John Roberts Commencement Address

There are few individuals in the contemporary political millieu that I respect more than this man, Chief Justice John Roberts. Here is one example that illustrates why.

“From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly,” Roberts said, “so that you will come to learn the value of justice.”

“I wish you bad luck — again, from time to time — so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life,” Roberts said. “And understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either.”


“But you are also privileged young men, and if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you’re privileged now because you have been here,” Roberts said. “My advice is: Don’t act like it.”

Analysis: The Best Thing John Roberts Wrote This Term Was Not a Supreme Court Opinion

It Is Time to Start Calling White Nationalism What It Is- Terrorism

This most recent attack in Quebec perpetrated by a white nationalist has to be the last straw. This is not the first time that a white nationalist has terrorized innocent civilians. In fact, this problem seems to be getting worse. It isn’t going to change until we start calling it what it is: “White Nationalist Terrorism” and start doing something about it.

This most recent attack in Quebec perpetrated by a white nationalist has to be the last straw.  This is not the first time that a white nationalist has terrorized innocent civilians.  In fact, this problem seems to be getting worse.  It isn’t going to change until we start calling it what it is: “White Nationalist Terrorism” and start doing something about it.  We cannot just talk it about it anymore;  we have to start doing something.

One thing that we really must do is create a registry of white nationalists and white nationalist sympathizers.   This really should not be too hard.  We can start with known white nationalist websites like Breitbart “news” and start compiling lists of anyone that subscribes to that website and others like it.  We could also include anyone who has shared a post from these websites or expressed support for them by liking them on social media. We do have the names of some prominent white nationalists like Steve Bannon, so we can start looking at people who follow him on social media or have other known associations with him.  We will obviously have to remove anyone associated with white nationalism from sensitive national security posts since we cannot vouch for their loyalty given the terrorist tendencies of some white nationalist sympathizers.  We do know that there are white nationalist sympathizers in the White House and various agencies of the federal government.  Perhaps we could just get those people to enter their own names into the registry while they are creating it. But we will probably also have to remove them from their jobs obviously.

We will also have to ban white nationalists and people from countries with large populations of white nationalists and people from countries where white nationalists have committed acts of terrorism.   After all, we must keep our people safe and some of these white nationalists are clearly terrorists.  I am sure they are not all bad people but we can not really tell which ones are bad without proper vetting.  Since our first priority must be to keep our citizens safe and white nationalist groups have committed acts of terrorism both within our country and outside of it, we really have no choice but to bar admittance into our country of anyone who is in any way associated with white nationalist groups. This is in addition to monitoring those who are already in the country.  We should probably also look into detaining those whose association with white nationalism is so clear that the risk of violence is too great.  Better to throw in a few innocent people with possible white nationalist sympathies than to risk allowing any of these white nationalist terrorists to run free in our country.

Some white nationalists will say that they should not be persecuted for their beliefs. They might argue that they have done nothing wrong other than have an unpopular opinion or express a controversial belief.  But we all know that when we seek to accommodate minority opinions it just leads us down the road to political correctness where everybody’s crazy idea becomes acceptable and, frankly, we just cannot have that.  We need to be united and people who support belief systems that are not held by the majority cannot be given special treatment.  If these white nationalists do not like what the majority of people in this country think, they are welcome to leave whenever they wish.

And they shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind the Constitution.  The language in the Constitution only applies to real Americans and white nationalists cannot be real Americans.  The founding fathers were not white nationalists.  Ben Franklin was an abolitionist, and other founders like John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were opposed to slavery.  Thomas Jefferson, author of the “Declaration of Independence”, which included that quaint line about “all men being created equal,” had an intimate sexual relationship with an African-American woman and fathered children with her.  Clearly he would not have supported white nationalism.  And we know the founders did not really mean that all men were created equal when they wrote that anyway.  America was supposed to be for real Americans and people who do not have real American values do not deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Plus, freedom of speech and belief is dangerous.  If people are allowed to say or believe anything they want, they can incite others to violence in the name of that belief.  Clearly the number of incidents in recent months and years involving white nationalists attacking, terrorizing, and killing innocent civilians has become so great that not only do the actual terrorists constitute a threat, but anyone advocating belief in white nationalism is a threat because they might provoke others to violence.  And it is not like you can tell the violent ones from the non-violent ones.  Seriously, all the white nationalists really look alike anyway. And the ones that look different, like Ben Carson, are even harder to identify.  How can we tell which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones or which ones are likely to be radicalized by excessive exposure to white nationalist propaganda?

Some white nationalists might claim that they are not all violent or terrorists and that white nationalism is a peaceful belief system.  But that is just dishonest.  Everyone knows that white nationalism is inherently violent.  The Civil War? The KKK?  Lychings?  The Holocaust?  And it is not like it is getting any better.  We have been plagued by violence, vandalism, and terrorism perpetrated by white nationalists in recent years and, as the attack yesterday shows, there are no signs that it is going to get any better any time soon.

The smartest thing to do is to detain all of the white nationalists and people associated with white nationalism, as well as people from regions with a high propensity for white nationalism immediately until we can establish a proper vetting process for determining which ones are safe.  We have to get this sorted out before we can allow people with radical beliefs and terrorist tendencies to go running around free in this country.  The safety of American lives must be our highest priority and the inconvenience caused to a minority of people- citizens, immigrants, white nationalist refugees from South Africa, whatever- is a very small price to pay for providing peace of mind to the citizens of this country.


Is Donald Trump a Christian? Does He Really Love This Country? His Executive Order on Immigration Suggests That the Answer To Both Questions is NO

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.” -Pope Francis

Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Immigrants and Refugees, Annotated

Image result for trump's immigration ban

On Friday evening, Donald Trump issued an executive order banning migration into the United States from certain countries that he deemed “high risk”.  This order has justifiably received criticism from a wide variety of viewpoints.  Below is a summary of some of those groups and the reasons why they oppose the order.

Donald Trump’s Executive Order Violates the Most Fundamental Teachings of the Christian Faith

Says who?  The Pope…..

Pope Francis at this morning's audience with a pilgrimage of Catholics and Lutherans from Germany (CNS)

Pope Francis: “The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy.”

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.”

And Jesus…

Matthew 25: 31-46

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

And the New Testament….

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  Romans 12:13

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

 “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”                                      –I John 3:18

Republican Leaders Argue That Donald Trump’s Executive Order Violates American Values and Will Not Protect Us From Terrorism

“We must do much more to properly vet refugees, but a blanket ban represents an extreme approach not consistent with our nation’s values. —Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

“And here’s the second way to fail: If we send a signal to the Middle East that the U.S. sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion.”  –Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)

“It’s unacceptable when even legal permanent residents are being detained or turned away at airports and ports of entry.”--Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.)

“One of the points I think he’s missing is, there are an awful lot of patriotic, loyal American Muslims. In fact, they are the best sources we have to find these lone wolves in our country.” –Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-Kent.)


“Oh, I think it has an interesting effect of turning Muslims all over the world against the United States of America, which is 99.44 percent people who practice an honorable religion.”–Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

 Trump is Repudiating Fundamental American Values

“This freedom arises from that multiplicity of sects which pervades America, for where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest.”

“The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

–James Madison, primary architect of the US Constitution and 4th President of the United States, Constitutional Convention, 1787

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the opulent & respectable Stranger, but the oppressed & persecuted of all Nations & Religions; whom we shall wellcome to a participation of all our rights & previleges, if by decency & propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.”

             –George Washington, Letter to Joshua Holmes, 1783
“I had always hoped that this land might become a safe and agreeable asylum to the virtuous and persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.”— George Washington
“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.” — Ronald Reagan

The “New Colossus” and The Statue of Liberty

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus

Did We Learn Anything from the Holocaust?  

Is Canada the New “America”?


National Security Experts Largely Agree That This Executive Order Will Not Make Americans Safer

“In my opinion, this is just a huge mistake in terms of counterterrorism cooperation,” said Daniel Benjamin, formerly the State Department’s top counterterrorism official and now a scholar at Dartmouth. “For the life of me, I don’t see why we would want to alienate the Iraqis when they are the ground force against ISIS.”
Image result for immigrant risk of terrorism

Trump’s Ban Has Nothing to Do With National Security

“The United States government should continue to devote resources to screening immigrants and foreigners for terrorism or other threats, but large policy changes like an immigration or tourist moratorium would impose far greater costs than benefits.

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 Syrian Refugees Are Not a Threat to US

“The refugees themselves, fleeing war and extremism, are not strong supporters of the most violent groups: if they were, they would have stayed in Iraq or Syria.”

Experts Skeptical That Limiting Refugees Will Deter Terrorism

“Now, the American system is much more laborious, much more time-consuming. There’s a reason why there hasn’t been a sleeper cell in any of the refugee programs in the United States, because it just — you’re not guaranteed.”

“You know, I do think they need to think this through a bit more, and I think they also need to pay particular attention to what they do with the Europeans, because the real truth is, we don’t talk about it. When it comes to counterterrorism, the Europeans are not freeloaders, all right?

“The British and the French in particular are the vanguard of America’s protection. It is their security services, which are now overwhelmed by the refugee issues, that have done the lion’s share of protecting U.S. shores.

“So, whatever we do, we should coordinate that pretty closely with the Europeans and we should try not to do things that are going to make the Europeans really upset.”

Our Allies Don’t Agree with What We Are Doing

Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Opposes Trump’s Executive Orders

German Leader, Angela Merkel, Opposes Trump’s Muslim Ban

Foreign-Born Terrorists Don’t Kill People AND We Have Never Been Safer Anyway

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Maybe We Should Ban Cars and Clothes?


So why are we doing it at all?

Maybe Trump is Just in This For the Money?Image result for trump's immigration ban

One thing that should be obvious by now:  Trump loves himself far more than he loves this country or the people who live in it.



What Can A Reasonable Person Conclude From This?

If you are supporting Trump’s executive orders with regard to immigration and refugees , here are some things that can reasonably claimed about you:

  • You are not primarily concerned with living out your Christian faith.

  • You are not primarily concerned with upholding the values that made this country great.

  • You are not primarily concerned with protecting the safety of your friends, family, and fellow citizens.

  • You are not reasonably linking cause and effect and supporting actions that will deter the effects that you wish to avoid.  Another way to characterize this is that you are being stupid.

  • You are not supporting the traditions of the Republican Party or promoting the values espoused by most of its leadership.

  • You are likely prioritizing the interests of Donald Trump over those of yourself, your family, your faith, and your country.

Economic Localism is No Better Than Economic Nationalism

But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are somehow benefitting your local economy or doing something that’s morally superior. You’re just doing what globalized markets with a range of alternatives allow you to do: deciding what elements of your economic activity matter to you and choosing accordingly. Restricting those alternatives, whether through well-intentioned progressive “economic localism” or the darker, reactionary forces of “economic nationalism,” harms people, and often those who can ill-afford worsening poverty.

Americans clearly need a refresher course on economics and the principles of capitalism. I have been working on some longer essays in which I elaborate on some of the principles and the ways in which Trump’s campaign was based on arguments that sound good to some people in theory but which are deeply flawed in reality. Below is one article that outlines some of the arguments for free trade.  It is included in its entirety along with an image and a link to another short article supporting some of these themes.

Image result for free trade
Opposition to Free Trade is Demagoguery 

Economic Localism Is No Better than Economic Nationalism

 by Steven Horwitz**


Steven Horwitz
Steven Horwitz

As Black Friday has continued to expand in recent years, one response to its orgy of discounts and deals has been to promote the following day as “Small Business Saturday.” The idea is to encourage people to shop at their local stores rather than at national chains or big-box stores, or perhaps on the Internet. Doing so, argue its proponents, is both moral and good for the local economy, as it keeps jobs and money in “our communities” rather than, presumably, in the hands of faceless and distant corporate masters.

Let’s ignore the irony that the sponsor of this movement is the international corporation known as American Express. Is a moral or economic case for shopping local, whether on the Saturday after Thanksgiving or in general?

There is not. Many of the same arguments made by progressives in favor of shopping local are the same as those made by Trump and his supporters in favor of what they call “economic nationalism.” For the same reasons that shopping local isn’t morally or economically superior to buying from chains and big boxes, neither is buying “Made in the USA.” The most moral and economic choice is to buy from whomever you want based on your preferences about price, service, or any other number of factors.

Big Boxes Employ Locally

If we only shopped from locally-owned businesses, we would be paying higher prices and overall employment and incomes would be lower.The moral and economic cases against buying local are intertwined. Consider the argument that buying local is better because buying from Walmart or Target doesn’t keep money and jobs in the local community. This argument ignores that the average Walmart Supercenter employs around 400 people and the numbers are similar for Target. Those jobs continue to exist because people shop at those stores. The hundreds employed at any given big box store are just as much members of the local community as are the owners of the small business that compete with the big boxes.

To the extent that the prices at the big box stores are cheaper, they enable those who shop there to have income left over to spend on other goods and services, including things from locally-owned businesses, creating jobs that would not exist otherwise. If we only shopped from locally-owned businesses, we would be paying higher prices and overall employment and incomes would be lower. Plus, consumers would not have access to the variety of goods available at chain and big box stores, forcing them to not only spend more but get less value for it.

Buy National?

The same logic applies to international trade. Those imploring us to “buy local” are falling for the same sorts of fallacies that Trump, and many who voted for him, implicitly accept when they argue for raising barriers to international trade. “Economic localism” is nothing more than a smaller scale version of the “economic nationalism” of Steve Bannon and other Trump advisors.

US Job Growth, 1086-2016

Increasing duties on imports, thereby forcing more Americans to buy “local” in terms of the global economy, does nothing to create jobs or improve the economic standing of Americans. “Keeping the money in the USA,” like “keeping the money in the community,” harms those it is intended to help, and does so for the same reasons.

Labor time 1973-2009
Comparing Prices Relative to Wages 1973 and 2009

Forcing Americans to buy only, or predominantly, American-made products means we will spend more to get less, and the net effect on jobs will be zero at best. Globalized trade certainly shifts the mix of jobs in the US economy, as we have shifted in relative terms from manufacturing to hi-tech or services for example, but does not reduce the total number of jobs. One need only look at the data on overall job growth, and the increased variety of cheaper and better goods available to even the poorest Americans, over the last 30 years to see this.

The moral case for buying local is similarly weak. It’s best seen by making the moral case for buying globally.

The promoters of buying local often argue that buying from international corporations is problematic because so many of their products are bought from China or other parts of the world where wages are low and working conditions are bad. The belief is that by buying from those firms, consumers are supporting the exploitation of workers in those countries, making such purchases morally questionable.

Here is where the economics entangles with the morality: large firms are morally suspect because of the supposed negative economic effects they create. But are those negative economic effects real? Without an extended discussion of so-called “sweatshops” (but do see Ben Powell’s excellent book), two quick points are in order.

How Wages Rise

That Chinese workers have factory jobs that pay as well as they do, compared to the other options available to them, is a result of firms like Walmart buying the products those factories create. Wages depend on the productivity of workers (and the capital they use) along with the value of what they create. When the demand for those Chinese products goes up, thanks to us buying at Walmart, wages for the workers in those factories rise. And the evidence is clear that rising wages and the pressure of large Western firms are key drivers of improved working conditions.

Buying Chinese made products at Walmart not only doesn’t further exploit Chinese workers; it is of positive help to them.

Geography and Morality

The best path toward enriching everyone is allowing everyone to trade with everyone else.It is not clear why people more near to us geographically should have moral weight than those further away. Given the choice between helping a middle-class small businesswoman in our neighborhood or increasing the chances of better employment at a higher wage for much poorer men and women in China, why should we believe that the former is necessarily morally superior?

If human beings deserve our moral consideration by virtue of their humanity, and if those who are worse off economically are deserving of more such consideration, then it would seem that if there is a moral case for anything, it’s for buying in ways that help the least well-off, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.

Certainly most of the progressive proponents of shopping local do not imagine themselves to be guilty of the same prejudices as Steve Bannon and other partisans of Trump’s economic nationalism, but the underlying logic is the same. The best path toward enriching everyone is allowing everyone to trade with everyone else.

Buy Wherever

To be clear, my argument is not that buying local is somehow wrong. It’s not. But it’s also not morally or economically superior to buying from Walmart or Target or even Amazon. Many local businesses offer better products or superior service, or perhaps fill a unique niche that large stores cannot. They also provide better opportunities to socialize with friends and neighbors. Those are all good reasons to buy from local businesses.

But don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are somehow benefitting your local economy or doing something that’s morally superior. You’re just doing what globalized markets with a range of alternatives allow you to do: deciding what elements of your economic activity matter to you and choosing accordingly. Restricting those alternatives, whether through well-intentioned progressive “economic localism” or the darker, reactionary forces of “economic nationalism,” harms people, and often those who can ill-afford worsening poverty.

**Steven Horwitz is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at St. Lawrence University and the author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions. He is spending the 2016-17 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise at Ball State University.

He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

This article was originally published on Read the original article.


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CAMUS, Albert – The Stranger

Chronicle of a Death Foretold-GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ