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Why the emergence of Rand Paul is a good omen

Rand Paul is becoming the most intriguing figure in U.S. politics behind Donald Trump.

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As the war waged by the media and Deep State against Trump escalates, Rand Paul is deftly coming to the President’s aid.

And that makes him someone worth watching.

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On two key issues this week Paul took the Deep State head on to diffuse the outcry over Trump’s performance at Helsinki. First, in an article published the day of the summit he announced he would be traveling to Russia as a diplomatic envoy to build on Trump’s meeting with Putin.

But, more importantly Paul sided with the President on another matter, NATO and, by extension, our entangling military alliances. On these issues he truly rises to take on the mantle of his father’s foreign policy, a foreign policy which nearly won him the Republican nomination in 2012.

Dialogue is especially important when hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, as is the case in relations between the United States and nuclear-armed Russia. So I applaud Trump for both chiding our NATO allies and greeting its expansion with skepticism, and I applaud him for sitting down with Putin. We should be doing more of such self-examination and dialogue.

Socrates famously said, “An unexamined life is one not worth living.” But, the lack of examination of the horrific consequences of U.S. foreign policy as proscribed by the neoconservatives in the GOP and DNC has led to a life on this planet that far more dangerous than it needs to be.

Life is always worth fighting for, and Paul’s stance here is both principled and correct. As is Trump’s.

Since Trump took office, Paul has been the President’s critic and ally. As a libertarian at his core, Paul’s principles lead him to put his own ego aside when insulted by Trump, stand his ground on the issue nut keep his options open to future opportunities for common ground.

In effect, Paul’s approach to Trump is to praise Trump when he’s on the right of an issue and criticize him when he isn’t.

And he always has a concrete policy option to offer, which is very important in any negotiation.

So, now, with Trump attempting to take control of foreign policy after ceding it to his staff and their neoconservative bias for most of 2017, Paul is supporting Trump directly in this turn away from them.

His questioning ex-CIA Director John Brennan’s use of his security clearance for personal gain led directly to a meeting with Trump and an announcement that not only is Brennan in trouble of it being revoked, but also that of James Clapper, James Comey, Susan Rice, Michael Hayden and Andrew McCabe.

These form the core of the resistance and likely the leaks to the media that have been undermining Trump’s ability to function as the U.S.’s executive.

Unfortunately, for Paul, Trump demands loyalty as well as trust. So, I fear Paul’s balanced approach will keep him at arm’s length with Trump. But, as I said, rarely does Paul criticize the President without presenting him an alternate plan of action.

Criticism is worthless otherwise. In this way Paul is always seen as a willing partner in solving problems even if it is politically inconvenient for Trump at that moment.

But, on foreign policy Trump has precious few allies inside the Beltway. Trump needs allies and Paul knows this is his opportunity to build that trust with Trump and his base, who are, by and large, not as libertarian as he is.

So, Paul’s support on this front will go far with Trump while their confrontation on Obamacare reform, for example, will be properly depreciated.

Paul’s campaign against intelligence agents keeping their security clearance is a direct attack on the Deep State itself and is an important vector to starve the media of any relevancy in the public forum. As he said on Fox News recently.

“I don’t think that ex-CIA agents of any stripe who are now talking heads should continue to get classified information. I think it’s wrong.”

Paul clearly has John Brennan in his sights.

But, this move to support Trump here is both strategic and tactical. Strategically, Paul is learning the rules of what will work for him in the post-Trump era. He is setting himself up for a more important position within the New GOP I see forming after the mid-term elections.

The Democrats are imploding. People like James Comey are now openly calling for the party to support moderate candidates this fall and not the new golden child, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The poll numbers are showing that #TreasonSummit was a failure. Trump’s approval rating keeps climbing. Rasmussen put out a poll recently which I believe is accurate saying that 65% of self-identified Democrats believe Trump is a traitor while as many as a third of Republicans do as well.

Those numbers shouldn’t frighten you. This is a wedge issue. It represents a fork in the road for the U.S. voter. Treason is a serious charge, it comes, as Paul reminds us with a death sentence.

With more than 40% of the U.S. electorate identifying as Independent (and that number is rising) those in the ‘treason’ camp represent, at most, 30% of voters – 20% from the Democrats, at most 10% from Republicans.

That’s about right for the true cross-over of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists (or do I repeat myself?). The neocons have already said they’re going back to the Democrats from which they came, since they are just moldy, warmed-over Trotskyites anyway.

So, Paul knows this is about as bad as it gets for Trump. Once you go nuclear, there’s no going back without a massive loss of face. Going after the “treason” point-man Brennan is tactically the right move.

And the mid-term elections are shaping up to be the moment where Trump welcomes the disaffected centrist voter who sees things improving and a President working for peace and rejects the insanity coming from the Left.

Treason will be a very hard sell from here.

People like Lindsay Graham cannot jump party lest they lose their important committee positions. Old guard Democrats like Dianne Feinstein could be out of a job anyway. There is real change on the horizon in Congress if Trump plays his cards right.

Strategically, it allows Paul to rise in the ranks of the most important committees. Because Trump will, in effect, control a New GOP that represents to voters the American they hold in their heads, not the one we actually live in.

There he can begin wielding real power versus just being a gadfly. By the time Trump is done in 2024 he could easily be seen as the standard-bearer to rebuild the American political system that Trump took a hammer to.

My feeling is that Trump is Loki. His job is to create chaos, upset the balance of things because they are in desperate need of realignment. Rand Paul is a much more balanced presence, a man of strong convictions but milder temperament that will be needed after we pass through the eye of this political storm.

He is a man to watch very carefully from here.

Via Strategic Culture

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tibetan cowboy
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tibetan cowboy

I’m elated to read this important statement. He is an outlier, a good one, like his father, also a doctor. Both are intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken, unlike almost all senators and representatives. Although I’m a liberal “ex-hippie”, I considered voting for Ron Paul but he was displaced along the way. His powerful main message is stop the USA’s worldwide invasions that are crippling and bankrupting our nation. The Rands know that the Pentagon is the USA’s worst enemy and leading us to civil war and self-destruction unless reigned in soon. He’s fighting the best and most difficult fight of all,… Read more »

jmg
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From the article: “Paul’s campaign against intelligence agents keeping their security clearance is a direct attack on the Deep State itself”. Yes, and we can remember why they were keeping their security clearances. As it’s well-known, that’s because former government officials with top secret clearances get more easily well-paid jobs at war profiteering corporations and related organizations: defense contractors, big banks, oil companies, CIA controlled mass media, etc. That’s called the “revolving door”, and it’s part of the reward for acting as military industrial complex faithful agents while in the government, funneling money from US taxpayers, national debt ($21 trillion… Read more »

CumExApostolatus
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((They)) called JFK treasonous as well.

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John Bolton discusses US reasons for INF withdrawal

Despite fears about the US withdrawing from the INF, John Bolton suggests that this is to make way for a more relevant multilateral treaty.

Seraphim Hanisch

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John Bolton, the US National Security Adviser to President Donald Trump, is in Moscow this week. The main topic of concern to many Russians was the stated intention by President Trump to withdraw the US from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (or INF) Treaty with Russia. With the current record of American hostile and unprovoked actions taken against the Russian Federation over the last two years especially, this move caused a good deal of alarm in Russia.

Bolton had meetings with several leaders in the Russian government, including Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and President Vladimir Putin, himself.

Kommersant.ru interviewed Mr. Bolton extensively after some of his meetings had concluded, and asked him about this situation. The interviewer, Elena Chernenko, was very direct in her questioning, and Mr. Bolton was very direct in his answers. What follows is the translation of some of her pertinent questions and Mr. Bolton’s answers:

Elena Chernenko (EC): How did your negotiations with Nikolai Patrushev go? Is it true that you came to Moscow primarily to terminate the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF)?

John Bolton (JB): (Laughs.) Today was my second meeting with Nikolai Patrushev and the staff of the Russian Security Council. The first time I met them was before the summit in Helsinki. I came to prepare the ground for a meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. Patrushev at the time was understood to be in South Africa. So I met with his deputy [Yuri Averyanov – Kommersant] and other colleagues. Patrushev and I first met in Geneva in August.

In any case, this is the second meeting after Helsinki, and it was scheduled about six weeks ago. Now was simply the right time to meet. We arrived with a broad agenda. Many issues – for example, arms control and all related topics – were discussed in Geneva in August. We discussed them then and planned to do it again in Moscow. And we had these plans before the President’s Saturday statement [on the US intention to withdraw from the INF Treaty. “Kommersant”].

EC: Can you explain [this decision] to us? What are the reasons for this decision?

JB: Five or even more years ago, during the presidency of Barack Obama, the United States concluded that Russia committed substantial violations of the INF Treaty; [that Russia] was involved in the production and deployment of missiles that do not comply with the terms of the agreement. The Obama administration called on Russia to return to fulfilling its obligations. The Trump administration called for the same. But based on Russian statements, it became clear that they [the authorities of the Russian Federation— Kommersant] do not at all believe that any kind of violation occurred. And today, during the talks, my Russian interlocutors very clearly expressed their position – that it is not Russia that is in violation of the INF Treaty, but the United States.

However, rather than devolve the negotiations into a tit-for-tat issue, Mr. Bolton noted the real nature of the problem. He understood that simply asking for Russia to resume compliance with the treaty would not be enough – in fact, for Bolton, and really, for President Trump, whom he represents in this matter – the issue is not just an argument between the US and Russia at all. He continued:

JB: Now, some say: “This is just a negotiating move by President Trump, and if we could force Russia to return to the fulfillment of obligations, the treaty would be saved.” But this is impossible from the point of view of logic.

This is the reality we face. As the president said, Russia is doing what we think is considered a violation of the agreement, and we will not tolerate it without being able to respond. We do not think that withdrawal from the agreement is what creates the problem. We think that what Russia is doing in violation of the INF Treaty is the problem.

There is a second point: No one except us in the world is bound by this treaty. Although this is technically incorrect: lawyers will tell you that the former USSR countries (with the exception of the three Baltic republics, which the US never recognized as part of the USSR), were also bound by the treaty when the USSR collapsed. But the remaining 11 countries do not have any ballistic missiles. That is, only two countries in the world are bound by the INF Treaty. One of these countries violates the agreement. Thus, there is only one country in the world bound by the terms of the document – the USA. And this is unacceptable.

At the same time, we see that China, Iran, the DPRK – they all strengthen their potential with methods that would violate the INF Treaty, if these countries were its signatories. Fifteen years ago, it was possible that the agreement could be extended and made multilateral. But today it is already impracticable in practice. And the threat from China is real – you can ask countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or Australia what they think about the Chinese [missile. – Kommersant] potential. They are nervous about this. Many in Europe and the Middle East are nervous about Iran’s potential.

As the President explained on Saturday, this puts the United States in an unacceptable position. And that is why he promulgated the decision [to withdraw from the INF Treaty. – Kommersant].

So, here, the President’s point of view is that the treaty as it presently stands has two problems: Russia is in violation (and a very good point was conceded by Bolton of how the American side also becomes in violation as well), but the INF treaty only applies to these two countries when the emerging great and regional powers China, North Korea, and Iran, also have these types of missiles.

For President Trump, an effective measure would be to create a multilateral treaty.

This is a very interesting point of discussion. Politically for President Trump, this immediate decision to withdraw from the INF looks like a show of toughness against Russia. Before the midterms this is probably an important optic for him to have.

However, the real problem appears to be the irrelevance of a treaty that applies to only two of the at least five nations that possess such armaments, and if Russia and the US were limiting only their missiles, how does that prevent any other power from doing the same?

While it could be argued that North Korea is no longer a threat because of its progress towards denuclearization, and Iran maintains that it has no nuclear weapons anyway, this leaves China. Although China is not expressing any military threats at this time, the country has shown some increased assertiveness over territories in the South China Sea, and Japan and China have historically bad relations so there is some worry about this matter.

Behind this all, or perhaps more properly said, in concurrence with it, is the expressed intention of Presidents Putin and Trump to meet again for another summit in Paris on November 11. There are further invitations on both sides for the American and Russian presidents to visit one another on home grounds.

This brings up speculation also that President Trump has some level of confidence in the outcome of the US Congressional midterm elections, to be held in two weeks. It appears that Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin also will not be thwarted any longer by opinions and scandal over allegations that bear no semblance to reality.

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‘Meme-killing’ EU regulation could end YouTube as we know it, CEO warns

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law.

The Duran

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YouTube’s CEO has urged creators on the popular video site to organize against a proposed EU internet regulation, reinforcing fears that the infamous Article 13 could lead to content-killing, meme-maiming restrictions on the web.

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law – with platforms being liable for any alleged copyright infringement. If enacted, the legislation would threaten “both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki warned the site’s content creators in a blog post on Monday.

The regulation would endanger “hundreds of thousands of job,” Wojcicki said, predicting that it would likely force platforms such as YouTube to allow only content from a hand-picked group of companies.

“It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” Wojcicki wrote.

While acknowledging that it was important to properly compensate all rights holders, the YouTube chief lamented that the “unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

She encouraged YouTubers to use the #SaveYourInternet hashtag to tell the world how the proposed legislation would impact them personally.

“RIP YOUTUBE..IT WAS FUN,” read one rather fatalistic reply to the post. Another comment worried that Article 13 would do “immense damage … particularly to smaller creators.”

The proposal has stirred considerable controversy in Europe and abroad, with critics claiming that the legislation would essentially ban any kind of creative content, ranging from memes to parody videos, that would normally fall under fair use.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, has opposed Article 13 for months. The measure was advanced in June by the European Parliament. A final vote on the proposed regulation is expected to take place sometime next year.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have also spoken out against Article 13.

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WSJ Op-Ed Cracks The Code: Why Liberal Intellectuals Hate Trump

WSJ: The Real Reason They Hate Trump

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Via Zerohedge


As pundits continue to scratch their heads over the disruptive phenomenon known as Donald Trump, Yale computer science professor and chief scientist at Dittach, David Gelernter, has penned a refreshingly straightforward and blunt Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Trump has been so successful at winning hearts and minds, and why the left – especially those snarky ivory-tower intellectuals, hate him.

Gelernter argues that Trump – despite being a filthy rich “parody of the average American,” is is a regular guy who has successfully resonated with America’s underpinnings.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American,” writes Gelernter. “We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.”

He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton. –WSJ

Gelernter then suggests: “This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?“.

***

The Real Reason They Hate Trump via the Wall Street Journal.

He’s the average American in exaggerated form—blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Every big U.S. election is interesting, but the coming midterms are fascinating for a reason most commentators forget to mention: The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared.

The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says “Empty.” The left is beaten.

This has happened before, in the 1980s and ’90s and early 2000s, but then the financial crisis arrived to save liberalism from certain destruction. Today leftists pray that Robert Mueller will put on his Superman outfit and save them again.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Many left-wing intellectuals are counting on technology to do away with the jobs that sustain all those old-fashioned truck-driver-type people, but they are laughably wide of the mark. It is impossible to transport food and clothing, or hug your wife or girl or child, or sit silently with your best friend, over the internet. Perhaps that’s obvious, but to be an intellectual means nothing is obvious. Mr. Trump is no genius, but if you have mastered the obvious and add common sense, you are nine-tenths of the way home. (Scholarship is fine, but the typical modern intellectual cheapens his learning with politics, and is proud to vary his teaching with broken-down left-wing junk.)

This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?

True, Mr. Trump is the unconstrained average citizen. Obviously you can hate some of his major characteristics—the infantile lack of self-control in his Twitter babble, his hitting back like a spiteful child bully—without hating the average American, who has no such tendencies. (Mr. Trump is improving in these two categories.) You might dislike the whole package. I wouldn’t choose him as a friend, nor would he choose me. But what I see on the left is often plain, unconditional hatred of which the hater—God forgive him—is proud. It’s discouraging, even disgusting. And it does mean, I believe, that the Trump-hater truly does hate the average American—male or female, black or white. Often he hates America, too.

Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.

Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale and chief scientist at Dittach LLC. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”

Appeared in the October 22, 2018, print edition.

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