Dennis Rodman Infinitely Better Qualified To Negotiate With North Korea Than Neocons In Trump Admin

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, libertarianism, Sport

A few days back, I updated an old post from 09.09.13, about Dennis Rodman’s goodwill trips to North Korea. It didn’t occur to me that the update, secreted in the post, “Dennis Rodman (& Russia) Promoting Global Peace,” would become relevant anytime soon, given Trump’s abysmally disappointing foreign policy direction. “Update (6/7/2017)” was just another thought to file away.

UPDATE (6/7/2017): President Trump will get more from North Korea and its patriotic people, who prefer their own dictator to American-imposed democracy, if he sends as an emissary a man who endeavored to open up that closed and cloistered society to outside influence through positive, voluntary exchanges and interactions, not threats; a man who opted for slow, laborious efforts that preclude lobbing bombs at North Korea or depriving its poor, long-suffering people of contact with the world. That man is Dennis Rodman.

We libertarians are not being cynical when we advocate peaceful diplomacy with nations rather than intervening in conflicts we don’t grasp and dropping Daisy Cutters on them because we can.

Well, “Rodman is making a return trip to North Korea,” reports Fox News. While Trump is not quite confessing to initiating the move, “a senior Trump administration official seems to know about the trip and has confirmed [the story] to Fox News.”

Maybe the penny has dropped and Trump has begun to understand that if he takes this country to war, he’s toast.

Time to Rethink … Newt Gingrich

Conservatism, Donald Trump, Republicans, Russia

“Republicans Will Regret Celebrating Robert Mueller As Savior,” I wrote in a blog post, on May 19, and reiterated on YouTube. Reposted below.

What do you know! A prominent (and tiresome) Republican has just “regretted celebrating Robert Mueller as savior.”

Tweeted Newt Gingrich on 17 May:

Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down.

Less than a month later, and Newt is tweeting this:

“Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring. check fec reports. Time to rethink.”

As I once wrote, “consistency is the touchstone of truth.” Republican politicians, for the most, are inconsistent and therefore untruthful.

On May 18, 2017, when the time was right to reject Mueller:

NEW COLUMN: The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe

Democracy, Foreign Policy, History, libertarianism, South-Africa

“The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” can be read in full on the Mises Institute’s Wire. An excerpt:

…  Yes, it has happened. A mere 23 years after the 1994 transition, in South Africa, to raw ripe democracy, six years following the publication of a wide-ranging analysis of that catastrophe, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, a Beltway libertarian think tank has convened to address the problem that is South Africa.

The reference is to an upcoming CATO “Policy Forum,” euphemized as “South Africa at a Crossroad.” One of the individuals to headline the “Forum” is Princeton Lyman, described in a CATO email tease as having “served as the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa at the time of the transfer of power from white minority to black majority.” At the “Forum,” former ambassador Lyman will be discussing “America’s original hopes for a new South Africa and the extent to which America’s expectations have been left unfulfilled.” (Italics added.)

The chutzpah!

The CATO Institute’s disappointment in the South Africa the United States helped bring about is nothing compared to the depredations suffered by South Africans, due to America’s insistence that their country pass into the hands of a voracious majority. Unwise South African leaders acquiesced. Federalism was discounted. Minority rights for the Afrikaner, Anglo and Zulu were dismissed.

Aborted Attempts at South African Decentralization

This audacity of empire is covered in a self-explanatory chapter of Into the Cannibal’s Pot, titled “The Anglo-American Axis of Evil,” in which Lyman makes a cameo. (It’s not flattering.) From the comfort of the CATO headquarters, in 2017, the former ambassador will also be pondering whether “growing opposition will remove the African National Congress [ANC] from power.” The mindset of the DC establishment, CATO libertarians included, has it that changing the guard  —replacing one strongman with another — will fix South Africa, or any other of the sites of American foreign-policy interventions.

So, what exactly did Princeton Nathan Lyman do on behalf of America in South Africa? Or, more precisely, who did he sideline?

Ronald Reagan, who favored “constructive engagement” with South Africa, foresaw the chaos and carnage of an abrupt transition of power. So did the South Africans Fredrick van Zyl Slabbert, RIP (he died in May 2010), and Dr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi. The first was leader of the opposition Progressive Federal Party, who, alongside the late, intrepid Helen Suzman became the PFP’s chief critic of Nationalist policy (namely Apartheid). The second was Chief Minister of the KwaZulu homeland and leader of the Zulu people and their Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). …

… READ THE REST. “The American Architects of The South-African Catastrophe” is on the Mises Institute’s Wire.

Turns Out Comey Looks Down At Trump In Every Way

Donald Trump, Ethics, Etiquette, Federalism, Government, Intelligence

At 6’8”, 2.03m, James Comey towers over other mortals. Slender and clean cut, Comey cuts quite a figure. He carries himself and conducts himself like a patrician. But he’s also a snob who looks down at others, and certainly at the president.

A friend says James Comey “felt it was his job to protect the FBI from Trump,” and that Comey was “‘disgusted’ by the Trump hug.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You described Comey’s concerns as — quote — “improper contacts and interferences from a group of people he, Comey, didn’t regard as honorable.”

What gave you that sense that he didn’t view these people as honorable people?

BENJAMIN WITTES: It was written on every line in his face. It was evident in the disapproving tone that he took when he described them.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Including the president?

BENJAMIN WITTES: Oh, very much so. The color of wallpaper was that these were not honorable people, and that protecting the FBI from them was his day job.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You write about the famous hug, when Comey was asked to come with a bunch of different law enforcement agents to the White House soon after the inauguration.

BENJAMIN WITTES: Yes. So, Comey really didn’t want to go that meeting. And there were a lot of Democrats who kind of blame him for Trump. So, he was particularly sensitive to the idea of a sort of show of intimacy or closeness with Trump. That said, he didn’t feel that he could say no to an invitation from the president, particularly one that went generally to law enforcement senior officials. He really wanted to kind of blend in and not be singled out. And he’s 6’8”. So, when you’re…

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Kind of tough to do that.

BENJAMIN WITTES: And when you’re 6’8”, it’s really hard to blend in. And he stands in the part of the room that is as far from Trump as is physically possible to be, and also against blue drapes.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: He chose that spot?

BENJAMIN WITTES: He chose that spot because it was — almost like a chameleon. And then, at the end, right at the end, Trump singles him out in a fashion that he regarded as sort of calculated to maximally drive home this sensitivity of Democratic voters.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: He’s become more famous than me.

BENJAMIN WITTES: And he extends his hand kind of preemptively, and Trump grabs the hand and kind of pulls him into a hug, but the hug is entirely one-sided. And Comey was just completely disgusted by the episode. He thought it was an intentional attempt to compromise him in public, in a way that would sow and emphasize concerns that half of the electorate had about him and the bureau.

MORE at PBS.