The PLO and Peace

The US is cutting off funding for the PLO, and we’re closing the PLO’s delegation office in DC.  Various apologists for the terrorist organization are up in arms over the Trump administration’s sterner stand.

…the administration that appear to be moving away from the 1993-95 Oslo accords before the administration has explained what it thinks should come next.

Walking away from the Oslo peace framework? That framework doesn’t exist; the PLO walked away from it long ago.  See, for instance, PLO leader Yasser Arafat’s intifada after walking away from the historic and generous Israeli peace offer brokered by Bill Clinton in 2000.

A Change in Tone?

Recall the start of President Donald Trump’s response to the People’s Republic of China’s economic conflict with us, when he began imposing tariffs on PRC goods over their continued theft of American companies’ intellectual property.

Vice President Wang warned US business chieftains there would be corporate casualties. President Xi told others that Beijing would “punch back” at the US.

Now we’re getting sweet words.

Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s economic-policy chief, told visiting American business representatives that US companies’ China operations won’t be targeted in Beijing’s trade-brawl counterattacks. “We won’t allow retribution against foreign companies,” Mr Liu said[.]

Greece and Austerity

Greece finally is out from under its EU/IMF bailout yoke, and now it wants give its citizens relief from the austerity measures it implemented during its years-long crisis.

[Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras]…announced ambitions to cut taxes as well as increase spending to boost employment and on welfare programs.

Reducing taxes is consistent with reducing austerity—provided the government also tightens its tax collection regime.

Increasing spending, though, increases austerity: it crowds out private businesses as government, which doesn’t have to worry about the cost of money, outcompetes businesses, both for sales and for the resources needed for production. That increased spending also drives up the cost of money for those private enterprises.

Government Diktat

California style.  That state has passed a law.

The law requires a company to appoint one woman to its board of directors by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021 a five-member board would need to have two women, while boards with six or more directors would need three. The Legislature, always alert to possible micro-aggressions, defines female as “an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

(One wonders whether the law would be satisfied by a male Board member self-identifying as a woman for the purpose of Board-related activities.  [/snark])

Timidity

Sadanand Dhume had an opinion piece in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal decrying Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ decision to cancel a contest through which ” participants were invited to lampoon the prophet Muhammad.”  Wilders pleaded “security concerns” because of some protests in Pakistan.

On the whole, I agree with Dhume.  However, I’m less concerned with Pakistani whinings than I am with the cowardice displayed by Wilders and his cronies in canceling their contest.

A few short years ago, a similar “Draw Muhammad” contest was held in Dallas. The terrorists who tried to disrupt that contest were stopped in their tracks by ordinary American citizens.  The Dutch are not Danes, but I wouldn’t have thought them this timid.

“Value-Charged”

A panel, the Texas Education Agency, that is “advising” the Texas State Board of Education wants to deprecate matters related to the Alamo and its defense by a band of heroic Americans (yes, I used those two terms.  Both of them).

The 7th grade social studies curriculum used to teach the defense of the Alamo currently uses the phrase siege of the Alamo and all of the heroic defenders who gave their lives there.  This panel told the SBOE to use only siege of the Alamo.  “Heroic,” they insist, is “value-charged.”

A Townhall Campaign Event

This one in Navasota, Texas.  Progressive-Democratic Party candidate for Senator from Texas Beto O’Rourke is running against first-term incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, and O’Rourke had his townhall event at the VFW hall in Navasota.

This is what drew my eye to what would otherwise have been a rather ordinary campaign event.  VFW Post #4006 Commander Carl Dry:

[T]hey wanted to take the flags down, I didn’t only say no, I said hell no, you don’t take the flags off the wall. I can’t believe any American would ask us to do that and I don’t know why he wanted them down or what he was going to put up instead.

Another Miss

This time by The Wall Street Journal.  In an op-ed about the coward’s piece in The New York Times (if that individual actually exists, otherwise it’s the cowardice of the NYT editorial staff), the WSJ closed with this remark.

The tragedy of this Presidency is that his rants and insults—even toward people who work for him—threaten to overwhelm his policy achievements.

This is true only because the persons of the press choose to enable that. It’s their conscious editorial choice to give emphasis to President Donald Trump’s rants and insults over his policy efforts and achievements. It’s their carefully deliberated editorial choice to give primacy to form over substance.

“Trump is a symptom, not the cause”

Ex-President Barack Obama (D) said that in his Friday speech at the University of Illinois.  I agree with him, but not for the reason he might think.

President Donald Trump might have triggered our economic recovery with lower taxes and reduced regulation.  He might have begun restoring our nation’s position around the world with his firm rhetoric regarding responsibilities and his refusal to apologize—indeed, his willingness overtly to celebrate—American uniqueness and greatness.

But his election, and his performance in office, are symptoms of the malaise under which our nation labored during eight years of Obama’s economic failures, constant apologies for our nation’s historic successes around the globe, and timidity in enforcing even the most glibly offered red lines.

Unitary Executive

Senator Ben Sasse (R, NE), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that held hearings last week on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, had an op-ed in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal that opened with this.

Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of hating women, hating children, hating clean air, wanting dirty water. He’s been declared an existential threat to the nation.

He’s also accused of favoring a unitary Executive and thereby ceding dangerously broad power to the President.