Posted tagged ‘Economy’

DHS Shuts Down Anti-Deportation Office

June 13, 2017

DHS Shuts Down Anti-Deportation Office, BreitbartNeil Munri, June 13, 2017

Analysts estimate that roughly 11 million illegal aliens are living in the United States. Roughly 8 million of the illegals hold jobs, which adds up to one job for each of the four million young Americans who turn 18 each year.

The illegals’ inclusion in the nation’s labor pool makes it harder for young Americans to get well-paid jobs, and annually transfers roughly $500 billion from employees to employers, according to George Borjas, a Harvard professor.

In addition, illegal immigrants inflict a huge number of crimes on Americans.  For example, almost one-quarter of a million aliens were registered at Texas jails from June 2011 to May 2017. Their convictions included 496 murders, 26,000 assaults, 8,400 burglaries, 246 kidnappings and 2,900 sexual assaults.


President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has deep-sixed an Obama-era program to have 21 taxpayer-funded agency officials cooperate with anti-deportation, pro-amnesty groups.

“The [21 officials’] job was to go meet politicians, Congress people, advocate groups, and local law enforcement,” complained Sarah Saldaña, a top DHS official from 2014 to early 2017.  “Let them see you as a person, as opposed to big, bad ICE,” said Saldana, who created the cooperation program when she ran DHS’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division from 2014 to 2017.

Trump’s DHS executives “really are taking away the [21 officials’] ability to go out in the community and do what it is that we were hoping they would get done,” Saldaña told Foreign Policy magazine. The “we” in her comment refers to the Democratic Party, which replaced by the pro-American Trump administration on January 20.

The 21 employees assigned to the program have now been assigned to Trump’s new Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office, which helps Americans recover from the huge number of crimes inflicted by the illegal aliens who were allowed into the country during President Barack Obama’s eight-year tenure.

VOICE is just a “report your local illegal” program, Saldana responded. “From what I understand is being reported, it’s: ‘Oh, I see my next-door neighbor’s landscaper. He looks Mexican. I want to report him. Maybe someone ought to pick him up,’” said Saldana, who told a Capitol Hill panel in 2015 that ICE’s job was “public safety,” not actual enforcement of the nation’s popular immigration laws.

According to Foreign Policy:

Saldaña maintains that before Trump’s election ICE was poised to greatly expand the outreach program and “remove the curtain” from immigration enforcement activities. Community relations officers were being trained to assuage fear in immigrant communities with facts about the agency’s priorities and activities.

Since 2014, ICE’s focus has changed [from deporting illegals] to deporting violent criminals, gang members, and recent arrivals. Saldaña said this policy opened the door to building trust with a variety of community groups, encouraging them to report serious criminal activity …

“I was trying to go out to the communities and explain: ‘We are interested in criminals, not in the family of four who has been here 40 years and has not broken any other laws,’” Saldaña said.

Under Obama, federal officials slashed efforts to repatriate illegals and even foreign criminals.

DHS Secretary John Kelly directed the new policy change in a February 25, 2017 memo, where he said:

 I direct the Director of ICE to immediately reallocate any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens (except as necessary to comply with a judicial order) to the new VOICE Office, and to immediately terminate the provision of such outreach or advocacy services to illegal aliens.

Analysts estimate that roughly 11 million illegal aliens are living in the United States. Roughly 8 million of the illegals hold jobs, which adds up to one job for each of the four million young Americans who turn 18 each year.

The illegals’ inclusion in the nation’s labor pool makes it harder for young Americans to get well-paid jobs, and annually transfers roughly $500 billion from employees to employers, according to George Borjas, a Harvard professor.

In addition, illegal immigrants inflict a huge number of crimes on Americans.  For example, almost one-quarter of a million aliens were registered at Texas jails from June 2011 to May 2017. Their convictions included 496 murders, 26,000 assaults, 8,400 burglaries, 246 kidnappings and 2,900 sexual assaults.

Tillerson and Saudi Foreign Minister hold briefing

May 20, 2017

Tillerson and Saudi Foreign Minister hold briefing, PBS via YouTube, May 20, 2017


Ford to Build in America, Cancel Mexico Expansion Plans as ‘Vote of Confidence’ in Donald Trump

January 3, 2017

Ford to Build in America, Cancel Mexico Expansion Plans as ‘Vote of Confidence’ in Donald Trump, Breitbart, Matthew Boyle, January 3, 3017

trumpfordAP Photo/Evan Vucci

Ford will build a plant in Michigan instead of Mexico as a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration, its CEO Mark Fields announced on Tuesday.

The announcement means Ford will cancel its plans to build a new plant in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in Michigan—creating 700 new jobs here in the United States—CNN reports.

“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump. We did it for our business,” Fields told CNN, noting that his company had conversations on Tuesday with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Trump and Pence will officially be sworn in on Jan. 20.

Fields said his company’s decision to create jobs in America rather than in Mexico is a “vote of confidence” in Trump’s incoming administration and the pro-business environment it will create.

The investment, CNN reports, will be at the plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and will aim “to produce more electric and self-driving cars” since “Ford believes electric vehicles will outsell gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Trump’s success in keeping Ford jobs here is winning praise even from labor unions.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” Jimmy Settles, the UAW’s vice president, said.

CNN notes that Ford’s decision to keep the jobs here in the U.S. rather than shipping them overseas to Mexico—as it announced early in 2016—is a “major U-Turn” for the auto manufacturer.

“The news is a major U-turn for Ford,” CNN wrote. “Last year, the company announced it would invest $1.6 billion in Mexico to transfer the production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico to save costs. Now the Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Ford will expand its plant in Flat Rock.”

Breitbart News was the first news organization to ask Trump about Ford’s plans to ship jobs to Mexico. In an interview back in February 2016, Breitbart News asked Trump about this decision from Ford—and about similar plans from Carrier Corporation, which had planned to expand in Mexico and shut down U.S. facilities in Indianapolis—and Trump laid out his exact plans to keep the jobs here in the United States instead of seeing them drained to Mexico.

“There’s only one way you’re going to reverse it, and that’s that you’re going to have to make it more expensive to do business that way,” Trump told Breitbart News back then about the news from Ford and Carrier that they planned to go overseas:

First of all, you’re going to have to look to lower taxes [for those who do business inside the United States]—and we may very well have to charge taxes at the border, when somebody drives a car through the border to sell it in the United States. But look, we’ve closed our plants. We’ve lost our jobs. They’re no going to build cars in Mexico and sell them in the United States, okay? We can lower our taxes, and we’re probably going to have to charge a surtax at the border. Otherwise we’re going to lose a fortune. And that will help Ford and other people make a decision to buy in the United States, to build in the United States.

Even though he’s not even president yet, Trump has already succeeded on both cases, Carrier and Ford. He’s also succeeded in getting 8,000 other jobs in the U.S. with Sprint and OneWeb, news announced last week.

Trump, of course, shocked the political class by winning the state of Michigan against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton on Nov. 8 on his pathway to 306 electoral votes.

Trump Says He’s ‘A Smart Person,’ Doesn’t Need Daily Intelligence Briefings

December 12, 2016

Trump Says He’s ‘A Smart Person,’ Doesn’t Need Daily Intelligence Briefings, PJ MediaWalter Hudson, December 11, 2012


President-elect Donald Trump continues to defy convention and ruffle institutional feathers. In a wide-ranging interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump indicated he will delegate daily intelligence briefings to subordinates. From the Daily Mail:

“I get it when I need it,” [Trump] said on Fox News of the top-secret briefings sessions, adding that he’s leaving it up to the briefers to decide when a development represents a “change” big enough to notify him.

“I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” Trump said.

Read in excerpt like that, Trump’s remarks may come across as arrogant. He presumes that he will be in office for two terms, touts his own intellect, and downplays the importance of a critical presidential role.

However, when viewed in context [below], Trump’s position proves much less provocative. His “smart person” comment comes off less as a reference to some exclusive ability, and more like the standard capacity most of us have to remember something when first told. He could have just as easily said, “I’m not an idiot. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words.”

Trump went on to note that his generals and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will receive routine daily briefings, presumably including the redundancies he seeks to avoid. This is consistent with his articulated tendency to delegate tasks to “the best people.”

Trump also addressed bipartisan concerns regarding Russia’s influence in the election.

“It’s ridiculous,” Trump said of the CIA’s assessment [that that Russia tried to interfere with the presidential election].


Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, shrugged off allegations that Russia helped Trump win.

He said: “The Russians didn’t tell Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan.”

The Democratic candidate was expected to win in these two states but they went to Trump instead.

“She lost the election because her ideas were bad. She didn’t fit the electorate. She ignored states that she shouldn’t have and Donald Trump was the change agent,” Priebus said on ABC’s ‘This Week’.

Priebus may be overstating the case when he says the election results “had nothing to do with the Russians.” But those claiming Russia’s influence was decisive likewise overstate their case.

It remains unclear what actionable conclusions could emerge from investigations into suspected Russian hacking. Indeed, given the likely role Hillary Clinton’s private email server played in any such hacking, Democrats might be wise to let the issue go.

The killer wind from Hurricane Donald

December 9, 2016

The killer wind from Hurricane Donald, Washington Times Analysis/OpinionWesley Pruden, December 8, 2016

kapernikColin Kaepernick (Associated Press)

They said it couldn’t be done, and even if it could, Donald Trump wouldn’t be the man to do it. But a fresh wind from somewhere is blowing through the jungle where the timid, the fearful and the politically correct cower in the shade of the no-no tree.

If the Donald were elected, wise men confidently told us, the economy would collapse, America’s friends abroad would die of diplomatic shock, rivers would run backward and the sun would never shine again. Oh, dear. Woe is us.

But suddenly, it’s woe that’s in retreat. The stock market is booming, Americans are smiling again as investor confidence grows and the Donald’s critics who were only yesterday predicting that the world would end by Christmas are no longer so sure. The world might stumble on until Easter.

First Carrier, the iconic air-conditioner manufacturer, decided that well, maybe, it wasn’t so important after all to move everything to Mexico. Maybe it could stick around in Indiana. This upset the naysayers no end, who complained that handing out tax breaks to companies just to stay here and create jobs for Americans was a catastrophic idea, even though the several states have been doing that for years in the endless pursuit of jobs.

Now United States Steel says it has thought about things, maybe it should accelerate its investments in the United States, and bring back workers it laid off when it, too, sang in the Greek chorus of doom and gloom.

“We already structured to do some things,” says Mario Longhi, the CEO of U.S. Steel, “but when you see in the near future improvements to the tax laws, improvements to regulation, those two things by themselves may be a significant driver to what we’re going to do.”

And not just all that. The growing belief in the Trump administration now assembling that the economy, stagnant for lo! these many months of the Obama administration, can grow to at least 3.5 percent adds to what his company can do, Mr. Longhi tells CNBC.

“I’d be more than happy to bring back the employees we’ve been forced to lay off during that depressive period.” He said he might be talking about a truly stunning 10,000 workers. A company spokesman later offered the clarification that Mr. Longhi was talking about the steel industry overall, not just about U.S. Steel. Still, 10,000 jobs is 10,000 jobs, and it’s still stunning.

Even some of the critics who had nothing but sneers and snark for the Donald mere weeks ago are trying to learn the words and music of a different tune now. Al Gore, who has made millions with his global-warming schemes and the actor Leonardo diCaprio, who dreams of titanic wealth harvested from the sun, beat a path to Trump Tower. They emerged separately to say (in artful language) that the Donald may not be the ignorant monster they said he was.

The fresh wind blowing is not all of the Donald’s making, of course, but he’s the one who cracked the ice. McDonald’s, encouraged by what it sees going on in the United States, says it will move its international tax base from Luxembourg to London to escape scrutiny from European Union tax collectors in the wake of the coming British exit from the EU. Maybe Brexit was not so bad, after all.

“We are aligning our corporate structure with the way we do business, which is no longer in geographies,” a company spokesman says. That’s corporate argle-bargle companies pay big bucks to public-relations companies to tell them what to say, but translated into English it means they’re getting out of Europe now that liberation is at hand.

Everyone feels liberated to say what he means. Adm. Harry Harris, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, has to be a diplomat and be measured in what he says. But he let fly in Honolulu this week with a tribute to the men and women who died three quarters of a century ago at Pearl Harbor. “You can bet,” he said, “that the men and women we honor today — and those who died on that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand when they heard our national anthem being played.”

He never mentioned Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who is making a career of sneering at Old Glory now that his football career is foundering. But he didn’t have to. The crowd cheered and whistled for a full minute.

Donald Trump has hard days ahead to deliver what he promised, and he won’t get a lot of help from the loyal opposition. But he has wounded everything politically correct, and that’s a lot. We must pray the wounds are mortal.

Another stunning Trump surprise: $50-billion investment in USA promised by Masayoshi Son

December 7, 2016

Another stunning Trump surprise: $50-billion investment in USA promised by Masayoshi Son, American ThinkerThomas Lifson, December 7, 2016

The master showman who lives atop Trump Tower pulled off another media coup yesterday, descending to the lobby with billionaire Masayoshi Son, who announced plans to invest $50 billion in the U.S. economy and generate 50,000 jobs.  Best of all, Mr. Son stated that the planned Trump administration deregulation is the reason for the massive commitment:

“We are going to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and commit to create 50,000 new jobs,” Son told reporters. “We (will) invest into the new startup companies in the United States.”

The Japanese businessman was at Trump Tower to celebrate Trump’s election victory, he said “I just came to celebrate his new job,” Son remarked. “Because he said he would do a lot of deregulation, I said, ‘This is great, the US will become great again’.”

The hysterical predictions of economic disaster under Trump by Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman are looking more and more foolish by the day.  In fact, Trump is building a wave of enthusiasm for investing in America.


The contrast in height between Son and Trump was obvious, but aside from physical stature, the two men bear some resemblance to each other.  Jonathan Soble wrote a rather flattering profile of Son in the New York Times on Monday, the day before Son’s surprise announcement.  Somehow, I suspect that the Times was taken by surprise and would not have published such a piece if it had known Son was about to endorse the prospects of the American economy under Trump.

I gather from the inability of most people on television to pronounce his name that Son, one of the most famous business people in Japan, is not widely known on this side of the Pacific.  I have been following his career for decades.  He is a maverick nonconformist who delights in shaking up the establishment and who has always prized innovation and speed, traits not often associated with the Japanese business establsihment.

There are good reasons to describe Son (pronounced sohn, with the long o, pronounced like “oh darn it”) as an outsider.  His family is of Korean origin, which makes them an oppressed minority within Japan.  So nasty has been the tradition of scorn and discrimination heaped upon people of Korean ethnicity in Japan that the family adopted a Japanese surname, Yasumoto, in order to try to “pass” as Japanese.  Son’s family managed to prosper in Japan by operating Pachinko parlors, which are a form of minor gambling on a pinball game, played for prizes often exchanged for cash by skilled players.  It is commonly believed in Japan that ethnic Koreans dominate this industry and that connections to unsavory sorts of figures are common in the business.  I have no idea if Mr. Son’s family had any such connections, but coming out of the industry with a Korean background puts one at a severe disadvantage in functioning within the Japanese power structure at any level.

As a result of this prejudice, Son’s family sent him to the United States to receive his education, starting with high school in South San Francisco, two years at Holy Names University, then transferring to the University of California, Berkeley, from which he graduated.  Minus the emigration and ethnic discrimination, this story parallels that of Trump, who didn’t fit in, was sent to military school, and then worked his way up to a final two years at a prestigious university, via performing well at a less selective school for freshman and sophomore years.

Like Trump, Son likes shaking things up.  Soble of the New York Times:

Mr. Son revels in confrontation, a trait that sets him apart in harmony-obsessed Japan. Twice, he has threatened to set fire to himself or the offices of Japanese telecommunications regulators — the first time in a dispute over access to fiber-optic cable, the second in a fight over internet censorship. He apologized in the second instance, in 2010, calling the threat an inappropriate joke.

In 2013, he apologized again at a news conference after he became involved in a shouting match with government officials over plans to allocate cellular spectrum to KDDI, a SoftBank rival. “I thought I had grown up,” he said.

Also like Trump, Son is an intuitive decision-maker.  He has had his share of difficulties, but he has also made brilliant visionary investments.  Now he has enlisted the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia to provide half of the $50-billion package he plans to invest.

Almost certainly, some of the investments planned by Son were in the pipeline already.  One doesn’t come up with that magnitude of investments in a few days.  Ana Swanson of the Washington Post reports:

Although Trump claimed credit for the investment, Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, argued that much of the $50 billion may have already been destined for U.S. technology companies.

“I think it’s making hay out of something that was there already,” said Entner. “In all likelihood, this comes out of the $100 billion fund. Considering the extremely large part that the U.S. has in the high-tech economy, [Son] would have probably invested something in the neighborhood anyway.”

Maybe so.  But businesses make decisions at the margin, where tax rates and regulatory expense and delay really do influence outcomes.  It would be ridiculous to argue that Trump’s planned moves on taxes and regulation will not influence foreign investors.  For everyone but liberal academics and journalists, it is common sense.

But Swanson also provides some intriguing clues as to where some of the money will go:

Son told reporters at Trump Tower that the funds would be invested into American start-ups. As he spoke, Son brandished a piece of paper with the same figures that Trump had announced. The paper appeared to specify that the investment would be made in the next four years.

The paper also contained the logo of Foxconn, a major supplier for Apple’s iPhones. It was not immediately clear what role Foxconn would play in the deal, but analysts speculated the company could be responsible for the additional $7 billion in investment and 50,000 new jobs listed on the paper. Foxconn could not be reached for comment.


“Seven billion [U.S. dollars] could mean that they’re going to build a factory or multiple factories in the U.S. to assemble phones. We don’t know that, but that would be the speculation,” says Entner.

Time will tell on where the money goes, and how many other foreign investors follow Son’s lead.  Given the troubles afflicting the world economy, the United States has every chance of attracting investment capital that will help spur our economy to re-industrialize.


We Are the Third World

October 1, 2016

We Are the Third World, American ThinkerTimothy Birdnow, October 1, 2016

In the presidential debate last Monday Donald Trump warned America that she’s “become a third-world country” to the guffaws and disdain of the liberals, the media (but I repeat myself) and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who later accused Trump of talking smack about the country she wants to loot, er, lead.

One must ask, is Trump correct or do we continue to occupy the apex of the first world? Is there evidence to support Mr. Trump’s claim?

Let me offer exhibit A.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Two years after the University of Missouri closed the state’s lone hospital for treating tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, state health officials are looking at opening a new facility.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is seeking bids for a study that could provide officials with a roadmap for opening a new treatment center to replace the current process of sending patients to other states.

It comes amid a nationwide increase in the number of people contracting the airborne bacterial disease that attacks the lungs.

According to the request, Missouri has averaged 90 active tuberculosis cases in each of the past three years

Missouri has been more fortunate than many other states in this regard. Why?  Because Missouri a series of strict laws against illegal alien encroachment, going back to 2007.

As a result Missouri has avoided many of the pitfalls — including third-world diseases — that are plaguing other states. But the power of the central government has grown to the point where it has managed to circumvent many of the laws put in place by the states and so the problems plaguing other states are starting to dribble in.

Let’s face it; tuberculosis is now a Third World disease. In the U.S. the number of cases of TB were cut in half between 1953 and 1968 due to better antibiotics and better medical care. (It is interesting to note that Operation Wetback repatriated up to 2 million trespassing aliens starting in 1954, thus helping to reduce the number of such cases.) The reduction in TB rates turned around in the mid ’80s as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (which was not handled like any other infectious epidemics where authorities follow the chain of contagion and restrict the activities of the infected; AIDS was allowed to burn through the populace out of fears of stigmatizing homosexuals.) Still, rates remained low. Only now we see them rising — and HIV is fairly under control, so that is not the cause.

According to the CDC 88% of all antibiotic-resistant TB in the U.S. comes from immigrants.

And that is just one infectious disease. Consider that last year we had 15 cases of bubonic plague in the U.S. Bubonic plague is clearly a third-world disease, one long absent in America.

Another facet of Third Worldism is the export of raw materials rather than manufactured goods. America is now almost completely an exporter of coal, because the Federal government has used regulatory power to strangle the industry. In 2008 then President Obama famously stated: “If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

He has since gone on to crush an entire industry. Peabody Energy and Arch Coal — the largest and second largest coal companies on Earth — both went into bankruptcy recently. We now export raw coal because we can’t use it for anything.

And Lead. The Doe Run smelter — the last in America — closed a couple of years ago as a result of pressure from the Federal government. America now cannot smelt lead, but rather is forced to sell the raw materials to others who process it. That is third world.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump scolded Ford for moving all its small car manufacturing to foreign countries. Well, that is what they are doing. It’s what happens when you are providing an unfriendly environment to manufacturing businesses.

Then there is language. One of the characteristics of a third-world country is the preponderance of languages; multiple languages exemplify disunity, thus dividing the nation. Well, the U.S. is at least the fifth largest Spanish speaking country on Earth and may well be second only to Mexico with between 35 and 50 million speakers.

In fact, one in five households do not speak English at home. While this is not solely the fault of Barack Obama, the problem (and it is a problem) has clearly metastasized under Il Duce.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is calling for more spending on infrastructure, despite Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus which supposedly funded “shovel ready jobs” and rebuilt these ailing roads and whatnot. If we can’t make basic repairs to infrastructure with a trillion dollars, how do we differ from a third-world country?

And violence. As I have noted, East St. Louis has levels of violence comparable to Honduras and other hellholes. We all know how many murders are occurring in Chicago, for instance, and we know of the rioting in Baltimore, in Charlotte, and in Ferguson. How does this differ from the war-torn, strife-filled third world?

Well, partly there is the rule of law. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama simply ignores the rule of law when it inconveniences him, granting an amnesty to illegals despite laws duly passed by Congress, for instance. He has simply gone ahead with many things he wanted, such as military action in Libya without Congressional approval, or forcing Boeing to shut down a factory for being non-union in 2011, or giving Mexican criminals thousands of illegal weapons in Fast and Furious. What about the drone strikes killing American citizens without due process? What about his use of executive orders to release people duly imprisoned by courts of law? How about his circumventing Congress to seize land?

And under Mr. Obama wealth has concentrated to just a few crony fat cats while everyone else lives hand to mouth due to underemployment. Even the liberal Huffington Post had to admit this fact. Rich oligarchs are another example of third worldism.

No Third World country is complete without vote fraud to keep the ruling junta in power. Consider the fact that fraud may well be the reason Obama won re-election last time.

A nation without the rule of law is a banana republic. Banana republics are inherently third world.

So Hillary and the Left may dismiss Mr. Trump’s argument that America is becoming third world, but the facts belie their claims.


Migrant Problems Still Threaten Europe

August 20, 2016

Migrant Problems Still Threaten Europe, Gatestone InstituteGeorge Igler, August 20, 2016

♦ In September 2015, a Canadian broadcaster, Ezra Levant, suggested that what Europe was experiencing, was not primarily an influx of “refugees” fleeing conflict, but rather a new Gold Rush, in which young men from the Muslim world were seeking to improve their fortune at Europe’s expense.

♦ Rome-based journalist Barbie Latza Nadeu seriously asked whether Italy was “enabling the ISIS invasion of Europe.”

♦ Profits in the people-smuggling business often flow to terrorist-backed gangs operating in Italy. The numbers drowning in the Mediterranean continue to mount.

Chaotic scenes have erupted on the coastal Mediterranean frontier between Italy and France. On August 4, for instance, hundreds of migrants, chiefly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Sudan sought to storm the crossing in their attempts to make it to Northern Europe.

“Both the Italian and French forces at the border were taken by surprise,” remarked Giorgio Marenco, a police commander in Ventimiglia, where tear gas was used to disperse the migrants. Others merely braved the choppy waters of the sea to breach the crossing by swimming towards their goal.

The Italian town contains the last train station in Italy near the border. The besieged terminus lies three miles from the French Riviera. It has been a gathering point for the predominantly Muslim migrants since June 2015. A fractious tent city for migrants has sprung up, mirroring others spread across Italy. The capital of the French holiday district is Nice, which experienced a jihadist massacre on July 14.

Although mercifully free from mass terrorist outrages this year, Italy has already endured several alarming scenes of disorder and protest resulting from the pressure of accepting increasing illegal migrants.

On May 7, violent attempts by “open borders” activists took place, aimed at forcing open the frontier between Italy and Austria. On May 21, various groups in Rome organized mass demonstrations against Italy’s “invasion” by migrants. Apparently the prevalence of populist politics in the country has created movements which do not lie within the usual “Left-Right” political spectrum in which analysts usually classify parties.

The chief example is the presence in Italy of the Five Star Movement, founded in 2009 by the comedian Beppo Grillo, and now considered Italy’s second largest political force. Having taken a back seat after frequently being condemned for his “Islamophobic” anti-mass immigration rhetoric, Grillo’s party nevertheless helped to elect Virginia Raggi, in July, as the new mayor of Rome.

Despite the assurances of Angelino Alfano, the Italian Interior Minister, that Ventimiglia would not turn into “our Calais” — a reference to migrants amassed at the French channel port who are seeking illegal entry into the United Kingdom — the challenges faced by Italy lie not merely in numbers.

1221 (1)African migrants camp out on the beach in the northern Italian town of Ventimiglia, along the French border, as they wait for the opportunity to cross into France, in 2015. (Image source: AFP video screenshot)

Italy’s terror alert status remains at “Level Two” — the second highest in its security index. On March 30, the Rome-based journalist, Barbie Latza Nadeu, seriously asked whether the country was “enabling the ISIS invasion of Europe.”

After the collapse of Libya — occasioned in 2011 by military intervention masterminded by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and then UK Prime Minister David Cameron — the North African nation has become the gathering point for those on the continent farther south, who possess the will or resources to push into Europe.

Two separate governments are currently attempting to wrest control from each other in Libya, a former colony of Italy, while ISIS forces also maintain their foothold. It is through this seemingly unresolvable ongoing chaos that people-smugglers ply their lucrative trade.

Waves of migrants heading into Europe, primarily through a corridor beginning in Turkey and resulting in short crossings to nearby Greek islands, are still stranded in the so-called Western Balkan route into the continent.

After the widely derided imposition by the Prime Minister of Hungary of a razor-wire border fence on his country’s southern frontier, other nations nearby, that were subjected to migrant pressure, soon followed suit.

Remaining conscious of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s analysis, that only half a year’s total migrants come to Europe between January and October, with the other half arriving through the remainder of the year, the steady focus in 2016 is likely to be on Europe’s “soft underbelly” — a term Winston Churchill used during the Second World War to refer to the susceptibility of Italy being invaded by sea — as opposed the susceptibility of the Balkans.

The enthusiasm of the present government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to import Muslims into Germany apparently remains undiminished. As reported by Markus Mahler, a succession of migrant flights into Germany from Turkey are now taking place – in one instance, more than 11 planes landed during the same night at Cologne-Bonn airport – as some analysts predicted last year.

In September 2015, a Canadian lawyer and broadcaster, Ezra Levant, suggested that what Europe was experiencing, was not primarily an influx of “refugees” fleeing conflict, but rather a new Gold Rush, in which young men from the Muslim world were seeking to improve their fortune at Europe’s expense.

Sea crossings from Africa into Italy, which initially targeted the small Italian island of Lampedusa, had begun in 1996. Since then, they have magnified in number year on year, considerably aided between 2013-2014 by the Mare Nostrum program of the Italian navy, which picked up stranded vessels and brought their occupants to Italy, rather than returning migrants to their countries of origin. This program was then superseded by Operation Triton, run by the European Union’s border agency, Frontex.

It is often simpler for migrant ships to send a distress signal while near Italian coastal waters, as happened in January 2015 with the ship Ezadeen, abandoned by its crew of smugglers, after they set the ship on autopilot pointed towards Italy’s southern shore. The ship’s 450 migrant passengers were towed to harbor by a Frontex ship from Iceland.

Profits in the people-smuggling business often flow to terrorist-backed gangs operating in Italy. The numbers drowning in the Mediterranean continue to mount.

Successful migrants from Africa usually then traverse Italy, but can remain stranded if their attempts to penetrate further into Europe become frustrated. That situation frequently leads to violence at migrant camps and outrage at local government level as the migrants are then distributed across the country.

Despite the swelling number of illegal sea crossings, there seems little interest in curtailing them by force, given the existence of international refugee conventions and European legislation on human rights, which some migrants appear to be exploiting.

During four days in July alone, 10,000 illegally crossed by sea into Italy. As in 2015, the vast majority looking for “asylum seeker” status in Europe are military-aged Muslim males seeking eventual European citizenship.

Meanwhile, relations between Italians and their existing established Muslim communities seem to be rapidly eroding. The introduction of gay marriage into Italy on June 5, against fierce opposition in the home of the Roman Catholic Church, has had unforeseen consequences.

As a reciprocal gesture in the spirit of “civil rights,” Hamza Piccardo, the founder of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy, has demanded the legalization of polygamy.

As the pressures grow on the Euro, the currency which binds 19 European nations together both politically and economically, the long-term future of Italy’s banking system has already been called into question.

The picture drawn by the present migration into Europe may fundamentally undermine the “Refugees Welcome” narrative that dominated news reports last year, but the continent-wide economic ramifications of its effects on a country such as Italy, already subject to considerable political tumult, should not be underestimated.

Judge Jeanine Pirro 7/30/16 | Hillary’s America Documentary, RNC vs DNC, Donald Trump Economics

July 31, 2016

Judge Jeanine Pirro 7/30/16 | Hillary’s America Documentary, RNC vs DNC, Donald Trump Economics, Fox News via YouTube, July 30, 2016

Trump’s Declaration of Independence

June 29, 2016

Trump’s Declaration of Independence, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, June 28, 2016

Today Donald Trump delivered a major speech on the economy in Pennsylvania, titled “Declaring America’s Economic Independence.” You can read the speech, as prepared for delivery, here. These are my thoughts on it:

1) The fact that it is a prepared speech at all is good. Trump’s speeches during the primary season were generally stream of consciousness riffs, and he often has gotten into trouble while ad libbing. He needs the discipline of a prepared text to keep him on message and avoid foolish distractions.

2) The speech previews themes which I think will be highly effective. Those themes aren’t new, of course, but Trump is now honing them and bringing them to a wider audience. Speeches like the one he delivered today will drive the Democrats crazy. They will denounce Trump as a demagogue and xenophobe, which means they are afraid voters will find him persuasive. Trump’s speech tells a story–a personal, populist story, with Hillary Clinton as one of the villains:

We are thirty miles from Steel City. Pittsburgh played a central role in building our nation.

The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape.

But our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal.

Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization – moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas.

Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache.

3) The speech was mostly about trade. Trump sounds very much like Dick Gephardt, circa 1988. He links the decline in American manufacturing jobs to currency devaluations and cheating by our trade partners, under the benign eye of the globalist financial elite represented by Hillary Clinton. I think Trump’s diagnosis is mostly wrong. The number of manufacturing jobs has declined due to constantly improving productivity, even as the value of goods manufactured in the U.S. is at an all-time high. Trump talks about dealing with “cheating” by trade partners and denounces specific deals (NAFTA and TPP) as bad for the U.S., but to the extent that manufacturing has grown more rapidly in some other countries, like China and Mexico, it is because of cheaper labor and less costly regulation. Trump implies, but doesn’t quite say, that he wants to impose high tariffs on manufactured goods. This would be a highly destructive policy, I think.

4) Still, Trump’s narrative contains a considerable kernel of truth. There is a globalist elite that doesn’t much care about the United States, and Hillary Clinton is its foremost representative in American politics (or will be when Barack Obama steps down). I think it is true that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bad deal for America, and, in general, that we would be better served by tough negotiators who care about American interests. Most voters sense this, which is why Trump’s approach could be political dynamite:

[I]f we’re going to deliver real change, we’re going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pushed by powerful corporations, media elites, and political dynasties.

The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything – and say anything – to keep things exactly as they are.

The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge nothing will ever change.

The inner cities will remain poor.

The factories will remain closed.

The borders will remain open.

The special interests will remain firmly in control.

Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small – and they want to scare the American people out of voting for a better future.

My campaign has the opposite message.

I want you to imagine how much better your life can be if we start believing in America again.

At times, Trump is downright Reaganesque.

5) Once he gets away from trade, pretty much everything Trump says is sound, if vague:

We will make America the best place in the world to start a business, hire workers, and open a factory.

This includes massive tax reform to lift the crushing burdens on American workers and businesses.

We will also get rid of wasteful rules and regulations which are destroying our job creation capacity. Many people think that these regulations are an even greater impediment than the fact that we are one of the highest taxed nations in the world.

We are also going to fully capture America’s tremendous energy capacity. This will create vast profits for our workers and begin reducing our deficit. Hillary Clinton wants to shut down energy production and shut down the mines.

Altogether, it is a powerful message. I would like to see less emphasis on trade and more on regulation, but from a political standpoint, Trump’s formula will be effective.