Trump may not defend NATO allies

Donald Trump said that he may or may not come to the defense of a NATO ally if it were attacked.  Never mind the treaty commitment that an attack upon one is an attack upon all.  He said that the US action would depend on whether or not the country “fulfilled their obligations to us.”

He was referring specifically to what he would do if one of the Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) were invaded by Russia.

Remember that Trump and Vladimir Putin have something of a mutual admiration society.  What would the international scene be like if the United States allies itself with Russia, instead of Western Europe?

[Read more…]

Japan flirts with World War II ideology again

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has just won a 2/3 majority in both of its houses of legislature, enabling it to amend its Constitution, which had been imposed by the United States after World War II.  The party wants to change the Constitution because it enshrines “the Western European theory of natural human rights,” including the freedom of speech.

Many in the party, including the Prime Minister, belong to a group that believes Japan was in the right during World War II.  These lawmakers want to rebuild Japan’s military capacity and to return to worship of the Emperor. [Read more…]

Government by bureaucracy

Congress passes a handful of laws each year.  But government agencies pass several thousands of regulations each year, which have the force of law.  Democracies elect their lawmakers and law enforcers, but no one elects the bureaucrats, who are now increasingly performing the functions of government and are running the country.

This is a global phenomenon and is one of the major reasons Great Britain voted to exit the all-bureaucratic European Union.

A practical problem of this arrangement is that agencies are issuing so many dictates that the public doesn’t even know what they are–until they suddenly find themselves in legal trouble for breaking them.

In fact, no one even knows how many federal agencies there are!  A congressional hearing disclosed that one official tally lists 60 and another lists 115, noting that there “is no authoritative list of government agencies.” [Read more…]

No exemptions for church services “open to the public”?

The Iowa Civl Rights Act forbids discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  Churches have an exemption for “a bona fide religious purpose.”  But the Iowa Civil Rights Commission has ruled that if a church service “is open to the public,” it is a “public accommodation” that may not discriminate.

This would mean a congregation must allow only members to attend worship services, excluding visitors and non-members.

UPDATE:  The commission is now clarifying that it didn’t have in mind “worship services,” just services offered by the church, in the sense of child care, food pantries, etc.

[Read more…]

Hillary Clinton let off the hook

The FBI director scolded Hillary Clinton for her illegal e-mail set-up and her careless handling of classified information.  But then he said that no charges would be filed against her.

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” he said,  “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges.”  Of course they do.  And one factor for administration prosecutors is that the violator of the statutes is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. [Read more…]

Celebrating our liberties, including those at risk

On this Independence Day, we celebrate our freedoms as Americans. It’s a good exercise to read The Declaration of Independence, and it’s also a good exercise to read the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution, spelling out what those freedoms are.

Read the list of our civil liberties after the jump.  As you do, consider which of these are currently under attack–by our own government, by government-connected organizations such as public universities, and by other entities. [Read more…]


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