It’s Time To Reward Good Behavior

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about Taiwan. As you know, Taiwan has been shunned by the World Heath Organization (WHO) and other international bodies because of the influence exerted by China.

The article reports:

China’s behavior during the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has been disgraceful — marked by deceit and an unwillingness to cooperate with the rest of the world until it was too late. In addition, there’s reason to believe that the virus originated in a Chinese lab that did not meet safety standards.

By contrast, Taiwan’s behavior has been exemplary. According to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S., Taiwan has donated more than two million Taiwan-made masks to the U.S. and more than five million to the EU. It plans to donate another five million globally.

Moreover, according to our friend Michael Auslin, Taipei tried early on to warn the World Health Organization that the coronavirus might be transmitted between humans. That body, which is heavily influenced by China, refused to act on these warnings. (To appease China, the WHO refuses membership to Taiwan.) “If the WHO and Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus had acted responsibly, the COVID crisis could have been significantly contained, even in the face of Beijing’s misleading the world about the nature of the virus and the numbers of infections and deaths in China,” says Auslin.

Indeed, Taiwan’s understanding of the virus, along with its experience with the SARS outbreak, enabled Taipei to respond to the outbreak in a highly effective manner and without a lockdown.

…The numbers (from Worldometer) demonstrate the effectiveness of the response. Taiwan has had 427 total cases (184 of them now active) and 6 total deaths.

The article concludes:

Moreover, Taiwan will be a key player if the U.S. diminishes, as we must, our reliance on China for supplies:

For decades, Taiwan has been a leader in the high-tech economy, and will become increasingly important as global supply chains shift away from China, due to China’s maturing economy, President Trump’s trade war and now the coronavirus. It has long been one of the world’s leading producers of advanced semiconductor chips, while Foxconn, one of the major suppliers to the iPhone, has already urged Apple to move its production out of China. As the competition between China and the United States heats up over semiconductors, 5G and artificial intelligence, a closer tech relationship between American and Taiwanese firms should be a priority.

I agree with Auslin that the U.S. should use its budgetary power to get Taiwan full membership in international groups such as Interpol and the International Civil Aviation Organization. We should also the leverage our $400 million contribution to the WHO, the world’s largest, to force WHO’s member states to invite Taiwan into the organization.

Taiwan never should have been exiled from the world. As Auslin concludes, “it’s long past time to bring Taiwan in from the cold.”

Taiwan is a successful democracy. The only reason they are blocked from joining various international organizations is the influence of China. China does not acknowledge their existence as a separate country and at some point in the not-to-distant future will attempt to take them over. China wants to take freedom away from Taiwan just as it took freedom away from Hong Kong (after promising not to). It is time to show Taiwan the respect and acceptance into the world body of nations that it deserves.

Hungary Steps Up To The Plate

The Gatestone Institute posted an article today about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is the only European leader who is willing to protect the persecuted Christians fleeing the Muslim onslaught in the Middle East. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It gives detailed information about what is currently happening to Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

  • “Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe. We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Daily News Hungary, November 28, 2019.
  • “Our estimation is that more than 90 percent of Christian have already left Iraq and almost 50 percent of Christians in Syria have left the country”. — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
  • European leaders, rather than being embarrassed, should make the condition of Christians under Islam the starting point of their conversations with Muslims.
  • “The fate of Eastern Christians and other minorities is the prelude to our own fate.” — Former French Prime Minister François Fillon, Valeurs Actuelles, December 12, 2019.

The article notes that western countries are not reacting to the plight of Christians in the Middle East.

The article reports:

In Europe, however, there is a solitary defender of persecuted Christians: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, whom the mainstream media love to peck at and attack. No other European government has invested so much money, public diplomacy and time on this topic. Writing in Foreign Policy, Peter Feaver and Will Inboden explain that aid to Christians come from “a few international relief organizations like the Knights of Columbus and Aid to the Church in Need, and the Hungarian government”. The Knights of Columbus alone raised $2 million to rebuild the Christian Iraqi town of Karamlesh.

“Those we are helping now can give us the greatest help in saving Europe,” Orbán recently said at an international conference, On Christian Persecution 2019, that he organized in Budapest. “We are giving persecuted Christians what they need: homes, hospitals, and schools, and we receive in return what Europe needs most: a Christian faith, love and perseverance”. “Europe is quiet,” Orbán went on. “A mysterious force shuts the mouths of European politicians and cripples their arms.” He said the issue of Christian persecution could only be considered a human rights issue in Europe. He insisted that “Christians are not allowed to be mentioned on their own, only together with other groups that are being persecuted for their faiths.” The persecution of Christians “is therefore folded into the diverse family of persecuted religious groups”.

According to Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid to Persecuted Christians, Orbán’s is the first European government to have a special State Secretariat “which has only one duty: To look after and monitor the destiny and the situation of the Christian communities all over the world, and if there is a need, we help.”

All western nations need to take part in saving the Christians that are being killed or marginalized in the Middle East. Some of the world’s most ancient Christian communities have been destroyed in the past few years. Western countries need to give these endangered minorities priority status in their refugee programs.

The Ghost Of The Obama Administration

Breitbart posted an article today about trade agreements between the United States and Qatar. It seems that there are air trade agreements that Qatar is violating. Those violations were allowed under the Obama administration. Qatar would like to see those violations continue under the Trump administration.

The article reports:

Open Skies agreements are executive agreements, similar to treaties, between the United States and other nations regarding international air travel, designed to foster free-market competition and a level playing field for international flights. From trade, to commerce, to tourism, Open Skies requires each participating country to provide non-preferential access to their airspace, and requires airline companies to compete against each other to in terms of offerings, quality of service, and low prices, without government subsidies.

Breitbart News has previously reported on several Arab nations that were violating their Open Skies agreements with the United States, illegally subsidizing three Persian Gulf carriers. The Obama administration did nothing, and a group of NeverTrumpers tried to convince President Trump to do nothing as well.

President Trump’s team had other ideas. In January 2018, the Department of State announced a deal with Qatar to end violations involving Qatar Airways, and in May 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) addressing the remaining airlines, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline. These were hailed as significant victories for American workers and the president’s America First agenda.

But it appears there may still be trouble with Qatar. And someone from the Obama administration has been implicated, apparently operating behind the scenes.

In late April of this year, the CEOs of all three of the top U.S. airline companies – American, Delta, and United – published an open letter to President Trump as an ad in the New York Times and New York Post, entitled, “President Trump: Please enforce our trade agreements to support U.S. airline workers.”

The article then goes on to explain the involvement of someone from the Obama administration in this matter:

Then three other airline companies – FedEx, Jetblue, and Atlas Air – sent a letter defending Qatar to Pompeo and also Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The April 16 letter pushes back against “false claims” and touts the need “to set the record straight.”

However, according to materials Breitbart News reviewed, it looks like someone forgot to remove the metadata from the document, showing who wrote the document. Because the metadata shows the letter sent by FedEx, JetBlue, and Atlas Air was actually written by Jenny Rosenberg.

Rosenberg is a lobbyist. But she formerly served as assistant administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and at another time served as acting assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation – both stints during the Obama administration.

In other words, unless this document is a complete forgery or one of the CEOs’ personal secretaries happens to be named Jenny Rosenberg, an Obama White House political appointee is ghostwriting letters trying to persuade President Trump to ignore purported trade violations.

When the CEOs of American companies are asking the president to stand up for American companies against foreign interests who are undercutting American workers, someone who formerly held “senior executive positions” – that is how her company webpage biography puts it – to advance Barack Obama’s policy priorities is seeking to influence the President Trump’s White House, trying to persuade the current president that what is happening is consistent with his America First agenda, and that his Cabinet should ignore claims to the contrary.

If you are going to do something dishonest, it is wise not to leave your electronic fingerprints on it.

There Is A Certain Amount Of Irony In This

The political left spends a lot of time complaining about income inequality. They place the blame for that on CEO’s of large companies that are compensated well. Yes, CEO’s are compensated well. They also work a lot of hours a week and have spent a lot of time getting the education that qualifies them for the job they hold. But somehow, they are the villains that are responsible for wage inequality. Well, we have another villain,

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the compensation paid to union officials.

The article reports:

Leading union officials earned an average salary of $252,370 in 2016, outpacing the average salary of private sector chief executives, according to a new report.

The Center for Union Facts compiled the salary information from federal labor filings of 192 of the largest national, state, and local unions. The report found that labor presidents enjoyed nearly a $60,000 advantage over the take-home pay of the nation’s business leaders, who earned an average of $194,350, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The average compensation of union officials, which includes salary and other perks, was $283,678, according to the report.

One of the complaints of the unions is the ratio of the average CEO’s salary versus the wages of the average worker.

The article further notes:

Airline Pilots Association President Timothy Canoll was the highest-paid union official, according to the federal data. He earned total compensation of $775,829 with a base salary of $526,292. The union, which is a member of the AFL-CIO, gave Canoll about $250,000 in perks in addition to the take-home pay, including $24,000 in allowances and $29,000 in official business expenses, such as meals and entertainment. He was given $196,534 in compensation classified as “Other.”

The claim of wage inequality is bogus to begin with. Like it or not, people are paid according to the scarcity of their skills and their value to a company. It is also noteworthy that somehow when the discussion of wages comes up, athletes, and movie starts are not generally mentioned. How much do they make in relation to the wages of the people who work for them?

Wage inequality is a fake issue, and the hypocrisy of those on the political left regarding union executive wages makes that very obvious.