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Bombing Syria – Did Trump Dive into the Swamp?


“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan

The United States Congress has the power… “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;” – Article I Section VIII of the U.S. Constitution

On Thursday, April 6, 2017, President Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian base in response to a chemical attack on innocent civilians. This attack was allegedly committed by the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad. Under the U.S. Constitution any act of war ordered by a U.S. President must be backed by the deliberation and consent of the U.S. Congress. Not unlike President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama, President Trump violated his war powers and usurped the authority of the people as represented through their U.S. Representatives; he also violated his campaign promises.

To declare war or to engage in a preemptive strike against a foreign enemy requires the deliberation and consent of the U.S. Congress. The president may engage in defensive military action to thwart immediate and obvious threats to America but they may not unilaterally engage in offensive military actions without the consent of the U.S. Congress. Obtaining the blessing of the U.S. Congress serves a number of important purposes not limited to ensuring the action is necessary and the facts underlying the reasoning for the attack are sound and substantial. President Obama committed a variety of similar unconstitutional attacks during his tenure as well.

Is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad even guilty? Our society is quick to find guilt in the realm of public opinion but in the realm of the law, determining guilt is a slow and tedious process. This stagnant process serves to filter out emotion and bullshit and to isolate the truth among an abundance of propaganda and hearsay. In 2013, President Obama was on the brink of engaging in a similar retaliation against Syria. It was argued then that the Syrian Government had used chemical weapons against innocent civilians as well. Unfortunately, we really don’t know what the truth is as a number of academic studies have called into question the accuracy of this claim. Gareth Porter wrote in the Middle East Policy journal:

A review of what is known about the… alleged Sarin attacks shows that it was a major intelligence failure on the order of the Iraq WMD error. It failed to reflect accurately the evidence the administration said supported the overall conclusion. Moreover, it ignored substantial evidence indicating that the incidents in question did not involve Sarin or anything else that the United States recognized as a banned chemical weapon… the evidence of responsibility for the alleged Sarin attacks did not confirm the accusation that they were carried out by the Syrian government.

Obama actually requested the authorization to attack Syria from Congress in 2013 but it was denied consent by the representatives of the people. Yes, President Obama followed the constitution more closely than President Trump on this particular action… this populist Trump Train ride beginning to feel a bit bumpy for anyone else?

In sum, President Trump most certainly violated his war powers and usurped the authority of the Congress; he also violated his campaign promises. One of Trump’s major criticisms of Hillary Clinton and past administrations was their reckless interventionist foreign policies that put America second to foreign entanglements. This marks one of the clearest betrayals of Trump’s campaign promises to date, and it calls into question his intellectual integrity and casts doubt on what he will or will not do. To date, Trump has still not been vocal about pursuing term limits on the many bought a paid for representatives that occupy the halls of our republic. Frankly, Trump isn’t doing anything to drain the swamp. If I were just a bit more of a cynical man, I’d say that Trump is already swimming in the deep end of the swamp along with the rest of the military-industrial scum that are destroying America. Let’s hope not, because if he is… we’re totally fucked.

Hillary Clinton agreed with attacking Syria… but look who disgrees with Trump… Hint… they’re Not Swimming in the Swamp

U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Trump’s Bombing of Syria
Rand Paul said that President Donald J Trump should have followed the Constitution

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Trump’s Bombing of Syria
Bernie Sanders Condemns TRUMPS Syrian Attack!

Sources:

Baker, P. & Weismanaug, J. 2013. “Obama Seeks Approval by Congress for Strike in Syria”. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/world/middleeast/syria.html

Clinton, Hillary. 2017. Independent. Hillary Clinton called for Donald Trump to ‘take out’ Assad airfields hours before air strikes

Netflix. 2016. “The White Helmets”, https://www.netflix.com/title/80101827

Overview of the Syrian Conflict: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFpanWNgfQY&list=WL&index=10

Porter, G. (2016), Chemical Attacks in Syria: How U.S. Intel Went Wrong. Middle East Policy, 23: 100–111. doi: 10.1111/mepo.12220




Federalism Strikes Back – President Trump and the Road Ahead


2016 Presidential Election Map

The 2016 presidential election was historic for a variety of reasons but for students of American Government, it demonstrated the beauty of a well structured Republic that respects a significant division of powers. Crash course in American Government… the people don’t elect the president; the States do. Trump won 30 of 50 States. In a nutshell, this is how the Electoral College works. It is a sound process because the president serves as the leader of the union of all the States and only the people vicariously through such leadership. A popular vote would essentially mean that the president represents only the most populated States, thereby completely alienating 3/4 of the States and making them meaningless.

Betsy Ross FlagThe genius of the U.S. Constitutional Framers is that they designed America to be a government of balanced powers both within the federal branches of government, and also between the federal and state governments. Specifically, they sought to deter the tyranny of the majority or one dominant community (e.g., liberal Californians) over the rest of the nation. As nearsighted as many of them were when it came to slavery, sexism, and racism, the essence of their statecraft remains forever effervescent. They sought to constrain the power of the majority and, instead, to empower the super-majority by dividing powers and requiring significant consent to alter the fundamental structures of our country. Moreover, Americans have the rare freedom to move from one government to another– Texas to California –while still remaining Americans with all of their individual rights recognized and codified in the Bill of Rights therein.

President Trump – The Good

Your neighbors and friends voted for Trump not because they are racist or sexist or homophobic, but because they made a calculated decision based on a variety of policies and a rejection of the corrupt establishment. Our union is in critical condition. Obama failed to heal it, and Hillary– along with Bush and others –helped create our critical condition. Trump has voiced support for ending entangling foreign alliances, instituting term limits on Congress, balancing the federal budget, constraining the influence of lobbyists, empowering small businesses, reforming the monopolistic-powers of big pharmacy, auditing the Federal Reserve System, and striking the military-industrial complex at its’ core.

Trump also offers us a great deal of hope in that he is a true capitalist and not a member of the political-corporatist elite. There are no puppets pulling Trump’s strings. Trump is a nationalist; not a globalist. American universities, Hollywood, virtually all American presidents for the past seventy-years, and multi-national corporations, were/are globalists. Nationalists are not always right, but at least they seek to put America first. Globalists just want a one-world government that governs according to their particular worldview.

President Trump – The Bad

Some question Trump’s allegiance and his lack of government experience. On allegiance, rather than looking out for the American people, many worry that he seeks to make himself and his rich friends more wealthy and powerful. They worry that he is using the Office of the Presidency as a tool to obtain more power over natural resources and the lives of everyday people. When it comes to governmental experience, it has been shown that excellent business skills do not necessary equate to good governing skills. Public management is not of the same artistry as business management and many business leaders are not only ineffective, but destructive when they attempt to apply their skills to the tasks of public management.

In my analysis, the one criticism of Trump that all watchful patriots should heed is his unbelievable consistency to act like a petulant child when someone insults him. The under-layer of his skin is more easily penetrated than a desperate prostitute. And so… this is where I grow worried. Trump possesses all the characteristics of an alpha-male short of his weak temperament and his inability to harness the largely false insults thrown towards his precious ego into a powerful arsenal of positive influences. However, one may find some comfort in this narcissistic behavior. Much like President Obama and other U.S. President’s, Trump has a massive ego and he wants to be right. Unlike his predecessors, however, Trump is results-driven which is a direct consequence of his failures within the private sector. Politicians, while egocentric to the extreme, rarely deal with the results of their efforts, whereas highly successful businessmen deal with the consequences of their poor decisions everyday. In short, Trump will seek actual results or witness the failure of his legacy.

The Road Ahead

Overall, most of the hatred thrown towards Trump is likely unwarranted. However, his thin-skin and inability to withstand the onslaught of insults thrown at him could be dangerous in the world of diplomacy. We should still be hopeful. Our country is severely crippled in mountains of debt and has been suffocating under the power of a corrupt establishment. President Trump offers us a new direction. The moment he fights for Congressional term limits, auditing the Federal Reserve System, and balancing the federal budget, we’ll know he’s on our side. To my black, liberal, female, and gay friends, you may rest easy and trust in the balance of powers that constrain tyranny and protect our Bill of Rights. Trump has never vehemently expressed a desire to destroy those rights. The moment he does, he’ll lose his support and be gone in 2020 if not earlier through impeachment. More importantly, there’s no candidate more dangerous than the idea that our president is some sort of king who can solve every problem, or the continual inaction of Americans not voting out the scum that occupies Congress in every non-presidential election.




Trump on the Federal Reserve System


Debtor Nation“They’re keeping the rates down so that everything else doesn’t go down… We have a very false economy,” Donald Trump on the Federal Reserve, September 2016

When it comes to our economy, there is no issue more important than Federal Reserve reform. The Fed is the cancer which rests at the core of our economic system. They played a major role in the housing crash in 2008 and they play an even larger role in manipulating and distorting our free market system by providing false wealth and credit. Their actions have created an economy of debtors who spend their lives paying fees to bankers to support their insatiable appetite for instant gratification. They are the reason we have a massive federal deficit and they are the reason the federal government is trillions of dollars in debt. The poor get poorer and the rich get richer because of the Fed.

How the Fed accomplishes all of this is beyond the scope of this short post, but one crucial concept to keep in mind is that the Fed is also a semi-public institution. The Fed’s Board of Governors are appointed by the President and approved by the U.S. Senate, but the various lower Board of Directors of their twelve district banks are appointed by large corporate banks and other special interests within the banking industry. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is the true structure of the Federal Reserve System; it serves the special interests and not the American people.

Hillary Clinton said that a president should never question or discuss the Fed. 63% of Clinton’s funding is from large individual donations, i.e. big corporate special interests. 15% of Trump’s funding comes from large individual donations. Trump also understands the above and wants Fed transparency. Clinton is funded by the big bankers and Trump scares them to death. I’m not saying you should vote for Trump, but at least he understands the sources of our economic woes and he terrifies the special interests.


Clinton 2016 Funding

Trump 2016 Funding




Brexit – Sovereignty and Freedom


Writing in opposition to the creation of the United States federal government in 1787, Anti-Federalist New York Judge Robert Yates observed: “The powers given by this article are very general and comprehensive, and it may receive a construction to justify the passing almost any law… History furnishes no example of a free republic, anything like […]

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The Fallacy of the Rebellious Contrarian


A contrarian is “…a person who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion…” (Dictionary.com). In order to be a contrarian, one must be open-minded. They are usually highly skeptical and objective; they question the norm and seek out alternative points of view. An excellent example of a contrarian position would be […]

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Donald Trump: His Appeal, The Good, The Bad, and Pro Wrestling?


Demystifying the Attraction of Donald Trump Donald Trump is extremely likable to a sizable portion of the American electorate. There are even notable closet Trump supporters as Novelist Bret Ellis tweeted, “Just back from a dinner in west Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it […]

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The Allure and Ignorance of Bernie Sanders


Americans should be happy that Bernie Sanders delivered a near defeat to that manipulative-corporatist Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Caucus. Sanders holds a just position on a variety of liberty issues: drug law reform, women’s rights, climate change, LGBT rights, veteran’s care reform, fighting cronyism and special interests, and he possesses a reluctance to engage […]

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Gun Violence in the States


Note one very important caveat before reading further. The terms homicide and murder are often used interchangeably in discussions on gun control. These two terms, however, are not exactly the same. Homicide simply means one individual killing another individual(s); this could be in self-defense. Conversely, murder means that an individual has killed another individual with […]

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Political Gridlock, Planned Parenthood and 911


Pundits, citizens, government officials, and the like, often complain that Congress is gridlocked, polarized, and simply cannot get anything done. Many complain that the government and the Congress are broken beyond repair. This is always perceived to be some sort of defect or malfunction. President Obama discusses political gridlock in the video below. Foreigners even […]

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The 1st 2016 Republican Primary Presidential Debate – Jeb Who?


Who’s this Jeb guy? Overall, the moderators and the establishment candidates clearly focused on Donald Trump and Jeb Bush. This appeared to be a giant indiscreet rub for Bush, or Jeb, as they’d like us to perceive. Additionally, there were too many candidates on stage and not enough time to hear from each of them, […]

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