EMPIRE FOR LIBERTY – PURCHASING ALASKA 150 YEARS AGO

April 2, 2017

”We should have such an Empire for Liberty as [the world] has never surveyed since the Creation…” wrote Thomas Jefferson to James Madison on April 27, 1809. After the defeat of Soviet communism in 1991 the United States has been an unchallenged hegemon in the world. Now it is challenged by three empires on the World Island: China, Russia and Iran/Persia. As America is promoting liberty it must not sacrifice the liberties it has at home. To continue to function as the strong defender of the West America must also heed the warnings of Jefferson. It must not be entangled in a profusion of treaties and institutions that will serve only to hinder it from defending its moral and national security interests. That is why the Iran deal of Obama was wrong and could only strengthen Iran to continue its attacks on the United States (and Israel).

The purchase of Alaska in 1867 (celebrated in 2017) marked the end of Russian efforts to increase its imperial and colonial expansion to the East. For America it was the beginning of its rise in the Asia-Pacific. In 1725 Peter I sent the Dane Vitus Bering to explore the area around the strait that would later be named the Bering Strait. America had expanded over the continent to the west during the first half of the 19th century. It then had to compete with Russian traders. Fortunately the Russian empire lacked the financial resources to establish a heavy military presence in what was called Russian America.

Russia therefore in 1859 wanted to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859 but the American Civil War delayed the sale. It was not until after the war that Secretary of State William Seward agreed on March 30, 1867, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase and President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28.

It was however not until October 18, 1867 that United States formally took posession of the new territory in a ceremony in Sitka, Alaska. In 1884 a civil government was constituted. It was not until 1896 that a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon and made Alaska into a gateway to the goldfields.

The strategic importance of Alaska was discovered during World War II and the Cold War. In 1959 the territory joined the United States as a state.

This contribution will be followed by a sketch of the influence of admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and his classical geopolitical works on the policy of the United States after 1890 to secure the Empire For Liberty of Jefferson.

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USAF B-2 SPIRIT STEALTH BOMBER – DEFENDING THE UNITED STATES AND THE REST OF THE WEST

March 22, 2017

Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the B-2. Below some basic information from the website of the company:

The U.S. Air Force’s B-2 stealth bomber is a key component of the nation’s long-range strike arsenal, and one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It can penetrate the most sophisticated enemy defenses andheavily defended targets. The B-2 has demonstrated its capabilities in several combat scenarios, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and most recently, in Libya, during Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The B-2 is the only American aircraft that combines long range, large payload and stealth in a single platform, giving it the ability to project air power anywhere in the world. It can fly 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling. With its ability to carry more than 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance and deliver it precisely under any weather conditions, the B-2 also has the ability to change the outcome of a conflict with a single mission.

Northrop Grumman is working with the Air Force to modernize the B-2 to ensure that it remains fully mission capable against evolving worldwide threats. A range of upgrade programs are improving the B-2’s lethality; its ability to collect, process and disseminate battlefield information with joint force commanders or other local first responders worldwide; and its ability to receive updated target information during a mission.

At present the B-2 fleet consists of 20 aircraft. Nineteen B-2s are currently based at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., home of the 509th Bomb Wing, while one aircraft is assigned to flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. to validate software and weapon systems upgrades.

A book, ”B-2: The Spirit of Innovation ” (2013) by Rebecca Grant features interviews with former company, Air Force and Defense Department officials that worked on the B-2 program.

Grant writes about the technical challenges, breakthroughs, changing customer requirements and engineering of the once-secret bomber that was built to counter Soviet air defense systems.

The book also details the aircraft’s first test flight and its first operational use in 1999.

Dr. Rebecca Grant, president of IRIS Independent Research, has a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics, University of London. Her first job was with RAND in Santa Monica, California. She then spent three years on the Air Staff at the Pentagon working directly for Secretary of the Air Force Donald B. Rice and then for Air Force Chief of Staff General Tony McPeak in his operations group. Her portfolio included strategic nuclear force reductions, the B-2 program, logistics and depot maintenance cost restructuring, and roles and missions.

RUDOLF KJELLÉN IN THE WORLD TODAY

February 15, 2017

Rudolf Kjellén (1864 – 1922), a Swedish geographer published his works in Swedish, which made him less accessible to those who were not familiar with the Swedish language. This denied large parts of academia the acquaintance with and examination of his work. Some of his books were translated into German, but there has so far been little interest in him in the Anglo-Saxon world.

One of his classical geopolitical works, The Great Powers (Stormakterna), appeared in a first edition 1905 in Sweden. It had over 20 editions in Germany.

Latin America

Today he is probably best known in South America, where classical geopolitics has remained strong (see Phillip Kelly, Checkerboards & Shatterbelts – The Geopolitics of South America, Austin: University of Texas Press 1997).
In 1902 Kjellén had been appointed professor of political science and statistics at the University of Gothenburg.

Japan

Kjellén was interested in Japan and its rise in the Far East. In his view Japan and China, once free of Western control, would be great powers of the future. Their rise would come as the European powers declined. He was also critical of colonialism and racism.

In 1909 he traveled to Japan and China, a journey that would have significant influence on his geopolitical research. On this trip around the world he travelled first by train through Siberia and arrived in Beijing in April 1909. After 12 days in the Chinese capital he concluded in his diary that the days of European power were coming to an end. The powers, in his view, acted with hubris and arrogance.

On steamer he continued to Japan and made his base in Yokohama. There he was invited to stay in the home of the Swedish diplomat Gustaf Oskar Wallenberg (1863 – 1937).

For more on Kjellén and Japan see Bert Edström’s “Rudolf Kjellén och Japan”, journal Orientaliska studier, No. 89, 1996, pp. 12 – 35 and Storsvensken i Yttersta Östern – G.O. Wallenberg som svenskt sändebud i Japan, 1906 – 1918, Working Paper 52, August 1999, Center for Pacific Asia Studies, University of Stockholm.

In June he sailed on the “Empress of India” across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver. From there he crossed Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway to board the Atlantic liner for Europe and Sweden. On July 13 he was back in Gothenburg after a four month tour.

In the autumn of 1916 Kjellén wrote the introduction to a work that would give him international fame, ”The State as a Life-Form”. The book was a bestseller in its Japanese edition.

Great Britain and Russia

After the Great War he saw Great Britain and Russia grow into “planetarian” powers or superpowers in today’s terminology. The United States is today a hegemon far more powerful than the United Kingdom. Already in 1919, he predicted a development towards superpower influence in the world. These views were based on the future strength of geographically and demographically large countries. In fact his predictions were proven correct. During the Cold War, for instance, the United States and the Soviet Union were the geographically large and dominating superpowers. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 China and India, for example, have risen to become great powers, both having large populations.

Kjellen and the Genocidal Vladimir I Lenin

The Swedish geopolitician published a number of articles with sharp criticism of Lenin and communist ideology. The article on Lenin ended with the words: “Only history will in the future show if Vladimir I. Lenin was a scourge or God or the devil.”

On Marx he remarked that he was a curious bastard of Hegel (form) and Rousseau (content). Half a million Bolsheviks ruled the 100 million of Russia. This half million was controlled by a couple of hundred tyrants in the Kremlin. If one of the usual labels is to be attached to that kind of state, it would be that of aristocracy in the degenerate form known as oligarchy.

Finally Kjellén focused on the question of the “historical side” of a state and movements that can occur. The “historical side” of Russia has for instance been the movement from the Baltic Sea-the Barents Sea to the Black Sea-the Mediterranean and then (1878) to the Far East and after 1905 mainly southward. An important aspect of this is also the movement of capital cities: Moscow to St. Petersburg and back to Moscow and in Turkey from Istanbul to Ankara.

Geopolitics, both as Kjellén viewed it and in its main Western stream, (Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman et al) is a science between history, geography and political science but it can also be regarded as an aid to all three.

Kjellén correctly predicted the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the gradual decline of France as a great power and the decay of the British Empire.

These predictions were based on the view that the European great powers were influenced by hubris of superiority, which would lead to resistance and liberation in the colonial world. The father of geopolitics also believed Islam would be a rising threat in global politics due to the weakening of European great powers.

He also correctly predicted the coming of World War I already in 1899. In that he was not of course alone. Kjellén based the forecast on the growing antagonism of on one side of Great Britain and France. On the other side was Germany and Austria.

Conclusion

It is possible that Kjellen would today have viewed Russia, China and Iran (Persia) as the foremost challengers to the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The Swedish geopolitician could in the 21st century be a valuable tool for grand strategists, geopoliticians and geostrategists. We live

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION LEAVING A DANGEROUS WORLD

October 12, 2016

Washington Times on October 6, 2016, published an opinion piece by Wesley Pruden on the dangerous world the Obama administration is leaving behind. Mr. Pruden reflected on Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Excerpts below:

…everyone agreed that Mr. Obama certainly didn’t deserve the prize, cheapened as it had become by politics. Nearly eight years later the president has become something of a maker of war, not peace, which is the usual lot of any man or woman elected, like it or not, leader of the world.

The world is a far more dangerous place now. Radical Islamic terrorism, which the president still dares not call by its name, has become the new normal everywhere, gruesome death of innocents in the name of a prophet dead for centuries. The world hasn’t measured so many deaths in battle since the end of the Vietnam War, and refugees from war and terrorism have washed over Europe in numbers to remake the map, and threaten now to overwhelm the culture in America.

Mr. Obama…has pulled more than 100,000 soldiers out of Iraq, enabling the success of ISIS in taking vast territory for its so-called Islamic State, and now he has to begin the painful and embarrassing task of sending some of them back…

He rewarded Fidel Castro and the old men of the Cuban revolution, eager for the comforts of capitalism as they lie dying, but he is unable to do anything but draw imaginary red lines in the sand, like a child with his coloring book, to prevent the destruction of the Syrians.
But the president’s peacemaking legacy will be the sweetheart deal he made with the mullahs in Iran, preserving their dream of an Islamic bomb, which the mullahs promise to use to make a second Holocaust of Israel.

Hillary Clinton goes along with the president’s cynical assurance that against emerging evidence he has halted the development of the Iranian bomb.

Mr. Kaine, trying to reassure with his Howdy-Doody smile and happy talk, said three times that the Iranian nuclear-weapons program had been “stopped” or “capped.” He divided the “credit” between Mr. Obama and his negotiating skill and Hillary’s performance as secretary of State.

Whether manufacturing peace or disarming Islamic terror, Barack Obama and his protege have demonstrated incompetence all but unique in the history of the American presidency. And Hillary Clinton wants America to reward the incompetence with four more years.

Wesley Pruden is editor-in-chief emeritus of The Times.

Comment: The Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has certainly left the Western world during his four years in power in a dangerous position. The traditional challengers of the West, Russia, China and Iran, have become increasingly powerful as the Obama administration has abandoned the wise and traditional policy of securing the rimland to avoid one or more powers to rise in Eurasia. It was Nicholas J. Spykman, the founder of the Institute of International Studies at Yale in 1935 who formulated the Rimland Doctrine. He argued that geography was everything and the United States as hegemon had to be involved in the rimland from Scandinavia to Japan. The reason was that the rimland was key to world power. The United States has followed Spykman’s advise since the Second World War but since 2009 America has been withdrawing from the rimland opening up the West to international terrorism and the three anti-Western empires Russia, China and Iran. It is up to the next U.S. president to steer America back to the Rimland Doctrine and increase American presence in the Middle East and the Far East.

DONALD TRUMP DID WELL IN FIRST DEBATE WITH CLINTON

September 28, 2016

In spite of the pro-Clinton questions by the moderator in the Hofstra debate in September 2016 Donald Trump did well. Due to the efforts of the moderator to favor Clinton Trump was to a great extent forced to play defense but he stood his ground.

There should have been more focus on Clinton’s three decades of failed policies. The Iran agreement stands out as a one of the Obama administration’s greatest mistakes.
The Iranians seek to humiliate the United States. Naturally they have no intention to to abide by the treaty. The regime in Theran is profiting greatly by getting US cash payments that were withheld for terrorist support activities.

One of the great weaknesses of the Obama administration supported by Clinton is constant informing the Islamic state and other enemies what they are planning to do in relation to terrorist activities. The State Department under Hillary contributed to weakening the American position in the fight against ISIS.

The Obama administration has for eight years attempted to falsely fit the facts into their story of terrorism. Thus they are avoiding the reality of what is happening in the Middle East. They are hiding much of what is done in an attempt to look good when in reality the situation in the Middle East is a disaster. This goes against prudent policy in war. Instead truth is always so important that it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies. The Obama administration is failing to protect that truth.

In future it would be important for Trump to more in detail expose Clinton’s failure as secretary of state and as senator. The terrible record of Clinton when it comes to security was only briefly mentioned in the debate.

In the future debates an important subject for Trump would be the ongoing deterioration of the American military in fields of training, equipment and readiness. Obamas personal dislike for nuclear weapons has resulted in an opening for China and Russia in this field. It has become a grave threat to all the whole West as American nuclear protection is necessary.

Russian military leaders have started talking about “no con” war (no contact). Conflicts in the future will to a great extent be a war of electronics. That would mean hacking and the use of electromagnetic pulse weapons. There are relevant doubts about how preparations against this type of warfare have been handled by the present administration.

GOP SENATORS SLAM OBAMA FOR “INACTION” IN SYRIA AS VIOLENCE CONTINUES

September 27, 2016

Washington Examiner on September 26, 2016, reported that two leading senators on defense slammed the Obama administration for its lack of leadership in Syria after a weekend of extreme violence that saw any hope of a cease-fire crumble. Excerpts below:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the Obama administration must stop trying the same fix over and over again in Syria when both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar Assad have demonstrated that he “is not interested in diplomacy.”

“How many hospitals, markets, schools and playgrounds do Russian and Syrian regime aircraft have to bomb before we realize that Putin and Assad are not interested in stopping the violence?” the two senators said in a statement. “Putin and Assad do not want to broker peace. They want to win a war. And American inaction is helping them to do it.”

“After yet another cycle of this diplomatic masquerade, Russian and Syrian regime forces have unleashed new waves of airstrikes in Aleppo that no longer just indiscriminately target civilians, but now deliberately target humanitarian convoys, aid warehouses and rescue workers responding to the bloodshed,” McCain and Graham said.

“But, as Assad and Putin lay the ground work to starve or butcher the 250,000 Syrians in eastern Aleppo, President Obama’s policy remains shockingly unchanged.”

EXPOSING THE MYTH OF NORDIC SOCIALISM

September 25, 2016

National Review on July 26, 2016 published an article on an important book by Nima Sanandaji to be published in August 2016 on the Nordic social system the American left dreams of importing. Excerpts below:

“Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism” [is about] the social success of Nordic countries…The social success of Nordic countries pre-dates progressive welfare-state policies. A common misconception is that the Nordic countries became socially and economically successful by introducing universal welfare states funded by high taxes. In fact, their economic and social success had already materialized during a period when these countries combined a small public sector with free-market policies. The welfare state was introduced afterward. That the Nordic countries are so successful is due to an exceptional culture that emphasizes social cohesion, hard work, and individual responsibility.

Today, in contrast, Nordic countries stand out as having high-tax models. Denmark, for example, has the highest tax rate among developed nations. But in 1960, the tax rate in the country was merely 25 percent of GDP, lower than the 27 percent rate in the U.S. at the time. In Sweden, the rate was 29 percent, only slightly higher than in the U.S.

In fact, much of Nordic prosperity evolved between the time that a capitalist model was introduced in this part of the world during the late 19th century and the mid 20th century –during the free-market era.

What might come as a surprise to American admirers of the Nordic countries is that high levels of income equality evolved during the same period. Swedish economists Jesper Roine and Daniel Waldenström, for example, explain that “most of the decrease [in income inequality in Sweden] takes place before the expansion of the welfare state and by 1950 Swedish top income shares were already lower than in other countries.”

…some scholars attribute [the Nordic success] to the Protestant work ethic. It is likely that climate played an equally important role in creating the Nordic success culture. Nordic farmers owned their land but struggled to survive in the unforgiving climate of Scandinavia. In order to thrive, these homogenous societies developed strict work ethics, healthy lifestyles, and a code of individual responsibility out of necessity. To paraphrase the ancient Persian king Cyrus the Great, hard lands breed hard people.

American admirers of Nordic-style social democracy argue that by copying social-democratic policies, the U.S. will copy Nordic social success. But is this true? Hard lands breed hard people.

…the longest average life spans among Nordic peoples are found in Iceland — the small Nordic cousin that has the most distinctly Nordic culture, but also the most limited welfare system. It is equally interesting to look at Nordic Americans, a group that combines the Nordic success culture with U.S.-style capitalism. It was mainly the impoverished people in the Nordic countries who sailed across the Atlantic to found new lives…

Danish Americans today have fully 55 percent higher living standard than Danes. Similarly, Swedish Americans have a 53 percent higher living standard than Swedes. The gap is even greater, 59 percent, between Finnish Americans and Finns. Even though Norwegian Americans lack the oil wealth of Norway, they have a 3 percent higher living standard than their cousins overseas. Perhaps even more astonishing is that Nordic Americans are more socially successful than their cousins in Scandinavia.

They have much lower high-school-dropout rates, much lower unemployment rates, and even slightly lower poverty rates.

Currently, Nordic-style democratic socialism is all the rage among Democrat activists as well as with liberal intellectuals and journalists. But in the Nordic countries themselves, this ideal has gradually lost its appeal. Only one of the five Nordic countries, Sweden, currently has a government headed by social democrats.

The other four countries have center-right governments. Moreover, the Swedish Social Democrats enjoy weaker popular support today than at any point in modern times. They lead a minority government, as the majority of Swedes either support one of the center-right parties or the anti-immigration party.

During the past few decades, the Nordic countries have gradually been reforming their social systems. Taxes have been cut to stimulate work, public benefits have been limited in order to reduce welfare dependency, pension savings have been partially privatized, for-profit forces have been allowed in the welfare sector, and state monopolies have been opened up to the market. In short, the universal-welfare-state model is being liberalized.

…a closer look shows that these policies are not what explain the success of Nordic societies, and that the Nordic people themselves are becoming less enthusiastic about democratic socialism. Unfortunately, the American Left is more interested in the Nordic myth than a nuanced view of the actual benefits — and drawbacks — of democratic socialism.

Nima Sanandaji is the president of the European Centre for Policy Reform and Entrepreneurship. His latest book, “Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism” [was published in August].

FLORIDA SEN. MARCO RUBIO: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DECEIVING CONGRESS ON IRAN MONEY

September 13, 2016

Fox News on September 12, 2016, reported on Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio accusing the Obama administration of trying to “deceive” Congress and the American people about roughly $1.7 billion in payments to Iran — suggesting at least some of the money was a “ransom” for American hostages and demanding official documents for the related transactions. Excerpts below:

“Each day brings new revelations about your administration’s efforts to deceive Congress and the American people regarding payments of billions of dollars to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism,” Rubio wrote Saturday in a letter to President Obama. “The America people do not believe the story that your administration did not provide Iran an illicit and potentially illegal ransom payment.”

The administration in January announced an agreement between the U.S. and Iran to settle a failed, decades-old arms deal that included Washington returning to Tehran $400 million and an additional $1.3 billion in interest.

However, reports in early August revealed the initial $400 million was delivered on Jan. 17 — the same day Tehran agreed to release four American prisoners. And Republicans are calling it a ransom.

Rubio submitted a list of nine demands in the letter, including a request for a copy of a waiver allowing the use of cash, instead of complying with a U.S. code that states “all federal payments made by an agency shall be made by electronic transfer.”

“Iran has pocketed this money and continued to hold and take more American hostages,” Rubio also wrote. “It has likely used this foreign currency to fund its military including its ballistic missile programs and to support Iran’s terrorist proxies throughout the Middle East.”

OBAMA DOCTRINE: SURRENDER WITHOUT PEACE?

September 8, 2016

Washington Times on September 7, 2016, published a commentary by Charles Hurt on the dangers of the Obama Doctrine. Excerpts below:

Everybody remembers the Monroe Doctrine, jealously defending the U.S. sphere of influence in North and South America from European meddling.

Normally, presidential foreign policy doctrines do not end in a question mark.

Ronald Reagan had a few that worked pretty well. “Peace through strength” and “Trust but verify” seemed to do a pretty good job of keep the world on its toes and our enemies at bay.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have not officially announced what their foreign policy doctrines would be, but isn’t it pretty well clear by now?

Riding as she does her husband’s coattails everywhere she goes, Hillary Clinton ends at least one of her doctrines with a question mark: “Cash or credit?” Her other doctrines would be more declarative. “Pay here.” That one includes a red arrow pointing to Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

The other one: “Insert cash or credit into slot.” What is really cutting edge about that last one is that it comes with ATM machines to be installed in 7-Elevens around the world, particularly in third world countries led by savage dictators and brutal theocracies where women are second-class citizens and little girls are tortured. The only difference is that these machines do not dispense cash. They only collect payments. Donald Trump has not declared his foreign policy doctrine yet either…

But for at least four more months, we must settle for “Surrender without peace.”

That is assuming Mr. Obama does not declare this November’s election null and void after Mr. Trump wins in a massive orange landslide…

Anyway, “Surrender without peace” is not pretty, but it is what [the US has].

It is what paved the way for a future nuclear Iran and rewarded them handsomely with pallets of cash for kidnapping Americans. That was the largest terrorist bailout program in world history.

“Surrender without peace” is what gets children gassed in Syria after declaring a “red line” against chemical weapons use.

“Surrender without peace” is what promotes human trafficking and child rape on death trains headed for the U.S. Southern border after you invited tens of thousands of illegals illegally into the country. Illegally.

“Surrender without peace” is what attracts Iranian boats to taunt U.S. warships and Russian jets to buzz American planes.

“Surrender without peace” is what invites the president of the Philippines to publicly declare that Mr. Obama is a “son of a whore.” And it is what emboldens the Chinese to publicly humiliate him by refusing to allow him to deplane Air Force One except though the little aft hole at the back of the plane.

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE ICON PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY, 92, HAS PASSED AWAY

September 7, 2016

Washington Times on September 6, 2016, reported that conservative author and icon Phyllis Schlafly has passed away at age 92. Excerpts below:

Eagle Forum, the grass-roots organization Mrs. Schlafly founded and presided over until her death, said in an online statement that she had died at her home in St. Louis surrounded by family members.

“Rest in peace, Phyllis Schlafly. Wife, mother, grandmother, author, lawyer, tireless voice of grass-roots conservative activism,” said conservative columnist Michelle Malkin.

“A woman of valor, a formidable friend and adversary, an American patriot,” said Weekly Standard editor William Kristol.

A polymath and a political combatant whose adversaries included communists at the height of the Cold War and feminists emboldened by the sexual revolution, Mrs. Schlafly will best be remembered for almost single-handedly derailing the Equal Rights Amendment as it neared ratification.

Her victory served as a precursor to the Reagan revolution, uniting the anti-communist and pro-family factions of the Republican Party in order to triumph at the ballot box.

Mrs. Schlafly burst onto the national scene in 1964 with her book “A Choice, Not an Echo,” a clarion call for conservatives to unite behind presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. More than 3.5 million copies of the book were sold.

She would go on to write more than 20 more books and more than 2,500 columns.

A staunch pro-life Republican, Mrs. Schlafly played an active role in Republican National Conventions since 1952…Although she participated in many political campaigns, she never won office herself.

“Your work is an example to all those who would struggle for an America that is prosperous and free,” President Reagan said at a tribute event for Mrs. Schlafly in 1984.

..feminists saw her differently. “I’d like to burn you at the stake,” Betty Friedan said to Mrs. Schlafly at a 1973 ERA debate at Illinois State University. Mrs. Schlafly coolly responded that such a comment “shows the intemperate nature of proponents of ERA.”

Phyllis McAlpin Stewart was born in St. Louis on Aug. 15, 1924. Her father was a machinist, and her mother was a librarian. Mrs. Schlafly was a dedicated Girl Scout and attended Catholic schools, including Academy of Sacred Heart.

She worked nights at an ammunition plant as she earned her bachelor of arts degree in 1944 as a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. She later received a master’s degree in government from Harvard University in 1945, law degree from Washington University Law School in 1978 and multiple academic honors, including an honorary doctor of humane letters from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008.

She married Mr. Schlafly, a lawyer and devout Catholic, in 1949 and began life as a stay-at-home mother in Alton, Illinois.

Mrs. Schlafly is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.