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Trump’s Cuba restrictions are a needed message on human rights

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If there’s one thing I’m actually very happy with about President Trump, it’s his mostly consistent message on human rights. While President Obama talked the talk and did his liberal virtue signaling thing on freedom and basic human rights, he was woeful on walking the walk–most liberals are because of their confusion on mutually-exclusive “intersectional” causes. (For example: Islamophobia and transphobia, or women’s rights and Palestinian activism.)

Trump has no such confusion. He deals with China, and tells them to their faces that they’ve got an abysmal problem with freedom. He admires Vladimir Putin while recognizing that his kind of “leadership” carries with it some terrible costs in personal freedom.

When it’s necessary, Trump takes on the brutal dictators and doesn’t let them off the hook with platitudes. He’s done it with Mahmoud Abbas (after naïvely believing the PA isn’t paying and raising up terrorists). He’s done it with the UN through Ambassador Nikki Haley.

And now he’s sending a message to Cuba, dialing back some of the dictator-love Obama showed to the brutal Castro regime. Good.

Trump will sign a directive requiring the Commerce and Treasury departments to issue regulations spelling out the travel and business restrictions. Enforcement will take effect once the regulations are finalized. For example, someone heading to Cuba next week on an individual people-to-people visit and self-certifying that it is for educational reasons could still go.

The new regulations will end these individual person-to-person trips and require travelers who meet other categories of allowable travel to keep detailed records. Eliminating the individual travel category is designed to reduce the likelihood of tourism travel — a type of economic activity banned by the U.S. embargo and a combination of sanctions against Cuba, the officials said. The travel records would be subject to federal audits.

These changes aren’t just to punish Cuba. They are specifically to push the Cuban regime to make real changes.

 

  • Deny U.S. dollars to the Cuban government.
  • Increase pressure on President Raul Castro to end human rights abuse.
  • Allow free elections.
  • Free Cuban political prisoners.
  • Return U.S. fugitives to the homeland.
  • Institute changes that will convert the government-run economy to one dominated by private businesses operated by Cuban citizens.

The U.S. embassy in Havana and Cuba’s Washington embassy will remain open.

This is probably the best of both worlds. Complete disassociation with Cuba didn’t accomplish anything for 50-plus years. Now that they’ve had a taste of American tourists and cruise ships once again, maybe they’ll have an incentive to take some active steps–if baby steps.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who had input into the new proposed rules, agrees.

“All the pressure comes from American business interests that go to Cuba, see the opportunities and then come back here and lobby us to lift the embargo,” Rubio told the [Miami] Herald. “I’m trying to reverse the dynamic: I’m trying to create a Cuban business sector that now goes to the Cuban government and pressures them to create changes. I’m also trying to create a burgeoning business class independent of the government.”

Around the world, engaging on business, being direct with political leaders and dictators, while maintaining a pro-human-rights stance is one of the best things I’ve seen about this frequently-self-hobbled administration. Keep it up.

 

Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Military

Trump misses the whole point of big military parades

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Trump misses the whole point of big military parades

Many countries put a lot of effort and spend a lot of money polishing their missiles, repainting their vehicles, and transporting a big chunk of their military apparatus just to display them to the people in a parade. President Trump got the idea from a French parade. We see images all the time of North Korean and Iranian military parades.

There’s a reason these and other countries have these parades. It comes down to an old business adage, “fake it ’til you make it.”

The United States doesn’t have to fake it. That’s why it should be no big deal that President Trump’s vision of a big parade seem to be postponed at best.

How Trump’s big military parade evaporated into thin air

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/08/17/how-trumps-big-military-parade-evaporated-into-thin-air.htmlWashington already has quite a few parades, including some with military participation held on Memorial Day and July 4. There was even a 1991 victory parade following the Gulf War complete with 8,000 marching troops, an F-117 Stealth Fighter, some tanks and a Patriot Missile Launcher.

But even that grand display of military hardware from the Gulf War didn’t seem to be what Trump had in mind. He noted that France had represented uniforms and equipment from different wars and that the Bastille Day parade lasted a full two hours. Trump said he envisioned a similar military extravaganza next July 4 down Washington’s famed Pennsylvania Avenue, which connects the White House to Capitol Hill.

Nations often try to build confidence and raise nationalism through parades. In many countries, it’s the best opportunity for the people to get a glimpse of the men and equipment set to protect them. It’s a confidence builder.

Not many Americans would say our military is too small or lacks technological advancements. A parade is not necessary to build American confidence. It would simply be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The President may not get the big parade he wanted, but at least he and the rest of us know our military is effective whether we put it on display or not.

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Culture and Religion

Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty – Part II

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Our List of Demands for the Conservation of Liberty Part II

Leftists incessantly issue lists of demands for the restriction of Liberty, It’s time to reverse the trend towards freedom.

This is our second part of our series of what we on the Pro-Liberty Right want for the preservation of Liberty. Part I is here.

6. The Left needs to stop trying to control private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. [aka ‘enhanced’ or ‘Universal’]

If there is one constant in the Liberty grabber universe, it’s that half of them are incessantly calling for gun confiscation while the rest deny they are calling for gun confiscation. They also love to parrot the line that it would be impossible to round-up everyone’s guns as a way of deflecting the issue. Except that those on the Pro-liberty side thought the same thing in the UK and Australia. Their Liberty grabber nightmare began with gun registration, under the solemn promise that it wouldn’t lead to gun confiscation. [Sound familiar?] Then of course at the next occasion of a serious crisis, this registration data was used for gun confiscation.

The fact is gun confiscation takes several precursor steps, the most critical being the assertion of government control over private property with Intergalactic Background Checks. Curiously enough, the Liberty grabbers tend to want language inserted into these laws mandating the reportage of lost or stolen firearms. Those types of rules are of primary importance only if the point of these measures is to turn them into a registration scheme.

7. The Liberty Grabber Left needs to stop pushing for even more controls on freedom.

It is also axiomatic that Leftists will exploit any opportunity to start ever-expansive controls over Liberty. The Left is a virtual fountainhead of new and more creative ways of clamping down on freedom. Having run out of new and improved ways of making it difficult, embarrassing and expensive to buy a firearm [While also lying about it at the same time] the Left has moved on to imposing controls over the purchase of ammunition. Then of course they also are making demands on how these are stored.

8. Stop attacking those who only wish to defend themselves.

There is nothing more loathsome than Leftists who excel at hurling insults at the country’s estimated 150 Million innocent gun owners. We’ve been labelled with almost everything from being Terrorists to baby killers for wanting nothing more than to be able to defend our families and ourselves.

Those who incessantly work overtime to demonize the innocent should keep one word in mind: Deterrence. The widespread ownership of weapons in most areas deters criminals since they don’t know who can fight back. This also explains why places with tight controls on Liberty tend to have higher crime rates. Curiously enough, for people who love the term ‘Commonsense’ they certainly don’t seem to well versed in it.

9. The Left needs to become educated about that which they want to control.

Granted, it might be too much to expect the Liberty Grabbers from knowing the difference between a direct impingement and gas piston actuation, but they should at least know the difference between a semi-auto and select fire. Nothing screams uninformed more than someone who confuses a clip with a magazine or some who uses them interchangeably in a claim that one can fire off 30 rounds in half a second.

Lack of knowedge is usually a negative in most cases, but in the realm of Liberty Control, the Leftists wear it as a badge of honour.

10. The Left needs to stop lying about guns.

We made these two separate items to prove a point. While some gaffes of the Liberty grabber elite are relatively harmless, there are those that are a danger to Liberty. It should go without saying that we live in an age in which the knowledge of the world is literally at one’s fingertips. There is no rational excuse for a lack of knowledge on the most rudimentary aspects of certain subjects. By the same token, there is no excuse for the propagation of deliberate false impressions and Lies particularly on the subject of self-defense.

One of the most infamous examples stems from the creation the phrase “Assault Weapon”:

The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.

The Takeaway.

The nation’s Left has gone on for years demanding compromises on the part of the Pro-Liberty Right. It is time that they step up to the plate and show they can be ‘bi-partisan’ for once. These steps aren’t really that extraordinary, in fact they merely bolster Liberty. Some Leftists still purport to be Liberal, supporting these items would go a long way in showing that is truly the case.

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Culture and Religion

Mormons no more: LDS Church wants new branding

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Mormons no more LDS Church wants new branding

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, often referred to as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, no longer wants to be called by these names. They want the full name of the church used and any references to “LDS Church” or “Mormon” are to be ignored.

LDS Church wants everyone to stop calling it the LDS Church — and drop the word ‘Mormons’

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/08/16/lds-church-wants-everyone/On Thursday, the church released this statement from Nelson:

“The Lord has impressed upon my mind the importance of the name he has revealed for his church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have work before us to bring ourselves in harmony with his will. In recent weeks, various church leaders and departments have initiated the necessary steps to do so. Additional information about this important matter will be made available in the coming months.”

This represents another swing of the pendulum for the church. In 2002, a similar de-emphasis on the word “Mormon” was announced. Timed to the arrival of the Winter Olympics in Utah, the church asked news outlets to refer to it by its full name.

Ironically, the statement was released through Mormon Newsroom.

My Take

The church, like nearly all of the big ones around the world, is as much of a business as it is a spiritual denomination. Today, the phrases “LDS Church” and “Mormon” are bad for business. After hitting a high note in 2012 with a major party presidential candidate, the church has taken some public relations beatings.

They want as close of an association with Jesus Christ as possible even if mainstream Christianity views their teachings as abominations. This is a rebrand, nothing more.

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