Skagit Republicans Newsletter (4-17)

     Skagit Republicans

               April 2017

 

View this newsletter on our website at:

http://skagitrepublicans.com/content/skagit-republicans-newsletter-4-17

 

In This Issue

*   Save the Date:  May 6th  

*   SCRP Monthly Meeting

*    HQ News

*    Chairman’s Corner

*    Kirk Pearson - CAPR Senator of the Year

*    Letter to the Editor:  Inslee’s Sanctuary EO

*   Seattle Dumps Raw Sewage Into the Sound, But Rural Septic Systems are the Problem

*    What Happened to Last Year’s Coho Run?

*    Quote of the Month

*    Deep State

*    Twin Cities Light Rail on the Chopping Block

*    Head Clown Assaults Woman at Restaurant

*    Riddle Me This:  Russia Not Mexico?

*    Coming Events

*    Teaching Math Over 50 Years

*    South of the Border

*    Hilarious Hypocrisy – China Condemns U.S. Over Climate Policy 

*    Humor Department - PC Peach’s Statement

*    Links of Interest

*    Imprimus – How to Think About Vladimir Putin

*    Skagit Co. Republican Party Info

____________________________________________________________________________________

Save the Date:  May 6th 

 

The Skagit County Republican Party is holding its annual Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner on Saturday, May 6th, beginning at 5 PM. 

This year’s venue is the highly acclaimed “The Vine” events center at the Bertelsen Winery. 

A popular location for weddings, business meetings, reunions, private parties and other large functions, our Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner will be set within an elegant atmosphere that guarantees a stimulating and fun evening.  Max Dale’s Steak House will cater a prime rib dinner. 

Bertelsen’s is located just off I-5 on Starbird Road.  Take the 218 Exit and head east. 

You can purchase tickets at this link.

 

 

SCRP Monthly Meeting

The monthly meeting of the Skagit County Republican Party will take place on Thursday, April 20th  at 7:00 PM.  As usual, the location is the downstairs conference room at 2021 E. College Way, Mt Vernon.  All PCO’s should plan to attend.  Discussion items will include final plans for the upcoming Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner.  There may be a short Executive Board meeting afterwards.

 

 

HQ News 

HQ hours are 10 AM to 2 PM

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or by appointment.

If you wish to volunteer or need more info, call (360) 424-9792

*See our ONLINE NEWSLETTER on our website for news and info about our events.

To subscribe to our Newsletter, type your email address in the box in the lower right hand corner of our webpage

 

 

Chairman's Corner

The Skagit County Republican Party has made excellent progress the first three months of the year. We have a new logo and a new website is almost ready, upgraded our materials, added several new party members, four new PCO's, and two new outsatanding volunteers, Gale McCrosky and Rod Eggerling.

Last weeks Mount Vernon Town Hall event for Sen. Barbara Bailey, Rep. Norma Smith and Rep. Dave Hayes was packed with over 250 people in attendance, all three did a great job and made us proud.   We are indeed blessed to have such quality people representing us in the 10th Legislative District. What a refreshing contrast with the Democrats, like 40th LD Senator Kevin Ranker who at a February Orcas Island Town Hall meeting recommended the book "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky.

The Skagit County Republican future looks bright as on Saturday, May 6th we will be having our Lincoln / Reagan Day Dinner annual fundraiser at the Bertelsen Winery Event Centre. Special Guest Speaker is Elaine Willman, one of the Nation's foremost leading experts on Federal Indian policy and best selling author of Going to Pieces...the dismantling the United States of America, her talk is entitled "Explaining and Exposing the Corruption of the Indian Tribal Industry".  Our Keynote Speaker is Lt. Governor Candidate and Radio talk show host Marty McClendon, his talk is "Religions Liberty (the battle ahead, where we are and were we are going) Debunking the lines between Church, Government, Business and Education".  Many of our State elected officials will speak plus a special live music program by Sharyn Peterson Conservatory of Music and Arts will take place.  It is a guarantee this event will be a lot of fun and informational, do not miss it !  Need to RSVP as it will be sold out.

The Democrats and the liberal media still appear to be in total denial of President Trump, his cabinet and the Republicans who are in command at the highest Government levels.  However at this stage it is really important that we Republicans unify to the best of our ability as our evil opposition, George Soros on down are set on their destructive path in attempts to indoctrinate the citizens with their ideology of ignorance. May I ask you, who in their right mind can justify legalizing heroin with "safe injection" sites ?  But that is exactly what the WA State Legislature Democrats are attempting as they passed HB 1427 last month. Thank God, and the good Republicans like yourself that we still have a majority in the WA State Senate to stop such a ludicrous law from being passed.

We all know there is a orchestrated and concerted attack effort by the radical left to impose it's agenda on society, to take out Trump and to eliminate conservatism; at every opportunity we need to call them out on their blatant lies, fabrications and misrepresentations.  We must see through this and rise above it.  An example of this liberal insanity is Jay Inslee's appointed "Human Rights Commission" which imposed WAC 162-32 on our states citizens. This statewide mandate requires all businesses and places of public accommodation (schools, etc.) to open their locker rooms, showers, spas, and bathrooms on the basis of gender identity.  Thank goodness for the people working on the Initiative 1552 Just Want Privacy Campaign and our local Emmanuel Baptist Church, Strauss Jewelers and Blade Chevrolet members for being Regional Petition Centers in this important endeavor.  In November it will be time to repeal this nonsensical and absurd law.

Another example is Governor Inslee's latest executive order, it prohibits state agencies from participating in illegal immigration enforcement.  Most unfortunately Inslee wants Washington State to be a "Sanctuary State" and a disturbing trend is developing as city jurisdictions are being influenced to implement local sanctuary laws, code name "Welcoming Jurisdictions": Burien Ordinance # 651, Kirkland Ordinance # O-4558, Olympia Resolution # M-1857, Seattle Resolution # 31730 & Executive Order 2016-08, plus Tumwater Resolution # R2017-004 are just some of our Washington State Cities that now have sanctuary laws on the books.

This issue hit home as at the Feb 28th La Conner Town Council meeting, Council Member Jacques Brunisholz asked to have the Town of La Conner endorse Inslee's executive order by drafting a resolution.  Obviously I was opposed (please see my "letter to the editor" in this months newsletter) however two other Council Members and the Mayor were in favor, then on March 14th the La Conner Town Council voted 3-2 to pass Brunisholz's resolution with the full support of the Mayor, Town Administrator and Finance Director. Only good news was that after vehement protest from myself and Council Member Bill Stokes we were able to get the resolution very much watered down as santuary language was removed.

Governor Inslee, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and the City of Seattle have all got it wrong.  The US Constitution assigns responsibility for regulating immigration exclusively to congress via the Federal government.  Art I Sec 8 clause 4 "congress to establish a uniform rule of naturalization" and clause 3 gives congress the power to regulate commerce with the foreign nations, the 14th Amendment Sec I "All persons born or naturalized in the US, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof ".  Art VI, clause 2 says the constitution is the supreme law of the land, and the supremacy clause is a conflict-of-laws rule that contains "the doctrine of preemption", which says that federal law preempts state law when laws conflict. It is clear that states like Washington should not be allowed to be making their own laws and policies regarding immigration.  

Inslee's order is also a violation of federal law (8 U.S.C. & 1373), this law enacted by congress in 1996 prohibits policies that impede cooperation between federal, state and local officials when it comes to sending, requesting, maintaining or exchanging information regarding immigration status. Congress also passed law (8 U.S.C. 1357) which intent is to allow state and federal officers to act as comrades rather than combatants when it comes to the enforcement of federal immigration law. 

SCOTUS case law supports this: 1941 Hines V. Davidowitz "The regulation of immigration is a matter for the Federal Government, any efforts to regulate immigrants are unconstitutional"; and in 1976 De Canas V. Bica held that "Any state law or policy related to immigration will be per se preempted if it is a regulation of immigration because the power to regulate immigration is unquestionably, exclusively a federal power".

Additionally Inslee's order violates RCW 9A. 76.020 "Obstructing a law enforcement officer", Guilty if willfully hinder, delay or obstruct any law enforcement in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties", and leads to the obstruction of justice which is "Any attempt to hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of anyone who has committed a crime.  

The Democrats and the media continually ignore simple facts and their lack of understanding and living with a "ends justifies the means" mentality only leads to more problems and corruption.  The right, moral and ethical thing to do is to follow the Rule of Law, and laws of the United States Constitution, something many Democrats seem unwilling to do.

Republican values that foster the freedom of government intrusion, principles of personal and economic liberty, free markets, less taxes, personal property rights, quality education choices, enforcing common sense laws, and moving power back to our local communities is what is needed for the people to truly prosper.  I deeply and profoundly thank you in helping to promote these values and policies as they further the Skagit County Republican Party mission to support candidates who feel likewise.

Respect & Blessings,

Bill Bruch, SCRP Chairman

 

 

Kirk Pearson - CAPR Senator of the Year 

Kirk Pearson was honored by the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) as “Senator of the Year” at the organization’s annual banquet in Tukwila on March 25th.  This award is given to the state senator who has best represented the interests of property owners in the previous year.  Senator Pearson has been stalwart defender of property rights during his entire political career and this award is well deserved.  Congratulations to Senator Pearson. 

 

 

Letter to the Editor - Inslee's Sanctuary EO

The following letter by Chairman Bill Bruch first appeared in The LaConner Weekly News as a response to a resolution introduced in the city council to follow Governor Inslee’s lead and declare La Conner a sanctuary jurisdiction.   The measure was subsequently watered down, but still passed.    

 

March 5th, 2017

Attn: Letter to the editor

 

                                                   Inslee’s Executive Order

Governor Jay Inslee’s latest executive order expressly prohibits state agencies from participating in illegal immigration enforcement and inquiring about a person’s immigration status.  With all due respect to the Governor, I disagree with his order as it compromises our national security and community safety by undermining federal law.  Additionally it creates many potential needless obstruction of justice scenarios.

The order means that state law enforcement is not to aid and support the men and women with the Department of Homeland Security doing their job.  Inslee has also made it clear he wants Washington State to be a “Sanctuary State”, this is very dangerous and reckless as the Governor's policies fosters a safe haven for undocumented immigrants (illegal aliens) who may be terrorists, criminals, felons, gang members, etc.

We are at war with Isis and in these turbulent times state and federal law enforcement should be in cooperation not in opposition.  Now more than ever it is important that we enforce, uphold, support and protect Federal Immigration Law, Homeland Security and the Public Safety.  It is finally time that common sense be paramount.

Respectfully,

Bill Bruch

La Conner

 

 

Seattle Dumps Raw Sewage into Puget Sound, But Rural Septic Systems are the Problem

In February, due to the heavy rains in this region, a yet to be repaired malfunction at the West Point Treatment Plant that serves Seattle caused the massive release of raw sewage into Puget Sound.  This happened several times during the month.  Local media was somewhat hesitant to report at first, but eventually did.  However, this  insult to the ecosystem yielded only crickets from the usual environmental scolds, who are the first to rail against individual septic systems found in rural areas.   

With full appreciation for the irony of the situation, three Republican state representatives recently wrote an op-ed in the Seattle Times recently expressing their amazement . . .

IF hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated stormwater and raw sewage flows into Puget Sound, but politicians and environmental groups don’t make a peep, did it really happen? That’s what we’re left to wonder after the catastrophic failure at King County’s West Point Treatment Plant last month.

Due to a power outage that caused critical equipment to fail, more than 300 million gallons of untreated stormwater and raw sewage were sent straight into Puget Sound.

This isn’t the first time the West Point Treatment Plant has had problems. In 2009, 10 million gallons of untreated wastewater were dumped into Puget Sound because of a malfunctioning switch. At the time, it was the worst spill the region had seen in decades.

Now, a spill roughly 30 times larger has caused beaches to close and families to be displaced. It has also threatened the vitality of our aquatic ecosystems and undone years of hard work and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to keep Puget Sound clean.

Aside from the recent vote by the Metropolitan King County Council to expedite the cleanup, action has been slow, causes have not been fully determined and outcry has been minimal.

Less than three years ago, Gov. Jay Inslee and King County Executive Dow Constantine were calling for Victoria, B.C., to get its sewage treatment in order due to the negative impacts it was having on regional waterways. Today, as this newspaper’s editorial board pointed out Feb. 24, these politicians and Mayor Ed Murray now seem more interested in taking shots at the Trump administration than addressing their own management problems.

Futurewise, an anti-sprawl group concerned about our state’s natural resources, has been relatively silent on this failure. Back in December, they tweeted: “Tell the EPA: No vessel sewage in our Sound!” We find it hard to believe in a matter of two months, their priorities have changed.

Don’t get us wrong: Everyone should do their part in keeping our waterways healthy and protecting our environment. Republicans in the Legislature have supported, and in some cases led, efforts to clean up toxic sites, remove legacy nets, clear fish passages, improve oil-train safety, and combat synthetic and pharmaceutical runoff. But we find it odd politicians and groups historically ready to pounce on any threat to our water quality would go silent on this new environmental disaster.

Read the entire article at:

http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/sewage-spill-reveals-double-standard-in-environmental-priorities/

 

 

What Happened to Last Year's Coho Run?

From Tidal Exchange, an investigative piece on why last year’s Coho run was so screwy, or at least estimates of numbers of returning fish were.  This cause a lot of disappointment to many sport fishermen who faced closures in the rivers in Western Washington.  After finally getting access to tribal catch reports, Tidal Exchange staff determined that certain reporting didn’t add up.  Read the analysis at the following link.

https://tidalexchange.com/2017/03/20/numbers-dont-add-tribal-catch-questioned/

 

 

Quote of the Month

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

                                                                       --  Upton Sinclair

 

 

Deep State

 

 

Twin Cities Light Rail on The Chopping Block

Progressive solutions to modern problems invariable seem to be stuck in the past.  In the case of passenger rail transport, it was ideal in the 19th Century, but is an anachronism now regardless of how urban planners in and out of the government attempt to dress it up as the modern answer to traffic problems.  

Light rail is very expensive, limited to destinations with fixed rail lines (c.f. buses which can travel anywhere there are streets), often sparsely used and invariably operate at huge losses.  President Trump’s budget cuts federal funding for any new light rail projects, something that should bring sanity to city councils across the country.  If a city or state wants this outmoded form of transportation, their taxpayers will have to pay for it. 

Think of the  hundreds of dollars now being charged for car tabs to pay for ST3 and be glad you don’t live in King, Pierce or Snohomish Counties.   Per John Hinderaker at Powerline Blog, the good folks of Minneapolis/St Paul may have narrowly escaped that fate. 

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/03/trump-administration-is-quietly-doing-good-things.php

 

 

Head Clown Assaults Woman at Restaurant

Last Sunday night (3/26), Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader and consummate political hack, publically berated the wife of former Carter administration Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano at a swanky Manhattan restaurant because she voted for Donald Trump.  She was dining with her husband.  Schumer followed the couple out the door, continuing to harangue her.  The following link at PJ Media provides an account of the incident.       

https://pjmedia.com/trending/2017/03/28/report-sen-schumer-harasses-well-connected-woman-at-ny-restaurant-because-she-voted-for-trump/

 

 

Riddle Me This:  Russia Not Mexico?

From The Last Refuge  

Riddle me this: The Mexican government openly admits to spending millions of dollars to influence U.S. elections; a Mexican billionaire owns the most influential U.S. media outlet (NYT); the Mexican government spends tens of millions to lobby congress; and the Mexican government has dedicated $50 million to pay for U.S. legal services to keep illegal aliens from being returned to Mexico; yet somehow it’s the Russian government that is a concern. Odd no?

 

 

Coming Events

4/8 Sat 9:00 AM – Skagit CAPR Chapter, Farmhouse Restaurant, SR20 & LaConner Road

4/12 Wed 11:30 AM – Northwest business Club, Elks Lodge, 710 Samish Way, Bellingham

4/19 Wed 1:30 PM – SCOG, Skagit Station, Mt Vernon

4/20 Thu 7:00 PM – SCRP Meeting, 2021 E. College Way, Mt Vernon

 

 

Teaching Math Over 50 Years

Teaching Math in the 1950’s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price.  What is his profit?

Teaching Math in the 1970’s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is 4/5 of the price or $80.  What is the profit?

Teaching Math in the 1980’s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80.  Did he make a profit? Yes or No.

Teaching Math in the 1990’s

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100.  His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20.  Your assignment:  Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math in the 2000’s

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. 

He does this so he can make a profit of $20.  What do you think of this way of making a living?

Topic for class participation after answering the question:

“How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.  Feel free to express your feelings, e.g. anger, anxiety, inadequacy, helplessness, etc.)

Should you require debriefing at conclusion of exam there are counselors available to assist you to adjust back into the real world. 

 

 

 

 

Hilarious Hypocrisy – China Condemns U.S Over Climate Policy

Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrouded by haze. [Photo/IC]

China is the world’s worst polluter, but accuses the U.S. of being “selfish” for putting its economic interests first because of the prospect of withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.  Watts Up With That has the story.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/30/china-usa-is-selfish-for-wanting-to-burn-coal/

 

 

Humor Department:  PC Peach's Statement

After being repeatedly told to provide a statement about a criminal incident from a Police Constable (PC) Peach by the Crown Prosecution Service, a member of the West Midlands Police Department in the UK finally complied.  Sort of.  Actually, the following was posted on the police station bulletin board.  However, someone photographed it and put it up on Facebook.  Turns out PC Peach is a K9 employee of the department.  The Crown Prosecutor was not amused.   

 

 

Links of Interest

Washington State Republican Party            http://www.wsrp.org

Republican National Committee                  http://gop.com

Freedom Foundation                                      http://myfreedomfoundation.com

The Whatcom Excavator                               http://www.whatcomexcavator.org

Ctizen Review Online                                     http://citizenreviewonline.org/

Rage Against The Kakistocracy                     http://antikakistocrat.blogspot.com/

Washington State Wire                                 http://washingtonstatewire.com

Washington Free Beacon                               http://www.freebeacon.com

Go Patriots                                                        http://go-patriots.com

Patriots Tea Party                                             http://www.teaparty-patriots.com

The Trojan Heron (San Juan County)              http://trojanheron.blogspot.com/

Island Politics (Island County)                         http://www.islandpolitics.org

Skagit CAPR Chapter                                       http://www.capr.us/SKAGIT  and  http://proprights.org/INFO

Saturday Morning Live                                     http://www.smllibertyroad.com

We The Governed                                              https://www.wethegoverned.com

 

 

Imprimus - How to Think About Vladimir Putin

by Christopher Caldwell, Senior Editor, The Weekly Standard

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on February 15, 2017, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix, Arizona.

Vladimir Putin is a powerful ideological symbol and a highly effective ideological litmus test. He is a hero to populist conservatives around the world and anathema to progressives. I don’t want to compare him to our own president, but if you know enough about what a given American thinks of Putin, you can probably tell what he thinks of Donald Trump.

Let me stress at the outset that this is not going to be a talk about what to think about Putin, which is something you are all capable of making up your minds on, but rather how to think about him. And on this, there is one basic truth to remember, although it is often forgotten. Our globalist leaders may have deprecated sovereignty since the end of the Cold War, but that does not mean it has ceased for an instant to be the primary subject of politics.

Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled. His job has been to protect his country’s prerogatives and its sovereignty in an international system that seeks to erode sovereignty in general and views Russia’s sovereignty in particular as a threat.

By American standards, Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best. He has cracked down on peaceful demonstrations. Political opponents have been arrested and jailed throughout his rule. Some have even been murdered—Anna Politkovskaya, the crusading Chechnya correspondent shot in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006; Alexander Litvinenko, the spy poisoned with polonium-210 in London months later; the activist Boris Nemtsov, shot on a bridge in Moscow in early 2015. While the evidence connecting Putin’s own circle to the killings is circumstantial, it merits scrutiny.

Yet if we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the pre-eminent statesman of our time. On the world stage, who can vie with him? Only perhaps Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan of Turkey.

When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that. In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he rescued a nation-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.

Why are American intellectuals such ideologues when they talk about the “international system”? Probably because American intellectuals devised that system, and because they assume there can never be legitimate historic reasons why a politician would arise in opposition to it. They denied such reasons for the rise of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. They do the same with Donald Trump. And they have done it with Putin. They assume he rose out of the KGB with the sole purpose of embodying an evil for our righteous leaders to stamp out.

Putin did not come out of nowhere. Russian people not only tolerate him, they revere him. You can get a better idea of why he has ruled for 17 years if you remember that, within a few years of Communism’s fall, average life expectancy in Russia had fallen below that of Bangladesh. That is an ignominy that falls on Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin’s reckless opportunism made him an indispensable foe of Communism in the late 1980s. But it made him an inadequate founding father for a modern state. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, whose writings about Communism give him some claim to be considered the greatest man of the twentieth century, believed the post-Communist leaders had made the country even worse. In the year 2000 Solzhenitsyn wrote: “As a result of the Yeltsin era, all the fundamental sectors of our political, economic, cultural, and moral life have been destroyed or looted. Will we continue looting and destroying Russia until nothing is left?” That was the year Putin came to power. He was the answer to Solzhenitsyn’s question.

There are two things Putin did that cemented the loyalty of Solzhenitsyn and other Russians—he restrained the billionaires who were looting the country, and he restored Russia’s standing abroad. Let us take them in turn.

Russia retains elements of a kleptocracy based on oligarchic control of natural resources. But we must remember that Putin inherited that kleptocracy. He did not found it. The transfer of Russia’s natural resources into the hands of KGB-connected Communists, who called themselves businessmen, was a tragic moment for Russia. It was also a shameful one for the West. Western political scientists provided the theft with ideological cover, presenting it as a “transition to capitalism.” Western corporations, including banks, provided the financing.

Let me stress the point. The oligarchs who turned Russia into an armed plutocracy within half a decade of the downfall in 1991 of Communism called themselves capitalists. But they were mostly men who had been groomed as the next generation of Communist nomenklatura­—people like Boris Berezovsky, Vladimir Gusinsky, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. They were the people who understood the scope and nature of state assets, and they controlled the privatization programs. They had access to Western financing and they were willing to use violence and intimidation. So they took power just as they had planned to back when they were in Communist cadre school—but now as owners, not as bureaucrats. Since the state had owned everything under Communism, this was quite a payout. Yeltsin’s reign was built on these billionaires’ fortunes, and vice-versa.

Khodorkovsky has recently become a symbol of Putin’s misrule, because Putin jailed him for ten years. Khodorkovsky’s trial certainly didn’t meet Western standards. But Khodorkovsky’s was among the most obscene privatizations of all. In his recent biography of Putin, Steven Lee Myers, the former Moscow correspondent for the New York Times, calculates that Khodorkovsky and fellow investors paid $150 million in the 1990s for the main production unit of the oil company Yukos, which came to be valued at about $20 billion by 2004. In other words, they acquired a share of the essential commodity of Russia—its oil—for less than one percent of its value. Putin came to call these people “state-appointed billionaires.” He saw them as a conduit for looting Russia, and sought to restore to the country what had been stolen from it. He also saw that Russia needed to reclaim control of its vast reserves of oil and gas, on which much of Europe depended, because that was the only geopolitical lever it had left.

The other thing Putin did was restore the country’s position abroad. He arrived in power a decade after his country had suffered a Vietnam-like defeat in Afghanistan. Following that defeat, it had failed to halt a bloody Islamist uprising in Chechnya. And worst of all, it had been humiliated by the United States and NATO in the Serbian war of 1999, when the Clinton administration backed a nationalist and Islamist independence movement in Kosovo. This was the last war in which the United States would fight on the same side as Osama Bin Laden, and the U.S. used the opportunity to show Russia its lowly place in the international order, treating it as a nuisance and an afterthought. Putin became president a half a year after Yeltsin was maneuvered into allowing the dismemberment of Russia’s ally, Serbia, and as he entered office Putin said: “We will not tolerate any humiliation to the national pride of Russians, or any threat to the integrity of the country.”

The degradation of Russia’s position represented by the Serbian War is what Putin was alluding to when he famously described the collapse of the Soviet Union as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” This statement is often misunderstood or mischaracterized: he did not mean by it any desire to return to Communism. But when Putin said he’d restore Russia’s strength, he meant it. He beat back the military advance of Islamist armies in Chechnya and Dagestan, and he took a hard line on terrorism—including a decision not to negotiate with hostage-takers, even in secret.

One theme runs through Russian foreign policy, and has for much of its history. There is no country, with the exception of Israel, that has a more dangerous frontier with the Islamic world. You would think that this would be the primary lens through which to view Russian conduct—a good place for the West to begin in trying to explain Russian behavior that, at first glance, does not have an obvious rationale. Yet agitation against Putin in the West has not focused on that at all. It has not focused on Russia’s intervention against ISIS in the war in Syria, or even on Russia’s harboring Edward Snowden, the fugitive leaker of U.S. intelligence secrets.

The two episodes of concerted outrage about Putin among Western progressives have both involved issues trivial to the world, but vital to the world of progressivism. The first came in 2014, when the Winter Olympics, which were to be held in Sochi, presented an opportunity to damage Russia economically. Most world leaders attended the games happily, from Mark Rutte (Netherlands) and Enrico Letta (Italy) to Xi Jinping (China) and Shinzo Abe (Japan). But three leaders—David Cameron of Britain, François Hollande of France, and Barack Obama of the United States—sent progressives in their respective countries into a frenzy over a short list of domestic causes. First, there was the jailed oil tycoon, Khodorkovsky; Putin released him before the Olympics began. Second, there were the young women who called themselves Pussy Riot, performance artists who were jailed for violating Russia’s blasphemy laws when they disrupted a religious service with obscene chants about God (translations were almost never shown on Western television); Putin also released them prior to the Olympics. Third, there was Russia’s Article 6.21, which was oddly described in the American press as a law against “so-called gay propaganda.” A more accurate translation of what the law forbids is promoting “non-traditional sexual relations to children.” Now, some Americans might wish that Russia took religion or homosexuality less seriously and still be struck by the fact that these are very local issues. There is something unbalanced about turning them into diplomatic incidents and issuing all kinds of threats because of them.

The second campaign against Putin has been the attempt by the outgoing Obama administration to cast doubt on the legitimacy of last November’s presidential election by implying that the Russian government somehow “hacked” it. This is an extraordinary episode in the history of manufacturing opinion. I certainly will not claim any independent expertise in cyber-espionage. But anyone who has read the public documentation on which the claims rest will find only speculation, arguments from authority, and attempts to make repetition do the work of logic.

In mid-December, the New York Times ran an article entitled “How Moscow Aimed a Perfect Weapon at the U.S. Election.” Most of the assertions in the piece came from unnamed administration sources and employees of CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the Democrats to investigate a hacked computer at the Democratic National Committee. They quote those who served on the DNC’s secret anti-hacking committee, including the party chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the party lawyer, Michael Sussmann. Then a National Intelligence Council report that the government released in January showed the heart of the case: more than half of the report was devoted to complaints about the bias of RT, the Russian government’s international television network.

Again, we do not know what the intelligence agencies know. But there is no publicly available evidence to justify Arizona Senator John McCain’s calling what the Russians did “an act of war.” If there were, the discussion of the evidence would have continued into the Trump administration, rather than simply evaporating once it ceased to be useful as a political tool.

There were two other imaginary Putin scandals that proved to be nothing. In November, the Washington Post ran a blacklist of news organizations that had published “fake news” in the service of Putin, but the list turned out to have been compiled largely by a fly-by-night political activist group called PropOrNot, which had placed certain outlets on the list only because their views coincided with those of RT on given issues. Then in December, the Obama administration claimed to have found Russian computer code it melodramatically called “Grizzly Steppe” in the Vermont electrical grid. This made front-page headlines. But it was a mistake. The so-called Russian code could be bought commercially, and it was found, according to one journalist, “in a single laptop that was not connected to the electric grid.”

 

Read the rest of Christopher Caldwell"s speech at:

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/think-vladimir-putin/4/

 

 

 

Upcoming Events

June 14, 2017 - 11:30am
July 22, 2017 - 1:00pm

GOP DINNER DRAWS SELLOUT CROWD

Published May 10th, La Conner Weekly News by Sandy Stokes

   Organizers were hoping the annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner put on by the Skagit County Republican Party would draw a good crowd.  As it was, 194 attendees crammed into the Bertelsen Winery Event Centre on Starbird Road Saturday to hear guest speakers, Elaine Willman and Marty McClendon.  Skagit GOP Party Chairman Bill Bruch said the event, advertised at $60 per person, was sold out and then some.

VOTE FRAUD IN WASHINGTON STATE

The Skagit Republican Womans Club will host a Conservative Values Forum on Wednesday, June 14th at Skagit Valley's Farmhouse Restaurant at 11:30 AM.  The topic will be Vote Fraud in Washington State and the speaker will be Tom McCabe.  Tom is the CEO of the Freedom Foundation and served in Washington, D.C. as Director of Congressional Affairs for the U.S.

Skagit County Republican Party

The Skagit County Republican Party is composed of and represents people of every age, race, religion, and station in life who share a passion for liberty.  We understand that fredom from oppressive government was the reason our nation was founded, and to provide this freedom our United States Constitution was created.

We believe freedom is maintained by the strict application of this Constitution, recognizing that the basic government entities are the states, and believing that the Federal Government should exercise only those powers granted by the Constitution.

 

 

Service Area: 

We have over 350 members and serve the Republicans and citizens of Skagit County.

Address: 
2021 E. College Way, Ste 200
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 
360-424-9792
Hours: 

Open six days a week Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 2 PM (or by appointment).

Skagit County Republican Party

The Skagit County Republican Party is composed of and represents people of every age, race, religion, and station in life who share a passion for liberty.

Service Area: 

We now have 350 members and serve the Republicans and citizens of Skagit County.

Address: 
2021 E. College Way, Ste 200
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: 
(360) 424-9792
Hours: 

We are now open five days a week:  Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat.  10 AM to 2 PM (or by appointment)