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    Announcing the Clausewitz Roundtable Book

    Posted by Lexington Green on 16th August 2016 (All posts by )

    Clausewitz RT cover

    We are proud to announce the publication of the Clausewitz Roundtable in book form. This book is an edited version of an online discussion on the Chicago Boyz blog in the Fall of 2009.

    It is said that everyone quotes Clausewitz, but no one reads him. The participants in this Roundtable refuted that assertion. We read On War, all of it, and commented on each chapter of the book.

    Reading On War with a like-minded group, committed to taking Clausewitz seriously, in his own words, without relying on secondary sources, was an intellectual adventure. The discussion was lively, thoughtful and insightful.

    If you are interested in Clausewitz, and the ongoing value of Clausewitz’s classic book, the Clausewitz Roundtable will be of interest to you. It is now published in electronic format, and is modestly priced at $2.99.

    If you buy the book and like it, please leave a positive review on the Amazon page.

    If you read and liked the original Clausewitz Roundtable, you could in all fairness leave a review on the Amazon page based on that as well.

    Posted in Book Notes, Clausewitz Roundtable | 4 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on 3rd August 2016 (All posts by )

    Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 5.12.35 PM

    In a real revolution, the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards come the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice that I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures, the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement, but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims: the victims of disgust, disenchantment–often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured–that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes.

    Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

    Posted in Quotations | 17 Comments »

    Cruz, Pence

    Posted by Lexington Green on 21st July 2016 (All posts by )

    Rockefeller and Romney, rising stars, refused to back the doomed Goldwater bid in 1964. They ended their careers by trying to save them, by disloyalty. Two guys who fought for the team in 1964, knowing it was doomed, earned the respect of the party faithful and each went on to dominate the party and be elected and reelected in 49 state landslides — Nixon and Reagan. There is a right and a wrong way to play it when there are intra-party differences. You respect the voters and you respect the process, you fight for yourself in the primaries, and when you lose you fight for the team, you take the hit for the team, and your teammates remember your loyalty and reward it. Ted Cruz is a fool, who apparently thinks he can help Hillary win, then be in position to win in 2020. But he has shown brutal disloyalty, and even violated an express, public pledge to back the nominee. He can never be trusted again. He has, I hope, destroyed his political future. I liked Ted, if he won I would have supported him. But there is no going back from this decision.

    More importantly, Mike Pence gave a very good, solid, appealing speech. He managed to turn the Trump message into a more mainstream Conservative message, which is not really that hard. Well-played by Pence. He has set the foundation for a successful future, however this campaign ends up.

    UPDATE:

    This is what Ted should have said:

    I took a pledge to support the party’s nominee.

    I will keep that pledge.

    I would be lying to you if I said this is easy.

    My race against Donald Trump became personal, and ugly, and painful, in ways I won’t repeat tonight.

    Many people who supported me, people close to me, people I love, cannot forgive him.

    And I understand that.

    But there is too much at stake to dwell on the past.

    The race is over, it’s in the history books now.

    And the history of America’s future is unwritten.

    It is up to us to write it, together.

    What we need to do as a party is come together, and find the conservative values we do share.

    What we need to do as a party is come together, no matter how bitter the race was, no matter how much we may disagree, no matter what personal animosities we may still feel, and defeat Hillary Clinton.

    So, my fellow Americans, my fellow Republicans, tonight I keep my pledge, and I endore my party’s nominee for President, Donald J. Trump.

    Posted in Politics, Trump | 46 Comments »

    Melania Trump’s Speech Was Intentionally Sabotaged

    Posted by Lexington Green on 19th July 2016 (All posts by )

    Melania

    This story is more interesting and important than people seem to realize.

    What do we know happened?

    Melania Trump gave a speech at the Republican National Convention. The speech was long-anticipated, and long in preparation. It was considered by the Trump campaign to be a significant moment, where Melania Trump would be introduced to the public and her speech would humanize and soften the image of Donald Trump.

    The speech, during and immediately after Melania Trump gave it, was considered a success. She is not a professional politician or otherwise a public speaker by profession. So, her smoothly delivered and well-received speech was a solid success for the campaign.

    It was in the interests of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to undermine that success if possible. Denigrating Melania Trump for her looks, for the banality of the speech, and so on, were expected, and such mocking and insulting responses were of course under way during and immediately after the speech.

    Soon after the speech, how soon exactly is a point worth of investigation, the word began to circulate that Melania Trump had plagiarized language from a speech by Michelle Obama. In fact, there were some phrases which were identical. “You work hard for what you want in life, your word is your bond, you do what you say” and “you treat people with respect”.

    These phrases are not particularly noteworthy.

    They are boilerplate, even banal.

    Yet Melania Trump repeated them word for word.

    These are all undisputed facts.

    What are the open questions?

    What possible advantage was there for Melania Trump to repeat Michelle Obama’s speech word for word?

    None. Zero.

    Michelle Obama’s words could be restated equally effectively with other phrasing. Using identical words makes no sense.

    There is no motive here.

    Nonetheless, it is barely possible that Melania Trump knowingly repeated those words from Michelle Obama’s speech, thinking no one would notice, even though tweaking a few words would have removed any hint of plagiarism.

    Perhaps Melania Trump is lazy, dishonest, and very stupid, and so indifferent to the success of her husband’s campaign that she knowingly plagiarized Michelle Obama’s language.

    That is one possible explanation.

    It is not convincing.

    However, there is more.

    There is also a passage in Melania Trump’s speech which is a direct quote from a Rick Astley song.

    In other words, Melania Trump’s speech was Rickrolled.

    To those who do not recall the fad from 2008 or so, Rickrolling was providing a link which purported to be something else, but in fact linked to a Rick Astley video, in fact, the very video whose lyrics were included in Melania Trump’s speech.

    The only plausible explanation for the presence of these lyrics is that someone who participated in the drafting of Melania Trump’s speech intentionally included the Rick Astley lyric, apparently as a signal the speech had been “hacked.”

    The Rick Astley lyric is a mocking gesture, a flipped bird from the saboteur.

    There is no rational explanation for Melania Trump knowingly or intentionally including the Rick Astley lyric in her speech.

    Someone who knew what the Rick Astley lyric represented included it in the speech.

    Others have suggested that the so-called plagiarism might have been intentional sabotage by someone involved in the speech-writing process, e.g. this article.

    In fact, there is no other plausible explanation.

    Either Melania Trump knowingly included the plagiarized Michelle Obama quotes in her initial draft — or she did not.

    It is barely possible she did, though highly unlikely.

    Either Melania Trump “Rickrolled herself” — or she did not.

    That is impossible.

    It makes no sense at all.

    Melania Trump’s speech was intentionally sabotaged.

    What no one seems to have pointed out is that the production of this speech, like any important written work product, is a heavily documented process.

    Melania Trump and the Trump campaign claim that she wrote the speech. What precisely that means is not clear. What it likely means is that she drafted it, or prepared an initial draft. What is certain is that whatever draft Melania Trump prepared was then circulated for comment and editing. That is the standard process. It is inconceivable that she wrote something in private and then gave the speech to the Republican National Convention with no input or review by anyone else. To the contrary, we know that the speech was the result of a long drafting process and was rehearsed repeatedly, and probably revised and refined during that process as well. Some number of other persons were involved in the process.

    The documentary evidence within the Trump campaign, including email traffic and draft versions of the speech, will show with certainty at what point in the drafting process the Michelle Obama language was added, and when the Rick Astley language was added.

    The documentary evidence within the Trump campaign will also with certainty identify the person who added each of these items to Melania Trump’s speech.

    If Melania Trump’s initial draft did not include this language, when was it added?

    Who put it in?

    What was that person’s motive?

    Did this person act alone?

    Was this a dirty trick done in collusion with others?

    If so, with whom?

    Did the person who added the language send email or text messages which can be examined to determine whether that person tipped off anyone to break the plagiarism story?

    Did that person breach any confidentiality agreement or other agreement with the Trump campaign?

    Is that person subject to a lawsuit?

    How did someone hostile to Trump, willing and able to sabotage Melania Trump’s speech, penetrate the campaign organization undetected?

    Are there other moles in the campaign organization?

    These are all questions that need to be answered.

    Determining precisely who was responsible, what their motives were, and how they did it, would be the kind of questions a real news media would be asking.

    Instead, they are acting like the Democratic operatives they are, presenting the consensus anti-Trump narrative, while failing to note that it makes no sense.

    Bottom line: A calculated attack was made on Trump’s campaign, his wife’s speech was hacked and an important success was turned into a circus and an embarrassment for the campaign.

    We need to know what really happened.

    We may be in for a season of more serious dirty tricks.

    This episode should be thoroughly investigated.

    UPDATE:

    A speechwriter has come forward claiming the Michelle Obama language was included in error.

    This does not explain the Rickroll, however.

    Posted in Politics, Trump | 64 Comments »

    Trump Clinches the GOP Nomination

    Posted by Lexington Green on 26th May 2016 (All posts by )

    Donald J. Trump has now clinched the GOP nomination, with 1,237 delegates committed to voting for him on the first ballot at the GOP Convention. It was a scant few months ago when this idea was literally laughable to most supposedly knowledgeable persons.

    Congratulations to Mr. Trump. Now, to rally as much of the GOP as possible for the upcoming election. Then, onward to the great American voting public, to defeat Hillary Clinton. And then, if Fortune continues to smile upon his efforts, we shall see whether Mr. Trump can pull off the YUGEST deal of his career, and can Make America Great Again.

    I have always supported the GOP nominee, and this year is no exception. Trump defeated the other sixteen candidates in fair combat, though it was ugly at times.

    Stopping Hillary Clinton is so important that the proverbial man-shaped cardboard cutout with “GOP” scrawled on it in Sharpie marker would get my vote. I cannot fathom the continuing quibbling by purported Republicans and Conservatives, given the stakes, and the destruction a Clinton presidency would inflict. Defeating her TRUMPS all other considerations. Trump is the chosen means to that necessary end. So be it. Let us go forward together. #NeverHillary

    Beyond being not-Hillary, Trump is a wildcard. Much of what he has published, and says he wants to do, is good. As I wrote elsewhere, there is plenty of material to find common ground with the legacy GOP and its leaders. The list of proposed Supreme Court justices he recently published is very good. So, there are things to like about Mr. Trump, as well as some things not to like so much. But this election, like all American Presidential elections is a simple, binary decision. There is no imaginary third option, as some people seem to wish. It is Trump or Clinton, period, end of report.

    And Trump is clearly preferable to Clinton.

    Congratulations and good luck to Mr. Trump, and God bless America.

    GOP Elephant #MAGA

    Posted in Elections, Politics, Trump | 32 Comments »

    Prediction: Preference Cascade

    Posted by Lexington Green on 5th May 2016 (All posts by )

    Prediction. We are going to see a preference cascade in which many Republican politicians and much of the conservative media come out and openly endorse and campaign for Hillary Clinton as the only way to stop Donald Trump. Once a few do it, the rest will feel protected and pile on. It will start with neocon foreign policy wonks, then spill over to journalists. This will be a major realignment.

    Posted in Elections, Politics | 37 Comments »

    Lex Radio Appearance Discussing Trump’s Candidacy

    Posted by Lexington Green on 5th May 2016 (All posts by )

    Sheila

    I was interviewed on May 4, 2016, by Sheila Liaugminas on Relevant Radio.

    We discussed the GOP nominee for President, Donald J. Trump.

    The audio is at this link. I am the first guest, so just start at the beginning.

    Sheila kindly linked to my Chicago Boyz post entitled Why I am not worried about President Trump appointing judges, which we discussed on the show.

    Posted in Elections, Politics, Religion, USA | Comments Off on Lex Radio Appearance Discussing Trump’s Candidacy

    #NeverHillary — Gun Rights

    Posted by Lexington Green on 4th May 2016 (All posts by )

    #NeverTrump folks, friends, do you care about gun rights?

    Or do you prefer virtue signaling about how much you hate Donald Trump, and pretending he is no worse than Hillary Clinton?

    Do you want the American people to become a disarmed civilian population, rendered helpless in the face of violent crime and government oppression? The kind of defenseless population that was the prey of state power in the last century?

    If Clinton is elected, she will pick Scalia’s successor. When that happens we will rapidly see 5-4 SCOTUS decisions reversing Heller and McDonald.

    Legally, it will be over. Repeat it will be over. The Second Amendment WILL BE GONE. Your legal right to possess lethal force to defend yourself, your family and your property WILL BE GONE.

    Forever, beyond recall.

    Gun confiscation is a major campaign point for Clinton. There is zero doubt about her intentions in this regard.

    We will then see the Clinton Administration begin a series of actions leading to widespread gun confiscation, perhaps initially by executive order. Citizens will have zero legal recourse.

    Most law abiding people will hand over their guns, rather than face arrest and imprisonment.

    But here and there we will see armed resistance. That resistance in turn will justify any type of executive, emergency measures the President wants, including further eroding of civil rights against police power. This is a downward spiral which will be ruinous for freedom.

    This is going to happen in America if Hillary Clinton is elected.

    If through inaction and moral preening people who don’t want this outcome help to put Hillary Clinton into the White House, that is what is going to happen.

    Whether or not you like Trump is irrelevant.

    The only way to stop the destruction of our Second Amendment rights is to elect Donald Trump. Trump is solid on gun rights. Trump has shown a personal commitment to the right to keep and bear arms. He has a concealed carry permit, and he carries.

    Disappointment is part of adult life. I have never once had the opportunity to vote for a Presidential candidate I actually liked. I gagged as I did it, but I voted for such clowns as Bob Dole and John McCain, as the only way to vote against a worse candidate.

    Face the binary reality.

    Third options are imaginary.

    Choke down your pride.

    Choose the lesser evil — if you believe Trump is evil.

    Work to defeat Hillary Clinton.

    #NeverHillary

    Posted in Elections, RKBA, USA | 51 Comments »

    Merle Haggard, American Musician, 1937-2016

    Posted by Lexington Green on 6th April 2016 (All posts by )

    Merle

    Merle Haggard is dead.
    God rest his soul.
    The last and greatest of the musical titans finally falls.
    Possibly the greatest of them all, in our national history, at capturing in music the hard, Jacksonian core of America.
    Merle Haggard riding his bicycle as a kid, too young to get in, hanging around by the back door, to hear Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, part of a continuity that stretches back to the peopling of the American backcountry, and beyond that to the bloody world of the English border, and poor and proud people who made their own music.
    Merle lived hard. Nine lives at least.
    If you are not yet a Merle Haggard fan, get that way.
    Merle Haggard, we will never forget you.
    We will never stop loving your music.

    Posted in Music | 7 Comments »

    Antonin Scalia, Lawyer, Scholar, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1936-2016)

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th February 2016 (All posts by )

    Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 4.50.29 PM

    “This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves….

    “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy….

    “The world does not expect logic and precision in poetry or inspirational pop-philosophy; it demands them in the law.”

    Justice Scalia’s dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015.

    Rest in peace.

    UPDATE: Justice Scalia’s Great Heart. Please read this.

    Posted in Law, Obits | 7 Comments »

    Why I am not worried about President Trump appointing judges.

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th February 2016 (All posts by )

    [While I was finishing this post, I saw the terrible news that Justice Scalia died. God rest his soul. The GOP Senate majority should not permit President Obama to replace Justice Scalia, and should slow-walk any appointment he may make until after January 2017. That empty seat will be and should be a campaign issue. It raises the stakes considerably for the next President.]

    The other day a friend asked me: “what kind of judges would Trump appoint?”

    I responded:

    “They will be the best, the smartest legal scholars we have, people who know the Constitution up and down, the whole thing, and especially our second amendment, which no one will touch, not while I am President, the second amendment is sacred, and they will be outstanding judges, judges who will be fair, but also do justice, and keep our country safe, so that criminals like the guy who killed Kate, beautiful Kate in San Francisco, people like that will go to prison for a long, long time, or back to Mexico, where they belong, if they are here illegally. And the judges I appoint will follow the law carefully, and they will always do what is good for America.  And I know some of the best people in the country who will advise me on which judges to pick, great lawyers, great trial lawyers, and I know lawyers who are great negotiators, the best in the country, some of these guys are killers, not nice guys, but tough, smart, incredible lawyers, and legal scholars, from top law schools, the best law schools, and they know who the best people are, not necessarily people you have heard of, but the best, and we will appoint amazing judges. Trust me, the American people will be very proud of the judges we pick.”

    This is of course a spoof of Mr. Trump’s speaking style.

    However, a little research discloses that my satire was pretty close to what he actually said when he was asked this question:

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Law, Predictions, Trump | 49 Comments »

    Thanksgiving

    Posted by Lexington Green on 26th November 2015 (All posts by )

    signing of the Mayflower Compact

    Thank God for our ancestors of blood and spirit who built this country, dedicated to freedom, equality and the rule of law. The Plymouth pilgrims wrote and signed the Mayflower Compact before landing. They faced a barren wilderness, no shelter, with winter coming on, and a hard and dangerous future. They had a lot to plan for. Yet the first thing they did is clarify the legal and political foundation of their colony. Liberty under law came first, and if that prevailed, prosperity would follow.

    God bless America.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 3 Comments »

    Columbus Day and Some Thoughts on America 3.0

    Posted by Lexington Green on 12th October 2015 (All posts by )

    1519 ---  by Sebastiano del Piombo --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

    1519 — by Sebastiano del Piombo — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

    The current orthodoxy on Columbus is that he, and his impact, were unmitigated evil. This is, to say the least, an over-correction from earlier mythologizing.

    Columbus certainly treated the people of Hispaniola who fell under his authority abusivley and cruelly. In that regard, he was typical of his day and age.

    What was atypical about Columbus was his ingenious insight about the Atlantic wind patterns, and his superhuman drive to cross the Ocean Sea and arrive, as he incorrectly believed, in the Far East. It is of course false that people in his day did not know that the planet was spherical. Columbus did not have to prove that. Columbus was mistaken about the size of the sphere, and he imagined China to be a lot close than it was.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in America 3.0, Anglosphere, Arts & Letters, Book Notes, History, Holidays | 7 Comments »

    History Friday: Joseph Conrad and the Impact of European Culture and Technology

    Posted by Lexington Green on 25th September 2015 (All posts by )

    young conrad

    I have in recent years been reading the work of Joseph Conrad. I spent many years believing the best writers in English were George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, with Leo Tolstoy in translation as a titan and peer. Then all of a sudden, in the last five or years I discovered that Ernest Hemingway is a near peer, and that V.S. Naipaul is every bit the equal of these great ones. And through Naipaul, I met Conrad, who also merits admission to this august company.

    Naipaul and Conrad both have as a main theme the encounter, the clash, between European civilization and the peoples and ways of Asia and Africa. Conrad depicts the European imperial and commercial expansion near its peak, and while it is still confident and expanding. Naipaul depicts the world after the European domination has receded, like an outgoing tsunami, which has left a transformed landscape behind.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in America 3.0, Anglosphere, Arts & Letters, Book Notes, Civil Society, Culture, History, Human Behavior | 48 Comments »

    C. Steven Tucker on “Against the Current” with Dan Proft

    Posted by Lexington Green on 23rd September 2015 (All posts by )

    Steve Tucker

    My friend Steve Tucker may be the foremost expert on the Obamacare legislation. He was interviewed on Dan Proft‘s video show Upstream Ideas.

    Steve has an infuriating tale about being targeted by the IRS because of his public criticism of the Obama administration. The blatant abuse of government power by this administration is an outrage and a disgrace. The migration of the “Chicago Way” to Washington DC is a story which is suppressed, and the victims are ridiculed and dismissed by the mainstream media, if they are mentioned at all.

    One of the best things I ever did was go to some early Chicago Tea Party events. I met many wonderful, patriotic people. Steve Tucker is one of the best.

    Posted in Health Care, Obama, Tea Party | 3 Comments »

    John Hornick on 3D Printing, and some related comments about America 3.0

    Posted by Lexington Green on 21st September 2015 (All posts by )

    John-Hornick

    [Note: I am not personally or professionally acquainted with Mr. Hornick. He is in no way associated with any opinions I may have, or proposals I have made. He is not affiliated in any way with the America 3.0 Institute.]

    We wrote America 3.0 in 2012, mostly, and it was published in 2013. In the book we present a picture of America in 2040. We predict the demise of the industrial-era political and economic order, which is visibly failing today, and the rise of a new set of institutional arrangements for the country. A big part of this change is the development of several important new technologies which will undermine the existing order, and democratize the economy in radical ways.

    We focused on 3D printing, driverless cars, cheap desalination and personalized health care and medication. We were not trying to write a comprehensive book about future technology. Rather, our goal was to indicate the scale of the changes in technology which were coming, and the disruptive impact they would have. If we were to write it now, we would have said more about robotics, drones, and blockchains, for example. Nonetheless, the general trend of things is as we predicted. And as we suspected, things are moving much faster, and the world will be even more different by 2040 than we rather conservatively predicted.

    I recently ran across some outstanding videos by John Hornick, an intellectual property attorney at the Finnegan firm in DC. His Twitter is here. Mr. Hornick is an expert on the law and the technology of 3D printing. I have spent a few hours immersed in his videos.

    Mr. Hornick has a video, entitled “3D Printing State of the Art: Industrial” from May of 2015 which gets into detail about the current state of the art in 3D printing. It is a good primer if you are interested in the field. His deep knowledge as well as his enthusiasm make for a compelling presentation of a highly technical subject.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in America 3.0, Tech | 33 Comments »

    Mike Lotus on Against the Current with Dan Proft

    Posted by Lexington Green on 14th September 2015 (All posts by )

    Proft III

    Dan Proft, shown above, Chicago’s best conservative talk radio host recently interviewed me for his video podcast series, Against the Current, which is part of a larger initiative called Upstream Ideas. I listened to Dan’s earlier conversations with Vicente Serrano, and John Kass, both of which were good.

    I enjoyed the conversation with Dan, which focused on the book I co-authored, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century—-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come. We touched on the larger theme of Conservative pessimism, and the need to have a future vision to inspire us and to be working toward. We also teased out the fact that a better future is not in any way inevitable, but it is achievable only if the people who want it make it happen. Our Progressive fellow citizens never forget this. We shouldn’t either.

    Dan at one point jokingly said, I paraphrase: Can’t you just leave the Conservatives alone, and let them enjoy their hopelessness in peace?

    Nope!

    We will all have a lot we need to do in the years ahead. Great days for America are coming, whatever the intervening trials. So, be happy.

    It is always a pleasure to speak to Dan Proft, and I hope you will listen and find the conversation interesting as well.

    Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes, Video | 9 Comments »

    “The Courage of a Reformer”

    Posted by Lexington Green on 27th July 2015 (All posts by )

    I recently had a guest post entitled The Courage of a Reformer at the blog of the Illinois Opportunity Project. My post was in responses to an earlier post by Matt Besler of IOP about Illinois State Rep. Jeanne Ives.

    My post included this passage:

    the Goal

    This highlights an under-appreciated reality. You do not just need candidates with good values and good ideas. You do not just need candidates who can also win elections. You need these candidates to stay true to their commitments, which will impose a personal cost, once they are in office.

    In our book, America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century–—Why America’’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come, we discuss the decline and dissolution of the economic and political institutions of industrial-era America, which we call America 2.0. We describe a different and better America 3.0 which we expect and hope will replace it. But as we make clear, this process will not be pleasant. The transition from agricultural to industrial America was hard. The change to a world dominated by emerging technology, post-industrial, networked America 3.0, will be every bit as hard, and will happen much faster.

    Illinois is a specific case, and an especially difficult one, of the transition from America 2.0 to America 3.0. The Establishment here, consisting of politicians from both parties, is referred to without affection as The Combine. Despite the state’s many inherent strengths, The Combine has “governed” Illinois the verge of ruin. Illinois is the worst-run state in the nation.

    America 3.0 is a long book, and we could not put everything into it.

    One topic which we hope to write about more in the future is the steps that will have to be taken to make the transition. We got into some of this in the later chapters of the book, but there is a lot more that needs to researched and developed.

    One area which we barely touched on, but which is critically important, is the personal character which will be called for from a generation which will in effect be a new “founding generation.” The old order will have many defenders, many of them with good motivations, many with not-so-good motives. There will be unrelenting efforts to prop up the world everyone is used to, and to crush any person, group or business trying to make serious innovations and necessary reforms.

    As I said in my IOP post:

    To really matter, to really do something, to really change the direction of our state, means that there will be hardship, rejection, unpopularity, vilification, rejection of material benefits, making people mad by refusing to do what “everybody does,” attacks by the people who benefit from the status quo, not many pats on the back, and incomprehension even from good people.
     
    The committed reformer has to be willing to go up against all that.
     
    What is the reformer’s motivation, then?
     
    If it is not money, prestige, popularity, an easy life, what is it?
     
    Faith is part of it. Patriotism is part of it. Moral principles are part of it. A sense of duty is part of it. Gratitude for what we have been given is part of it. A commitment to a better future for ourselves, our families, and our children is part of it.
     
    A hopeful vision of how things could be, should be, must be, will be better if we change course in Illinois, that is also part of it.

    Substitute “America” for “Illinois” and it still works.

    This challenge is going to require a lot of effort, from a lot of people. We need to be realists about that. But we must not be cynical. With a hopeful and realistic picture of the future to inspire us, there will be enough people, enough talent, enough drive, enough fortitude, to build America 3.0.

    We plan to say much more about this.

    Stand by … .

    Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes, Illinois Politics | 3 Comments »

    “… a cyber attack has the potential of existential consequence.”

    Posted by Lexington Green on 21st July 2015 (All posts by )

    Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 7.35.57 PM

    After conducting an 18-month study, this Task Force concluded that the cyber threat is serious and that the United States cannot be confident that our critical Information Technology (IT) systems will work under attack from a sophisticated and well-resourced opponent utilizing cyber capabilities in combination with all of their military and intelligence capabilities (a “full spectrum” adversary). While this is also true for others (e.g. Allies, rivals, and public/private networks), this Task Force strongly believes the DoD needs to take the lead and build an effective response to measurably increase confidence in the IT systems we depend on (public and private) and at the same time decrease a would-be attacker’s confidence in the effectiveness of their capabilities to compromise DoD systems. This conclusion was developed upon several factors, including the success adversaries have had penetrating our networks; the relative ease that our Red Teams have in disrupting, or completely beating, our forces in exercises using exploits available on the Internet; and the weak cyber hygiene position of DoD networks and systems.

    Final Report of the Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force on Resilient Military Systems.

    Was anything done in response to this report?

    Is there anything that could have been done in time to prevent the massive Office of Personnel Management hack?

    And this:

    Based upon the societal dependence on these systems, and the interdependence of the various services and capabilities, the Task Force believes that the integrated impact of a cyber attack has the potential of existential consequence. While the manifestation of a nuclear and cyber attack are very different, in the end, the existential impact to the United States is the same.

    Wow: “…existential consequence…”

    Is anyone paying attention to this?

    Are any of the presidential candidates?

    Posted in National Security | 20 Comments »

    Quote of the Day from Jeff Carter

    Posted by Lexington Green on 21st July 2015 (All posts by )

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    Quote of the day, from Jeff Carter’s Points and Figures blog, a post entitled “Disrupting Government”:

    Tech initially toppled major corporations. Motorola and Kodak are shells of themselves. Now, technology has the opportunity to eliminate wide swaths of government and all the cronies, cartels, employees and economic imbalances that come with them. As a society, we shouldn’t fight that. We should embrace it. Automation of government will make things cheaper for taxpayers. Elimination of old fashioned out of step government will make things better for society.

    RTWT.

    Jeff wrote very favorably about America 3.0.

    And the “Disrupting Government” post is a very “America 3.0” view of the future, which I heartily share and endorse.

    But that is not the only reason I like his stuff. Jeff is a former floor trader, angel investor involved in the start-up scene in Chicago, and all around astute, sensible and articulate observer of politics, business and the economy.

    A few other good recent posts from Jeff include:

    Dodd Frank; Total Fail,

    Hillary Skewers the Gig Economy,

    Greece and Traditional Hierarchy,

    The Third Wave, and

    History Doesn’t Repeat Itself, But Echoes, which said, among other insightful things, “I encourage you to read a book, America 3.0. It charts a realistic way forward given the kind of government we have, and the history our country has had.”

    Be sure to drop by Points and Figures frequently.

    And don’t just take it from me.

    Instapundit frequently links to Jeff’s blog, because it is just that good.

    Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes, Economics & Finance | 4 Comments »

    Big shout-out from Glenn Reynolds for America 3.0

    Posted by Lexington Green on 19th July 2015 (All posts by )

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    Huge thank you to Glenn Reynolds, a/k/a (of course) as Instapundit.

    Glenn had a short post up today that said:

    ARE YOU A CAMPAIGN POLICY ANALYST OR SPEECHWRITER? Then you need to read Jim Bennett & Michael Lotus’s America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century: —Why America’’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come.
     
    Trust me on this. You’ll be glad you did.

    And of course we heartily agree that all of the campaigns should heed our sage analysis, policy proposals, historical acumen, and hopeful vision of America’s future!

    There are times of big changes. It is time to think big The problems we face are big. And the opportunities coming our way for a better America are even bigger.

    Glenn wrote the introduction to America 3.0, and his own writing is highly congruent with ours.

    For example, we strongly commend Glenn’s new book The Education Apocalypse: How It Happened and How to Survive It. Note the — literally — apocalyptic title. Many people are drawn to the idea that the world is ending. But the title is a little out of sync with Glenn’s message, which not only talk about the problems of education, but some of the great opportunities for positive change which are within our grasp.

    We need more of that kind of thinking. The current politico-economic regime is indeed coming to an end. Hopefully that end will not be too apocalyptic. (As an aside, can there be degrees of … apocalypticness?) We need to be thinking about getting through the transition and laying the foundation for the better America to come.

    The next administration will be a critical one, with many hazards, and many important opportunities.

    And for those who have not yet read America 3.0, you may enjoy this podcast interview which serves as a good, short summary of the book.

    Posted in America 3.0, Book Notes | 1 Comment »

    Bastille Day

    Posted by Lexington Green on 14th July 2015 (All posts by )

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    Vive la Republique.

    Vive la France.

    Poilus

    “Ils ne passeront pas!”

    Poilu

    Verdun 1916

    Bir Hakeim

    Bir Hakeim 1942

    French Tricolor blue sky

    Reprise: Thoughts on Bastille Day 2014.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in France, Holidays | 17 Comments »

    Pep Talk

    Posted by Lexington Green on 9th June 2015 (All posts by )

    US Flag

    One of my Conservative activist friends was getting depressed, so I rattled off the following. (I hope I am right.)

    ***

    Reagan used to tell jokes about how Communism didn’t work. Reagan understood that stupidity ultimately destroys itself. All the people around him assumed the evil would last forever. Hardcore Conservatives, like me, thought he was naive. Turns out we were naive. The modern welfare state really got started in the 1960s. It lasted about two generations and it is totally dysfunctional. The first Conservative movement gave us Reagan, who did some good but did not reverse the trends. The new reform movement has barely gotten started. But this movement looks to be broader and deeper than the first Conservative movement. The Tea Party started around the turn of the year 2008/09. That is 5.5 years. Major reform movements usually take a generation to start winning lots of elections. The GOP has just taken over more elected offices than any time since the 1920s, and the reformers are driving it, and the RINOs have to at least talk the talk or they can’t get elected. We are moving along very well. We are in the process of taking over the GOP, and in the process of taking over the government. I thought Obamacare would be embedded and unmovable by now, and it would take us decades to dismantle it. It may go much better and quicker than that. People on the Right have lots of competing ideas of what to do. The internal conflicts are a sign of vitality. The Democrats have NO IDEAS. Zero. All they do is attack and lie and say their opponents are racists. That’s it. That is all the cards they are holding. They nakedly abuse power to insulate themselves. They cannot tell the truth about who they are or what they want to do or they will lose. They are like the Soviet Communists under Brezhnev. Hillary even looks like an old, corrupt, smug Communist bloc apparatchik. Their day is over and they are clinging to power. The worst menace is crony capitalism, but even there people are increasingly aware of the problem and starting to push back.

    This is going to be a long struggle, and we will lose battles, and there will be betrayals, and people will get exhausted and give up.

    But the deep trends are in our favor.

    We are right, factually and morally.

    They are wrong, factually and morally.

    They will lose.

    We will win.

    Be happy.

    Posted in America 3.0, Deep Thoughts, History, Political Philosophy, Politics | 45 Comments »

    History Friday: Theodore Roosevelt on Historical Recollection and “joy, just for joy’s sake”

    Posted by Lexington Green on 27th February 2015 (All posts by )

    TR II

    Theodore Roosevelt, wrote many excellent books, including A BOOK-LOVER’S HOLIDAYS IN THE OPEN (1916). I have this book on the Kindle app on my phone and I read it at odd moments. Every page of it is good, with many quotable passages. I will restrict myself to one.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, History | 13 Comments »

    History Friday: The Storming of the Taku Forts, 1860

    Posted by Lexington Green on 13th February 2015 (All posts by )

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    The passages below are from the really excellent book How We Got To Pekin: A Narrative of the Campaign in China of 1860 by Robert James Leslie M’Ghee (1862)

    Now for the far-famed Takoo Forts. They are five in number, two upon the left, or north bank of the river, and three upon the south bank. The two upper Forts, north and south, are nearly opposite to each other. About three-quarters of a mile further down lies the second north Fort, and below it, about 400 yards upon the south bank, the one upon which our unsuccessful attack was made in 1859, and the fifth lies close to the mouth of the river upon the same side; there is a strong family likeness among them all.
     
    Our attack was to be made upon the upper northern Fort, and it was on this wise. At day- light on the 19th Sir R. Napier, who was to command the assault, marched out of Tankoo with the 67th Regiment, Milward’s battery of Armstrong guns, the Royal Engineers, and Madras Sappers, for the purpose of making roads over the soft part of the mud, bridging the numerous canals, and throwing up earthworks to protect our artillery, and no man could have been chosen more fitted for the task, being himself an engineer officer of great experience, and a tried and skilful general.

    (c) Government Art Collection; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

    (This is Napier, at a later period of his very successful military career.)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Book Notes, China, Military Affairs, War and Peace | 5 Comments »