Why the US Hasn’t Brought “Fire and Fury” to North Korea

As the world ponders the meaning of President Donald Trump’s threat of “fire and fury” on North Korea, it’s worth asking why his predecessors never took those steps to stop its nuclear program. Trump isn’t the first president to threaten North Korea. The others were all bluffing.

When Bill Clinton was confronted with the threat of North Korea’s exit from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, he considered military force. But he ended up going for negotiations in what became known as the Joint Framework Agreement. The North Koreans froze their plutonium program in exchange for fuel shipments and a light water reactor from the U.S. Neither side ever fully delivered.

Then there was George W. Bush. He didn’t like North Korea. He put the nation in the original “axis of evil.” On his watch, the U.S. discovered Pyongyang had a secret uranium enrichment program, in violation of the spirit of Clinton’s deal. Then in 2006, North Korea tested its first nuclear device. By 2007, Bush had lifted crippling sanctions on the regime’s elites and entered into new negotiations. And surprise: The North Koreans backed out of those talks at the end, too.

By the time Barack Obama came into power, the North Koreans were back to building up their program. They perfected missiles, sunk a South Korean ship and shelled a South Korean island. The current tyrant, Kim Jong Un, ascended to power and proceeded to consolidate his position, killing his uncle and later his half brother. All the while, Obama pursued a policy of “strategic patience,” aimed at not rewarding Kim’s regime for its provocations and rogue behavior.

Now Trump has inherited a mess. Not only is Kim testing ballistic missiles at an alarming rate, as the Washington Post reported this week, but also the Defense Intelligence Agency now assesses North Korea can miniaturize a nuclear warhead so that it can fit inside a missile. Game, set, match.

So why didn’t the last three presidents take out North Korea’s nuclear facilities when they had the chance? The answer is Seoul, the thriving capital of South Korea. The North has enough artillery pieces within range of this metropolis to kill hundreds of thousands of people, which could very well begin a world war and throw the global economy into a tailspin.

Past presidents have understandably feared the North would retaliate in this way. But for some today, that fear is fading. John Plumb, a former director of defense policy and strategy for Obama’s National Security Council, told the Atlantic last month: “If I were the Trump administration, I would be looking at the threat to incinerate Seoul and trying to figure out how real it is. Because to me, it’s become such a catchphrase, and it almost — it starts to lose credibility. Attacking Seoul, a civilian population center, is different from attacking a remote military outpost. It’s dicey, there’s no doubt about it.”

Intelligence officials have said in recent months that this threat remains very real. While there are steps the U.S. can take to mitigate the problem, such as dropping cluster munitions on the big guns, it’s an imperfect and high-risk strategy. An attack on North Korea would be unpredictable and could unleash far worse on U.S. forces (which have been stationed in South Korea for more than 60 years), not to mention allies like Japan.

All of this gets back to Trump’s bluster. At this point we as Americans ought to expect more careful words from the president. At the same time, nothing Trump said was that different from the implicit threat against North Korea, or any power that threatens American cities with nuclear destruction.

Don’t get me wrong: There are few people on the planet more deserving of “fire and fury” than Kim Jong Un. But would such a strike even eliminate its nuclear program? How far is Trump willing to go? Will he order an invasion of North Korea to topple the regime? And if he does, would he commit the manpower, capital and time to stabilize the country once the Kim dynasty falls?

According to retired Admiral William Perry, Clinton’s second secretary of defense, the U.S. couldn’t even take out North Korea’s nuclear infrastructure with military strikes, given how much it has expanded in the last 20 years. What’s more, the price paid by South Koreans would be unacceptable. This is what he told a group of journalists this spring at an event sponsored by the Hoover Institution.

It’s possible that Trump is counting on his reputation as an impetuous novice — one who Kim just might fear would roll the dice by attacking North Korea. But Trump’s ultimatum allows the boy-tyrant in Pyongyang to test the president’s mettle. (Already the North Korean state media has threatened Guam.) We can expect more taunts and threats in the coming days, proving Trump’s threat was hollow. As hollow as past presidents’ pledges to do the same.

Yep, It’s Definitely Donald Trump Who’s the Tyrant Here

Hitler. Mussolini. Stalin. Pol Pot. al-Assad. Hussein. Gaddafi. Franco. Kim Jong Il. Each one is considered a dictator, a tyrant who’s greed for power is only surpassed by their cruelty and inhumanity.

If you were to wade into the depths of #TheResistance on social media (which I don’t recommend), you’d also see a movement to brand Donald Trump a dictator and his administration a lawless tyranny over the nation.  To be sure, the Trump administration has done itself no favors is coming across as inept, overly ambitious and yet clearly out of its depth. They have said things that, yes, are frightening.

But let us be absolutely honest here. When it comes to tyranny in America, there is no tyranny except for that of the mob.

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. The instant communication of thoughts to the world allows for breaking news to break faster and hard-hitting news to hit harder. The downside is that it opens you and everyone you know and love up for ridicule, petition, and even expulsion from society.

Case in point, the lad from Google who wrote what is being called a “manifesto” opposing Google’s diversity policy. It seems that, virtually instantly, this person was the target of a mob whose sole purpose was to flush him out of The Collective.

It worked, too. Google fired the man (interestingly, a new social media platform called “Gab”, which touts itself as an ad-free, free speech platform, offered to hire him), and the Left was delighted that the wrongspeak was punished.

This is not the first time, however, that someone’s livelihood was destroyed over thinking or believing the “wrong” thing. We’ve covered countless times the bakers, photographers, and other business people whose lives were ruined and their businesses shuttered because they dared to not conform with the Left’s ideology.

“But Mr. Reagan Conservative,” some on the Left might cry, “this isn’t tyranny because mobs aren’t the government.” If you think that, you are wrong. It is with the help of the courts that these attacks on private businesses have flourished. It is the politicians who speak out and encourage this behavior that ruins the lives of people whose only crime is thoughtcrime.

For another example, take Chelsea Handler, the so-called comedienne who actually suggested we criminalize speech.

Where, exactly, does this type of legislation begin and where does it end? By the Left’s standards, virtually everything is racist, so that means if you laugh at something someone else deems is racist, you’re going to (at best) be fined. This is an actual proposal from someone who thinks there is no problem with criminalizing what someone finds funny. There is no end to this slippery slope, either.

Or take the case of Dana Loesch, who is under attack from journalists and Leftists because she appeared in an NRA video ad and says she wants to fact-check the media. The number of people who want to silence her by reporting her to the feds, threatening her husband and her children, and making graphic, sexual threats to and about her is appalling.

But this is the new norm. This is the world we live in now. We have to deal with the tyranny of the mob before we can move on to the tyranny of any White House occupant.

So, forgive me when someone calls Donald Trump a fascist dictator with one breath and turns around to advocate banning speech because they don’t like it.

 

Mr. Madigan, Wisconsin Thanks You for Blocking Illinois Reforms

Early this month, when they hit taxpayers with a 32 percent jump in the individual income tax rate, many legislators broke a promise they had made: No more tax hikes without major reforms to help Illinois’ moribund economy. Don’t worry, said Democrats who pushed the tax hike. We’ll get to those reforms soon enough.

But not soon enough, we now see, to keep electronics giant Foxconn from bypassing Illinois to make a jobs-rich investment in southeast Wisconsin. This is a huge win for Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin whom Illinois Democrats loathe. Just as this is an embarrassment for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (as also for Senate President John Cullerton).

Once again, the people of Illinois see how Madigan and Cullerton, with their combined eighty-six years in Springfield (just let that sink in, eighty-six years, this is why we need term limits), have left Illinois ill-prepared to compete for 21st-century jobs. Their agenda is about raising taxes, not about delivering those reforms. Every other state on Foxconn’s short list looked better than Illinois by the basic measures of financial stability and pro-growth economies.

No wonder, then, that Illinois is starved for jobs. We expect to learn more in coming days about Foxconn’s thinking. We don’t know details of whatever federal, state and local government incentives lured the company “Beyond the Cheddar Curtain”. And we can’t be certain how many billions of dollars in investment, and how many thousands of jobs, Wisconsin will gain.

But we do know this: Wisconsin boasts a freshly burnished global image. One of the planet’s largest tech firms, with a million workers worldwide, says its search led it to bet a fraction of its future on Wisconsin. Assuming that happens, expect robust economic growth from suppliers, subcontractors, construction companies and other businesses that will serve Foxconn and its workforce.

Cranky Springfield apologists for Madigan and Cullerton will say I am overreaching, that Gov. Bruce Rauner is somehow to blame for losing Foxconn to Wisconsin. Except Rauner has been pushing exactly the kinds of employer-friendly reforms that Madigan and Cullerton have resisted, often to please their allies who lead labor unions.

It’s Madigan (and Cullerton) who’ve set up Illinois to fail in these contests for jobs. Madigan and Cullerton who haven’t sent Rauner a no-gimmicks property tax freeze to even slightly offset the extra $5 billion their income tax hike will gouge from companies and workers. Madigan and Cullerton who won’t make major fixes to a workers’ compensation system that drives away employers. Madigan and Cullerton who can’t deliver significant pension reforms to Rauner’s desk. Madigan and Cullerton who can’t bring themselves to slash that costly roster of seven thousand local governments.

The Chicago Tribune got it pretty good here:

Year upon year, these majority leaders haven’t delivered those sweeping solutions to the people of Illinois — citizens sufficiently exasperated that they fired one governor and hired another to disrupt Madigan and Cullerton’s statehouse. On their watch, Illinois has become a national embarrassment, a failed job creator whose young people are leaving by the tens of thousands.

Just as the Chicago Tribune did, I urge Madigan and Cullerton to run for re-election from their districts if they wish, but to step down from their leadership posts.

Enough of their games. Foxconn’s choice of Wisconsin offers a fresh opportunity to act on what’s wrong with Illinois:

We await the reforms legislators promised, so that Illinois doesn’t keep driving employers to other states.

Just as we hope Michael Madigan and John Cullerton realize they’ve delivered more for the governor of Wisconsin than for the people of Illinois.

Man Who Identifies as 6-year-old Dominates CrossFit Kids Class (Satire)

Local CrossFit enthusiast Anthony Neff walked out of his local CrossFit affiliate with a smile on his face after his 4pm class on Tuesday. He had just dominated another workout, not only setting a personal record in the snatch, but besting the next strongest athlete in the class by over 185 pounds.

Neff, who works as a sales associate at Target, was born in 1983 but is currently transitioning to a birth year of 2011. He is the first transaged individual to participate in his gym’s CrossFit Kids program.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for everyone who has been supporting my transition,” Neff told The Associated Press as he boosted a fellow athlete up to the gym’s water fountain to help him take a drink. “Science has come a long way in recognizing that age isn’t just a matter of how old you are. ”

Neff began to publicly identify as a six-year-old three years ago, but didn’t tell his wife Angela until months later.

“Anthony has always been a little immature, but I thought he would grow out of it,” She explained. But over time, Angela noticed her husband playing with toy trucks instead of going to work, watching hours of Octonauts, and laughing at the words like ‘poop’ and ‘booger.’

“This is who he is, and celebrating that is more important than pressing him to conform to reality.”

The change hasn’t been easy, but Neff says he’s been treated “well and kind” at his affiliate. “The coaches are all very supportive,” he said. His treatment has included increased growth hormones to match the levels found in the bodies of growing children.

“If he has been taking hormones, or steroids, he should be training and competing against actual children,” said Melissa Jones, mother of one of the other children in Neff’s CrossFit Kids class.

Jones is not alone in her concerns, but Neff’s coach, Travis Miller disagrees.

“I asked him if he thought the growth hormones were giving him an unfair advantage against the other children in the class,” Miller told the Associated Press. “He looked right at me and said he ‘didn’t identify’ as someone who was taking growth hormones. What kind of hateful bigot would question that logic?”

At time of press, Neff was consuming a bowl of Fruit Loops and looking forward to a CrossFit Kids session consisting of front-squats and a game of burpee dodgeball.

“All I know is when I get the ball everybody on the other side better watch out.”

Calm Down Democrats, The Holy Grail of a Trump Crime Remains Missing

What has really happened since Donald Trump Jr. released his email chain setting up a meeting last June with a Russian lawyer? Are Democrats and their allies in the media any closer to having their high crime or misdemeanor?

Answer: No.

As Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz stated on July 11,

“It is unlikely that attendance at the meeting violated any criminal statute.”

Well said, Mr. Dershowitz.

And yet, the media would have you believe that the meeting Trump Jr. described as “literally just a wasted twenty minutes” is a smoking gun that will inevitably take President Trump, his administration, and his entire family down forever.

In reality, Trump Jr.’s emails show he has nothing to hide.

Further to this point, Trump Jr. recently went on “Hannity” to speak specifically about his actions. Granted, Fox News host Sean Hannity is not always interested in giving a complete, unvarnished account of what happens in Trump World and his questions are softballs, but Trump Jr. made some important points nonetheless– namely, the fact that there was no subsequent follow-up contact with the Russian lawyer and “nothing to tell” then-candidate Trump. Therefore, unless you decide to believe he is lying, there was no “collusion.” The holy grail is still missing.

I don’t think Trump Jr. went on national television and told a bunch of lies. Undoubtedly, the president’s enemies will believe that they are justified in feeling otherwise. But Trump Jr. has little incentive to do anything but tell the truth at this point.

Even if we suppose there was a follow-up from the campaign with the Russian lawyer, it is hard to say that more conversations or meetings would have amounted to a crime. And yes, something can be wrong but not illegal. However, that is not the argument Democrats and their allies in the media want to make. They want this to crack the foundation of the Trump presidency. They want it to crumble.

Blinded by disdain for the president, liberals are the media are mostly trying to create credibility for accusations of criminal violations and impeachable offenses. They embellish everything just so that they can keep the story moving. Maybe they will get a break and someone will stumble into a crime during the investigation into the non-crimes from the fall campaign.

In their search for a nonexistent smoking gun, Trump’s opponents appear at least partially satisfied by the constant hounding of the White House and the president’s family.

In politics, being innocent is just an advantage. It is not determinative. And although the fact’s do not support the left’s pursuit of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the Trump family, Trump Jr. is sure to face a lot of harassment, and he may make more “mistakes.” But that is far from being in the crosshairs of an American law enforcement investigation that could bring down a president. Sorry to the Trump haters for being such a buzzkill.

If Trump Jr. is guilty of anything, it is letting someone so lacking credibility have unfettered access to his schedule. Danger. You usually see your enemies coming, but it is your friends who will blindside you and get you in trouble.

Anyway, Trump’s enemies are desperate for something impeachable. But remember, there is no such thing as the crime of collusion. It’s not even a misdemeanor. And unless the Russian lawyer provided an illegal contribution, stolen probably, etc., to the Trump campaign, there is no crime that will take this story where the media want it to go. But that doesn’t mean they will quit trying.

Why Do They Keep Losing? (the Democrats, I mean)

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Despite spending millions and millions of dollars, the Democrats still lost in Georgia’s 6th District.

You could see the pain on their faces: they thought they had this one.

But they didn’t.

Here’s why.

Let’s return to the shooting of Steve Scalise – or rather, the liberal reaction to it.

On MSNBC, and its twin sister, the campus lounge – we saw a ghoulish reiteration of one sad take:  the shooting wasn’t entirely unjustified. In fact, given Scalise’s voting record, it all makes sense!  Joy Reid rushed to point out the victim’s past, Hollywood trolls like George Takei echoed her assumptions, and a Connecticut professor actually thought it a mistake that a black officer helped save white people’s lives.

Johnny Eric Williams, a sociology professor from Trinity College, posted on Facebook a number of declarations, including that blacks shouldn’t help white people when they’re in danger. As Campus Reform reports, he wrote, “The time is now to confront these inhuman a**holes and end this now.” He was referring to whites.

How does this relate to the election? Good question. I’m getting there.

Such harmful and destructive comments do not impact the election directly, but create a detour from a winning strategy. Imagine you’re driving to work, and your car decides, independently, to go in the wrong direction, taking you further and further away from your destination.  For Democrats, that car is identity politics, and it’s taking their party further and further from a place where they might still resonate with the rest of America.

It’s steering the party down a destructive path that makes any correction or improvement impossible.

Today, more people are seeing the wrath of identity politics up close. It’s getting more coverage, and receiving more mockery.  Take for example, the identity cultists at Evergreen College who ran a professor out of town because he objected to their acceptable anti-Caucasian racism. Even liberals were shaken up by this. For a laugh, google “President of Evergreen College George Sumner Bridges” and click on the videos of him kowtowing to students – some of whom held him captive during the ordeal, even accompanying him to the bathroom.

Identity activists pretend to seek rights for the “collective,” but each day they become more like hardened fascists who desire a race and/or religion war.

The destructive impulse of young so-called minds is a tedious, immature one, which is why it’s so disgusting to see academics indulging it.  Instead of challenging the unformed and uninformed minds, teachers feed into their hysterical, unbending desires, resulting in a new world where life experience takes a back seat to identity.

The campus is now a place where the wisdom of a man or woman with a decade of military experience, plus another decade in the work world, takes a back seat to the infantile blathering of a 17-year-old with a nose ring. A self-indulgent whiner with no real challenges in life gets more respect than people who make things, defend things, value things.

In normal life, if a college freshman rejected civil discourse, got in your face and told you to shut up, he would be suspended, perhaps expelled. Now they are applauded, and allowed to harass another day. The campuses are under new management: the mob.

Because campus administrators have long ago abdicated their responsibilities in challenging bad ideas, those bad ideas graduate along with the students, spilling into the real world. The graduate, still angry and self-obsessed, can do nothing but spout bumper sticker slogans and blame everyone for everything.

No one will hire that.

So, their only refuge is either to return to school, or to enter political activism as a vocation – and perpetuate their non-productivity. As a result, campuses and political bodies become even more strident and intolerant, infecting all.

Which is why the Democratic Party is in trouble. For the last four decades they’ve bought the myth that America is the actual problem, and that the solution is to replace a single identity (American), with hundreds of sparring tribes. Now they must feed those tribes.

So when a party stands for nothing but envy, anger and retribution – how long before people decide it’s enough? If the Democratic Party were an actual party, their punch bowl has been spiked with rat poison.  Until they drain that bowl, the party’s candidates will continue to drop like flies.

On Trump and Obama Policies and Our Siberian “Friends”…

Here are some of my thoughts on the Trump and Obama agenda and Russia:

Again, we don’t know if the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to change the outcome of the election, but what I do know that America and Russia are not buddy-buddy with each other. 

If you want to know what a pro-Russia agenda would look like, here are some elements: slash defense spending, slow down our nuclear modernization, roll back nuclear defense missiles, enter one-sided nuclear arm control agreements, and do everything that you can to stop American oil and gas production. Those were Obama’s policies for eight years, not Trump’s. Trump has proposed the exact opposite of those listed items, which would not be good for Russia.

I am not saying that Obama was colluding with the Russians or was actively trying to help out the Russians, but Trump’s policies are polar opposites of helping out Russia. Until all of these investigations are carried out and completed, you can believe whatever you want to believe in how involved the Russians were actually involved with the election; but stop spewing out the narrative that Trump and Putin are practically best friends.

Keep your eyes out for better, in-depth commentaries later this week regarding President Trump and his administration!