Month: July 2018

Anti-Trump protesters welcome Trump back from Helsinki with “traitor” chant

Protesters gathered outside the White House on July 16 and 17 to voice discontent with Trump’s policies generally and his extreme appeasement of Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in particular. Trump had said that he believed Putin’s denial of hacking and interfering in the 2016 election, while criticizing the FBI and Hillary Clinton.

Earlier in the day, July 17, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti gave a speech.

The crowd had thinned by 9:30 pm, but there were still people there singing national patriotic songs and chanting about the migrant child separation issue.

Protesters expressed that they would keep up protests all week. Russia could be a liability for Trump: A survey released today shows that 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the Kremlin.

Mises Institute editor calls for kicking out immigrants (and citizens) from military

Ryan McMaken, editor of the Mises Instute’s Mises Wire, takes issue with my July 9, 2015 article for The Federalist supporting the inclusion of aspiring immigrants in the military. The naturalization-by-fighting program has resulted in over 100,000 patriotic Americans becoming officially recognized as Americans. Now there are reports that some immigrant-soldiers in the process of serving are being discharged (though the nature and extent of such discharges is disputed).

McMaken (link to his article) characterizes the military as both a handout and a “jobs program.” The idea that the military should be treated as a jobs program is something I fiercely disagree with, which was the point of my article. Congressmen were arguing against allowing non-citizens to become soldiers on the basis that it might deny American-born citizens a job. McMaken accurately quoted a representative excerpt: “I’m not worried about the country or origin of those who are fighting to defend us. What matters is that our military is as strong as it can be.”

McMaken thinks that the military is actually treated as a jobs program by legislators and officials. To the extent that it is, I oppose such treatment, as I wrote.

McMaken writes, “The rub, however, is that military spending doesn’t actually improve the economy.” I basically agree with him. Military spending shouldn’t be about improving the economy. It should be about buying a product.

However, while McMaken chooses a nice excerpt, he did not accurately characterize my position:

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U.S. designed the World Trade Organization, TPP to benefit itself; Trump wants to stop the benefits

Donald Trump has made his intentions to leave the World Trade Organization clear with his proposed “FART” bill, which would put the US in violation of WTO rules. He has been telling aids for a while, it has been reported, that he wants to leave the organization.

“We always get fucked by [the WTO] I don’t know why we’re in it. The WTO is designed by the rest of the world to screw the United States,” he said in one such rant.

Statements like this expose the ignorance of Trump and the incoherence of his isolationist positions. It is often the case that the truth is the exact opposite of what Trump says. There could be no better case than this one.

Who does Trump think designed the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and other international organizations?

“The United States was a leading force in establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995,” the United States Trade Representative wrote.

Of course the United States did. The US is the world’s strongest power and has been since the end of World War II. The US has had the leadership and leverage to influence the rules behind the international organizations it takes the lead in creating. The US leadership since World War II has been a key factor in US hegemony since then. It helped the US win World War II.

It is why America can win special benefits when it negotiates (not when it throws Starbursts at Germany’s PM, as Trump has done):

In 2000, the U.S. won special provisions guaranteeing that the U.S. can export 360,000 tons of rice to Japan each year, nearly half the total amount of tariff-free rice Japan imports. Now that the U.S. is negotiating unilaterally with Japan, it is likely that the U.S. will again win special treatment.

Trump wants to abandon that. He has little to point to when it comes to unfair trade terms with American allies. Trump left the TPP, the deal America was leading the way in writing. He whines about America’s nominal trade deficit with Canada, for example, but American exports to Canada make up 48% of all trade between the US and Canada—it is almost exactly balanced, that is.

Trade has expanded America’s economy and increased its people’s standard of living. Overseas troops expand America’s power projection. International organizations can be utilized for the pursuit of America’s interests.

Without them, America will see its power decline.

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