You are browsing the archive for 2019 November.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Daniel Boone

November 30, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Daniel Boone was an American frontiersman who gained fame for his hunting and trailblazing expeditions through the Cumberland Gap, a natural pass through the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Boone achieved folk hero status during his lifetime, but much of his celebrated image is a mixture of fact, exaggerations and outright fabrications.

Early Life

Boone was born on November 2, 1734, in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the sixth child of eleven born to immigrant Quaker parents, Squire and Sarah. He spent much of his childhood tending his family’s cattle and wandering the woods near his home.

Boone had no proper education but could read and write and often took reading material with him on his backwoods trips. He received his first rifle at age 12, learned to hunt and became a skilled marksman, often providing his family with fresh game. According to legend, he once shot a panther through the heart as it charged.

In 1748, Squire Boone sold his land and moved the family to the North Carolina frontier in the Yadkin Valley. After the French and Indian War broke out 1754, Daniel Boone joined the North Carolina militia and served as a wagoner — and narrowly escaped being killed by Indians during the Battle of Monongahela (one of several American Indian wars that Boone would fight against Native Americans).

He survived another Indian attack during the Battle of Fort Duquesne by snatching a horse and dashing away on horseback.

During the war, Boone worked with John Findley, a trader who told him about the wilderness west of the Appalachian Mountains called “Kentucke,” a place rich with wild game and opportunity. Findley later accompanied Boone on his first trip to Kentucky.

Children

On August 14, 1756, Boone married Rebecca Bryan and they settled in the Yadkin Valley and had ten children. Boone supported his large family by hunting and trapping. He often disappeared for months at a time during the fall and winter and returned in the spring to sell his pelts to traders.

In 1759, Cherokee Indians raided the Yadkin Valley and forced many of its inhabitants, including the Boone family, to flee to Culpeper County, Virginia. As part of the North Carolina militia, Boone took many long trips through Cherokee land in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

One story holds that during one of his extended journeys, Rebecca thought Boone was dead and had a relationship with …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Alexander Graham Bell

November 30, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

Alexander Graham Bell, best known for his invention of the telephone, revolutionized communication as we know it. His interest in sound technology was deep-rooted and personal, as both his wife and mother were deaf. While there’s some controversy over whether Bell was the true pioneer of the telephone, he secured exclusive rights to the technology and launched the Bell Telephone Company in 1877. Ultimately, the talented scientist held more than 18 patents for his inventions and work in communications.

Birthplace

Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on March 3, 1847. Bell’s father was a professor of speech elocution at the University of Edinburgh and his mother, despite being deaf, was an accomplished pianist.

Young Alexander was an intellectually curious child who studied piano and began inventing things at an early age. Both of his brothers passed away from tuberculosis by the time Bell was in his early twenties.

Education

Initially, Bell’s education consisted of homeschooling. Bell didn’t excel academically, but he was a problem solver from an early age.

When he was just 12, the young Alexander invented a device with rotating paddles and nail brushes that could quickly remove husks from wheat grain to help improve a farming process. At age 16, Bell began studying the mechanics of speech.

He went on to attend Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh. In 1870, Bell, along with his family, moved to Canada. The following year, he settled in the United States.

While in the U.S., Bell implemented a system his father developed to teach deaf children called “visible speech” — a set of symbols that represented speech sounds.

In 1872, he opened the School of Vocal Physiology and Mechanics of Speech in Boston, where deaf people were taught to speak. At age 26, the budding inventor became Professor of Vocal Physiology and Elocution at the Boston University School of Oratory, even though he didn’t have a university degree.

While teaching, Bell met Mabel Hubbard, a deaf student. The couple married on July 11, 1877. They went on to have four children, including two sons who died as infants.

Telephone

In 1871, Bell started working on the harmonic telegraph — a device that allowed multiple messages to be transmitted over a wire at the same time. While trying to perfect this technology, which was backed by a group of investors, Bell became preoccupied with finding a way …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

New York City Is a Hot Spot for Illegal Medicaid Enrollment

November 30, 2019 in Economics

By Brian Blase, Aaron Yelowitz

Brian Blase and Aaron Yelowitz

New York state is grappling with a Medicaid shortfall in the billions of dollars. And one of the main reasons is improper enrollment.

,

Using annual information from the Census Bureau to assess the demographic make-up of Medicaid enrollees over time, researcher Aaron Yelowitz and I estimated that 2.3 million to 3.3 million Medicaid enrollees nationally make an income in excess of what is allowed.

This is of increasing importance given that ObamaCare massively expanded what was historically a welfare program for vulnerable populations like the disabled and low-income children and pregnant women — and tens of billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.

Excluding traditional pathways onto Medicaid (such as through disability or pregnancy), Yelowitz and I concluded that the number of working-age New York state residents on Medicaid who have incomes above the eligibility threshold rose by more than 80 percent between 2012 and 2017. We estimated that between 337,000 and 433,000 working-age New York state residents with income above the allowed limit are improperly enrolled in Medicaid.

,

,

And nearly half of this improper enrollment is in New York City, with 30 percent in The Bronx and Queens, where a few neighborhoods have among the highest percentage of improper enrollees of anywhere in the country.

In The Bronx, particularly the Concourse, Highbridge and Mount Eden regions, we found that roughly 40 percent of all working-age adults with incomes exceeding income eligibility thresholds were enrolled in Medicaid in 2017. The next-worst area is in Queens — the Elmhurst/South Corona, Jackson Heights/North Corona and Sunnyside/Woodside regions. In those areas, there are likely tens of thousands of ineligible Medicaid enrollees.

ObamaCare deserves much of the blame for the surge in improper enrollment. It created a new category of Medicaid recipients — lower-income, able-bodied, working-age adults — with the federal government paying a much larger share of their expenses than for traditional enrollees.

From 2013 — the year before ObamaCare’s Medicaid …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Abolitionist Movement

November 29, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

The abolitionist movement was an organized effort to end the practice of …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Tulsi Gabbard: Wake up and Smell Our $6.4 Trillion Wars

November 29, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”

,

Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”

The answer is that foreign policy “really matters.” Gabbard recognizes that George W. Bush is not the only simpleton warmonger who’s plunged the nation into conflict, causing enormous harm. In the last Democratic presidential debate, she explained that the issue was “personal to me” since she’d “served in a medical unit where every single day, I saw the terribly high, human costs of war.” Compare her perspective to that of the ivory tower warriors of Right and Left, ever ready to send others off to fight not so grand crusades.

,

,

The best estimate of the costs of the post-9/11 wars comes from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. The Institute says that $6.4 trillion will be spent through 2020. They estimate that our wars have killed 801,000 directly and resulted in a multiple of that number dead indirectly. More than 335,000 civilians have died—and that’s an extremely conservative guess. Some 21 million people have been forced from their homes. Yet the terrorism risk has only grown, with the U.S. military involved in counter-terrorism in 80 nations.

Obviously, without American involvement there would still be conflicts. Some counter-terrorism activities would be necessary even if the U.S. was not constantly swatting geopolitical wasps’ nests. Nevertheless, it was Washington that started or joined these unnecessary wars (e.g., Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen) and expanded necessary wars well beyond their legitimate purposes (Afghanistan). As a result, American policymakers bear …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Beijing’s Costly Lesson in Hong Kong

November 28, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Hong Kong’s people used local elections to make their preferences clear. They want to live in a free society. No propaganda and threats from Beijing will change that. Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have decisively lost the battle for Hong Kongers’ hearts and minds.

,

Founded in 1949, the People’s Republic of China cast itself as a revolutionary force around the world. Some in the West found Mao Zedong’s rhetoric appealing — while in high school I bought a copy of Mao’s little red book in London’s legendary Hyde Park. But the PRC’s disastrous experience of mass repression, poverty, and starvation dimmed enthusiasm for the experiment.

After Mao’s death in 1976, a more measured and moderate leadership took control. Desperate to promote his nation’s economic rejuvenation, “paramount leader” Deng Xiaoping emphasized China’s “peaceful rise.” Beijing was assertive — no doubt a British refusal to negotiate Hong Kong’s return to the PRC would have triggered an international crisis — but issued few threats. The country’s stunning economic growth allowed Chinese officials to use commerce to expand their influence. In suppressing the Tiananmen Square demonstrations Deng bloodily rejected political reform, but the authoritarian system was loose enough to encourage expanding international ties.

,

,

Everything changed with Xi Jinping’s ascension to the top of the party and government in 2013. Xi embarked upon a brutal domestic campaign to suppress dissent, strengthen the CCP, purge potential adversaries, and seize personal control. The result is an ongoing, systematic campaign to destroy religious liberty, close independent NGOs, greatly tighten censorship, round up Muslims, create a surveillance state, and impose true totalitarianism with a “social credit” system that monitors almost every aspect of individual behavior, both personal and official.

It is a striking return to Maoism and well beyond. The original Mao had little ability to enforce his wild rhetoric. Beijing had manpower in abundance but could not project power much beyond its land borders, as in North Korea.

That limitation has disappeared as Xi, essentially Mao reincarnated, has hardened China’s international approach. No more squishy …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

2020 Could Bring a U.S.-North Korea Crisis. Here Is How It Could Unfold.

November 28, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

In fall of 2017 threats of fire and fury filled the air. President Donald Trump applied his “maximum pressure” policy to North Korea, tightening sanctions while sending the “armada” to sit off the North’s coast. Pyongyang responded with a cascade of unique insults and threats.

,

Reflexive hawks such as Sen. Lindsey Graham dismissed worries about starting a war “over there” in Northeast Asia. The U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea appeared to be but one errant tweet away from Korean War II.

Then came the unexpected in 2018: an explosion of diplomacy. Kim Jong-un made the rounds, meeting Moon Jae-in, Xi Jinping, and, most importantly, Donald Trump. Missile and nuclear tests were suspended. Military exercises were halted. Official visits were exchanged. Promises of denuclearization were made. America’s president fell in love, or so he said.

Relations warmed, but the president’s expectation that the North Korean leader was going to show up, nukes in hand, never was realistic. The push for an all-or-nothing deal stalled, along with separate steps to offer the DPRK some assurance that Washington no longer was pressing for regime change—such as making a peace declaration/treaty and opening liaison offices.

,

,

The surprise collapse of the Hanoi summit triggered a global diplomatic retreat by North Korea. The June Panmunjom “drive-by” handshake between Trump and Kim briefly revived hopes of renewed negotiation, but later talks ended quickly with Pyongyang complaining that the administration offered nothing new, presumably meaning a realistic path forward with meaningful sanctions relief before full denuclearization. Kim Yong-chol, a top DPRK official, said that Washington “should not dream of the negotiations for denuclearization before dropping its hostile policy toward” the North.

Kim set the end of the year as a deadline for an agreement being reached. And in his 2019 New Year’s speech warned that the North would be “compelled to explore a new path” if the United States “seeks to force …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

John Brown

November 27, 2019 in History

By History.com Editors

John Brown was a leading figure in the …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Rationale and Contours of an Amicable Transatlantic Security Divorce

November 27, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

French President Emmanuel Macron created a huge stir on both sides of the Atlantic in early November when he stated that NATO was experiencing “brain death.” This was not a casual, off-hand comment on his part. When reporters asked Macron whether he still believed in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, under which an attack on one member is considered an attack on all, he answered: “I don’t know.” Indeed, Macron has been in the vanguard of efforts for several years to create an independent “Europeans only” defense capability through the European Union, a move that would, at a minimum, greatly dilute NATO’s primacy regarding transatlantic security issues. The drive to give the EU a military dimension reflects declining French confidence in NATO’s unity and the reliability of Washington’s continued willingness to be democratic Europe’s security shield.

,

Other European leaders, most notably German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, criticized Macron’s comment and disputed his assessment. “When France talks about more European cooperation in defense, they’re talking about strategic autonomy. The French are seeking strong European cooperation to replace NATO,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. She asserted that instead of replacing the Alliance, Germany wanted to strengthen “NATO’s European pillar.”

It is highly probable that statements emerging from future NATO gatherings will echo the German government’s position, rather than French views. However, Macron is correct. US and European perspectives and interests on a variety of important strategic issues continue to drift apart, and no quantity of the usual upbeat clichés about “enduring Alliance solidarity” at the summit will alter that reality. Members must abandon the obsolete notion that American and European interests are compatible to the point of being nearly congruent. Such a belief was exaggerated even during the Cold War when America and its European allies faced a mutual existential threat in the form of the totalitarian Soviet Union. It is an absurd fiction today in a much more diverse and less dire security environment.

European publics, even more than their American counterparts, are implicitly recognizing the new reality. A September 2019 report from the European Council on Foreign Relations, surveying 60,000 people in 14 European Union countries, confirmed that point. The desire for independence and neutrality was evident even with respect to policy toward Russia. When asked “Whose side should your …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

When The Deep State Bullied Reagan’s Foreign Policy Chief

November 27, 2019 in Economics

By Ted Galen Carpenter

Ted Galen Carpenter

The testimony of several witnesses during the current impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives highlighted one important and ominous point. Ambassador William B. Taylor, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George P. Kent, and others made it clear that they did not object merely to President Trump’s controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump appeared to seek a quid pro quo. No, they saw Trump’s entire Ukraine policy as insufficiently hardline and therefore unacceptable.

,

Indeed, Taylor and Kent seemed to think it was improper for the president to change any aspect of a staunchly supportive U.S. policy toward Kiev and a correspondingly hostile policy toward Russia. Far from being loyal subordinates executing the White House’s vision, they opposed the president’s approach and anointed themselves as guardians of appropriate policy.

Unfortunately, such behavior on the part of foreign policy careerists is far from new; it has merely become more pervasive and brazen during the Trump years. This is indicative of what Trump’s supporters—and others—contend is a campaign by the “deep state,” meaning career officials in the foreign policy bureaucracy and the intelligence agencies, to undermine the president’s foreign policy. Defenders of Taylor, Kent, and other Trump opponents within the foreign policy apparatus either praise them as patriotic dissenters or scoff at the notion that a deep state even exists.

It is extraordinarily naïve to assert that powerful bureaucracies and their key personnel do not protect their institutional interests, push policies in directions they prefer, and attempt to dilute, delay, or defeat initiatives they oppose. Such behavior is a long-standing characteristic of entrenched institutions.

An episode from Ronald Reagan’s presidency illustrates how the CIA seeks to manipulate policy. The agency’s target was Secretary of State George Shultz, who was then applying the Reagan Doctrine and providing U.S. aid to anti-communist rebels in the Third World. Shultz was the chief intellectual architect of the Reagan Doctrine, which he presented in detail during a February 1985 speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. But that intellectual pedigree did not shield him from attempted policy sabotage.

Despite his overall enthusiasm for the Reagan Doctrine in places such as Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Angola, Shultz drew the line at supporting some particularly unsavory alleged freedom fighters. He was …read more

Source: OP-EDS