Friday, February 27, 2015

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

We have John Kerry, secretary of state, saying that times have never been better, casualties from terrorism are down, everything is hunky dory.  We have James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, saying the terrorism problem is the worst it has been since they started keeping records.  On the same day we have these two summaries.  Both given in front of Congress. 
   So who is right?  Well Kerry is an airhead, been one for a long time.  Dunno much about Clapper.  But neither of them look back very far. 
   For a real existential threat to our country, look back to the 1930's.  The Nazi's , with the Japanese for side kicks, were a real threat.  It took the longest, bloodiest, deadliest war in all of history to stop them.  We might have lost WWII if the enemy hadn't made so many mistakes.  The Nazi's could have beaten us to the bomb, and that would have been that.  Hitler would have nuked London and then New York, and kept on doing it till we had nothing left. 
   And, then there was the cold war.  The Soviets had plenty of nukes, enough to turn our country into a coast-to-coast slagheap.  One misstep,  say in Berlin, or Cuba, and boom, no more US of A.
   Compared to those two, now extinct threats,  the IS/ISIS/ISIL thing, while a pain in the tush, is just not that deadly, yet. 
   Of course we aren't doing anything about the IS/ISIS/ISIL threat.  We can't even figure out what to call them, let along how to squash them. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Will the courts save the Internet?

Three appointed democrats on the FCC decided to apply 323 pages of secret regulation to the Internet today.  They claim it's just "net neutrality"  which sounds benign even though nobody really knows what it is.  They are keeping the new regulations secret because they are so benign. But 323 pages of regulations have enough fine print to allow the FCC to do anything it wants.  Want to bet they define all conservative web sites as "hate speech" and close them? 
   The ISP's are planning to sue.  They won the last two times the FCC attempted this power grab.  If the courts have the stones, they ought to throw this one out too. 
   Too bad the Congress isn't doing squat.  Real democracy that is. 

Fairpoint Communications Strike settles

Fairpoint Communications, our telephone company, was struck by its union back in October.  According to NHPR and the Union Leader, they settled the strike today. 
   Funny thing, neither NHPR or the Union Leader would disclose any terms of the settlement.  Fairpoint has been losing money over the years, actually since it bought the business off of Verizon, quite a few years ago.  And surely the rise of cell phones is eating into Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS for short) sales.  For instance none of my three children have POTS, they all use cell phones.   I under stand the Fairpoint workers all have "defined benefit" pensions, which require the company to stay in business in order to pay off.  If the union presses Fairpoint too hard, it could go under. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Nation Building is not optional.

The "nations" that the US has imposed regime change upon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and others, aren't much in the way of nations.  Once the US deposed the dictator, there was nothing to hold the place together.  No law enforcement,. no courts, no legislature, no accepted code of law, no telephone system, little to no civil government.  Without doing some, in fact quite a bit, of "nation building" the place goes to pieces.  Warlords and terrorists take over, and the land becomes a breeding ground for crazies. 
   Afghanistan is a classic example.  In the 1980's the Soviets invaded.  A native resistance, the Mujahadin, took up arms against the Soviets and with substantial American assistance (plenty of Stinger back pack anti aircraft missiles) drove the Soviets out of the country.  At which point, we Americans washed our hands of the place and went home.  The Afghans were unable to create a national government and in an uncontrolled patch of Afghan ground, Osama bin Ladin set up shop and launched 9/11 on us. 
   Lesson that should be learned.  Never allow wild lands without a responsible national government to emerge.  Bad things like 9/11 come out of wild lands.  We must do enough nation building to create a national government that can exert control over the national territory.  
   For instance, the US claims to be fighting against IS/ISIS/ISIL.  Good idea.  But, should we defeat IS/ISIS/ISIL what are we gonna do to set up and keep alive, a national government to maintain order in the land?  Last time we pulled out and the place, which we had sort of stuck together, fell apart in a year after the Americans left. 
   If we are going to intervene in third world armpits, we need to be willing to do enough nation building to establish a regime that can control to place after we blow the current dictator away.  If we ain't ready to shape the place up, we do better leaving the native dictator in charge. 

Whither Keystone XL?

Obama did have the stones to veto the pipeline project, despite solid popular support, solid union support, solid financial support.   They ought to attempt a veto override in Congress, but the smoke signals I see don't give much hope.  But might as well try it, just 'cause it will cause Obama some more pain. 
   As I understand it, pipe is going into the ground on the US side of the border.  They ought to keep laying it.  Run it right up to the Canadian border.  Then shuttle the oil over the border by rail and into the pipeline. 
   In the meantime, be sure to emphasize Obama's role in raising fuel prices, increasing US entanglement in the Middle East, and destroying jobs and economic opportunity. 
    Obama thinks that we can operate off sunlight and wind, instead of fossil fuel.  He's wrong on this, I cannot put sunlight or wind into my car, my oil burner, an airliner, or even a railroad locomotive.   I cannot use solar electricity after sundown, which is when I need to run my lights and my oil burner. And with the temperature forecast to go down to ten below tonight,  I NEED that oil burner.  And, all the greenie wailing about CO2 in the atmosphere is moonshine.  CO2 is 400 parts per million, plain old water vapor is like 100,000 parts per million or more, and water vapor is as strong a green house gas as CO2.  The whole CO2 thing is a tempest in a teapot.  The controlling green house gas is water vapor, 'cause water vapor is ten, a hundred or a thousand times more plentiful than CO2.  Which might account for the halt in global warming since the 1990's.  And with the two thirds of the world covered with open water oceans, nothing is gonna reduce the water vapor levels. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Walker should have said.

The msm tossed a gotcha question at Scott Walker, "Is president Obama a Christian", or words to that effect.  Walker should have said, "Why ask me?  How the Hell should I know?  Ask Obama."

Scumbagi's threaten Mall of America

It's been on the TV news.  Jeh Johnson, secretary of homeland security, was on TV saying that we ought to take the threat seriously.  I'm sure Mall of America loved that one, although it doesn't seem to have scared off their customers over the weekend.  Johnson went on to say that all citizens ought to take care and do something to prevent terrorist action.
   Well, I think that means anyone who has a concealed carry permit, ought to carry when they go to the mall.  And the mall owners ought to post signs welcoming the carry of firearms.  And if you don't have a concealed carry permit you ought to apply for one. Even just having a piece in the glove compartment can make a difference, has made a difference in the past.