Previous posts in this discussion:
PostIn (Partial) Defense of Trump (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 02/15/19 2:53 am)
My apologies to Carmen Negrín (February 13), but this "Bastian Contrario" wants to say a few things in favor of Trump.
1) Immigration. Any country has the right to check the influx of immigrants, even with tough laws. Personally, I remember the long wait before I received a US "Green Card." This involved my company advertising in various professional and national newspapers about the vacant position, which I could fill only if a US citizen was the required qualifications was not available. It also included medical examinations and a final inquiry. During all this time, a specialized lawyer, paid for by the company, followed the developments. Fortunately, US immigration did not ask if I was "politically correct." The greatest nuisance was the prohibition against leaving the US in the last 6 months prior to the delivery of the Green Card, as my job involved inspecting ships and ports worldwide. Anyway, I believe that it was all correct even if, selfishly, I did not like some of the procedures.
2) War. So far Trump has not started wars, but he inherited the many wars started one way or another by Clinton, Bush and Obama. On the contrary, Trump wants to get troops out of Syria and Afghanistan (please from Italy too). With reference to North Korea, the situation was already extremely bad following the imposed sanctions, the Axis of Evil and the suppression of the "Agreed Framework" by Bush (continued by the good guy Obama), so Trump may be right. Unfortunately considering the uncontrollable attitude of Trump and many warmongers in the "Deep State" of the Empire, it is not easy to be optimistic, but a war against Iran seems more possible.
3) Lack of knowledge in foreign policy. Please find a US President with a great knowledge in geopolitics, starting with FDR who in his letter to Hitler, copied to Mussolini, on 14 April 1939 asked them not to attack a lot of independent nations which included Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Prior to sending the letter, the poor fellow or someone in his inner circle should have given a quick look at the map to see that the first three nations were part of the French or British Empires, while the so-called independence of Egypt from 14 September 1936 was a British fake.
4) Women. Oh, oh, the Presidents have a long controversial tradition about women. It's better not go in this field.
5) Lack of knowledge in science. Here I fully agree with Carmen.
JE comments: It pains me even to ask this question, but might Trump be an evil genius in foreign policy? If he can get China to capitulate on the trade war, convince Kim to (verifiably) give up his nukes, and not start a war with Iran, history may grudgingly give him a good grade. But then there's that Wall...
An Evaluation of Trump (from Ric Mauricio)
(John Eipper, USA
02/16/19 3:59 AM)
Ric Mauricio writes:
A few thoughts on the subjects visited by Eugenio Battaglia on February 15th.
1) Immigration: Yes, Eugenio is correct that a country has the right to check the influx of immigrants. That is why we have passports and visas. When I visited the PRC, I had to get a visa. The first time I waited in line at the Chinese consulate. The second time, I paid someone to do the honors (this was legal by the way). So yes, those who wish to enter our country, should be able to wait in line in Mexico, enter through legal checkpoints and get approval for entrance (asylum for many.) But I read that because the process has been slowed by the current administration, people are losing patience and attempting to cross illegally by climbing barriers. Thus, "The Wall." Entrepreneurs on the south side of the border are thanking Mr. Trump for this. It's about time. They have worked hard digging tunnels to circumvent the barriers to transport their much-in-demand contraband and now they will be utilizing these tunnels to service another market: people. Already, profits are way up from the greater utilization of their tunnels. Thank you, Mr. Trump and good luck with your wall.
2) War: In 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was signed by President Hoover, raising tariffs on 20,000 products to protect US industries. The Act exacerbated the Great Depression of the 1930s, culminating in World War II (starting in 1937 in Asia and 1939 in Europe). This war catapulted the United States into the Numero Uno position of world power. Yes, make America Great Again. With our accelerated timelines due to technology today, it wouldn't take 8 years to arrive at this point again in history. As far as removing troops from Syria, it would of course, hand over power in that region to our allies, the Russians. Removing troops from Afghanistan would unfortunately affect the price of a much-in-demand commodity here in the US: opium. And removing troops from Italy, oh, Eugenio, we don't want to do that. Being stationed in Italy is like being on vacation in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
3) Lack of knowledge in foreign policy: Foreign policies are complicated. That's why presidents rely on people with great knowledge in the diplomatic arena. However, choices of Secretaries of State can reflect positively or negatively on their appointers. Reagan had Haig and Schultz (grade B), Nixon had Kissinger (grade A), Clinton had Christopher and Albright (Grade A-), George W. Bush had Powell (grade A) and Rice (grade D), Obama had Hillary Clinton (grade F) and Kerry (grade A-), and Trump had Tillerson (grade C) and Pompeo (yet to be determined). George HW Bush was probably the most knowledgeable in foreign policy of any president.
4) Women: With the signing of Kareem Hunt by the Cleveland Browns, it is evident that beating up on women is better than kneeling to protest police brutality.
5) Science: Many will separate science from religion, believing only in a science that they believe in. Oh, yes, everything was created in 7 days, "the Bible tells us so" (I believe there is a song that uses those words and every Christian child is taught that song). Never mind that man wasn't there to witness the creation of the universe to write down what was happening. Make America Great. Burn coal. Damn the pollution. If the Chinese people can grow their economy by double that of the US and do so breathing bad air, well, darn, so can we.
6) Chinese economics: When I was in Beijing, I visited many construction sites. What I noticed was unrestrained building, but talking to the developers (through an interpreter), they had no tenants locked in, not even prospective tenants. Of course, their economy was growing fast, when you are starting from a low point, like a small company, you can grow faster, but as you grow faster, that growth will slow down (kinda like a person growing up). And if you try to force that growth through debt, it can slow down even faster. So, along comes a trade war and the country's growth will slow down. It's only natural. Thanks, Mr. President. China will remain affordable for tourists like me.
JE comments: I tell WAISers to be careful with ironic comments, as they can easily be misunderstood. But Ric Mauricio's points ring loud and clear.
As of yesterday (February 15th), Trump has declared a National Emergency. The trouble is, there's no actual emergency. What can WAISers say about Trump's latest stunt to build his wall?
And the National Emergency Is...
(John Heelan, UK
02/16/19 10:47 AM)
Some people think that Trump is the US National Emergency.
JE comments: John Heelan has been on a quipping roll this week! One thing the Pundit Class has been saying about Trump's Wall emergency: the precedent of creating emergencies, rather than reacting to them, has now been set. Once a Democrat moves into the White House, the emergencies will become gun control and health care, just to start.
- The SST and My Father's Company (David Duggan, USA 02/16/19 4:40 AM)
Like Eugenio Battaglia (15 February), I believe Trump's accomplishments are underrated. Economic vitality, withdrawal from time-worn or disastrous treaties or "joint frameworks" (INF, Iran, Paris), the repeal of the "individual mandate" on Obamacare, and a return to due-process in student disciplinary cases are just a few of the well-needed adjustments to our polity.
But I am more intrigued by the discussion of the Super-Sonic Transport, particularly in light of Boeing's NeXt Hypersonic Concept plane with speeds at Mach 5 and altitudes of 100,000 feet, and Boom Overture's XB-1 scheduled roll-out of its 55-seat plane later this year. Japan Airlines has bought an option on 20 of these planes which have been designed to fly faster than the Concorde at business-class prices.
The SST provided some boost to my father's long-time employer, Fansteel [Metallurgical] Inc. of North Chicago, Illinois. As I mentioned at WAIS-2013, Fansteel has a somewhat storied history in Chicago legal affairs: the Supreme Court upheld the right of workers to engage in "sit-down strikes" to protest labor practices in a plant. Fansteel's experience with tantalum and titanium made it Grumman's prime subcontractor in building the lunar modules of the Apollo program. The son of one of the tool-makers on that project played clarinet with me at the Lake Forest High School band. Fansteel hoped to leverage that experience to Boeing's SST, as the swing-wing needed lighter-than-aluminum to handle both the stress of supersonic flight as well as the severe environment of the stratosphere.
Killing the SST didn't do Fansteel any favors, and in the mid-1970s, it was taken over by a New York corporate raider. My father rode out the last 10 years before retiring in 1986. But in the late 1970s, when I was a young lawyer working in New York City, I was on a road-trip to review documents in LA. The lawyer handling the document production had done legal work for Fansteel in a claims suit arising from the SST kill-off. He knew my father.
JE comments: WAISers will best remember James G. Duggan (besides being David's dad) as a Marine officer who witnessed a Nevada nuclear test in the early 1950s--the ironically named "Operation Greenhouse." Duggan père's memoir can be accessed at this 2014 post:
- The SST and My Father's Company (David Duggan, USA 02/16/19 4:40 AM)
- And the National Emergency Is... (John Heelan, UK 02/16/19 10:47 AM)