America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life

26 02 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

What makes a country special and, yes, great?  Its land, its people, its history, its culture, its belief systems or its soul?  All of these, and so much more—including intangibles that most of us never think about.  The United States is that country, unlike any other on the Earth.  There is no need for Americans to flaunt it or be arrogant or condescending or aloof.  Those are not the American way.  Deep beneath the surface, there is love for people everywhere, and an appreciation of each person’s God-given gifts and uniqueness.  In a recent interview, I said:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds.  The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples.  Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special.  Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else.  Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.[2]

Most of us spend a lifetime dealing with issues and challenges that we believe, rightly or wrongly, are not of our own making; and we react accordingly.  Some are big, but most are small and petty, albeit each seems so important at the time.  For example, last night I bought a new Apple iPod on which I loaded music and other data from my laptop, but I could not find the icon on my desktop this morning.  I called Apple’s technical support line, and was routed to a fellow in India.  He was very nice and courteous, but I told him that I wanted to speak with someone in the United States.  When he said that he would let me talk with his supervisor, I thanked him but said no, and hung up and called Apple again.  The same thing happened, so I tried a third time and a very nice woman came on the line named “Abby.”  I detected a slight accent and asked where she was located, and she said the Philippines.  I thought about hanging up a third time, but decided against it.

Abby was delightful, and really tried to help.  Having been an Apple customer for about 20 years, I know how diligently she tried.  Finally, she routed me to “Amy,” who turned out to be located in Boise, Idaho.  Amy was delightful too; and we tried everything, but nothing worked because the “Made in China” iPod is apparently defective and needs to be replaced.  In the course of our discussions, I learned that Amy hailed from California, where I was born and raised.  Having had bad experiences with HP recently—where Amy’s husband has worked—in terms of its nonexistent customer support, I was pleased to tell Amy how I had gone through Apple’s ups and downs, but have been generally quite pleased with its telephone support.  It has kept me in the fold and a loyal Apple customer through thick and thin.  Something struck me in the gut though, about companies like Apple farming out calls to India, the Philippines and other countries.  It just seemed very un-patriotic.  It meant the loss of jobs that might have gone to Americans; and it was the first time that I found Apple doing it.

If I had purchased Apple stock at about $12 per share many years ago, I would have made out like a bandit.  If I had bought stock in Ford when it reached a low of $1.01 in November of 2008, which was not too long ago, I would done very well.  Ford has announced plans to hire more American workers; its new cars are great looking; and their quality is apparently superb.[3] Despite the fact that the U.S. may be in the “doldrums” for the rest of this decade, I have been pleased to tell friends and acquaintances that Ford is back, or so it seems, just like Apple came roaring back.  My first four cars were Fords, before I switched to foreign brands—with two Chevrolets thrown in—and it is nice to think about Ford once again and to have an American automaker to be proud of.  Lots of people are avoiding cars from Barack Obama’s “Government Motors” and Chrysler, and I share their views.

Whether it is a computer-related product or a car or almost anything else in life, there is a newfound pride in buying American that is surfacing in this country.  Will it result in harmful protectionism that sent the global economies into a tailspin during the 1930s?  I do not believe so because at the very least, complicated products like cars and computers often have parts that are made abroad.  However, as times get tougher, Americans and others may buy their own country’s products before turning abroad.  This is human nature; or their decisions may be dictated solely by price not sentiment.  Apple’s iPod and its computers are made in China, but even that might change—although it seems unlikely anytime soon.

In April of 2009, I wrote: “America and other nations are in uncharted waters [economically, politically, and in other ways]; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times.”[4] Even harder days are ahead, and politicians may experience electoral “bloodbaths.”  These will be years of taking stock, and of being thankful for the little things—for families and helping others.  The limits of hedonism, godless secularism, and paying homage to the false gods of materialism will become self-evident.  We may opt for simpler lives because we have to, and because we come to like and prefer a return to the basics.

When I decided that I wanted to work on Capitol Hill after spending two years in the Army, rather than rejoin a prestigious San Francisco law firm where I could make more money, I tried to get a job with then-U.S. Senator Alan Cranston from my home State of California.  To my surprise and disappointment, his staff was headed by a fellow from New York who apparently wanted to propel Cranston into the foreign policy arena, and was less interested in hiring Californians like me.  Hence, I pounded the Senate corridors and learned that then-U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke—the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War, with Barack Obama being the third—was hiring an attorney for the Senate Banking Committee.

I was hired by his chief of staff, Dr. Alton Frye, without ever having met the senator.  I was honored that a white man from California was working for a black man from Massachusetts, but that is how America works.  I went on to write the “Brooke Amendment” relating to public housing; and the national “Housing Allowance” that morphed into the Section 8 housing program, which has helped millions of Americans.  The nicest thing that some people might say about me is that I am “outspoken.”  Ed Brooke put it another way one day, when he said that I lacked “tact.”  Perhaps this is the beauty of being an American.  Each of us can speak our mind on any and every issue, without qualms about doing so.

I criticize President Obama regularly, often in scathing terms, but I almost voted for him.  Even though I disagree with almost everything he does, because I am much more conservative than he will ever be, I would prefer him any day of the week to a leader like Russia’s murderous dictator-for-life Putin.[5] Perhaps I will never forget the way Obama wrote lovingly about his mother and his maternal grandparents, “Toot” and “Gramps,” in his book “Dreams from My Father.”[6] Yet, after working in Washington, D.C. for 21 years nonstop, the one lesson I learned is that government does not work; and the Obama presidency is a shining example of that.  Only the Pentagon—where I spent two years as an Army Officer—and our military are remotely efficient and effective.  The rest of government is a vast “wasteland,”  even though there are good people working at all levels of government.

America is magnificent geographically, whether one thinks about the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and other breathtaking parks, or its deserts, mountains, lakes, inland waterways and coastlines.  Its metropolitan areas are unparalleled, be it New York City or San Francisco, or thousands of cities and towns in between.  Its people are like a rainbow, with diversity undergirding all.  Its culture is rich because of the many cultures that have been blended into the American experience, which is unique in all the world.  Its belief systems are as varied as there are colors in the rainbow.  And its soul . . . ah yes, its soul . . . embraces the souls of more than 300 million people, woven together into a rich tapestry of life.

When we have decisions to make or feel that we are being called in a particular direction, our strength comes in putting our faith in God within and trusting the guidance we receive through prayer, intuition or love.  As individuals and as a country, we walk by faith not by sight.  Yes, America is great . . . from sea to shining sea—and deep in the Pacific where volcanic peaks of the Hawaiian Islands loom, and in the majestic northernmost reaches of Alaska’s tundra, and in the azure Caribbean too.  God blessed us beyond belief, although we take it for granted much of the time.  Everyone does.  This is human nature.  After all, we are not perfect.  Neither is America.  Only God is.[7]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele

Statue of Liberty


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2951-ilene/31177-interview-with-timothy-d-naegele

[3] See, e.g., http://finance.yahoo.com/q/hp?s=F&a=00&b=3&c=2008&d=01&e=2&f=2010&g=m; see also http://www.ford.com/about-ford/news-announcements/press-releases/press-releases-detail/pr-ford-kicks-off-2010-with-24-31945 and http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html#autosalesE

[4] See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html; see also http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html

[5] Compare https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ with https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

[6] See Obama, “Dreams from My Father” (paperback “Revised Edition,” published by Three Rivers Press, 2004), pp. xii (“[S]he was the kindest, most generous spirit I have ever known, and . . . what is best in me I owe to her”), 89 (“[Toot and Gramps] had sacrificed again and again for me.  They had poured all their lingering hopes into my success.  Never had they given me reason to doubt their love; I doubted if they ever would”), 343 (“I looked out the window, thinking about my mother, Toot, and Gramps, and how grateful I was to them—for who they were. . . .”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

[7] Some years ago, I had a law student from UCLA who worked for me as a law clerk doing research and legal writing.  He made a small mistake in a brief, but one that I considered important.  I jumped all over him.  He had worked in Saudi Arabia as an engineer before coming to law school; and he stopped me, and asked if I knew how the Saudis made Oriental rugs.

Some were made by hand and others by machines, he said, but in every case there was an intentional mistake inserted somewhere in each rug.  He asked if I knew why, and I said no.  He said the Saudis believed that only Allah—or God—is perfect; and of course I believed that too.  Since then, when I have jumped all over myself for making mistakes, or thought about criticizing others, I have recalled his story.  None of us are perfect.  Only God is.


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8 04 2010
naegeleblog

American Optimism

There is a fine op-ed piece in the New York Times by David Brooks, which is worth reading.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/06/opinion/06brooks.html?src=me&ref=general

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22 04 2010
naegeleblog

The American Serengeti

At times, Americans take for granted the majesty of this great country, and need visitors from abroad to put it into perspective. The National Geographic has a new show about a portion of the United States, which is described as the “American Serengeti.”

See, e.g., http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/nature-untamed/3765/Overview

Among other things, it includes the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge that contains approximately 1,100,000 acres, so often portrayed in the paintings of Russell, the western artist for whom the refuge is named.

See, e.g., http://www.fws.gov/cmr/

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4 05 2010
naegeleblog

A Miracle!

In what might have resulted in the deaths of large numbers of Americans, the outcome was nothing short of a miracle—or a series of them:

In the end, it took officials just 53 hours and 20 minutes to solve the case.

Wow!

See http://wcbstv.com/local/times.square.car.2.1674692.html (“Call To Emirates Airlines Intercepted By Military Jets, Helped Investigators Track Faisal Shahzad Down“)

If only such miracles had happened on 9/11, instead of human tragedies. However, sometimes America—as great as it is—needs wake-up calls.

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11 05 2010
naegeleblog

America And Islam

Fouad Ajami has written a Wall Street Journal article about what America confronts when dealing with the followers of radical Islam among us. It is sobering, and well worth reading.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703338004575230142684329162.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

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23 05 2010
naegeleblog

Steps To Protect America’s Security In Outer Space And Cyberspace

Secret space launches are intended to accomplish this, as well as the fact that our military has appointed its first senior general to direct cyber warfare.

Criticism of the Pentagon’s ambitious new Cyber Command is absurd. The U.S. military must do whatever is necessary to protect us.

China, Russia and North Korea are our enemies, and every step imaginable must be take to counter their conduct.

See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7106714.ece and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/23/us-appoints-cyber-warfare-general

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29 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank God!

The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization is reporting:

This Memorial Day, nearly three-out-of-four Americans (74%) have a favorable opinion of the U.S. military, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 12% hold an unfavorable opinion, and 13% are not sure.

These figures have held steady for the past two years.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/holidays/may_2010/74_have_favorable_opinion_of_u_s_military

In the wake of what our Vietnam veterans went through, it is wonderful to see the support for our military, especially with two wars in progress, one of which is winding down.

Barack Obama ought to heed these results, and do nothing to weaken our military; and in fact, he should take all steps necessary to strengthen it in light of deadly challenges from China, Russia, North Korea, terrorists and elsewhere.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

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8 06 2010
naegeleblog

Osama bin Laden And Top Aides Hiding In Iran?

It has been reported that Osama bin Laden and top aides are in the mountainous town of Savzevar in the northeastern Iranian province of Khorasan, living under Tehran’s protection for the last five years.

See http://www.debka.com/article/8841/

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25 09 2010
naegeleblog

Maps Show The Racial Breakdown Of America’s Biggest Cities

The UK’s Daily Mail has published maps that show the racial breakdown of our biggest cities, which the newspaper says “appear to belie the U.S.’s reputation as the world’s melting pot.”

America is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. However, the “melting pot” involves the nation as a whole—at work, at play, where people live, and in other facets of their lives. It is a “rainbow” country, unlike any other in this world, which undergirds its strength.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315078/Race-maps-America.html

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11 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Honoring Our Military And Veterans On Veterans Day

The Washington Post has a moving article about a young enlisted man who was injured in Afghanistan, which every American should read.

It is about Marine Cpl. Todd A. (“Nice”) Nicely and his wife, Crystal who served as a Marine too. Nice’s injuries occurred when he was crossing a crude, single-file bamboo bridge over the canal in Afghanistan, and a bomb made of 40 pounds of homemade explosives detonated. As the Post article states:

[T]he explosive device . . . tore off his hands and lower legs.

The blast broke his jaw, punctured his ear drums and left him, according to the latest statistics, one of only three men—a soldier and two Marines—from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive an attack as a quadruple amputee.

In comments that I wrote at the Post’s Web site, I said:

Enormous courage, and faith. It puts our daily travails into perspective. Also, the advances in technology and therapy are mind-boggling.

Let’s hope and pray that Nice and Crystal have a wonderful and loving life together—and tell their children, grandchildren and others never to give up, and to walk through Hell if necessary, and come out the other side.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/10/AR2010111008002.html; see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/11/10/GA2010111004749.html (photos of Todd’s rehab, Crystal, and his service as a Marine) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2010/11/10/VI2010111004325.html?sid=ST2010111008080 (video of Todd and Crystal)

However, such words barely touch on and inadequately describe the sacrifices that Nice, Crystal and other brave and selfless Americans make in the service of their country. Nice and Crystal are American heroes, both of them. What they and other members of our military have done, and are doing, has been happening each and every day since this great country was founded—at places like Valley Forge and Gettysburg, and at other locations worldwide that none of us have heard of or traveled to.

Each member of our military is special, and yes precious; and they and a long line of soldiers, sailors and airmen and women have done their duties since our country began. This is among the reasons why the commitment of our forces is a sacred trust; and once committed, “victory” must be a given. Even in Vietnam, our military was victorious—as related to me by an outstanding reporter with impeccable, world-class credentials who covered the Vietnam war and other wars up to and including the present day. In an e-mail message that I received on July 29, 2010, the person wrote:

Tim, [w]e won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (footnote 10)

I have no reason to believe that this person’s assessment is inaccurate in any respect. I will not disclose the person’s identity while he or she is alive, certainly without permission to do so.

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6 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Do We Need U.N. Approval to Save Libyan Lives?

This is the question that is asked and answered in a Wall Street Journal article, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/JohnYoo-WeDontNeedUNApprovaltoSaveLibyanLives.pdf

Obama is deferring to the UN because he is a spineless, cowardly, naïve, anti-war, far-Left, “Hamlet on the Potomac,” narcissistic president, who is determined to weaken our great nation at every turn. Also, the article is correct: his deference to the U.N. “amounts to a triumph of the Democratic Party’s pacifist base,” which Obama embraces and represents.

It has been said: “Jimmy Carter may be heading to #2 on the [list of] all-time worst presidents in American history, thanks to ‘O.’” This is an understatement. At best, Obama is “Jimmy Carter-lite.”

For example, following the rigged election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, countless Iranians who spoke out, protested and advocated freedom were beaten, jailed, tortured and killed, yet Obama stood by helplessly and did not come to their aid. Equally atrocious, he provided comfort to Iran’s theocratic fascists.

Similarly, he has done nothing to help protestors in China, or those in Russia. In fact, he has coddled the Chinese leadership and “dictator-for-life” Putin in Russia. He is turning his back on the fragile democracy in Iraq; and he is cutting and running from his Afghan War, leaving women and young girls to become tragic victims of the barbaric Taliban once again.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

In short, he is despicable—no other word describes him adequately—and he has lost the legitimacy to govern, He must not be reelected.

Next, the Journal’s article is correct: China and Putin’s Russia are authoritarian regimes. America’s goal must be to bring down both regimes, which are increasingly focused on domination, and replace them with democratic nations that live at peace with the world.

. . .

Some people have questioned whether America has some moral or other responsibility to fix the problems of the world. In an absolute sense, it does not, unless our national security or economic interests are at risk. Many of the problems do not affect us, certainly on a personal basis—other than perhaps emotionally when we learn of tragic human suffering.

Did we have a duty to intervene in Germany during World War II to prevent the Nazi Holocaust that killed approximately 6 million Jews and others? Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that we did not. Did we have a duty to intervene to prevent the Rwandan genocide that killed approximately one million civilians? Bill Clinton decided against it, and later apparently regretted it.

Because of America’s role as the world’s only true “melting pot,” and a beacon to those who seek freedom and democracy around the world—and because this country has been so blessed for so long—there is a sense that we have higher duties to help others. We are the shining city on the hill. Similarly, because of its origins as the repository for the oppressed of Europe and elsewhere, tiny Israel is thought by many to have higher duties to help the Palestinians and others, and not oppress them too.

In short, reality constrains America’s options and actions. We cannot be all things to all people. There are Americans who are suffering too, and they need our help and attention first and foremost. We cannot drain our national resources—which are not limitless—to right the wrongs of the world. We can only do so much; and at some point Americans say (or believe) that enough is enough, and understandably so. It is not cruel or heartless to do this. It is simply a function of being realistic.

We need to do all that we can to meet our need for oil right here in the States. We have vast oil resources, which can be tapped without endangering our environment. Sure the radical eco-Nazis will scream, but so what. The goal of getting us off our dependence on foreign oil might rival our goal of putting a man on the moon—which seems like a distant vision today, especially after the last space shuttle completes its mission, because Obama has curtailed that program.

I concur with the following conclusions suggested by others:

(1) We have plenty of oil, excess amounts of coal, and huge reserves of natural gas; and

(2) We have nuclear power with a great track record of safety.

We must unleash these resources immediately, instead of allowing the eco-Nazis to dictate our future and limit our horizons.

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13 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The American Political System Is Wonderful

The American people are wiser than they are given credit for—certainly by those people in other countries—and our political system works more brilliantly than most people believe it does.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

We elected Barack Obama, whom lots of Americans hate today; and before him, we elected George W. Bush whom people hated too. He was preceded by Bill Clinton, whom people tried to impeach and remove from the presidency. Lyndon Johnson was hated too, and he was followed by Richard Nixon who was hated and forced to resign.

Clearly, our political system has “checks and balances,” and we elect presidents and then throw them out of office. Lyndon Johnson could not run for reelection; and it is not inconceivable that the same thing might happen to Barack Obama between now and next year’s elections.

We veer from conservatism to liberalism, and then back again. Reaganism was followed by Bill Clinton’s liberalism, which was followed by George W. Bush’s conservatism . . . and then by Obama’s liberalism.

MSNBC has reported:

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Ann Curry that will air on Tuesday’s show, President Barack Obama said that if he were Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner right now, he would resign in the wake of the scandal in which Weiner admitted to sending explicit photos of himself to women online.

“I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign,’’ Obama told Curry.

See http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43385259/ns/today-today_news; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1635 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1636 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1643 and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-1644

As with this issue and so many others, Obama is America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac. He is betwixt and between, unable to do what is right. He should be calling for Weiner’s immediate resignation in no uncertain terms on moral grounds, just as Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer—the Democrats’ No. 1 and 2 leaders in the House—and other party leaders have done.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2003475/Anthony-Weiner-fate-decided-Democrats-Huma-Abedin-flies-in.html (“‘You MUST go’: Pelosi repeats calls for Weiner’s resignation as wife flies in to confront errant husband”)

Instead, Obama equivocates. We can only assume that if he finds himself in a comparable or similar situation, he will do the honorable thing and resign like Richard Nixon did. Indeed, at some point in the future, he may be tested. Also, there is the possibility that Obama might not run for reelection, just as Lyndon Johnson decided during the Vietnam War.

Obama is in the midst of four wars, and an economic depression; and it is not beyond the pale to believe that he is reviewing internal polling that paints a bleak picture of the campaign ahead—or other factors might influence his decision not to run. If so, he will likely retreat to either Chicago or Hawaii prior to January of 2013, to write his memoirs and work full time on his golf scores and presidential library.

See, e.g., http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Analysis/de-Borchgrave/2011/06/13/Commentary-Half-pregnant-strategy/UPI-97361307964099/ (“Today, President Obama has got the United States involved in four wars: Afghanistan, Iraq (where U.S. troops are still being killed), Libya and Yemen (where the confusion of a civil war gave U.S. drones open skies to target al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula)”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1637 (“CNN Poll: Obama Approval Rating Drops As Fears Of Depression Rise”)

Indeed, the Associated Press has reported:

President Barack Obama says his wife and daughters aren’t “invested” in him being president and would have been fine had he decided against running for re-election. But he says they believe in what he’s doing for the country.

Asked about his family’s reaction to his wanting another term, Obama said: “Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, `You know, guys, I want to do something different,’ They’d be fine. They’re not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president.”

He says first lady Michelle Obama would be the first one to encourage him to do something “a little less stressful” if she no longer thought that what they were doing was worthwhile for the country.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110614/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_family_1 (“Obama: My family would be fine with just 1 term”)

Stay tuned, as the American saga continues . . .

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19 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

America Is Losing Its Grip

This is the grim warning of outgoing Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. His admonitions continue:

Aboard the Pentagon jet on his last foreign trip as secretary of defense, Robert Gates takes a moment to peer across the American horizon—and the view is dire: the U.S. is in danger of losing its supremacy on the global stage, he says.

“I’ve spent my entire adult life with the United States as a superpower, and one that had no compunction about spending what it took to sustain that position,” he tells NEWSWEEK, seated in a windowless conference room aboard the Boeing E-4B. “It didn’t have to look over its shoulder because our economy was so strong. This is a different time.”

. . .

“To tell you the truth, that’s one of the many reasons it’s time for me to retire, because frankly I can’t imagine being part of a nation, part of a government … that’s being forced to dramatically scale back our engagement with the rest of the world.”

Such a statement—rather astonishing for the leader of the world’s preeminent fighting force—may open the administration to charges of not believing in American exceptionalism. . . .

He is determined to define his own legacy as Pentagon boss, and eager to push back against one of the more vocal criticisms of his tenure: the belief among many liberals and some conservative budget hawks that in a time of deep indebtedness, he hasn’t been willing to chop enough of a defense budget bloated by a decade of war.
Don’t expect him to apologize. In Gates’s mind, it’s other political leaders with less experience who are confused.

“Congress is all over the place,” Gates says at one point. “And the Republicans are a perfect example. I mean, you’ve got the budget hawks and then you’ve got the defense hawks within the same party. And so I think there is no consensus on a role in the world.”

. . .

Bridging two administrations, Gates gets credit for stabilizing Iraq, though the key decisions that led to success—a surge of troops and the appointment of Gen. David Petraeus to oversee the strategy—predated his arrival.

Petraeus says Gates knew that his real contribution was to buy time in Washington for the strategy to succeed.

See http://www.newsweek.com/2011/06/19/the-defense-rests.html?om_rid=NsfkQq&om_mid=_BN-f69B8bzy3X1

America’s “prince of darkness”—or its “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama is doing everything in his power to destroy our military might, after having added dramatically to our nation’s budget deficit that is sapping our economic vitality and strength. He would have the United States become a UK militarily, or worse, which is why he is sending Leon Panetta to the Pentagon, to “gut” it.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1591 (“Sun Setting On British Power”)

Ronald Reagan encountered Obama’s negativism when he came to the White House in the wake of Carter’s presidency; and he turned our ship of state around, and changed the course of history. Our enemy, the once-mighty Soviet Union, collapsed and is gone today; and America has reigned supreme ever since, as the world’s only superpower.

Accordingly, Obama must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to write his memoirs and work full time on his presidential library. He a tragic Shakespearean figure who will be forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history, like Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter before him—unless he tragically alters the course of American history.

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24 10 2011
Menelik

Came across your blog from a comment you posted on the Daily Telegraph website.

I am not American, but I visited America in 2005.

I’ve got a few comments.

1. American is a nation of hardworking and resourceful people uniquely blessed by God. Please understand that Americans are not the only hardworking or resourceful people on Earth, so America does not have a divine right to perpetual no.1 status.

2. These are no longer the eighties. Reagan had a binary choice (Communism vs Capitalism), the stakes today are a little more complex – the US is facing competition on many fronts – economic, ideology, soft power.

3. The last well thought-out strategy America had towards engagement with the rest of the World was penned by George Kennan in 1947. The Cold War is over and the over-militarisation of foreign policy that worked during the last fifty years, will not work today.

4. America needs a new strategy for engagement with the rest of the World. She should be in the business of creating global opportunities and benefiting from them, not merely reacting to threats and perceived threats.

5. China is now Brazil’s largest trading partner and the Brazilian economy is on track to exceed the economies of France and Great Britain. If the Chinese are competitive in your backyard then your “exceptionalism” is less exceptional than you make it out to be.

6. It is true that millions of people want to travel to America to build a new life. But out of every thousand that apply for visas to travel to the US, 999 will never get there. The other 999 will go on to build their careers outside the US (they will seek opportunities in Europe, Dubai, India and their home countries).

7. The last set of people to claim superiority over the rest of mankind with justification were the British. Visit Britain to catch a glimpse of America’s fate.

8. None of the jokers in the Republican party has a clue about what to do.

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24 10 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

First, let me start with the next to last one. Americans do not claim superiority over the rest of mankind. It is against our grain.

Second, we have been blessed beyond belief, and with those blessings come responsibilities galore. Many of those responsibilities, Americans do not want.

Third, I am not a Republican or a Democrat, but I believe the GOP has more answers than the Democrats, of which I used to be one.

Fourth, Barack Obama is finished as America’s president. He will be gone no later than January of 2013.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and all of the comments beneath the article)

Fifth, America does not have a “divine right” to anything, period, or so I believe. No other country has.

Sixth, I agree with your fourth point.

Lastly, I have written about your sixth point—and most of the rest of them too.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/

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26 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Los Angeles, Mexico

This is the title of an article at one of the Tea Party Web sites, which is worth reading because it reflects the beliefs—and yes, deep-seated prejudices—of lots of Americans. There is no question that illegal immigration has gotten out of hand, and our country is being changed by it.

See http://www.teapartynation.com/forum/topics/los-angeles-mexico

My views with respect to the article are as follows:

First, one of the “culprits” is Barack Obama, who must not be reelected; this much is crystal clear. He must be sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library. It cannot happen fast enough!

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Second, having grown up in Los Angeles, I have seen it change over the years. Yes, the immigration issue is a serious problem nationally, and I have written about it.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

However, by and large, the Mexicans in Southern California are hard-working, wonderful people, who go about their lives just like any other Americans. I listen attentively for Spanish being spoken; however, most speak English among themselves, which I have observed almost consistently. They become integrated into the American culture quickly, taking at most a generation to do so. They are very family-oriented, happy people who genuinely enjoy life. The Catholic churches in Southern California are filled with them; and young Mexican-Americans are attending on their own, without being forced to do so.

Perhaps I am biased because Mexican food is a favorite of mine; Spanish architecture is my favorite; and the Spanish/Mexican culture has imbued much of California (e.g., its beautiful Missions, stretching as far north as the lovely town of Sonoma in California’s wine country; the old Spanish ranchos that are referenched in the titles to property even today).

Third, the author of the Tea Party article complains that soccer fans at the Rose Bowl were loyal to Mexico, not the United States. I had season tickets to the UCLA football games at the lovely Rose Bowl for about 25 years, until I got tired of watching them lose or play dismal football. The Rose Bowl is a perfect venue for soccer; and the 1994 FIFA World Cup matches were held there, which were very exciting.

Having said that, some friends of mine and I were planning to attend a UCLA-USC basketball game near the LA Coliseum some years ago, and arrived in downtown LA early to have dinner. We allowed plenty of time to get to the game; however, it took us almost an hour to go about a mile or so, because a double-header soccer match involving Mexico was being played at the Coliseum. As it was, we missed the first half of the basketball game because of the traffic jam.

I know the intensity of soccer in Southern California, which is wonderful. However, it is not limited to Mexicans. People from other Hispanic cultures are just as enthusiastic; and having played soccer as a kid, with my son playing it too, I know what a great sport it is. And yes, those Mexicans who were not born here are very loyal to Mexico’s teams. The sports rivalries in soccer equal those in American football, basketball, baseball and other sports; and sports fans are often fanatics.

In short, I concur with the Tea Party article that we must stop illegal immigration in its tracks. I have outlined my views in the article cited above. However, to condemn Mexican-Americans on a wholesale basis—who are becoming a significant part of the American culture—is an enormous mistake. Among other things, they were here before the “gringos,” and they are here to stay, contributing mightily to our great country, just as other immigrants have done before them.

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2 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Future Still Belongs To America

American flag

This is the title of an important Wall Street Journal article by Professor Walter Russell Mead—subtitled, “This century will throw challenges at everyone[, but the] U.S. is better positioned to adapt than China, Europe or the Arab world”—which states in pertinent part the following:

It is, the pundits keep telling us, a time of American decline, of a post-American world. The 21st century will belong to someone else. Crippled by debt at home, hammered by the aftermath of a financial crisis, bloodied by long wars in the Middle East, the American Atlas can no longer hold up the sky. Like Britain before us, America is headed into an assisted-living facility for retired global powers.

This fashionable chatter could not be more wrong. Sure, America has big problems. Trillions of dollars in national debt and uncounted trillions more in off-the-books liabilities will give anyone pause. Rising powers are also challenging the international order even as our key Cold War allies sink deeper into decline.

But what is unique about the United States is not our problems. Every major country in the world today faces extraordinary challenges—and the 21st century will throw more at us. Yet looking toward the tumultuous century ahead, no country is better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities or manage the dangers than the United States.

Geopolitically, the doomsayers tell us, China will soon challenge American leadership throughout the world. Perhaps. But to focus exclusively on China is to miss how U.S. interests intersect with Asian realities in ways that cement rather than challenge the U.S. position in world affairs.

. . .

In Asia today China is rising—but so is India, another emerging nuclear superpower with a population on course to pass China’s. Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia are all vibrant, growing powers that have no intention of falling under China’s sway. Japan remains a formidable presence. . . . Asia today looks like an emerging multipolar region that no single country, however large and dynamic, can hope to control.

This fits American interests precisely. The U.S. has no interest in controlling Asia or in blocking economic prosperity that will benefit the entire Pacific basin, including our part of it. U.S. policy in Asia is not fighting the tide of China’s inexorable rise. Rather, our interests harmonize with the natural course of events. Life rarely moves smoothly and it is likely that Asia will see great political disturbances. But through it all, it appears that the U.S. will be swimming with, rather than against, the tides of history.

Around the world we have no other real rivals. Even the Europeans have stopped talking about a rising EU superpower. The specter of a clash of civilizations between the West and an Islamic world united behind fanatics . . . is less likely than ever. Russia’s demographic decline and poor economic prospects (not to mention its concerns about Islamic radicalism and a rising China) make it a poor prospect as a rival superpower.

When it comes to the world of ideas, the American agenda will also be the global agenda in the 21st century.

. . .

Fascism, like Franco, is still dead. Communism lingers on life support in Pyongyang[, North Korea,] and a handful of other redoubts but shows no signs of regaining the power it has lost since 1989 and the Soviet collapse. “Islamic” fanaticism failed in Iraq, can only cling to power by torture and repression in Iran, and has been marginalized (so far) in the Arab Spring. Nowhere have the fanatics been able to demonstrate that their approach can protect the dignity and enhance the prosperity of people better than liberal capitalism.

. . .

Closer to home, Hugo Chavez and his Axis of Anklebiters are descending towards farce. The economic success of Chile and Brazil cuts the ground out from under the “Bolivarean” caudillos. They may strut and prance on the stage, appear with Fidel on TV and draw a crowd by attacking the Yanquis, but the dream of uniting South America into a great anticapitalist, anti-U.S. bloc is as dead as Che Guevara.

So the geopolitics are favorable and the ideological climate is warming. But on a still-deeper level this is shaping up to be an even more American century than the last. The global game is moving towards America’s home court.

The great trend of this century is the accelerating and deepening wave of change sweeping through every element of human life.

. . .

This tsunami of change affects every society—and turbulent politics in so many countries make for a turbulent international environment.

. . .

This challenge will not go away. On the contrary: It has increased, and it will go on increasing through the rest of our time. The 19th century was more tumultuous than its predecessor; the 20th was more tumultuous still, and the 21st [century] will be the fastest, most exhilarating and most dangerous ride the world has ever seen.

Everybody is going to feel the stress, but the United States of America is better placed to surf this transformation than any other country. Change is our home field. It is who we are and what we do. Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheFutureStillBelongstoAmerica.pdf (bold emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

The only thing on the horizon that might dampen the American future that Professor Mead has described is a nation-ending EMP Attack, which might kill all except for 30 million Americans, and end any future that we might envision.

Query whether we are totally and absolutely protected against such an attack, or whether America’s “prince of darkness”—and its consummate narcissistic demagogue, “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama, is weakening our great nation’s military strength in ways that will dramatically change the course of history?

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

In another important article entitled, “World power swings back to America”—and subtitled, “The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus”—the UK Telegraph‘s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard added:

Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing—breaking rocks with jets of water—will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

“The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players,” said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, ‘re-inshoring’ is the new fashion.

“Made in America, Again”—a report this month by Boston Consulting Group—said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the “default location” for cheap plants supplying the US.

A “tipping point” is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

“A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back,” said BCG’s Harold Sirkin.

The gap in “productivity-adjusted wages” will narrow from 22pc of US levels in 2005 to 43pc (61pc for the US South) by 2015. Add in shipping costs, reliability woes, technology piracy, and the advantage shifts back to the US.

The list of “repatriates” is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Philadelphia Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is “very competitive” at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed’s zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton’s Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China’s wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.

Foreign exchange effects are subtle. They take a long to time play out as old plant slowly runs down, and fresh investment goes elsewhere. Yet you can see the damage to Europe from an over-strong euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

Flows into the EU collapsed by 63p from 2007 to 2010 (UNCTAD data), and fell by 77pc in Italy. Flows into the US rose by 5pc.

Volkswagen is investing $4bn in America, led by its Chattanooga Passat plant. Korea’s Samsung has begun a $20bn US investment blitz. Meanwhile, Intel, GM, and Caterpillar and other US firms are opting to stay at home rather than invest abroad.

Europe has only itself to blame for the current “hollowing out” of its industrial base. It craved its own reserve currency, without understanding how costly this “exorbitant burden” might prove to be.

China and the rising reserve powers have rotated a large chunk of their $10 trillion stash into EMU bonds to reduce their dollar weighting. The result is a euro too strong for half of EMU.

The European Central Bank has since made matters worse (for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France) by keeping rates above those of the US, UK, and Japan. That has been a deliberate policy choice. It let real M1 deposits in Italy contract at a 7pc annual rate over the summer. May it live with the consequences.

The trade-weighted dollar has been sliding for a decade, falling 37pc since 2001. This roughly replicates the post-Plaza slide in the late 1980s, which was followed—with a lag—by 3pc of GDP shrinkage in the current account deficit. The US had a surplus by 1991.

Charles Dumas and Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research argue that this may happen again in their new book “The American Phoenix”.

The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0—and therefore the ability to outgrow debt—in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Europe’s EMU soap opera has shown why it matters that America is a genuine nation, forged by shared language and the ancestral chords of memory over two centuries, with institutions that ultimately work and a real central bank able to back-stop the system.

The 21st Century may be American after all, just like the last.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8844646/World-power-swings-back-to-America.html (emphasis added)

It is noteworthy that Evans-Pritchard qualifies his predictions by saying that they will occur in “five years or so.” I concur that America has a very bright future ahead; however, this decade will be “dicey,” and it is difficult if not impossible to predict when there will be light at the end of the tunnel—or when the economic tsunami will have run its course and petered out. What we do know is that the Great Depression of the last century did not end until the onset of World War II, at the earliest; and this depression may last just as long.

Lastly, Russia will continue to be a pygmy when compared to the United States—in terms of America’s vibrant democracy, its growth, military power and economic strength, and all other indicia of global power. The same will be true, to a similar degree, with respect to China, although its future is much brighter than that of Russia.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063117/U-S-Army-tests-hypersonic-weapon-travels-times-speed-sound–ANYWHERE-earth-30mins.html (“U.S. Army tests hypersonic weapon that travels five times the speed of sound… and can hit ANY target on earth in 30mins”)

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3 07 2011
Mary

Before attending mass this evening, I decided to wear patriotic clothing in honor of our Country’s 4th of July holiday. Not too flashy, but my red top had a small American flag embroidered on it. During the “kiss of peace” I turned to shake hands and while doing so, an older man said, “I like your red top with the flag on it.” I said that I was celebrating our country’s freedom, and he had tears in his eyes as he said, ” I wish I had a top like yours.” I quietly asked him if he had been a soldier and he nodded yes. I quickly thanked him for serving our country and returned to my service.

How it struck me that one person can and often does make a difference in our lives. For me that is what living in America is all about. I could see the age lines of this man, but I also saw the great love and devotion he held for our country. I wondered what he had gone through as a young soldier and where he was stationed. I probably will never see him again, but the connection of what the flag meant to both of us was real, although it probably meant different gratitudes to Him.

Thank you for writing about the American spirit. Others in foreign countries have dreams and some even come true, but only in America can the most seemingly insignificant person rise up and become what he or she espouses to be. A few months ago I read the book, “Mao’s Last Dancer,” about a Chinese man who just happened to be chosen to dance under the most grueling of circumstances. He later defected to the US, and of course was forbidden contact or any association with his Chinese family.

Due to performing in Houston and meeting Barbara Bush, who through her husband could try to make some connections in China, he was able to visit his family after not seeing them for 16 years. (During that span of time, his parents were awarded time to visit him here, but only for a while and how he longed to see his siblings and extended family, as well as his home town) This took place prior to GHWB becoming President.

When at last he was able to take his wife to his homeland and be with his family, he had time to show them how he could dance, talk with them and get down to truths that were difficult to realize, but that is the way it was. It didn’t matter how many modern appliances he sent his family or how he could try to improve on their living conditions, there still was something lacking. This is a page that touched me. Maybe it will touch a nerve for many others as we celebrate our FREEDOM:

I was going home. But I was leaving home too. I was closing a full circle within my heart. I thought of my beloved ones. Now they didn’t have to eat any more dried yams. Now they had better food to eat. Now their living standard had improved considerably.

But Mary and I couldn’t stop comparing our life in the West to theirs in Qingdao, and at times I was again overwhelmed with guilt. Ever since I had been selected for the Beijing Dance Academy, I had felt this guilt, this burden, this sense of responsibility for my family. I wished all of my brothers could have had the opportunities I’d had, but deep in my sad heart I knew it was not to be. I was the one who had to fulfill my niang’s, my dia’s and my six brothers’ dreams.

Mary and I had given each of them as much money as we could afford, but I knew it didn’t matter how much I gave them; it would only ever provide them with temporary help. WHAT THEY NEEDED MOST WAS THE ONE THING I COULDN’T GIVE THEM………OPPORTUNITY. Maybe, just maybe, now for the first time in their lives, there was a glimpse of hope under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership. I had gone back home and had expected to leave them feeling light and optimistic. Instead I was leaving with a confused heart.

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19 07 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

The Death Of America?

In an important article entitled, “Democrats’ ideal voter: Illegal alien, convicted felon,” conservative Ann Coulter has written:

Before taking the oath of office, Barack Obama vowed to fundamentally transform the United States. He has certainly done so. For example, Obama has:

– destroyed the job market;

– sent billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, companies overseas, his campaign contributors and public sector unions;

– forced the passage of a wildly unpopular national health care law on a purely partisan vote;

– come out for gay marriage;

– refused to enforce laws on illegal immigration;

– eliminated the work requirement for welfare.

How can a country that elected Ronald Reagan have Obama tied in the polls with Mitt Romney?

The answer is: It’s not the same country.

Similarly, when two successful, attractive multimillionaire women in California can’t beat a geriatric leftist like Jerry Brown or an old prune like Barbara Boxer, that’s not the same state that elected Ronald Reagan twice, either.

The same process that has already destroyed California is working its way through the entire country.

While conservatives have been formulating carefully constructed arguments, liberals have been playing a long-term game to change the demographics of America to get an electorate more to their liking.

They will do incalculable damage to the nation and to individual citizens, but Democrats will have an unbeatable majority. Just like California, the United States is on its way to becoming a Third World, one-party state.

Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 Immigration Act was expressly designed to change the ethnic composition of America to make it more like Nigeria, considered more susceptible to liberal demagogues.

Since 1965, instead of taking immigrants that replicate the country’s existing ethnic mix, we’ve been admitting mostly immigrants from the Third World. At the same time, people from the countries that sent immigrants to this country for its first several centuries have been barred.

Eighty-five percent of immigrants now come from “developing countries.” (How are they ever going to develop if their people are all on the dole over here?)

The “browning of America” is not a natural process. It’s been artificially imposed by Democrats who are confident of their abilities to turn Third World immigrants into government patrons.

It’s worked. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 57 percent of all immigrant households in the U.S. get cash, Medicaid, housing or food benefits from the government—compared with 39 percent of native households. The highest rates are for immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), Mexico and Guatemala (tied at 75 percent).

Isn’t the idea to get immigrants with special skills? If you can’t even get a job, by definition, you do not have a special skill. Other than voting Democrat.

There’s a strange asymmetry in how this matter can be discussed. Liberals and ethnic activists boast about how America would be better if it were more Latino, but no one else is allowed to say, “We like the ethnic mix as it is.”

That would be racist. By now no one even tries to disagree.

Liberals’ other plan to expand the Democratic rolls has been to destroy the family.

Every time someone gets a divorce, Democrats think: We got a new Democratic voter! Every time a child is born out of wedlock: We got a new Democratic voter! And if the woman has an abortion—we got a new Democratic voter!

According to recent polls, Obama has a negative job approval rating of 45 to 49 percent. The reason the polls are tied between Obama and Romney is that single women support Obama by a 2-to-1 margin. The Democrats’ siren song to single women is: Don’t worry, the government will be your husband.

Our prisons are overflowing with the results of the Democrats’ experiment of subsidizing illegitimacy. Children raised by a single mothers commit 72 percent of juvenile murders, 60 percent of rapes, have 70 percent of teenaged births, commit 70 percent of suicides and are 70 percent of high school dropouts.

. . .

Throw in felons voting, and the Democrats have an unbeatable majority.

See http://www.humanevents.com/2012/07/18/ann-coulter-democrats-ideal-voter-illegal-alien-single-mother-convicted-felon/(emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/#comment-1688 (“The Future Still Belongs To America”)

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20 01 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Mexico Reclaims California!

Hispanics for Obama

In an article entitled, “California’s Hispanic population to outnumber whites by end of 2013,” the UK’s Daily Mail reported:

California’s Hispanic population is slated to become the state’s majority ethnicity by the end of this year according to a new report by the governor’s office.

. . .

As early as July Hispanics are expected to be equal in size to non-Hispanic whites before outpacing them, according to the report, with both demographics in that month reaching 39 per cent of the population.

It’s a swap that comes earlier than experts had expected.

Gov Brown, responding to the outlined future of his state, has since proposed shifting more school funding to those schools with more students in poverty and/or don’t speak English.

Currently 40 percent of the state’s students are living in poverty and 20 percent are non-native English speakers he said.

With the report having also found the state’s Hispanics being predominantly younger than whites—with 19 percent of Hispanics over the age of 50 compared to 43 percent of whites—he said ‘this is an aging society and inequality is growing.’

Nationally, Hispanics are already the fastest growing demographic, with their demographics seen increasing by 3.1 per cent since 2010.

More than half of the country’s Hispanic population live within just three states, however, of California, Texas and Florida.

State wise, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics among their entire population, seeing 46.7 per cent in last year’s census figures. White non-Hispanics make up 40.2 per cent.

Among [California]’s overall figures released, by July the state’s total population is expected to top 30 million after adding 300,000 or 0.8 percent more than last year.

That figure is uncharacteristically slow for the nation’s most populous state, with the report reasoning a sluggish economy stifling the historically fast-growing state’s population.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265134/California-Hispanic-population-exceed-whites-end-2013.html

California has a rich Hispanic heritage that is reflected in its beautiful Missions—which stretch from San Diego in the south, to the lovely town of Sonoma in the north—in the names of its cities, towns and roads; in its wonderful Mexican food; and in the smiling, hard-working Hispanics who contribute to California’s culture and economy.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_missions_in_California (“Spanish missions in California”); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/

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5 04 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

A Nation Of Freaks?

Driving up the always-beautiful California Coast yesterday afternoon, I was changing car radio stations and I happened on a “public service announcement” about “gender neutral” bathrooms for transvestites, and having a Web site that lists the “safe ones” for such people.

On TV last night, there were shows about tattoos, which glorified the horrors of them, especially for those who want them removed in the future; other celebrity “worship” shows; CNN’s British Piers Morgan trying to project his anti-American views on U.S. audiences, amidst falling viewer ratings; and of course predominantly non-white shows, when the vast majority of Americans are Caucasians.

This morning, Matt Drudge announced online that “4 gay NFL players could come out on [the] same day,” soon.

In a sense, the inmates have taken over the asylum, and they are reveling in Barack Obama’s reelection victory last November. After all, he is a “freak” too, and admittedly so. Aside from wanting to ban guns that may protect our lives in the years ahead, he has already acknowledged that he was an out-and-out druggie in college:

Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/

Clearly, we do not live in an “I Love Lucy,” “Leave It To Beaver,” or “Mary Poppins” fantasy world, especially when North Korea is threatening to nuke us. However, letting the inmates run “the asylum” is pure madness too.

It is time to take back our great country. And no—as the only true “melting pot” on the face of this earth—America is not a racist nation.

As I wrote in the article above:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds. The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special. Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.

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30 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Where Americans Stand

Americans are isolationists

The Wall Street Journal has an article about the latest polling results, which reflect the desires of nearly half of those Americans who were surveyed to pull back from the world stage:

The poll findings, combined with the results of prior Journal/NBC surveys this year, portray a public weary of foreign entanglements and disenchanted with a U.S. economic system that many believe is stacked against them. The 47% of respondents who called for a less-active role in world affairs marked a larger share than in similar polling in 2001, 1997 and 1995.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304163604579532050055966782 (“Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage, Poll Finds”)

None of this is surprising.

The fascinating thing about the wonderful American people—of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnic backgrounds, and religious preferences—is they are essentially isolationists, or “Anti—Interventionists” as the article suggests. They view the United States as if it were an island, bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which has been true for decades if not generations.

They do not articulate this, or probably even understand it fully; however, it undergirds their collective views about America’s role in the world. Many have never moved far from where they were born and raised; and a vast number have never traveled abroad.

All of us, or our ancestors, came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists. Yet, we are Americans now.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

To many, the Middle East would be difficult to locate on any map. Before our wars there, many had never heard of Iraq or Afghanistan, much less knew where they were on a map. 9/11 changed much of that, with a thud.

To fight distant wars—in Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan—were basically anathemas to most Americans, especially when a clear connection to our national security interests was not present or evident. Most have plenty to concern them at home, like making a living and raising kids and simply surviving. They want to be left alone to live their lives, without being bothered by foreign entanglements.

Fast-forward to Ukraine, and one understands fully the issues here. Most Americans have no idea where it is, much less its strategic importance to the United States and Europe. The fact that Barack Obama’s poll numbers have been falling, and Americans’ trust in government has been waning—if not declining dramatically—does not help matters.

Most Americans know little or nothing about World War II, or about Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin, nor do they really care. They are focused on their day-to-day lives; and want to spend their “down time” thinking about pleasant things, not killing or wars. Whether the issues are the apparent crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, or the tragic sinking of a South Korean ferry, their 24-hour news cycles are filled to the brim with tragedies; and most Americans do not need any more of them.

However, Ukraine is the linchpin that may lead to a wider war in Europe, rolling back the West’s gains after the Soviet Union collapsed, and the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall fell. To Eastern Europeans, this history is alive and still vital to them. To most Americans, it is not, which is why they must understand the threat that Putin represents to peace and stability in this world, before history repeats itself.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4448 (“World War III) (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

I have never voted for either Barack Obama or John Kerry; however, I support their policies with respect to Putin and Ukraine, and China.

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22 01 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

The Extraordinary Story Of Columba Bush

Columba Bush

The UK’s Daily Mail must be commended for an excellent article about Jeb Bush’s wife, Columba.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2918970/An-illegal-immigrant-warring-parents-bitter-rift-father-did-not-40-years-extraordinary-story-Columba-Bush-husband-bids-make-Hispanic-lady.html (“EXCLUSIVE: An illegal immigrant, warring parents and a bitter rift with the father she did not see for 40 years – the extraordinary story of Columba Bush as her husband bids to make her the first Hispanic first lady”)

The article presents both sides of difficult family relationships. They are present in Hispanic and Latino families today, who live in the States.

See, e.g., http://www.diffen.com/difference/Hispanic_vs_Latino (“Hispanic vs. Latino – Difference and Comparison”)

These are wonderful people, who have often gone through very trying times to get here and adjust. Yet the success stories abound.

It would be an honor to have Columba Bush as our First Lady.

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22 08 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Heroes . . . And Three Friends

Three friends

This photo shows three American childhood friends who attended the same Christian high school in California, and who were touring Europe when they stopped a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on a train, and instantly became global heroes.

They are, left to right: Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, who had been deployed in Afghanistan; U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone (standing) of Carmichael, California; and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California.

Their heroics are described in numerous articles, too many to cite. However, two in the UK’s Daily Mail stand out, which should be read and the videos viewed. An emotional video interview with Sadler’s father, a Baptist pastor, in the second Daily Mail article is especially worth watching.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207243/True-American-hero-airman-tackled-beat-disarmed-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-French-train-treated-tending-stab-wounds-emerges-hospital-humble-wave.html (“A humble wave from a hero: Wounded US airman who took down AK47-wielding terrorist on French train, then treated others before tending to his own stab wounds emerges from hospital with a smile“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206977/Spencer-airman-charged-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-Paris-bound-train-hearing-load-gun-toilet.html (“‘Let’s go!’ How hero American airman charged Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on French train, tackled him and beat him unconscious with the help of his comrade in arms and a friend”); see also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150822/eu–france-train_attack-5be2fb37d9.html (“3 Americans praised for subduing gunman on European train“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/two-u-s-soldiers-help-subdue-attacker-on-french-train-1440238328 (“[President] Obama spoke with the three Americans and expressed his gratitude”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3208541/Passenger-wrestled-Paris-train-terrorist-servicemen-Briton-disarmed-revealed-American-professor-Hollande-thanks-preventing-carnage.html (“Three Americans and a British grandfather who tackled Paris train terrorist are awarded France’s highest honour for bravery for preventing ‘carnage’ – as first hero passenger is revealed to be a U.S. professor [Mark Moogalian]“)

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27 10 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

American Strength

Bald Eagle and American Flag

The UK’s Telegraph has reported in an article entitled, “What are the biggest defence budgets in the world?”—and subtitled, “The United States dominates the world when it comes to defence spending – but how do other countries compare?”:

The United States’ military spending has dominated the world for years, but recent figures show that other nations are beginning to catch up.

While global tensions increase, with an increasingly complex Syrian conflict at the centre, countries are flexing their military might in a region ravaged by war.

But which countries are the biggest spenders on defense?

The United States dominates global spending on defence, with a budget more than double that of the next biggest spender, China.

It spends around $569bn a year on defence – the majority of which goes on operations, maintenance and personnel.

This has decreased from $587bn in 2014, according to data provided by IHS, which takes into account international exchange rates.

While the USA’s defence spending is declining, China’s is increasing. Its budget stood at $191bn in 2015 – up from $176bn in 2014.

The United Kingdom, Russia and France are the next biggest spenders on defence. All of which are dwarved, however, by America’s spending.

As well as the United States, Japan and Brazil had the biggest falls in defence spending between 2014 and 2015.

South Korea, the United Kingdom and China had the largest increases – with China boosting its defence budget by $14.7bn in a year.

Of the 25 largest defences in the world, 13 were Asian – with a total defence spending of $840bn.

There were fewer Western countries in the top 25 – with seven of the top spenders being European and two being North American.

Three other continents were represented in the world’s 25 largest defence budgets – Australia from Australasia, Brazil from South America and Algeria from Africa.

There are several different estimations of defence spending from a variety of sources.

The IHS has standardised all budgets into USD. Consequently, Russia’s budget is lower due to the depreciation of the rouble against the dollar.

The IHS also said that Saudi Arabia looks lower compared to other sources because the figures do not include security spending, while the USA figure does not include FMF (foreign military financing) allocations.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11936179/What-are-the-biggest-defence-budgets-in-the-world.html (emphasis added; graphs omitted)

Also, it is useful to review the “List of countries by military expenditures,” which shows that the United States essentially spends as much as all of the other countries in the world combined.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

As I have written:

America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html

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29 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Remember On Memorial Day

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RememberonMemorialDay.pdf (“Remember on Memorial Day“)

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22 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

America’s Ford GT Wins At Le Mans 24 Hours [UPDATED]


[Ford executives—including Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, and the great-grandson of Henry Ford—and the drivers of the Ford GT reflect on the GTE Pro class win Le Mans 24 Hours]

See http://performance.ford.com/series/ford-gt/news/articles/2016/06/ford-wins-le-mans–.html (“FORD WINS LE MANS!“); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Clay_Ford_Jr. (“William Clay Ford Jr.“) and Henry Ford III mid-race interview at 2016 Le Mans 24 Hour:



Bravo. Well done! 🙂

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