The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight

19 09 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

In an article entitled “The Iran War: Danger Lurks In Inaction,” Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—has written in The New York Sun:

Last weekend’s drone raid on the Saudi oil fields, along with the Israeli elections, opens a new chapter in Middle Eastern relations. Whether the attack on Saudi oil production, which has temporarily stopped more than half of it, was launched by Iranian-sponsored Yemeni Houthis or by the Iranians themselves is beside the point, as the Houthis had no independent ability whatever to acquire and use such weapons.

The Iranians are behind the incident. There is room for legitimate debate about the merits of the conflicting sides in the Yemen war, but there can be no doubt that by any standards, the direct attack on Saudi Arabia was an act of war, and as it was entirely dependent on Iranian weapons procurement and instruction, it is an escalation of the war-by-proxy between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen with an outright act of war by Iran against Saudi Arabia.

There is no reason to believe, or even to recommend, that Saudi Arabia should turn the other cheek and engage in reactive pacifism. Because the Trump administration has ignored the efforts of American political factions, including recalcitrant Republicans, to ditch the Saudis, Washington retains great influence on the Saudi response to what is a severe provocation. This can be seen as a great opportunity, as it furnishes a justification for administering a heavy blow against the most troublesome regime in the world.

The United States would do well to take the trouble to line up allies. The Western alliance will be even more skittish than usual, given that the aggrieved party is the not entirely presentable Saudi regime. Saudi Arabia has been a joint venture between the House of Saud, an old nomadic desert family favored by Britain and France on the collapse of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire at the end of World War I, and the Wahhabi Islamic leadership. The feudal and absolute monarchy paid extensive Danegeld to the Wahhabis as they spread militant Islam throughout the Eurasian landmass and in Australasia and North Africa, in exchange for a free pass for the Saudi royal family.

The Saudi regime has gradually, under steady American influence, modernized the structure of the state, spread the petro-money around the population, and withdrawn from the Faustian bargain with fundamentalist Islam. It has followed the Arab version of the Chinese model: economic and (to some extent) social reform and general distribution of prosperity, without relaxing the authority or capacity of self-assertion of the state. The Saudis avoided the catastrophe of Russia and, briefly, Egypt, of trying to introduce democracy without elevating public standards of prosperity and education.

Saudi Arabia is, in any case, a much more reputable regime than the terrorism-promoting, bigoted theocracy of Iran — an almost friendless nation apart from a few other militant Islamic entities and as a nuisance of convenience that China and Russia and even Turkey encourage to irritate the United States and its Middle Eastern allies and protégés, especially Egypt, the Emirates, the Saudis, and Israel.

The struggle that is now escalating is among theocratic and secular Muslim countries, militant Islam, and Middle Eastern minorities — the Jewish state and Arab Christians — and the fairly arcane but often fiercely contested distinction between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, as well as a contest between petroleum-exporting countries, a field where Saudi Arabia has generally been preeminent. These waters have been muddied considerably by the effective elimination by the United States of overseas energy imports as its own production has been sharply boosted from shale-fracking and increased offshore exploration.

An incidental but useful clarification from this event has been the revelation of the absurdity and irrelevance of the extreme Green nonsense. The President was correct in announcing that he would release oil as necessary from the United States national petroleum reserves to stabilize world supply. Even 50 years from now, no part of the solution to such a problem as this will have anything to do with nostrums about windmills and solar panels.

Apart from the removal of the United States as the world’s chief petroleum importer, the Middle Eastern correlation of forces has also been altered by the disintegration of two prominent Arab countries, Iraq and Syria (formerly two of Israel’s most militant enemies), and the encroachment upon Arab affairs of the ancient foes of the Arabs, the Turks and the Persians (Iran).

The European rejection of Turkey has helped persuade that country’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to imagine that Turkey has a role to play in Arab affairs, and the general clerical and nationalist belligerency of the Islamic Republic in Iran has assisted the Arabs in focusing on self-protection and shelving their diversionary preoccupation with Israel.

The fixation on Israel was always just an invented distraction of the Arab masses from the misgovernment their leaders inflicted on them, but now, and with Turkey and Iran meddling in Syria and Iraq, the Palestinians, who were generally regarded in the Arab world as sharpers like the Jews and Lebanese, are redundant to the pan-Arab interest, and Israel is a vital ally.

Now is the time for the imposition of a solution: The Palestinians can have a modest state, but that’s all they get, and it must be conditioned on formal recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with internationally agreed frontiers. The Israeli election will almost certainly produce a grand coalition between the two main parties that could facilitate an agreement by producing a slightly more flexible government in Jerusalem, i.e. a somewhat more flexible Benjamin Netanyahu (though not one seriously contemplating retirement; the charges against him are nonsense and just part of hardball Israeli politics). Israel would benefit from a government independent of the Arabs, the religious parties, or the far left.

The United States must lead an effective coalition response to the Iranian aggression against Saudi Arabia. The NATO states that import oil, especially from Saudi Arabia, should be forcefully invited to join in augmented sanctions, and the United States should require those countries that trade profitably with the U.S. to join an embargo of Iran until it genuinely renounces its sponsorship of terrorist enterprises, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and, as long as the Yemeni civil war is bilaterally deescalated, the Houthi.

A serious coalition, including all the countries whose ships ply the Persian Gulf, should, under American leadership, accomplish the internationalization of the Strait of Hormuz, and discourage by force any Iranian attempt to restrict those waters. And the U.S. must (at the expense of the beneficiary countries) install serious air security over Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Kuwait, and northern Iraq. Foreign drones should never have got anywhere near the Saudi oil refineries and collection points and would not be especially hard to intercept.

This attack was planned as meticulously as the 9/11 attacks and, like them, attempted to evade any particular national responsibility. The fact that there was no suicide element may be taken as slight progress for the world’s counterterrorists.

An air assault on Iranian oil facilities and nuclear military sites would be entirely justified, and this measure should be prepared as the next step, with the prior approval of a reasonable range of supportive countries, as the instant response to any further provocations. It would not be a great risk for the United States to lead a punitive air mission that would flatten Iran’s nuclear military program and crush it economically, and such a step would arouse no objections from any civilized country.

If the Saudis want to move to this more ambitious phase of retribution now, as long as the administration takes the time necessary to stiffen the backbone of the vocal but often almost invertebrate allies, and as long as it is planned carefully, there is no moral or practical reason to hesitate. Iran is an outlaw regime in chronic need of punishment, and the danger lies not in overreaction but in insufficient retaliation.[2]

Black is correct: “[T]he direct attack on Saudi Arabia was an act of war,” but it was not an act of war against the United States or the American people.  We were pushed into the Iraq War by Israel and its neocon shills; and that war alone cost more than 5,000 American lives with many more maimed, and trillions of dollars wasted, for nothing. Never again, even if Israel’s existence is at stake.

The United States is the largest energy producer in the world once again, and as I have written previously:

[W]e do not need the Middle East—or Israel—for anything anymore. Also, an overwhelming number of Americans elected Donald Trump to keep us out of foreign wars, not to embark on new ones.[3]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—was correct when he stated:

To [former White House aide and Israeli shill, John] Bolton, Trump’s trashing of Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal was the first step toward a confrontation and clash to smash the Tehran regime. To Trump, it was a first step to a Trump-negotiated better bargain with Iran.[4]

Black is mistaken when he writes:

The Palestinians can have a modest state, but that’s all they get, and it must be conditioned on formal recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state with internationally agreed frontiers.

Giving “crumbs” to the Palestinians, and abandoning any notions of a viable two-state solution, smacks of colonialism and apartheid, which are abhorrent in America and the West today.

Black is mistaken too when he writes:

The United States must lead an effective coalition response to the Iranian aggression against Saudi Arabia. The NATO states that import oil, especially from Saudi Arabia, should be forcefully invited to join in augmented sanctions. . . .

It is in America’s best interests to open our energy “spigots” wide, and supply Europe with its energy needs, and do the same with respect to China.  Among other things, this would boost the U.S. economy immeasurably; it would undermine the Russian dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin’s brutal regime; and it would enhance American jobs and our trading relationship with China, which desperately needs energy products to keep its flagging economy afloat and on an even keel.

Next, Black has written:

An air assault on Iranian oil facilities and nuclear military sites would be entirely justified, and this measure should be prepared as the next step, with the prior approval of a reasonable range of supportive countries, as the instant response to any further provocations. It would not be a great risk for the United States to lead a punitive air mission that would flatten Iran’s nuclear military program and crush it economically, and such a step would arouse no objections from any civilized country.

If the Saudis want to move to this more ambitious phase of retribution now, as long as the administration takes the time necessary to stiffen the backbone of the vocal but often almost invertebrate allies, and as long as it is planned carefully, there is no moral or practical reason to hesitate. Iran is an outlaw regime in chronic need of punishment, and the danger lies not in overreaction but in insufficient retaliation.

Wow!  This smacks of the warmongering by those who brought us the Vietnam War and the Iraq War; and it must be rejected categorically by the American people.  They do not want war; and thankfully Black does not occupy any policy role in the West vis-à-vis the Middle East.

Bald Eagle and American Flag --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.nysun.com/national/latest-ploy-against-trump-is-to-conjure/90804/

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17209 (“Warmonger: Enemy Of The American People”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-19656 (“Echoes Of The Despicable John Bolton”)





America’s Left Is Vile And Evil

24 08 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

And yes, lots of us began as Democrats, but will never vote for one again.

In an article entitled “New Anti-Trump Ploy Is Conjuring A Recession,” Conrad Black—the Canadian-born, British former newspaper publisher, author and life peer—has written in The New York Sun:

The latest ploy of the anti-Trump press phalanx, and their weekly echo chamber of assorted Democratic candidates and legislators, is to try to move the voter-approval needle by insisting an economic recession is about to occur. The problem is, it isn’t.

As weeks pass without a recession or even increasing objective statistical hints of a recession, the continued trumpeting of a recession becomes self-stifling. Not even the economically illiterate mouthpieces of CNN and MSNBC can keep a straight face for long predicting recession when there are no signs it is happening.

It is possible to convince those who want to be convinced that something happening completely in the dark, such as trade negotiations with China, is going badly. (They aren’t.) But it is impossible to maintain a levitation of economic alarm when confidence remains high, employers are hiring rather than laying off workers, and economic growth, unemployment, and inflation numbers remain positive.

Understandably, it has been difficult for both sides on the political see-saw as we approach the 2020 election year. President Trump’s enemies, clinging as they have been since the beginning to buoyant flotsam, are like people who have been cast into the sea and can’t swim.

The idea of a Trump presidency was so unthinkable there could not be a honeymoon because it could not be real; it could not have been a legitimate election. For more than two years we were waiting for the confirmation that Mr. Trump had worked with the Russian government to rig the election.

We now know that from the start the investigators knew that there had been no such collusion and almost two whole years were spent trying to provoke Mr. Trump into counter-attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s operation so he could be accused of obstructing justice. Since the president cooperated with the inquiry even as he rightly denounced it as a hoax and a fraud, the best that could be done was an invitation to the House of Representatives to continue investigations so Democrats might keep the impeachment cloud over the president’s head.

Doubtless when legislators return from their summer recess, like two spavined old fire-horses, judiciary and intelligence committee chairmen Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff will storm out of the gate again, issuing subpoenas which will be ignored by the administration, and relying on the same desperately inadequate choir of nasty press sorcerers (down to and including Watergate catacomb mythmakers Carl Bernstein and John Dean), to stoke it up one more time.

It won’t fly. No one believes any of it. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will soon produce his report on many aspects of the spurious Trump-Russia investigation, and Senator [Lindsey] Graham and his judiciary committee will take it from there, shouldering Messrs. Nadler and Schiff out of the frame.

Inexorably, as special prosecutor John Durham’s indictments come down, the Democrats’ “insurance policy” against Mr. Trump (the Russian collusion canard as described by former FBI senior agent Peter Strzok) will become the Democrats’ suicide weapon.

Russia was hastily followed by racism, topped out with attempts to hold Mr. Trump in some way responsible for the tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Since Mr. Trump isn’t a racist, and neither of the two shooters professed any Trump role in forming their psychopathic opinions, that wheeze has died in the summer heat. It is to be hoped that it doesn’t take down prudent bipartisan reforms of the gun regime with it.

The sudden and mysterious silence that has enshrouded the southern border, including the wailings of Representative Elijah Cummings, is the surest indicator that the fence is being built, Mexico is cooperating (as it receives more manufacturing investment from companies fleeing China over tariffs), and the detention and adjudication system with hundreds of new judges, is working.

The number of apprehensions of those attempting to enter illegally is declining and it is becoming difficult to represent crowded but adequately sanitary and well-stocked detention centers as the replications of Nazi death camps that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others were conjuring.

Now we are on to a recession. This claim contains no more substance than the chimeras that preceded it.

The straws in the wind that have been cited as the green shoots of economic calamity are far from dispositive, and carry much less weight than continuing solid performances in economic growth, inflation, absolute and per capita GDP growth, manufacturing jobs growth, shrinkage of minority unemployment, and purchasing power for working and lower middle class families. All of these numbers are coming in supportively for the administration.

The fact that the election approaches and the importance of the economy in electoral results is proverbial, and the serial evaporation of the false issues that have been pinned on Trump in his inexorable elephantine march through his first term, now combine to attempt the incitement of hysteria on this subject.

It is true that the deficit tops $1 trillion and that is not sustainable indefinitely, but that is 35% less than the Obama average (admittedly coming after a debacle bequeathed by George W. Bush); and the GDP is about 25% above the latter Obama years. So despite a large tax reduction and a strong defense build-up, the deficit as a percentage of GDP has shrunk in about five years from 8.5% to less than 5%, unacceptable, but progress.

The most important single measurement, especially for insertion into political predictions, is GDP per capita growth, which declined dangerously from 4.5% in the Reagan years to 3.9% in the Clinton terms, to 2% under George W. Bush to 1% with Obama. This trend had to be reversed to prevent extreme economic and political stress.

Economics, essentially, is half psychology and half third-grade arithmetic. President Trump has won the arithmetic and there are no serious signs of incipient recession: neither rising interest rates presaging inflation, which could require recessive measures to cool, nor serious slackening of demand.

Under the circumstances, it will be hard for Democratic officials and press fear-mongering to win the psychological battle over the direct personal experience and observations of the voters.

The only signs of economic weakness are from other important countries. The European Union appears to be about to suffer the grievous self-inflicted wound of failing to reach a reasonable compromise with the UK, and the loss of its second-largest national economy and most prestigious member. This would be a benefit to the United States as a free trade agreement with the world’s fifth-largest economy would be eminently negotiable.

China, despite its huffing and puffing and the solicitude for its “face” [that] it has stirred up in the weak-kneed precincts of the over-populated anti-Trump world, is sputtering and losing jobs to Vietnam, India, and Mexico. Those who have been so prostrated in their hostility to the president that they have subscribed to Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” hegemonic plan will suffer the disconcertion of seeing China adopt a sharp course correction.

The comparative weakness of China’s rivals will assist the prolongation of the American boom, which only seems so protracted because there never really was a full recovery under President Obama, little more than stabilization with a 125% increase in accumulated national debt in eight years. The workforce shrank, welfare dependency rose, and a flat-lined “new normal” that the country could not live with was proclaimed.

The Democrats and their press are trying to delay the sober and balanced assessment of the merits of the candidates coming up to the 2020 election. To repurpose a beloved Democratic expression, the inconvenient truth is that Mr. Trump has been a good president who has kept his promises.[2]

As I have written:

Our adversaries have only seen a small portion of America’s vast economic might. For example, by denying use of the SWIFT payments system to Russia, we can bring the pygmy economy (smaller than Italy or Brazil) to its knees. Also, as the United States regains its dominant position in the world’s energy markets, Russia loses. And China’s economy is not in great shape today either.

Like Abraham Lincoln before him, Donald Trump is asserting America’s preeminence and dominance, unapologetically. And yes, the United States is at war, albeit it is not a shooting war at this time.[3]

Economic cycles are a way of life, which have occurred with consistency over hundreds if not thousands of years.  And I added:

One can look at Life negatively (e.g., ALL of us are going to die), optimistically, or “realistically.”

I have believed that the “Great Recession [of 2008]” was papered over, and the proverbial “can” was simply kicked down the road.

. . .

However, the USSR is gone; Russia is a pygmy state; and China has lots of problems. We have survived because of optimism and realism, not pessimism.[4]

America’s Left and its captive so-called “Mainstream Media” are hoping for a recession (or worse), which they can blame on President Trump.  In essence, they are hoping that America fails, instead of succeeds and prospers.  This is not the Democratic Party of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who did his best to get us out of the Great Depression and rebuild America’s spirit and industrial might.

Instead, this is the party of un-American mental midgets like Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff; outright racists like Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings; and anti-Semites such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and the other members of their so-called “Squad.”  It is also the party of Barack Obama and his fellow traitors who sought to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump, and who should be in prison for the rest of their lives—at the very least.[5]

Bald Eagle and American Flag --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.nysun.com/national/latest-ploy-against-trump-is-to-conjure/90804/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/ (“China Is America’s Enemy, And The Enemy Of Free People Everywhere”)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/#comment-17585 (“America’s Global Might”)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/u-s-attorney-general-barr-is-appalled-give-americans-a-break/#comment-18748

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/11/u-s-attorney-general-barr-is-appalled-give-americans-a-break/ (“U.S. Attorney General Barr Is Appalled: Give Americans A Break!”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/the-mueller-witch-hunt-is-over/ (“The Mueller Witch Hunt Is Over”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-democrats-are-evil-but-smart-while-the-republicans-are-neanderthals-and-dumb/ (“The Democrats Are Evil But Smart, While The Republicans Are Neanderthals And Dumb”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7340581/Jerry-Nadler-says-formal-impeachment-proceedings-against-Donald-Trump-launched.html (“[Totally-despicable] Jerry Nadler says ‘formal impeachment proceedings’ against Donald Trump have been launched’)





China Is America’s Enemy, And The Enemy Of Free People Everywhere

13 08 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Almost nine years ago, I wrote an article entitled “China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That,” which was published here.[2]  The year before that, I had written another article entitled “The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust,” which addressed the killing by China’s Mao Tse-tung of an estimated 30-40 million between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what Mao’s regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.”[3]  Today, China is killing its babies, yet the world is turning a blind eye again.[4]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written a thoughtful and sobering article entitled “China, Not Russia, the Greater Threat,” which is worth reading and reflecting on:

Ten weeks of protests, some huge, a few violent, culminated Monday with a shutdown of the Hong Kong airport.

Ominously, Beijing described the violent weekend demonstrations as “deranged” acts that are “the first signs of terrorism,” and vowed a merciless crackdown on the perpetrators.

China is being pushed toward a decision it does not want to make: to use military force, as in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago, to crush the uprising. For that would reveal the character of President Xi Jinping’s Communist dictatorship, as well as Beijing’s long-term plans for this semi-autonomous city of almost 7.5 million.

Yet this is not the only internal or border concern of Xi’s regime.

Millions of Muslim Uighurs in China’s west are in concentration camps undergoing “re-education” to change their way of thinking on loyalty, secession and the creation of a new East Turkestan.

In June, a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Philippine fishing boat, leaving its 22 crewmen to drown. The fishermen were rescued by a Vietnamese boat.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s reluctance to resist China’s fortification in the South China Sea of the rocks and reefs Manila claims are within its own territorial waters has turned Philippine nationalism anti-China.

China’s claim to Taiwan is being defied by Taipei, which just bought $2.2 billion in U.S. military equipment including Abrams tanks and Stinger missiles.

Any Taiwanese declaration of independence, China has warned, means war.

While Taiwan’s request to buy U.S. F-16s has not yet been approved, in a rare visit, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen stopped over in the U.S. recently, before traveling on to Caribbean countries that retain diplomatic relations with Taipei. Beijing has expressed its outrage at the U.S. arms sales and Tsai’s unofficial visit.

The vaunted Chinese economy is growing, at best, at half the double-digit rate of a decade ago, not enough to create the jobs needed for hundreds of millions in the countryside seeking work.

And talks have been suspended in the U.S.-China trade dispute, at the heart of which, says White House aide Peter Navarro, are Beijing’s “seven deadly sins” in dealing with the United States:

China steals our intellectual property via cybertheft, forces U.S. companies in China to transfer technology, hacks our computers, dumps into our markets to put U.S. companies out of business, subsidizes state-owned enterprises to compete with U.S. firms, manipulates its currency, and, despite our protests, ships to the USA the fentanyl drug that has become a major killer of Americans.

Such practices have enabled China to run up annual trade surpluses of $300 billion to $400 billion at our expense, and, says Navarro, have caused the loss of 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

Moreover, China has used the accumulated wealth of its huge trade surpluses to finance its drive for hegemony in Asia and beyond.

With President Donald Trump threatening 10% tariffs on $300 billion more in Chinese exports to the U.S., Xi must decide if he is willing to end his trade-war tactics against the U.S., which have gone on during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. If he refuses, will he accept the de-coupling of our two economies?

Only Trump has taken on the Middle Kingdom.

If the American people and Congress are willing to play hardball and accept sacrifices, we can win this face-off. The U.S. buys five times as much from China as we sell to China. The big loser in this confrontation, if we stay the course, will not be the USA.

For three years, the U.S. establishment has not ceased to howl about Russia’s theft of emails of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.

Yet the greatest cybercrime of the century was Beijing’s theft in 2014 of the personnel files of 22 million applicants and employees of the U.S. government, many of them holding top-secret clearances.

Compromised by this theft, said then FBI Director James Comey, was a “treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for, or works for the United States government.”

“A very big deal from a national security … and counterintelligence perspective,” said Comey. And Xi’s China, not Putin’s Russia, committed the crime. Yet America’s elites appear to have forgotten this far graver act of cyberaggresion.

Undeniably, Russia is a rival. But Putin’s economy is the size of Italy’s while China’s economy challenges our own. And China’s population is 10 times that of Russia, and four times that of the USA.

Manifestly, China is the greater menace.

Are Americans willing to make the necessary sacrifices to force China to abide by the rules of reciprocal trade?

Or will Trump be forced by political realities to accept the long-term and ruinous relationship we have followed since granting China permanent MFN status in 2001?

This issue is likely to decide the destiny of our relations and the future of Asia, if not the world.[5]

As I have written many times, Russia is a pygmy state economically—and “Putinism” dies with the demise of Russia’s brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin.[6]  While China’s economy is not in good shape, it is wielding power in Hong Kong and elsewhere around the globe, which might be ominous.[7]  Protestors in Hong Kong have waved the American flag, and sung our national anthem.[8]  The thirst for freedom is everywhere; and China’s thirst for totalitarian global domination must end, or be ended.[9]

[A pro-democracy protester waves an American flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district, an urban area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong]

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[3]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/#comment-18488 (“China Is Killing Again, This Time Babies”)

[5]  See https://buchanan.org/blog/china-not-russia-the-greater-threat-137403 (“China, Not Russia, the Greater Threat”)

[6]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”)

[7]  See, e.g., http://www.dickmorris.com/china-tries-to-jam-huawei-down-the-worlds-throat-lunch-alert/ (“China Tries To Jam Huawei Down The World’s Throat“)

[8]  See, e.g., https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2019/08/13/hong-kong-protesters-wave-american-flag-sing-national-anthem.html (“Hong Kong protesters wave American flag, sing national anthem”)

[9]  See, e.g., https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/james-carafano-what-hong-kong-unrest-tells-us-about-chinas-plans-for-the-rest-of-the-world (“What Hong Kong unrest tells us about China’s plans for the rest of the world”—”[T]he plight of that territory’s more than 7 million souls can teach us an important lesson about what China has in mind for the rest of the world.  It is not good.  . . .  [M]any observers fear that Beijing will step in and crackdown on the demonstrators.  After all, they note, the USSR’s demise didn’t stop the People’s Army from rolling tanks into Tiananmen Square.  . . . Hong Kong just doesn’t mean near as much to the Chinese economy as it did 20 years ago. Besides, the Chinese would rather see investment flow to mainland cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai that are more firmly under the regime’s control. As for the welfare and future of the people of Hong Kong, that is the last thing Beijing cares about”) and http://www.dickmorris.com/how-trump-can-squeeze-china-harder-lunch-alert/ (“How Trump Can Squeeze China Harder”)





U.S. Attorney General Barr Is Appalled: Give Americans A Break!

11 08 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

U.S. Attorney General William Barr stated that he was “appalled” by alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s death in his jail cell, and he added:

Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.[2]

How very quaint.  The FBI’s leadership has been shown to be corrupt and treasonous, beyond the ability of most Americans to fathom.  Barack Obama—and key leaders and intelligence operatives under him—initiated concerted efforts to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump.  Yet, none of these co-conspirators has been charged with any crimes, nor spent a day in prison.  Until this happens, no American should believe in our system of justice again.[3]

Similarly, the Inspector General’s office in the U.S. Department of Justice is often described as the location “where the truth goes to die.”[4]  America is lawless today, and Epstein’s life and death are the latest examples.  It is alleged that he and others “recruited” young girls for sex, and transported them via Epstein’s “Lolita Express” to the Virgin Islands, and provided them to prominent Americans and others—including Queen Elizabeth’s son, the UK’s Prince Andrew.[5]

Pedophiles, rapists, human traffickers and those who kill while engaging in the harvesting of human body parts are subhuman.[6]  They are on a par with those who engage in mass murder[7]; and they are just as savage and evil.  Jeffrey Epstein, Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein are shining examples.[8]

The #MeToo movement was started by women (and men) standing up for the rights of women, in the face of Hollywood’s century-old violence and depravity—which seems to know no end or bounds.  Women continue to be exploited sexually, and the beat goes on, unabated.[9]

When all of the facts come out concerning Epstein, the world may see a level of depravity and pedophilia that boggles the mind and turns the stomachs of even the most hardened citizens of the world. Only the torture and mass killings of human beings, and the destruction of minds from the use of drugs[10], may be more egregious.

America and the world are in the midst and grips of the “Kardashian era,” where “sex sells.”[11]  However, the seamy side of this is far darker than the prostitution and promiscuity of the past.  It is pure evil, personified.

[Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged former sex slave Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was intimate with Prince Andrew at the London home of Epstein’s alleged “Madam,” UK publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell’s daughter Ghislaine Maxwell (on the right), in unsealed files that show Giuffre, then 17, with Prince Andrew and Maxwell at Maxwell’s London townhouse in 2001]

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/10/there-is-nothing-to-suggest-foul-play-fbi-investigating-jeffrey-epsteins-death-by-suicide.html (“Attorney General Barr ‘appalled’ by Epstein’s suicide, says inspector general and FBI investigating”); see also https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeffrey-epstein-dies-by-suicide-new-york-jail-report-1230708 (“Jeffrey Epstein Dies by Suicide in New York Jail”)

[3]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/the-mueller-witch-hunt-is-over/ (“The Mueller Witch Hunt Is Over”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7340581/Jerry-Nadler-says-formal-impeachment-proceedings-against-Donald-Trump-launched.html (“[Totally-despicable] Jerry Nadler says ‘formal impeachment proceedings’ against Donald Trump have been launched’)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-department-of-injustices-inspector-general-is-complicit-in-the-deep-state-cover-up/#comment-15562 (“The DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz Is Missing In Action”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-department-of-injustices-inspector-general-is-complicit-in-the-deep-state-cover-up/ (“The Department Of Injustice’s Inspector General Is Complicit In The Deep-State Cover-Up!”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-biggest-bombshells-in-newly-unsealed-jeffrey-epstein-documents (“The Biggest Bombshells in Newly Unsealed Jeffrey Epstein Documents”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7344181/Billionaire-Jeffrey-Epstein-dies-suicide-inside-Manhattan-jail-cell.html (“FBI launches an investigation after billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself in prison a day after lawsuit by his ‘sex slave’ was unsealed and named a host of his powerful friends including Prince Andrew”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7342169/Prince-Andrew-exposed-Teen-sex-slave-alleges-pair-intimate-Ghislaine-Maxwells-London-home.html (“Prince Andrew named in unsealed Epstein documents: ‘Sex slave’, then 17, alleges she was intimate with royal at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home while second young woman claims she was groped by prince at paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s house”); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Epstein (“Jeffrey Epstein”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghislaine_Maxwell (“Ghislaine Maxwell”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Maxwell (“Robert Maxwell”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7343885/Duchess-York-jets-Balmoral-amid-rumours-shes-rekindling-romance-Prince-Andrew.html (“Duchess of York jets to Balmoral amid rumours she’s rekindling romance with Prince Andrew”)

[6]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/remembering-the-comfort-women-victims-of-human-trafficking-and-slavery/ (“Remembering The Comfort Women, Victims Of Human Trafficking And Slavery”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/who-is-next-the-murder-of-a-young-american-and-the-harvesting-of-his-body-parts-in-mexico/ (“Who Is Next? The Murder Of A Young American And The Harvesting Of His Body Parts In Mexico”)

[7]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-18512 (“The List Of Notables Encouraging Violence Against The President Is Growing”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-11474 (“SICKO SEXUAL PREDATOR ROMAN POLANSKI IS TARGETED FINALLY!”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-7566 (“The Serial Rapist Bill Cosby”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-13133 (“Finally, The Beginning Of Justice For Hollywood’s Serial Rapist, Bill Cosby“) and  https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-12196 (“THE VERY ESSENCE OF HOLLYWOOD’S DEPRAVITY”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-10901 (“HOLLYWOOD HAS BEEN SICK FOR DECADES”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History“) (see the extensive comments beneath the article)

[9]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-18368 (“Margot Robbie: Shame”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-17162 (“Sex Sells: Hollywood Is Sick”)

[10]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-18218 (“BAN Pot And Other Drugs, As Well As Vaping”)

[11]  See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7344603/Kylie-Jenner-PICTURE-EXCLUSIVE-Make-mogul-cosies-boyfriend-Travis-Scott-jet-ski.html (“Kylie Jenner PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Make-up mogul cosies up to boyfriend Travis Scott on jet-ski”)





The Brooke Amendment And Section 8 Housing: Revisited

7 05 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

This is the title of my newest law review article[2] that discusses the landmark laws enacted by Congress: the “Brooke Amendment” with respect to public housing, and the “Section 8” housing program that was intended to extend the benefits of the Brooke Amendment to housing wherever it is located. Put succinctly, the Brooke Amendment capped the payment of rent at twenty-five percent of a person’s income, with the federal government paying the difference; and it provided funds to improve public housing, and to assure the safety of its residents.

Section 8 was envisioned as giving “vouchers” to those who qualified for public housing, and permitting them to find housing anywhere, with the federal government subsidizing their rents when the twenty-five-percent-of-income threshold was passed. Taken together, the Brooke Amendment and Section 8 were America’s answer to the needs of decent housing for its poor. Today, there are two million voucher families.[3]

The United States has an unenviable record of providing affordable housing for its poor, much less for the poorest of the poor—America’s homeless. They have lived on the streets and wherever they could find shelter; and they have been shunned as “lepers” and cast aside to fend for themselves. Many have been and are in desperate need of mental health care and treatment; and they are not far removed from the poor of Calcutta, who have been chronicled down through the decades.

This is particularly true of the elderly, disabled and families with young children, who have slipped through the “cracks” and the societal “safety nets,” to the extent that such protections still exist. However, the elderly of the Boston area were singled out for humane, dignified and uplifting treatment and protection in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when work began by Senator Edward W. Brooke and me in the U.S. Congress—through its two banking committees—to address their plight.

Since then, billions of dollars have been expended, and millions of poor Americans have been helped, which tragically has only scratched the surface—as the numbers of chronically poor and those who are unable to afford private rents continue to rise in the United States. The ever-accelerating cost of housing, and the short supply of existing affordable housing units, have priced many Americans with even good jobs out of decent housing across America, in such areas as “Silicon Valley” (or the San Francisco Bay Area).

They have lived in campers, recreational vehicles (“RVs”) or wherever they could find to sleep. The effects on the poorest of the poor—those farther down the economic totem pole—have been catastrophic, especially in those areas of the United States where inclement weather is a major factor. Many have died, or been victimized, as homeless shelters have been inadequate or closed entirely for various reasons (e.g., funding and/or staffing shortages) in areas where they are needed the most.

Yesterday’s problems are compounded by staggering mental health issues relating to America’s poor and homeless; violent gang activities such as MS-13; dilapidated public housing projects, which may not be helped by the infusion of more federal funds; Social Security retirement benefits that have not kept pace with the costs of food, housing and the medical needs of America’s elderly poor; the influx of illegal immigrants from other countries, who have few discernible skills and nowhere to live; the shortage of qualified professional staff members who can deal effectively with such problems and challenges, and truly make a positive difference; and the increasing demand by most Americans for affordable housing, which has outstripped the available supply.

One size does not fit all. What works in one community may not work in another. And simply throwing money at the staggering problems might not be any solution at all. U.S. taxpayers may say “enough is enough,” and they might be right—at least with respect to their own self-interests. Money cannot be wasted if federal housing programs are to enjoy broad support from the American people. The tasks today are daunting, but the United States and Americans have risen to the challenges of the past, and may be expected to do so in the future.

 

Ed Brooke

[Senator Edward W. Brooke (1919-2015)]

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Timothy D. Naegele [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, “The Brooke Amendment And Section 8 Housing: Revisited,” please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Brooke (“Edward Brooke”)

[3]  But see https://crosscut.com/2019/04/despite-new-law-landlords-continue-turn-away-applicants-section-8-vouchers (“Despite new law, landlords continue to turn away applicants with Section 8 vouchers”) and https://laist.com/2019/04/10/la_wants_to_stop_landlords_from_rejecting_low-income_housing_vouchers.php (“LA Wants To Stop Landlords From Rejecting Section 8 Vouchers”) and https://www.scpr.org/news/2019/04/12/89035/la-considers-prohibiting-landlords-from-rejecting/https://www.scpr.org/news/2019/04/12/89035/la-considers-prohibiting-landlords-from-rejecting/ (“LA considers prohibiting landlords from rejecting housing assistance vouchers”—”Nearly half of the people getting a Section 8 voucher in L.A. will end up losing it because they can’t find any landlords who will rent to them”) and https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-section-8-discrimination-law-homeless-20190419-story.html (“End Section 8 housing discrimination”—”[A]t a time when cities and counties are increasingly relying on vouchers to help reduce homelessness, many landlords won’t even consider leasing to tenants whose rent would be paid, in whole or in part, by the government. The problem is particularly acute in cities with high rents and low vacancies. In Los Angeles, nearly half the people trying to use a Section 8 voucher had it expire in 2017 before they could find a place to live, up from 18% in 2011. Several cities, including San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco, have already banned discrimination against tenants with Section 8 and other housing vouchers.  . . . But California can’t end housing discrimination on a city-by-city basis. State lawmakers need to go further and pass Senate Bill 329, which would enact the ban statewide.  . . . Landlords argue that high denial rates aren’t driven by discrimination but by the paperwork, inspections and restrictions that come with rental subsidy programs. For example, it’s hard to raise the rent, even modestly, on voucher tenants. Plus, they note, the supposed “market rent” the federal government is willing to cover is often too low in California’s overheated markets, where the bigger problem is a lack of affordable housing units”) and https://www.bostonherald.com/2019/04/25/boston-receives-1000-housing-vouchers-for-homeless/ (“Boston receives 1,000 housing vouchers for homeless”) and https://wpdh.com/ny-landlords-cant-discriminate-against-section-8-anymore/ (“NY Landlords Can’t Discriminate Against Section 8 Anymore”) and https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/more-section-8-vouchers-in-chicagos-black-neighborhoods-than-a-decade-ago/e461cdf4-22d1-45bd-9522-e0983c2d1c08 (“Chicago’s Section 8 Vouchers Increasing In Black Communities, Declining In White Neighborhoods”) and https://dc.curbed.com/2019/5/9/18538152/dc-nonprofit-fair-housing-law-online-course (“D.C. nonprofit offers online fair housing course designed to prevent discrimination by landlords”)





A New Catholic Manifesto?

13 04 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A recent survey found that there are as many Americans who claim no religion, as there are evangelicals and Catholics:

For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity. . . . The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals. . . .[2]

Also, it has been noted that “a growing number of Americans reject organized religion,” and that “‘No Religion’ will be the largest group outright in four to six years.”[3]  These conclusions do not surprise many if not most “believers”—which is the path less traveled.

Some of us “experienced” God at one time or another in our lives[4]; and without that, it is likely that we too would not only reject organized religion, but any belief in a “Higher Power” altogether.  We might look at the cruelties, injustices and sadness in Life, and wonder how a loving God could allow this.  It seems to fly in the face of logic and rational belief systems.[5]

Indeed, to “push” our belief systems on others, or even to mention the life-changing moment we experienced, seems arrogant and pious.  Each and every human being, or animal, is a child of God . . . or so many of us believe.  We are not special because of what happened to us, but we were privileged—and yes, blessed—to have it happen.  With that comes a sense of responsibility, to help others.

Often, evangelicals proselytize, quite vigorously, which turns off others.  If the “targets” were willing to be open-minded, having religion “shoved down their throats” can be threatening and repulsive.  However well-intentioned such evangelicals may be, they can have the opposite effect, of turning away the “candidate” from any religion, which is human nature.  Each of us is on a unique path to God, or so I believe, which is not shared by anyone else.

We fall, and get up again and move on.  We are not heroes or saints or anything else except another human being.  We are no more or less than our fellow human beings.  Each day we seem to struggle with our beliefs and faith.  As I have written:

I had essentially a “near-death” experience some years ago, similar to what others have described, during which I experienced God . . . as an intense bright light at the end of a tunnel, and as Infinite Intelligence of which our own intelligence is merely a part. God was neither masculine nor feminine. My mother had died months before it happened, and I felt her presence and I knew she was with God.

From that moment forward, I have never doubted that God exists, or that God created everything—heaven and earth and everything in between. However, I continually seek to understand how God operates in my life, on a day-to-day basis. The closest I have come is my belief that God acts through us as faith, inspiration, prayer, miracles, and perhaps most of all, love. I believe that in expressing love, each of us is God in expression.[6]

Christianity is the largest religion in the world today[7]; and the Catholic Church, or the “Mother Church,” is the largest Christian denomination.[8]  In the case of some, our ancestors have been Catholics for centuries—and at least two hundred years.  We may not be “official Catholics” today, but we are drawn to the Church for a variety of reasons.  One of the most important is the Church’s stand on abortions, and its unwavering pro-life and anti-Infanticide policies.[9]

Jesus’ teachings were simple; and they are set forth in the New Testament, for anyone to read.  Was He the Messiah and Son of God?  I believe so.  In many ways, His messages were clear: to help the poorest of poor (e.g., homeless) and the downtrodden; and not to worship material things or “creature comforts.”  We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing, just like the Pharaohs or monarchs of ancient Egypt.[10]

How and where has the Catholic Church gone astray, and diverged from the teachings of Jesus?[11]  How can it be brought back “on track,” so it is true to Jesus’ teachings?  For some non-believers, there is probably nothing that the Church could do that would “redeem its sins.”  Some are determined to destroy the Church, and organized religions altogether; and seemingly, nothing will change their minds or alter their paths.

Pedophilia has ripped the Church apart around the world, and in places like Ireland where the Church used to be so strong.  What can be done about this, at least with respect to those who are “open-minded” and not bent on destruction?  First, the Church needs to “clean house,” and rid its ranks of pedophiles who prey on others, and those who engage in human trafficking and slavery.  Second, there must not be more cover-ups.  Third, I believe there should be no more vows of celibacy or chastity, which are unnatural.  Fourth, the priesthood should be open and welcoming to women.

Lastly, why should I care?  Why should I or anyone else waste time writing an article like this or trying to make changes, which may be unlikely to move the Church or its adherents one single inch?  Indeed, few people may read this article, much less be moved by it.  And some may be repulsed and/or angry about what I have written.  Yet, I want to see Jesus’ wonderful teachings flourish, and for the Catholic Church to continue to promulgate such teachings far and wide—and yes, to serve God in the process.

The Church has helped millions of human beings worldwide, and it continues to do so.  This is its future.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-religion-largest-group-first-time-usa-trnd/index.html (“There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds”)

[3]  Id.

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-426 (“For A Lovely Woman Named Cynthia Whose Faith In God Will Help Her”)

[6]  See infra n.4.

[7]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups#Largest_religious_groups (“Largest religious groups”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church (“Catholic Church”)

[9]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide (“Infanticide”)

As I have written:

An abortion is a criminal act: infanticide. Each of the mothers and the doctors and others who have participated—or participate in the future—in the taking of human lives should be arrested, tried, convicted and . . .

Abortion is the taking of a life!

. . .

IF any exceptions are to be made, they should only occur in the case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“)

[10]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh (“Pharaoh”)

[11]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)

 





Standby Letters of Credit And Other Bank Guaranties: Revisited

1 04 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The United States has experienced periods of boom and bust since its rich history began.  Such is the basic nature of economic cycles, and of our capitalist system that governs global economic activity.  Like the laws of gravity, certainties exist in economics too.  What goes up, comes down—sometimes with a resounding thud.

When crises arise, as they will, public policymakers in America and other countries must be prepared to deal with them in a responsible and effective manner, and have tools at their disposal to do so.  One area of economic activity that few Americans know about, much less comprehend, involves the staggering amounts and extensive uses of guaranties—issued globally by banks, other financial institutions, businesses, governmental agencies[2], and individuals themselves.

According to the latest figures published by the Fed, the aggregate amount of “Financial standby letters of credit and foreign office guarantees” in the fourth quarter of 2018 stood at more than a half-trillion dollars—$566.8 billion, to be exact—which seems exceptionally low.[3]  My newest law review article deals with standby letters of credit and other bank guaranties, and with their counterparts in other areas of domestic and international commerce.[4]

The article builds on an earlier discussion of such issues, before the U.S. Senate more than 40 years ago.[5]  Since then, crises have come and gone; and the issue today is what public policymakers have learned in the interim about how to anticipate and address them.  As I have written:

Guaranties have been used in commercial transactions for centuries, in various contexts and in various parts of the world.  Banks have not been alone in their willingness to engage in such undertakings, and have sought new methods of characterizing guaranty transactions in recent years, in an effort to circumvent legal bars as to these practices.

. . .

A guaranty is a promise by one party to answer for the payment of some debt, or the performance of some obligation, in case of the default of another party, who is in the first instance liable for such payment or performance.  A standby letter of credit is merely one form of a guaranty which has been subject to increased usage by banks in this country during recent years.  There are a variety of reasons why the use of standby letters of credit has increased.  The primary reason from a legal standpoint is that our courts have held that national banks are not permitted to guarantee the obligations of another party.

The national banks involved have been imaginative enough, in responding to this situation, to fashion an instrument which they contend is not an illegal guaranty but is akin to a traditional letter of credit, as a means of avoiding any legal or regulatory constraints. . . .

[T]he standby letter of credit is a means by which a bank permits its customer to make use of the bank’s credit standing and goodwill in the customer’s business.  . . .  [T]he bank is in effect “selling off” its credit to others. . . .

. . .

Quite obviously, instead of “lending” its credit[] in certain transactions, the bank itself could provide funds directly to its customer.  At the time the customer seeks such funds, however, the bank may not . . . wish to lend such monies.

. . .

[T]he use of such instruments abroad has been sanctioned owing to the fact that the laws of several countries authorize banking institutions chartered thereunder to engage in such undertakings.  Accordingly, it has been determined that American banks would be at a severe competitive disadvantage if their foreign counterparts were permitted to guarantee certain transactions, while American banks competing for the same business were prohibited from doing so.  It is questionable, however, whether there has ever been a conscious assessment of the risks which attend foreign transactions of this nature vis-a-vis the benefits derived therefrom.

. . .

Banks are special institutions subject to rules designed to assure their soundness for the benefit of depositors and to maintain public confidence in the banking system.  The potential bank liability on a standby letter of credit, and consequent risk of loss to the depositors and shareholders of the bank, is just as real as if the transaction had been a typical lending transaction by the bank.

. . .

It is appropriate to focus on the use of guaranties in the standby letter of credit context because banks are reluctant to disclose fully or describe the various types of guaranty transactions, and because it presents a useful illustration of a high risk situation once one is able to cut through the complexities of the transactions involved.

. . .

A fee of from one-quarter of one percent to one percent, or as much as $1 million on a $100 million standby letter of credit financing, is collected by the bank for its services; and the bank is not required to commit any funds of its own, unless a default occurs.[6]

No one should deny the opportunity for U.S. banks and other financial institutions to make a profit and serve their customers, as long as they act responsibly and legally, and their solvency and stability are not put at risk.  However, aggregating more than a half-trillion dollars today on the part of American banks and other financial institutions alone, standby letters of credit and other bank guaranties present enormous potential risks to the U.S. and global economies.

 

Capitol and flag

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. 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 (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). 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), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  For example, in a lawsuit where a judgment of more than $4 million was rendered against a bank, the bank’s federal regulator was permitted to issue a letter of credit (or guaranty) on behalf of the bank, which allowed it to appeal the verdict.

See Timothy D. Naegele, The Bank Holding Company Act’s Anti-Tying Provision: Almost 50 Years Later—Part I, 135 BANKING L. J. 315, 336-338 (June 2018) (Naegele 2018, Part I) [Timothy D. Naegele-Part I] (discussing Lucken et al. v. Heritage Bank National Association et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Case # 5:16-cv-04005, PACER Docket Sheet entry 197, paragraphs 6-8 (“Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(d), if an appeal is taken, the appellant may obtain a stay by supersedeas bond.  . . . Defendants have obtained . . . a Letter of Credit in favor of Plaintiffs for an aggregate amount not to exceed $5,000,000.00, available through Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Des Moines, Iowa.  . . . In addition, Plaintiffs and Defendants have executed an agreement setting forth the events of default which would trigger calling upon the letter of credit”)) [PACER Docket Sheet entry 197]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/the-bank-holding-company-acts-anti-tying-provision-almost-50-years-later/ (“The Bank Holding Company Act’s Anti-Tying Provision: Almost 50 Years Later”)

[3]  See off-balance-sheet-items

[4]  See Timothy D. Naegele Standby Letters of Credit

[5]  See Timothy D. Naegele, Standby Letters of Credit And Other Bank Guaranties, Compendium Of Major Issues In Bank Regulation, Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs, United States Senate 621 (May 1975) [Naegele-Standby Letters of Credit And Other Bank Guaranties].

This Senate submission and its attachments constitute a useful starting point for the discussion of this subject, and they will be referred to throughout this article.  The author respectfully suggests that it might be useful for the reader to review them.

[6]  See id. at 626-629, 633, 634, 635.








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