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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Blogger Problems

Dear Readers,

I'm having a lot of problems with Blogger.  First the spacing was tripled but it looked like a normal double on my work sheet (I left the triple and single space in this post)/  It goes from a single space to a triple space. I had to go into the HTML and fix every break, but it didn't look the same on my work sheet as if there was no break in the spacing, and I had to Preview every time I made a change to make sure it was right.  Then the links didn't work.  Now my side bar is at the bottom of the page as part of the page, yet my design section shows it to be where it's supposed to be. 

I tried using Blogger's different themes thinking that would merely replace the current theme with a new one hoping that would fix the problem in my HTML with a new one, but the problems not only didn't get fixed all the page material is missing on some of those themes.

I will be suspending operations until I can fix this.  If anyone has any suggestions please e-mail me at

Best wishes,
Rich Kozlovich

Trump's 5 Rules for Ruling the World

Trump isn’t reacting to the world. The world is reacting to him.

June 15, 2018 Daniel Greenfield

Politics has a way of turning everything upside down.  Flit over to Twitter and the same government media echo chamber that was loudly defending the Iran deal is concern trolling about strong inspections of North Korea’s nuclear program and worrying that President Trump’s suspension of military exercises is far too great of a concession to the tiny tyrant.

The clever ones ask, “What’s the difference between the Iran deal and the North Korean negotiations”? Isn’t Trump’s stated willingness to meet with dictators a lot like Obama’s no preconditions pledge?

And then there are the trade wars. What is he thinking by upsetting the Chinese and the Europeans?............

On the global stage, President Trump has forced North Korea, China, Europe and Canada to react to him. He’s trying everything. He’s creating chaos. He’s hiding his hand and he’s winning.

The media shouts that Trump is isolated. If he were isolated, the world wouldn’t be revolving around him. The world doesn’t stop when Putin or China’s Jinping issue a statement. But a single Trump tweet can upend the priorities of international diplomacy for days, weeks and even months.......To Read More....

My Take - The fact of the matter is we don't need them - they need us, something neither of the Bushs, Clinton, Nixon, Carter and definitely Obama never understood - or if they did - they didn't care.  And now we're seeing a surge in America's economy for a number of reasons put into place by Trump, including dumping economy strangling regulations.  We need to get this.  The American economy is the only real capital generating system in the world.  Turned loose from unnecessary taxes and regulation it becomes a force of nature.  Trump understands that!  He also understands the left is treasonous down to it's core, and would love nothing better than to see this nation's economy collapse and see the Constitution destroyed.  Then they could "legally" take over the nation and turn America into Venezuela, Russia, China or any other of the tyrannies of the left.

500 days of unleashing our economic engine

Amazing growth – while protecting environment, health and welfare from actual threats

Paul Driessen

The “mainstream media” remains riveted on alleged Trump-Russian collusion and how the Trump-Kim Jong Un deal will fail. But it mostly ignored reports on Russia-environmentalist collusion and China-environmentalist collusion – and milestones reached during the Trump Administration’s first 500 days.

In that short time, the US economy has gone from the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970s to nearly the lowest Black, Hispanic and women’s unemployment rates in history. It added 223,000 jobs just last month. Many employers are struggling to find qualified workers, even though private sector salaries and benefits have been increasing to attract them. (Perhaps generous welfare and unemployment payouts still tempt too many?) More than 4 million Americans have received pay raises and/or bonuses.

Businesses large and small are investing billions of dollars in facilities and equipment, and the Dow Jones Industrial average skyrocketed from 18,800 points just after the November 2016 elections – to a record 26,617 on January 26, 2018, before falling to 23,533 and then rebounding to 25,200. IRA, 401(k), and private and government pension funds have gained hundreds of billions in cumulative value.

Economists predict a growth rate of 4% for the second quarter of 2018, while one of the best forecasters says we may hit 5% by year’s end, thanks to extensive investment capital flowing into the USA.

The primary reasons for these changes were anticipation of and reaction to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of December 2017 and the Administration-wide reduction in regulations: not enacting many new ones, while reversing past bureaucratic rules, obstacles and delays. Two departments led the way: EPA and Interior.

* The Obama Department of the Interior implemented numerous actions to curtail fossil fuel production, mining, ranching and other economy-enhancing programs. During his first 500 days, Secretary Ryan Zinke reversed, eliminated or streamlined many of those rules and decision-delaying processes.

In accordance with the 2017 Tax Act, he opened the narrow “Coastal Plain” of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to leasing and drilling, so that the area’s enormous oil and gas potential can be evaluated. Environmentalists had blocked access for nearly 40 years, denying America critically needed energy that can be developed safely under practices proven by decades of operations at the Prudhoe Bay oilfield.

Secretary Zinke also ended DOI’s war on coal and opened large tracts of valuable Utah coal reserves that had been closed off via abusive use of the 1906 Antiquities Act. He did so while fully protecting smaller monument areas of true historic, prehistoric and scientific value. Onshore and offshore, he opened millions of acres to oil and gas leasing, so that they can go through a full formal study and review process, with some of them ultimately being made available for exploration, drilling and production.

These and other actions have already helped send US oil production to a record (projected) 2018 output of 10.7 million barrels a day. They have created thousands of jobs and generated billions of dollars in lease bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenues to support essential government programs and services.

The new DOI and other government policies also helped the United States export a record $20 billion in crude oil, liquefied natural gas and refined products in April 2018 alone. US natural gas exports also increased – by 66% over their first quarter 2016 level.

After years of neglecting this critical obligation, Interior has dedicated tens of millions of dollars to restoring, repairing and maintaining national park lands, trails, lodges and visitor centers, so that families can continue enjoying them. Meanwhile, many other Interior Department lands will now be managed under traditional “multiple use” guidelines that permit motorized access, non-wilderness recreation, grazing, forest management, timber harvesting, and responsible development of energy resources above and below the ground – all via expedited planning and permitting under the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws.

Finally, with an eye toward America’s current and future defense, renewable energy, communication and other needs, Interior issued a detailed report assessing the nation’s access to the “critical minerals” that are essential for manufacturing those vital technologies.

* Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency was the most regulation-prone agency in government. Its heavy-handed rules cost the US economy billions and killed countless jobs. No longer.

During his first 500 days, Administrator Scott Pruitt’s EPA reduced or eliminated numerous burdensome regulations, likely saving America at least $1 billion a year in regulatory costs so far – while still protecting air and water quality and safeguarding human health against actual, demonstrable risks.

He helped persuade President Trump to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Treaty, which would have forced the USA to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and thus its reliance on fossil fuels, and pay billions of dollars annually into a “green climate” slush fund. Meanwhile, China, India and other rapidly developing countries will continue expanding their oil, gas and coal use … and CO2 emissions. In short, Paris will bring no climate benefits, even if CO2 actually is a primary factor in climate change.

Pruitt also repealed the deceptively named “Clean Power Plan,” which used dishonest claims about particulate, mercury and carbon dioxide emissions, exaggerated “social cost of carbon” data, and dubious assertions about climate change to justify rules that forced numerous coal-fired generators to shut down.

Pruitt also proposed to end the longstanding EPA practice of using secretive, questionable, non-replicable, even deceptive science to support agency policy and regulatory initiatives. The new rules will ensure that any science underlying agency actions is transparent and publicly available for independent experts to examine, validate or debunk. Studies that do not comply cannot be part of the decision-making process.

Equally important, Pruitt ended the underhanded sue-and-settle tactic that allowed radical environmental groups to work with EPA officials behind the scenes, to devise policies, sue in friendly courts to force their implementation, and then settle the cases – without parties affected by the decision able to present testimony or have their day in court. (My only complaint here is that Pruitt perhaps should have waited until conservative groups had some opportunities to use the same tactic to advance their policy agendas.)

The Pruitt EPA has garnered bipartisan praise for moving to expedite the cleanup of Missouri, Montana, Texas and other Superfund toxic waste sites that have posed threats to local communities for decades. It received similar support (and environmentalist criticism) for rescinding the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule that gave EPA effective control over every creek and temporary puddle in the nation

Those who still believe rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are causing dangerous manmade climate change will be happy to know that the United States has reduced its CO2 emissions more than any other country – even as America entered a new energy and economic renaissance under President Trump. In fact, they were down another 2.5% in 2016, on top of an 11% decline 2005 through 2015.

This is largely due to the Obama era war on coal, which resulted in hundreds of coal-fired generating units closing since 2008, with many replaced by increasingly efficient natural gas generators. With China, India, Germany and the rest of the world using fossil fuels to generate reliable, affordable electricity, it’s time for the United States to do likewise. Zinke and Pruitt are doing exactly that.

All of this represents enormous progress in returning to environmental common sense, restoring business and consumer confidence, and unleashing America’s powerful energy and economic engines.

However, there is still much to do: from immigration reform to renegotiated trade agreements that end the expanding tariff battles, and building more pipelines to get the nation’s increasing oil and gas production to power plants, refineries and export terminals – to ensuring a lasting Trump legacy through legislative deals, court victories and longer-term strategies, to augment executive orders and regulatory actions.

Using all this progress as a guide, imagine what could be accomplished over the next 500 days, the 950 days before Mr. Trump’s first term ends – or the next 2,400 days until the end of his second term!

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT,org
) and author of articles and books on energy, climate change, carbon dioxide and economic development.

SPLC Exposes Epidemic of Nonexistent White-on-Black Violence

Academia in Meltdown: Pro-GMO Prof Fired, Anti-GMO Prof Gets Honored

By Alex Berezow — June 13, 2018 @ American Council on Science and Health

There's no nice way to put this. Academia is in the midst of self-destructing, not just in the United States but worldwide.

Recall that, just two months ago, Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar went on a hate-filled Twitter rant against the recently deceased Barbara Bush. Her diatribe was so vile, that the university investigated the possibility of terminating or disciplining her. But, nothing happened, despite the fact that a video surfaced of her praising airplane hijackings (1:07) and making a sexual gesture at students (2:02).

Just a week later, the University of Alberta announced that it would honor David Suzuki, a professor who gained worldwide notoriety for being an anti-GMO activist. Not only does he defy the scientific consensus on biotechnology, he says that any scientist who says GMOs are safe (and most do) is "either very stupid or lying." To rub a little extra salt in the wound, the reason the University of Alberta was honoring him is because of his "promotion of science literacy" -- which is sort of like giving a Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat. Note: Oh wait, the Nobel Committee actually did that.

There is literally nothing a professor can do to get fired. That is, unless a professor supports science. Then he can get fired for that.

Pro-GMO Professor Fired for Endorsing Glyphosate

David Zaruk is an expert in European Union regulations and risk communication. He writes a blog, titled The Risk-Monger, which largely examines regulatory issues involving biotechnology, such as GMOs and glyphosate. For nearly a decade, he also was an adjunct professor of communications at Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, Belgium.

As Dr. Zaruk writes in a lengthy blog post, he recently lost his job from the university. Why? According to Dr. Zaruk, it's because he is avidly pro-biotechnology and another professor (at a different university!) didn't like it. So, he pulled a few strings and got Dr. Zaruk fired. It should be noted that Olivier de Schutter, the professor responsible for getting Dr. Zaruk fired, is a militant anti-GMO, anti-glyphosate, anti-Monsanto ideologue.

Something Rotten in the State of Academia

Though widely touted, there is no such thing as "free speech" in academia. Instead, there are two sets of standards: There is one standard for a largely far-left-wing, postmodernist or activist type who reject science and basic decency, and there is another standard for everybody else. If you belong to the former, you can literally do or say whatever you want without any consequences; if you belong to the latter, simply accepting the scientific consensus can get you fired.

If things to do not change quickly, academia will not and cannot endure. Nor should it.

The hard left is all that's left

'There is only 1 solution to Marxism in America'

Craige McMillan

For most of my life, I’ve given those on the political left the benefit of the doubt. I assumed that they sincerely wanted to solve the problems that plagued the world: poverty, disease, education and so on. Over the last 10 years, I’ve decided that’s no longer true. There are fewer and fewer areas where we have any common ground. If a policy doesn’t further the left’s cause du jour, they oppose it............It’s when we touch on crime, however, that the left reveals itself. Let’s start with immigration. The left seems incapable of understanding that someone who arrives here illegally – they bypassed our borders and laws for becoming a citizen – is already a criminal. They don’t have to commit crimes against American citizens before they are guilty. They are guilty for entering the country illegally.........What a disgusting, dangerous and disgraceful world the left has produced! As the Department of Justice inspector general’s report indicates, they sought to use their power to prevent a Trump victory in 2016. When that proved impossible, they used the FBI to set the incoming president up for destruction. ............ Read more

Bottom line? Obama single-handedly ruined the FBI and the DOJ

June 16, 2018 By Patricia McCarthy

Naturally, the political-media left that crowds out saner voices on television was quick as jackrabbits to announce that the FBI was vindicated by the I.G. report that was released on Thursday. "Nothing to see here, move along" was their mantra. But one only has to scroll through the list of columns posted at RealClearPolitics on Friday to grasp the abyss between the left and right re: the report.

The report contained an executive summary that said, "We found no documentary evidence of political bias." That means they did not find written confessions by all those Trump-hating higher-ups at the once-great law enforcement agency. But the five-hundred-page body of the report is chock-full of extreme political anti-Trump mendacity. Why the hundreds of texts between several like-minded agents that reek of profound bias against Trump are not documentary evidence is a mystery.............Nevertheless, it is an indisputable fact that a cabal of conspirators on the seventh floor of the FBI building, led by Comey and McCabe, along with John Brennan (CIA), James Clapper (DNI), Sally Yates, and Rod Rosenstein at Justice coordinated their attempts to prevent Trump from winning the election by all manner of illegal means.  Most likely, much of this was at the bidding and with permission of Barack Obama .................... Read more

The Real Problem With the OIG Report

George Parry June 17, 2018

It seems like a day doesn’t go by without some female high school teacher getting arrested for having sexual relations with an underage student. The story line is always the same. Ms. Hotpants either gets caught in the act or because her student paramour shares with the world the naked selfies that for some weird reason she just had to send to his cell phone. Invariably the teacher is quickly and unceremoniously condemned, fired from her job and arrested.

This sequence of events always seemed appropriate. But, having had the benefit of reading the recent report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General regarding the FBI and DOJ’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unsecured email server, I now realize that I have been jumping to many unwarranted conclusions about the intentions of these teachers. Enlightened by the OIG’s careful and even-handed analytical approach, it’s clear to me that I have been too rash in attributing base motives to these women without giving proper credit to their side of the story.

To illustrate this point, let me apply the OIG’s reserved and non-judgmental standards to the hypothetical case of Teacher 1 and Student A who have been caught naked in a car parked behind the local Piggly Wiggly. Herewith is an excerpt from the hypothetical report by the Pleasant Valley School District’s Office of Inspector General:.........To Read More....

From Comey to Strzok to Mueller

Who will stop those who couldn't stop Trump?

F.H. Buckley June 14, 2018

What’s the take-away from the Inspector-General’s Report about Comey and the FBI? The left is going to spin it as a vindication of their narrative. The New York Times even let Comey write an op-ed claiming the report backs him. That’s hogwash, and it looks as though he wrote the op-ed before he read the report, which called him insubordinate and guilty of serious errors of judgment. What’s clear is that his reputation is in tatters, that he deserved to be fired. In the future, no one will be able to treat him as a responsible authority, not without revealing their own, crippling biases.

As for the FBI, it too has taken a major hit. Senior agents, such as the infamous Peter Strzok, were found to be severely biased against Trump, and the Inspector General’s report found that their biases implied “a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” For example, the report noted that Strzok may have improperly prioritized the Russia investigation over the Clinton investigation during the final weeks of the campaign.....To Read More...

A Global ‘Right of Return’ to the U.S.? Who Knew?

Ilana Mercer, American Renaissance, June 15, 2018

“Whenever you hear an appeal to ‘permanent values’ . . . know you are dealing with world-class crooks.”

No good deed goes unpunished. Jeff Sessions wants to restore to America the “sound principles of asylum” and long-standing tenets of immigration law, abandoned by American leaders over the decades. That makes the attorney general a Hitler, to use liberal argumentation. Condemned for all eternity.   As the left sees it, if America isn’t going to police the world; it must at least provide shelter to all people from unpoliced parts of the world.

That’s the left’s reason du jour for opposing the restoration of American immigration sovereignty. And now, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is piling on..........
To Read More.....

There’s A Reason Liberals Are Always So Angry

Derek Hunter

Have you everwondered why rage seems to be “all the rage” with liberals these days? Every time you turn around there’s another march for this or protest against that recycled chants about how something “has got to go,” and a fawning media all too happy to report it as if it were news. It’s not news, of course, it’s a mass temper tantrum by political activists still unhappy their fellow Americans chose to reject Hillary Clinton in 2016. But there’s more to it than that, something strategic is at play............When you’re angry or when you’re scared you aren’t thinking straight, you’re acting on emotion........

To hear liberals tell it, this country is fundamentally racist and killing the planet. They, however, are the gatekeepers of fixing it all. (Never mind the fact that cities where they’ve had complete control for generations – Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. – are used for backdrops for movies about post-apocalyptic futures because they require so little set construction.) ............ ........There is an entire infrastructure in place to spread and perpetuate lies and exaggerations to keep people angry and afraid, to prevent them from thinking logically, to advance the liberal agenda. ....To Read More....

Anthony Bourdain—What the Media Eulogies Left Out

Humberto Fontova | Posted: Jun 16, 2018
“She (Paula Deen) revels in unholy connections with evil corporations….she’s unconscionable, cynical, and greedy.” (Anthony Bourdain, April 2012.) “Ultra-hipster” Bourdain specialized in snarking at travel and food-writers who “crassly commercialized” their reviews: such as in "The World's 50 Best List." "The guys who put together that list all call each other and horse trade. It's good for business, it's good for chefs, but I mean, no one takes it seriously. It's not even a popularity contest, it is a list brokered by a lot of people with common interests. They're in the business." In brief, Antony Bourdain wore his “anti-corporate hipness” on his shirtsleeve, always smirking and snarking that “evil corporations” and “crass commercialism” repelled him. ............. But just let these identical paragons of "feistiness" cross the Florida Straits and find themselves in front of "President" Castro or any of his apparatchiks—and suddenly he’s Eddie Haskell addressing June Cleaver. ........To Read More....

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The rise and fall of average IQ test scores

Dr. John J. Ray, June 17, 2018 @ Dissecting Leftism

I was just cranking up my aged brain to say something  the latest IQ findings when latest IQ findings when I found that young Oliver Moody of "The Times" has spared me the trouble. His summary is HERE. There are a few things I would like to add, however.

Perhaps the most interesting fact to emerge is that dumb women having more babies is not a problem. As long as I have been reading the literature on IQ, people have been worried about that. Are all these smart ladies who think no man is good enough for them degrading the average intelligence of the human race? Wonder of wonders, the latest research from Norway was able to rule that out.

Various people have pointed out that the dumbest females for various reasons tend to have NO babies and a majority of high IQ females do have some babies. And it was always hoped that those two effects would cancel one another out. And we now have grounds to believe that exactly that has happened.

A lot of interesting IQ research comes out of Norway and Sweden. The reason is that the Scandinavian countries are very authoritarian, which leads them to keep extensive records about each individual person in their countries. So if you can get access to government data you can base your research on the whole population, not just a sample, with all its attendant doubts and difficulties.

So what we now know with some confidence is that IQ scores rose during the first three quarters of the 20th century but then flattened out before going into a decline. And that could clearly not be due to genetic changes. Evolution doesn't work that fast.

So what WAS going on? There are two major possible explanations: Computer games and education. Blaming computer games has been going on as long as there have been computer games and it is in my mind just snobbery or some such: A convenient whipping boy for all sorts of ills. There is actually a fair bit of evidence that games and internet exposure generally are most likely to be good rather than bad for our brains.  (e.g. HERE and  HERE  and  HERE)

Additionally, like Piaget, I have tended to find the kids in my care to be instructive. My son, for instance, could load up and play his favourite computer game when he was two and he plays a lot of games to this day now he is in his 30s and works as an IT professional. And what I saw was that game playing is normally quite social. There will usually be other kids hanging around and talking even with single-user games and some games are quite educational in themselves. My son learnt most of his ancient history from "sims" set in that era. He learnt precious little ancient history at school. So I personally exonerate games from being bad for most people.

So what DID go wrong? Just one thing can account for both the rise and fall in measured IQs: Testing.

During my schooldays in the '50s testing was all the rage. We even did IQ tests at least once a year. And there were heaps of in-school tests. From about grade 3 on, for instance, we would have weekly spelling tests -- in which a kid got a list of 10 words that he had to learn how to spell. Being a born academic, I always got 10 out of 10 and was regularly praised for it. Which was a bit unfair because I put zero work into it. I just had to see a word once to know how to spell it. I still do.

And I think that is one example of a huge difference between then and now. Education used to be COMPETITIVE and "winners" got all the praise. And nobody apologized for that.

It seems to me that there should be no great difficulty in arranging prizes for both ability and effort but the Left have simply closed their eyes to ability

By about 1975 or thereabouts, however, the political Left had got a vice-like grip on education worldwide. Even in chapter 48 of my 1974 book, I noted its encroachment. And Leftists HATE competition because it clashes with their idiotic and counterfactual belief that "All men are equal". To validate that gospel, therefore, all had to have prizes, not just one kid. And if you believe that all men are equal, there would be no point in testing. If the marks come out all the same, what would be the point? But the marks don't come out all the same so to avoid that reality, you just don't do testing if you can avoid it.

The rise in measured IQ scores during the first three quarters of c20 has been the cause of much discussion and the most usual explanation for it is that it was due to the steady expansion of education during that era. More kids gradually got more education as the century wore on. And that was highly relevant to performance on IQ tests. All the testing you did at school made you "test-wise" and that helped you to do well on IQ tests.

You learnt, for instance that ever useful strategy of: "If you don't know, guess". Some guesses will be right and that will raise your overall score. IQ subtests that were not facilitated by testing -- breadth of vocabulary for instance -- showed very little rise in scores. You know what an uncommon word means or you don't. So it was environmental rather than genetic factors that explains the rise in average IQ scores -- known generally as the "Flynn" effect.

But the dominance of Leftism wiped all that. Leftists have a horror of competition so avoided testing at all costs. So an education no longer helped you to do well on IQ tests. And as Leftism gradually tightened its grip, the education effect on IQ scores shrank and shrank. So IQ scores declined gradually over the years.

It's consoling to note however, that the genetic contribution to IQ test score has not changed. We are still as bright as we ever were and what we are genetically is increasingly the sole thing reflected in the IQ test scores

Obama had direct contact with Clinton on private email server: IG report

GOPUSA Staff June 15, 2018

President Obama was one of a select handful of individuals who had “direct contact” with Hillary Clinton on her private email account, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz indicated in his bombshell report Thursday on the Clinton email probe. In a footnote, the DOJ watchdog notes that “FBI analysts and Prosecutor 2 told us that former President Barack Obama was one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her account.” The IG report adds that Obama used a pseudonym for his username and that, after intelligence analysts questioned whether Obama’s communications contained classified information, it was determined the emails sent and received were not classified....To Read More...


Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics


I Think They Get It Now, Part Cinque: Italy

Read Part IPart IIPart III and Part IV.

In any discussion of foreign affairs the same list of powerful countries have been bubbling up for decades, if not centuries. The order often shifts, but the countries themselves tend to hold on: the United States, Russia (aka the USSR), Japan, the United Kingdom (aka the British Empire), France, Germany (aka Prussia). There’s also a secondary list of largely regional powers: Iran, Turkey, India, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Sweden. Israel, Korea and Pakistan are relative newcomers to the second list while China has graduated from the latter list to the former.

One country that most don’t spare thoughts for, however, has been one of the world’s top ten economies ever since humanity developed sufficient command of statistics to come up with the list in the first place. That country is Italy, and it is about to crash back into the world as a significant player.

But first, it has to…crash. Hard.

Contemporary Italy is beyond dysfunctional.

  • The country is flat out broke -- only Japan and Greece have national debts that are higher in relative terms.

  • Its banking sector is arguably the most overextended in the world, with a relative weight of bad loans that is eighty times that of the United States at the height of the subprime crisis.

  • Unemployment is at a level that would spawn riots in the United States.

  • The birthrate collapsed thirty years ago and never recovered. Its population is one of the ten most rapidly aging on the planet, and already well past the point of meaningful recovery.

  • The country’s current pension overhang is already among the worst in the world, and that before the Italian Baby Boomer generation even begins to retire.

  • Italy suffered greatly during the European financial crisis and its economy hasn’t seen appreciable growth since 1998.

  • Citizen trust in government is so low as to barely register in opinion polls. And the political situation is an utter circus, complete with actual clowns or, more accurately, a populist comedian but you get the idea. The Italian equivalent of the Republicans and the Democrats have been gutted to the point of extinction, being displaced by an alliance that could only happen in Italy: a pair of parties that most closely resemble Texan secessionists (the Northern League) and Bernie Sanders…if Bernie Sanders was a career comedian who used a lot of racist jokes and opened rallies with the song “America-F*** Yeah” (the Five Star Movement).

What’s the way forward here? There isn’t one, except national collapse. Italy as a modern political economy is already over. The only reason it has not passed into history already is that it is lashed into the European Union. There are many structural issues embedded within the European system that could bring the entire edifice down. The United States withdrawing from the global order is one. The death of Italy is another. Weighing in at over $2 trillion dollars, the Italian system isn’t too big to fail -- it is too big to save.

But from the rot of the current system, from the end of a Europe that is united and free, something new is about to arrive. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that something old is about to return.
The Italian core territory is unlike anything else in the world. The Po Valley is a rich land with a perfect climate nearly encapsulated by some of the world’s most rugged mountains. The Po’s entire northern horizon are the European Alps. Even with today’s technology and centuries of infrastructure building in what was until very recently the world’s richest continent, the Alps still remain a massive barrier to communication, much less armored columns. To the south the Apennine Mountains of the Apennine Peninsula are certainly less imposing, but the utter lack of large chunks of flat land (and the fact that southern Italy is a peninsula of peninsulas) make it both a non-challenge to the economic and political supremacy of the Po as well as an at best imperfect invasion route.

In the Po’s near neighborhood there are no meaningful threats. To the north -- across the Alps -- are Switzerland and Austria, a Germanic pair of countries far more concerned with issues on the Northern European Plain than in the Po. To the east are the minor and often failed states of the Western and Southern Balkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Greece. None of which -- individually or in concert -- can hold a candle to Italy’s economic heft, and none of which -- individually or in concert -- pose even a modicum of a security threat. (If anything, their bickering chaos provides Italians with a massive strategic buffer.) To the south across the Mediterranean is Northern Africa, a region that has not posed a meaningful danger to Southern Europe since Christopher Columbus was a teenager.

That just leaves its western neighbor, France. The Italians may have some differences of opinions with the French, but since the Franco-Italian border is a chunk of the Alps and the Po’s window on the world lies far to France’s east via the Adriatic, it is rare for the pair to butt heads. Add in a moderate sized navy of moderate skill -- which the Italians have -- and the Po is if anything more secure than the United Kingdom.

And that’s how we must think of the Po -- as an island. Separate from Europe, separate even from the rest of Italy. Within that distinction lies the Italians’ future.

In the world before World War II the Po Valley was one of, and at many times the, economic powerhouse of the both Europe and the Greater Mediterranean. Its physical separation and inviolability made it the logical location to broker deals, to install infrastructure central to the economic health of the broader region, and to serve as trade middlemen for everything that mattered.

Part of the attraction of the Americans’ installation of a global security order was that geography mattered less, so countries with often-compromised geographies could shine -- in many cases for the first time. For the Po Italians whose geography was their ticket to centrality and wealth, this sort of sucked. Had they not been on the wrong side during the war and not already been issued an opinion on the matter, they may well have sat out membership.

As the Bretton Woods order expanded, as the European Continent unified under the aegis of the European Union, as stability spread, what made the Po special became less so. Italy as a whole saw its position slide. With the end of the Cold War the Po is little more than a rich backwater. Italy as a whole hasn’t seen meaningful economic growth in nearly two decades, and its end is nigh.

But Trump’s actions at the G7 indicate that the system that has so enriched the rest of the world and so stabilized Europe -- in part at Italy’s expense -- is at its end. Remove global stability, remove the European Union and NATO, break the supply chains that supply the global system with everything from cars to crude, and all of a sudden the Po’s island-but-not-an-island geography combined with its relative centrality makes it the place to be.

So what kind of place will the Po become? What does it have to offer?

First, a step back to frame the discussion:

Just as the Po Valley and “Italy” are not the same thing, the Po Valley itself isn’t one place. The cities of Northern Italy in many cases have identities and histories just as distinct from one another as full-blown European countries. Verona, Trento, Parma, Bologna, Milan, Venice, Turin, and Genoa were all independent players from the fall of the Roman Empire right up until Italian Unification in the 1870s. That means they only rarely act as a unit, and the emphasis of all things Italian has always been on diversification and differentiation.

In the world of energy it means the Italians maintain one of the most varied set of refineries in the world, able to take in any crude stream and process it into any end product. Today Italy boasts roughly double the refining capacity they need. Toss in the sort of economic adjustment that comes from state collapse and dollar to donuts the Italians’ surplus capacity will soon make them the largest source of available refined product within three thousand miles in a world where energy security for most is a long-faded dream.

In the world of manufacturing it means the Italians make things a bit differently. For Italians wares are not about assembly lines or efficiency -- that requires economies of scale and integration. The Italian cities compete with one another instead. They don’t share. They keep all the steps in house, so it is all about expression and perfection. The sort of long, gangly, multinational supply chains that can only survive in a world of stability and global market access are not the sort of things Italians do well. Think Fiat. So instead of mass producing serviceable items, the Italians hand-craft products that could easily be mistaken as art. Think Lamborghini and Versace. That sort of “manufacturing” does just fine when the world falls apart.

The problem with this machinery-as-art model is labor. It literally takes a lifetime to train a Ferrari craftsman. It is something the new manufacturing techniques that are sweeping the American industrial space cannot integrate into. The Italians don’t hate immigrants for simply the standard religious, ethnic and economic reasons, but also because immigrants simply cannot help with the problem the Po faces.

Nor is this new. Nor is it constrained to outsiders.

The Po Valley versus Italy’s south is a study of polar opposites; the Po’s sophistication and productivity contrasts sharply with the statist rot, civil breakdown, organized crime, and poverty of the South. Between unification and 1940, southern Italians moved en masse to work in northern factories. This was at a time when Northern Italian sentiments toward many in Southern Italy was racist in a generous sense. Even Mussolini's son-in-law is said to have privately mused that perhaps it would have been better to be born a Jew than a Sicilian in Fascist Italy (against the backdrop of the Holocaust, no less). Today, the south’s population is smaller, older and sicker relative to the north than ever before. It is already on the ragged edge of failed statedom, and northerners fear southern in-migration nearly as much as they resist boatloads of migrants from Africa.

Northern Italy doesn’t need Southern Italy for anything in the traditional sense: labor, market, capital, technology, food, even strategic depth. What the Po does need is free access to the Mediterranean for oil inflows and trade outflows (and perhaps the refineries that dot the southern coastlines). It needs Southern Italy to be in a box that also contains the Southern Italians and blocks would-be migrants from the world beyond. It needs to be able to treat the south as an occupied territory.

There’s really only one governing system that can fit that bill: Fascist. Again, this isn’t new. Fascism was well established in Italy a decade before Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Germany for much of the same reasons.

Assuming the Italians of the Po can constrain and contain the Italians of the south, there is little need to venture further out. The Po will again become the lynchpin between the Middle East and Africa on one side, and Europe on the other. The Italians’ very lack of strategic ambition makes them the perfect middleman. About the only weakness in such a system is ensuring sufficient inflows of crude so that Italy can be a large refining center. There’s nothing new here either: The Northern Italian cities have been brokering deals with whoever controls the Eastern Mediterranean for the commodities of the day for over a millennium.

To paraphrase an old European saying: Italy is dead. Long live Italy.

To Protect Non-Profit Donors from Government Persecution, Limit IRS Data Collection

June 15, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

It’s a judgement call, of course, but I think the IRS’s suppression of the Tea Party was the worst of all the Obama-era scandals.

Some people say the green-energy scams like Solyndra should be at the top of the list, but steering taxpayer money to campaign donors was just routine corruption. And the fast-and-furious scandal at the BATF was reprehensible, but did not have systemic impact on society.

Lois Lerner and the other hacks at the IRS, however, did something profoundly worse. They actively used the coercive power of government to suppress political speech.

The bad news is that Lois Lerner didn’t get punished. She’s now enjoying a fat taxpayer-financed pension. And other IRS officials successfully stonewalled with no adverse consequences.

Heck, Republicans actually rewarded the IRS with a bigger budget. And the Trump Administration so far has been AWOL on curtailing IRS abuses

But that may be about to change. One of the President’s appointees has expressed support for protecting donors to nonprofit organizations.

The Wall Street Journal recently opined on this topic.
….a Congressional hearing this week offered potentially good news to nonprofits whose donors are under political threat. …Montana Republican Steve Daines asked Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter whether the agency is considering the necessity of IRS 990 Schedule B. These are the forms that nonprofits must supply to the IRS listing donors who contribute more than $5,000. Schedule Bs are supposed to remain confidential, but AGs in New York and California have sought to require nonprofits to file them at the state level. Many Democrats see the form as a gift-wrapped list of donors to target, and a way to chill donations to conservative nonprofits. …Mr. Kautter acknowledged that he was “actively involved” along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin at offering more donor protection. …Nonprofits would still be required to keep their donor details, and if the IRS or other authorities had valid reason to suspect fraud they could demand to see the records. But requiring nonprofits to provide names each year to partisan AGs or tax bureaucrats is an invitation to repeat the scandal of the Obama years when Lois Lerner and the IRS targeted conservative nonprofits.
Brian Garst of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity also weighed in on the issue, pointing out that government has a sorry track record of persecuting political dissent.
…robust protections for speech were listed first among the Bill of Rights and have long been a cornerstone of our republic. …Like the secret ballot, respecting donor privacy and thus anonymous speech and association is essential to prevent majoritarian abuse and intimidation that subverts democracy. This was a lesson learned in the civil rights era after the shameful attacks on the NAACP and its supporters. …Lois Lerner was found to have illegally shared confidential Form 990 taxpayer information with the Federal Election Commission.
The solution is to not let the government get the information in the first place, especially since it isn’t needed to enforce any tax laws.
Unfortunately, invasive donor reporting requirements instituted by the Internal Revenue Service threaten to chill this critical democratic tool. …Schedule B requires 501(c) organizations to include certain contributors’ names and addresses with their annual Form 990 reports. Yet the IRS has acknowledged that this information has no enforcement value. Instead, its collection creates opportunities for abuse and chills speech and civic participation. …there’s good reason to question the ability of the government to protect sensitive taxpayer information given the history of inadvertent disclosures and information leaks at the IRS. …For minority viewpoints, public exposure can lead to intimidation… Several years ago, the IRS was said to be considering dropping the unnecessary Schedule B reporting requirement, which it was never required by statute to collect in the first place. Unfortunately, the agency did not follow through under President Barack Obama… The Trump administration should do what the Obama administration would not and ensure the right of Americans to participate in the political process without fear that they will be made vulnerable to targeting based on their political views.
Well said.

Though I think both Brian and the WSJ should have gone even farther and called for the abolition of the charitable deduction in the tax code as part of a shift to a simple and fair flat tax.

Then there would be zero rationale for the government to know about our donations. And since there’s plenty of evidence that nonprofits would prosper without a special preference in the tax code, this would be a win-win reform.

P.S. Privacy is an under-appreciated benefit of fundamental tax reform. Not only would donors and nonprofits no longer have to share information with the IRS under a flat tax, we also wouldn’t need to tell the government anything about our homes since the mortgage interest deduction would vanish.

And since the death tax and capital gains tax are abolished, the government would have no need to know about our assets. And since all capital income is taxed at the business level, we wouldn’t have to tell the government about any stocks, bonds, or bank accounts we own.

Many 1st-Time, Post-Op Users of Painkillers Stay on Them. But Addiction? Not Quite.

By Erik Lief — June 14, 2018

More than six percent of surgical patients who received opioid painkillers – but had never taken them previously – developed a "persistent habit" or addiction after the normal recovery period for taking them ended. That's a key finding from a newly-published paper that reviewed insurance claim data for a recent six-year period. This nationwide retrospective study focused on adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and 64 who underwent surgery and filled post-operative opioid prescriptions. Both major and minor surgeries were included in the project............. However, it's important to note an essential distinction between implying that this behavior is an addiction – which it isn't necessarily – as opposed to saying the medication is being used "beyond the normal recovery period." ............"Some of these surgical patients are going to have procedures – say, for example, disc fusion – that not only didn't work, but also made their pain worse," Dr. Bloom added. "Naturally, in these cases, the patient is going to be on the painkillers for longer because they will have more pain. So in the context of this study, it's important not to categorize prolonged opioid use as addiction.".......To Read More....

Sarah Sanders rips CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences’

Washington Times June 15, 2018

Biblical teachings, the U.S. southern border and the listening comprehension skills of CNN’s Jim Acosta all converged into a single debate this week during a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and CNN’s chief White House correspondent got into a testy exchange on Thursday over the incarceration of illegal immigrants crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. At issue were comments by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on “Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” ........Mrs. Sanders, seemingly frustrated with Mr. Acosta’s demand to talk about specifics instead of broader biblical principles, shot back: “That’s not what I said. I know it’s hard for you to understand even short sentences I guess, but please don’t take my words out of context.”...........To Read More.....

President Trump unloads on Comey, ‘scum on top’ of FBI a day after damning IG report’s release

GOPUSA Staff June 15, 2018

President Trump broke his silence on the scathing inspector general’s report with a vengeance Friday, first tweeting that the FBI boss he fired was the “worst” in the bureau’s history, then crashing “Fox & Friends” for an impromptu interview where he continued to blister the “scum on top” of the Obama-era bureau........To Read More.....

Bogus IG Report: Now It's Up to Freedom Watch

Larry Klayman has plan to try, convict, jail Clintons, Obama et al.

By Larry Klayman WND June 15, 2018

The long-awaited report of the inspector general (IG) of the U.S. Department of Justice was released Thursday, and predictably, it was a whitewash and cover-up.

While making certain factual findings that former FBI Director James Comey was "insubordinate" and that his henchmen such as "lovebirds" Peter Strzok and Lisa Page went after the presidential candidate Donald Trump to prevent him from becoming president, the IG report holds no one accountable to the bar of justice. To add insult to injury, current FBI Director Christopher Wray, a deep state swamp creature, says that all that will come of the IG's findings is that they will be forwarded to another DOJ agency, the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), for possible internal disciplinary action. In common terms, this means that no one will be criminally indicted and that the worst that can happen is that a few sacrificial lambs will be let go...........Continue Reading.....

Sex, Lies, and Betrayal at the FBI

Washington Times June 15, 2018

If Jeff Sessions and Christopher Wray want to clean house at the FBI, they’ll be well advised to pack a good lunch. Cleaning this house will be an all-day job. The agency under James Comey has been more corrupt than we thought.

The long-awaited findings of the inspector general at the Justice Department were finally released Thursday, and it reveals clearly that officials high up in the food chain were out to protect Hillary Clinton by any means necessary.

The inspector general discovered a smoking gun, and, if we are to believe our eyes, couldn’t see clearly whether there was a bullet in it. Peter Strzok, the FBI official who was a major player in the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s private email server reveals just how the FBI was conducting the investigation.

It is not reassuring reading.

Three months before the election, when it was just beginning to dawn on Washington that Donald Trump might not be the clown that just about everyone in the media was saying he was, Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and Mr. Strzok’s off-campus lover, was so worried that Mr. Trump might be elected, she couldn’t wait for reassurance in pillow talk. She sent a semi-desperate text message to the lover.

“Trump’s not ever going to become president, right? Right?”

Mr. Strzok replied: “No. No, he’s not. We’ll stop it.”..........To Read More.....

Jennifer Rubin: MSNBC’s Fake Conservative

by Larry Horist June 14, 2108

I have read a number of Jennifer Rubin’s opinion articles for the Washington Post. I have seen several of her appearances as a contributor, mostly on MSNBC. I have always considered her the personification of the snobby and bubble encased #NeverTrump journalist.

To get a sense of her perspective, here is the lead paragraph from a recent editorial.

“After President Trump’s atrocious and irrational behavior leading up to and at the Group of Seven summit, the disintegration of the liberal world order in place since the end of World War II and the potential for a serious international crisis no longer seem hard to imagine. The president, unmoved by history, ignorant of facts and guided by sycophants, has not been forced to grapple with the real world nor to hear views that don’t coincide with his twisted worldview, in which allies are ripping us off and aggressive strongmen are to be admired and accommodated.”

This is neither atypical nor even her harshest attack on President Trump. In her appearances on such shows as Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Last Word,” she pleases her host – and earns her invitations – by parroting what can only be described as the hyper-hyperbolic narrative of O’Donnell and his producers. She offers almost no new information or difference in perspective – but rather parrots screeds that fall on my ears like the sound effects for Godzilla. ........To Read More....

Friday, June 15, 2018

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics

I Think They Get It Now, Part Four: The UK

Read Part IPart II and Part III.

The United Kingdom has been the United States’ firmest and most capable ally for over a half century. As such many often think of the British Prime Minster as a sort of Washington Whisperer. The Brits, so the thinking goes, are a civilized people who can bring the oftentimes erratic Americans around to a saner course of action.

As one of the United Kingdom’s great statesmen, Winston Churchill, famously put it: “You can always count upon the Americans to do the right thing… after trying everything else.” The quote is as much an homage to the immense power of the United States, as it is to the trademark patience, dry humor and stiff upper lip of the English.

And so it is with no surprise that many world leaders have called upon British Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene on humanity’s account with U.S. President Donald Trump. But it is no surprise to me that she has done nothing of the sort. Nor will she. It is all wrapped up in why the United Kingdom is a major power in the first place.

The United Kingdom matters not simply because Great Britain is an island, or because the Kingdom has the naval power to defend its island, but because the Kingdom has sufficient naval strength to project power well beyond its island. That enables the Brits to pick the time and place of the conflicts they choose to engage in. Even if they choose poorly, they can always pack up, sail away and try again later. Clashes that leave most in ruin at most force an early election in the Kingdom.

There are only two things that could undo this strength. First, the United Kingdom’s flexible strength could be overwhelmed by a more powerful navy. Since the only Atlantic Ocean navy that is more powerful is the American Navy, this is a low risk. Second, the United Kingdom could for whatever reason find its navy degraded to the point that it can no longer project power. And that is precisely the challenge facing the United Kingdom today.

Ironically, painfully, the UK’s current naval weakness comes directly from an attempt to generate strength.

It is difficult for any student of global strategy who is not willingly blind to ignore the role played by the American supercarriers. The Nimitz class carriers are not simply the largest combatants ever floated, as a rule they pack at least seven times the combat capabilities of any rival naval vessel – including the largest carriers floated by other countries. The Nimitz ships have enabled the Americans to project power not just anywhere on any ocean or coast, but in most cases several hundred miles inland as well. Without nuclear weapons they are the most powerful conventional weapons systems any country has ever fielded, and just one of them if nuclear-armed has more firepower than the entire military of France. (No, that is not a France slam. The supers are simply that cool.) The Americans have ten of them. The combined rest of the world? Zero.

So long as the Nimitz carriers (or their soon-to-be successors in the Ford class) are the top shelf of military capacity, anyone seeking to oppose the Americans has to find a way to push the Americans at least a thousand miles away from shore (ergo why the Chinese are so heavily invested into long range anti-ship missiles). And should any naval power seek to ally with the Americans, they will always be entirely in the shadow of the massive, raw American power that the Nimitz ships provide. So long as the Americans are the only people with fully-operational supercarriers, no one but the Americans gets a vote as to how the Americans and their allies perform global strategic policy – even if you are one of the allies.

There are a lot of non-blind students of global strategy in the United Kingdom, and about two decades ago they all came to the same conclusion: if the UK is to matter at all, we must have our own supercarrier. And since, like any other vessel, ongoing refits are part of the process, we must have at least two. The end result was the launching of the Queen Elizabeth carrier program. Weighing in at 65,000 tons displacement they will be the largest combat ships ever floated with the notable exceptions of their inspirations: America’s Nimitz and Ford classes. Fully operational, they will give the Brits exactly what they are after: a seat at a table for two, the only table that matters. When the first ship of the new class started sea trials in December 2017, a veritable army of bubbly erupted at Whitehall.

Just one problem. The Brits screwed it up a little bit.

Maintaining weapons development systems over multiple decades and multiple administrations is difficult. In the time since the plans for the Queen Elizabeth class were first floated, the Brits have had a dozen elections and five prime ministers (and unless my political tea-leaf reading has gone completely off the rails, they’ll have a sixth before long). With each change of leadership there is a change in priorities, and oftentimes life rudely intervenes. Financial crises of the Asian, European and global kind have competed with the British Navy for resources. The Iraq War, the Afghan War and the Libyan intervention ruthlessly pulled British defense prerogatives away from the sea and towards land. The Joint Strike Fighter development program has gone egregiously, criminally, hilariously over budget.

At each step the Queen Elizabeth carrier program had to re-justify itself and fight for funding anew. In the process the Brits found themselves forced to mothball their existing jump carrier fleet in total in order to funnel resources to the new supercarriers’ construction effort. The Brits had to transfer their navy aircraft, pilots and flight crews to the U.S. Navy in order to maintain any hint of naval aviation capacity. And now, with Brexit looming, they’re having to slim the rest of the naval force to keep their supercarrier program on track.

Which means the Brits no longer have sufficient ships to protect their new supers once they are fully operational.

Carriers are not just massive and massively capable combatants, they also represent years if not decades of investment into equipment and personnel, and while they cannot be sunk easily, sunk they most certainly can be. As such every carrier is but the nucleus of a battle group, with all the other vessels’ primary purpose to ensure the carrier does not sink. The British Navy has atrophied so much for so long that it can no longer assemble two credible battlegroups and still defend Great Britain itself.

For the Queen Elizabeths’ deployments, this is nothing short of a Charlie Foxtrot. The new British supercarriers dare not venture further away from shore than the reach of British air power, whether that air power be launched from the United Kingdom itself or from the territory of a trusted ally. Support ships can certainly be built up more quickly (and cheaply) than the supercarriers themselves, but ships don’t grow on trees. This will be the state of the British Navy for at least a decade. Probably two.

This presents London – the naval power par excellence of earlier eras – with a galling choice:
1.Abandon all hope of ever projecting power, and treat its shiny new supercarriers as the same sort of idiotic chest-beating paperweights the old Soviet “carrier” was,
2.Fold its supercarriers into the Americans’ battle groups and de facto merge with the United States on all strategic policy… and hope against experience, culture and hope itself that the Americans will listen to your strategic opinions because you contributed a couple big boats.
The decision has already been made. The Brits know better than to fly solo, and they certainly know better than to fly solo against the Americans. The key memory is the 1956 Suez Crisis.

At that time the Brits were certain when the Americans said under the Bretton Woods system all the empires would be disbanded, that it didn’t apply to the British Empire. The British assault on Egypt inadvertently forced the Americans to choose between maintaining the British Empire and their own new global order. It wasn’t a hard choice. The result was strategic castration – with the Americans using all their ample political, financial and military strength to force the United Kingdom into a permanent, subservient position within the alliance that has lasted ever since.

To underline how annoyed the Americans were, they also forced the Brits to stick to the letter of the deals signed to support the United Kingdom against Nazi Germany in the early days of World War II before the Americans themselves were involved. The terms of such loans were so onerous that the Brits didn’t finish paying them off until the 2000s.

And so the Brits have no choice but to stiffen that lip and march forward into the very much known.
•They will seek a direct bilateral trade deal with the Americans in order to replace the European Union at the core of their economic strategy. It may have fewer regulations, but it won’t enable the United Kingdom to be as wealthy as they have been, and the Americans will offer few concessions because the Brits are economically and strategically without options.
•They will surrender the financial centrality of London to New York City either as part of the trade negotiations in the hopes they can glean a few concessions on other topics, or because without a firm Brexit deal the financial sector will up and leave London anyway.
•Should the Trump administration manage to extract a final NAFTA deal from the chaos of the current negotiations, the Brits will grudgingly sign on knowing full well that direct competition from Mexico will do to the United Kingdom what Team Trump says Mexico has done to the United States. The alternative is to be a forgotten side deal only tenuously linked to the American market.  
•And no matter what military adventure the Americans go on, the Brits will be there. They know better than anyone it is far better to be in the Americans’ shadow than in the Americans’ way.
Put simply: what Trump wants, Trump gets. It’s that simple, because if the goal is security and stability for the British people, there is no other option.

This might sound humbling, horrible even. But it really is not. So the Brits don’t matter strategically on their own. They are still safe. They are still wealthy. With the world crumbling down there are worse sides of history to be on than being an adjunct to the Americans. And isn’t it the fate – if perhaps not the goal – of most parents to eventually move in with the kids?