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Is There An Ike? Would He Be Needed Now?

by coldwarrior ( 67 Comments › )
Filed under Cold War, government, History, Open thread, Politics, World War II at October 12th, 2015 - 7:00 am

I ran across this interesting essay about the Eisenhower years.The author does get it right, Ike succeeded because of calmness in leadership and crisis that was forged in WW1 and WW2. I would even argue that giving the command to go ahead with D-Day changed his brain chemistry. THE ENTIRE WORLD hanged in the balance…ALL OF IT. I dare say not since battles of Salamis and Plataea (1) has an order been that important. Not since Themistocles has the weight of civilization rested so squarely on one man’s shoulders. Ike certainly might have felt the weight of the ostracons that were cast toward Themistocles in his own time!

That single D-Day order and the responsibility that goes along with it tempered his decision process and risk assessment to a degree that we mere mortals can never hope to come close to understand. If anything, it made him more like Master Yoda than like Chuck Norris. Chuck takes no offense at this as they are both ancient Jedi Masters. Ike’s calmness and judgement in the face of chaos, danger, and the cacophony of the nattering classes is certainly something to be studied, sadly, I think America is too politicized for it to be applied for the time being.

That said, I can’t seem to find an Ike in the current batch of candidates; or, as the classic line from The Dubliner’s song ‘Molly Maguires’ :’ you’ll never see the like of (him) again’. The world is not on the verge of WW3. Two massive and undefeatable Armies are not standing toe to toe on a trip-line in Europe. Would Ike be needed now? Or is someone like him only needed once in a century or ten to bring wisdom to leadership for a brief time? Could he even get elected now?

Eisenhower’s Timeless Virtues
When Dwight Eisenhower was first mentioned as a possible candidate for president in 1948, House Speaker Sam Rayburn offered a pithy assessment: “Good man but wrong business.” Today it’s clear that few of the White House’s occupants have been more right for the job.

Eisenhower was the last president born in the 19th century — 125 years ago this week. He governed during the 1950s, a decade that now seems hopelessly anachronistic. But our experience since then illuminates virtues he had that have grown more valuable as they have become rarer.

In office, he was disparaged on both the left and the right. Conservative pundit William F. Buckley said Ike was “undaunted by principle, unchained by any coherent ideas as to the nature of man and society.” To Democrats, he was the antithesis of Adlai Stevenson, whom they regarded as “the voice of a reasonable, civilized, elevated America,” in the words of liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger.

What looked like defects then look better now. He ended one war, in Korea, and began no new ones. He balanced the federal budget three times and reduced the federal debt as a share of gross domestic product. He cut spending in inflation-adjusted dollars. He steered his party away from McCarthyism.

Inspiring speeches were not his thing. His supporters said “I like Ike,” not “I revere Ike.” Unlike Theodore Roosevelt, he resisted using the presidency as a “bully pulpit.” He lacked the grand ambitions of Franklin Roosevelt.

Critics who saw him as a do-nothing despaired at his popularity with the American people. Richard Strout wrote in The New Republic, “The less he does the more they love him.” A public with fresh memories of the Great Depression and World War II wanted tranquility, not transformation.

Eisenhower wasn’t averse to action when it was required. But he showed a keen appreciation of limits — the limits of military power, the federal government’s competence and the role of the president.

He had a sense of perspective rooted in the perils he had overcome as supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe during World War II. When he traveled to give the commencement address in 1954 at Penn State University, where his brother was president, downpours forced the huge event indoors. Milton apologized, but Ike smiled and said he hadn’t worried about rain since it threatened to impede the Normandy invasion.

He would not be spooked into rash decisions. When France was losing a war in Vietnam, he declined to send U.S. forces to help an ally — and he quashed a proposal by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to use nuclear weapons. “You boys must be crazy,” was his reply.

When the Soviets sent troops to crush an uprising in Hungary in 1956, some conservatives wanted action to roll back the communist empire. Eisenhower sent a letter asking the Soviets to withdraw. They didn’t.

While championing NATO as a bulwark against Moscow, he pushed for the rearmament of West Germany to reduce the American load. He warned against excessive arms spending promoted by the “military-industrial complex.”

On the occasions that he took regrettable steps abroad, he at least minimized risks to Americans. After unfriendly governments gained power in Iran and Guatemala, he used covert action by the CIA, not military invasions, to overthrow them.

No one would argue that Eisenhower, who advised blacks to practice “patience and forbearance,” did enough for racial equality. But he ended segregation in Veterans Administration hospitals and in schools on military bases. He pushed through the first civil rights act since Reconstruction.

When the governor of Arkansas defied a court order to admit blacks to a public school in Little Rock, Ike sent the 101st Airborne Division to enforce it — provoking opposition from, among others, Sen. John F. Kennedy.

In 1956, Eisenhower won 39 percent of the black vote, the most any Republican had achieved since 1932. Eight years later, Republican nominee Barry Goldwater got just 6 percent of the black vote. In 2012, Mitt Romney got less. That is just one measure of how today’s Republican Party would be unrecognizable to Eisenhower.

He was one of our best presidents because of his seasoned judgment and steady calm during a period more turbulent than we often remember. Too bad that among the people now vying to win the presidency, in either party, there is no one like Ike.

(1) For more detail, please see: Herodotus (c.484 – 425 BC), The Histories, books VII and VIII in particular.

Time to Cut Govt

by coldwarrior ( 44 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, government, Open thread, Politics, taxation at September 9th, 2015 - 7:00 am
By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 8, 2015 | 11:14 AM EDT

(CNSNews.com) – Those employed by government in the United States in August of this year outnumbered those employed in the manufacturing sector by almost 1.8 to 1, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 21,995,000 employed by federal, state and local government in the United States in August, according to BLS. By contrast, there were only 12,329,000 employed in the manufacturing sector.

The BLS has published seasonally-adjusted month-by-month employment numbers for both government and manufacturing going back to 1939. In the first 50 years of the 76-year span since then, manufacturing out-employed government. But in August 1989, government overtook manufacturing as a U.S. employer.

That month, government employed 17,989,000 and manufacturing employed 17,964,000.

Since then, government employment has increased 4,006,000 and manufacturing employment has declined 5,635,000.

According to the BLS data, seasonally-adjusted manufacturing employment in the United States peaked in June 1979, when it hit 19,553,000. Seasonally-adjusted government employment peaked in May 2010, when it hit 22,996,000.

(However, government employment in May and June of 2010 was unusually high because of temporary workers hired to help conduct the decennial census. In April 2010, there were 22,569,000 government employees in the United States. That climbed to the peak of 22,996,000 in May 2010, then dropped to 22,740,000 in June, and returned to 22,659,000 in July 2010.)

There were more Americans employed in manufacturing in 1941 in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor than are employed in manufacturing in the United States today, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This August, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted data, there were 12,329,000 employed by the manufacturing sector in the United States. But back in August 1941, there were 12,532,000 employed by the manufacturing sector. By December 1941, the month of the Pearl Harbor attack, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector had risen to 12,876,000.

The 12,532,000 employed in manufacturing in August 1941 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 10.6 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at  133,402,471 in July 1941). The 12,329,000 employed in manufacturing in August 2015 equaled 1 manufacturing worker for each 26.1 people in the overall population (which the Census Bureau estimated at 321,191,461 in July 2015).

The 4,821,000 people employed by government in August 1941 equaled 1 for each 27.7 people in the overall population of 133,402,471. The 21,995,000 employed by government in August 2015 equaled 1 for each 14.6 people in the overall population of 321,191,461.

Of the 21,995,000 employed by government in August, 2,738,000 worked for the federal government (including 596,500 who worked for the Postal Service), 5,092,000 worked for state governments, and 14,165,000 worked for local governments.

State and local government employees include large numbers of people employed in education. Of the 5,092,000 who worked for state governments in August, 2,446,300 (or 48 percent) worked in education. Of the 14,165,000 who worked for local governments, 7,852,500 (or 55.4 percent) worked in education.

I’m Confused.

by coldwarrior ( 184 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Donald Trump, Economy, Elections 2016, government, immigration, Military, Open thread, Patriotism, Politics, The Political Right at August 31st, 2015 - 7:00 am

I actively read all of the negative punditry from the ‘righty’ chattering class and statements made by our ‘righty’ politicians, and I have noticed two negative themes that they use against Trump and his supporters. I find these very sly and interesting, and I find these suppositions to be very incorrect and frankly insulting:

1: Free trade is a pillar of conservatism. Is it? Since when? Since when is it even remotely conservative to willingly look the other way while your trade partners cheat and send good middle class jobs out of the country forever? Since when is it conservative to actively regulate to run billion dollar account deficits? For that matter, since when is it conservative to massively expand government and run up debt that equals 100% of gdp? Since when is it conservative to agree to regulations and policies that keep wages stagnant for almost 30 years?

The GOP needs to jettison the so called Chamber of Commerce, a once truly capitalist group, but now a group that fights for more regulation and immigration / free trade treaty crutches instead of doing the real capitalism of hard work and innovation and productivity. Lowering wages only goes so far, sending jobs overseas only goes so far then the system comes unglued at home becasue short term gain costs in the long run. Their talking points will risk losing the newly won middle class. Free trade is not a pillar of conservatism. Fair trade is. When we compete, we win.

I wonder what would happen if the University of Dehli set up a Law School and H1B’s became available to the new grads? I wonder what would happen if we outsourced the chattering class?

2: Nationalism is a bad thing and never a conservative position. Really? Since when  it it not conservative to put America’s interests first ahead of the other countries and groups in the world? Since when is it conservative to be in never ending wars to ‘spread democracy’ where we send the middle class kids off to die while the political and chattering class kids go to university? Since when is it not conservative to enforce the laws and control the border? Why is it not conservative to be a nationalist?


How the HELL did we get to the point where putting America’s interests first became a bad thing?


Tho GOP and the chattering classes are reaping what they sewed. And it would be very nice to see them ‘unemployed’.


*A word from Dorian on the same subject*

Freddy Gray Autopsy Report Deals Blow to Murder Charges

by Iron Fist ( 166 Comments › )
Filed under Crime, Democratic Party, DOJ, Progressives at June 25th, 2015 - 6:29 am

Speaking of Civil Wars (I just did a vitriolic Facebook status report about the Left’s seeming lust for a new Civil War to kill or enslave the South), we have this missive from the Baltimore Front:

Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby has withheld the autopsy report on Freddie Gray from defense counsel and the public for nearly two months. It is the report on which she relied to file murder and other charges against six police officers, even though the investigation into Mr. Gray’s death was not close to being complete. Now, just two days before Friday’s court deadline for the state to disclose the report to the defense, it has been leaked to the Baltimore Sun. The Sun’s story makes it easier to understand why Ms. Mosby wanted the autopsy kept under wraps. It raises additional disturbing questions about her case — a case in which she has already had to dismiss false-imprisonment charges, the untenable nature of which I explained when Mosby filed them. It turns out that Mr. Gray “tested positive for opiates and cannabinoid.” Moreover, he carried on wildly when initially placed in the police van. It had previously been widely reported that he was not belted into his seat, a violation of recently adopted Baltimore police policy that Mosby dubiously makes the plinth of her case. The Sun’s latest dispatch, however, indicates that Gray was making matters difficult for the police: “yelling and banging, ‘causing the van to rock,’ the autopsy noted.” The van made several stops during its 45-minute ride. At the second one, six minutes after the arrest, Gray was reportedly “still yelling and shaking the van.” Police thus removed him and placed him in leg restraints — ankle cuffs, to go along with the handcuffs that had already been applied. Gray was “then slid onto the floor of the van, belly down and head first,” according to the autopsy report, which gingerly adds that he was, at that point, “still verbally and physically active.” It’s now easier to understand why Mosby wanted the autopsy kept under wraps: It raises additional disturbing questions about her case. It was after this, the medical examiner concluded, that Gray suffered a severe spinal injury (which led to his death, a week later). At some undetermined point during the van’s journey, he was catapulted by the force of its deceleration and crashed into the interior. The injury is likened to a “shallow-water diving accident.”

An accident. Not murder. Mosby has way over-charged this poor man. He may indeed be guilty of involuntary manslaughter, but he is not a murderer, and the autopsy proves it. Mosby charged murder to placate the mob. She is sending the message that rioting works. It gets results. Therefore, when another unfortunate incident occurs you are much more likely to see more rioting. Mosby is on the side of the mob in this case. She is not on the side of the State, and she is certainly not on the side of Justice.