The Monday Roundup

A lot of (what I think is) good thinking showed up over the weekend. So let’s take a look at it. In American Thinker, Shoshana Bryen tells us that Trump’s foreign policy is “more money, less military’“.

One way to understand Trump administration foreign policy is to understand that it is more comfortable with the currency of currency than the currency of American soldiers abroad.  That isn’t always the best approach, since many of America’s adversaries are wedded to military interventions — including grossly illegal ones.  And how the United States reassures its allies that it is not abandoning the playing field to soldiers on the other side is of inestimable importance.

But since money appears central to administration thinking, consider China, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the Trump administration.

That’s an interesting thought, and while I agree that it is not always the best approach, it’s not a terrible default idea – the soldiers are still about, but money is cheaper (for us, anyway) than blood.

The Trump administration, on the other hand, appears to have a stiffer spine, as befits the government of the United States.  It has gone straight after what China cares about most: energy, espionage, and the surveillance of its people. […]

And Huawei, the Chinese tech company, is looking to be running low on American semiconductors and other parts for its 5G network, raising questions about its ability to maintain global dominance in telecommunications — and industrial and national security spying.  Huawei can substitute its own parts in the network for American parts, but The Washington Post reports that “analysts have said a Huawei operating system would have a tough time competing globally with Google and its popular Gmail and Chrome apps[.] … Huawei chief executive Ren said the U.S. blockade was causing a large drop in Huawei’s smartphone sales outside of China.”

See what I mean, this may or may not have completely desirable results, but it’s a lot better than getting our people in the way of the Chinese Communists. It also leads into our next article, also from American Thinker by Robert Arvay, who asks is Trump leading Xi and Kim into a death trap.

A dictatorship is nothing more than an organized crime mob on steroids.  The head of state must brutally suppress (read: murder) anyone and everyone who poses even a remote threat to his power.  Dictators do not get voted out of office.  They get carried out, feet first.

Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea (the title of chairman is a euphemism), is exceedingly paranoid.  Paranoia in a dictator is not a disorder; it is a necessary survival mechanism.  Kim not only murders anyone and everyone whom he even suspects of disloyalty, but takes nonlethal measures as well.  He even takes his own toilet with him wherever he travels, in order to prevent his DNA from falling into the hands of analysts who might deduce his physical infirmities. […]

The dictator, then, must carefully balance his threats and promises.  His acolytes must fear him.  Indeed, they must be constantly terrorized by the dictator’s ruthless exercise of authority.  However, the dictator must be exceedingly careful in how much terror he can impose.  Terror keeps him alive.  Panic can kill him. […]

Finally, this is what brings us to the ingenious method by which President Trump is deftly maneuvering both Kim and Xi into their potential death traps.  Both men are surrounded by loyalists who are not only terrorized, but also richly rewarded for their continued loyalty.  Once those rewards stop, once the dictator shows weakness, once he is defeated by a stronger enemy, the loyalists might panic.

Now mind, I doubt the President has thought all this out as clearly as the author writes, but Trump has been around the block a few times with some not overly nice guys, corrupt bureaucrats, even more corrupt unions and I imagine he learned some ways to get things done since he got things done.

Finally, yesterday, in 1775, something new was seen on the sea, for it was the birthdate of the American Navy. From that first salute at Stasia, to gunsmoke off Flamborough Head on the east coast of England, to a commendation from Lord Nelson himself, to the famous single-ship actions, to the destruction of two Spanish fleets, to Midway, Leyte Gulf, the successful submarine campaign, to Inchon, to the disaster relief provided by the fleet and the hospital ships, and right down to this week, the Navy has done it all and done America proud.

None of what we talked about today, or will in the future would be possible without the evident power of the United States Navy.

He who controls the sea controls the trade of the world,

He who controls the trade of the world controls the wealth of the world.

Sir Walter Raleigh and Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Happy Birthday, Navy!

About That Greenland Deal

The President has been taking considerable heat from hither and yon about wanting to buy Greenland. It’s actually a pretty good idea on several fronts. Senator Tom Cotton wrote about it last weekend in a NY Times oped, I saw it via John Hinderaker at PowerLine. Both are links worth following, Senator Cotton reasons this way.

The acquisition of Greenland would secure vital strategic interests for the United States, economically benefit both us and Greenlanders, and would be in keeping with American — and Danish — diplomatic traditions.

Strategically positioned in the Arctic Circle, Greenland has long attracted the attention of American policymakers. As far back as 1867, Secretary of State William Seward explored the acquisition of Greenland around the time that he negotiated the purchase of Alaska from the Russians.

You remember Secretary Seward right? He bought Alaska from Russia, and it was called far and wide “Seward’s Folly’. Hasn’t looked much like a folly in the last 150 years or so though. Greenland is not all that different.

In 1946, the Truman administration offered $100 million to Denmark to acquire Greenland, arguing that the island was “indispensable to the safety of the United States” in confronting the growing Soviet threat, just as it had been in World War II when American forces used bases in Greenland to deter Nazi aggression. While the deal didn’t go through, we kept troops on the island throughout the Cold War. Today, the Air Force’s 21st Space Wing is stationed at Thule Air Base in western Greenland to support our ballistic-missile defenses and space missions.

In the last few years, China has also been trying to buy the island.

Beijing understands not only Greenland’s geographic importance but also its economic potential. Greenland is rich in a wide array of mineral deposits, including rare-earth minerals — resources critical to our high-tech and defense industries. China currently dominates the market in these minerals and has threatened to withhold them from us to gain leverage in trade negotiations. Greenland also possesses untold reserves of oil and natural gas.

That too is a good strategic reason, not terrifically important, maybe, as long as Denmark owns it, but… And remember, we are now looking for energy dominance. Oil and gas has something to do with that. But rare earth minerals are critical for such things as lithium-ion batteries, and China has most of that market, even if we don’t go with plug-in hybrids, almost all of our portable electronics, even military ones, use lithium-ion batteries.

This is also important:

An agreement to transfer Greenland’s sovereignty must also serve the interests of our good friends, the Danes, and the 56,000 Greenlanders as well. Their considerations ought to include the fact that despite Greenland’s long-term potential, a lack of infrastructure and financing still hamstring the island’s economy today. Greenland’s economy is less than one-tenth of Vermont’s, America’s smallest state economy. Every year, Denmark transfers $670 million in subsidies to support the island.

The Danes (and possibly the EU) might find they have other uses for that money, and Greenland is pretty close to us physically, easier to support and to help the Greenlanders where we can. Nothing really new about us and the Danes doing this either. You may recall that President Wilson purchased the Danish West Indies – which we know as the US Virgin Islands.

Tom Daly at American Thinker also reminds us that Denmark, through Greenland is a member of the Arctic Council, along with Russia, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Finland, Iceland, and through Alaska, the US. He says:

While for a few years the cooperation was relatively peaceful, relations started deteriorating in the early 2000’s. Russia became focused on investing and expanding rapidly in the Arctic, even planting their own flag on the North Pole. Their military buildup has been quick and efficient and so far, greatly outpacing even the U.S.

The Arctic’s global value is increasing yearly. The Arctic ice cap seasonal melting allows faster ships to opening up new trade routes, which are shorter thanks to the spherical shape of the Earth, in 2016 it was assessed that just the portion of the Arctic that could be measured was hoarding almost 25% of the world’s known oil and natural gas reserves. Consider this: wars have been waged for a lot less.

And the Council’s efforts to forestall some of what Russia is doing in the artic are not going well. I’m not doing the Russia, Russia, Russia thing, but Russia is a great power and it is the artic where we tend to run afoul of each other. Doesn’t make much difference to the Greenlanders at present as Denmark is certainly a western power, and a member of NATO, but it could, and China certainly is not. Personally, I think Trump’s idea is a good one, at nearly any reasonable price.

Besides they’re distant cousins of mine since Denmark got the island when they lost Norway (more or less voluntarily). Be nice to have them back in the family. ??

In truth, part of this looks like the President surprised the Danes by talking about it publically, and they reacted more out of their (normal European) dislike of him as anything else. Their PM has apologized for some of her language. Well, he shouldn’t have done that, but Trump is Trump and he does things his own way. Usually, it works out well, and in time it may here as well. Time always tells. Truman didn’t get it done for a $100 million, but who knows today.

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 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.

Freedom: Lost and Delivered

Today is a day of anniversaries, one overshadowed even as it happened, and another that lies shamefully dormant.

Today is the day that 75 years ago, US 5th Army and the British 8th Army liberated Rome. You will, of course, remember that Fascist Italy had surrendered sometime earlier but the Germans occupying Italy and the terrain itself made this anything but the soft underbelly.

This was the culmination of Operation Diadem launched on 11 May 1944. While this was the first of the Axis capitals to fall, it had essentially no impact on the war, other than perhaps reducing the stress marginally, of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France which would happen on 15 August 1944. A great victory, but overshadowed by other events.

Freedom: Delivered


30 years ago today, on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the People’s Liberation Army crushed the student’s quest for freedom, not to mention their Goddess of Democracy under the treads of their tanks. Somewhere between several hundred and ten thousand were deliberately killed by the government. It continues its bloodthirsty ways to this day, imprisoning over a million Uigher Moslems and Falun Gong in concentration camps, as well as persecuting Christians and other believers.

Tank man, as we have come to call him, a very brave Chinese, indeed, was, of course, killed by the Chinese government. But the Goddess of Democracy, whose resemblance to The Statue of Liberty moved Americans deeply, while also destroyed, lives on, I warrant, in the hearts of many Chinese and she does in a fair number of Americans as well.

(AP Photo/Jeff Widener, File)

Freedom Lost, for now.

China: What is it Good For

From Steven W. Mosher writing in American Greatness:

The latest numbers on U.S. economic growth are astonishingly good. The land of the free enjoyed 3.2 percent annual real GDP growth for the first quarter of 2019. It would have been even higher—3.5 percent—without the government shutdown.

The numbers vindicate President Trump’s position on trade. The dealmaker-in-chief has been saying for decades that a trade deficit is a drag on growth. And we now learn that almost 1 percent of our GDP growth was a result of a reduction in imports.

Imports are down because Trump’s tariffs are driving down the trade deficit with China. Now that he’s increased tariffs on $200 billion more of Chinese goods, expect the U.S. economy to grow even faster.

Amazing, isn’t it? When the largest economy in the world fights its own corner, it tends to win.

The thing is, since the end of World War II, we have been a bit guilty about our success, and for reasons that may have been reasonable, even cogent, in 1945, we have set our foreign exchange system to favor everybody else and disfavor ourselves. It’s part of that American magnanimity in victory that has rebuilt Germany and Japan (and would have our ally Great Britain as well, if they hadn’t wasted it experimenting with socialism).

To continue:

The Trump Administration has taken a decidedly different tack, pursuing an economic nationalist agenda that insists:

  • We must defend ourselves against China’s relentless cyberattacks on American businesses, and its theft of hundreds of billions of dollars in intellectual property each year.
  • We must stop China’s state-owned, state-subsidized and state-controlled enterprises from the wholesale dumping of products. Flooding foreign markets with steel and aluminum, not to mention autos and robotics, is only the first step. The end game is the destruction of free-market capitalism altogether.
  • We must stop China from forcing America companies to hand over their cutting-edge technology as a condition of doing business there. Forced technology transfer is theft, pure and simply.
  • We must stop China from manipulating its currency to gain an unfair advantage in trade.
  • Finally, we must defend Americans from the flood of fentanyl and other dangerous opioids that are killing them by the tens of thousands. The first two Opium Wars were waged by Great Britain against China. The Third is being waged by China against the United States and its people, and it must stop.

Understandably, China is not enthused at America fighting its corner, and so are resisting. So what? The President didn’t campaign on ‘Make China Greater Still”. His remit is to “Make America Great Again”. And so far, so good.

The tariffs are bad for China but very good for America. American companies that in the past would have offshored production to China will stay put. Some companies that have already left will be coming back. Whatever the opposite of “offshoring” is—inshoring? reshoring?—we are about to see it happen.

We should expect that China—the Bully of Asia—will try to retaliate. In fact, they have already begun to threaten to do just that. It’s unlikely that President Trump will back down, however. He understands that we buy $5 worth of goods from China for every $1 the Chinese buy from us. That gives us much more leverage.

As far as the soybeans and other grains that China will no longer buy from us, Trump has already announced a plan to make sure that America’s farmers are not hurt. Some of the tariff money will be used to buy and ship grain to parts of the world suffering from chronic food shortages.

Think about that for a while – we invent various products (not excluding iPhones) and then we outsource the production of some of the most advanced products in the world, to a country who has no desire to allow free people to live anywhere in the world. If that wasn’t enough, they always steal the ideas and the products, and often half of the companies set up to produce them.

And by the way, other than those products that our shortsighted companies allow to be stolen from them for a mess of pottage called cheap labor, what do we sell? Soybeans.

One of the underlying cause of our Revolution was the fact that Great Britain’s considered policy in the First Empire was to use the colonies to provide raw material and increase the market for its manufactured products. It’s called mercantilism, and it’s designed to keep colonies dependant on the other country.

Sound familiar?

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