Right Wing Granny

News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.

Right Wing Granny

Beware The Propaganda

American warships have been escorting and defending commercial vessels in the Red Sea for a while. It’s intense duty for the crews, the Houthis

According to Euro News:

The Eisenhower is facing its most intense combat since World War II, and its 5,000 staff members have gotten just one short port call during the eight-month rotation to Greece so far.

Keeping morale up on any ship is a challenge, but on long deployments, it’s really hard–particularly when the Houthis are reporting that they have successfully sunk you.

The article reports:

An information war online between the US Navy and Houthi rebels has put the USS Dwight D Eisenhower’s existence into question over the past few months. Its commanding officer, Captain Christopher “Chowdah” Hill, is more alive than ever on social media.

The Houthis say it has been sunk several times in the past months. Its captain says they are eating cookies and tacos. So, what really happened to the USS Dwight D Eisenhower?

The truth is, one of the oldest ships in the US Navy is still up and running, or afloat and sailing, despite the Yemeni rebels’ claims of having destroyed the carrier.

In fact, its commanding officer, Captain Christopher “Chowdah” Hill, is more alive than ever on social media, trying to combat not only the war on the sea but also the war on misinformation.

Here are a few pictures from the article:

The article concludes:

While even the secretive leader of the Houthis, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, has name-dropped the carrier in speeches while making false claims about the vessel, Hill has offered ceaselessly positive messages online about his sailors on board.

Then there are the Star Wars memes and images of Captain Demo, the Labrador-golden retriever mix who roams the ship as a support animal for sailors.

And as far as the Houthi forces watching his postings, Hill takes special pleasure in writing about “Taco Tuesdays” on the ship.

“We’re going to celebrate ‘Taco Tuesdays’ because it’s my absolute favourite day of the week. That will never end,” the captain said. “If you call that an information warfare campaign, you can. It’s just who I am, you know, at the end of the day.”

“I came to a revelation at some point in my career that, one of the things that all humans require is to be loved and valued,” Hill added.

“So I shouldn’t be afraid, as a leader, to try to love and value everybody, and also to expect other leaders that I’m responsible for to love and value their sailors.”

Keep posting, sir!

 

A Study in Entropy

Entropy is defined as the trend of the universe toward disorder. Entropy is illustrated by what happens to a farmer’s field if he ignores it for a few years. It is also what happens to a tractor or wagon that is left out in a field unattended. Crops do not automatically grow in straight lines, and weeds do not pick themselves. It is not a good idea to let children raise themselves. It takes human effort to keep things moving forward.

Does entropy apply to nations? If freedom and liberty are not carefully nurtured, do they degrade? If the culture is not properly guarded and maintained, does it degrade into unhealthy places?

Recently there was something of an uproar about a commencement speech given by a National Football League player. In his speech, Harrison Butker praised the virtues of motherhood. He praised his wife for the role her support has played in his success. He stated that many of the women in the audience that day will eventually become mothers. They will struggle with balancing their roles as wives, mothers, and corporate employees. All those roles are important, but has our culture devalued the role of wife and mother? A poem by William Ross Wallace states, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules the World.” In the past, children learned basic foundational things from their mothers—baking cookies, shopping, language skills and values. In a world where career is valued over motherhood, children may or may not learn these things at daycare. There is nothing wrong with daycare, but I can guarantee that a child’s daycare provider does not love the child the way his/her mother does. I understand that in today’s economy staying home with your children is something of a luxury, but it can be done. Is devaluing motherhood a step forward or a step backward?

The speech given by Harrison Butker would have merely been a statement of the obvious in 1970. What changed?

The programs of the Great Society and the War on Poverty came into their own in the 1970’s. In 1965, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, the Moynihan Report,” was written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan. He warned against the collapse of the black family unit, noting a rise in single-parent families. The Great Society programs exacerbated that problem by making payments to women only if there was not a man living in the house. The destruction those programs created in the black population later spread to the white population. The 1970’s also gave rise to the Feminist movement and created what was then the cottage industry of daycare—now a billion-dollar industry. This further weakened the family structure—the foundation of a healthy society.

The overspending of the 1960’s and 1970’s and beyond created an inflationary cycle that forced many women into the workforce. One positive aspect of this is that educational and professional opportunities for women increased. That at least was a positive thing.

Is America now experiencing a state of entropy? How many Americans voted in the last primary election? How many Americans voted in the last Presidential election? Are you willing to take an active role in your government? What impact will the dramatic increase in population from places that do not share our culture have on our own already degrading culture?

If Americans want to save our country from entropy, they need to stand up and fight for the values and culture that made this country great. If we do not do that soon, we will go the way of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

The Attack On All Parts Of Our Food Supply

On March 4th, The Epoch Times posted an article about a raid by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania.

The article reports:

In January, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, raided the Amos Miller Organic Farm, a longtime members-only organic farm in Lancaster County. Government agents took possession of many tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of food that had been produced on the farm for family and friends, people who rely on this farm for high-quality products that avoid factory methods, chemicals, and industrial processes.

This is the kind of food that many people around the country would love to buy but cannot because of the industrial cartels that control production and distribution in this country. Residents of Amish country are wildly fortunate to have such options, particularly as it pertains to raw milk products, which are widely considered to be more nutritious and delicious than processed milk. However, that truth is censored very heavily by YouTube, as part of the general censorship regime in operation now.

The article concludes:

What will save the food supply in this country is less government oversight and bullying and more of the free market that the Amish practice. It is highly dangerous for government powers to be deployed in harassing these people and thus further poisoning the food supply. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong on this subject for most of my writing career. But the COVID response taught me a thing or two. I learned that we cannot trust government oversight in any aspect of human health, particularly not that which affects our food.

And it’s not only about food. It’s also about religious freedom. Groups such as the Amish and so many others have thrived in the United States thanks to religious freedom. Their lifestyle and food choices are part of that. Take that away and you remove the whole guts of the whole basis of the American experience. It’s that serious.

Meanwhile, as government goes after raw milk, vast numbers suffer real injury from mRNA shots the government forced on millions of people. Pharma’s stocks continue to trade at high levels while true investigations get little attention by the captured corporate media outlets.

The Amos Miller Organic Farm deserves every passionate defense from anyone who values health and freedom. Make no mistake. The war on the organic farm is a war on all of us and only to the industrial benefit of large producers tightly connected to the cartel that runs agriculture in this country. The entire regulatory empire needs to be completely deregulated in the interest of the health and well-being of everyone.

Many of us wish we lived near a farm like the Amos Miller Organic Farm. The government is doing no one a favor by shutting it down.

Bad Reporting Creates Misplaced Blame

Secretary of State Blinken is visiting Arab countries in the Middle East, supposedly working to end the war in the Gaza Strip. Actually, he is attempting to encourage Israel’s neighbors to put pressure on Israel to stop fighting Hamas in Gaza. Meanwhile some relatives of the hostages are trying to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end the war and bring home the hostages. Have they forgotten October 7? Nearly everyone wants to end the war and bring home the hostages, but at what cost?

According to some reports, Israel has offered a two-month cease-fire in exchange for the return of the hostages. That offer has been refused. So who is the problem?

The Gaza Strip operated as an independent entity before October 7. The residents of Gaza were free to commute to Israel to work–Gaza did not have jobs for them–humanitarian aid money was used to build tunnels and buy weapons. Any poverty in Gaza was the result of the people governing Gaza–not the fault of Israel. Some of the people in Gaza who worked in Israel were among those who attacked Israel on October 7. Now they no longer have jobs.

Many in America and worldwide have been misled into thinking that the war in the Middle East is Israel’s fault. I wonder if those chanting “From the river to the sea” actually have any idea that they are calling for a new holocaust. Anyone who does not support the elimination of Hamas does not understand that Hamas has never changed its Charter, which calls for the elimination of Israel. Hamas is supported and financed by Iran and Qatar. Iran freely chants “Death to America.” Do those in America supporting Hamas realize that they are the next target? We need to teach our children the story of the woman who rescued the dying poisonous snake and nursed it back to health. It didn’t end well.

Can We Elect Argentina’s President As America’s President This Year?

On December 27th, Headline USA reported the following:

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Newly sworn-in Argentina President Javier Milei purged over 5,000 government bureaucrats, fulfilling a campaign pledge to reduce the size of the inflation-burdened federal government. 

According to the Spanish-language newspaper El Pais, Milei signed an executive order to halt the contracts of federal workers hired in 2023, likely targeting individuals hired by his former leftist predecessor.

The order came after the capitalist president vowed to rescue Argentina from widespread corruption, inflation and wasteful government spending. 

El Pais reported that some disabled and indispensable employees will be exempt from the layoffs. However, the Argentine government announced a comprehensive audit within the next 90 days, hinting at potential future layoffs. 

The article notes that President Milei has been compared to President Trump in that President Trump has also pledged to shrink the federal government if he is elected in 2024. It will be interesting to watch the consequences of such a drastic change.

The United Nations Has A Dietary Plan For America

On Tuesday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about one United Nations Agency’s plan to fight climate change.

The article reports:

The United Nations agency that is pushing wealthy nations to curb their meat consumption in the name of climate change is led by a top Chinese Communist Party official who is known for using the agency to serve Beijing.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization—which counts CCP official Qu Dongyu as its director—is set to release a plan next month that calls on “the world’s most-developed nations” to fight climate change by curbing “their excessive appetite for meat,” Bloomberg reported Saturday. It’s unlikely, however, that the directive will apply to China. The United Nations still considers China a developing country, and Qu himself has long faced criticism for using his U.N. post to advance Beijing’s interests.

The article explains one possible motive for the push toward eating less meat:

A reduction in global meat production, meanwhile, could help alleviate Chinese concerns over food security and land scarcity. China is the world’s largest meat importer thanks in part to “scarcity of land for feed and forage” and “rising production costs” that have limited its production, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report published in July. China experienced large-scale food shortages in 2022, prompting protests in more than a dozen cities.

In August 2023, The Guardian reported the following:

China is approving new coal power projects at the equivalent of two plants every week, a rate energy watchdogs say is unsustainable if the country hopes to achieve its energy targets.

The government has pledged to peak emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2060, and in 2021 the president, Xi Jinping, promised to stop building coal powered plants abroad.

But after regional power crunches in 2022, China started a domestic spree of approving new projects and restarting suspended ones. In 2022 the government approved a record-breaking 106 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity. One gigawatt is the equivalent of a large coal power plant.

So why is a country that is building coal plants to generate electricity at the rate of two a week complaining that Americans eat too much meat?

It really is time for America to leave the United Nations, take over the building in New York and turn it into condominiums.

Eliminating The Terrorists One By One

On Monday, Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog reported that IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari was killed yesterday.

The article reports:

IRGC Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari was assassinated yesterday Sunday in broad daylight outside his home by two men on a motorcycle who rode off into the sunset. Iran blamed the assassination on “elements linked to the global arrogance,” which the Times of Israel’s story translates as “the term for the United States and its allies including Israel.”

I think Iran is fingering Israel, but they don’t want to let the Great Satan off the hook either. The mullahs have their assassins working on Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, if not President Trump himself. The Jerusalem Post notes: “The IRGC also reported that Khodayari was involved in the security of the Shiite holy places in Damascus and that he had a close relationship with Qasem Soleimani, an IRGC commander who was killed in a US airstrike in 2020.”

The ToI story adds one more translation: “Reports identified [Khodayari] as a ‘defender of the sanctuary,’ a reference to Iranians who carry out Tehran’s operations in Syria and Iraq within the Guard’s elite Quds Force that oversees operations abroad.” The Jerusalem Post covers the techniques employed in the assassination here (also linked above).

The Jerusalem Post also notes: “According to Iranian sources, Khodayari was responsible for attempts to abduct and assassinate Israelis in Cyprus, Turkey and Colombia, N12 reported.” There’s a war underway. However, I’m quite sure the United States has quit fighting back President Trump left town. The Post’s analysis separately concludes “Assassination of IRGC official shows Israel has shifted gears.”

If America chooses to sit on the sidelines while Israel deals with terrorist attacks, Israel will successfully deal with those attacks on her own. It would be nice if America helped, but not necessary. The Israelis have a way of getting things done on their own.

The article notes:

Unsourced reports in the Israeli media state that Khodayari had planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide. Israel Hayom has more here.

I guess those plans are at least temporarily on hold.

Destroying Our Foreign Allegiances In Eight Months

President Trump was accused of having a negative impact on our relationships with our allies. After all, he pretty much forced our NATO allies to pay their fair share. However, with President Trump what you saw was pretty much what you got. There weren’t a lot of surprises. Allies were never left uninformed about military actions or treated badly. Our bond with Britain was strengthened during the Trump years. Our bond with France was solid– they respected our President (even if they were not overly fond of his style). Well, President Biden has created some serious problems with our allies.

Yesterday MSN reported that France has recalled its ambassadors to America and to Australia in protest over an agreement that will provide nuclear submarines to Australia.

The article reports:

France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in response to a pact signed by the two countries along with the United Kingdom that the French referred to as a stab in the back.

“At the request of President Macron, I have decided to immediately recall our ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drain said in a statement Friday.

The article concludes:

Earlier in the week, Le Drain told a French radio station that the pact, known as AUKUS and widely perceived as a challenge to China’s presence in the region, was a “stab in the back” and that France had been “betrayed.”

Le Drain also compared President Biden to former President Donald Trump.

“This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Le Drian said. “I am angry and bitter. This isn’t done between allies.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied that the move had created a “regional divide” and said that France was notified of the deal prior to the announcement.  

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News on the French ambassadors being recalled.

I am sure there is someone somewhere in the diplomatic corps who could have properly handled this. Will we have any friends in the world by the end of the Biden administration?

A Disturbing Campaign Ad

Yesterday Trending Politics posted an article about a campaign ad put out by the Biden campaign.

The article quotes the ad:

“America was an idea, we hold these truths to be self-evident, we’ve never lived up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it before. And I think we just have to be more honest with our kids know as we raise them, what actually did happen. Acknowledge our mistakes,” Biden says in his ad.

Really. Did we live up to it when we stormed the beaches of France to stop a genocide? Did we live up to it when we fought a Civil War to end slavery in America? Did we live up to it when we ended segregation in America and fought to give equal rights to all Americans?

It is sad that a person running for the highest office in the land has this perspective. It is even sadder than many Americans share his view.

We are not perfect, but we are ‘the last best hope’ for freedom that the world has. It’s time to celebrate that. We should work on our faults, but not be defined by them.

Great News For America

Energy independence is wonderful, but in today’s technology age, there are other important areas where America needs to be self-sustaining. One of the them is the rare earth minerals used in the manufacture of our technology. On Wednesday (updated yesterday) The Epoch Times posted an article about one step that has been taken in this direction.

The article reports:

Owners of the Wheat Ridge facility for processing rare earth elements and critical minerals have received an operating permit that will enable minerals critical to advanced technology manufacturing to be mined and processed in the United States.

USA Rare Earth, LLC, and Texas Mineral Resources Corp. announced on June 18 that their Wheat Ridge, Colorado, facility has received its operating permit, with its pilot plant now in the commissioning process.

Texas Mineral said in a press release that the plant “will have the ability to produce the full range of high purity, separated rare earths as well as other critical minerals … which are essential for modern manufacturing ranging from defense applications to wind turbines, electric vehicles, smart phones, advanced medical devices, and the physical backbone of emerging 5G networks.”

The company says its objective is “to build the first rare earth and critical minerals processing facility outside China.”

The CEO of USA Rare Earth, Pini Althaus, said in a press release that the establishment of an independent, robust, and domestic rare earth metal and critical mineral supply chain is vital for the United States, “overcoming reliance on China.”

Congress and President Trump have both recognized the need to produce these minerals in America.

The article notes:

Reps. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation (pdf) on May 28 to protect American mineral supply chains.

Gosar described critical minerals as the building blocks of our modern lives, as they are vitally important for special components in defense systems, health care applications, and energy generation technology.

“For years, our country has become increasingly dependent on China and other nations to fulfill our demand for minerals,” said Gosar. “The global pandemic has demonstrated the severe consequences of allowing this longstanding over-reliance on China to go unchecked.”

Waltz said that critical minerals are integral to our way of life.

“As coronavirus has unfortunately demonstrated, if China can threaten to cut off our pharmaceutical supply, they can do the same with their supply of rare earth minerals,” said Waltz. “We need to bring this supply chain back to America—and this bill will be an important step to do that.”

…President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13817 in December 2017, titled “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals.” The order directed federal agencies to list critical minerals, develop strategies to reduce reliance on the minerals themselves and on foreign suppliers, and increase domestic production.

The positive impact of the coronavirus is that it reminded us that as a nation we need to be as self-sufficient as possible. It is encouraging to see steps being taken in this direction.

Recognizing A Long-Standing Problem

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about America’s dependence on Chinese manufacturing for inexpensive products.

The article reports:

American companies that produce essential goods in China should plan to shift their operations back to the United States or other Western countries, according to a senior Republican lawmaker.

“We’re staring into a significant, significant crisis of supply chain,” Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told the Washington Examiner. “Cheap labor or cheap manufacturing be damned if you are reliant on them for your life and livelihood.”

Gardner’s warning was spurred by the shortage of hospital masks in the United States, a dearth driven by Beijing’s refusal to allow American companies that make the products in China to ship them out of the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. And he’s not alone in that sentiment, raising the possibility that anger over China’s self-interested response to the coronavirus outbreak could produce one of the most dramatic alterations of global economics in decades.

“Because of the coronavirus problem, people are recognizing that any supply chain that has single points of failure is incredibly vulnerable,” the Heritage Foundation’s Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow in the organization’s Asian Studies Center, told the Washington Examiner. “China is going to be very concerned about decoupling, offshoring, [or any] redirection of investments out of China.”

Obviously, the coronavirus has caused American companies to rethink outsourcing manufacturing to China, but the threats by the Chinese government have not helped the situation.

The article notes:

That suspicion of China reflects the degree to which the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the tensions between the world’s two largest economies. American officials are angry that Chinese Communist officials censored the early warnings that a new virus had emerged in Wuhan. In response, fuming Chinese diplomats have accused the U.S. Army of starting the pandemic while reminding the West that China controls key parts of the medical supply chain.

“There could be nothing more ham-handed and catastrophic than for the Chinese to talk some more about ‘how the U.S. created coronavirus, and, by the way, maybe we’ll cut off pharmaceuticals,’” Cheng said. “You want to have a situation where there really is that kind of a backlash, where the U.S. actively tries to not only decouple but move specifically away from China? That’s inviting that kind of a backlash.”

America can’t afford to outsource its drug manufacturing to a country that threatens to cut off the supply. It’s time to bring drug manufacturing home and employ American workers.

Some Thoughts On One Long-Term Effect Of The Coronavirus

On March 1, Forbes Magazine posted an article about the long-term impact of the coronavirus. Obviously the article was written before America went on lockdown and the stock market felt the full impact of the epidemic.

The article reports:

The new coronavirus Covid-19 will end up being the final curtain on China’s nearly 30 year role as the world’s leading manufacturer.

“Using China as a hub…that model died this week, I think,” says Vladimir Signorelli, head of Bretton Woods Research, a macro investment research firm.

China’s economy is getting hit much harder by the coronavirus outbreak than markets currently recognize. Wall Street appeared to be the last to realize this last week. The S&P 500 fell over 8%, the worst performing market of all the big coronavirus infected nations. Even Italy, which has over a thousand cases now, did better last week than the U.S.

So who wins as China loses its place as the world’s leading manufacturer?

The article notes:

Yes. It is Mexico’s turn.

Mexico and the U.S. get a long. They are neighbors. Their president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants to oversee a blue collar boom in his country. Trump would like to see that too, especially if it means less Central Americans coming into the U.S. and depressing wages for American blue collar workers.

According to 160 executives who participated in Foley & Lardner LLP’s 2020 International Trade and Trends in Mexico survey, released on February 25, respondents from the manufacturing, automotive and technology sectors said they intended to move business to Mexico from other countries – and they plan on doing so within the next one to five years.

“Our survey shows that a large majority of executives are moving or have moved portions of their operations from another country to Mexico,” says Christopher Swift, Foley partner and litigator in the firm’s Government Enforcement Defense & Investigations Practice.

Swift says the move is due to the trade war and the passing of the USMCA.

The article points out one of the major problems with manufacturing in Mexico:

Safety remains a top issue for foreign businesses in Mexico who have to worry about kidnappings, drug cartels, and personal protection rackets. If Mexico was half as safe as China, it would be a boon for the economy. If it was as safe, Mexico would be the best country in Latin America.

“The repercussions of the trade war are already being felt in Mexico,” says Miralles.

Mexico replaced China as the U.S. leading trading partner. China overtook Mexico only for a short while.

A strong Mexican economy would solve a lot of problems for America if the drug cartels and other illegal activities could be stopped. A strong Mexican economy would provide incentive for migrants from poorer South American countries to remain there and work. It might ebb the flow of illegals into America that burden the American welfare system and negatively impact the wages of Americans on the lower end of the wage scale.

There will always be drawbacks to outsourcing manufacturing to a country that is controlled by a group of tyrants. American companies who scream about civil rights in America have been willing to overlook sweatshops in China. It is time to add the concept of conscience to the corporate decision-making process.

The Silver Lining?

I’m not ready to say that there is a silver lining to the coronavirus, but I will admit that there are lessons we can learn from it. The American Thinker posted an article today listing some of the lessons that can be learned from our experience with the coronavirus.

The article notes:

Businesses now see that their precious supply chains and just-in-time inventory models are laden with risk.  Also, the American public and even our brain-dead political class are now aware of the folly of being dependent on China for so much of our essential goods, especially prescription medicines and health care products.  Both these factors will accelerate the relocation of U.S. businesses out of communist China….

In January, President Trump restricted people coming in from China.  He was called this and that for that action, but now it can be seen that the president was both prudent and foresighted.  That is what leadership looks like.  Europe currently has a greater problem with the Wuhan Virus because it did not act in a similar fashion.  The Democrats and media will never give Trump credit for this, but the average person sees it, thus discrediting both the media and Democrats even more.  Plus it drives home the point once again that borders are vital to a nation’s security and well-being.

And speaking of the Europeans, they are in high dudgeon because on Thursday night, President Trump announced that the United States will suspend travel from 26 European countries into the U.S. for the next 30 days starting Friday, March 13.  Europe is complaining that it wasn’t consulted on the travel ban ahead of time.  But to consult with the Europeans would be to give them an opportunity to delay the ban when time is of the essence — or, even worse, to undermine it.  

I guess some lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Another Unsung Accomplishment By President Trump

Hot Air is reporting today that America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

The article reports:

Increased natural gas consumption helped bring down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chances are you haven’t heard. That’s because the mainstream media and environmentalists insist on condemning the Trump administration for championing fossil fuels even though the United States is doing a better job at reducing emissions than many other countries that signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The public can credit much of this success to the fracking boom, which has made natural gas much more plentiful. Cheap, abundant natural gas has gradually been displacing coal, which emits about twice as much carbon dioxide. A recent Rhodium Group study found that coal-fired power generation dropped by 18% last year, the lowest level since 1975.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, thanks to a huge abundance of cheap natural gas (generated via fracking), America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2019 after previously cutting them by the same amount the prior year. In fact, U.S. emissions went down by 12% between 2005 and 2017. By next year, American emissions are projected to be the lowest they have been since 1991, a time when the population was much lower than it is now.

By comparison, how are the “good” countries who signed on to the Paris accord doing? As it turns out, France Germany and the United Kingdom all missed their emissions reduction goals last year. Germany’s emissions actually increased after they started gutting their nuclear power program and were forced to restart some coal-fired plants to keep the lights turned on.

The only countries that are given high marks for meeting the climate agreement’s objectives are very small nations with low populations and not very much economic or industrial activity. So who are the real bad guys in this story? Before any global consortium starts trying to dictate to us how to handle our greenhouse gas emissions, perhaps they should get their own houses in order and follow our example. Rather than just talking about reducing emissions, we’re actually doing it. And we didn’t need a treaty with anyone else to get the job done.

The reason the success of America in reducing greenhouse gases is not heralded is that the success goes against the purpose of the climate change agenda–it doesn’t allow tyrannical countries to shake down democracies and republics.The goal of the climate change rhetoric is to redistribute the world’s wealth–to take money from countries that have prospered under the free market and give it to countries where the government controls the economy. America’s success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions simply does not fit the desired template.

Spin vs. Reality

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the latest events in the climate change debate.

The article reports:

Speaking at the United Nations in December, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew cheers by saying the United States was “still in” the Paris Climate Agreement. Green activists applauded Pelosi’s defense of the international climate accord, which President Trump had vowed to exit. These activists claim that remaining in the Paris Agreement will help reduce global emissions.

They are wrong.

European leaders have spent years trying and pointedly failing to solve the climate crisis with regulation. Whether intentionally or not, U.S. policymakers have mostly avoided top-down solutions. And counterintuitively, or perhaps it should have been intuitive, the U.S. now leads the developed world in reducing carbon emissions.

America didn’t need a treaty–we just needed a President who understood how to balance environmental policy and the freedom and interests of the American people.

The article explains why the American approach has worked:

…instead of banning fossil fuels outright, the U.S. embraced natural gas amid a boom in its production. Thanks to a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” we’ve managed to tap new reserves of natural gas. In 2015, the U.S. surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top producer of natural gas. By 2018, energy companies produced over 60% more natural gas than they had two decades earlier. This newfound abundance of natural gas has helped our nation transition away from coal, which emits twice as much carbon dioxide.

Thanks to this shift, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have hit 30-year lows, even as global emissions have increased by 50% during the same period. And since 2005, natural gas has done more to reduce power sector dioxide emissions than all renewable energy sources combined, according to the Energy Information Administration.

By eschewing regulation, America has also spurred additional emissions-reducing innovations in the private sector. Freed from red tape, U.S. energy firms have been able to devise and implement a host of groundbreaking green technologies. For example, a new technology called CleanWave strips chemicals from fracking wastewater using positively charged ions and bubbles. The Texas-based energy firm Apache reduces greenhouse gas emissions by powering fracking engines with natural gas instead of diesel.

The article concludes:

While the rest of the world fumbles with green energy policies, the U.S. continues to reduce emissions. We don’t need regulation to guarantee future success. American firms will continue to combat climate change, as long as we let them.

The free market works any time you let it.

President Trump And His Trade Policies

Yesterday Fox News reported that the US trade deficit has dropped for first time in 6 years because of the taxes President Trump has placed on China.

The article reports:

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as President Donald Trump hammered China with import taxes.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad fell 1.7 percent last year to $616.8 billion. U.S. exports fell 0.1 percent to $2.5 trillion. But imports fell more, slipping 0.4 percent to $3.1 trillion. Imports of crude oil plunged 19.3% to $126.6 billion.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed last year by 17.6 percent to $345.6 billion. Trump has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese imports in a battle over Beijing’s aggressive drive to challenge American technological dominance. The world’s two biggest economies reached an interim trade deal last month, and Trump dropped plans to extend the tariffs to another $160 billion in Chinese goods.

The article notes:

Overall, the United States posted a $866 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as cars and appliances, down from $887.3 billion in 2018. But it ran a $249.2 billion surplus in the trade of services such as tourism and banking, down from $260 billion in 2018.

America is a nation of consumers, so I suspect trade deficits are something that will always be with us, but as the manufacturing base in America expands and our trade policies become more balanced, I believe we will see lower trade deficits.

Is This The Future We Want For America?

Breitbart posted an article today about a tax crisis in Sweden. The causes are something Americans need to consider as our southern border continues to be seen as a political issue rather than a national security and economic issue.

The article reports:

A Swedish municipality that took in one of the highest numbers of asylum seekers per population faces a crisis as natives move out and decimate the local tax base.

The municipality of Filipstad took in many asylum seekers during the migrant crisis of 2015 and now are facing increasing costs as unemployment among migrants has surged and financial assistance rates have tripled, broadcaster SVT reports.

Claes Hultgren, the local municipal manager, described the situation, saying of the migrant population: “In this group, unemployment and dependency are very high, while education levels are very low. This group runs the risk of ending in an eternal alienation that is already heavily burdening the municipal economy.”

The article concludes:

While many cities across Sweden are facing housing shortages, the rate of unemployment between native Swedes and migrants is stark.

A 2018 report stated that the unemployment rate for native Swedes was a mere 3.6 per cent while the foreign-born rate was much higher at 19.9 per cent. The city of Malmo, which has a high migration-background population, was shown to have double the national unemployment average.

At some point, we need to realize that generosity has to have limits. You can only accept a certain amount of people who are dependent on others for their basic needs before those policies have a negative impact on the people who are working to meet their own basic needs. Charity is a wonderful part of life, but it has to be voluntary and it has to be within the bounds of ability. The number of immigrants coming into Europe and America who have no marketable skills and do not know the language is a burden on the economics of the countries involved. Immigration needs to be controlled, and assimilation needs to be part of immigration.

Unfortunately This Is Going To Require A Response

Fox News is reporting today that two tankers flying British flags have been seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz.

The article reports:

Fox News has learned that a second Liberian tanker operated by a British company was also seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and was seen on maritime tracking services making a turn, headed towards Iran.

President Trump said Friday that Iran is “nothing but trouble” and that “we heard one, we heard two,” tankers were seized.

Iran seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz earlier Friday amid growing tensions in the region.

The Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 onboard, “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship was seized for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and is being brought to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press.

Websites tracking the ship’s path show it turning sharply in the direction of Iran’s Qeshm Island, instead of its intended destination of Saudi Arabia.

“We are urgently seeking further information and assessing the situation following reports of an incident in the Gulf,” a U.K. government spokesperson told Fox News.

In July 2018 Reuters posted the following:

With a third of the world’s sea-borne oil passing through it every day, the Strait of Hormuz is a strategic artery linking Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.

That dynamic has changed slightly due to the fact that America now exports more crude oil than they import. The countries that will be hurt by problems in the Strait of Hormuz will be Europe, India, and China. I am sure that America will be willing to help Europe, Russia will also increase her oil production. The price of oil will rise sharply, but it is doubtful that the Strait will remain closed.

The latest report that I have heard is that there are actually three tankers that have been seized. This is an international problem and should be handled by the international community in unison.

Received in my email today:

The United States’ Founders created the
Electoral College to ensure the STATES and ALL AMERICANS  are FAIRLY represented.

Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the Nation?  Do they truly represent all states and our entire Nation?

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan,
Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes
than Trump. (Clinton won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 4 MEGA counties in New York City alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

Should a Nation that encompasses almost 4 million square miles,

be ruled by those who live in one small corner of the vast nation–a mere 319 square miles?

Should this small section of the country dictate a National Election?

Should large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA)  speak for the entire Nation?

 

Yes, The President’s Border Policies Have Changed Things

One America News posted an article today with the following title, “Border apprehensions nosedive after President Trump’s Mexico deal.”

The article reports:

Apprehensions on the southern border have plummeted, following President Trump’s historic deal with Mexico. According to leaked Department of Homeland Security data, apprehensions at the southern border dropped by 25-percent between May and June.

This drop was corroborated by acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Friday, who attributed the change to President Trump’s deal with Mexico in June. The deal called on Mexican officials to do more to stop the flow of illegal migration to the U.S. southern border.

“It’s become clear that over the past three weeks, since the administration reached a new agreement with Mexico, that we’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of interdictions on the Mexican southern border and a sincere effort to address the transportation networks coming through Mexico,” stated McAleenan.

While the month of June typically sees a decline in border apprehensions, a 25-percent decrease is unprecedented compared to previous years.

The article concludes:

“While it’s been many weeks coming, I think we should pause to note the significance of the strong bipartisan votes to respond the administrations request and provide the over $4.5 billion in total to support these humanitarian missions,” said the DHS secretary. “Although we did not get everything we asked for, including — importantly — additional ICE beds for single adults, the bill substantially addresses our request.”

Despite the decline, McAleenan admited there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to stop the flow of migrants from central America. He also said he believes we should wait to see if the drop in apprehensions continues in the coming months to assess just how much more work needs to be done to combat the migrant crisis.

One of the advantages of having a businessman as President, is that President Trump understands that money (tariffs) can be used as leverage. The change in the situation at our southern border is an example of that. Hopefully, the decrease in illegal immigrants attempting to enter America illegally will continue.

Our Ancestors Understood Human Nature A Lot Better Than We Do

From Vox June 23:

Sen. Bernie Sanders’s proposal to make college free in the United States just got bigger: He wants to erase all student debt too. All $1.6 trillion of it.

The Vermont senator will unveil the most ambitious higher education plan in the Democratic 2020 presidential primary so far on Monday. The proposal would make two- and four-year public and tribal colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free, and erase the roughly $1.6 trillion in student loan debt currently owed in the US, paid for by a tax on Wall Street.

Currently, about 45 million Americans have student loans. This would cancel debt for all of them — regardless of their income or assets. That’s a notable difference from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s free college proposal, which also provides broad debt relief but caps it for households with incomes over $250,000.

Sanders is proposing funding streams to states, tribes, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to allow them to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees. The bill would also increase spending on work-study programs and build up federal grant programs for low-income students for additional costs related to getting an education, from housing and transportation to buying books.

The proposal would cost $2.2 trillion over 10 years, which Sanders says would be paid for with his Wall Street tax. He proposed a Wall Street speculation tax in 2016, which would raise small levies on buying and selling stocks, bonds, and derivatives; many experts estimate it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Sanders’s office cited progressive economist Robert Pollin’s projection that the tax would bring in $2.4 trillion in revenues over 10 years.

From The New York Post February 22nd:

Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren said they both support reparations for African-Americans affected by slavery.

Asked about the matter last week on the 105.1 FM show “Breakfast Club,” Harris agreed with the host that reparations are necessary to address problems of “inequities.”

“America has a history of 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow. We had legal segregation in America for a very long time,” she said on the radio show. “We have got to recognize, back to that earlier point, people aren’t starting out on the same base in terms of their ability to succeed and so we have got to recognize that and give people a lift up.”

From Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813), who obviously understood a lot more than all three of these Democrat candidates for President:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
Alexander Fraser Tytler
We have a choice of where we will be on that timeline.

‘Merit’ Under Attack

Merriam-Webster defines merit as follows:

a obsolete : reward or punishment due

b : the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one’s deserts Opinions of his merit vary.

c : a praiseworthy quality : virtue but originality, as it is one of the highest, is also one of the rarest, of merits— E. A. Poe

d : character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem also : achievement composed a number of works of merit — H. E. Starr

The concept behind the definition is that something is earned. A person’s conduct, character, or actions deserve either a positive or negative response–generally today it implies a positive response.

The following quote is from an ABC News article posted yesterday:

“I want to just say something about the word that they use ‘merit.’ It is really a condescending word,” Pelosi said. “Are they saying family is without merit? Are they saying most of the people who have ever come to the United States in the history of our country are without merit because they don’t have an engineering degree? Certainly we want to attract the best to our country and that includes many people from many parts of society.”

I would like to point out that the most of the people who came to the United States came before the existence of the welfare state. Their ‘merit’ was their willingness to work to build America. Unfortunately many of the people now arriving lack that ‘merit.’ Many are coming here looking for a free lunch.

I am not opposed to family immigration, but we need to look at the consequences of having family immigration as the majority of our immigration. Uncle Fred might have been a successful farmer in his younger years, but his best years are behind him. His medical needs have increased and his ability to work has decreased. It may be the humane thing to do to reunite Uncle Fred with his family and give him the medical care he needs, but it is the humane thing to do while our veterans are waiting years for medical care that they have earned?

Can we afford to have an immigration system not based on what will help our country remain prosperous? Again, I am not opposed to family immigration, but we need to be certain that the people we bring into America will help build America and not be a burden on the people already here.

Merit doesn’t necessarily mean an engineering degree, but it does mean an ability to assimilate into America, work hard, and be an asset to themselves and to their community.

The Latest Economic Numbers

On Friday, Market Watch reported that the U.S. economy did better than expected during the first three months of 2019.

The article reports:

Reports of the demise of the U.S. economy proved unfounded as first-quarter activity showed surprising strength. The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2% annual pace in the first three months of 2019, the government said Friday.

The gain was well above forecasts. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 2.3% increase in gross domestic product. The economy grew at a 2.2% rate in the final three months of 2018.

Inflation moderated a bit in the first quarter.

The article includes other good economic news:

Final sales to domestic purchasers, which excludes trade and inventory behavior, rose 2.3% in the first quarter, the smallest gain in three years, but still well above what economists were expecting.

The value of inventories increased to $128.4 billion from $96.8 billion, adding to GDP.

The trade sector added a little more than 1% to growth in the first quarter. Exports rose 3.7%, while imports dropped by the same amount, leading to a smaller trade deficit.

Offsetting these gains, consumer spending decelerated to a 1.2% gain, the slowest increase in a year.

Business fixed investment decelerated to a relatively slow 2.7% gain, down from a 5.4% gain in the prior quarter. Investment in structures fell 0.8%, the third straight decline.

Investment in new housing was another weak spot. Residential investment dropped 2.8%, the fifth straight quarterly decline.

I believe that the weakness in the housing market is being caused by a number of things. The millennials, the generation that would currently be entering the housing market, are weighed down by student debt. There is also a different attitude among young Americans about owning a house that there was a few generations ago. In the past, many Americans looked at their home as an investment–something that would grow in value over the years. Many older people began with a ‘starter house’–a small house that allowed them to enter into the housing market. Today, couples are having children later than previous generations. Their first house is paid for by two incomes, and they are not dealing with the expense of having children. The concept of a ‘starter house’ is no longer with us. Those facts, along with the price of the home most young people want to own are working to slow down the housing market. I am not convinced any of those factors are going to change.

Do We Really Want To Do This?

On February 15th The Washington Examiner posted an article with the following headline: “‘Medicare for All’ would require obesity laws.” I wonder if the few Americans who actually support the idea of ‘Medicare for All’ understand that would be part of the deal (along with drastic increases in taxes, long waits for medical care, and a reduction in the quality and quantity of medical care available).

The article notes:

At 36.2 percent, the American obesity rate is the 12th-highest in the world and first among OECD countries. Of every European nation with universal healthcare, only the United Kingdom (27.8 percent) and Hungary (26.4 percent) come within 10 percent of the American obesity rate.

In Germany, France, Portugal, and Sweden, the national obesity rates are 22.3 percent, 21.6 percent, 20.8 percent, and 20.6 percent respectively. And in Denmark and Italy, fewer than 20 percent of people are obese.

Like it or not, we live in a country where ordering a salad at a fast food place often costs more than ordering something less healthy. Unless Americans are willing to change their eating habits significantly, Medicare for All would be a disaster.

The article concludes:

The country under single-payer will make former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda taxes and food-nannying look like child’s play. Everything from your sugar consumption to your alcohol would become a matter of public regulation, and the public would not only have the power but also the moral right to regulate how people live.

Of the 2.6 million deaths in the U.S. per year, 300,000 are caused by obesity. It’s one of the single greatest drivers of avoidable healthcare spending, costing the country around $200 billion annually.

Progressives may call this fat-shaming. But it’s really just public health and economics.

Keep your hands off my Bo-Jangles!