Critical Race Theory: Christopher F. Rufo

Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It
March 2021 • Volume 50, Number 3 • Christopher F. Rufo
Christopher F. Rufo
Founder and Director, Battlefront

Christopher F. Rufo is founder and director of Battlefront, a public policy research center. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and a former Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. As executive director at the Documentary Foundation, he has directed four films for PBS, including most recently America Lost, which explores life in Youngstown, Ohio, Memphis, Tennessee, and Stockton, California. He is also a contributing editor of City Journal, where he covers topics including critical race theory, homelessness, addiction, and crime.

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on March 30, 2021.

Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy. Yet most Americans have never heard of it—and of those who have, many don’t understand it. It’s time for this to change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it.
In explaining critical race theory, it helps to begin with a brief history of Marxism. Originally, the Marxist Left built its political program on the theory of class conflict. Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution: the workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class, and usher in a new socialist society.
During the 20th century, a number of regimes underwent Marxist-style revolutions, and each ended in disaster. Socialist governments in the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Cuba, and elsewhere racked up a body count of nearly 100 million of their own people. They are remembered for their gulags, show trials, executions, and mass starvations. In practice, Marx’s ideas unleashed man’s darkest brutalities.
By the mid-1960s, Marxist intellectuals in the West had begun to acknowledge these failures. They recoiled at revelations of Soviet atrocities and came to realize that workers’ revolutions would never occur in Western Europe or the United States, where there were large middle classes and rapidly improving standards of living. Americans in particular had never developed a sense of class consciousness or class division. Most Americans believed in the American dream—the idea that they could transcend their origins through education, hard work, and good citizenship.
But rather than abandon their Leftist political project, Marxist scholars in the West simply adapted their revolutionary theory to the social and racial unrest of the 1960s. Abandoning Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, they substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethnic categories.
Fortunately, the early proponents of this revolutionary coalition in the U.S. lost out in the 1960s to the civil rights movement, which sought instead the fulfillment of the American promise of freedom and equality under the law. Americans preferred the idea of improving their country to that of overthrowing it. The vision of Martin Luther King, Jr., President Johnson’s pursuit of the Great Society, and the restoration of law and order promised by President Nixon in his 1968 campaign defined the post-1960s American political consensus.
But the radical Left has proved resilient and enduring—which is where critical race theory comes in.
WHAT IT IS
Critical race theory is an academic discipline, formulated in the 1990s, built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. Relegated for many years to universities and obscure academic journals, over the past decade it has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions. It has been injected into government agencies, public school systems, teacher training programs, and corporate human resources departments in the form of diversity training programs, human resources modules, public policy frameworks, and school curricula.
There are a series of euphemisms deployed by its supporters to describe critical race theory, including “equity,” “social justice,” “diversity and inclusion,” and “culturally responsive teaching.” Critical race theorists, masters of language construction, realize that “neo-Marxism” would be a hard sell. Equity, on the other hand, sounds non-threatening and is easily confused with the American principle of equality. But the distinction is vast and important. Indeed, equality—the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, defended in the Civil War, and codified into law with the 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965—is explicitly rejected by critical race theorists. To them, equality represents “mere nondiscrimination” and provides “camouflage” for white supremacy, patriarchy, and oppression.
In contrast to equality, equity as defined and promoted by critical race theorists is little more than reformulated Marxism. In the name of equity, UCLA Law Professor and critical race theorist Cheryl Harris has proposed suspending private property rights, seizing land and wealth and redistributing them along racial lines. Critical race guru Ibram X. Kendi, who directs the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Antiracism. This department would be independent of (i.e., unaccountable to) the elected branches of government, and would have the power to nullify, veto, or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others who are deemed insufficiently “antiracist.”
One practical result of the creation of such a department would be the overthrow of capitalism, since according to Kendi, “In order to truly be antiracist, you also have to truly be anti-capitalist.” In other words, identity is the means and Marxism is the end.
An equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property, but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism, and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination, and omnipotent bureaucratic authority. Historically, the accusation of “anti-Americanism” has been overused. But in this case, it’s not a matter of interpretation—critical race theory prescribes a revolutionary program that would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.
HOW IT WORKS
What does critical race theory look like in practice? Last year, I authored a series of reports focused on critical race theory in the federal government. The FBI was holding workshops on intersectionality theory. The Department of Homeland Security was telling white employees they were committing “microinequities” and had been “socialized into oppressor roles.” The Treasury Department held a training session telling staff members that “virtually all white people contribute to racism” and that they must convert “everyone in the federal government” to the ideology of “antiracism.” And the Sandia National Laboratories, which designs America’s nuclear arsenal, sent white male executives to a three-day reeducation camp, where they were told that “white male culture” was analogous to the “KKK,” “white supremacists,” and “mass killings.” The executives were then forced to renounce their “white male privilege” and write letters of apology to fictitious women and people of color.
This year, I produced another series of reports focused on critical race theory in education. In Cupertino, California, an elementary school forced first-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, and rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.” In Springfield, Missouri, a middle school forced teachers to locate themselves on an “oppression matrix,” based on the idea that straight, white, English-speaking, Christian males are members of the oppressor class and must atone for their privilege and “covert white supremacy.” In Philadelphia, an elementary school forced fifth-graders to celebrate “Black communism” and simulate a Black Power rally to free 1960s radical Angela Davis from prison, where she had once been held on charges of murder. And in Seattle, the school district told white teachers that they are guilty of “spirit murder” against black children and must “bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.”
I’m just one investigative journalist, but I’ve developed a database of more than 1,000 of these stories. When I say that critical race theory is becoming the operating ideology of our public institutions, it is not an exaggeration—from the universities to bureaucracies to k-12 school systems, critical race theory has permeated the collective intelligence and decision-making process of American government, with no sign of slowing down.
This is a revolutionary change. When originally established, these government institutions were presented as neutral, technocratic, and oriented towards broadly-held perceptions of the public good. Today, under the increasing sway of critical race theory and related ideologies, they are being turned against the American people. This isn’t limited to the permanent bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., but is true as well of institutions in the states, even in red states, and it is spreading to county public health departments, small Midwestern school districts, and more. This ideology will not stop until it has devoured all of our institutions.
FUTILE RESISTANCE
Thus far, attempts to halt the encroachment of critical race theory have been ineffective. There are a number of reasons for this.
First, too many Americans have developed an acute fear of speaking up about social and political issues, especially those involving race. According to a recent Gallup poll, 77 percent of conservatives are afraid to share their political beliefs publicly. Worried about getting mobbed on social media, fired from their jobs, or worse, they remain quiet, largely ceding the public debate to those pushing these anti-American ideologies. Consequently, the institutions themselves become monocultures: dogmatic, suspicious, and hostile to a diversity of opinion. Conservatives in both the federal government and public school systems have told me that their “equity and inclusion” departments serve as political offices, searching for and stamping out any dissent from the official orthodoxy.
Second, critical race theorists have constructed their argument like a mousetrap. Disagreement with their program becomes irrefutable evidence of a dissenter’s “white fragility,” “unconscious bias,” or “internalized white supremacy.” I’ve seen this projection of false consciousness on their opponents play out dozens of times in my reporting. Diversity trainers will make an outrageous claim—such as “all whites are intrinsically oppressors” or “white teachers are guilty of spirit murdering black children”—and then when confronted with disagreement, they adopt a patronizing tone and explain that participants who feel “defensiveness” or “anger” are reacting out of guilt and shame. Dissenters are instructed to remain silent, “lean into the discomfort,” and accept their “complicity in white supremacy.”
Third, Americans across the political spectrum have failed to separate the premise of critical race theory from its conclusion. Its premise—that American history includes slavery and other injustices, and that we should examine and learn from that history—is undeniable. But its revolutionary conclusion—that America was founded on and defined by racism and that our founding principles, our Constitution, and our way of life should be overthrown—does not rightly, much less necessarily, follow.
Fourth and finally, the writers and activists who have had the courage to speak out against critical race theory have tended to address it on the theoretical level, pointing out the theory’s logical contradictions and dishonest account of history. These criticisms are worthy and good, but they move the debate into the academic realm, which is friendly terrain for proponents of critical race theory. They fail to force defenders of this revolutionary ideology to defend the practical consequences of their ideas in the realm of politics.
POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
No longer simply an academic matter, critical race theory has become a tool of political power. To borrow a phrase from the Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, it is fast achieving “cultural hegemony” in America’s public institutions. More and more, it is driving the vast machinery of the state and society. If we want to succeed in opposing it, we must address it politically at every level.
Critical race theorists must be confronted with and forced to speak to the facts. Do they support public schools separating first-graders into groups of “oppressors” and “oppressed”? Do they support mandatory curricula teaching that “all white people play a part in perpetuating systemic racism”? Do they support public schools instructing white parents to become “white traitors” and advocate for “white abolition”? Do they want those who work in government to be required to undergo this kind of reeducation? How about managers and workers in corporate America? How about the men and women in our military? How about every one of us?
There are three parts to a successful strategy to defeat the forces of critical race theory: governmental action, grassroots mobilization, and an appeal to principle.
We already see examples of governmental action. Last year, one of my reports led President Trump to issue an executive order banning critical race theory-based training programs in the federal government. President Biden rescinded this order on his first day in office, but it provides a model for governors and municipal leaders to follow. This year, several state legislatures have introduced bills to achieve the same goal: preventing public institutions from conducting programs that stereotype, scapegoat, or demean people on the basis of race. And I have organized a coalition of attorneys to file lawsuits against schools and government agencies that impose critical race theory-based programs on grounds of the First Amendment (which protects citizens from compelled speech), the Fourteenth Amendment (which provides equal protection under the law), and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which prohibits public institutions from discriminating on the basis of race).
On the grassroots level, a multiracial and bipartisan coalition is emerging to do battle against critical race theory. Parents are mobilizing against racially divisive curricula in public schools and employees are increasingly speaking out against Orwellian reeducation in the workplace. When they see what is happening, Americans are naturally outraged that critical race theory promotes three ideas—race essentialism, collective guilt, and neo-segregation—which violate the basic principles of equality and justice. Anecdotally, many Chinese-Americans have told me that having survived the Cultural Revolution in their former country, they refuse to let the same thing happen here.
In terms of principles, we need to employ our own moral language rather than allow ourselves to be confined by the categories of critical race theory. For example, we often find ourselves debating “diversity.” Diversity as most of us understand it is generally good, all things being equal, but it is of secondary value. We should be talking about and aiming at excellence, a common standard that challenges people of all backgrounds to achieve their potential. On the scale of desirable ends, excellence beats diversity every time.
Similarly, in addition to pointing out the dishonesty of the historical narrative on which critical race theory is predicated, we must promote the true story of America—a story that is honest about injustices in American history, but that places them in the context of our nation’s high ideals and the progress we have made towards realizing them. Genuine American history is rich with stories of achievements and sacrifices that will move the hearts of Americans—in stark contrast to the grim and pessimistic narrative pressed by critical race theorists.
Above all, we must have courage—the fundamental virtue required in our time. Courage to stand and speak the truth. Courage to withstand epithets. Courage to face the mob. Courage to shrug off the scorn of the elites. When enough of us overcome the fear that currently prevents so many from speaking out, the hold of critical race theory will begin to slip. And courage begets courage. It’s easy to stop a lone dissenter; it’s much harder to stop 10, 20, 100, 1,000, 1,000,000, or more who stand up together for the principles of America.
Truth and justice are on our side. If we can muster the courage, we will win.

Betrayal of the American People by Biden

American Thinker
February 8, 2021
The Betrayal of the American People by Biden and the Ruling Oligarchy
By Steve McCann

The Biden Administration is willfully and permanently undermining the economy and the future well-being of the citizenry as
well as trampling on the Constitution with an unprecedented avalanche of executive orders, proposed legislation and untenable
regulations. The current leader of the United States, safe in his plush bunker, is without a clue as he and his confederates in the ruling oligarchy are more interested in consolidating power and enriching themselves than they are in the long-term welfare of the nation and its citizenry.
In their mad and childish dash to purge the nation of all things associated with Donald Trump, this cabal is deliberately being oblivious to the fact that there is but one major responsibility of the leaders of a Constitutional Republic. That is to be certain their country is capable, in the both the short and long-term, of successfully weathering a worst-case scenario such as global war, a massive economic downturn, or a catastrophic natural disaster.
Those currently entrenched in the ruling oligarchy are pursuing policies that will leave no margin for error in the event of an apocalyptic natural or man-made disaster. As their fixation on climate change, purported systemic racism, unfettered
immigration and the pursuit of fictitious and unattainable societal equity will permanently damage the economy and destroy any
meaningful growth in the standard of living of the nearly all Americans.
Over the decades, this country’s enormous and ever-expanding Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has allowed government at all
levels to spend or borrow whatever monies were necessary to offset the losses from natural and man-made cataclysms and/or restart the economy after a downturn. They could do so safe in the knowledge that the GDP, thanks to the productivity and
ingenuity of the American people, would always grow and provide a consistent level of tax receipts and, in essence, collateral for borrowing. Thus, the wealth of the United States has always been the nation’s fallback position in order to come through wars and recessions or cope with natural disasters.
The probability of a major natural disaster striking a nation as large and geologically diverse as the United States is high. The country is presently experiencing the deleterious fallout from a historically minor pandemic and every year hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes cause enormous property damage and loss of life.
Over the past century the world has, on average, experienced a pandemic every 17 years. The current Chinese coronavirus
pandemic, while historically minor as compared to many previous pandemics over the centuries, has exposed the enormous cost
that would be experienced if a major viral or other outbreak occurs in the future.
In 2020 the deficit spending, almost entirely due to the coronavirus, was $3.3 Trillion and in 2021 it will be at least $3.0 Trillion, which includes Biden’s current $1.9 Trillion so-called COVID-19 relief legislation. By contrast, the accumulated national debt in the 212 years from 1790 to 2002 was $6.2 Trillion as compared to $6.3 Trillion in 2020-21alone.
If the unprecedented lockdowns and other extreme measures taken as a reaction to the Chinese coronavirus is now the template
for handling all pandemics, then what the United States will have to spend in borrowed monies for future severe pandemics will
be geometrically larger than the Covid-19 experience.
It has been predicted that California has a 99% chance of a major devastating earthquake in the next 30 years. The central part of the United States extending to the east coast, in an area that has recorded four of the largest earthquakes ever in North America, could experience a cataclysmic earthquake in the next 40 years. The cost of these events would be in the tens of Trillions of dollars.
The Chinese Communists can now deal with an American administration filled with compromised Sinophiles who, in order to
protect their personal interests, have signaled to China, that they will be more accommodating and will restore this nation’s
dependence on the emerging Chinese manufacturing monopoly. China, thus, will be emboldened to flex their economic and
military power throughout the globe as they are more determined than ever to dominate a world nearly brought to its knees by the coronavirus. In order to do so they will, in due course, initiate an inevitable military confrontation with the United States. Will this country be able to afford a dominant military and have the manufacturing capability necessary to deal with a belligerent China?
This nation has experienced, on average, a recession every 15 years over the past century. The world is today standing on the
brink of a potentially debilitating double-dip global recession thanks to ill-advised lockdowns by nearly every nation as an
overreaction to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic. With this as a backdrop, the job-killing executive orders Joe Biden has
robotically signed, profligate spending by Congress, unconstrained borrowing and de facto money creation will almost certainly
guarantee a prolonged period of severe stagflation (the coexistence of recession and inflation side by side) beginning within the next 12 months.
The U.S. national debt has grown fivefold from $5.6 Trillion in 2000 to $28 Trillion today and is now larger than the annual total value of all economic activity in the U.S. (Gross Domestic Product). It is estimated that by the end of 2025 the national debt will be approaching $40 Trillion and will be 50% larger than the projected Gross Domestic Product. The annual interest payments on this debt by 2025 will be nearly $1 Trillion or 75% of the total income taxes paid by the American people in 2020. Further, based on current spending and revenue streams, by 2040 the national debt will approach $60 to 70 Trillion or more than twice the size of the projected Gross Domestic Product.
The above does not include the impact of prolonged or deep recessions, catastrophic natural disasters, major military conflicts or the negative economic impact of the policies being pursued by the current administration.
It is now too late to solely rely on increasing tax revenue to stanch this sea of red ink. As the level of taxation required would devastate productivity and capital creation thus cratering the economy. The only viable options are severe spending restraints, minimal tax increases and most importantly expanding the economy by pursuing many of the same policies initiated by Donald Trump including confronting China and reinstituting the United States as the manufacturing capital of the world.
However, the Biden Administration, the Democrats in Congress, and their fellow-travelers in the Ruling Class are determined to
permanently stifle economic growth by their infatuation with hypothetical climate change thus undermining energy development
as well as manufacturing. They credulously claim that the theoretical green energy revolution will replace these jobs and wealth, but that will take decades if at all, and will be far too little and too late to prevent national insolvency.
Their determination to raise business taxes as well as dramatically increase job- and business formation-killing regulations is anathema to promoting growth. Their resolve to institute what is tantamount to economic central planning by the bureaucrats in Washington will cause enormous dislocation in financial resources, thus, throttling access to capital for expansion or new
business formation.
Their obsession with curtailing freedom of speech and casting anyone who disagrees with them as potential domestic terrorists
that must be muzzled and ostracized will foment ongoing societal unrest. Their plans for unconstrained immigration as well as
amnesty for millions of illegal aliens will intensify the competition for jobs and demands for welfare subsidies. Taken together these measures will further exacerbate tension within the country and undermine national confidence adding additional strain to an already shaky economy and a nation charging mindlessly into bankruptcy.
How do we pay the recovery costs associated with a catastrophic natural or man-made disaster such as a major pandemic or earthquake? From whom do we borrow the money without paying a usurious interest rate and forcing the country into further decline? Can we expect our traditional allies to come to the aid of a profligate country whose debt today accounts for 40% of all global debt and will account for nearly 60% by 2040 and whose leadership is deliberately undermining its economy?
As to a dramatic economic downturn in the future, many the traditional tools used to make certain a recession does not descend into a depression will not be available.
Would the holders of the bonds of the United States concur with significant tax reductions to spur the economy or would they agree to finance more debt as a stimulus and at what interest rate and collateral?
Would the United States choose as an alternative the printing of vast quantities of dollars? Which would devalue the currency
and, thus, the debt. But risking hyper-inflation and a likely repeat of the devastating experience within the Weimar Republic
(Germany) in the 1920’s. A strategy which could ultimately plunge the citizenry into a dramatically reduced standard of living, massive unemployment and violent societal upheaval.
If the United States continues on its present course, these are the only choices the country will have, yet never in the history of this nation have we had an administration, a political party and a ruling elite willingly placing their self-serving agenda ahead of the survival of the United States. This borders on treachery of the worst sort as it violates the allegiance owed by our elected leaders to preserve and protect the long-term welfare and well-being of the people and the nation.

“One Free Shave……”

One Free Shave Is the Tradition For President Biden
By CONRAD BLACK, Special to the Sun | January 23, 2021

Some have been more vociferous in their criticism of Joe Biden than I have, but few have been more consistent. I’ve never forgiven him for what he did to my friend Robert Bork in 1987, a great man who would have been an outstanding Supreme Court justice. Mr. Biden, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared to be ready to support the former solicitor general until Teddy Kennedy gave his infamous address, including his defamatory accusation that Robert Bork’s America would reduce American women to back-alley abortions, among other conjured degradations.

Click Images for Slideshow

It is hard to take seriously an incoming president when one of his previous campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination folded before he reached the plateau of two percent support because he was caught red-handed cribbing from an absurd campaign platitude authored by one of 20th-century Britain’s least successful opposition leaders, Neil Kinnock.

It is disconcerting that any president-elect manufactures his academic career and invents episodes of arrest in South Africa, especially in the context of attempting to visit Nelson Mandela 600 miles from where his brief alleged detention took place. In 50 years of public life, he has faced in all four directions on every issue and is not strongly identified with any particular major achievement.

No one qualified to do so has contradicted former defense secretary and CIA director Robert Gates, who served presidents of both parties in high office, when he remarked, after writing that Joe Biden, although a pleasant and generous-hearted man, had been mistaken on every foreign and strategic policy subject of the last 30 years.

I respect everyone’s religious views from committed atheism to fervent practice, and almost all sides of the abortion issue, apart from opinions that are insane or sociopathic, but as a devoted but tolerant Roman Catholic I find it annoying that Joe Biden has portrayed himself as a pious co-religionist, even as he approved the prosecution of the Little Sisters of the Poor for declining to pay for the abortions and other birth control requirements of those in their charge or employment.

Before this column metamorphoses into one of goodwill and hopefulness for the president-elect, I must add that Mr. Biden can hardly be completely absolved from what I believe has been a scandalous but successful campaign for the presidency. The Democratic Party elders, to prevent a presidential candidacy of the unfeasibly and abrasively socialistic Senator Bernie Sanders, retrieved Joe Biden from the ditch where the early Democratic primary voters had left him, installed him as the candidate, and placed him, like the groom on the top of the wedding cake, atop a Sanders socialist platform.

The Democratic strategists saw at once the potential to reverse President Trump’s clear lead in the polls after the impeachment fiasco almost a year ago by terrorizing the living Jehovah out of the entire population over COVID-19. President Trump’s tactical bungling of the public relations effort surrounding the virus made their task easier.

But Mr. Biden’s masked self-captivity in his basement, his inarticulation contending with the background noise of what he called “Canadian geese,” while the Democrats’ lackeys in the national political media and the totalitarian czars of the Big Tech cartel conducted his campaign for him and silenced and defamed his enemies, and dismissed a grand jury investigation of the Biden family’s international financial activities as “Russian disinformation” was a shabby campaign.

It was perhaps the least creditable Democratic presidential campaign since General George B. McClellan, whom President Lincoln had fired for his diffident performance as commander of the Army of the Potomac, ran against Lincoln on a defeatist Civil War platform in 1864, even as General Sherman occupied Atlanta and General Grant invested Richmond.

Having got all that off my chest, it is time, while contemplating Lincoln, to “take increased devotion” from Herblock’s famous cartoon of Richard Nixon on the eve of his inauguration in 1969. The political cartoonist had been in the habit of portraying Nixon with a stubbly and rodentine face often emerging from under a manhole cover, because of Nixon’s former zeal as an anti-Communist congressman and senator. As his inauguration approached, and Tom Wicker wrote in the New York Times that the chances were 50-50 that Nixon would blow up the world, Herblock decided every new president of the United States should get a free shave.

Everyone who wishes America well, and even those who only hope that America does well enough to spare the world the terrible challenge of having China as its most powerful nation — potentially the first one with no Judeo-Christian background nor any demonstrated respect for human rights or civil liberties since the rise of the nation-state — all must always hope that an incoming president of the United States is successful.

In this case, there is no doubt that the new president is an amiable personality, a sincerely patriotic American, and fundamentally a man of moderation, ideologically more like President Clinton than President Obama; Vice Presidents Humphrey and Mondale more than Senator McGovern. He is a survivor, and that is a remarkable achievement: as Tennyson wrote, “old age hath yet his honor and his toil.”

Joe Biden has persevered through long years of comparative obscurity, family tragedy, his full share of condescension, disparagement, and setbacks, and the American political system assures that no one moves into the White House without a considerable combination of perseverance, acuity, and good fortune. As Napoleon famously said, “The best generals are the luckiest generals.”

There is some political symmetry in Mr. Biden’s elevation. The greatest single problem with the Trump Administration was the endless controversy; the president was constantly in the face of the public and of the world, all day every day and all night on Twitter. (The czar of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, may have done Mr. Trump a favor dictatorially removing him from his platform — the outgoing president’s popularity will rise if the country can take a rest from him for a while.)

America’s greatest political desire was greater quiet and “normalcy” in Washington. In this way, the system has worked, as we are moving from a human tornado to the most languid chief executive since Calvin Coolidge.

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Although Joe Biden is a waffler and schmoozer, all indications are that he is a genuine man of the center comfortable and very competent at negotiating with reasonable people in both parties, and a capable judge of what can be achieved within the system where he has operated skillfully for many decades. Since he is unlikely to covet a second term, he can make arrangements with the Republican leaders in the Congress, most of whom are his friends, without feeling unduly threatened by the far Left within his own party.

It was a terrible campaign following an awful summer of riots, hypocrisy, and fear-mongering, and concluding in the most suspect presidential election result in American history. In its ineluctable fashion, the system has produced the 44th direct successor to General George Washington in what has long been the world’s most influential office. Those who value freedom in every land will wish him well. Hail to the chief and may God renew His blessing on America.

________

CMBLetters@gmail.com. From American Greatness.

China recolonize Africa- active coal fired power plants

China recolonizes Africa
Western policies damage Africa and the planet, kill millions, and open doors to China
Duggan Flanakin
Joe Biden has pledged that one of his first acts as President will be rejoining the Paris Climate Treaty – which gives China a complete pass on reducing emissions until at least 2030. Even Biden’s designated “climate envoy,” former Secretary of State John Kerry, says the existing treaty “has to be stronger,” but then claims China will somehow become an active partner, instead of the competitor and adversary it clearly is. His rationale: “Climate is imperative, it’s as imperative for China as it is for us.”
As to China employing more Green technology and abiding by (much less strengthening) the Paris agreement, the evidence is at best spotty, at worst completely the opposite. President Trump pulled the United States out of Paris, but between January 2017 and May 2019 the US had shuttered 50 coal-fired power plants, with 51 more shutdowns announced, bringing the total shutdowns to 289 (330 once announced shutdowns also take place) since 2010, soon leaving under 200 still operating.
Meanwhile, as of 2019, China had 2,363 active coal-fired power plants and was building another 1,171 in the Middle Kingdom – plus hundreds more in Africa, Asia and elsewhere. A CO2 Coalition white paper by Kathleen Hartnett White and Caleb Rossiter reveals that China now has modern pollutant-scrubbing technology on over 80% of its coal-fired power plants, but no scrubbers at any Chinese-built coal-fired power plants in Africa (or likely anywhere else) – and none anywhere that remove carbon dioxide.
Harvard University China specialist Edward Cunningham says China is building, planning or financing more than 300 coal plants, in places as widespread as Turkey, Egypt, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. India, South Korea, Japan, South Africa and even Germany are also building hundreds of coal-fired power plants. No matter how many the USA closes down, it won’t make any global difference.
Boston University data indicate that China has invested over $50 billion in building new coal plants overseas in recent years, and over a quarter of new coal plants outside the Middle Kingdom have some commitment or offer of funds from Chinese financial institutions.
“Why is China placing a global bet on coal?” NPR wonders. That’s a 40 or even 50-year commitment, the life span of coal-fired units. The NPR authors even quote the Stinson Center think tank’s Southeast Asia analyst, who says “it’s not clear when you look at the actual projects China is funding that they are truly Green.” They’re obviously notgreen, and more is obviously going on than their poor eyesight can perceive.
China knows it and the world will need oil, natural gas and coal for decades to come. It sees “green” as the color of money and is happy to extend credit under terms very favorable to China. Communist Party leaders seek global military and economic power – and global control of electricity generation, raw materials extraction, and manufacturing of wind turbines, solar panels and battery modules they will sell to address the West’s obsession with the “manmade climate crisis” and “renewable, sustainable” energy.
Party leaders also know its production of “green” technologies is a good smokescreen for all this coal power – and few Western governments will dare to criticize China sharply over this or Covid.
A recent Global Warming Policy Foundation report lambasts environmentalists (like John Kerry) as “useful idiots” who “praise the scale of Chinese ambition on climate change, while paying lip service in criticizing China’s massive coal expansion.” It notes that China rarely honors its international agreements and has no intention of reducing fossil fuel consumption.
But what are Africa and other developing nations to do? The West will not fund even clean coal projects that would eliminate pollution from dung and wood fires, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for lights, refrigerators, schools, shops, hospitals, factories and much more. China will – and despite the heavy price, their demand for energy requires that they get electricity by any means necessary.
With 1.1 billion people, Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s poorest region, despite massive mineral resources and a young, energetic population with an affinity for entrepreneurship. Dutch economist Wim Naudé says Africa must industrialize, which means it must have affordable, reliable electricity, if it is to overcome poverty and disease, create jobs and discourage terrorism.
Unfortunately, outrageously, US, EU, UN and World Bank policies have stymied African energy resource development. As White and Rossiter note, US policies since the Obama era oppose Africans using the continent’s abundant coal and gas to fuel power plants, on the ground that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels might exacerbate climate change.
African Energy Chamber executive chairman NJ Ayuk recently reported that the United Kingdom has also decided it will stop funding new oil, gas and coal projects as of November 4, 2021, the fifth anniversary of the Paris treaty. The decision kowtows to Green opposition to UK Export Finance support for a Mozambique terminal to export low-CO2 emissions liquefied natural gas.
Ayuk had been touting natural gas as an increasing option for African power plants, boasting that Africa is home to four of the world’s top 20 crude oil producers (Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and Libya); Algeria and Nigeria are among the top 20 natural gas producers; and Mozambique also has huge gas reserves.
“It is troubling,” Ayuk said, “that an aggressive foreign-funded anti-African energy campaign continues to undermine the potential of making Mozambique an oasis for gas monetization and meeting our increasing energy demands.” Despite this setback, he continued, “we must continue to be unwavering in our commitment to stand up for Africa’s energy sector, its workers, reducing energy poverty, and those free-market values that will make our continent attractive to committed energy investors.”
In much of Africa, electricity demand far outstrips supply. “In factories, businesses, government buildings and wealthy neighborhoods in every African country,” White and Rossiter observe, a cacophonous symphony of soot-spewing backup diesel engines erupts when the grid goes down, which is usually every day.” In fact, says the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, many African countries spend more on dirty backup power than on electricity for the grid itself; in West Africa, backup kilowatts equal 40% of total grid kilowatts.
In Sudan, which gets 30% of its energy from dams on the Nile River, diesel-based pumps run constantly to lift river water for irrigation, even at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. In Nigeria, hotels ban guests from jogging because of health dangers from breathing soot from their diesel backup generators, which kick in repeatedly as neighborhoods go dark. In Southern Africa, construction sites simply run generators all day, filling nearby streets with noxious clouds. Universities rely on diesels to run old, inefficient air conditioning units.
White and Rossiter note that American clean coal technology, exemplified by the Turk power plant in Arkansas, virtually eliminates health hazards from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates. They urge the U.S. to support proposals by African governments to import this technology, noting that electricity is “the central nervous system of a modern economy and modern life expectancy. Africa’s electricity deficit translates directly into its life-expectancy deficit of 15 years per person.”
Millions die needlessly every year, from countless diseases of energy and economic poverty.
But under a Biden-Harris Administration, with John Kerry at the forefront, there is little hope that these African and other pleas will be heard. With European allies in myopic puritanical lockstep, China will continue to get a total pass on complying with Green demands – and will have free rein to turn sub-Saharan Africa into a giant Chinese colony, despite the environmental damage, monstrous debt, slave and child labor under horrific workplace conditions, and likely modest benefits to Africans.
It is eco-imperialism and eco-manslaughter at its worst. Where are the vaunted guardians of climate and environmental justice?

Duggan Flanakin is Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org)

Breaking China

Breaking China
With American help, the Communist regime has grown richer and more oppressive
 
 
12/11/19
 
Illustration on Chinese ill-gotten gains by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times more >
 
Suppose you had a neighbor who beat his wife, abused his children, engaged in violent crimes, and routinely burgled your home. Would you invite him for Sunday brunch? Go into business with him? Share a bungalow at the beach? I don’t think so. So why are we still pretending that China is just one trade agreement away from becoming anything other than the nation-state version of the odious character I’ve described above?
 
Here’s an incomplete list of the nefarious activities undertaken by the ruling Communist Party of China: incarcerating Muslim Uighurs in “re-education” camps; colonizing Tibet; organ-harvesting from prisoners of conscience; suppressing the people of Hong Kong in violation of treaty obligations; stealing hundreds of billions of dollars of American intellectual property, including defense secrets year after year; forcing American corporations to kowtow and self-censor; proliferating nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology; pursuing exploitative and neo-imperialist policies in Asia, Africa and Latin America; and building up its military capabilities with the goal of intimidating and ultimately defeating the United States.
 
America’s China policy – based on engagement and conciliation — traces back to the Nixon administration. To be fair, in the midst of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Sino-American detente brought some benefits. But there also was this: Republicans and Democrats alike believed that by helping China get richer, we’d help China to liberalize.
 
Economic growth, we reasoned, would birth a burgeoning bourgeoisie that would demand political power and increased freedom. Rulers would respond by giving the people what they want – slowly perhaps, but surely. Over time, China would become a responsible member of the “international community.”
 
It was a lovely theory, but it’s been conclusively disproven by realty. Xi Jinping is the most totalitarian Chinse ruler since Mao Zedong. And China did not become capitalist as has been widely believed. Instead, it developed a mercantilist brand of socialism, substituting state control of the means of production for state ownership of the means of production, while mandating “military-civil fusion.” I think the term is self-explanatory.
 
Give credit where credit is due: Unlike his predecessors, President Trump recognized the growing menace China’s rulers now pose. Mr. Trump’s National Security Strategy, written when Gen. H.R. McMaster was his national security advisor, states plainly that China is a “revisionist” power that regards the U.S. as its geopolitical rival, a challenge to which the U.S. must respond with more than hope for change.
 
The NSS warns that China uses “implied military threats to persuade other states to heed its political and security agenda,” and is increasingly engaging in “cyber-enabled economic warfare,” a phrase coined by Samantha Ravich, my colleague at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. CEEW implies the use of high-technology weapons to debilitate America economically in order to cripple America militarily.
 
Which leads us to two questions. First: Is there a moral case for continuing to intertwine our economy with China’s, for helping the regime prosper? My answer: clearly not. Second: Would it be easy and painless to decouple the U.S. economy from China’s? My answer to that also would be no.
 
However, James Rickards, a longtime advisor on international economics and financial threats to the Department of Defense and intelligence community has a different answer: “So what?”
In an email conversation with me, he wrote: “What price do we put on the lives of innocent victims of state torture, murder and thought control? At some point you just have to walk away. If Apple’s earnings per share take a hit, too bad.”
Upon further reflection, he added: “Maybe it won’t be deleterious. If cutting ties means we don’t lose $300 billion per year in intellectual property theft, don’t lose jobs to slave labor, don’t enrich an atheistic Communist elite, don’t cede control of the 21st century, and don’t let China trigger a new global financial crisis, then that seems entirely positive for the U.S. economy. This does not mean we can’t do trade deals, but the deals should be bilateral and drive a hard bargain.”
 
Policy makers are not the only ones who should be pondering this moral/economic dilemma. Consumers, too, might want to think twice before buying products made in China. And in a New York Times op-ed last week, the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka and Derek Scissors noted: “American financial heavyweights and pension funds have in recent years shunned fossil fuels, guns and other investments on ethical grounds. Yet when it comes to providing capital to Chinese companies — including those directly engaged in surveillance or supporting the People’s Liberation Army — many haven’t resisted investment.”
 
If the U.S. were to make clear that China’s access to American consumers and investors is now in jeopardy, might the regime change its behavior? Mr. Rickards contends that while China may appear to be “a monolithic juggernaut,” in reality it is a “fragile construct that could descend into chaos.” Do China’s rulers secretly agree? Were we to start cutting them off, we might find out.
 
That said, transforming hostile actors into peaceful, prosperous and cooperative neighbors is no mean feat. Consider Russia, North Korea, Iran, Cuba. What should be less difficult: recognizing when policies have produced unintended and deleterious consequences, and altering course.
 
One strategic rule by now should be obvious: Do not enrich thine enemy. Or, to paraphrase a quote attributed to Lenin: Don’t sell your enemy the rope with which to hang you, or let him steal from you the technology for building gallows.
 
Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.
 
 

United States National Security and Aid for Israel

Democratic Frontrunners Are Wrong About Aid for Israel

Putting America’s annual $3.8 billion of military assistance to Israel on the chopping block makes for good politics.

But it makes no sense for U.S. national security.

 BY JOHN HANNAH

DECEMBER 11, 2019

 https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/11/democratic-frontrunners-are-wrong-about-aid-for-israel/

In a jarring moment during last month’s Democratic primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, asked about Washington’s complicated relationship with Riyadh, lit into the Saudis for the murder of the U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, condemning the kingdom as a brutal, misogynistic dictatorship that “is not a reliable ally.” Then, without skipping a beat, he pivoted to an attack on Israel for its mistreatment of the Palestinians, particularly in Gaza—a tack that won a spontaneous outburst of applause from the attending audience. Seamlessly lumping together the Middle East’s only stable democracy with its most reactionary absolute monarchy, Sanders concluded, “we need to be rethinking who our allies are around the world.”

Of course, harsh criticism of Israel has long been a staple of the Sanders playbook. A tad more disconcerting was the apparent approval it triggered in the crowd. Condemnations by other candidates earlier in the evening of dangerous U.S. adversaries such as China, North Korea, and Russia didn’t seem to elicit nearly the same level of enthusiasm. Also hard not to notice was the fact that none of Sanders’s nine rivals on the stage rose to push back against the suggestion that the long-standing U.S. alliance with Israel should be up for reassessment. This was especially striking because in the days leading up to the debate, the Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist group Islamic Jihad had fired close to 500 rockets at Israeli population centers, sending tens of thousands of civilians into bomb shelters and shutting down schools and businesses in Tel Aviv, the country’s most important commercial hub.

In fairness, it’s possible that the format and rhythm of the debate simply didn’t allow for that type of intervention. On the other hand, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that, when it comes to Israel, a shift is indeed afoot in the Democratic Party—at least among its more progressive and activist base.

That trend was most visible in October, when several Democratic candidates in succession—including leading contenders such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg—joined Sanders in advocating for the position that the United States should consider withholding military aid if Israel pursued policies that undermined a two-state solution. Only one of the top-tier candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden, spoke out forcefully against the idea, calling it “absolutely outrageous” and a “gigantic mistake.”

Biden is right. It may increasingly be the case in today’s Democratic Party that putting America’s annual $3.8 billion of military assistance to Israel on the chopping block in service to the peace process makes for good politics. But it makes no sense as national security policy. The fact is that Israel’s recent emergence as one of the world’s most powerful industrial democracies has never been more important to the United States. And the value to U.S. interests of Israel’s world-class military, intelligence prowess, and cutting-edge science and technology sector is only likely to grow in the future.

In the last three presidential elections, the U.S. public—frustrated and weary from fighting so-called endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—has consistently supported the candidate (Barack Obama twice, Donald Trump once) who exhibited the greatest enthusiasm for reducing the country’s military commitments in the Middle East.Especially as the United States’ own dependence on oil exports from the region continues to decline, the long-term trajectory of U.S. retrenchment seems almost certain to continue. For its part, the U.S. military is also looking to draw back from the Middle East so it can divert more of its capabilities and energies to higher-priority missions, in particular the need to counter increasingly aggressive great-power competitors, China and Russia.

Yet even as it seeks to reduce its burdens, the United States still has important interests in the Middle East that need defending. It wants the region to be more stable. It wants to avoid significant disruptions in oil supplies that could wreak havoc on the economies of key trading partners. It wants to contain Iranian aggression, combat Islamist terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, deter the outbreak of major war, and ensure Israel’s security. Logic dictates that doing all that with less U.S. involvement means someone else will have to step up to help fill the void. That, in turn, puts a premium on reliable local allies that have both the will and the capability not just to defend themselves without the United States riding to the rescue but also to act effectively on their own across the Middle East to help advance major U.S. interests. With all due respect to Washington’s other longtime partners in the region and even Europe, it’s patently obvious that only one country comes close to meeting those criteria today: Israel.

Israel has, by an order of magnitude, the most powerful and operationally effective military in the Middle East. Its intelligence services rank among the world’s best, far outpacing any regional rival. It’s a technological superpower with leading research and development capabilities in priority national security areas for the United States, including cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, missile defense, space, and anti-terrorism. Israel’s assessment of the most serious threats to Middle East security is nearly identical to Washington’s. And its government and population are unwaveringly pro-American, ready and willing to lend Israel’s full support to countering shared threats and securing key U.S. objectives.

With little fanfare, Israel in recent years has taken on sustained military missions that extend well beyond its historical preoccupation with the defense of its immediate borders. As Washington’s stomach for wielding hard power against the Middle East’s most dangerous challenges recedes, the new reality is that Israel has become a major exporter of security and extended deterrence to the broader region. Since at least 2017, it has been the only power in the world conducting regular military operations to push back successfully against Iranian forces and their expansionist designs. A kind of de facto division of labor has emerged whereby the United States restricts itself to punishing Iran and its regional proxies with harsh economic sanctions while Israel does the more difficult and dangerous work of directly confronting and containing Iranian power on the ground.

In Syria, probably the Middle East’s most strategically consequential battlefield of the past decade, Israel has reportedly attacked more than 1,000 targets affiliated with Iran. Almost singlehandedly, in fact, Israel has foiled Iran’s ambition to entrench itself militarily in Syria. Iran’s far-reaching plan to establish a series of land and naval bases, command a force of up to 100,000 pro-Iran fighters, and stockpile and deploy thousands of highly accurate rockets and missiles in Syria has been stillborn. Though garnering little attention, Israel has over the past four years inflicted one of the worst defeats ever suffered by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its imperial project to dominate the Middle East’s northern tier from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea. The IRGC’s goal of replicating in Syria the same level of military power and threat that it built in Lebanon through Hezbollah has been almost completely thwarted by a sustained campaign of discreet Israeli military attacks and intelligence activities—all without triggering a larger war and conflagration. The United States—not to mention Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and much of the rest of the region threatened by rising Iranian hegemony—has quietly applauded from the sidelines without having to put any of its own forces at risk.

Though on a far lesser scale, Israel has over the last year extended its targeting campaign against Iran to Lebanon and Iraq as well, as the IRGC seeks to adjust for its failure in Syria by further building up its capabilities in those countries, especially by giving precision missiles to Hezbollah and Iraqi Shiite militias. In Egypt, an under-the-radar but extensive program of Israeli military and intelligence support has proved essential to preventing extremist groups loyal to the Islamic State from taking over the strategically vital Sinai Peninsula. Israel has long played a similarly critical role in bolstering the security of neighboring Jordan. Meanwhile, in the eastern Mediterranean, as the region’s massive gas reserves become an increasingly important factor in global energy markets, Israeli defense capabilities will play a leading role in securing the area’s critical infrastructure, in cooperation with other stakeholders including Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece.

There’s every reason to believe that the demand for Israeli security assistance will only increase as U.S. disengagement continues apace. Already, it seems a near certainty that Israel is engaged in unprecedented, albeit covert, cooperation with several Gulf states, including the Saudis, to help them counter Iran and other extremist threats. Given the direct impact on its own interests, it’s easy to imagine Israel taking on much greater responsibilities for policing the Red Sea, or ensuring that Houthi rebels in Yemen don’t become the next repository of long-range Iranian missiles and drones capable of accurately striking strategic targets not only in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, but in Tel Aviv and Haifa as well.

In the 1970s, the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon, preoccupied with the war in Vietnam, developed a “twin pillars” strategy for the Middle East. It relied on two local allies, the shah’s Iran and Saudi Arabia, to help counter Soviet meddling and enforce regional security. The strategy quickly crumbled when the shah was overthrown and the Saudis proved both unwilling and for the most part incapable of fulfilling their assigned role.

By contrast, Israel today is the real deal, a stable democracy and longtime ally that has consistently demonstrated the will, power, and operational effectiveness to do more to secure the Middle East from common threats, so the United States can do less. From countering Iranian imperialism and Islamist terrorism to protecting energy resources and vulnerable regional allies, Israel’s role in the region has become critically important for the United States. At a time when war fatigue and other global priorities are driving Washington to reduce its involvement in the Middle East, it’s increasingly apparent that Israeli power will be indispensable if the United States hopes to maintain a regional order that favors its interests.

In other words, Israel is America’s new pillar in the Middle East. Truth be told, it’s the only pillar. To jeopardize such a strategic asset on the altar of a Palestinian conflict that has dragged on chronically for decades, with no resolution in sight and the issue’s relative geopolitical significance in steep decline, would be a huge unforced error. Many of Washington’s most important Arab partners are now moving systematically to deepen their security cooperation with Israel, refusing to allow their national interests to be subjugated to one of the world’s most intractable disputes any longer. It would be an odd time for the United States to start moving in the opposite direction, as several of the Democratic candidates suggest, and throw into question its own tremendously beneficial defense relationship with Israel. That’s precisely the kind of strategic indulgence that a superpower bent on retrenchment can ill afford.

John Hannah is a senior counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, focusing on U.S. strategy. During the presidency of George W. Bush, he served for eight years on the staff of Vice President Cheney, including as the vice president’s national security advisor.

 

 

 

Justice Triumphant: Clarence Thomas

 

 

Justice triumphant

The story of an American who overcame should be told around the world

 

By Clifford D. May

 

11/13/19

 

Clarence Thomas illustration by Linas Garsys more >

 

A black man, born into a dirt-poor family in a dirt-poor town in the deep and segregated south beats the odds, the obstacles and the bigots to become one of America’s most consequential legal thinkers, and an authority on the Founders’ vision. You might expect such a story to be told in every grade school and college in the country.

You’d be wrong. I’d wager that most young people, black or white, know little or nothing about the man to whom I’m referring. Of those who do, most probably don’t admire him. Many would revile him.

 

Their minds might be changed were they to watch the soon-to-be-released documentary:“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.”

 

At the preview I attended last week, the audience was moved to tears, laughter and a standing ovation. Yes, it was a conservative audience. But “We Shall Overcome,” was the anthem of the American Civil Rights Movement. And Clarence Thomas overcame. Big time. Americans, wherever they stand politically, should be inspired by that.

 

In this simple and elegant film, Justice Thomas looks into the camera and talks, responding to questions – prompts, really — from director Michael Pack. Mr. Thomas’ wife, Ginni, also provides recollections. Helping to tell the tale are news clips, archival materials, and marvelous photography of the Georgia low country.

 

Clarence Thomas was born in 1948, in Pin Point, an isolated settlement southeast of Savannah founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. Few in the community could read and write. Most spoke only Gullah, a creole of English and West African languages. Gullah was Mr. Thomas’ first language.

 

When Clarence was just two, his father abandoned the family. He, his brother and their mother lived in a rundown shack with no plumbing. After that burned down, the children went to live with their maternal grandfather who was tough, ornery and disciplined, and earned a living delivering oil and coal.

 

He sent Clarence to a segregated Catholic school. The nuns were caring and strict. He went on to enroll in a seminary but was disappointed by the church’s stance on civil rights, and the racism of some of his fellow seminarians. One reacted to the shooting of Martin Luther King Jr. by saying: “That’s good. I hope the son of a bitch dies.”

 

Clarence dropped out, much to the chagrin of his grandfather for whom quitting was a sin. In 1968, however, he won a scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. There, he joined the Black Power Movement and became a man of the radical left. But he did well academically and was accepted at Yale Law School.

 

His politics evolved. Among the reasons: He came to see “affirmative action” more as a stigma than a benefit, a reason for his achievements to be discounted. He regarded the battles that began in 1974 over busing as senseless because Boston’s public schools – white-only and black-only – were low-quality, a problem the political elites chose to ignore.

 

After earning his law degree he was hired by John Danforth, then the attorney general of Missouri, later a U.S. Senator. That led to positions in the Reagan administration, and then a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Judge Thomas to the Supreme Court.

 

Four years earlier, leftist activists and their congressional allies had blocked Robert H. Bork’s appointment through an orchestrated campaign of vilification. Among the patently false accusations: that Judge Bork supported “segregated lunch counters.” (You’ll now find the verb “to bork” in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

 

The nomination of a black conservative was even more intolerable to those activists than Judge Bork’s had been. At first, Judge Thomas was attacked for his commitment to natural law, judicial restraint and originalism. The underlying objection: that he might not uphold Roe v. Wade.

 

When this approach didn’t produce the desired results, Anita Hill, a law professor who had once been his deputy, came forward to charge that he had “used work situations to discuss sex.”

 

In televised hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which included Joseph Biden and Edward Kennedy, Mr. Thomas furiously denied the charge, and accused his accusers of organizing “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

 

Polls showed the public believing Mr. Thomas over Ms. Hill 2-to-1. The Senate went on to confirm him 52 to 48.

 

At this point, you may be thinking: “Hey, Cliff! You write about foreign affairs! How is this relevant?” My answer: The United States is not exactly excelling in public diplomacy these days. (Note: I’m not weighing in on who’s to blame). So my counsel to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to instruct every ambassador around the world to screen this film for local audiences.

 

He also should commission Mr. Pack to make a second documentary, one in which Justice Thomas speaks at greater length about his jurisprudence and his commitment to the Founders’ principles, making clear why George Will recently called Justice Thomas “America’s indispensable constitutionalist.” Such a film should be shown in universities abroad, especially in what we hopefully call the developing world.

 

“Created Equal” is the story of one exceptional American, but it’s also a story about America, a still-exceptional nation, one that, for all its many faults, provides unparalleled opportunity for those willing to work hard to overcome whatever and whomever they find in their way. Americans, wherever they stand politically, should be proud of that.

 

Clifford D. May is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and a columnist for the Washington Times.

 

 

The Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/nov/12/clarence-thomas-an-exceptional-american-who-defied/

 

Pundicity: http://www.pundicity.com/

FDD: www.defenddemocracy.org

Why Do They Hate Him So Much

Why Do They Hate Him So?
Democrats, NeverTrump Republicans, left-liberal celebrities, journalists, and academics all revile Donald Trump because he is trying and often succeeding to restore a conservative America at a time when his opponents thought that the mere idea was not just impossible but unhinged.

BY Victor Davis Hanson
October 20th, 2019

Joe Biden claims he wants to take Trump behind the gym and beat him up.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) jokes that she would like to go into an elevator with him and see Trump never come out alive. Robert De Niro has exhausted the ways in which he dreams of punching Trump out and the intonations in which he yells to audiences, “F—k Trump!”

The humanists and social justice warriors of Hollywood, from Madonna to Johnny Depp, cannot agree whether their elected president should be beheaded, blown up, stabbed, shot, or incinerated.

All the Democratic would-be presidential nominees agree that Trump is the worst something-or-other in history—from human being to mere president.

Former subordinates like Anthony Scaramucci, Omarosa, and Michael Cohen insist that he is a racist, a sexist, a crook, a bully, or mentally deranged—and they all support their firsthand appraisals on the basis they eagerly worked for him and were unceremoniously fired by him.

The so-called deep state detests him. An anonymous op-ed writer in the September 5, 2018 New York Times bragged about the bureaucracy’s successful efforts to ignore Trump’s legal mandates—a sort of more methodical version of the comical Rosenstein-McCabe attempt to stage a palace coup and remove Trump, or the Democrats efforts to invoke the 25th Amendment and declare Trump crazy, bolstered by an array of Ivy League psychiatrists who had neither met nor examined him.

Decorated retired U.S. Navy Admiral William McRaven wrote another New York Times op-ed blasting Trump and fretting that it is time for a new person in the Oval Office—Republican, Democrat or independent—“the sooner, the better.”

One wonders what McRaven meant with the adverb “sooner,” given that an election is scheduled in about a year and even retired officers are subject to the code of military justice not to attack, despite perceived taunts, their current commander-in-chief, much less wink and nod about his apparent removal (in what way?) from office. Do we really want a county in which retired admirals and intelligence officials publicly damn the current commander in chief over policy differences and advocate his removal, “the sooner the better”?

The House Democrats simply want him impeached first, and later will fill in the blanks with the necessary high crimes and misdemeanors.

Most of the prominent New York-Washington, D.C. insider Republican pundits abhor him. The creed of a NeverTrumper is that it is well worth the effort to see the current Republican president removed, and his administration imploded—even if that means four or eight years of an Elizabeth Warren, a Bernie Sanders, or a Joe Biden agenda as voiced in the debates. That would likely mean Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, slavery reparations, permissible infanticide in the case of late-term abortions, a wealth tax, and a generally socialist platform, from renouncing student debts to veritable open borders.

Only amid the ashes of Trump’s destruction do sober and judicious conservative intellectuals, writers, pundits, think-tankers, and establishment Republican grandees believe they can step in to rebirth the Republican Phoenix, nurturing the rising new party with its once hallowed traditions as exemplified by George H.W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney.

The Conservative Record
But what drives this unprecedented furor, given the economy has reached near-record low peacetime unemployment at 3.5 percent, resulting in millions of inner-city youth and poor being sought after by labor-needy employers? What is so evil about attracting the lower-middle classes to the Republican Party, and shedding its stereotype as a party of the golf links and corporate retreats?

Workers’ pay has risen to a net per capita gain of $5,000 since Trump took office. The U.S. energy industry is booming as the world’s largest producer of gas and oil, a fact that has likely saved more lives by rendering the death trap of the oil-rich Middle East increasingly irrelevant to American strategic interests.

By 2020, Trump will have remade the federal judiciary—when at an earlier moment in 2016, it looked as if an Obama-Clinton 16-year regnum would soon ensure a half-century dominance of left-wing activist judges.

Trump entered office with North Korean nuclear rockets allegedly pointed at the West Coast, and with China heralded as the inevitable new global hegemon. A petulant NATO insidiously refused to meet its promised contributions. ISIS ran amuck.

The border was wide open, and that had resulted in 20 million illegal aliens residing in the United States with de facto exemption from most consequences of violating U.S. laws. Trump at the outset has at least sought to address all those problems that sandbagged the prior administration.
So Why the Hatred?
Again, why the unadulterated hatred? For the small number of NeverTrumpers, of course, Trump’s crudity in speech and crassness in manner nullify his accomplishments: the unattractive messenger has fouled an otherwise tolerable message.

While they recognize in the abstract that the randy JFK, the repugnant LBJ, and the horny Bill Clinton during their White House tenures were far grosser in conduct than has been Donald Trump, they either assume presidential ethics should have evolved or they were not always around to know of past bad behavior first hand, or believe Trump’s crude language is worse than prior presidents’ crude behavior in office.

Trump is systematically undoing what Barack Obama wrought, in the manner Obama sought to undo with his eight years the prior eight years of George W. Bush.

But the NeverTrumpers are and remain a tiny segment of the electorate who have had zero effect in swaying Republicans and only marginal influence in persuading swing voters, in their new roles as occasionally useful naïfs of the hard Left.

Far more importantly, why do the media, academia, the entertainment and professional sports industries, the progressive Left, the administrative state, and most Democratic officeholders despise him so?

His brashness bothers them of course. His quirky tweets and name-calling certainly. His loud rallies, his public put-downs, and his feuding are certainly not matched by those of past presidents.

A Toxic Agenda
But the real source of their antipathy is his agenda.

Had Donald Trump in his first month as president declared that he was a centrist Republican —as many suspicious Never Trumpers predicted that he would, true to past form—and promoted cap-and-trade and solar and wind federal subsidies, tabled pipeline construction and abated federal leasing for gas and oil production, stayed in the Iran nuclear deal and Paris Climate Accord, appointed judges in the tradition of John Paul Stevens and David Souter, praised the “responsible” Palestinian leaders, pursued “comprehensive immigration reform” as a euphemism for blanket amnesties, then Trump would be treated largely as a George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush: hated, of course, but not obsessively so.

More importantly, had Trump just collapsed or stagnated the economy, as predicted by the likes of Paul Krugman and Larry Summers, he would now be roundly denounced, but again not so vilified, given his political utility for the Left in 2020 as a perceived Herbert Hoover-esque scapegoat.

Had Trump kept within the media and cultural sidelines by giving interviews to “60 Minutes,” speaking at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, bringing in a few old Republican hands to run the staff or handle media relations like a David Gergen or Andrew Card, Trump would have been written off as a nice enough dunce.

But Trump did none of that. So, the hatred of the media, the Left, the swamp, and the celebrity industry is predicated more on the successful Trump agenda. He is systematically undoing what Barack Obama wrought, in the manner Obama sought to undo with his eight years the prior eight years of George W. Bush.

But whereas the Obama economy stagnated and his foreign policy was seen by adversaries and rivals as a rare occasion to recalibrate the world order at American’s expense, Trump mostly did not fail—at least not yet. We are currently in an economic boom while most of the world economy abroad is inert. Had the economy just crashed as predicted, the Trump agenda would have been discredited and he would be written off a pitiful fool rather than an existential monster.

Again, hatred arises at what Trump did even more than what he says or how he says it.
Megatonnage
But there is a final asterisk.

What made Obama unpopular with the public—until his last year when he ceded the spotlight to Clinton and Trump and then was liked in absentia the more he was neither seen nor heard—was his wide social, cultural, economic, and political assault on conservatism.

Obama ridiculed the tea-party movement with the obscene “tea-bagger” put-down. He told Latinos to “punish their enemies,” by whom he meant Republicans. His attorney general, Eric Holder, referred to blacks as “my people.” The EPA began making rather than enforcing laws.

Obama sought to promote Iran as a foil to the Gulf monarchies and Israel, an effort that explains much of the otherwise inexplicable Iran deal and Iran’s current adventurism. Rappers visited the White House, some with long histories of obscenity and anti-police rhetoric.

From “Cash-for-Clunkers” to Benghazi, the left-wing effort was 360 degrees, all-encompassing. Conservatives feared Obama was not so much changing politics as “fundamentally transforming America” as he had promised. Obama supporters bragged of a much-hailed new demography that had created a vast new constituency of the lockstep non-white voters supposedly now united not by class, or politics or culture, but by the mere fact of their appearance.

Trump has pushed a far more ambitious agenda, and one that is as conservative as Obama’s was progressive. He apparently had every intention of using the pen-and-phone model bequeathed by Obama to do it any way possible.

But more importantly, Trump’s lidless eyes never sleep. He is a 24/7 force of nature. No controversy is too trivial, too silly, too irrelevant to escape his Twitter commentary. Or rather Trump believes he is an existential war with the media, celebrities, elites of all sorts and the general status quo, or what we might call the American progressive project and its elite coastal architects.

Trump senses that the more he offends them, and the more so they pronounce him a dunce, a nut, a boor, a criminal, an ogre, then all the more they reveal what many had suspected about them but had no hard evidence to substantiate those suspicions. Trump believes his checkered social life is now transparent and serves as a sort of armor when he jousts with the sober and judicious whose pretense of civility is ripped away leaving them hypocritical when they foam, swear, and damn the current president.

Media bias?
The hatred for Trump manifests itself in 90 percent negative coverage, according to reputable media watchdogs.

Trump’s war with the Colin Kaepernick take-a-knee fad and the NBA-China nexus reminds us that hypocritical multimillionaires who grow rich throwing, catching, and bouncing balls are not by that fact to be looked up to as either moral or wise, but mostly remain clueless and hypocritical.

The bipartisan Washington establishment?
If an outsider Manhattan wheeler-dealer without military or political experience can at last call an appeased China to account, can avoid a Libyan fiasco, can acknowledge that America is tired of a 18-year slog in Afghanistan when others would not, or believes ISIS thrived as a result of prior arcane restrictive U.S. rules of engagement—and he is proven largely right—then what does that say about the credentialed experts who dreamed up the bipartisan conventional wisdom that with a few more concessions China would eventually become Palo Alto or that Libya would bloom at the heart of the Arab Spring?

The Left detests Trump for a lot of reasons besides winning the 2016 election and aborting the progressive project. But mostly they hate his guts because he is trying and often succeeding to restore a conservative America at a time when his opponents thought that the mere idea was not just impossible but unhinged.

And that is absolutely unforgivable.

Warning: A Very Real Danger to our Electric Grid and Humanity

Real Clear Defense:
Prepare for the Worst

.

By William R. Graham, R. James Woolsey & Peter Vincent Pry
October 21, 2019

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Among the most important findings of the 2004, 2008, and 2017 reports by the congressionally mandated Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack is that millions of Americans could die and the loss of our electronic civilization to manmade or natural EMP catastrophe would be a national doomsday. Therefore, EMP is one of a very small number of existential threats that demands immediate high-priority attention from the U.S. Government.1

1.All of the EMP Commission unclassified reports are at www.firstempcommission.org

President Trump deserves the gratitude of every American for heeding EMP Commission warnings and issuing his “Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses” on March 26, 2019.(2)

However, the President’s executive order to protect the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures is in danger of being undermined by a small number of highly influential non-expert career bureaucrats in the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy. This cabal of about five members of the permanent federal bureaucracy were obstacles to national EMP preparedness during the Obama Administration— and today are entrusted by DHS and DOE with implementing President Trump’s EMP Executive Order.

Moreover, with the resignation of several key people at the top of the National Security Council staff, it is at best uncertain that the replacements will have the knowledge, experience, and drive to see that the President’s Executive Order is implemented, particularly in the face of resistance from career bureaucrats in league with domestic and foreign electric power monopolies.

Not having deep expertise in EMP themselves, and perhaps being part of “the resistance” to Trump Administration policies, these DHS and DOE actors are promoting EMP “junk science” by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a lobby for the electric power industry. EPRI alleges that even a worst-case nuclear EMP attack or solar superstorm is not an existential threat to electric power grids and U.S. society, would have merely localized effects, and be quickly recoverable.(3)

If EPRI’s fantasy is accepted that a nuclear EMP attack or solar superstorm would have societal consequences no worse than a hurricane, then DHS, DOE, and the electric power industry can “implement” President Trump’s EMP Executive Order by doing little or nothing.

It appears to matter little to these DHS and DOE bureaucrats that EPRI’s EMP threat assessment has been debunked by the Defense Nuclear Agency, the EMP Commission and the U.S. Air Force Electromagnetic Defense Task Force.(4)

Shocking that DHS and DOE would even trust EPRI, that has no expertise on EMP, serves not science but the financial and political interests of electric utilities, receives 25% of research monies from foreign sources, and includes China and Russia as members.(5)

2. President Donald J. Trump Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses (The White House: March 26, 2019).
3. EPRI, High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse and the Bulk Power System” (April 30, 2019).
4. USAF EDTF, Electromagnetic Pulse Threats to America’s Electric Grid: Counterpoints to Electric Power Research Institute (OTH: August 27, 2019) https://othjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/EMP-Threats-to-Americas-Electric-Grid.pdf. EMP Commission, Recommended E3 HEMP Heave Electric Field Waveform for the Critical Infrastructures (Washington, DC: July 2017). EMP Commission, Examination of NERC GMD Standards and Validation of Ground Models and Geo-Electric Fields (Washington, DC: July 2017).
5.EPRI, “EPRI’s R&D Program—Frequently Asked Questions” mydocs.epri.com/docs/CorporateDocuments/Newsroom/FAQs-EPRIprogram.pdf. Michael Mabee, “FOIA with DHS Reveals Congressional Frustration on EMP/GMD” Homeland Security (July 9, 2019). According to EPRI “international funding of EPRI nuclear research [increased] to 45 percent from 20 percent five years ago” and

At this crucial juncture in the implementation of President Trump’s EMP Executive Order, where DHS and DOE are re-assessing the EMP threat, they apparently need to be reminded that the EMP Commission threat assessment is not merely another opinion. Commissions established by the President or the Congress engage the best experts and are given extraordinary resources and powers to provide the best scientific and strategic threat assessment and recommendations, that are supposed to be definitive for purposes of public policy.

There are good reasons USAF EDTF endorses the EMP Commission: “EDTF…recommends that the Congressional EMP Commission Reports, supported by real-world data, be used by government and industry as the most accurate assessment of the high-altitude EMP threat. EDTF recommends that the Congressional EMP Commission’s recommendations be implemented.”

The EMP Commission had at its service the Free World’s foremost EMP experts, men who laid the foundations of EMP science, beginning with data from the last U.S. exo-atmospheric nuclear tests in 1962, and wrote the Department of Defense (DOD) EMP Military Standards; proved the vulnerability and guided protection of U.S. critical national infrastructures by the most comprehensive testing of modern electronics; testing performed on DOD and U.S. Government EMP simulators by the best DOD and USG technical personnel; and concluded with a process of evaluation, threat assessment, and policy recommendations performed more or less continuously over a period of 17 years—unlike EPRI.

Not only has the EMP Commission faced a long uphill battle advancing national EMP preparedness against a resistant federal bureaucracy, but against an irresponsible press that often misinforms the public with absurd claims—such as the preposterous falsehood the EMP Commission’s warning about an existential threat is derived from the novel One Second After.

Now, with the fate of President Trump’s EMP Executive Order hanging in the balance, and is at risk of being rendered meaningless, it may be helpful to remember what is at stake by revisiting EMP Commission warnings that America faces an existential threat, and why.

Existential Threat: EMP Commission 2004 and 2008 Reports
EMP manmade or natural is analogous to the Cold War nuclear threat that, although considered highly unlikely by most experts, nonetheless demanded and deserved highest priority and vast resources to deter and prevent a nuclear World War III, since the survival of Western Civilization was at stake. Yet a potentially worldwide natural EMP event from a solar superstorm is inevitable, sure to happen someday, the best estimate being a 12% chance every

includes working with China in EPRI news release “EPRI’s Chief Nuclear Officer…Receives Energy Leadership Award” (May 21, 2010) https://www.globalnewswire.com/news-release/2015/05/21/738226/10135597/en/EPRI
6. Ibid, p. 4.
7. For example Kyle Mizukami “No, North Korea Can’t Kill 90 Percent of Americans” Popular Mechanics (March 31, 2017). Popular Mechanics refused to retract Mizukami’s false claim, which went viral, even after One Second After author William Forstchen appealed to the editor, noting his novel was published in 2009, after the 2004 and 2008 EMP Commission reports already declared EMP an existential threat.

decade of a solar EMP catastrophe—a far more likely threat than was Cold War nuclear Armageddon. (8)

The biggest loss of life from natural or manmade EMP would be from starvation, disease, and societal collapse. EMP damage to the electric grid may not be repairable for months or years, or ever if there is mass starvation and societal collapse. Almost irreplaceable equipment, like EHV transformers, require years to manufacture and replace and could require a decade or more to repair if destroyed in large numbers. And this is just one example of protracted damage to the national grid from EMP that could blackout electronic civilization.

“The recovery of any one of the key national infrastructures is dependent on the recovery of others. The longer the outage, the more problematical and uncertain the recovery will be,” warns the EMP Commission 2004 Report, “It is possible for the functional outages to become mutually reinforcing until at some point the degradation of infrastructure could have irreversible effects on the country’s ability to support its population.” (9)

The EMP Commission 2008 Report warns:

–“Electrical power is necessary to support other critical infrastructures, including supply and distribution of water, food, fuel, communications, transport, financial transactions, emergency services, government services, and all other infrastructures supporting the national economy and welfare. Should significant parts of the electric power be lost for any substantial period of time, the Commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities. In fact, the Commission is deeply concerned that such impacts are likely in the event of an EMP attack…” (10)

The EMP Commission 2008 Report in the chapter “Water Infrastructure” warns:

–“Water and its system of supply is a vital infrastructure…(EMP) can damage or disrupt the infrastructure that supplies water to the population, agriculture, and industry of the United States…” (11)

–“By disrupting the water infrastructure, an EMP attack could pose a major threat to life, industrial activity, and social order. Denial of water can cause death in 3 to 4 days, depending on the climate and level of activity.” (12)

–“People are likely to resort to drinking from lakes, streams, ponds, and other sources of surface water. Most surface water, especially in urban areas, is contaminated with wastes and

8.Dr. Tony Phillips, “Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012” (NASA: July 23, 2014) https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23Jul_superstorm/

9.EMP Commission, Executive Report (Washington, DC: 2004) pp. 1-2.
10.EMP Commission, Critical National Infrastructures (Washington, DC: 2008) Preface p. vii.
11.Ibid, p. 139.
12.Ibid, p. 143.

pathogens and could cause serious illness if consumed. If water treatment and sewage plants cease operating, the concentration of wastes in surface water will certainly increase dramatically and make the risks of consuming surface water more hazardous.” (13)

–“Demoralization and deterioration of social order can be expected to deepen if a water shortage is protracted. Anarchy will certainly loom if government cannot supply the population with enough water to preserve health and life.” (14)

The EMP Commission 2008 Report in the chapter “Food Infrastructure” warns:

–“An EMP attack that disrupts the food infrastructure could pose a threat to life, industrial activity, and social order. Absolute deprivation of food, on average, will greatly diminish a person’s capacity for physical work within a few days. After 4 to 5 days without food, the average person will suffer from impaired judgment and have difficulty performing simple intellectual tasks. After 2 weeks without food, the average person will be virtually incapacitated. Death typically results after 1 or 2 months without food.” (15)

–“Social order likely would decay if a food shortage were protracted. A government that cannot supply the population with enough food to preserve health and life could face anarchy.” (16)

–“Blackouts of electric grids caused by storms or accidents have destroyed food supplies. An EMP attack that damages the power grid and denies electricity to warehouses or that directly damages refrigeration and temperature control systems could destroy most of the 30-day regional perishable food supply. Blackouts also have disrupted transportation systems and impeded the replenishment of local food supplies.” (17)

–“Massive traffic jams are most likely in large cities, the very areas where rapid replenishment of the food supply at hundreds of supermarkets will be needed most urgently. Significantly, recent famines in the developing world have occurred, despite massive relief efforts by the international community, in large part because food relief could not reach victim populations through their underdeveloped transportation infrastructure. An EMP attack could, in effect, temporarily create in the United States the technological conditions in the food and transportation infrastructures that have resulted in developing world famines.” (18)

Existential Threat: EMP Commission Congressional Testimony
EMP Commissioners in congressional testimony—that constitutes part of the official record and findings of the EMP Commission—warned that, in a worst case scenario, most Americans could die in an EMP catastrophe, estimating possible fatalities ranging up to two-thirds of the population or more, perhaps as high as 90% perishing from starvation, disease, and societal collapse. On September 4th, 1882, when the first electric grid lit New York City, the population

13.Ibid.
14.Ibid, p. 144.
15.Ibid, p. 134.
16.Ibid.
17.Ibid, pp. 134-135.
18.Ibid, p. 137.

of the United States was 50 million, 85% smaller than the 330 million Americans sustained by our electronic civilization today. In 1882 most Americans were farmers and civilization was sustained by coal-fired and horse-drawn technologies and critical infrastructures that no longer exist. Even in 1922, before the advent of national electrification in the 1930s, the technology and critical infrastructures of the time sustained a population of 110 million, two-thirds fewer people than today.

On July 22, 2004, at a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, the EMP Commission Chairman, Dr. William R. Graham, and EMP Commissioner, Dr. Lowell Wood, explained why two-thirds or more of the American people could die from an EMP catastrophe:

MR. BARTLETT: …your characterization of this is a large continental time machine that would move us back a century in technology, and my question then was, “But Dr. Wood, the technology of a century ago could not support our present population and distribution,” and your unemotional response, “Yes, I know. The population will shrink until it could be supported by the technology.” When I look at the technology of a century ago and where we are today, Dr. Wood, I would imagine that that shrink might be a good two-thirds of our present population?”

DR. WOOD: The population that this continent carried late in the 19th century, sir, was almost a factor of 10 smaller than it is at the present time. We went from where we had 70 percent of the population on the farms feeding 30 percent of the people in the villages and cities to where 3 percent of the population on the farms at the present time feeds the other 97 percent of the country. So just looking at it from an agricultural and food supply standpoint, if we were no longer able to fuel our agricultural machine in this country, the food production of the country would simply stop because we do not have the horses and mules that used to tow the agricultural gear around in the 1880’s and 1890’s. So the situation would be extremely adverse if both electricity and the fuel that electricity moves around the country, the diesel fuel and so forth, if that went away and stayed away for a substantial interval of time, we would miss the harvest, and we would starve the following winter.

MR. BARTLETT: Isn’t it possible that the ultimate effects on our society from a robust EMP laydown, although initially maybe few or no people would be killed, might be greater than the effects of ground-burst nuclear weapons in a nuclear exchange? I see Dr. Graham nodding his head in assent.

DR. GRAHAM: Yes. In a way, we thought that was the threshold for our consideration because a determined adversary probably could manage to place a nuclear weapon on the surface, either by ballistic missile or other means, but, in fact, we concluded that, as you say, while producing no immediate fatalities, a high-altitude nuclear burst could over a period of time measured in weeks to months—and possibly, in some cases, even shorter—cause more fatalities than a nuclear burst directed at a population area. Of even greater concern is the fact that recovery from the high-altitude event could be more difficult. In a nuclear burst in a city, however devastating it would be—and it would certainly be devastating—we have the rest of the country that we can bring in from the periphery of the attacked area to try to help in the recovery and help the survivors as much as possible. But with a high-altitude nuclear burst, the area effected would be sufficiently large that it would not be possible to bring in enough support from the periphery in a rapid fashion to recover the area in a quick and responsive manner. So, if you will, the peripheral effect is much more difficult to take advantage of with a high-altitude nuclear burst, and, therefore, the overall effect could be much more devastating.(19)

On March 8, 2005, at a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security, EMP Commissioner Wood, substituting for EMP Commission Chairman Graham, warned that an EMP event could “literally destroy the American nation and might cause the deaths of 90 percent of its people and would set us back a century or more in time as far as our ability to function as a society….So when we stop to think about being attacked from North Korea, we shouldn’t think about Hiroshima or Nagasaki. We should think about flavors of destruction that have never been seen before on this planet.” (20) Moreover:

DR. WOOD:…If the lights stay off for more than a year in this country, the Commission’s estimate was the loss of life would run into the tens of millions, perhaps a great deal more. You miss the harvest. You have no refrigeration, no transportation, no anything except what we had in the country in the 1880’s. Most Americans will die in that interval.” (21)

At the July 10, 2008 hearing before the House Armed Services Committee on the EMP Commission 2004 and 2008 reports, the EMP Commission Chairman, Dr. William Graham, warned up to 90% of the American people could perish from an EMP catastrophe:

MR. BARTLETT: I read a prepublication copy of a book called One Second After…The story runs for a year…At the end of the year, 90 percent of our population is dead…I understand that this is a realistic assessment of what a really robust EMP laydown could do to our country?

DR. GRAHAM: We think that is in the correct range. We don’t have experience with losing the infrastructure in a country with 300 million people, most of whom don’t live in a way that provides for their own food and other needs. We can go back to an era when people did live like that. That would be—10 percent would be 30 million people, and that is probably the range where we could survive as a basically rural economy. (22)

Existential Threat: EMP Commission 2017 Reports
The EMP Commission 2017 Executive Report and Chairman’s Report reaffirms the existential threat from natural and manmade EMP:

–“The critical national infrastructure in the United States faces a present and continuing existential threat from combined-arms warfare, including cyber and manmade electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, as well as from natural EMP from a solar superstorm…Within the last decade, newly armed adversaries, including North Korea, have been developing the capability and threatening to carry out an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack would

19.The Report Of The Commission To Assess The Threat To The U.S. From Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, Hearing before the House Armed Services Committee (July 22, 2004).
20.Terrorism And The EMP Threat To Homeland Security, Hearing before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology, and Homeland Security; U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (March 8, 2005) Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2005.
21.Ibid, p. 18.
22.Threat Posed By Electromagnetic Pulse Attack, Hearing before the House Armed Services Committee (July 10, 2008) Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2009, pp. 8-9.

give countries that have only a small number of nuclear weapons the ability to cause widespread, long-lasting damage to critical national infrastructures, to the United States itself as a viable country, and to the survival of a majority of its population.(23)

–“A long-term outage owing to EMP could disable most critical supply chains, leaving the U.S. population living in conditions similar to centuries past, prior to the advent of electric power. In the 1800s, the U.S. population was less than 60 million, and those people had many skills and assets necessary for survival without today’s infrastructure. An extended blackout today could result in the death of a large fraction of the American people through the effects of societal collapse, disease, and starvation.” (24)

–“Solar superstorms, like the 1859 Carrington Event, generate natural EMP that could blackout electric grids and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures over remarkably wide areas, putting at risk the lives of many millions.” (25)

Better Safe Than Sorry
The most important message of the 2004, 2008, and 2017 EMP Commission reports is that: “The current vulnerability of U.S. critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected; however, correction is feasible and well within the Nation’s means and resources to accomplish.” (26)

We are very close to having five career DHS and DOE bureaucrats decide for 330 million Americans that the U.S. should not be protected against the real EMP threat. Frighteningly reminiscent of the bureaucratic politics that left New Orleans unprepared for a Category 5 Hurricane Katrina, because such was considered highly unlikely or impossible.

Those too naive to understand the real EMP threat should at least be guided by the time proven adages: “Better safe than sorry” and “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

Dr. William R. Graham served as Chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission, President Reagan’s Science Advisor, ran NASA, and on the defense science team that discovered the EMP phenomenon and developed protective measures. Ambassador R. James Woolsey was Director of Central Intelligence. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry served as chief of staff of the EMP Commission and on the staffs of the Strategic Posture Commission, House Armed Services Committee, and CIA.

23.EMP Commission, Assessing the Threat of EMP Attack: Executive Report (Washington, DC: July 2017) p. 1.
24.Ibid, p. 4.
25.EMP Commission, Chairman’s Report (July 2017) pp. 6-7.
26.Executive Report, op. cit., pp. 2-3.

An Open Letter to Sergey Brin

Categories Columnists Issues
20 hours ago

An Open Letter to Sergey Brin

# Opinion # Conservative # religion # liberals # free-speech # leftism
Columnist
Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Dear Mr. Brin: Fifty years ago this week, when I was a 21-year-old college senior, I was in the Soviet Union, sent by the government of Israel to smuggle in Jewish religious items and smuggle out names of Jews who wanted to escape the Soviet Union and could then be issued a formal invitation to Israel.

I was chosen because I was a committed Jew and because I knew Hebrew and Russian. I was no hero, but the trip did entail risk. The Soviets did not appreciate people smuggling out names of Soviet citizens who sought to emigrate, information the Israeli government and activist groups in America used to advocate on their behalf.

My four weeks in the USSR were, of course, life-changing. This young American, lucky beyond belief to have spent his entire life in the freest country in the world, experienced what it was like to live in a totalitarian police state. People feared merely being seen speaking with a Westerner, lest the KGB arrest and interrogate them. People arranged to meet me at a certain tree in a certain park and only spoke to me while walking to avoid eavesdroppers. I met with Jewish engineers, doctors and professors who could find no work because they were known to the government to be “otkazniki,” or “refuseniks” — Jews who had applied for exit visas to leave the Soviet Union and been refused permission. I’m sure you know of them from your parents.

I left the Soviet Union angry and grateful — angry there are people who have the audacity to tell other people what they could and could not say, and grateful beyond measure to have been born in America, where no one could tell anyone what they could say. From that day to this, I have never taken freedom, especially freedom of speech, for granted.

Why I am writing to you about this?

Because, beyond my wildest dreams, two things are happening in America.

One is that for the first time in America’s history, free speech is seriously threatened.

In 1977, when Nazis sought to march in Skokie, Illinois — those terrible human beings chose Skokie because it was home to many Jewish Holocaust survivors — virtually every liberal and conservative organization, including Jewish organizations, defended the Nazis’ right to march. Because in America — and only in America — it was understood that even if the most loathsome speech was not protected, all speech was at risk.

That has changed.

Today, decent people — people who abhor Nazism and every other form of evil, left or right; people like Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro and Ayaan Hirsi Ali — are shouted down, threatened, disinvited or never invited to speak at America’s universities.

The other thing that is happening is even more frightening. The company that you co-founded, Google, the greatest conduit of speech in world history, is also suppressing speech. I have asked myself over and over: How could the company founded by a man whose parents fled the Soviet Union do this?

It so boggles the mind that I have to hope you are simply not fully aware of what your company is doing.

So, in a nutshell, let me tell you what Google has done to one organization, Prager University (better known as PragerU). Every week, PragerU releases a five-minute video on virtually every subject outside of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Some of the finest minds in the world have presented these videos — including professors from Harvard, Stanford and MIT; four Pulitzer Prize winners; three former prime ministers; liberals; conservatives; Democrats; Republicans (including never-Trumpers); gays; and, of course, many women and members of ethnic and racial minorities.

Yet YouTube, which Google owns, has placed hundreds of our videos on its restricted list. In addition to the inherent smear of being labeled “inappropriate for children,” this means no family that filters out pornography and graphic violence, no school and no library can see those videos. Among those restricted videos is one during former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper defends Israel. Had someone told me 50 years ago that a company led by the son of Soviet Jewish refuseniks would suppress a video by a world leader defending the Jewish state, I would have told them they were out of their mind. That’s one reason I can only assume, or at least hope, that you are not fully aware of what your company is doing.

Or how about a video series I present on the Ten Commandments? YouTube is suppressing a number of those, too. When Sen. Ted Cruz asked a Google official why Google restricted one of my videos on the Ten Commandments, the official responded (it’s on YouTube) that it was because the video “contains references to murder.”

In fact, PragerU has repeatedly asked Google over the past several years why any of our videos are on the restricted list, and we have received either a runaround or silence. We have never received a substantive explanation. We have no desire to see government intervene in private business to protect free speech. But your company has availed itself of protections under law that shield it from liability for defamation, copyright infringement, etc. Your company’s arrogance is such that a vast number of Americans — liberals as well as conservatives — are worried that the major conduit of speech in the Free World doesn’t care about free speech.

Mr. Brin, along with millions of other Americans, I fought to bring your parents from a land with no freedom to the Land of the Free. None of us has ever asked for anything in return. It was our honor to work for liberty in general and for Soviet Jewry specifically.

What Americans most want from immigrants is that they help keep America free. I never had any doubt that those leaving the Soviet Union would fulfill that mission.

Until now.

Freedom of speech is the most fundamental of all freedoms. It’s what your parents yearned for and bequeathed to you. Please don’t help take it away from those who made it possible — the people of America.

Sincerely yours,

Dennis Prager