Category Archives: Barry Kelly

The Professor: Divided America

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an East Coast liberal arts college.

 

The class had just started when Alison raised her hand. The Professor nodded, and she asked, “Everyone talks about a bi-partisan process in Congress to pass needed legislation. I don’t see how that is possible. It seems to me that the bi-partisan approach to legislation is a thing of the past and is just not possible today. Am I right?”

“When the country is divided, so will the Congress. The wider the divide between our two parties, the more difficult it is to put together a bipartisan vote in the House or Senate to pass any kind of legislation. In the past, while both parties worked to elect a strong majority in both houses, it has only been in the last decade that one party is dedicated to achieving a long-term one-party rule. This has been true since the Progressives have dominated leadership positions in the Democratic Party. Your best source for this recent political direction is the writings of Saul Alinsky, a brilliant revolutionary writer who was once a ‘political organizer’ in Chicago. Alinsky has made a profound effect on the liberal left-wing of the American political scene.

“You can sum up his teaching by saying that as long as your intention is to seize power for the Progressive Party (his term for socialism and communism), the end justifies the means and you are free to choose whichever side of any issue that will help you destroy the political opposition. Both President Obama and Hillary Clinton chose the Alinsky doctrine to push for a one party ruling government in America. They came very close to success. The danger is still there. Approximately half the voters in America have accepted the socialist message. Remember, in most cases people have voted themselves into a socialist government. Voting yourself out of socialism is a very difficult problem. Venezuela today is a perfect example.

“When the democratic/progressive party is devoted to destroying all political opposition, bi-partisan legislation is a hard challenge. If a champion arises from the very diminished number of moderates in the old Democratic Party who could champion America issues of well-being, social mobility, economic prosperity and national security,  then maybe the numbers of socialist followers in America could be diminished and there could be a return to bipartisan government. There is not much time left as the Progressives today control the national media and nearly all our universities.

“Alison, does that answer your question?”

“Yes, but how can we who do not believe in socialism and its ‘leading from behind doctrine prevent a Progressive takeover?”

“Don’t stand on the sidelines and whine. Become real players. Get in the political fray at all levels. Speak out. Americans are a remarkable people and given a choice will pick the right course.  But only if that choice is laid out and explained, Otherwise, the Progressive/Socialists will play their seductive song over and over until it becomes a reality. At that point, returning to a free society with individual choices and freedoms will require more than words. It will require a people’s revolution in the streets of America.”

 

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Filed under Alinsky, Barry Kelly, class warfare, Conservative views, democrats, political solutions, Progressives, Republicans

The Professor:President Trump and the Russians

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an East Coast liberal arts college. 

“In all my years working in and studying various administrations in the United States, I have never seen the likes of what is happening today,” the professor said as his class filed in and got settled around the conference table. “We won’t have time today to cover all my comments in class, for this is an area I have a great deal of experience in, thus I have a lot to say and to teach you. As a side note, for those of you who will be in the area during the summer, I’m going to offer a course in intelligence management in a six-week summer course. It will be a three-credit course. Many of the comments made in this email will be covered in more depth.

“The leakers in the Trump government are the most impressive part of his team. Within hours of a classified meeting in the White House with the Russian ambassador to the United States and the Russian foreign minister, someone from the intelligence community leaked the content of the meeting to the Washington Post, which decided to publish a portion of the document. Their most probable intent was to further the myth of a sinister link between President Trump and the Russians to destroy the president the people elected and re-establish a socialist/progressive government.

“The charge is that President Trump passed sensitive intelligence information from an allied nation to the Russians on the topic of terrorist plans and capabilities to attack passenger-carrying airliners. Also, the result of the president’s action endangered sources and methods, angered an important ally, and demoralized the hard-working men and women of the intelligence community. The socialist-controlled Democratic Party is now demanding to know exactly what was discussed with the Russians, including any audio tapes and transcripts as if it is their right to know.” The professor paused and shook his head.

“The only crime here is the leaking of classified information to a media outlet. It seems the once-vaunted FBI has lost its ability to find and shut down leakers of classified information. I believe they still have the capability, but no longer have the will or the leadership required to find leakers who may be politically powerful. It is not a hard problem. Most leakers are careless in their contacts with media outlets.

“Neither the media, nor the opposition political party, the public or most members of Congress have any right to the executive’s use of intelligence or the day-to-day conduct of foreign affairs. The reason we collect intelligence at great expense and risk is to use it to protect the nation. The intelligence agencies lean toward safe-keeping all intelligence in their own digital archive under very strict control. The real pros of the intelligence organizations know and understand the need to use intelligence. Nearly all high-level meetings with foreign leaders and foreign intelligence officials result in the use and exchange of intelligence. In most cases, records of what was exchanged or shared are carefully kept. This is a routine process. In most instances, presidents do not know or care to know where the information came from. It is up to the markings on the documents and their national security staff to keep them informed as to the appropriateness of the sharing of intelligence. While mistakes can be made occasionally, no crime is committed. It is a crime for anyone in the intelligence community to leak classified documents, no matter what is their misguided intent.

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Comey, Conservative views, FBI, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Progressives, Russia, Terrorism, trump

The Professor and The Firing of the FBI Director

 

The following is a fictional account of the dialogue between a political science professor and the students of an honors seminar in an east coast liberal arts college.

********

The Professor, reluctantly set his cup of strong dark roast coffee on the table, waiting for his students to take their accustomed places at the conference table. When the last student settled at the table, he said, “Every-once-in-a-while the normal course of the nation gets shaken by an event. Yesterday, the President fired Mr. Comey, the FBI Director. The left and ruling wing of the Democratic Party is in an uproar, demanding the appointment of a Special Counsel, Special Committee, or an Independent Counsel. Without exception, leaders of the Progressive Party, that has captured the traditional Democratic Party, have called for the resignation or dismissal of Director Comey. Hillary Clinton, the presidential standard-bearer of the party, has blamed Director Comey for her defeat.

“The conspiracy witches are out in full force stating President Trump obviously fired Comey because his investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians was getting too close. Why else would the President fire the FBI Director? Most of those who automatically chant ‘conspiracy is the answer’ have never held a position outside of a legislature or media organization and do not understand how organizations with a chain of command work.

“The timing of the firing was dictated by findings of the Executive’s Attorney-General’s office. You will remember in what I believe was an ill-advised action, the Attorney-General recused himself from all aspects of the ‘Russian Investigation.’ It would have been very bad optics now for him to have taken the lead in recommending the President fire Director Comey.

“In nearly all cases the leader of an Executive Department or Agency deals with the world outside his or her organization. The number two ranking person or deputy concentrates on the internal workings of the organization. Within the Attorney-General’s Office, the Attorney-General himself through his declaration of recusal took himself out of a direct role in the FBI’s investigations of anything that may have a Russian connection to the Trump campaign or Administration. The Deputy Attorney-General is the normal command chain contact with the FBI Director. In this case, the Deputy AG had been on the job only a few weeks after being confirmed by a vote of 96 to 4 in the Senate. The Deputy AG had been appointed to his previous position as the federal prosecutor for Maryland by President Obama. He is a true professional with broad bi-partisan support.

“It was his decision, after examining Director Comey’s actions over the last year, to recommend to the AG that Comey be replaced so that the FBI could repair its damaged reputation. The AG forwarded his Deputy’s recommendation, with approval, to President Trump. I believe this is the primary reason for the timing of the firing. There is no conspiracy as much as the entire Progressive Party is pretending there is. Furthermore, it is usual for there to be a criminal charge prior to the appointment of an Independent or Special Counsel. The entire Russian/Trump investigation is being conducted as a counter-intelligence matter. This investigation will not be effected by the removal of Director Comey. Thus far there has been no evidence uncovered to support the Progressive Party’s political agenda.”

  

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Filed under Barry Kelly, Clinton, Comey, Conservative views, FBI, Intelligence & Politics, Obama, Progressives, Russia, trump

The Professor and Saving the Democrats

 

“Are you all ready for the summer break? Next year you will all be sophomores. I am very pleased with this class. Because of you, I have agreed to teach this honors class for two more years. If you can put up with me, we will have more time together. Starting with Paul, please go around the table and tell us very concisely what you plan to do for the summer and what are you planning to do after graduation.”

In less than ten minutes everyone had responded to the Professor’s request. The Professor leaned back in his chair and said, “All your responses are worth more comments but with the time available, I’m going to focus on Carlos’s statement. Carlos, you said you wanted to work within the Democratic Party organization after graduation. Why did you pick that as a career choice?”

“My family and all our friends have always been Democrats. No one in the family can even remember anyone in the joint family who joined the Republican Party. When we needed something, or had a complaint, we always took it to our Democratic party contact. I grew up in a small town in Western Pennsylvania. My grandparents on both sides worked in the mills or mines. They were all union members. They would tell us stories of how tough life had been when the Republican Party was dominant and cautioned us to never let them takeover political power again.”

The Professor said, “Yes. I’m old enough to know how things were then. The base of both political parties often goes back for several generations. This last election I think is the beginning of new political alliances. The Republicans running on a populist and nationalist platform made serious inroads into working class communities. The political map today is very different.”

“Professor,” Carlos asked, “Will you give me some advice in getting started?”

“I assume you goal is to bring the Democratic Party back to its traditional place of power with working class citizens. To begin you must understand what caused this sudden and dramatic change. The Democratic Party of your parents and grandparents was the voice of the working people. It was a center and slightly left of center party. With exception of the intellectuals in the party, the rank and file were definitely not socialists and were not apologists for American power and uniqueness. Under Barack Obama and the Progressives, the Democratic Party swung rapidly to become the very left-wing of the American political world.

“During his eight years in power, the Progressives took over the party with a strong socialist and internationalist ideology. The welfare of the working-class families was ignored in favor of destroying the opposition political party and America’s economic and military power. The Progressives knowingly turned away from American working and middle-class traditions and heritage in favor of socialist principles.

“They did this very abruptly and successfully. Their globalization priorities overrode America first responsibilities. Jobs, decent pay with good working conditions and benefits were no longer the top priority. Control of the media and education using class warfare rhetoric to replace the traditional working class goals of improving the status of the family via education and hard work. Every parent wanted life to be better for their children than it was for them. If you look at the leaders of the Democratic Party today, it will show a clear dramatic move to the left. One of the heroes of the party today is a declared Socialist who is not even registered as a Democrat. It will be a long way back and that journey is not for the faint hearted.

“Carlos, my advice is to begin working this summer as a low-level party volunteer in a role that gives you daily contact with people and party officials. Watch, learn and do not offer much advice to your superiors. Keep good notes, make numerous contacts, pick a catchy subject and use your writing and analytic skills to get published. Once you have established your credibility you can move up the party ladder at the next opportunity. Take advantage of every speaking opportunity. Get comfortable with yourself. You have chosen a hard and nearly thankless path. But it needs done. I don’t think you or anyone will be able to bring the Democratic Party back to the point your parents will recognize it, but you may be part of the task of saving what can be saved to form the foundation of a new party.”

 

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Filed under Barry Kelly, class warfare, Conservative views, democrats, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Politics, Progressives, Republicans

The Professor: Freedom and Two-Party Government

The class was halfway over and the momentum of the discussion was slowing when Alison asked, “Professor, if everything is political, how much does the viability of our system of government depend on the existence of two or more political parties?”

“Good question and one that is outside the ‘box.’ People create and join with a group of like-minded citizens to be able to push their political and social beliefs. Without such ‘parties’ it is hard to see how a democracy could exist. The alternative is clearly an autocratic dictatorship or single party led by an elite group. Recent and current communist and socialist governments fit this template. The other possibility is a utopian plan such as the utopian agrarian parties common in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The utopian parties, with their roots in European socialist philosophy, all failed for the same reason, the lack of an authority to motivate members to follow the rules, written or unwritten.

“The Socialist and Communist governments fixed this problem by establishing a one party ruling elite with strong coercive powers. They all failed due to over centralization and harsh penalties for those who have the courage to dissent. The combination of centralized control leading to a falling standard of living and increasing political repression eventually bring the people to revolt.

“Enough background. American democracy needs a political arena of more than one party. A one-party system has always led to a loss of freedom regardless of the political ideology of the ruling party. During your lifetime, you will face a continued struggle between the Progressive Party and its conservative opposition. It sounds theoretical, but it is very real. The Progressive Party has swallowed the Democratic Party. It exists only in name. In the last national election, more than 50% of the voters voted for the Progressive Party. Only the Electoral College system established in the Constitution kept the Progressives under Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.

“The Progressives owe their name and political program ideology to Saul Alinsky, a brilliant American Socialist, who had a defining impact on both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He, too, was a Community Organizer in Chicago. The Progressive ideology is to use any means available to destroy the opposition and seize power to redistribute individual and national wealth using the power of a single party government. In the process of destroying the opposition political party, it was first necessary to destroy American economic and military power. President Obama, I believe, made an impressive start to destroying American uniqueness and the faith the citizens have in their government. The entire Civil Service now has a questionable first and second tier leadership.

“The next four to eight years of leadership is critical. We were close to the tipping point and unless the media reverts to reporting all the news and the conservative leadership becomes far better at getting its message to all Americans, freedom of choice of the individual will be lost. Pick your side. There can be no fence siting.”

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The Professor and White House Information Flow

The Professor thought teaching political science at the honors level in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration is more demanding than I remember at any period in the past. Foreign policy, military operations, domestic legislative crisis with healthcare and tax reform. Now we have critics clamoring for more information regarding the President’s plans and intentions in Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan. In addition, the political talking heads are ranting about control of information in the White House. They are all showing they know not what they are mumbling about. But I must write a short note to my students. It will be three days before the next class.

Not to worry class this is only a few thoughts on the by-play of people who should know better. Recently former officials and socialist critics of the current Administration have been raving about the need to have one person in charge of information in the White House. Unless they mean the President and, they don’t, this is an exceedingly dumb and dangerous idea. President Trump maintains personal contact with the outside world, both foreign and domestic, better than any other president in my life time. The office of the President can be and very often is a very isolated position. While it may be difficult to get to the President, it is hard for him to develop and maintain multiple points of access.

If one person controls information flow in the White House, he or she can control the President and have an undue influence on presidential actions. The gate-keeper of the Oval Office can be a very powerful position. So, when you find yourself as a player in presidential politics in a few years, resist the efforts of the former players to control the flow of information in the White House. If the people have elected the right person, that person will be in charge.

My second concern is also directly related to information flow. The President’s opponents in both parties believe they are entitled to a complete plan on everything he has done or is planning to do. ‘Why doesn’t he give us his complete plans for dealing with North Korea, Syria, Russia and others? We in Congress or in the party of opposition deserve to know. It is our right!

No! It isn’t. You do not have the right. Only those with a legal need-to-know the information on a case-by-case basis have that right. While Obama ranted on about his military and foreign policy objectives, he never seemed to realize, or more likely to care, that you cannot tell most of the nation without telling the enemy in the process. For example, a far left socialist Senator demanded to know what foreign policy objective the President was trying to achieve with the cruise missile attack on a Syrian military airfield. How about the message, ‘if you use chemical weapons, again bad things will happen to you?’ Or to ISIS and the Taliban in Afghanistan. ‘You are no longer safe in caves or tunnels.’ Talking heads, journalist, media anchors on the left and right, senators and congressmen, repress your constant whining about being briefed in greater detail. It won’t make you any smarter or help you serve the people. The only measurable result will be giving our enemies a better chance of getting our secrets.

What’s is wrong with short policy statements like destroying ISIS, stopping North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons they can deliver to America, pushing NATO members to pay their obligated military investments, reduce funding to the UN, protect our borders, renew our traditional relationships with Sunni Arabs, standby Israel,  pressure Russia to stop its aggressive acquisition of territory from other sovereign nations, and get better foreign trade deals?

What was the George Kennan policy during the Cold War? A single word, Containment. How, is what was done in secret with a strict need-to-know.

 

 

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The Professor and the Art of Governing

Two more days of taking these damn pills, mused the professor as he waited for the students of his honors seminar to arrive and settle down. At least I’m feeling better. A lung infection at my age is not a good thing. Today I’ll give my students something to think about in the world of governing, political commentary, and the royal opposition.

“Good Morning class. Today, I’ll do the work. After all, you are paying outrageous tuition to attend this university. So, this over-paid professor will try to earn his paycheck. I’ve been encouraging you to learn how to identify, approach, and solve problems. But problem solving is not done in a vacuum. It plays out against a backdrop of the requirements of governing.

“We’ve elected a president who is not an ideologue. At his core, he is a pragmatist who is very much at home identifying and solving problems. In his world, past and present, wins are counted by the number of problems that were successful solved.  By solved I mean problems where the primary parties walked away feeling they had gotten as much as they could from the negotiations. That doesn’t mean they won or lost. It means the solution to the problem is acceptable to their group, even if it was difficult for all of them to swallow the agreed upon solution.

“The process of governing demands the needs of the citizens be met as well as the resources available allow. At the center of nearly all solutions to problem solving in the national arena is the question of the existence and allocation of resources. A solution without the required resources, is no solution. That is why the big problems of health care and tax reform have, so far, proved to be elusive. President Trump is probably one of the best problem solvers in the country with decades of experience. But he is now working on problems that are far beyond the scale of problems that he has worked on outside the process of national governing.

“What his critics call ‘flip-flopping’ should be labeled reconsidering based on new facts and/or failed approaches. The President calls this flexibility and I can accept that terminology. Only ideologues stick with the same solution even when it has not worked or revealed several flaws in application. Changing your mind in the face of failure or new data is a very rational approach. His liberal critics don’t accept a conservative leader changing his mind. After all he said very different things on the campaign trail and now he is flip-flopping. Pragmatists look at such comments and can’t believe what they are hearing. The art of governing depends on leaders who can react to new information or the changing nature of the problem. Only hard over ideologues, of the left or right, and members of the media who need to find provocative comments to improve the size of their audience believe in raising alarm over leaders who react rationally to changing facts and environments.

“The Art of Governing requires leaders who can quickly adapt to changes and who do not feel they are bound by comments and positions they have taken in the past.”

 

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