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Political establishment surrendering American leadership … again

Political establishment surrendering American leadership … again

The political/media/academic establishment is surrendering America’s world leadership.  Let us be very clear.  A nation cannot be a world leader unless it is strong economically, politically and militarily.  When that leadership is threatened in any way, there must be a MEANINGFUL response.  America has been surrendering its leadership for decades to a combination of forces on the right and the left.

Those on the right preach an isolationist doctrine.  Those on the left engage in a policy of weakness in the misguided belief that it will promote peace.  Ironically, both extremes base their opposition to international engagements in order to finance domestic issues – from securing the border to growing the welfare behemoth.

As I have pointed out in the past, the most powerful nation in the world – with the proclaimed most powerful military – has lost virtually all the major military engagements since World War II.  If the isolationist/anti-war combo have their way, we will lose the current conflicts to Russia and Iran.  The strongest military in the world is meaningless if there is no resolve to use it when America’s leadership and national security is at risk.

We are currently on the verge of throwing Ukraine under the troika.  MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” is one of the media platforms promoting surrender in Ukraine.  Oh … they do not call it surrender, but it is.

Richard Haass, chairman emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and unofficial spokesman for left-leaning international policies is proffering the argument that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy should surrender 20 percent of that nation to Russian despot Vladimir Putin in order to end the war.

According to Haass, there is no way that Ukraine can possibly win back the land that Putin currently controls.  Program namesake Joe Scarborough echoes those same sentiments as if Haass’ opinion is a certainty.  The lost irony in that perspective is that it is a self-proving prophecy.  If the United States and NATO withdraw their commitment or support for Ukraine, it is very likely that Russia will succeed. In fact, Putin is doing as well as he is with his dirty little war because the United States and NATO have been restrained and delayed in their support.

Still, Haass says that a ceasefire and negotiated agreement to let Putin keep eastern Ukraine will be a great victory for … UKRAINE!  This is the kind of ass-backwards doubletalk we can expect from the pinstriped pants set in Washington.

Haass’ definition of a Ukrainian victory is that the Ukrainians get to keep the 80 percent of the land and resources that Putin has not been able to conquer.  Of course, that is only a temporary situation.  Once Putin has essentially annexed eastern Ukraine, you can rest assured that he will be planning his future invasion.

If the Haass plan sounds a lot like the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with Hitler, you know your history.  If you do not know your history … Chamberlain agreed to give Hitler his recently invaded Sudetenland in return for – as Chamberlain put it — “Peace in our time.”  If you do not know how badly that turned out, it is called World War II.

It is not just those on the left.  On the opposite extreme of the political continuum, we have a faction of the Republican Party wanting to withdraw all aid from Ukraine – and potentially even aid from Israel.  In the current House GOP Continuing Resolution (CR), there is no money provided for either Ukraine or Israel.  While that will come up later – with at least some level of funding — the lack of a decisive and demonstrable policy is providing aid, comfort and encouragement to Russia, Hamas, Iran and the rest of the America’s adversarial world.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States was irrefutably the most powerful nation in the world.  We were the clear leader not only militarily, but in terms of commerce and the bulwark of democracy.  One would have to be intellectually blind to not see how far America as fallen from that pinnacle.   Unfortunately, we have not yet pulled out of that downward trajectory – and what happens in Ukraine and Israel will have a major impact on America’s future.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

20 Comments

  1. Frank stetson

    Why does Horist have to win all the time? Who cares in we are the leader or in the top ten? And why does it always have to be win-lose? I find win-win to be a more harmonious outcome most often.

    Jesus is a leader and he preaches none of that. Quite a different approach. Jesus never said, be a leader, be tops in military, politics, and economics.

    Just saying. Our truth should be in between pounding our chest and telling folks do what I say and bending over. Perhaps consensus is a better way.

    I like consensus better than leadership. Getting everyone to agree to live a moral life without forcing anyone.

    But all bets are off when you are dealing with crazy bully and Putin is a whackadoodle bully like a fox. There is no win-win now, it’s time to go full Horist.

    Haas is an ass on this, imo.

    I get what you are saying and beyond your monthly trotting out of Chamberlain, and hatred of all things liberal, I hope we don’t give an inch more than Crimea and let’s get that back too.

    Spend these bastards into ruin. Free up bigger, better, badder weapons. The Republican financial stall has emboldened and reenergized Putin. Biden needs to up the ante every month until they fall.

    Put Ukraine into nato and let’s take it from there. Begin the draft today. Let him know we are getting ready. Put all our carriers and subs in position. Meanwhile, have Ukraine beg for air support and let’s put the dome over their skies today. .

    FYI: Joe Scarborough is a Republican conservative who is hawkish on budget cuts, spending, small government, etc. We need more moderates everywhere.

  2. FedUp

    Why are we funding this proxy war? An article just came out yesterday that Zelenskyy just spent $75 million to purchase 2 yachts for him and his inner circle. Many of the munitions we’ve sent them are being found on the Black market. Zelenskyy also has a multimillion dollar mansion in Florida and a kickback list was recently released of politicians getting millions in kickbacks from the aid we have provided. This ALL appears to be a sham to fund, Zelenskyy while the citizens of Ukraine are run through the meatgrinder at the sole benefit of Zelenskyy, his inner circle and many politicians here in the states. I call fowl and demand a halt to this proxy war, Ukraine is still part of Russia, they have NEVER filed the documentation to designate itself as a separate nation state. We have ZERO business messing with this skirmish between them and Russia and we certainly should not be giving them money our own Citizens could be using while they drain our munitions and fund the industrial military complex.

    • Frank stetson

      Wait on the fact checkers; all the other grandiose asset stories got shot down.

  3. larry Horist

    Frank Stetson … I always marvel that some people proffer the romantic notions of “why can’t we just all get along?” “Why can we not have true equality among all people?” No such thing as leaders. .. or even the concept of leadership. The answer is simple. It is impossible because it is unnatural. Every life form on earth survives on competition. There are winners and losers by nature. All life is competition. I notice that weeds are taking over from the grass in my lawn. Wees are wining. So I use weed killer to destroy them. Weeds lose. At the top end of the biological world, humanity is founded on competition, We have no choice. It is in our DNA. And competition is a good thing. It brings about progress. If we did live in a world of pure equality… no competition … no winners and losers … we would still be living in caves. Another reason we have to compete — even fight — is became of another unfortunate fact of human nature. We have bad people … evil people … who see winning as dominating and oppressing the freedom of others. We need to contain the evil — and when that does not work, we need to defeat evil. To do that as a society, we need … LEADERS — individuals and collectively. American has been the world leader for good … democracy, personal freedom, equal OPPORTUNITY. The peace and harmony of the world has depended on America’s leadership at least since World War I — and arguably since the Revolutionary War. Your sentiments have the siren sound of utopia, but has not basis in reality. If Putin wins, we lose. If Hamas wins, we lose. If China wins, we lose. If Iran wins, we lose. My interest is to make sure that good wins and evil loses … that right wins and wrong loses. We can differ on what is right and wrong — and even that is competition that takes recognition of the values between good and evil — and leadership. Fighting — figuratively or literarily — for good over evil cannot be done without the concept of leadership — and the reality of leaders. Your dive into unrealistic romanticism is reinforced by your laughable contention that Joe Scarborough is a conservative just because he says so. Come on man, get real.

  4. Frank stetson

    You mistake leaders with leadership.

    I have run teams with an autocratic approach and a consensus approach. Auto seems more efficient, simpler, and easier. Consensus seems more effective, more complex, and harder. I was still the same leader.

    But I advocate there is a time for both and your approach and with Putin, imo, we are there. However if we expand that to china, I say consensus.

    I learned delegation from Reagan, consensus from Clinton. Telling everyone what to do gets you that. Asking them what they think may provide a better result.

    • Tom

      I think General Patton said it the best when he said, “Tell a man where to be and not how to get there and you will be amazed at the results.” He ran his tank corps this way. He told them where to be and by when to be there and allowed them the room to figure out what was the best way. It was a winning strategy for a war situation. General Schwartzkoff led Desert Storm using Consensus of his LT’s and what they thought would be the best and most workable strategy for a quick victory. And they won that war in six weeks. When Larry said we have not won a war since WWII, he may have forgotten Desert Storm where we gave the Kuwaitis their country and oil fields back. And we beat the Taliban in Afghanistan but the problem is in how you define the war’s end. We seem to have won the war but could not secure the peace.

      I am like you, I have run all sorts of teams. Soliciting buy in from stakeholders is always key because it is their motivation which is the engine that will drive the results. It sounds like you went to Team-building lessons and TQM Principles while you contracted with AT&T. And maybe even a Deming lecture. :>) I actually met the man at one of his lectures. I went on to re-write ISO 9001, Section 4.4 for Kyoto for the final approval meeting there. I am listed in the back of the commemorative version of the standard. 🙂 By the way, ISO 9001 is the Chinese government’s bible on how to run a company and relate to customers!

      You are correct, autocratic gets results quicker but risks all participants running off of a cliff playing follow the leader. Consensus usually gets better results but takes longer and there is the occasional disgruntled participant to deal with. Both methods have their place. What I found also worked well was a hybrid approach allowing for Consensus to drive the high lever plan and then allow a little more autocracy for the elements of the plan to be accomplished. Let smaller teams that know their piece well just go off and gett’er done!

      Here’s a song just for you Frank! *https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqhCQZaH4Vs*

      • Feank stetson

        I agree Tom.

        But nations are not people and we in the US are responsible for our nation. I don’t think being the world’s top cop is in there and I am pretty sure the world has not voted for us to be top cop.

        We have our interests, but really, should we protect a McDonalds in Red Square?

        With Russia, he’s a bully and at this point, I say go full Horist and beyond starting with a mandatory draft and heavy taxes for arms.

        For China, I would like to see a bit more diplomacy and consensus on agreements and treaties so we can feel justified in going to war there.

        But if we plan to be the world’s cop forever, I don’t think the founders ever had that in mind.

        And God knows what’s Trumpian thought beyond wouldn’t have happened and I’m goin to nuke you to the dark ages, rocket man….

        • Tom

          I the world cop issue should be part of the contract with the world, i.e. do you want us to help if you are being bullied, or would you prefer us to just stay on the sidelines and you handle it yourself. Do you feel there is a need for a world police and would you contribute some soldiers? I certainly do agree with you and Larry on Putin going to far and stopping Russia’s bullying. And who knows, fear of our POTUS may be good for some nations to have, and might just keep them from bullying to much. One thing the bullies understand is another bully. And Trump is a bully by all of my standards.

          • frank stetson

            HORIST ALERT: don’t read. it’s a story and it’s long……

            Tom, OK — I try for consensus, my back up mode is Atilla as I have been called. And I liked it!

            As a Product Manager, I had to come up with ideas, get budget, and then lead the team to victory in budget, delivery to functional plan, and schedule. Meanwhile, usually manage a P&L at the same time. Had smaller 100K projects to 1M/month development cost projects so covered the waterfront. Like smaller, better. I put up with that ISO shit but just to fill in the forms and move on. Iso is to quality what open systems are to design — by committee and therefore unnecessary overhead. They were the Labs, pretty much the process was there anyways. Yes, that’s wrongheaded thinking, but think of the hat I wore. I deliver quality product, on time, on budget, so why encumber me with global pacification determined by committee…. It slowed me down and I was already doing it, faster and cheaper. But, in both cases I understand the value and accepted it, but —- just filling out forms, we were already doing the work. I had always filed out some form or another. Frankly, the quarterly VP reviews were more rigorous.

            Once, I had a 5 9’s product and we were “forced” to go open. Force being management bending to the insane wishes of misguided customers. Customers being the Fortune 500, our bread and butter, but especially the Fortune 100, our cake. We choose not to message them to the truth. It’s hard to convince the Fortune 100 IT departments who were trying to make their bones too. “Look, we made them go open and now we can develop to it.” NOT. Our proprietary method was better, cheaper, and there was nothing to develop to, a closed system by definition. But the dream was AI-like and everything working together like family. But NOOOO. So we put it on Windows anyways and immediately lost our 5 9’s and now had another customer complaint to face. Spent inordinate development to compensate for Window’s low reliability. We needed speech coders so we dropped the labs perfect version for an open one with less quality. Again, no gain, more pain. I will tell you, just saying “well, it’s open and therefore windows, or open-sourced coder you can develop to, really did not cut it since no one would be developing to it for a decade. Another time, I took a small team and created a small business totally propriety system and created one of the few best-of-class cost profiles for a Lucent product — which, for Lucent, at the time, was unheard of. One of my greatest product teams where I did it by consensus, from soup to nuts, for sure, and got nothing but sales for the accomplishment. Thank God the sales were great because with good sales comes freedom. Like don’t bother me, I’m ahead of plan…. For example that AURA package I mentioned rides on top of defender, integrates to voice mail, pretty seamlessly while adding functionality on top. So now ai have AI call screening and it’s a pretty good first attempt. We could never do that back then, but same standards I gather. I mean, I could do it, but it was a lot of manual effort.

            FYI: I think ten years later when the technology advanced, it made sense. But not then.

            How I came to consensus: really a combination of mentors and experience. Remember, part of my job is to persuade people who do not report to me to exceed all expectations, even theirs. It took me a moment to discover they do that best when they want to, not just being told to by someone with no control over their work lives. And to fire someone, I had to go to their boss’ boss and make a case — long, dragged out affair two levels above in rank that probably would not end well for anyone. I was fortunate in having some great mentors and a rabbi. They guided me as a kindness. In experiential learning, I began as Atilla believing I was the leader and therefore everyone must listen. First lesson was how to move people instead of trying to fire. I got amazingly good at firing people into better positions, but not in my way anymore. Cool alternative.

            Then we went to “bonding camp” to become better team members. It was in Texas, remote, and I saw an armadillo. Best part of the trip. Doug the design engineer busted his face falling in the dark the first day; I am a country boy, it looked light to me. We hung from trees, did trust falls, and emoted. God I hate expressing feelings in public. Oye. But I liked to rock climb, no issues with repelling, so it was easy. It ends with the samurai game where you compete to the death, figuratively, one on one, in silly matches. I went out in the first round. Seemed funny to me that we bond all week and then attack each other one-on-one, but hey, I just wanted to get back to my family.

            Because I was “special” and the first round was a try-out for only the special, I was forced to go again. This time, condos at the beach near Charleston. My new young starfucker VP was chest pumping his grand teaming million dollar expense mission so we had a gaggle of VPs and Directors, most of which had been before and flew in just for the ninja game. This time was different. I really didn’t care. We were eating no-sugar, no-salt, health crap (which is mostly what I eat postretirement), and the first day I said, loudly apparently, where the f is the ketchup as the entire table looked in horror shushing me, afraid, as a coach from the next table said: no kidding and went to the kitchen to make some. After a little torture, I finally shared with my table and then went home to watch wings of war and the holocaust with my roomies yelling at my apparent inappropriate behavior of watching the ultimate nonbonding experience.

            The next day we did that one where you are high up in the trees walking down one rope leaning into your partner on the other rope — the two ropes tied to one tree, but the other ends on trees ten feet apart forming two sides of a triangle. No way you can finish, so it’s how far can you get before you both fall to the middle. Everyone tried to team with an athletic giant and I notice an actual team member, a dumpy woman playing wallflower and said to myself WTF. It changed my life to change her life in that simple act of treating her as equal to a giant. She was a teammate now that would give 150% because she wanted to. It was the look on her face, of joy and relief, that changed me. Because dumpy, wallflower, was the same as me, we had different yet the same level of fears of failure. That changed my whole outlook to trying to see how you could help people exceed their own goals and expectations rather than closing the down by saying “I’m the leader, here’s what I say.”
            Larry says who cares, I am long and boring, but frankly — people like them and resonate to them which I learned from this woman who excelled on a number of my teams. She was NTF after that and quite exceptional in her accomplishments. All I needed to do was to support her in consensus.

            Then we get to the samurai game and I was loaded for bear hunting. All of it had focused my ire on management. Or VPs in this case. First, having been there before, we had to be ronin, some sort of special player in the game. Me and the VP’s got together and I asked, “is there anything I should know” They said nah, piece of cake. Then, in front of everyone, they ask the ronins what is the meaning of life? I don’t know about you, but public speaking, emotions, meaning of life, that’s a huge piece of cake for me…. One by one they get picked — by my FRIENDS — and off they go, sounding beautiful, like they have been there before and rehearsed, and of course not being a VP, I am last….like fat albert being picked for the softball team. By my FRIENDS. Around the gymnasium were all our meaningful signs from the even taunting what we were striving for. I read about five on them in my speech. And now I am a man on a mission. I am pissed.

            On to the games and I am crushing VPs, must have taken out a half dozen. Yeah bob, fuck your Harvard corporate fraternity. Heh Buzz, screw your Yale, buddy system you’re OOH, dead. That’s right, UofM backwoods boy blowing you away. Fucking prep boys. The big ones remain and they will be mine. Next I’m up and my opponent this time is my good friend, labroid turned HQ brat, brilliant, nice, kind, nine months pregnant. For a one-legged standing, staring, contest. In ten seconds, I fall to the ground laughing my head off and that makes me dead, game over.

            My second awakening. Compassion, humor, and life is a funny duck.

            Tom, I am more of an experiential learner in management no matter what the next BBD on quality or process control or product development process….and I have seen so many. Yes, I’ve taken organization management type courses out the ying-yang, which is why I identified Trump’s Mafiosi management style from the git go. But I need to play with these things to really understand them. Math is like that too, for me. So, ISO, just forms to fill out, the process has rarely changed and management methods, negotiation styles, etc. are as old as man. I am sure it’s a good thing for the world. But I just learned the fastest way to fill out the forms and then get the job done. Right.

            And I agree, management styles should fit the occasion, as would diplomacy styles. I agree with Horist that there is no consensus possible with Putin, only defeat and I would rather be on the other side of that. Any treaty that cedes land is a catastrophic failure and the line drawn is Ukraine’s border. Its’ winter, probably can catch a breadth in a little bit, but come Spring, Biden better have a BBD for Zelensky and company, because it’s SHOWTIME and let’s show them the door. Crimea too. Take it back.

            But for China —- let’s try to get some agreements, treaties, understandings in place to draw some lines that when crossed we can feel a legitimate reason to go in. Not for a few fly-bys and some balloons.

            As to the US being the top cop. IMO, we need to pull back from that and get back to a world-consensus game. Let’s face it, “defending our interest overseas” is equivalent to being corporate America’s strong arm in a good amount. Yet, we have NATO, they have BRICS, EU, and there’s the WTO, G20, and more that we need to get back to having a lead in policing the world. WE need to be A leader there, not necessarily, THE leader there, and then make it work. Consensus is difficult. In a diverse environment, doubly difficult. In the words of the prophet, Floyd Pink:

            “It’s a helluva start,
            It could be made into a monster
            If we all pull together as a team”

            Given our election cycle, and the limited time to pull this together in a one or two terms, to pull this off would take a number of President’s terms in office: the consensus needs to start in that quadrant, and that’s apparently close to impossible. But if one guy tries to fix it, the next tears in down, it’s pretty much unstable at this point. And we have seen how much damage can be done in a single term.

            OK, story epilogue. We get back and starfucker VP announces the bad news: we are all fired. The good news: 80% will retain jobs, however every job is open and we must apply. Recommendation that applying for too many will be bad outcome. 10% will be placed in other organizations as we defund ourselves. And 10% will hit the streets. At that point I have the best job in the division. There is no bonding, it’s a cat fight and the benefits of the million dollar program are tossed out the window. Except for the samurai game which we are now in. Bottom line: I am told to try for second best job and there will probably be a harmonious outcome. My buddy has sweet talked the VP. And I had killed him in the game. Life is a funny duck.

            story over.

          • larry Horist

            To both Frank and Tom … First of of all, Frank, thanks for the alert suggesting I do not read your latest posting. No need. I never do more than peruse an occasional one — and respond to even fewer. This latest is certainly long — and I can only assume it is boring for any readers who might actually read it (other than Tom).

            I am actually directing this response to the both of you out of sincere curiosity. You both have similar traits that I find peculiar. Unlike any other readers, you two engage in a penpal bromance unlike any the others. You exchange biographical stories — mostly bragging — that have northing to do with the commentators. Just a personal exchanges between buddies. Nothing wrong with that, but I wonder why you do that in this space. To me it is like parking your car in an open space miles away from your destination just became it is there. I really doubt that your personal anecdotes are of much interest to readers of this site. Certainly not to me.

            You two are also a bit unique in your tendency to see your selves as some sort of oversight authority that is empowered to make broad judgments — rather than merely engage in a discussion of the issues. Tom, you have a tendency to pronounce evaluations of the exchanges in a parental or professorial sense. You recently complemented both me and Frank for an exchange of which you approved. Why do you take on that role without portfolio? Frank, you constantly engage in ad hominin attacks on the nature and character of some straw man Larry Horist — and often declare judgmentally that someone is BUSTED merely because they do not agree with you. You both seem to need that self-created superiority judgemental role. It comes across as arrogance — largely because that is what it is. Again, I doubt that other readers give a rodent’s rear over your unsolicited evaluations.

            I wonder what your lives must be like if you have and take soooooo much time in engaging on this site in ways that are not related to the purpose or content of PBP. Somehow you remind me of the Muppets Statler and Waldorf — two old geezers no longer engaged in life gratuitously offering their opinions to an unquestioning world from their little balcony. Maybe that is not the case, but it is how you come across.

            So … my question to you guys is: Why do you do that stuff — something no one else does?

          • Frank stetson

            Mr Horist; sorry I had a life outside of politics and never made money by being political.

            Sorry, I enjoy sharing, enjoy reading your crap to see what you say.

            You refuse intelligent response in lieu of partisan hackery, self-indulging back slapping, and spurious pontifications as if the Lord of the Conservatives, or is that Flies?

            I work from my pc, takes breaks, and fuck around here. What’s your excuse? Feeling Godlike with the need to illuminate others?

            Oh yeah, BUSTED!
            There should not be ONE busted here that is not only factual, but supported

            Maybe if you opted to discuss instead of demean, it would actually be illuminating.

            I am sorry for you that Tom, I, and others, actually use pbp to discuss, inform, and even entertain. What a fucked up thing to do.

            Amazingly, whether you read it or not, chances are your response will be dickish although this one is a tad less demeaning.

            Old geezer without a life, signing off 🫵

          • larry Horist

            Frank Stetson … You got me. I actually read your latest foot-stamping rant — but only because it was all about moi. Thanks for proving my point about your being obsessed — and the childish and emotional nature of your largely pathetic attempts to insult and demean. Judging from you own description of your current world — you and your PC — I can understand your revery for the past and your need to advertise it in attempt to give your life some relevancy. it does not matter to me why you and Tom carry on they way you do. Just curious why you two are so unique in that. As a First Amendment extremist — like the owner of PBP — you are perfectly free to continue your many long off-subject postings. Forget my inquiry and carry on.

      • frank stetson

        My fil met him Armstrong once, but then again, he met everyone in the 50-60’s in NYC upper echelon. He saved Frank Sinatra’s life once. The story starts: “you know, when Frank was drinking, I mean DRINKING, he got his vodka in a highball, straight up”……and then gets better. Ends with, “after that, Frank kept asking for me, and I pushed him off. That might have been a mistake…..” I loved my fil, what a life!

        • Tom

          What is a fil? Is that Father In Law? I liked Frank Sinatra even if he was in the mob. I loved the Rat Pack! Dean, Sammy, and Frankie were a blast when they got together. I think of the three, Sammy was my favorite but boy did he smoke like a chimney! :>)

          • frank stetson

            My folks were friendly with a number of sons-of-the-mob. But sometimes it’s the only place to get a loan, do some gambling, etc. They were not the drug era.

            And yes, Father in Law who was a sommelier at NYC’s greatest clubs in the 50’s/60’s after crossing the globe umpteen times shipboard. He’s even in a movie. What a life. Went behind the lines in the war to protect his mom and five sisters. His first wife left him then, probably declared him dead after four or five years. Amazing. I have been able to track any ship he was on that touched the US, but not the other ones….yet. As a young man, there were no planes and the ships were floating palaces. He’s ogling a waitress as a passenger, the Pope, turns to him, does that finger thing and says in Italian: “you’re a naughty, naughty little boy…..” Man, shamed by the Pope, saves Frank’s life, and so much more. Did you know that LBJ used to get snookered, grab the violinist, go to the phone, call Ladybird and sing Yellow Rose of Texas? He was an amazing guy.

            You’re really getting a lot of “life is a funny duck” stories out of me today :>)

  5. Tom

    Larry and Frank, all good comments and well presented! Congrats on your leadership of an intelligent PBP post.

    Frank, the reason we can not all get along is because of what is described in the Bible as the fall of man. Larry is correct about competition. It is in our DNA, and has been there since our creation. If you read Genesis Chapter 3 you will see that Adam stood idly by as Eve took a bite from the apple. In essence, if you read the discussion they had where Adam said to Eve that they were told by God not to eat of the fruit nor touch the leaves of that tree. Eve essentially rebuked Adam by taking fruit, eating it, then offering it to Adam – upon which he demonstrated weak leadership (not trusting God to resolve the situation) and ate, thereby ending the first human power struggle and sealing the fate of all humanity for all of time on earth. Thus we were kicked out of the garden to a life of work, competition, pain and suffering.

    I think both have good points. Seems to me that each administration gets to define We The People, and its time We The People define for them who we are and what we stand for and require them to assert our doctrine. And why not make it part of our constitution so they can’t just change it willy nilly. Part of this should be what we define as evil and reject. And this also means being tough on our friends when they exhibit actions we consider evil. Israel and their harsh approach towards Gaza would be one such friend that we value highly but needs to find a way of winning Palestinian hearts thus making Hamas an irrelevant entity. Better good choices makes evil irrelevant. And we can start by cleaning our own house of evil we all know exists here before we attempt cleaning the houses of others. How can we make institutions more fair and just? How can we compete without discriminating? How can we balance competition with compassion? How can we elevate the value of all citizens rich or poor, all shades, and spiritualities?

    Larry is correct about Chamberlain and his appeasement. Seems like we keep proving over and over again that appeasement does not work and our enemies see what we are doing and go for more booty just like Hitler did. But lets also remember that we were virtually dragged into WWII by being wounded at Pearl Harbor then declaring war on Japan which caused Hitler to declare war on the USA and the USA reciprocated the favor. We did not enter WWII in 1939 telling Hitler he can’t kill more Jews! No! We turned three boatloads of Jews away and sent them back to their next best choice. Our enemies have the book on us that says if you do not hurt us we will not respond with force. Seems like we no longer have any good statesmen. And it seems that many do not understand what we really stand for.

    So I believe it is time for us to re-write the book or at least publish a 21st century revision. To borrow from Newt, lets make a 100 year contract with the world! Lets tell the world exactly what we stand for after we have agreed upon it and voted for it among ourselves. Lets stop the bickering among us that the world sees and laughs at as they take more land. Lets show the world that we are willing to raise taxes and stop pork in order to have the funds to help our people as well as stop evil around the globe. Lets stop the covert operations and chess playing that we do around the world. Lets give the people of the world everywhere a better choice and help them achieve that choice. Lets fold NATO into a higher order, maybe call it the Democratic World Order ushered in by the USA with free membership to all who want to stand and walk with us. And lets uplift our neighbors and focus on their positives more and be tolerant of their negatives, helping them develop economically, medically, socially, and politically.
    Congrats to Larry and Frank on well written comments and exchanges! You are leading the way gentlemen!

  6. Darren

    I have said it before and I will say it again.
    Monkey see Monkey do!
    How do you expect the U.S. to not fund Zelenskyy kick backs when Biden has set up
    fake company’s and bank accounts and lined his own pockets as well?
    Every War can instantly be solved, the Money to be spent and syphoned off says other wise.
    The point everyone makes are great, but does not matter, GREED and only Greed keeps the war machine
    in motion!
    Eve actually picked a Pomegranate, but the Bible chose to use Apple.
    Ask Pelosi, she was there!

    • Tom

      Thankyou Darren for your comical response. Sometimes we get a little too serious here and its nice to have a guy like you around. :>)

      • Frank stetson

        Sarcasm ‼️ alert. 🚨

  7. Robert D Sartin

    I am a great admirer of your talents in oration, your ability to state matters in a way that the layperson can read and comprehend. I do not always agree with you. Such is life.
    I disagree strongly and deeply on your position, “welfare behemoth.” If you have written articles on how we “responsibly” provide for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, and incarcerated, please send me a URL.
    In contrast, I wholly agree in your position of strength economically. politically, and militarily. These are essential in a universe wherein there have always been and, apparently, always will be bullies. Putin must be driven out of Ukraine. He must be confronted on all his expansionist moves to restore Mother Russia’s boundaries.
    Of course, dealing with China, North Korea, and Iran are different in their complexity. But we must come from strength and be prepared to confront.