Tag: cartels

Build “the Wall”

 
A section of the Wall near El Paso, TX, January 19, 2019. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Real walls matter, so long as they are observed and backed by effective enforcement of boundary rules. This is true for the most modest private property and for the most powerful nation. We have seen several encouraging developments in American national sovereignty and regional security in the past week or so. These developments ranged from at least a temporary green light for border wall construction, to an important power in the hemisphere declaring Hezbollah a terrorist group.

Most recently, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the government, President Trump’s administration, relief from the lawfare of another black robed leftist in the 9th Circuit. The very short 5-4 decision was largely on a technicality, choosing to rule that the plaintiffs likely lacked standing. Doing so keeps arguments on the merits alive for the 9th Circuit appellate panel, thus letting the Supreme Court consider both fact and law in light of a more fully developed court record.

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Pretty Blossoms, but the Weed of Crime Bears Bitter Fruit

 

An American citizen, a single mother, worked her way through undergraduate and professional schools. She did all the right things. She networked successfully. At long last, she got a job with a six figure salary at a highly secured facility, in an industry under intense federal regulation.

Employment at such facilities is subject to constant federal scrutiny. The FBI takes the security clearances very seriously, and apparently routinely monitors indicators of risk, of possible compromise. We should all want this, because very bad things could happen if an employee in the right position was corrupted or coerced, perhaps by blackmail.

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Former CIA Operative Unloads on Brennan and Politicized IC

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had former CIA operative and leader of CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center’s WMD unit, author of the must-read and highly relevant 2009 book Beyond Repair: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and outspoken critic of the politicized leadership in America’s intelligence and national security apparatus, Charles Sam Faddis on to discuss among other things:

  • Why Faddis supports revoking John Brennan’s security clearance — and the bureaucratization and politicization of the leadership of the intelligence community versus the rank-and-file analysts and operatives in the field
  • Whether politics dominates over merit in the ranks of intelligence and the national security apparatus more broadly
  • What members of the national security establishment really mean when they talk about “protecting the institutions
  • Why President Trump has been deemed a threat to the power of the political leaders within the national security establishment in a qualitatively different way than any of his predecessors — and that’s a positive thing
  • What Faddis would do to reform intelligence
  • The poor state of America’s counterintelligence capabilities
  • The lessons of Iraq regarding U.S. intervention and the national interest
  • Whether America has the capability to use intelligence to engage in ideological warfare and bring down Iran’s Khomeinist regime
  • How China’s liquidation of our spy network reflects the problems plaguing America’s intelligence apparatus
  • The long-term dire ramifications of China’s OPM hack
  • The implications of China’s attempt to infiltrate Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office
  • The threat to the U.S. homeland of a collapsing Venezuela and Mexico, combined with drug cartels, organized crime groups and Hezbollah in our hemisphere
  • Faddis’ optimistic assessment of the Trump administration’s North Korea policy
  • Why China poses the greatest long-term threat to America of all, and our willful blindness towards it

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found, and download the episode directly here.

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Member Post

 

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that American pastor Andrew Brunson was moved from a Turkish prison to house arrest, and they condemn the bogus allegations that Brunson provided aid for the failed coup. They also welcome the news that the ten most popular governors in America […]

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This AEI Events Podcast features the release of AEI’s new report, “Kingpins and Corruption: Targeting Transnational Organized Crime in the Americas.” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivers opening remarks and discusses with AEI’s Roger F. Noriega how Congress and the executive branch can proactively address the threats posed by transnational organized crime. Following Sen. Rubio’s remarks, […]

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Cartels and Concierge Bureaucracy Management

 

Several years ago I heard an amusing story on NPR’s Planet Money program. The story described an Indian entrepreneur who, frustrated with India’s local political corruption and red tape, started a new business: Concierge Bribery. For a fee, he would seek out and pay off all of the sundry local officials whenever a local business needed something done. I thought how lucky we were that America had not yet descended to that level. I was deeply wrong. We, in fact, have had concierge bureaucracy managers for some time.

While it is generally a good maxim to never ascribe to mendacity that which can be explained by incompetence, normal logic seems rarely to apply to any of the corruption and rot stemming from Obamacare (and for the record, I refuse to call it “The Affordable Care Act”, or ACA). The act seems explicitly designed, among other things, as a tool to force a cartelization of the entire medical industry. We see this in the rapid demise of independent practices, as they close up shop and merge into large provider networks — effectively regional medical cartels. What we are not yet seeing, or rather noticing, on any scale is the very similar effect Obamacare (when coupled with the many other business strictures in place) is having on general employment itself.

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So the Supreme Court has now struck down the Marketing Order which operated the California Raisin cartel, to the cheers and merriment of all. The farmer-plaintiff in this case has flouted the cartel’s rules and enjoyed the higher prices for his product that exist only because the cartel restricts supply. Those remaining in the cartel […]

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First let me say that I am a staunch Conservative. My first vote cast was for Barry Goldwater and I have voted for conservative candidates ever since. My comments here may be construed as taking the liberal line but considering the options I think not. On our southern border we have total chaos and I […]

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Member Post

 

In Columbus, Ohio, the city council is trying to craft an ex post facto law to shut down Uber, the distributed ad hoc paid car service. Their reasoning is the usual: “Would you get on an airplane that wasn’t properly inspected?” said Morgan Kauffman, who owns Yellow Cab of Columbus. “There’s no chance in the […]

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