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A Taxpayer-Funded Smear Job of Professor James Buchanan

Center for Freedom and Prosperity (CF&P) - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:09pm

My daily columns usually revolve around public policy issues such as tax reform, entitlements, and corrupt government. And while sometimes get a bit agitated about bad things in Washington, it’s because I’m a curmudgeonly libertarian, not because of some personal stake (other than being an oppressed taxpayer).

But sometimes there is a personal connection, like when I responded to the Washington Post‘s front-page attack on CF&P.

Today, I’m writing because of a different kind of personal connection. I got my Ph.D. from George Mason University, and one of the great parts of that experience was taking a couple of classes from James Buchanan, who won the Nobel Prize shortly after I arrived on campus.

Professor Buchanan was more than an economist. He was also a social philosopher. He thought big thoughts and cared deeply about a free society. I didn’t have the opportunity to develop a close relationship with Buchanan, but I felt privileged to take his classes and also to hear his insights in various conferences and colloquia during my years on campus.

I mention this connection because a Duke professor, Nancy MacLean, has just written a book that takes some very cheap shots at Buchanan. Heck, the title makes clear her agenda: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Subtle, huh?

I’ll openly admit at this point I have not read the book. I would, if somebody gave me a free copy, but I have no desire to potentially generate royalties for Ms. MacLean by spending money for a copy.

But a review in the Atlantic is a good example of why I think the book merits condemnation.

Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains is part of a new wave of historiography that has been examining the southern roots of modern conservatism. …Her book includes familiar villains—principally the Koch brothers—and devotes many pages to think tanks like the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, whose ideological programs are hardly a secret. But what sets Democracy in Chains apart is that it begins in the South, and emphasizes a genuinely original and very influential political thinker, the economist James M. Buchanan. …she has dug deep into her material—not just Buchanan’s voluminous, unsorted papers, but other archives, too—and she has made powerful and disturbing use of it all.

And what did she find that was so disturbing?

 

Brace yourself, because the giant scandal that she uncovered is that – gasp! – Buchanan was a classical liberal who believed in small government. And he consorted with other intellectuals with similar views.

The behind-the-scenes days and works of Buchanan show how much deliberation and persistence—in the face of formidable opposition—underlie the antigoverning politics ascendant today. …the University of Chicago, where Buchanan received his doctorate in 1948. During the postwar years, other faculty included Hayek and Friedman, who were shaping a new pro-market economics, part of a growing backlash against the policies of the New Deal. Hayek initiated Buchanan into the Mont Pelerin Society, the select group of intellectuals who convened periodically to talk and plot libertarian doctrine.

But here’s the disgusting part of the book, at least if the review accurately reflects the contents. MacLean does her best to imply that Buchanan somehow must be a racist. In part because of where he was born and raised.

Buchanan owed his tenacity to blood and soil and upbringing. Born in 1919 on a family farm in Tennessee.

By the way, the term “blood and soil” has very odious connotations. I don’t know if that term is used in the book. If not, then the reviewer, Sam Tannenhaus, is the one who deserves condemnation.

The book also implies that Buchanan is racist because he tried to take advantage of Virginia’s desegregation battle to push for school choice.

Buchanan played a part, MacLean writes, by teaming up with another new University of Virginia hire, G. Warren Nutter (who was later a close adviser to Barry Goldwater), on an influential paper. In it they argued that the crux of the desegregation problem was that “state run” schools had become a “monopoly,” which could be broken by privatization. If authorities sold off school buildings and equipment, and limited their own involvement in education to setting minimum standards, then all different kinds of schools might blossom.

And why is this supposed to be racist?

Because some rednecks might choose schools without black people.

…these schemes were…gave ammunition to southern policy makers looking to mount the nonracial case for maintaining Jim Crow in a new form. Friedman himself left race completely out of it. Buchanan did too at first, telling skeptical colleagues in the North that the “transcendent issue” had nothing to do with race; it came down to the question of “whether the federal government shall dictate the solutions.” But in their paper (initially a document submitted to a Virginia education commission and soon published in a Richmond newspaper), Buchanan and Nutter were more direct, stating their belief that “every individual should be free to associate with persons of his own choosing”.

In other words, we’re supposed to believe that Buchanan was racist simply because some people – in a system based on freedom of choice – might make race-based decisions.

But that’s like saying advocates of free speech are racist because some people will make racist statements or write racist books.

For what it’s worth, I wish the racist Democrats who controlled the state in the 1950s had adopted school choice. After all, the ultimate effect of their actions would have been very beneficial for black students.

That would have been delicious irony.

But I’m digressing. I wonder whether Tannenhaus is the one who is guilty of smearing rather than the author. His review, after all, notes that MacLean apparently didn’t think Buchanan’s work was motivated by race.

…race, MacLean acknowledges, was not ultimately a major issue for Buchanan.

The review then shifts to Buchanan’s main intellectual legacy, the “public choice” school of economics (first formally proposed in Calculus of Consent, co-authored with Gordon Tullock).

Governments, they argued, were being assessed in the wrong way. The error was a legacy of New Deal thinking, which glorified elected officials and career bureaucrats as disinterested servants of the public good, despite the obvious coercive effects of the programs they put into place. Why not instead see politicians and government administrators as self-interested players in the marketplace, trying to “maximize their utility”—that is, win the next election or enlarge their department’s budget? This idea turned the whole notion of a beneficent government, and of programs and policies designed more or less selflessly, into a kind of fairy tale expertly woven by politicians and their flacks. Not that politicians were evil. They were looking out for themselves, as most of us do. The difference was in the damage they did.

Sounds quite reasonable to me. And Tannenhaus even grants that the theory has some merit.

You didn’t have to accept Buchanan’s ideology to see that he had a point about the growth of government-centered clientelism—“dependency,” in the term used by a new wave of neoconservatives such as Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

But he then is very critical of Buchanan’s support for rules to constrain government.

The enemy was the public itself, expressed through the tyranny of majority rule… It wasn’t enough to elect true-believing politicians. The rules of government needed to be rewritten.

Actually, the rules don’t need “to be rewritten.” The United States already has a Constitution that was explicitly designed to protect against majoritarianism. The problem is justices who put politics first and the Constitution second.

Now let’s address a second part of the book that irked me. The author links Buchanan to Chile, which to a leftist is an automatic sign of guilt.

…in Chile, after Augusto Pinochet’s coup against the socialist Salvador Allende in 1973. A vogue for public choice had swept Pinochet’s administration. Buchanan’s books were translated, and some of his acolytes helped restructure Chile’s economy. Labor unions were banned, and social security and health care were both privatized. On a week-long visit in 1980, Buchanan gave formal lectures to “top representatives of a governing elite that melded the military and the corporate world,” MacLean reports, and he dispensed counsel in private conversations.

There’s no evidence, from what I can tell, that Buchanan endorsed or supported Pinochet’s bad record on human rights. Instead, he’s simply “guilty” of encouraging a bad government to adopt good policy.

But if providing policy advice supposedly implies support for everything a government does, then I’m guilty of supporting Russia, China, and many other regimes. Needless to say, that’s nonsense.

In any event, here’s the part that doesn’t make sense.

Buchanan said very little about his part in assisting Chile’s reformers—and he said very little, too, when the country’s economy cratered, and Pinochet at last fired the Buchananites.

The economy “cratered”? Really?

Chile has been a star performer since the market reforms on the 1980s.

Maybe MacLean and/or Tannenhaus are geographically illiterate and meant Venezuela?

Because only a blind ideologue could deny the tremendous success of Chile’s economy.

Now let’s look at some excerpts from a review in Slate written by Rebecca Onion. It starts with a major smear.

When the Supreme Court decided, in the 1954 case of Brown vs. Board of Education, that segregated public schools were unconstitutional, Tennessee-born economist James McGill Buchanan was horrified.

Again, I haven’t read the book. But I have to imagine that if the author had the slightest bit of evidence, one of the reviews would have shared it. Instead, we get nothing but assertions. Is MacLean the one who smears Buchanan, or are the reviewers guilty of asserting that the Nobel Laureate is somehow racist because he doesn’t support a big welfare state?

I don’t know, but someone is being grossly unfair.

For what it’s worth, I never caught even the slightest whiff of racism from Buchanan during my time at GMU. Which stands to reason since libertarians and classical liberals are all about individual rights and view racism as a form of collectivism.

But it is true that Buchanan was not a fan of big government.

…the libertarian thinker found comfortable homes at a series of research universities and spent his time articulating a new grand vision of American society, a country in which government would be close to nonexistent, and would have no obligation to provide education—or health care, or old-age support, or food, or housing—to anyone.

Ms. Onion’s review includes a Q&A section with the author.

Here’s some of what MacLean said, starting with a description of public choice.

He had a very different personality from somebody like Milton Friedman. …His books were really written for other scholars, not so much the general public. …His basic idea is that people had been wrong to think of political actors as concerned with the common good or the public interest, when in fact, according to Buchanan’s way of looking at things, everyone should be understood as a self-interested actor seeking their own advantage.

She then asserts – with no evidence – that public choice isn’t an accurate way of describing the world.

…there were other people who actually tested that empirically and found out that it didn’t hold, so it’s really a caricature of the political process, but it’s a caricature that’s become very, very widespread right now.

This strikes me as nonsense. Anybody who works in DC has a very jaundiced view of the political process.

We see public choice in action every day.

She also criticizes Buchanan’s work in Chile.

…he went from writing that to advising the Pinochet junta in Chile on how to craft their constitution. This document was later called a “constitution of locks and bolts,” [and was designed] to make it so that the majority couldn’t make its will felt in the political system, unless it was a huge supermajority. So yeah, it’s pretty dark.

Well, if that’s a “dark” approach, then America’s Founders were very dark as well.

MacLean also links Buchanan to Cato.

Buchanan helped with the founding of the Cato Institute and with various other intellectual enterprises that were close to Charles Koch’s heart, like this thing called the Institute for Humane Studies.

She then plays armchair psychologist and tries to guess Buchanan’s real motivation. After all, surely he couldn’t have been motivated by a belief in liberty and limited government?

I think it’s also much more about this psychology of threatened domination. People who believe it will harm their liberty for other people to have full citizenship and be able to work together to govern society. And that somehow that goes much deeper than money to me. It’s hard to find the right words for it, but it’s a whole way of being in the world and seeing others. Assuming one’s right to dominate.

In other words, if you don’t want a tax-and-transfer welfare state, that means you want to dominate others. Amazing bit of mind reading.

Or perhaps a bit of projection.

It’s folks on the left, after all, who concoct strange theories involving Koch, Cato, and other parts of a vast libertarian conspiracy.

If we really had that much power, I can assure you that government would be much smaller than it is today.

Here’s what MacLean says about Buchanan being part of the supposedly sinister Koch network.

The most important thing I want readers to take from this book is an understanding that the Koch network and all of these people are doing what they’re doing because they understand that their ideas make them a permanent minority. They cannot win if they are honest about what they’re doing.

Let’s close by sharing some very bizarre passages from a review by Genevieve Valentine for NPR.

…economist James Buchanan — an early herald of libertarianism — began to cultivate a group of like-minded thinkers with the goal of changing government. This ideology eventually reached the billionaire Charles Koch… This sixty-year campaign to make libertarianism mainstream…is at the heart of Democracy in Chains.

Here’s Ms. Valentine’s contribution to gutter politics.

…this isn’t the first time Nancy MacLean has investigated the dark side of the American conservative movement (she also wrote Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan).

A collectivist-minded group like the KKK was part of the conservative movement? Is there any evidence for that slanderous assertion?

Of course not.

And besides, what would that have to do with libertarianism?

But Ms. Valentine is just warming up. Did you know that libertarians somehow are at fault for the incompetence of Flint, MI, which is governed by Democrats?

As MacLean lays out in their own words, these men developed a strategy of misinformation and lying about outcomes until they had enough power that the public couldn’t retaliate against policies libertarians knew were destructive. (Look no further than Flint, MacLean says, where the Koch-funded Mackinac Center was behind policies that led to the water crisis.)

And she repeats the crazy assertion that Chile’s shift to free markets backfired, even though the economy boomed and subsequent governments dominated by Social Democrats have left the reforms in place.

By the time we reach Buchanan’s role in the rise of Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet (which backfired so badly on the people of Chile that Buchanan remained silent about it for the rest of his life), that’s all you need to know about who Buchanan was.

It’s also remarkable that she wants us to think there’s something sinister about Buchanan remaining “silent” about his role in Chile.

This is a man who gave dozens of speeches every year in countries all around the world, while also producing all sorts of books and scholarly articles. Does she really think he was supposed to spend his time reminiscing about a couple of speeches and meetings back in 1980?

Here’s the bottom line. Professor Buchanan is “guilty” of believing in individual liberty and favoring constraints on government. It’s perfectly fair for folks on the left to object to those views (as well as the views of other Nobel Laureates with similar outlooks).

But when they want to ascribe base motives for his views, without the slightest shred of evidence, that’s crossing the line.

P.S. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Ms. MacLean’s book was subsidized by taxpayers. Isn’t that wonderful. Not only do we subsidize international bureaucracies that push statism, we taxpayers also subsidize hit jobs on scholars who object to statism.

Dennis Rodman: ‘People don’t see … the good side’ of North Korea

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:08pm
Yahoo News (Good Morning America)

Threats on presidents’ lives then and now

Liberty Unyielding - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 10:23am
Out of his depp

Truths Not Spoken

Tea Party Tribune - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 7:10am

“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” – Sura 9:5

As we all know acts of terrorism have greatly increased during this year’s (un)holy month of Ramadan…in fact they have tripled since last year’s Ramadan…and to date as I write this, there have been 152 islamic terror attacks in 28 countries, resulting in 1,389 people killed and 1,685 people injured during the past 27 days. And there were 40 attacks, 170 killed, 175 injured just in the week June 10th through June 16th alone. And while all these attacks were for the most part terror attacks, a handful were honor killings and/or sharia-mandated executions, but all were committed in the name of Allah…in the name of islam.

Yet within the entirety of the same time frame cited, acts of death and terror committed by Christians and Jews in the name of ‘so-called’ islamophobia come to a grand total of one.

And during these same few weeks rallies have been held all across America in opposition to both sharia law and against a certain hate-filled, islamic spewing, muslima propagandist speaking at a college graduation in New York City. And while these events have been long overdue and were attended by thousands they either went underreported, if reported on at all, or were reported with a strictly leftist slant alone by a media who still tries to perpetuate the myth that islam is a religion of peace, that sharia law is not dangerous, and that ‘We the People’ are the victims of self-perpetrated anti-muslim bias or what has come to be commonly known as islamophobia…as in the actual rightful fear of all things muslim.

But if truth be told that fear is more than justified for the fact is that islam… the political ideology that hides behind the guise of calling itself a religion…is to be feared and that those who follow and adhere to said ideology…as in muslims…we must be on our guard against but not only because of the numbers I stated above but for these numbers as well…there are estimated to be 1.6 billion muslims worldwide with between 15 to 25 percent being what we call extremists, and that translates into between 180 million to 300 million people who wish us all dead.

And yet numbers alone never tell the whole story, but numbers are the culmination of the driving force behind all the bloodshed committed in the name of islam… committed in the name of allah…committed as per the very words mandated by the Qur’an itself.

The Qur’an, the most (un)holy of all books, is truly what is behind all the hate, for bloodlust and death is the basis of all its tenets and teachings. And know that the Qur’an is actually nothing but a guidebook…an instruction manual of sorts…in the whys and hows to kill all who do not believe.

“But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling fluid will be poured down their heads. Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; And for them are hooked rods of iron. Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning.”
– Sura 22:19 to 22

And those who carry out what is the Qur’an’s dutiful call to jihad…a call in Allah’s name…are islam’s true believers for they and they alone are following the guidebook’s commands of devout piety down to every ‘t’ crossed and every ‘i’ dotted. And those who truly believe are the very muslims we rightfully fear most for it is they who are obeying and acting upon muhammad’s every word. And yet while not all muslims physically ‘pick up the sword’ all muslims, save but a few, are just as fervent in their desire to spill the blood of we non-believers, because if they were not they would say the words and take the actions needed to call to task those who swords drip with our infidel blood. Cowards all…for if one does not condemn they condone.

And those of us who do not see these truths are those of us who have become not just blind to the physical horrors that now surround us, but who have surrendered their minds to the media generated leftist agenda of complacency, more commonly known as political correctness.

And political correctness dictates that we must not question the actions of others…that we must not question their motives. We must accept as right what we know to be wrong or else we become the hate-mongers and the hate-mongers become the victims.

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.
– Sura 9:29

And in today’s world…whether the politically correct sorts like it or not…the true hate-mongers come in the guise of islamic terrorists…for the islamic terrorist’s beliefs and ways are such that have been historically and factually proven to be the beliefs and ways as laid down in the qur’an. And their hate of the unbeliever stands as an unquestionable testament to the entirety of islam’s long held tenets of barbarism, savagery, and brutality. And this can be seen in the islamic terrorist’s embrace of islam’s cruel past as the basis for their current reality instead of their accepting the civilized norms of the here and now or even their looking forward to the future, because to the islamic terrorist the future is nothing but the past revisited to be repeated again.

And the ultimate goal of today’s islamic terrorist remains the same as it was for muhammad over 1400 years ago…to make islam above the ways of the ‘people of the book’…as in we Christians and Jews…and to use the qur’an words as the previously stated guidebook by which to control all others even if it means the tool by which to do so is the sword…or the bomb, or the gun, or the van…improvisations used in their quest to serve allah well.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.”
– Sura 8:12

By now most of us know that the (un)holy qur’an contains at least 109 verses that calls for its followers to “go to war” with all nonbelievers for the sole purpose of pushing forward islamic rule. But what many do not know is that sharia law is the vessel by which islamic rule intends to reign no matter that sharia law counters every moral, value, and ideal that we called infidels believe in and hold dear as well as allowing for no separation between state and mosque or.state and religion.

Simply stated, sharia is the definitive and unquestioning law of islam…law adjudicated without mercy…and law especially brutal towards women who islam views as second class citizens…who islam views as mere chattel for men to do with what they please. Taken directly from the words of muhammad…from the hadith, from actions called sunnah, and of course from the qur’an itself… sharia law is an all-encompassing and highly intrusive and invasive legal system whose rules of conduct regulates and controls both public and private behavior as well as the private beliefs and thoughts of its followers to such a degree that if a muslim dares to criticize muhammad or even question any of the teachings of the qur’an it can, and usually does, result in one losing one’s head.

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” – Sura 2:216

And as per the qur’an violence can be virtuous, but violence is just one way muslims infiltrate our Western countries and societies along with our corresponding political systems. But infiltration by violence really does not need to be for all the infiltrators have to do is take their to time to grow into population numbers so large and strong that muslims will become their host county’s majority, and do so by the simple act of breeding…breeding in such numbers that allow them at some point to be a loud enough voice that they can turn governmental bodies to their advantage or if there numbers are great enough they can topple a host country’s government by the ballot box alone.

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement” – Sura 5:33

And so as the continuing rise of terrorism and violence engulfs the world, the time has come for we of the civilized nations to accept as fact that all this hate…all this violence…must be laid at the feet of islam. And it also must be accepted as fact that due to islam’s guidebook…the qur’an…the afore mentioned hate-filled manual whose instructions to kill are totally incompatible with Western values and norms… that there must never be an acceptance of or an acquiescing to a made-up god by those who believe in the one true living God of we Christians and Jews.

So to those who say that islam is one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions because of its commonality in its belief in one god does not make it so for islam’s god…allah…is not now nor will it ever be our God. And islam’s melding of politics, society, and state into one all-encompassing, savagely brutal system of not just terror but as an unyielding way of life takes away islam’s right to call itself a religion.

And if we can accept as truth that islam is not a religion…for no true religion owes obedience to blood lust over true spiritual matters…than maybe this will allow us to admit that we are at war with the entirety of islam, and that the enemy and evil of submission that is islam exists solely to serve islam itself. And only then can we successfully battle against islam with tangible actions taken…actions that will send islam back to the seventh century from which it came.

Copyright © 2017 Diane Sori / The Patriot Factor

http://thepatriotfactor.blogspot.com/2017/06/op-ed-truths-not-spoken-by-diane-sori.html

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RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS…LIVE!

Today, Friday, June 23rd from 7 to 9pm EST on American Political Radio, RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS Craig Andresen and Diane Sori discuss ‘Truths Not Spoken,’ ‘Georgia on My Mind,’ and important news of the day.

Hope you can tune in at: https://americanpoliticalradio.com/platinum-plus-player/

 

The post Truths Not Spoken appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

Military heads want transgender enlistment hold

Tea Party Tribune - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 7:00am

Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday.

After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.

The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren’t authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Transgender servicemembers have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban, declaring it the right thing to do. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon’s personnel system.

But Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military, if they meet physical, medical and other standards, and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. The military chiefs had said they needed time to study the issue and its effects on the readiness of the force before taking that step.

Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make.

The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps discussed the matter with Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work on Thursday, officials said.

Dana White, the Pentagon’s chief spokeswoman, said there have been ongoing discussions with the service chiefs and a recommendation is expected, but she declined to disclose any details.

“It’s been a very deliberative process,” she said. “The deputy secretary of defense has not submitted a recommendation to the secretary yet and so no decision has been made.”

Stephen Peters, spokesman for Human Rights Campaign, said the group is disappointed with the delay request.

“Each day that passes without implementing the final piece of this important policy harms our military readiness and restricts the Armed Forces’ ability to recruit the best and the brightest,” said Peters, a Marine veteran. “There are thousands of transgender service members openly and proudly serving our nation today, and as they’ve proven time and time again, what matters is the ability to get the job done — not their gender identity.”

Already, there are as many as 250 servicemembers in the process of transitioning to their preferred genders or who have been approved to formally change gender within the Pentagon’s personnel system, according to several defense officials.

According to several officials familiar with the matter, three of the four services wanted more time. In recent weeks, Navy officials suggested they would be ready to begin enlistment in July but asked for a one-year delay, largely to accommodate a request from the Marine Corps for more time, officials said. The Navy secretary also oversees the Marine Corps.

The Army and Air Force wanted a two-year delay to further study the issue, said the officials, who were not authorized to talk about the internal discussion publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Officials said there was a broad recognition that allowing transgender individuals to enlist affects each service differently. They described the biggest challenge as the infantry. They said the discussions aimed at a solution that would give recruits the best chance of succeeding, while ensuring the services maintain the best standards for entry into the military.

Service chiefs will also require that transgender recruits be stable in their preferred genders for at least two years, an increase from Carter’s earlier plan to allow 18 months, the officials said. The chiefs also want to review the policy in a year to see how things are working, the officials said.

Key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they’re discriminated against or have had disciplinary problems, the officials said.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee last week there have been some issues identified with recruiting transgender individuals that “some of the service chiefs believe need to be resolved before we move forward.” He said Mattis is reviewing the matter.

The military services have various ways of counting the number of transgender troops currently serving. The Pentagon has refused to release any data. But officials said there are 42 servicemembers across the Army, including the National Guard and Reserve, who have been approved to change their gender identities in the personnel system. At least 40 more are in the process of transitioning, they said.

Officials said there are about 160 sailors in the Navy who are somewhere in the process of gender transition. That could include counseling, hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgery. And about “a handful” of Marines have come forward to seek medical care involving gender transition, and there are possibly others going through the process with their commanders, officials said.

The Air Force refused to release any numbers, and other officials did not know those details.

A RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

Source: LOLITA C. BALDOR @Yahoo.com

The post Military heads want transgender enlistment hold appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

Barack Obama Plans Return to Campaign Trail to Save Democrats

Tea Party Tribune - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 3:09am
Former President Barack Obama will return to the campaign trail this fall in an effort to stem a series of Democratic electoral losses, according to a report in the HuffPost.

Obama is expected to campaign for Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a rare decision for a former president. The decision shows that Democrats appear helpless without Obama, hoping that he will help them recapture the magic.

Northam has tried to nationalize the race by positioning himself as an anti-Trump Democrat.

“I’ve been listening carefully to Donald Trump, and I think he’s a narcissistic maniac,” Northam said in his campaign ads during the primaries.

Northam already has an eight-point polling lead over Republican candidate Ed Gillespie in the race, after the Republican nominee nearly lost his primary to challenger Corey Stewart.

A Quinnipiac University poll shows that 47 percent supported Northam, while only 39 percent backed Gillespie.

The state is currently led by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee Chairman during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Source:  CHARLIE SPIERING @Breitbart.com

The post Barack Obama Plans Return to Campaign Trail to Save Democrats appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

Trump – Russian Collusion is Fake News

Tea Party Tribune - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 1:05am

The Democrats and their associates in the media have been trying desperately to paint a picture of Russian collusion with Trump during the election to set grounds for impeachment.

Senator Marco Rubio paraphrased a quote from Donald Trump to former FBI Director James Comey stating, “Can you please tell the American people what these leaders in congress already know, what you already know, what you told me three times that I am not personally under investigation.” Comey agreed with the paraphrase replying, “Yes sir” confirming that Trump was not under investigation.

Rubio continued to ask Comey, “Did you ever wonder why of all the things in this investigation, the only thing that has never been leaked is the fact that the president was not personally under investigation, despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans and the leadership of congress knew that and have known for weeks.” Comey replied, “I don’t know.”

Individual(s) left behind from the Obama administration have been anonymous sources spreading to the media “fake news” as well as feloniously unmasking Americans from intelligence surveillance, such as General Mike Flynn.

When Comey was asked about the report from the NSA, FBI, and CIA that concluded that there was “no evidence in our report” that member of the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, Comey responded that the report was correct.

Despite no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, the media and Democrats continue to paint this picture even though Democrats are forced to admit they have no evidence of collusion.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who recommended the firing of Comey to Trump, then appointed Robert Mueller, a former FBI Director, to head a Special Counsel to oversee the FBI investigation into Russian election interference, including any potential links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Robert Mueller, who is supposed to conduct his investigation independently, who is a friend of Comey, has appointed “independent prosecutors” on his Special Counsel who are evidently biased against Trump.

The National Law Journal reported Mueller has hired Michael Dreeben, who donated to Obama in 2008 and Hillary Clinton in 2006.

Mueller hired Andrew Weissmann, who donated six times to Obama’s presidential campaign as well as the DNC in 2006.

Mueller hired Jeannie Rhee, who as recently as 2015 represented the Clinton Foundation to block FOIA requests relating to ties to the Department of State and racketeering. She has also donated to the DNC as well as the Obama campaign in 2008 and 2011 and Clinton’s campaign in 2015 and 2016.

Mueller also hired James Quarles who has a long history of donating to Democrats from 1987 through 2016 and also donated to Hillary in 2016.

A Special Counsel should be “independent” and include collusion between Hillary Clinton and the Russians for selling 20% of American uranium to the Russians for millions donated to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands Bill Clinton received for the Russians.

The Special Counsel should also look into Obama’s interference into the election in Israel when American tax dollars were given to the opposition party to influence the election against Benjamin Netanyahu.

Maybe the Special Counsel can investigate Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, who told Comey to refer to Hillary Clinton’s email investigation only as a “mater.”

We should have a Special Counsel look into the murder of Seth Rich, who was the DNC leaker to Wikileaks.

In the end, this Special Counsel is filled with those who would rather lay the ground material against President Trump for their Democrat friends to begin an impeachment against him even though the real criminals were the ones the Special Counsel supported on the Democrat side.

Frank Aquila is the president of the South San Joaquin Republicans and author of the book, “Sarah Palin Out of Nowhere.” He can be emailed at [email protected]

The post Trump – Russian Collusion is Fake News appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

Federal ‘OPT’ Program Rewards Companies For Hiring 330,000 Foreign College Grads in 2016

Tea Party Tribune - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 8:03pm
The federal government quietly helped and rewarded companies and universities which hired roughly 330,000 cheap foreign graduates in 2016 instead of hiring American graduates, many of whom are deep in debt.

The little-known “Optional Practical Training” program has grown from 91,140 new foreign job-seekers in 2009 to 329,158 new job-seekers in 2016, according to data provided by the Department of Homeland Security. That is almost a four-fold increase in seven years — and the program is growing even larger in 2017.

There is no cap on the OPT program, which quietly and semi-automatically gives work permits lasting up to three years when requested by foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities and colleges. Companies are not required to even interview Americans before hiring OPT graduates — and they get tax breaks for hiring foreigners over Americans.

“The government is enticing employers to hire foreigners instead of Americans … it is ridiculous,” said Mark Krikorian, director of the D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies. Even the middle-class Americans who have downplayed the impact of cheap-labor immigration on blue-collar Americans should be alarmed by the government’s discrimination against their own college-graduate children, he added.

In 2014, the OPT program provided work permits to 249,998 foreign graduates, according to the data provided to Breitbart News by the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the program. Two years later, the number of new foreign graduates entering the program had risen by 32 percent up to 329,158.

The program provides a one-year work permit to all graduates. It also provides an extra one-year permit to graduates who work in a so-called high-tech “STEM” job. In 2016, officials working for former President Barack Obama extended the STEM permits from one year to two years. If only 20,000 of the 51,672 STEM workers from 2015 used Obama’s one-year extension, they would have increased the 2016 total from 329,158 up to 350,000.

That 350,000 estimate for 2016 means that the government is offering work permits to one foreign graduate for almost every two of the 800,000 young Americans who graduate from college each year with high-skilled degrees in business or medicine, science or software, math or physics.

The OPT program will likely grow to 500,000 foreign workers in 2020 unless it is killed by a pending lawsuit.

Under the new transparency rules established by DHS secretary John Kelly, DHS officials also provided Breitbart with the initial OPT numbers for 2017. That data showed the OPT program in the first half of 2017 by giving work permits to 255,412 foreign students, including 57,315 high-skill technology graduates. That half-year number for 2017 is larger than the 2014 total.

These high numbers likely understate the scale of the OPT outsourcing program, because the federal government also allows foreign students to get a one-year work permit via the “Curriculum Practical Training” program before they graduate into the OPT program. If 100,000 students used that CPT program in 2016, then the combined CPT and OPT programs delivered almost 450,000 white-collar American jobs to foreign students and graduates in 2016.

The annual inflow of new foreign OPT workers is now roughly three times larger than the annual inflow of 110,000 H-1B white-collar contract workers. However, the H-1B program offers longer visas to foreign workers, so it keeps a larger population of roughly 650,000 foreign white-collar workers in the United States, compared to roughly 35o,000 OPT workers.

The H-1B visas help companies hire foreign white-collar workers to take the place of the experienced American professionals who need decent salaries to help support and educate their children.

Who is impacted?

Many American college graduates are threatened by OPT, partly because the program allows foreign students to take any job, but also because the government grants three-year work permits to students who take “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math” jobs — but those STEM jobs are very expansively described. They include:

dairy science… horticultural science…  environmental studies … natural resources conservation … urban forestry … artificial intelligence … computer graphics … solar energy … naval science … cyber/electronic operations and warfare … nutrition sciences … sustainability studies … child psychology … archaeology … medical science … veterinary physiology … business statistics … management science.

The OPT program is also a threat to upward mobility because it is increasingly being used to outsource community college Technician jobs — such as nursing — which are the primary upward path for Americans born into lower-income families. The DHS list of STEM jobs also includes more than 50 types of technical jobs, including:

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering Technology/Technician … solar energy … welding … industrial production … quality control … automotive engineering … [and] biology.

College grads have done better than American blue-collar workers since the 2009 crash, but recruiters say graduates overestimate their market value, and researchers say salaries remain low in 2017:

Wages for college graduates across many majors have fallen since the 2007-09 recession, according to an unpublished analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in Washington using Census bureau figures. Young job-seekers appear to be the biggest losers … “It has been like this for the past five, six years now,” said Ban Cheah, a research professor at Georgetown who compiled the data. “It’s a little depressing.”

Liberty University, graduation 2017.

Many recent graduates were hurt long-term by the slump, according to a 2014 Pew study:

In a recent report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York went deeper and looked at underemployment among recent grads (defined as people aged 22 to 27 with at least a bachelor’s degree). The Fed researchers used data from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to examine whether employed grads were in jobs that typically required a college degree, what those jobs paid, and whether they were working full- or part-time. They found that in 2012, about 44% of grads were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree — a rate that, while about what it was in early 1990s, increased after the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. Only 36% of that group were in what the researchers called “good non-college jobs” — those paying around $45,000 a year — down from around half in the 1990s. The share of underemployed recent grads in low-wage (below $25,000) jobs rose from about 15% in 1990 to more than 20%. About one-in-five (23%) underemployed recent grads were working part-time in 2011, up from 15% in 2000.

Other reports emphasize negative and positive prospects for recent college grads as the nation emerges from a decade-long slump.

Critically, the OPTs compete with new American graduates and nudge down the Americans’ starting salaries — which can have a huge impact on their lifetime earnings, say salary experts:

“Maximizing your first salary is really important because it determines your salary for the rest of your life,” says Matt Wallaert, chief scientist at GetRaised.com … “Your final salary is heavily dependent on your starting salary,” agrees Glenn Hiemstra, the founder of Futurist.com,

Moreover, many U.S. graduates are defaulting on college loan debts owed to the U.S. government because they cannot find well-paying jobs.

Joseph Palos, a high-tech graduate from Cornell University, formally objected to the OPT program in 2015. ”Companies don’t want to hire Americans and they abuse… OPT to hire cheap immobile labor instead of hiring anyone over the age of 35, especially in software or tech areas,” he wrote to a federal agency, according to a report in ComputerWorld.

Which companies hire OPTs?

Most universities and colleges hide useful data about their OPT programs from their American students, the tuition-paying parents and the voting public.

But a Breitbart search of the data revealed that Penn State posted a list of companies which hire OPT and other foreign graduates. The companies include accounting firms Deloitte & Touché LLP plus Ernst & Young, LLP, as well as Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and the GE Global Research Center in New York. Other OPT employers included Advanced Micro Devices in Sunnyvale, Calif., Intel in Arizona, Motorola in Florida, Nokia in Texas,  and Microsoft in Washington State, plus Cadbury Schweppes in New Jersey, Glaxo Smith Kline in Philadelphia, Hyatt Hotels in Washington D.C., Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Penske Logistics in Ohio, and the Environmental Systems Research Institute in Redlands, Ca.

The Penn State list also includes many universities, many of which can keep cheap OPTs on the payroll for several years by converting them into H-1B employees. There are no limits on universities’ hiring of H-1Bs.

There’s not much reason to blame the companies for hiring OPTs, said Krikorian. By reducing employers’ taxes and subsidizing OPT employees’ pay with a chance to win green cards, “the government is encouraging these employers to hire foreign workers,” he said.

Who supports the OPT program?

Unsurprisingly, the semi-secret OPT program has intense behind-the-scenes support in Washington.

First, the OPT program — like the similar H-1B and H-2B programs — are strongly supported by business groups because they provide very cheap, compliant and disposable workers:

When a job is given to an OPT worker, neither the worker nor the employers have to pay Social Security or Medicare taxes. That tax break cuts the company’s salary costs for that foreign worker by roughly 23 percent.

When a foreign students seeks a job, Americans lose bargaining power to get decent wages for that jobs. Nationalwide, the extra inflow of immigrant labor annually transfers roughy $500 billion from employees to employers, accordin to data in the 2016 report on immigration by the National Acadeimes of Sciences.

The OPT jobs put the foreign graduates on the first step towards citizenship, which is a hugely valuable deferred bonus student studemt her overseas fmaily and their descedents in perpetuity. In effect, the federal government provides OPT workers a free lottery ticket for the prize of citizenship if they work for the pay and conditions set by the employer. But this is also a huge hidden subsidy for employers who hire foreigners instead of Americans because it allows employers to pay foreigners with hope of citizenship, while Americans must be paid in dollars.

Also, the OPT employers is heavily dependent on the employer to put him or her the next step on the path to citizenship, ensuring a compliant attitude despute low-pay and long hours. The next step is usually a H-1B visa, which requires the employer to ask the govrenment for the visa.

The OPT program adds a small but useful addition to the number of native-born and immigrant consumers who buy products in hte U.S. economy.

Universities strongly favor the OPT program because it allows them to effectively sell government-supplied, no-cost work permits to the foreign students who pay higher than normal tuition fees — providing there is no political pushback from their own indebted graduates and their worried parents.

The annual inflow of foreign students adds $2.8 billion in economic activity, and 400,000 jobs to the economy, says the NAFSA advocacy group, wich is led by university officials. Few politicians are willing to openly disagree with the universities in their district.

Universities market themselves to foreign customers as way-stations to citizenship. For example, Dartmouth University highlighted employment statistics for foreign graduates, saying 71 of 79 foreign graduates got work permits and jobs in 2015, and 79 of 86 got work permits and jobs in 2014.

A growing percentage of foreign students are using the OPT work permits. The percentage rose from 21.5 percent in 2014 up to 24.5 percent in 2016, according to DHS data.

The OPT and CPT programs allow a growing number low-grade “diploma mill” universities to provide work permits to foreign workers in exchange for tuition. The scale of the new industry was described by Buzzfeed in 2016: “With little fanfare and virtually overnight, Nothwestern Polytechnic has become one of the country’s largest importers of international students — 95% of whom are Indian. Last year, 9,026 foreign students had active visas to attend NPU, according to federal immigration data — that’s more students than the entire undergraduate population of Harvard, and an increase of 350% from two years earlier, when Northwestern had just 1,200 … Northwestern Polytechnic’s 9,026 foreign students would make up the ninth-largest body of international students in the country, according to IIE numbers — above Michigan State University and just below UCLA.”

Education-industry officials have downplayed the number of OPT approvals for several years. For example, the New York-based Institute of International Education estimated  67,804 OPT job-seekers in 2009, and 147,498 OPT seekers in 2016. In contrast, DHS estimated the numbers at 91,140 in 2009 and 329,158 in 2016.

Progressives strongly favor the OPT program, partly because it is backed by their prestigious allies in the Internet industry and by university groups, but also because it levels the status of foreigners and Americans.

In June 2017, a pro-immigration columnist for the New York Times, who formerly worked at the Wall Street Journal, argued that Americans rightly belongs to foreigners, not Americans, saying:

I’m the child of immigrants and grew up abroad, I have always thought of the United States as a country that belongs first to its newcomers — the people who strain hardest to become a part of it because they realize that it’s precious; and who do the most to remake it so that our ideas, and our appeal, may stay fresh.

That used to be a cliché, but in the Age of [President Donald] Trump it needs to be explained all over again. We’re a country of immigrants — by and for them, too. Americans who don’t get it should get out.

GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan backs programs that allow low-tech business to import cheap foreign workers instead of hiring U.S. workers. “We need to have an immigration system that is wired for what our economy needs … so let’s find out where those gaps in our labor markets are and have our immigration system wired for that,” Ryan said in 2016.

President Barack Obama declared in 2014 that Americans do not have the right to favor their fellow citizens over foreigners, saying:

Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our particular religion, and then we start treating other folks differently. And that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about immigration.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, each successive wave, there have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I don’t want those folks’ — even though the only people who have the right to say that are some Native Americans.

Under Obama’s lax border policies, roughly 550,000 additional illegal aliens flew or walked into the United States in 2016, while only a tiny percentage of the 11 million resident illegals were sent home.

This bipartisan open-border viewpoint is part of the law and played a large role in Obama’s policies. For example, from 2011 to 2016, Obama used a loophole in federal law to allow more than 300,000 unskilled migrants from Central American to live and work in the United States, despite the harmful impact on the kids’ schools and local crime rates.

Economic and Political Impact

These pro-immigration views held by progressives and business-minded Republicans means that the federal government now imports one million legal immigrants each year to compete for jobs against the 4 million Americans who graduate from schools or colleges each year.

The federal government also imports more than 1 million temporary contract workers, including roughly 110,000 H-1B workers per year. That rapid rise of the secret OPT program — plus likely rises in other semi-secret L and B-1 visas — suggest that the government allows companies and universities to keep an army of more than 1.6 million foreign contract-workers in the United States.

Most of those foreign contract workers are white-collar professionals, while fewer than 100,000 are legal temporary agricultural workers, according to the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute.

This flood of foreign labor spikes profits and stock values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees, drives up real estate prices, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and sidelines marginalized Americans and their families. The flood also fragments Americans’ civic society into competing identity groups, sometimes dubbed social “diversity.”

2017 graduation ceremonies at Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia.

This social conflict also distorts Americans’ politics, allowing the inauguration of New York real-estate magnate Donald Trump on January 20, 2017.

Since then, despite massive bipartisan pressure from politicians and industry groups eager for cheap labor, Trump has declared his policy to be “Buy American, Hire American.” He has scuttled the cheap-labor Trans-Pacific Partnership program, sharply reduced illegal immigration, slowed the growth of contract workers programs, started reforming the H-1B white-collar outsourcing program, and eliminated the ‘DAPA’ amnesty for four million illegals.

Because of pressure from progressives in the media and the Democratic Party, Trump has also preserved some of Obama’s open-borders rules, such as the 2012 ‘DACA’ policy which delivers work permits to roughly 765,000 younger illegals.

So far, Trump and his deputies have done little publicly to curb the fast-growing OPT program — even though it discriminates against the children of politically influential college-graduates. “You would think that when their own college-educated kids are being discriminated against, it would get attention,” said Krikorian.

However, in December 2016,  the Department of Education disbarred the accreditation organization which validated the NPU’s educational claims. In March 2017, Trump’s DHS stopping issuing OPT or H-1B approvals to foreign students from the diploma-mill colleges which rely on that accrediting organization.

However, Trump’s officials will soon need to deal with the legality of the “crony capitalist” OPT program, said lawyer John Miano, who is suing the federal government on behalf of the Washington Alliance of Tech Workers. His lawsuit shows how OPT was created by regulators in 1992 and then expanded in 2002 without any action by Congress or an agency regulatory process. The legal claim is strong, he said, because “we have the government making law via regulation… [what is] the largest guest worker program” in the nation.

But without strong public pressure on legislators, the corporate and university pressure for the OPT program will likely deter the Trump administration from accepting a courtroom defeat over OTP, Miano said. “I don’t expect the Trump administration to say ‘We can’t defend it’ … [but] we don’t know what they are planning to do.”

Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC or email the author at [email protected]

Below are four images of the Penn State list of companies that hired OPT or “Academic Training” foreign graduates. Many of the companies and universities also hire H-1B workers. 

The post Federal ‘OPT’ Program Rewards Companies For Hiring 330,000 Foreign College Grads in 2016 appeared first on Tea Party Tribune.

Proposed education cuts should be expanded

Liberty Unyielding - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 7:42pm
Cut it out.

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