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Daniel Larison on “Trump’s Nuclear Arms Race”

Trump just threatened to increase the U.S. nuclear arsenal:

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that the United States would increase its nuclear arsenal until other nations “come to their senses,” threatening an arms race days after he said he would withdraw the US from a Cold War nuclear treaty.

“Until people come to their senses, we will build it up,” Trump said from outside the White House.

The U.S. doesn’t need to build more nuclear weapons, and increasing the arsenal will not make America or the world the slightest bit safer. On the contrary, a new nuclear arms buildup would cause other nuclear weapons powers to increase their own arsenals. Building more nukes would be extremely expensive, and it would make the world less secure by heightening international tensions, casting aside decades of arms control and arms reduction work, and encouraging more states to develop nuclear weapons for their own protection. This wouldn’t cause other governments to “come to their senses,” but it would show the world that our government has completely lost its own.

Trump seems to think that other states will be intimidated by a new buildup of nuclear weapons, but it is much more likely that they will be terrified into responding in kind. There is no way that the U.S. will be able to make any progress with North Korea if our government is simultaneously developing new kinds of nuclear weapons and increasing the number of weapons that it possesses. Other would-be proliferators may take this as a cue to pursue their own weapons programs. If reneging on the JCPOA was a body blow to the cause of nonproliferation, a new arms race could prove to be a fatal blow.

The cost of what Trump is proposing would be exorbitant at a time when the U.S. already spends far too much on the military. There could nothing more senseless and gratuitously militaristic than expanding a nuclear arsenal for its own sake. The U.S. needs to be be building on the successes of existing arms control agreements to get the world’s largest nuclear weapons states to cut back on their arsenals. It won’t be able to do that if it is throwing countless billions of dollars down a black hole of wasteful spending on new weapons that the U.S. doesn’t need.

Source:The American Conservative https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-nuclear-arms-race/

Nick Taber on “The Worst Totalitarian Since Mao”

This summer, a UN panel received reports of a human rights crisis unfolding in China’s far western Xinjiang province. The information showed that as many as two million people had been subjected to an intense political indoctrination and reeducation program. The backlash has largely focused on the ethno-religious nature of this crisis. Pakistan, China’s closest and most economically dependent ally, has asked China to ease restrictions on Muslims, and Uighurs (the ethnic minority group targeted) living in America are beginning to condemn China’s human rights abuses.

But over-interpreting the religious aspect of the crackdown distracts from the true nature of repression in China. The crisis in Xinjiang should be interpreted more as an assault on basic freedoms and the expansion of a totalitarian tyranny than an expression of ethnic superiority. To be sure, this is nothing less than a cultural genocide. But as far as we know, the Chinese government is not Sinicizing this group simply because they are Muslim or ethnically Turkic. It is doing so because they are a perceived threat to the power of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Intense repression has been rapidly growing throughout the country, cementing the power of the CCP in all corners of society. Indeed, the human rights abuses in Xinjiang are strikingly similar to what’s been happening elsewhere in China since Xi assumed office. Human rights reports of Xinjiang describe mass political indoctrination, the creation of a digital police state, arbitrary detention, and pervasive controls over daily life. Let’s look at each of those components individually.

Indoctrination: Mass political indoctrination is the central purpose of the reeducation camps established in Xinjiang. Elsewhere in the country, however, the Chinese government has instituted a wide variety of indoctrination programs, with the explicit goal of expanding the CCP’s control over people’s minds. This includes overhauling all of China’s major educational institutions, increasing the ideological content of all media, and controlling the spread of foreign ideas and influences within the country.

During a speech given at a Beijing kindergarten in 2015, President Xi Jinping outlined his vision of party control over education, saying, “Children should memorize the core socialist values by heart, have them melt in their hearts, and carve them into their brains.” The CCP plans to overhaul the nation’s university system to turn it into an ideological education machine. Students will undergo a hefty political indoctrination program all the way through university. Chinese professors will be forced to teach CCP propaganda. According to recent government plans, university faculty will be judged foremost by their “ideological and political performance.”

And while indoctrination and reeducation programs outside of Xinjiang do not have the same force and severity as those within the province, they are nonetheless very invasive, and are a core component of the country’s move towards totalitarianism.

Full commentary by Nick Taber @ The American Conservative https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-worst-totalitarian-since-mao/

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

This week will be the kickoff meeting for what I hope will be a series of talks on decentralized applications of all types, helping us spot major trends as well as pick out the best applications for progressing to a more voluntarist future. This week I will lead a discussion that starts with Bitcoin/Blockchain and goes from there. The goal is to share the most useful and current information with each other and start to build a base for a grassroots decentralized local mutual benefit association that helps people participate and make use of the exploding numbers of new tools and online communities in the space, with a focus on those most voluntaryist and decentralized in their objectives and structure.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles 90017 - USA

Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/255053938/

Emergency Report

To the hypocrites who have been accusing me of bias in the performance of my duties as Southern Vice Chair:

I take your accusations seriously, and will work to sharpen my bias in favor of the Southern California membership as a whole. Officers owe the membership an even hand in the performance of their duties. To my knowledge, I have taken no official actions against any member, and have been careful to avoid speaking ill of anyone, limiting my protests to what I believe are violations of bylaws, Robert's Rules, or the non-aggression principal by Party officers in their official duties, always focusing on the conduct without ad hominum attacks. I have not held or consented to any secret trials, moved meetings for the express purpose of excluding members and muting dissent, written new bylaws without the consent of membership, sought to ban, censure or exclude any person by edict or vote, spread falsehoods about activists, interfered with relationships between members, brought any action to a judicial committee, sought to overturn the will of of any affiliate as expressed in their bylaws or votes, inserted myself into the internal affairs of affiliates of which I am not a member, or impaled anyone with my pointy hat. All you my accusers have done at least one of these things, some in very recent days.

You will not cow me by your hypocritical attacks into withdrawing my support and affection for good activists and exemplary Libertarians. I will not divert our activism by bringing motions to the Judicial Committee. The members shall decide what is to be done with me or my motions at our public meetings and assemblies conducted in accordance with our bylaws, insofar as Party business is concerned. I pledge my undying loyalty to those who would obey the non-aggression principal and Golden Rule in pursuit of greater liberty and justice for all, and my eternal scorn for hypocrisy, including my own should I be so blind, so help me God or Cosmos.

To all:

Nobody is perfect. Please give me your critical feedback in good faith and not without self-examination. My door is always open to members for private consultation regarding Southern California Party business, if you will only ask. Be well.

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

Speaker slot still open. Contact the organizer if interested in speaking or leading a discussion at this meeting.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/dfvvgqyzdbkc/

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

Speaker slot still open. Contact the organizer if interested in speaking or leading a discussion at this meeting.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Wednesday, January 23 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/dfvvgqyzcbfc/

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

Speaker slot still open. Contact the organizer if interested in speaking or leading a discussion at this meeting.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Wednesday, November 28 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/dfvvgqyxpblc/

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

Speaker slot still open. Contact the organizer if interested in speaking or leading a discussion at this meeting.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Wednesday, December 26 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/dfvvgqyxqbjc/

Central L.A. Libertarian Supper Club

photoGreater Los Angeles Libertarian Party Meetup Group

We sit for dinner at 7:30 pm with discussion or speaker after dinner. Early arrivers can toss back a drink at Hank's bar or just wait in the hotel lobby. For lingerers Hank's is always there after Uncle John's or Gil's closes. Gil's is currently undergoing renovations and should re-open soon.

This month's featured topic:

Speaker slot still open. Contact the organizer if interested in speaking or leading a discussion at this meeting.

Bring a friend and make sure you RSVP!

Los Angeles, CA 90028 - USA

Wednesday, October 24 at 7:30 PM

1

https://www.meetup.com/LALibertarians/events/dfvvgqyxnbgc/