Another New Plant

How about some good news, especially for Americans, but also for those who like freedom, and who might even like cheap energy. President Trump spoke last week at the new Royal Dutch Shell’s Pennsylvania Petrochemical Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania. If I understand what is going on here, Shell will buy (pretty cheap) ethane from the oil fields in the area (mostly fracked fields). And then they turn it into polyethylene which is the base for many of the plastics we use for so much. Shell says this about it…

“From the phone in your pocket to the pillow you sleep on, the essentials of everyday life depend on the raw chemicals that go to make them. As global population and incomes rise, one giant chemicals plant has found ways to step up production to meet growing demand for these items.”

And that’s an American plant – in Beaver County Pennsylvania – which has been depressed ever since the steel mills closed, is now roaring back. It’s about time, and while the plan preceded the Trump administration, the confidence, and the regulatory red tape cutting, without causing environmental damage, to bring it online is down to the Trump administration.

Master Resource did a good job of excerpting the speech, here’s part of that.

  • And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that.
  • And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say, “Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight.” “But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.” No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too….

Or the wind blows too hard, as the United Kingdom found out last week when a steam plant went offline without warning and the grid could not maintain frequency control, and tripped off, leaving much of England in the dark. At least, this time, it was in the summer, might be more significant when it happens in the winter, and it will. To continue:

  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders.
  • When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas — and we have a lot of it — fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren’t President. If my opponent won … I guess you would have stopped long ago….
  • But I was talking to Gretchen [Watkins of Shell North America]. They would have never gotten the approvals to do what’s needed to fuel these plants. That wouldn’t have been good. So, probably, they wouldn’t have started. But if they would have started, it would have stopped.
  • But they put it into plastic through a process known as “cracking.” That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.” … Beautiful. […]
  • Pennsylvania miners. Do we love our miners? (Applause.) They lit up our towns and powered our industries. And Pennsylvania factory workers made the American brand into the universal symbol of excellence all around the world — all over. [,,,]
  • With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again. A nation of builders. […]
  • And other radical plans to wipe out our coal. That’s what they want. They want to wipe out our oil. They want to wipe out our natural gas industries, while allowing other countries to steal our jobs.
  • Virtually every leading Democrat has vowed to eliminate fossil fuels, obliterating millions of American jobs, devastating communities, and bankrupting factories, families, and senior citizens all across this region.
  • And, by the way, this is only fuel that has the power for plants. When you have to steam up and you have to fuel up on these giant plants, these giant generators, these giant electrical factories, you need what you’re doing. You need this. It’s got the power. The other doesn’t have the power; certainly not yet. Probably never will. […]
  • And that’s why we’re pursuing a future not only of energy independence — but not just words. You know, you’ve been hearing “energy independence” for years and years, and you’d hear it. We have real independence. But what we want now is not independence; we want American energy dominance. Dominance

There’s quite a bit more, even in excerpts at the linked article. But the story is one we have said before, America is back, Jack, and again it’s wearing its seven league steel-toed boots.

Great for us and its good for the world too, as should be obvious to all

Here is the video of the speech.

Hong Kong, Updated

The protests in Hong Kong continue, and in fact increase, the airport was shut down by them earlier this week, even as Chinese forces gather on the border. It is a dangerous time to be a Hong Konger. They fight for the same thing we fought Britain for long ago, and the same things that have underlaid almost every one of our wars. The Star-Spangled Banner and our anthem have joined with the flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong and the British Union Flag to mark the protestors. It is something we should be proud of.

I suspect most of us are, this is the sign of the world the Anglosphere has built. Not all that long ago, in 1941, if you were free, English was your native language, and yes, Hong Kong was amongst us, although they would soon be occupied by Imperial Japan. I think they learned the lesson.

But we were the first, the original revolutionaries, who continue the revolution, the keepers of the flame that illuminate the City on the Hill, and guides all who would be free. But as we have learned that doesn’t mean that the US can make everyone free, we have certainly learned that lesson to our cost in the last twenty years. It truly is as Secretary of State John Quincy Adams said back in 1821:

Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

But still, our sympathy and perhaps some measure of our nonmilitary power should be engaged here. These people understand the dream, from its founding. Their original cause was an extradition treaty that would have found them in front of Chinese kangaroo courts. How different from that is this:

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

or

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Or even this:

No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

That is article 39 of Magna Charta, dating from 1215, part of the ultimate bedrock of individual freedom for America as it is for all Anglophone countries

So yes, we should be supporting the Hong Kongers, although I do not think we should get ourselves into a war with China over it. There are, of course, other means. And we should use them. Dr. Nikolai G. Wenzel writes in Law and Liberty:

But this afternoon, things are different.  I’m joining my former student and her friends for a protest in support of liberty in Hong Kong.  When I first heard of the troubles in Hong Kong, I initially thought I’d play it safe. This was not my fight, and there wasn’t much I could do.  I would teach my classes and stay away from demonstrations.  But I was faced with a moral choice. Hong Kong has a tradition of rule of law, Hong Kong is a land of liberty, Hong Kong has become a second home.

I had reached out to my former student for our annual dinner in the Fragrant Harbor – we’ll call her V (for obvious reasons, I will not share her identity).  We made dinner plans. She also invited me to a protest.  At first, I wasn’t sure.  What if facial recognition technology led to a lost work visa for next year’s class?  What if I found myself detained during the march, and missed my class the next day?  I was embarrassed at my first reaction.  I have been teaching liberty and preaching the gospel according to Hayek for the past decade.  Yet, presented with an opportunity to support true freedom fighters, I found myself balking, and thinking of admittedly bourgeois consideration. However, these are the very same bourgeois considerations Hong Kongers want to defend:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So what if I lose my visa for next year.  So what if I miss a class because I am briefly detained by the police.  These people are fighting – desperately – for their lost liberties.  So I decided to march, and set aside my petty worries.

When Hong Kong was handed from the UK to China in 1997, the agreement included basic legal and political guarantees.  First, Hong Kong would not be swallowed into the People’s Republic of China, but administered as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), under the policy of “one country, two systems.”  Second, the rights of the people of Hong Kong would be guaranteed under a Basic Law, which includes democracy, rule of law, and individual rights.

Keep reading, and yes, I admire him. It takes guts to put our butts where our mouth is, and more of us should be making noise about this. The Hong Kongers are right to use American and British symbols in their fight. As we have seen this has been our battle since before the days of King John.

And you know, we hear much about the evils of British and US colonialism, here is portrayed the other side, that you will not hear in the media or the schools, or from the Democrats (or Labour), this is also about how we taught the world what it is to be a free man, and many of them learned the lesson well.

God bless and keep Hong Kong free.

Winning, so far, Anyway

This is interesting and actually some good news, for a change. I don’t know about you, but I could use some.

As all the world knows, the US and China are having, if not a full-scale trade war, some pretty serious trade skirmishes. So how is it going?

Pretty well actually, according to Chriss Street witing for American Thinker. Read it all. a lot of what I say here was derived from it.

Mexico and Canada were America’s top two trade partners in the first six months of 2019 as the escalating China-U.S. Trade War booted China to third place.

With China falling behind Mexico and Canada, President Trumps’ Trade War has succeeded in making North America’s revised trading bloc larger in population and GDP than the 28-nation European Union, according to Geopolitical Futures.

“I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN”

Six months later, U.S. importers paid $6 billion in tariffs in June, a 74 percent spike compared to a year ago, despite a slight decline in import values. About $3.4 billion of those tariffs were imposed by President Trump, according to a study titled ‘Tariffs Hurt the Heartland’ by The Trade Partnership, a globalist Washington D.C. consulting firm.

The report claims Trump’s tariffs are highly inflationary by forcing consumers to pay an extra $4.4 billion for apparel, $2.5 billion for footwear, $3.7 billion for toys and $1.6 billion for household appliances.” But U.S. inflation in the first half of 2019 averaged just 1.7 percent, down from 2.4 percent last year, according to the U.S. Inflation Calculator.

The biggest key to holding back inflation has been the rapid global redeployment of manufacturing supply chains from China to Mexico, Canada, and even the United States. The repositioning speed demonstrates that analysts in the New York City to Washington D.C. corridor that predicted an inflationary spike had no clue regarding multinational businesses always having “disaster recovery” plans for alternative suppliers.

Every business, including the kid that mows your lawn, knows that lesson. Who knows what may happen to the gas station that you buy your mower fuel from. But it’s apparently over the head of The Trade Partnership. Not much of a surprise there, when ideology matters more than reality, stupid things happen.

In any case, one point the author makes is that while we often think of Mexico as a third world country, it actually is not. Depending on how you figure, it is nearly as large as Australia. One of the strengths of the USMCA as a trade bloc is that there is no attempt to align standards such as causes a lot of trouble in the EU.

That includes free trade agreements that steer jobs to low wage areas, and that very thing has cost the UK a lot of good jobs and is in fact, one of the things that are pushing Brexit.

By the way, the USMCA’s GDP (a somewhat flawed measurement, but it will serve) is $22.1 trillion compared with the EU’s $17.3 trillion.

What it seems that the President is offering the UK when it leaves the EU is some sort of association with the USMCA, which would add the UK’s $2.6 trillion (the fifth largest in the world) to the USMCA while removing it from the EU. Using current numbers that would make the USMCA’s GDP $24.7 trillion,

The EU continues its slide into mediocrity and uselessness.

About that trade war – we’re winning.

Video Thursday

Welp, a renewed hope in Britain

Maybe, I think everybody has doubts, but at least he’s always been a Brexiteer, and I think Trump likes. Good luck to him, as he tries to drain a bit of the UK swamp.

So Mueller testified yesterday. I saw just a bit last night, what a backfire that was. Here’s the best comment on it.

https://captiongenerator.com/1467792/Hitler-Discovers-Robert-Mueller-Knows-Nothing

Then there is this.

 

And a senior Google engineer talks.

Peter Thiel on Google and more. Lots of very good stuff here.

America is greater than ‘just OK’

Gene Vieth over at Cranach yesterday referred to a column by Marc Thiessen, that I had missed. It’s a response to that silly video op-ed in the NY Slimes on Independence Day about how the US is just OK.

He points out that at our founding we were an incredible outlier, we were the only country in the world where the people were sovereign. Most had kings, emperors, sultans, or other various satrapies indicating that the key to ruling was power over the people. The closest was the United Kingdom, which about a century before had changed from the king ruling, to the king reigning and parliament ruling. But even today, as we’ve seen parliament hasn’t got the memo completely that the people are sovereign. But their people know, and at some point so will parliament.

Marc notes that as recently as 1938, there were only 17 Democracies in the world, he doesn’t note, but it’s also true that by 1940 they all spoke English as their native language. In the early part of World War II, Great Britain wasn’t quite as alone as it sometimes is said, the Empire was there for them, but that was it

Herman Wouk’s Captain Henry in The Winds of War comments that at church parade in Argentia Bay, they were witnessing the changing of the guard. He was right, that moment marked the end of almost 150 years of the Pax Britannica, at the end of that war, we would see the beginning of the first 75 years of the Pax Americana.

Gene linked to the Daily Oklahoman, probably a good paper, but paywalled so here is a different link to Marc’s column. Here’s a bit of it.

For most of our history, American democracy was a global outlier. In 1938, on the eve of World War II, there were just 17 democracies. It was not until 1998 — just two decades ago — that there were more democracies than autocracies.

That dramatic explosion of freedom didn’t just happen. It was the direct result of the rise of the United States as a global superpower. The U.S.-powered victory over Nazi tyranny in World War II and our triumph over Soviet tyranny in the Cold War defeated the hateful ideologies of fascism and communism, and unleashed a wave of freedom that has spread across the world. Today, 4.1 billion people live in democracies. (Of those who do not, four out of five live in China.)

The unprecedented expansion of liberty has produced unprecedented prosperity. Last September, the Brookings Institution reported that “for the first time since agriculture-based civilization began 10,000 years ago, the majority of humankind … some 3.8 billion people, live in households with enough discretionary expenditure to be considered ‘middle class’ or ‘rich.’”

None of that would be possible without the Pax Americana guaranteed by U.S. military. Americans liberated a continent, rebuilt much of it from the rubble of war with the Marshall Plan, and then stood watch on freedom’s frontier and prevented a Soviet tank invasion across the Fulda Gap. And today, the only thing that stops North Korea from invading South Korea or China from invading Taiwan is American military might.

So, let’s be clear: Every country that enjoys democratic governance today owes its birth of freedom to our Founding Fathers, and the continued existence of their democracy to the U.S. military.

That is exactly so. Some countries have become wealthier per capita than we are. To me, that’s fine, we’re not doing all that badly, and they got that way by outsourcing much of their defense to the United States. We developed the concepts that were driving Britain to liberty, figured out how to make it work, and wrote it down, for all to learn. And then we (mostly) lived by what we had written. This may be the only place on earth that whenever the chief executive gets frustrated and complains that his country is ungovernable, he is reminded that it is a feature, not a bug.

As we listen to those foolish freshman Congresscritters spout their anti-Americanism, keep that in mind. They do it here because where they or the ancestors came from, they would be imprisoned or dead already. They owe their ability to bad mouth this country to the founders, and so do most of the people in the world.

Marc concludes with this:

The men and women who flew those fighters and bombers over the Mall last week make it all possible. They provide the critical foundation of peace and security upon which our freedom, and the freedom of all the world’s democracies, is built. Maybe Luxembourg scores better on some measures, but no one is counting on Luxembourg to secure the peace of the world. Trump was right to shine a spotlight on our men and women in uniform and to remind those who have lost sight of it that the United States is not simply the greatest nation on Earth; we are indispensable. Without us, the world would be mired in the darkness of totalitarianism rather than the light of liberty.

That is better than “just OK.”

Damned straight it is.

In a related note, The Lean Submariner reminds us that 2019 is the centennial of the American Legion, which is one of the stalwart defenders of American freedom. He tells us about it here.

Video Monday

We haven’t had a video Monday for a while, so let’s get started.

This is rather nice, it is also true.

The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Is the UK Labor party anti-Semitic? Did the sun come up in the east?

This is from the BBC’s Panorama, a full hour distilled down to eight minutes because an hour is too much.

Candace Owens on those children detained

Imagine that!

Moar Anne Widdecombe, because free people can never have too much Anne Widdecombe. Making the BBC look as stupid as it is here.

Bill Whittle on socialism

If you have an hour, this is worth spending it on. Victor Davis Hanson on The Case for Trump.

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