip to my friend Ricard Byrd.

Regards  —  Cliff