Peace through Superior Firepower?

Who knew? Perhaps deterrence works. In any case, the North Koreans are talking to the Southern ones. That hasn’t happened in a long time. Maybe this is why.

CBS has a report (more bloody autoplay videos, sorry!) that:

Last week, the Pacific Air Forces announced three B-2 “Spirit” stealth bombers with approximately 200 personnel have been deployed from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to the Pacific island of Guam.

The statement said the deployment is intended to provide leaders with “deterrent options to maintain regional stability.”[…]

Last year, flights by B-1B bombers from Guam to the airspace around Korea were a major flashpoint, prompting a warning from North Korea that it had drawn up a plan to target the waters around the island with a missile strike that it could carry out anytime Kim gave the order. The B-2 is more threatening.

It’s the most advanced bomber in the Air Force and, unlike the B-1B, can carry nuclear weapons. It’s also the only known aircraft that can drop the Air Force’s biggest bomb, the 14,000-kilogram, about 30,000-pound, FGBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.

The “MOP,” capable of penetrating deep into the ground to destroy reinforced tunnels and bunkers, was explicitly designed with North Korea in mind.

That adds on to the CVNs Ronald Reagan, Carl Vinson, and perhaps the Carl Stennis, and the USS Wasp as well, an upgraded amphibious assault ship, with its Marines, and either carrying or capable of carrying about 30 F 35Bs.

That’s all in addition to all the stuff already in South Korea, Japan, and the general neighborhood, and the South Koreans who are no slouch themselves.

I recall SECDEF Mattis commenting that nothing keeps him awake, he keeps others awake. His point was that this administration while having due regard for public opinion, is not going to make policy from what will (XXX) do, the will make policy from what does the United States want to happen. A somewhat subtle but very important difference.

And so we see Whoa Fat’s minions at the conference table in South Korea, after less than a year of Donald Trump’s presidency. Likewise, we see serious demonstrations in the streets in Iran. They may not win this time, but win they shall. We see Egypt and Saudi Arabia talking to Israel, and about no less than a military alliance. We may, perhaps, be watching the dawn of a new era. KSA is reportedly negotiating to buy the Iron Dome system from Israel.

And we even see the people of eastern Europe stand up to their would-be masters in western Europe. Why it’s almost like they didn’t throw off their communist masters only to succumb to the fascists in the west.

The only people I see decrying this is the anti-freedom left in America, and the European governments most of whom have sold their soul long ago for material gain. Are they noisy? Yep. Are they important? Nope. Only when the sheriff is on strike. But the sheriff is on patrol again

And just now I see a report that the two Koreas will march together under a unified flag at the Winter Olympics next month. Not a problem solved, but one that is perhaps on its way, something no one foresaw a year ago.

Not “Peace in our time” but perhaps we are back to where we can say that it is better to “Jaw, Jaw than to War War.”

Quite a year it has been!

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Living in the Bad Old Days.

Baby, It’s cold outside, even in Florida

Most of you, like me, remember living through the bad old days – of the 1970s. You know unaffordable heating, waiting in line for gas  (every other day) for gas for the car and a host of other things. Not only was it uncomfortable, to most of us it felt unAmerican. And it was, this country was built on movement, and movement demands affordable energy. We didn’t really get going until the railroads started to build out the network, and then we were pretty much unstoppable.

Until the 70s, that is. A lot of people have tried to lay the blame off on the Arabs. Well, they had something to do with the proximate cause, but the real cause was right here at home. It was (and is) called the US Government.

Steven Hayward wrote about this yesterday. let’s have a look.

Everyone remembers the lines for gasoline. What is less recalled are the shortages and price spikes for natural gas, whose price and supply was also regulated at the federal level. But in Texas, intrastate natural gas outside the federal purview was abundant and cheap, and the lack of pipeline capacity to transport it, along with the price controls, meant Texas enjoyed cheap natural gas while the rest of the country shivered or paid out for expensive home heating oil and oil-fired electricity (oil-fired electricity was nearly 20 percent of the nation’s total electricity in 1973; today the figure is less than 1 percent). Hence there was a popular bumper sticker in Texas back then: “Drive fast, freeze a Yankee.”

Yep, I remember those, and like Steve says, even Jimmy Carter was able to figure out the problem, although, as usual, he had the slows in doing anything about it. But Reagan didn’t, those controls ended his first week in office. It’s one of the reasons for the 80s boom.

But the Northeast still hasn’t figured it out, and so its residents are freezing in the dark again. From Steve.

But from the looks of things the northeast is living back in the bad old days during the current bout of global warming climate change gripping so much of the country. The spot prices for natural gas and electricity are soaring:

Gee—how can natural gas be so expensive when its abundant and cheap (thank you fracking), and moreover available in nearby states like Pennsylvania and Ohio? It’s not necessary any more for eastern natural gas customers to have to deal with those cowboy hat-wearing folk in Oklahoma and Texas.

Ah, maybe headlines like this have something to do with it:

He’s blocked 3 (at least) pipelines, although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has overturned him on one. He’s also stopped fracking in New York, depriving upstate and western New York of who knows how many jobs, good paying ones too. In fact, so good that western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio are all but booming again. The Wall Street Journal (Paywall, sorry) took this nonsense apart last summer

The U.S. shale boom has lowered energy prices and created hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. But those living in upstate New York and New England have been left in the cold by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose shale gas blockade could instigate an energy crisis in the Northeast. . .

All of this is ominous since the region desperately needs more natural gas to make up for lost power from the impending shutdown of nuclear and coal plants. New England’s Independent System Operator projects that 14% of the region’s electric generation capacity will be retired within three years and says more pipelines are needed for grid stability.

Energy costs in the Northeast are already the highest in the nation outside of Alaska and Hawaii in part due to the shortage of natural gas. Northeast residents pay 29% more for natural gas and 44% more for electricity than the U.S. average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Industrial users in the Northeast pay twice as much for natural gas and 62% more for electricity. . .

Inclement weather can cause energy costs to skyrocket. During the 2014 polar vortex, natural gas prices in New York City spiked to $120 per million Btu—about 25 times the Henry Hub spot price at the time. Natural-gas power plants in New York are required to burn oil during supply shortages. Due to pipeline constraints and the Jones Act—which requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be carried by ships built in the U.S.—Boston imports liquefied natural gas during the winter from Trinidad. This is expensive and emits boatloads of carbon.

Speaking of which, about a quarter of households in New York, 45% in Vermont and 65% in Maine still burn heating oil—which is a third more expensive than natural gas and produces about 30% more carbon emissions per million Btu. Yet many can’t switch due to insufficient natural gas and pipeline infrastructure.

So what is Cuomo doing about this? This:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in connection with his State of the State address today, announced a plan to create new energy efficiency targets and appliance standards. He directed the state’s Department of Public Service and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to propose new 2025 energy efficiency targets by Earth Day, April 22, 2018, and also announced the state’s plans to develop new appliance efficiency standards for products not covered by federal standards, coordinating efforts with other states. According to the Governor, the targets will be “achieved through cost effective implementation strategies and innovative approaches from both utilities and the [New York State] Clean Energy Fund.”

Yep, that’ll fix it. Make appliances even more expensive and less reliable.

Steve writes, “Turns out the New England electricity grid manager (the ISO) warned of this very problem a couple months ago:”

[P]ower system operations could become challenging if demand is higher than projected, if the region loses a large generator, electricity imports are affected, or when natural gas pipeline constraints limit the fuel available to natural-gas-fired power plants. . .

While New England has adequate capacity resources to meet projected demand, a continuing concern involves the availability of fuel for those power plants to generate electricity when needed. The region’s natural gas delivery infrastructure has expanded only incrementally[thank you Gov. Cuomo], while reliance on natural gas as the predominant fuel for both power generation and heating continues to grow. During extremely cold weather, natural gas pipeline constraints limit the availability of fuel for natural-gas-fired power plants. Further, the retirement of a 1,500 MW coal- and oil-fired power plant in May has removed a facility with stored fuel that helped meet demand when natural gas plants were unavailable. . .

To address potential shortages of fuel to generate electricity, ISO New England will administer the Winter Reliability Program again to help protect overall grid reliability. The program provides incentives for generators to stock up on oil or contract for liquefied natural gas before winter begins . . .

But, what about all that solar power we keep hearing about?

While PV helps reduce energy consumption during sunny winter days, demand peaks in winter after the sun has set.

Typical. I’d feel sorry for them, but I just can’t manage it. After all, they elected these statist cretins, and the chickens are coming home to roost, good and hard. I’d invest in tar and pitchforks futures though unless they all do freeze in the dark. But they’ll probably re-elect them again. It’s what they do, and why they have become increasingly irrelevant to the modern world.

The Three Stooges Are Republicans

Dov Fischer over at The American Spectator says various flavors of “Republicans Just Gotta Stop Clobbering Each Other Like the Three Stooges”. He’s right of course, but let him tell it.

For truly conservative Republicans, the Eisenhower and Nixon Administrations, though better than the Democrat alternatives, were not ideologically conservative presidencies. Nixon’s the One who enacted price and wage controls, appointed several ideologically mushy judges after the fiascoes of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell, greatly expanded federal spending on social programs, and engaged in rapprochement with China and détente with the Soviets that did not net America or him as much as it afforded them. His successor after Watergate was pragmatically a Ford, not a Lincoln. The two Bushes by-and-large were not better than a Byrd in the hand. America’s borders were porous throughout, and the price of GOP dereliction is reflected in a California, once the state that made Nixon and Reagan viable as Presidential candidates, altered irremediably for the next generation. These “kinder-gentler” Republicans put into the Supreme Court the likes of Earl Warren and William Brennan (named by Ike), Harry Blackmun (named by Nixon), John Paul Stevens (by Ford), David Souter (by Bush I), and almost Harriet Miers (Bush II). Even President Ronald Reagan, hampered by a House of Representatives that the Democrats overwhelmingly controlled throughout his eight years in office, and with the Senate controlled by Democrats for two of those years, compromised by naming Justice Sandra O’Connor, agreed to massive amnesties for illegal immigrants, allowed the welfare state to balloon in return for tax cuts, and endeavored gallantly to advance conservative values while bedeviled by a Left media before alternative conservative outlets existed to offset the endless stream of Fake News. And he made George Bush I possible.

Nevertheless, thanks to Obama’s cataclysmic policy failures, Republicans have unseated Democrats in so many hundreds upon hundreds of national, statewide, and local municipal races these past eight years that Democrats’ ranks have been depleted and their reservoir of potential candidates for higher offices decimated. Democrat insider Donna Brazile concedes that the Clintons ravaged the party, leaving it near bankruptcy. Wasserman Schultz is hated by Dems even more than she is loathed by Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans now have the White House, control the House of Representatives, and still command the United States Senate majority sufficiently to pass historic tax bills, approve conservative judges, chair critical committees, and prevent the reality-challenged likes of Maxine Waters from removing the duly elected President of the United States. The Supreme Court majority remains moderate to conservative and is poised to leap soon into faithful Constitutional conservatism. The Senate, despite the “Resistance,” now has approved a record 12 new federal circuit judges in only one year, and they all are rock-solid conservatives. Reagan never had it this good — nor did we.

Yes, the reduced GOP Senate majority is precarious at 52-49. (Don’t forget: Vice President Mike Pence counts). Yes, Mitch McConnell aggravates, and Paul Ryan occasionally disappoints. Yes, John McCain has scores to settle. So will Bob Corker and Jeff Flake for a few more months. Rand Paul sometimes floats into Howard Roark/Dagny Taggart diversions, and Susan Collins legitimately is hamstrung because any electoral gain in Maine falls plainly on the middle lane. But it’s still better leading 52-49 than being down by three. At last year’s January 2017 Rose Bowl, USC had 52, and Penn State had 49. Guess which college team celebrated. Meanwhile, even though Chief Justice Roberts did that loopy Obamacare tax thing in June 2012, he now has provided precisely the jurisprudential hook on which to hang the new tax bill’s termination of Obama’s individual mandate.

All in All, Not Bad. The Mainstream Media Dreamers Wish They and Their Democrat Bedfellows Had It This Good.

He’s right, Trump is doing better conservatively I can remember, as I said yesterday likely since Coolidge. But I don’t think the intramural war is over yet, sadly. There are too many getting fat feeding at the trough on the Republican side of the barn. The Eisenhower, Bush, Bush heirs have the party structure, as they have since FDR’s time.

I don’t think at first glance that we’ll lose either house, but primary season is likely to be bloody, as the insurgent (and resurgent) conservatives try to take over. What will happen? I don’t know, but I think it a fight worth fighting. If the Constitutional conservatives lose this one, the Republicans most likely become like the British Tories, standing for nothing except going off the cliff slower, instead of standing for timeless principles. Remember “if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything,” said the very wise GK Chesterton

So while it’s better than at anytime since the 80s, Thank God, we need to make it better yet, and incidentally secure the victory into law.

That’s OK, it’s almost a year till the election, and almost three till the next Presidential election. The Dems are in worse shape, eating their own and running completely away from their base. We have all the benefits Dov said above, and even the GOPe is better, much better, in fact, than Obama, and the Democrats and media (BIRM) are worse now than they were a year ago.

Perhaps, no better time to have this out in the party than right now. I hope that is so, anyway.

Made in America

There is a bunch of new stuff that dropped yesterday about the Clinton crime syndicate and its dealings with Russia, not too mention the swamp in general. Monday, if I get it sorted. 🙂

There’s a saying that been about a few years; “There are two kinds of countries in the world, those on the metric system, and those that have gone to the moon.”

Leadership and freedom, rather sums it up for me.

Fifty years ago yesterday, Ronald Reagan gave a speech. It has become a classic of freedom, and yes, it lit a fire that still burns across the prairie, and yes, I think it has spread to Britain, and even the continent, although many there don’t have the background to completely understand the theory of ordered freedom. Here’s the Gipper.

Ya know, we hear a lot about being on the right side of history. Well, that’s for losers, our method is to write the history, that way it is on our side. We don’t have to twist anything, just tell the truth.

Ground truth from a lieutenant colonel of Marines

 

And leadership, from a general of Marines

 

Ya know, we’ve been doing this leadership thing for a while. I hadn’t seen this before, but it’s rare to see two heroes of yours in the same film. But it happens here. And narrated by Ronald Reagan besides.

I look back on the men that built this country defended her, and carried the torch of freedom around the world, and then I look at that little man over in North Korea, and well, you can figure out what I think. I note that no less than three Carrier Strike Groups are gathering on his doorstep, (first time in ten years that has happened) not to mention a whole bunch of troops in the south, and enough airpower to take out Nazi Germany. In all, it makes me think of Toby Keith.

There are a few mullahs over in Tehran who would be wise to get their house in order soon, because there is getting to be a bit much noise in the world, and well, we’ve been known to defend ourselves before, and we just might again. Like the Marines say, No better friend, no worse enemy. But hey, even the greatest of empires, the British got all they wanted over here.

 

Donald Trump: An American Patriot of the Same Stripe as Ronald Reagan

From my friend, Danmillerinpanama whom many of you will know, but if you happened to miss the post, you’re missing a good one. A bit…

 

To my mind, that unholy dialectic between political power and an agenda of enforced dependency is one of the most despicable and destructive coefficients of the administrative state. It is despicable because it deploys power for personal aggrandizement under the camouflage of helping (i.e., pretending to help) others (the “Great Society,” etc.). It is destructive because its end is the eclipse of liberty for the sake of expanding and institutionalizing the apparatus of bureaucracy (and the perquisites of the bureaucrats running it).

So I applaud the president’s plan to cut taxes and allow Americans to keep a bit more of what after all is their own money. (We tend to forget this.)

But although taxes formed the official centerpiece of the president’s speech last night, and though I liked what he said about taxes, I thought the most impressive part of the speech was its rhetorical setting.  The occasion was a meeting of Heritage Foundation supporters. Accordingly, President Trump began by talking about the importance of embracing our history, our heritage. “For America to have CONFIDENCE in our future, we must have PRIDE in our HISTORY.”

I think that is right, and I think it is worth pondering each of the three stressed words.

One of the great liabilities of so-called identity politics is that, ironically, it acts as a solvent on shared cultural confidence. The irony flows from the fact that identity politics is supposed to leave its partisans with an enhanced sense of self-worth and solidarity but in fact it tends to isolate them in rancid grievance ghettos.

Along the way last night, the president spoke up for preserving our heritage, our history, an enterprise that encompasses not just the preservation of monuments and other historical markers that commemorate our past, but also extends to the spiritual decorum of civic respect: standing for the national anthem, for example, or (since this multiethnic country was and is, as Samuel Huntington observed, a country of “Anglo-Protestant” values) wishing people “Merry Christmas” in due season.<

It is worth noting, by the way, that saying one should have  pride in our history and confidence in our culture is not thereby to issue a plenary indulgence for past wrongdoing.  The fact that people erect a statue commemorating Gen. Robert E. Lee does not in any way imply that they are racist advocates of chattel slavery, any more than erecting a statue of JFK implies that one is an advocate of satyriasis.

Do read it all at Donald Trump: An American Patriot of the Same Stripe as Ronald Reagan. Because what Dan sees is what I also see, an American patriot, who will do his best (and his best is proving pretty damned good) for America. Perfect? No, he’s a man, and an imperfect one, as we all are. And that post from Theodore Roosevelt in my sidebar is my measure of a president.

“Every man, who parrots the cry of ‘stand by the President’ without adding the proviso ‘so far as he serves the Republic’ takes an attitude as essentially unmanly as that of any Stuart royalist who championed the doctrine that the King could do no wrong. No self-respecting and intelligent free man could take such an attitude.”

And the inverse is just as true, any man who parrots the cry of stand against the president, so far as he misserves the Republic, is as unmanly as TR said. And yes, I’m looking at you, Bill Kristol, who was one of the people in the conservative movement I admired most, until last year.

And Dan’s ending for his post will do admirably for this one as well.

That is no surprise. The history of the world is full of redemption and conversion stories, from Saul of Tarsus to Henry V and beyond. Quoth the King at the end of Henry IV Part 2:

Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turn’d away my former self.

The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating.  It seems to me that in just nine months Donald Trump has given us a lot of savory tidbits to chew on.  Some people might object to the style.  But how about the substance?  In any event, it seems ungracious, not to say short-sighted, to withhold any possibility of reformation from a man just because he had the temerity to win an election without the permission of the would-be governing class.

The New Sheriff Speaks, and an Update

Following up from yesterday Sky News reports:

Great Ormond Street Hospital has said “claims of new evidence” in the treatment of terminally ill baby Charlie Gard have prompted it to apply for a new court hearing.

In a statement, the hospital said: “We have just met with Charlie’s parents to inform them of this decision and will continue to keep them fully appraised of the situation.

“Two international hospitals and their researchers have communicated to us as late as the last 24 hours that they have fresh evidence about their proposed experimental treatment.

“And we believe, in common with Charlie’s parents, it is right to explore this evidence.”

Good. Whatever the truth and they may well be telling it, the pressure applied worldwide, especially by the Roman Catholic Church and the US president and people is the cause. The Internet gets blamed for many things but it can also be a force for good.

Keep it up, folks, we, and much more importantly Charlie, are winning.

President Trump gave one hell of a speech the other day in front of the memorial to the Warsaw Uprising.

It has fairly been compared to President Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, where he cried, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” They’re right, it is that good. President Kennedy had the short form, though, when he said, ” Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” In other words, what he says is simply what America has always believed, said, and done.

Of course, those who do not have our, and our civilisation’s best interests at heart have a different view. Well, hardly the first time, both Hitler and Stalin had their supporters in America, and it didn’t really matter.

Speaking of which then there is CNN. You’ll know that that they threatened to dox the guy who supposedly created that GIF that Trump tweeted the other day. Quite possibly they broke the law in so doing, but what the really did was break CNN. To that point, Paul Mirengoff tells us

Fox News and MSNBC came in first and second, respectively, in the cable rankings that measured average audience sizes for the period between June 26 and July 2. Fox News drew an audience of around 1.82 million while MSNBC drew an audience of 1.34 million. CNN had only 711,000 viewers on an average day during the measurement period.

It wasn’t just CNN’s news competitors that beat the network out. According to The Federalist, more Americans tuned in to watch re-runs of “Yogi Bear,” “Full House,” and “Friends” on Nick At Nite than to watch Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon’s shows on CNN.

Well, I have to admit that Yogi Bear is a lot more believable than CNN. Seriously though, what is actually going on is, in my mind at least, this. Big media, newspapers, network and cable TV, are on the way to being buggy whip manufacturers, they don’t really fill a need anymore. It might be different if they were trustworthy, but that is something we’ll never know, the siege has begun, even the once sacrosanct BBC is under continual fire for fake news production. But that is a symptom of an industry, and a very highly paid and once prestigious one, that no longer has the ethics to perform properly, has lost the trust of its consumers and is slouching along to the scrap heap of history. Good riddance, there are better models now.

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