This Is Probably A Good Idea And Should Be Done Quickly

On Sunday, One America News reported that the Pentagon is considering installing a THAAD system on the West Coast. This is the anti-missile system designed to shoot down incoming missiles.

The article explains:

This comes days after Pyongyang launched a missile it claims is capable of reaching the United States mainland.

South Korea installed the same system in September to protect the nation against possible missile launches from Pyongyang.

This makes sense as a temporary measure. However, it is not a long-term solution. The thing to remember in dealing with North Korea is that any perceived aggression from America will most likely result in a massive attack on South Korea by North Korea. It would be nice to avoid that. China is not really going to help in this situation–they fear being overrun with North Korean refugees. The only real pressure we can put on China is to threaten to arm Japan with nuclear weapons. That will provide a check on China’s quest for increasing power in Southeast Asia, and the threat of that might be enough to cause China to put pressure on North Korea to stop testing nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, it is being reported that the mountain North Korea has been using for its testing has collapsed.

This is a complicated mess left for the Trump Administration by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. It may take a while to sort it all out. Hopefully, that can be done without waging war.

More Questions Than Answers

On Saturday, CBS News reported the collision of the USS Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal, a large container ship. Unfortunately, seven sailors were killed in the collision.

CBS News reported:

The Fitzgerald was struck by the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal. The Philippine ship is 29,060 tons and 730 long, the coast guard said, much larger than the 8,315-ton naval destroyer. Aerial television news footage showed its bow on the left side was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have suffered any major structural damage.

…The Fitzgerald, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer commissioned in 1995, is based in Yokosuka, according to the Navy. Its crew typically includes 23 officers, 24 chief petty officers and 291 enlisted sailors.   

Not so fast. There seem to be some questions surrounding the incident. Thomas Lifson has posted two articles in The American Thinker–one yesterday and one today–that raise some questions as to what actually happened. For the sake of keeping related information together, I am going to combine facts from the two articles.

Thomas Lifson observes:

We received an email from a Navy Mother that raises serious questions. We will redact her name, while the rumors (and that’s how they must be categorized for now) reported by her son aboard the Fitzgerald are checked out. Here is what she wrote to us:

My son is assigned to the USS Fitzgerald. I am unable to share his rate with you.

The information is short and not so sweet. The implications are disturbing.

The ship is registered in the Philippines. We do not know who the owner is. The container ship neither had its running lights or transponder on. That is an action taken willfully. Furthermore, for the container ship to strike with such accuracy is troublesome. Given what some have done with cars in Europe, what a feather in the cap it would be to sink a U.S. Navy warship. Think on that.

My son missed being washed out to sea by the blink of an eye. He was on his way to one of the berthing areas that was rammed.

Yes, language is important. “Rammed” is the perfect word.

Loving and Concerned Navy Mother

If there is any substance to this – that the ACX Crystal disabled protective systems and rammed the Fitzgerald at high speed aimed at crtical facilities (evident from the damage)

…we have to consider the possibility of an asymmetric warfare attack designed to disable missile defense of a carrier strike group, as North Korea demonstrates the ability to make exactly such attacks on a multibillion dollar warship carrying thousands of sailors.

The American Thinker also quotes a report by the Associated Press:

Japan‘s coast guard is investigating why it took nearly an hour for a deadly collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a container ship to be reported.

A coast guard official said Monday they are trying to find out what the crew of the Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was doing before reporting the collision to authorities 50 minutes later.

There may be a very obvious explanation of the reporting of this incident. If the incident is in fact a ramming, rather than a collision, it requires a response. The first thing to find out is who owns the ACX Crystal and who was controlling the helm at the time of the incident. At that point, the Trump Administration has a choice–they can either roll over and play dead as the past administration did when something like this happened or they can respond with force. It is my hope that if this is proven to be no accident, the Trump Administration will respond with enough force to let whoever did this know that doing it again is a really bad idea. I don’t want to see the government overreact, but if this was not an accident, I do want to see our government react with strength.

What We Are Teaching American High School Students

The College Board, under the leadership of David Coleman, architect of the Common Core, is introducing a new AP History course and exam this month called Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Framework (APUSH). The course has no resemblance at all to the history those of us over the age of forty learned in school.

A post at American Principles in Action explains some of the problems with the course:

Here is a sampling of what our nation’s brightest high-school students can expect:

  • A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
  • Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
  • A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.

I have a copy of the course standards for the course. One of the more interesting goals in the course is “Competency Goal 10: The emergence of the United States in World Affairs (1865-1930) The learner will analyze cause and effects of the United States emergence as an imperial power and world influence.” Now think about that for a minute. The entire course paints the United States as an imperial power. I would like to note at this point that if we are an imperial power, we are not very good at it. We did invade France during World War II. We took enough land to bury our dead. We did invade North Korea in the 1950’s. We set up a border for South Korea and left them to run their country. We did invade Japan during World War II. We kept some land for military bases, and promised to protect them since they were prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves. I love my country, but I have to say that as imperialists we have failed miserably. We didn’t even take the oil from Iraq!

There is nothing wrong with teaching our children to be patriotic. America is unique in the world, and in order to stay unique, we need educated leaders. This AP History course will create leaders who do not love their country and may not be willing to defend our way of life. This is another attempt by the political left to undermine the future of America by teaching future leaders inaccurate history. Like Common Core, this curriculum needs to be scrapped.

The Consequences Of An America That Does Not Project Strength

At some point we all have to grow up enough to realize that everyone in the world does not love us or wish us well. Some of this ill will is related to things we have done, but some of it is related to who we are–we are a free country whose citizens enjoy rights envied by much of the world. The people who are less free want to be us, and the leaders who are responsible for keeping their citizens less free would like us to go away. We are as hated for who we are as much as for what we do. It is possible to make amends for what you do; it is nearly impossible to make peace with someone who hates you for what you are. That has been the challenge to America since World War II.

The Washington Free Beacon reported yesterday that a Russian bomber recently made a practice run simulating cruise missile attacks on U. S. missile defenses in Asia.

The article reports:

According to U.S. officials, a Russian Tu-22M Backfire bomber on Feb. 26 simulated firing air-launched cruise missiles at an Aegis ship deployed near Japan as part of U.S. missile defenses.

A second mock attack was conducted Feb. 27 against a ground-based missile defense site in Japan that officials did not identify further.

The Pentagon operates an X-band missile defense radar on the northern tip of Japan that is designed to monitor North Korean missile launches and transmit the data to missile-firing ships.

The bomber targeting comes as Russia is building up forces in the Pacific by modernizing submarines and building a spy ship specifically for intelligence-gathering against U.S. missile defenses.

We all remember this supposedly off-the-record conversation:

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is my last election. And after my election, I have more flexibility.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: I understand you. I transmit this information to Vladimir —

President Obama has essentially taken down our missile defense systems in Europe (in accordance with Russian wishes), and now the Russians are making practice runs on our missile defenses in Asia. I really don’t think the Russians want peace, and I really don’t think they are worried about offending us right now. That is unfortunate. I liked it better when we had someone in the White House that the world thought was dangerous and unpredictable–America and the world were safer then.

The article at the Washington Free Beacon points out an obvious contrast in the direction Russia is traveling and the direction America is traveling:

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney said the Backfire targeting is troubling.

“Russia continues to conduct aggressive offensive missile training in the Pacific against U.S. and Allied Forces,” McInerney said.

“We should understand that they look at ‘reset’ differently than we do,” said the retired three-star general, who once commanded forces in Alaska. “They look at it as regaining their previous USSR position as a superpower while this administration is moving towards unilateral disarmament.”

When counties that stand for freedom put down their arms, countries that are not free take up arms. That is not a situation that should be encouraged.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Good News From The Scientific Community

Yesterday CBN News reported that the Nobel Prize for medicine has been awarded to John Gurdon from the United Kingdom and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan. The two scientists were involved in cell research.

The article reports:

Scientists John Gurdon from the United Kingdom and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan discovered it’s possible to take a cell out of an adult patient, strip-down the cell to what it was like when it was a brand new, healthy cell, then put that healthy cell into the patient in the part of the body that’s sick: such as  the brain, the spine, or heart.

The healthy cell then regenerates and takes over the sick area, making the patient well again.

The technique has proved successful with heart patients in a study at the University of Louisville.

The cells that the scientists used were adult stem cells, not embryonic stems cells.

The article further reports:

“It’s not hype, it is really hope. I think that stem cells will likely become a routine part of the treatment of cardiovascular disease in the next  few years,” Dr. Bolli said.

The discovery is good news for those who believe in the sanctity of life. Until now, much of the scientific community believed this type of cell regeneration needs to start with living, human embyos, a process that destroys the embryo.

This research will allow stem cell research to continue without creating life in order to destroy it. Adult stem cells have generally proven to be more successful in helping cure certain diseases than embryonic stem cells. This is a win for patients and for those who believe that life should not be created for the purpose of being destroyed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Devaluing The Family For Political Purposes

The two-parent family with children has always been the backbone of American society. There seems to be something of an effort to change that by the Obama Administration. CNS News reported yesterday on one way to save money on healthcare.

The article reported:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House panel Thursday that a reduction in the number of human beings born in the United States will compensate employers and insurers for the cost of complying with  the new HHS mandate that will require all health-care plans to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions.

A website entitled The New Economic Reality cites the consequences of a declining birth rate. A declining birthrate does NOT create prosperity.

The website reports:

Question: What role did declining birth rates play in the current economic crisis?

 Answer: Economist Harry S. Dent notes that 70% of GNP in the U.S. is consumer-driven. As the Baby Boomers aged, they began spending less, moving to smaller homes and planning for their retirement. Gen-X can’t fill the gap of the decline of spending by 81 million baby-boomers. This contributed to the slump in the housing market – when Boomers began selling rather than buying, there was a glut on the market and home sales began to decline. “Demographic Winter” predicted the financial crash of 2008 to within 18 months. The “Demographic Bomb” forecasts worse in store for our economy.  At any given time only 15% of homes on the market are new construction, while 85% are used homes.  As the baby-boom generation ages, the coming decades will see 60% too many homes on the market.

 Question: Can the economic impact of declining birth rates be seen outside the United States?

 Answer: Yes, in Japan, which has a birth rate of 1.25. Of the 10 nations with the lowest birth rates today, Japan is the only one outside of Europe. It also has the highest ratio elderly to children in the world. As the rising sun sets, where will the next generation of consumers and producers come from?  While much of the industrialized world saw their economies grow in the 1990s, from 1990 to 2005, Japan’s stock market fell 80%.

Between 1990 and 2005. Its real estate market lost 60% of its value.

A declining birthrate may help the cost of insurance, but it sure won’t help a failing economy!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some Common Sense From The Wall Street Journal

The cenotaph in Durban's central Farewell Square

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal posted an op-ed in its Review and Outlook column entitled “The Post-Global Warming World.” I’m not linking to the article as it is subscribers only.

The article reminds us that the United Nations annual climate-change conference will meet in November in Durban, South Africa (Do you ever notice that these conferences never take place in the low-rent district? When was the last time they had a conference in Newark?) The 1997 Kyoto Protocol is set to expire, and they are looking for the next step forward. There are, however, a few problems. India and China were not covered by the first pact to limit carbon emissions and now the United States, Russia and Japan have said that they will not agree to a new binding pact.

The article reports:

…Last week, EU Climate Action Director General Jos Delbeke told reporters that “in reality what may happen is that the Europeans will pronounce themselves politically in favor of the Kyoto Protocol” but won’t lock themselves into any new anticarbon pacts unless “other parties join the club.” 

The problem with going green is that as of yet the technology is not there. All that has been accomplished in countries that have attempted to go green is that they have seriously taxed their economies. Some of the facts that have emerged on green energy–wind mills need up to 90 percent of their capacity backed up (usually with coal or gas plants)  in order to prevent blackouts , and wind mills kill birds. Solar power involves lead batteries which release lead pollution. We simply did not have economical, successful green energy yet. We may have it in the future, but we don’t have it yet, and no amount of carbon restrictions or government subsidies is going to change that.

The article concludes:

The science on climate change and man’s influence on it is far from settled. The question today is whether it makes sense to combat a potential climate threat by imposing economically destructive regulations and sinking billions into failure-prone technologies that have their own environmental costs. The earnest people going to Durban next month may think so. The rest of the world is wearier and wiser.

It will be interesting to see what happens in Durban.

Enhanced by Zemanta