Pat Buchanan - The anti-politician

At the declaration by Donald Trump that he is a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party, media elites of left and right reacted with amusement, anger and disgust. Though he has been a hugely successful builder-businessman, far more successful than, say, Carly Fiorina, who has been received respectfully, our resident elites resolutely refuse to take Trump seriously.

They should. Not because he will be nominated, but because the Trump constituency will represent a vote of no confidence in the Beltway ruling class of politicians and press.

Votes for Trump will be votes to repudiate that class, whole and entire, and dump it onto the ash heap of history.

Votes for Trump will be votes to reject a regime run by Bushes and Clintons that plunged us into unnecessary wars, cannot secure our borders, and negotiates trade deals that produced the largest trade deficits known to man and gutted a manufacturing base that was once "the great arsenal of democracy" and envy of mankind.

A vote for Trump is a vote to say that both parties have failed America and none of the current crop of candidates offers real hope of a better future.

The first book in Arthur Schlesinger's trilogy about FDR's ascent to power was "The Crisis of the Old Order." That title is relevant to our time. For there is today a crisis of the regime in America — a crisis of confidence, a crisis of competence, a crisis of legitimacy.

People are agitating for the overthrow of the old order and a new deal for America. For there is a palpable sense that the game is rigged against Middle America and for the benefit of insiders who grow rich and fat not by making things or building things, but by manipulating money.

Americans differentiate the wealth of a Henry Ford and a Bill Gates from that of the undeserving rich whose hedge fund fortunes can exceed the GDP of nations.

Trump says America is becoming a "dumping ground" for mass immigration from the failed states of the Third World, that Mexico is not "sending us her best and finest," that China is stealing American jobs, that invading Iraq was a blunder.

Politically incorrect and socially insensitive certainly, but is he entirely wrong?

Was not the Iraq war a disaster for which our foreign policy priesthood and journalist-acolytes never paid the price that would be exacted in other societies were thousands of soldiers to die and tens of thousands to be wounded and maimed in so predictable a blunder?

Is it not true that among the millions of illegal immigrants who have broken into our country the great majority has illegitimacy rates, delinquency rates, dropout rates, drug use rates, crime rates, and incarceration rates far higher than those of native-born Americans?

Is Trump wrong on this, or simply wrong to bring it up?

Has not mass immigration brought to America old diseases we once stamped out and new diseases we had never heard of? Do Americans not have the right to decide who shall come to our country, how many, and whence they shall come?

Is there no correlation between a decrepit Maoist China rising to become the greatest manufacturing power Asia has ever seen — and the $3 trillion to $4 trillion in trade deficits we have run with Beijing — and the disappearance of a third of all American manufacturing jobs?

Who negotiated those deals? Who paid a price for the misery they brought to Rust Belt America?

There are precedents in U.S. history for outsiders — Norman Thomas and Henry Wallace on the left, George Wallace and Ross Perot on the right — to enter the presidential lists. And across the pond a similar crisis of the old order is calling forth new people and new parties.
As in America, dominant parties like the Tories and Labour in Britain are losing loyalists to the "a-plague-on-both-your-houses" dissident parties.

Millions in Europe now want out of the EU. Old nations are coming apart. Leftist parties like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain have arisen to defy Brussels and Berlin.

The Scottish National Party is of the left while the Independence Party in the U.K. is of the populist right. In Southeastern Europe, there have arisen parties of the extreme right.

This endless proliferation of parties, like the welcome being given to Trump, testifies to the new reality: Everywhere, including here, old parties are losing the people in whose name they presume to speak.

And the specter of Republicans, who just won an historic victory by promising to do battle against President Obama, colluding with Obama to surrender Congress' right to amend trade treaties and sign on to a Trans-Pacific Partnership pact that looks like another transfer of jobs and factories to Asia, has re-enforced these sentiments.

If Trump wants to stake his claim as a different kind of Republican, he will go to Washington and pound the Boehner-McConnell Congress until it gives up on Obamatrade and fast track.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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Do we see same kind of crime & poverty among Asian Americans?

To The Daily Sun,

Watching the news over the past months and hearing the same excuse from the left for the riots in black communities, the arrest of disproportionate numbers of blacks and we keep hearing one thing. "White privilege, white privilege, white privilege." What a crock of BS, all white privilege is, is that a higher proportion of whites get an education. Far too many whites still do not, and the fact that those who do not are no less well off then blacks who do not, proves the white privilege excuse is a lie.

Do we see the same kind of unrest, crime and poverty among Asian Americans? No! Because they value education and are among our most productive and successful citizens. How about Jews, though most are white, Jews have been discriminated against for centuries, and often still are. But again they value education and are among our most successful citizens.

Why is it only blacks who continue to wallow in poverty, illiteracy and victimhood? It's because liberal Democrats couldn't win political power without keeping blacks down and dependent on their shallow, empty promises.
No, really? Then how come cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, just to name a few that have been run by Democrats for decades with liberal policies and promises are in such bad shape? Why is it the black communities there are no better, if not worse off then before the civil rights laws were passed and administered by liberal progressive Democrats. To be clear I'm not talking about your local neighborhood working Democrats, I'm talking about the big shot political types who amass power for the sake of power and administer and ration rights like they own them. Then when questioned about their failures hide behind lies like "white privilege".

The only privilege around us is the privilege of the permanent political class which has evolved in this country. It reminds me of the nobility classes in Europe. Year after year, decade after decade it's the same names front and center in politics, the same families by linage or marriage. The same big money backing them up and the same big promises and ultimate failures year after year, decade after decade. We are doomed to repeat this cycle over and over unless we can break free of it.

Term limits is a start but more we need a way to remove failed laws, policies and yes, officials from power separate from their centers of mutual protection and funding. Frankly I hope someone a lot smarter then me knows how that can be done because I do not.

I only know what the problem is, which I have described. I do know it isn't to continue with these false narratives like white privilege.

Steve Earle


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Democrat policies nurture the growth of big, big business

To The Daily Sun,

Trust in government has slumped to near record lows. The one question we should be asking every presidential candidate is, "What are you going to do to reform government to make it more effective and cost far less?"

According to a Pew research poll, 74 percent of Americans rate government just fair or poor at running its programs. Another Pew poll indicates 75 percent of Americans believe government will do the right thing just some of the time — or never. The last poll suggests Americans believe Washington wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends.

These poll numbers represent an indictment against government ability to do anything right. This country should be screaming its lungs out for a real government reform candidate. That surely is not Hillary or Jeb.

The true government reformer would have plenty of fodder to work with. They could start with the $700 billion already on the books in unpaid taxes, delinquent debts and over payments to individuals and government contractors. Many experts believe we could cut the government payroll by 10 percent, and the contractor payroll 15 percent by simply updating the antiquated technology that infects government from the FAA to Homeland Security.

Can anyone forget the Obamacare roll-out catastrophe that cost taxpayers hundreds of millions. It illustrates the point perfectly. If you want "Three Stooges" incompetence, put the federal government in charge. Excessive costs and bungling are irrelevant because government has your wallet as an open money pit to pay for its endless boondoggles.

Funniest of all, when business screws up like government, government demands it must be in control of it. Government obstructs modernization because improved efficiency shrinks its size and power. Every government employee from Obama to the congressional building janitor obstruct anything that might shrink government or its cost that is killing main street paying for it.

What has the massive explosion of government over the past 50 years bought us? Record debt, flourishing inequality, entrenched long-term poverty, steadily declining family incomes , a shrinking middle class, a frustrated lower class, a deteriorating black culture with the rich richer than ever, all tied to total collusion between big business and ever more in in your face, in your life, BIG government. Freedoms are fewer, taxes are prolific and higher while government more dysfunctional than ever, as the electorate spews heated venom at each other. This, after a half century of non stop growth of government.

The progeny of big government, big business. You can't name an industry today where the top 10 companies don't have a larger market share than they did 20 years ago. Big government's rise has grown hand-in-hand with big businesses rise. They monopolize the country together. What's good for big government is almost certainly good for big business. Every new government regulation becomes a new hurdle that keeps competitors out, making the already big, even bigger, and stronger.

Democrats say they hate big business, but their every policy nurses the growth of big business with milk from breasts the size of Mount Everest. Big government loves big business because they are much easier to control and collude with.

The passage of Obamacare has spewed more consolidation producing more health care behemoths in the past four years than took place in the previous 100 years. Two of the largest health insurers in America Anthem and United Healthcare are now trying to buy their slightly smaller rivals, Cigna and Humana. All deals in the multibillions.

Every Main Street clinic has been bought by the local hospital. The local hospital is then bought by the regional chain. Then the regional chain is bought be the national chain. The big drug companies now consume all the small biotechs rather than do research. Why? Because only the huge can survive the costs associated with complying with the frontal attack leveled by big government from Obamacare.

Doctors have been turned into data automatons. The person your apt to be treated by is now is not a doctor, but a nurse practitioner because a nurse practitioner gets paid less. Guess what? Many of the health insurers are seeking 10 percent to 30 percent increases in premiums for 2016. Obamacare did nothing except put the cost of health care for the less fortunate on to Main Street while while it will create 10 giant companies in health care that government will declare too big to fail so they can demand control over every aspect of their businesses the way they do big banks.

Screaming they must do it to protect Americans from unscrupulous big business which government created and wants. Time to wake up America.

Tony Boutin

  • Category: Letters
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Mouths have dropped open with size of donations to Garden Club

To The Daily Sun,

The president of the Alton Garden Club, Joan Blackwood, received a phone call early in the year. The caller told her that a former member, Margaret "Peg' Kayser had mentioned the club in her will and that a check would be coming. Her initial thought was how nice and how unexpected.

Some time went by and she received another phone call, this one from the treasurer, Betty Jane Meulenbroek. She said that a letter had arrived for the Garden Club and a check was enclosed from Peg's estate. As she read the letter mentioning the amount, Joan's mouth dropped open. The same response has been from everyone who has heard this news. "What?" "How much?" And looks of amazement. It will be a huge blessing as well as a huge responsibility of the club to spend it wisely to see that Peg's wishes are fulfilled.

That wish was to beautify the town and "and hoped that the money would be put to great use." 

A member of the Alton Garden Club, Peg Kayser, had been actively involved for years. Though quiet and unassuming she was instrumental in initiating a scholarship for a local deserving graduating student who was going into some form of science or horticulture future. That $500 scholarship was recently presented to Haley Mellon from Prospect Mountain who may pursue a career in environmental science.

On hearing of Peg's gift a member of the Alton Garden Club thought it was a wonderful idea to help make our town more beautiful and wrote the club this letter:

"Dear Alton Garden Club: Please accept my gift to the Alton Garden Club to augment the generous gift that you have already received. I know you will use the money to beautify the town of Alton in a very special way. I am giving the gift to give back to the community who has so lovingly given so much to my family. I thank all the friends, businesses, police, ambulance service and the Alton Garden Club. I fell blessed to live in such a wonderful community of great people.

We have a great town, and I look forward to the further beautification of the area. I hope this gift will help your project.

Sincerely, the Hudson family

A check was enclosed for another large amount of money. More mouths have dropped open. It is believed that many improvements can be made with this kind of money. 

A committee has been formed to plan and implement these improvements. The primary goal is to make the Bay, where so many visit, a more beautiful area. Another area the committee is considering is around Monument Square. It is hoped that plans will be finalized before fall so that by next summer some, if not all of the work will be done and those who live here as well as those who visit will be able to say, "What a beautiful town."

The Alton Garden Club

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E. Scott Cracraft - The Walmartizaton of higher education

One has to laugh when one reads that "liberal, socialist, anti-American, tenured radicals" have taken over American higher education. Actually, our institutions of higher learning are coming more and more under the control of autocratic and bureaucratic administrators, often with backgrounds in business, who are forcing our colleges to adopt a "corporate" model. Some have called this the "Walmartization of higher education." One would think this "business" model would actually please many conservatives!
A look at the facts shows that "tenured" academic positions have become much less common in the last two decades. Statistics show that up to 75 percent of college professors are adjunct instructors with little hope of achieving full-time status with any benefits, much less "tenure". While adjunct instructors may teach the same load as full-time instructors, they are compensated less and some actually qualify for public assistance!
It is no secret that colleges across the country want to eliminate their full-time faculty and to replace them with poorly-compensated adjuncts. Some colleges try to accomplish this through attrition/retirement. In some cases, administrators permit work environments that drive professors to quit or retire early. In other cases, highly competent, long-serving full-time instructors are simply replaced with adjuncts.
While there is certainly a place for adjuncts and many are certainly highly committed educators, the downgrading of full-time positions has negative effects upon higher education. These include less time spent with students and, since adjuncts are often looking for full-time jobs, there is understandably less commitment to the college.
Many perpetuate the myth that college academics — and educators in general — are "underworked and overpaid". This disrespect for the teaching profession is echoed by many politicians as well as by educational bureaucrats, many of whom have spent little time in a classroom but who earn huge salaries because of their "business expertise". The management style of many administrators is "top down" and even autocratic, with little regard for the input of faculty and staff members who for years have served students and built our colleges. In addition, there is a growing trend where the "bottom line", slick salesmanship and appearances are more important than quality. This can only lead to the further "dumbing down" of higher education.
Meanwhile, students pay outrageously high tuition and take out loans they will spend years paying back while the role of the instructor is degraded and the administrators pay themselves larger salaries. This is part of the so-called "business model" in higher education. Some administrators even call students "customers" and courses "products". As in corporate culture, the CEOs and other top managers of our colleges and universities expect salaries much, much higher than the average employee as well as such "perks" as free housing, annuities, club memberships, and company cars. Of course, in some places, the athletic directors and coaches make even more than the administrators!
Three decades ago, it was possible for a student to finance a college education with high school savings, perhaps some family contribution, and student and summer jobs. There was a time when, in some states, community college courses were free or at very low cost.
Those who support this corporate model are going to blame faculty and collective bargaining for the rising cost of education. Administrators often cite a "lack of funding". While it is true that legislatures are giving less to public education it is equally true that more and more administrative staff is being hired at salaries much higher than any instructor. Instead of investing in good faculty, they invest in more educational bureaucrats, buildings or in highly experimental programs designed to turn colleges into "degree mills". While it is public money being used, there is sometimes a woeful lack of oversight. Perhaps tax dollars are being misspent but who is doing the misspending?
And, why do lawmakers not see education and keeping good, loyal instructors as a sound investment? They claim they value education but actions "speak louder than words".
Public education is not a business. It is a service that should be available to all. Education is already free through the university level in many countries. A fraction of what we have spent on the military in the last decade could pay off all student loans and give several years of free higher education for America's students. Surely, quality education is also part of "national security".

(Scott Cracraft is a U.S. citizen, taxpayer, voter, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)

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