Sigh – Hilarity can’t ensue

June 16th, 2019

Some guy got a call from the King of Norway, an older gentleman, who said that someone running for office had a crooked foundation that was trading contributions for actions favorable to the donors’ countries. Hang up! It’s treason or worse to listen to that old king. You should have asked to pay the king before listening. Because if you pay the foreign guy to lie and make stuff up, hey, that’s just business and good politics.

Clown patrol alert.

Here we go with the numbers again

June 15th, 2019


Chinese economic data on industrial output and investment published Friday added to evidence of a slowdown that some economists said risks breaching the government’s 6% bottom line for growth, unless there is more stimulus.

The data for May included two key pieces of Chinese gross domestic product: value-added industrial production, which rose 5.0% from a year earlier, and fixed-asset investment, up 5.6% during the first five months of the year. Both increases were slower than prior-month reports from the National Bureau of Statistics. Beijing has targeted GDP growth this year between 6.0% and 6.5% — either would be the slowest in a quarter-century.

The factory output number, the weakest since 1992, follows disappointing trade data published this week showing exports nearly flat and imports falling 8.5% in May. Loan expansion in the period lagged every other month this year.

“China will have to introduce more fiscal stimulus to ensure it can reach the 6% bottom line of growth target this year,” said Iris Pang, an economist with ING Bank NV In March, the National People’s Congress approved a 2 trillion yuan ($288.95 billion) stimulus package that included tax and fee reductions that briefly appeared to improve business confidence.

SCMP: “There was yet more bad news for the country’s automotive sector, with vehicle sales plummeting 16.4 per cent in May, the 11th consecutive monthly decline.” Signs point to a trade deal fairly soon.

Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!!!

June 14th, 2019

Danger!!! “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, ‘we have information on your opponent’ – oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” It’s now a capital offense!

And it’s not the only capital offense!

Yawn, and …

June 13th, 2019

Here’s a list of boring, yawn, things from today and yesterday. (1) As expected, creeps trying to cover up creepiness. (2) Yawn again, fakeness. (3) HK story – but we don’t think we understand the depth or power of opposition. (4) We do want to see this movie, but we’ll see, since we have a fair amount of empathy for the creepy husband. (5) Proposed national referendum: all those with no sense of humor or cutting no slack should not be able to vote – lifetime ban. Yay!

Maybe the money’s in Al Capone’s vault

June 12th, 2019

Reuters finds GAAP, 10K’s and auditors have gone missing:

the disappearance of a combined $6.1 billion from two Chinese companies has dumbfounded investors and forced regulators to take action. Kangmei Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, a constituent of MSCI’s global indexes, in April said an “accounting error” led it to overstate cash in 2017 by 29.94 billion yuan ($4.3 billion). This month, Kangde Xin Composite Material Group Co Ltd, a producer of high-polymer materials, said its auditor could find no trace of the 12.21 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) that it said it held in a bank deposit.

Very bizarre. Explanation offered here in an old song. We learned about this from a video by Air Force General Robert Spalding, recommended to us in the last post. Wretchard quotes from it a lot. There’s a lot of scary stuff about G5, and Spalding asserts there will be no trade deal until after 2020. We’ll see.

5G – Dunno

June 11th, 2019


5G talk is everywhere. It’s a worldwide race. It’s a security challenge. It’s a geopolitical battle between the United States and China. By some accounts, 5G is already here; by others, true 5G is still years away.

There is more than a kernel of truth in this rhetorical excess. That’s because the next generation of essential infrastructure in this country will be built using wireless technology. As a result, the next iteration of wireless service—5G—is truly important for our future civic and commercial life. With as much as 100x the speed as current generation wireless networks and reduced latency, we can use wireless data to enhance our interactions with the world around us and create new opportunities in manufacturing, transportation, health care, education, agriculture, and more. It will support new services that will drive economic growth and job creation for years to come.

However, lost in the glowing headlines is the fact the United States is making choices that will leave rural America behind. These choices will harm our global leadership in 5G and could create new challenges for the security of our networks.

Here’s why. The most important input in our new wireless world is spectrum, or the invisible airwaves that are used to send and receive the radio signals that power wireless communications. For decades, slices of spectrum have been reserved for different uses, from television broadcasting to military radar. But today demands on our airwaves have grown. So the Federal Communications Commission has been working to clear these airwaves of old uses and auction them so they can be repurposed for new 5G service.

But not all spectrum is created equal. The traditional sweet spot for wireless service has been in what we call low-band or mid-band spectrum. This is between 600 MHz and 3 GHz. For a long time, these airwaves were considered beachfront property because they send signals far. In other words, they cover wide areas but require little power to do so. This makes them especially attractive for service in rural areas, where technology that can reach more people with less infrastructure makes greater economic sense.

For 5G, however, the United States has focused on making high-band spectrum the core of its early 5G approach. These airwaves, known as “millimeter wave,” are way, way up there—above 24 GHz. They have never been used in cellular networks before, and for good reason—they don’t send signals very far and are easily blocked by walls. That means they are very expensive to build out. On the flip side, these airwaves offer a lot more capacity, which translates into ultrafast speeds.

The United States is alone in this mission to make millimeter wave the core of its domestic 5G networks. The rest of the world is taking a different approach. Other nations vying for wireless leadership are not putting high-band airwaves front and center now. Instead, they are focusing on building 5G networks with mid-band spectrum, because it will support faster, cheaper, and more ubiquitous 5G deployment.

Take China, which allocated large swaths of mid-band spectrum for its carriers last year, clearing the way for deployment in a country that is also home to Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment supplier worldwide. South Korea and Australia wrapped up an auction of key mid-band spectrum last year. At roughly the same time, Spain and Italy held their own auctions for mid-band airwaves. Austria did the same earlier this year. Switzerland, Germany, and Japan also auctioned a range of mid-band spectrum just a few months ago.

The United States, however, has made zero mid-band spectrum available at auction for the 5G economy. Moreover, it has zero mid-band auctions scheduled.

This is a problem. By ceding international leadership when it comes to developing 5G in the mid-band, we miss the benefits of scale and face higher costs and interoperability challenges. It also means less security as other nations’ technologies proliferate. Indeed, the most effective thing the United States can do in the short term to enhance the security of 5G equipment is make mid-band spectrum available, which will spur a broader market for more secure 5G equipment that will also benefit other countries that are pursuing mid-band deployments.

By auctioning only high-band spectrum, we also risk worsening the digital divide that already plagues so many rural communities in the United States. That’s because recent commercial launches of 5G service across the country are confirming what we already know—that commercializing millimeter wave will not be easy or cheap, given its propagation challenges. The network densification these airwaves require is substantial. In fact, recent tests of newly launched commercial 5G networks in the United States are showing that millimeter wave signals are not traveling more than 350 feet, even when there are no major obstructions. They are also not penetrating walls or windows, making indoor coverage difficult.

This means that high-band 5G service is unlikely outside of the most populated urban areas. The sheer volume of antenna facilities needed make this service viable makes it too costly to deploy in rural areas. So if we want to serve everywhere—and not create communities of 5G haves and have-nots—we are going to need a mix of airwaves that provide both coverage and capacity. That means we need mid-band spectrum. For rural America to see competitive 5G in the near future, we cannot count on high-band spectrum to get the job done.

The heat-seeking headlines about 5G are hard to resist. But the reality on the ground needs attention, too. For the United States to have secure 5G service available to everyone, everywhere, we need to stop going at it alone with millimeter wave spectrum. We need to make it a priority to auction mid-band airwaves right now. The longer we wait, the further behind the United States will fall—and the less likely our rural communities will see the benefits of next generation of wireless technology

OTOH: “We, the undersigned 180 scientists, recommend a moratorium on the roll-out of the fifth generation, 5G, until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry. 5G will substantially increase exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) and has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.” We just started thinking about 5G a few weeks ago, not much thinking BTW, and are currently clueless.

Bonus: for a little fun, here’s something we’re also totally clueless about: the 1960 World Series.

Some reading

June 10th, 2019

Review of a book on China.

Continuing the “scam” theme

June 9th, 2019

A member of Congress:

put together a vision of the world that we want to build for ourselves. Because when we come together and we decide that we’re going to shut down Rikers, and we’re going to turn it not into a playground for the real-estate lobby, and not into a playground for the rich, but we’re going to put it, and we’re going to transform it into a public good for all people.

If you just put 25% of Rikers Island and cover it in solar panels, we can close every toxic power plant in New York City that was built in the last two decades. And we have to always realize that these injustices aren’t abstract. Right?

Our right to clean air and our access to clean water always falls along lines of income, it falls along lines of privilege. And so what we need to make sure is that no child is getting subjected to asthma because of the family that they were born in

AOC makes a perfect introduction to continuing the scam & idiot theme with her remark about water. The guy who the US and 50 other countries recognize as the head of Venezuela can’t even take a shower there. So-called climate change is a big time economic scam of course, but it pales in comparison with what Castro, Maduro, and the like-minded have done to their countries.

Bonus fun: in a contest between a bakery and a university, which one is disgusting? Yup, you guessed correctly. Extra Extra bonus: even more fun.

Please call a scam a scam and an idiot an idiot

June 8th, 2019


Glacier National Park quietly removed a visitor center sign saying its iconic glaciers will disappear by 2020 due to climate change. Several winters of heavy snowfall threw off climate model projections the glaciers would all disappear by 2020

“There are currently 26 glaciers in the park. Scientific models project that many will no longer meet the size criteria used to define a glacier sometime between 2030 and 2080,” NPS said

Idiot x 2:

MATTHEWS: It sounds like Trump who does no homework, who has no sense of history, I don’t think he took a single science or humanities course in college, come up with the thing about tornadoes 90 years ago. Somebody is feeding him this crap, somebody is giving him an arsenal of B.S. to challenge science.

BILL NYE: Yes. You know, you call it cherry picking the data. It’s a very common thing. You can find a year where there are an exceptional number of torn — or seem to be an exceptional year of tornadoes, but the key to it is, the world is getting warmer faster than it’s ever gotten in history. So, climate change and global warming are the same thing. Global warming, more heat energy is causing climates to change and extreme weather to get — to increase to more extreme weather events…

the big thing is the speed, everybody. It’s not that we’re all going to die in 12 years. It’s just that we’re not going to be able move our infrastructure, our sea ports, our railroads and so on and move our agriculture away from the equators fast enough to feed everybody as we get to be nine and 10 billion unless we get to work.

Scam and idiot combined: “forgoing having a child has more than 25 times the carbon-reducing impact of giving up a gas-burning car.”

We think aggressively calling a scam a scam and an idiot an idiot is excellent politics – but even if it weren’t, it would be a tremendous public service.

When worlds fail to collide

June 7th, 2019

If Alan Dershowitz and AOC are in agreement, as they are on Manafort in Rikers, it is perhaps a signal that some people have really overplayed their hand.

What do you do with a guy like this?

June 6th, 2019

Some guy:

President Macron, Mrs. Macron, and the people of France, to the First Lady of the United States, and members of the United States Congress, to distinguished guests, veterans and my fellow Americans.

We are gathered here on freedom’s altar, on these shores, on these bluffs. On this day 75 years ago, 10,000 men shed their blood, and thousands sacrificed their lives for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty.

Today we remember those who fell and we honor all who fought right here in Normandy. They won back this ground for civilization. To more than one 170 veterans of the Second World War who join us today, you are among the very greatest Americans who will ever live. You are the pride of our nation. You are the glory of our republic. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Here with you are over 60 veterans who landed on D-Day. Our debt to you is everlasting. Today we express our undying gratitude. When you were young, these men enlisted their lives in a great crusade – one of the greatest of all times. Their mission is the story of an epic battle and a ferocious eternal struggle between good and evil. On the 6th of June, 1944, they joined a liberation force of awesome power and breathtaking scale.

After months of planning, the Allies had chosen this ancient coastline to mount their campaign to vanquish the wicked tyranny of the Nazi empire from the face of the earth.

The battle began in the skies above us. In those first tense midnight hours, 1,000 aircraft roared overhead, with 17,000 allied airborne troops preparing to leap into the dark just beyond these trees. Then came dawn. The enemy who had occupied these heights saw the largest naval armada in the history of the world.

Just a few miles offshore, were 7,000 vessels bearing 130,000 warriors. They were the citizens of free and independent nations united by their duty to their compatriots and to millions yet unborn.

There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz. The full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride. Thank you.

There were the Canadians, whose robust sense of honor and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning.

There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor.

And finally, there were the Americans.

They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities in the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now they had come to offer their lives half a world from home.

This beach, codenamed Omaha, was defended by the Nazis with monstrous firepower, thousands and thousands of mines and spikes driven into the sands so deeply. It was here that tens of thousands of the Americans came. The G.I’s who boarded the landing craft that morning knew that they carried on their shoulders not just the pack of a soldier, but the fate of the world.

Colonel George Taylor, whose 16th infantry regiment would join in the first wave, was asked what would happen if the Germans stopped them, right then and there, cold on the beach, just stopped them. What would happen? This great American replied, “Why the 18th Infantry is coming in right behind us, the 26th infantry will come on too. Then there is the 2nd Infantry Division, already afloat, and the 9th Division and the 2nd Armored and the 3rd Armored, and all the rest. Maybe the 16th won’t make it. But someone will.”

One of those men in Taylor’s 16th regiment was Army medic Ray Lambert. Ray was only 23 but he had already earned three Purple Hearts and two Silver Stars fighting in North Africa and Sicily where he and his brother Bill, no longer with us, served side by side. In the early morning hours, the two brothers stood together on the deck of the USS Henrico before boarding two separate Higgins landing craft.

“If I don’t make it,” Bill said, “please, please take care of my family.” Ray asked his brother to do the same.

Of the 31 men on Ray’s landing craft, only Ray and six others made it to the beach. There were only a few of them left. They came to the sector right here below us. Easy Red it was called. Again and again, Ray ran back into the water. He dragged out one man after another. He was shot through the arm, his leg was ripped open by shrapnel, his back was broken, he nearly drowned. He had been on the beach for hours bleeding and saving lives when he finally lost consciousness. He woke up the next day on a cot beside another badly wounded soldier. He looked over and saw his brother Bill. They made it. They made it. They made it. At 98-years-old, Ray is here with us today, with his fourth Purple Heart and his third Silver Star. From Omaha, Ray, the free world salutes you. Thank you, Ray.

Nearly two hours in, unrelenting fire from these bluffs kept the Americans pinned down on the sand, now red with our heroes’ blood.

Then, just a few hundred yards from where I’m standing, a breakthrough came. The battle turned and with it, history.

Down on the beach, Captain Joe Dawson, the son of a Texas preacher, led Company G through a minefield to a natural fold in the hillside still here.

Just beyond this path to my right Captain Dawson snuck beneath an enemy machine gun perch and tossed his grenades. Soon, American troops were charging up “Dawson’s draw.” What a job he did. What bravery he showed. Lieutenant Spaulding and the men from Company E moved on to crush the enemy strong point on the far side of this cemetery and stop the slaughter on the beach below.

Countless more Americans poured out across this ground all over the countryside. They joined fellow American warriors from Utah Beach and allies from Juneau soared in Gold [sic] along with the airborne and the French patriots.

Private First Class Russell Pickett, of the 29th division’s famed 116th Infantry Regiment had been wounded in the first wave that landed on Omaha Beach. At a hospital in England private Pickett vowed to return to battle. “I’m going to return,” he said. “I’m going to return”.

Six days after D-Day he rejoined his company. Two-thirds had been killed already. Many had been wounded within 15 minutes of the invasion. They lost 19 just from the small town of Bedford, Virginia alone. Before long, a grenade left [sic] private Pickett and he was gravely wounded. So badly wounded.

Again he chose to return. He didn’t care. He had to be here. He was then wounded a third time and laid unconscious for 12 days. They thought he was gone. They thought he had no chance. Russell Pickett is the last known survivor of the legendary Company A. And today, believe it or not, he has returned once more to these shores to be with his comrades.

Private Pickett, you honor us all, with your presence. Tough guy.

By the fourth week of August, Paris was liberated.

Some who landed here pushed all the way to the center of Germany. Some threw open the gates of Nazi concentration camps to liberate Jews who had suffered the bottomless horrors of the Holocaust.

And some warriors fell on other fields of battle returning to rest on this soil for eternity.

Before this place was consecrated to history, the land was owned by a French farmer, a member of the French Resistance. These were great people. These were strong and tough people. His terrified wife waited out D-Day in a nearby house holding tight to their little baby girl.

The next day a soldier appeared. “I’m an American,” he said. “I’m here to help.” The French woman was overcome with emotion and cried. Days later, she laid flowers on fresh American graves. Today her granddaughter Stephanie serves as a guide at this cemetery. This week Stephanie led 92-year-old Marion Wynn of California to see the grave of her brother Don for the very first time. Marion and Stephanie are both with us today. And we thank you for keeping alive the memories of our precious heroes. Thank you.

9,388 young Americans rest beneath the white crosses and Stars of David arrayed on these beautiful grounds. Each one has been adopted by a French family that thinks of him as their own. They come from all over France to look after our boys. They kneel, they cry, they pray, they place flowers and they never forget. Today, America embraces the French people and thanks you for honoring our beloved dead. Thank you.

To all of our friends and partners, our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace. Our bond is unbreakable.

From across the Earth, Americans are drawn to this place as though it were a part of our very soul. We come not only because of what they did here, we come because of who they were. They were young men with their entire lives before them. They were husbands who said goodbye to their young brides and took their duty as their fate. They were fathers who would never meet their infant sons and daughters because they had a job to do, and with God as their witness, they were going to get it done.

They came wave after wave without question, without hesitation, and without complaint. More powerful than the strength of American arms was the strength of American hearts. These men ran through the fires of Hell, moved by a force no weapon could destroy: the fierce patriotism of a free, proud and sovereign people.

They battled, not for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy, and self-rule. They pressed on for love and home and country, the main streets, the schoolyards, the churches and neighbors and families and communities that gave us men such as these. They were sustained by the confidence that America can do anything, because we are a noble nation, with a virtuous people, praying to a righteous God. The exceptional might came from a truly exceptional spirit. The abundance of courage came from an abundance of faith.

The great deeds of an army came from the great depths of their love as they confronted their fate, the Americans and the Allies placed themselves into the palm of God’s hand. The men behind will tell you that they are just the lucky ones, as one of them recently put it, “all the heroes are buried here.” But we know what these men did, we knew how brave they were. They came here and saved freedom and then they went home and showed us all what freedom is all about.

The American sons and daughters who saw us to victory were no less extraordinary in peace. They built families, they built industries, they built a national culture that inspired the entire world in the decades that followed. America defeated Communism, secured civil rights, revolutionized science, launched a man to the Moon and then kept on pushing to new frontiers – and today America is stronger than ever before.

Seven decades ago, the warriors of D-Day fought a sinister enemy who spoke of a 1,000-year empire. In defeating that evil, they left a legacy that will last, not only for 1,000 years, but for all time — for as long as the soul knows of duty and for honor, for as long as freedom keeps its hold on the human heart.

To the men who sit behind me and to the boys who rest in the field before me, your example will never, ever grow old. Your legend will never die, your spirit, brave, unyielding and true, will never die.

The blood that they spilled, the tears that they shed, the lives that they gave, the sacrifice that they made, did not just win a battle. It did not just win a war. Those who fought here won a future for our nation. They won the survival of our civilization and they showed us the way to love, cherish and defend our way of life for many centuries to come.

Today as we stand together upon this sacred earth, we pledge that our nations will forever be strong and united. We will forever be together, our people will forever be bold, our hearts will forever be loyal, and our children and their children will forever and always be free. May God bless our great veterans, may God bless our allies, may God bless the heroes of D-Day, and may God bless America. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Why, you send him to jail of course.

S. L. A. Marshall on D-Day

June 6th, 2019

S.L.A. Marshall takes us there for a moment:

Not seeing the captain die, Williams doesn’t know that command has now passed to him. Guiding on his own instinct, the coxswain moves along the coast six hundred yards, then puts the boat straight in. It’s a good guess; he has found a little vacuum in the battle. The ramp drops on dry sand and the boat team jumps ashore. Yet it’s a close thing. Mortar fire has dogged them all the way; and as the last rifleman clears the ramp, one shell lands dead center of the boat, blows it apart, and kills the coxswain. Momentarily, the beach is free of fire, but the men cannot cross it at a bound. Weak from seasickness and fear, they move at a crawl, dragging their equipment. By the end of twenty minutes, Williams and ten men are over the sand and resting in the lee of the sea wall.

Five others are hit by machine-gun fire crossing the beach; six men, last seen while taking cover in a tidal pocket, are never heard from again. More mortar fire lands around the party as Williams leads it across the road beyond the sea wall. The men scatter. When the shelling lifts, three of them do not return. Williams leads the seven survivors up a trail toward the fortified village of Les Moulins atop the bluff. He recognizes the ground and knows that he is taking on a tough target. Les Moulins is perched above a draw, up which winds a dirt road from the beach, designated on the invasion maps as Exit No. 3.

Williams and his crew of seven are the first Americans to approach it D Day morning. Machine-gun fire from a concrete pillbox sweeps over them as they near the brow of the hill, moving now at a crawl through thick grass. Williams says to the others: “Stay here; we’re too big a target!” They hug earth, and he crawls forward alone, moving via a shallow gully. Without being detected, he gets to within twenty yards of the gun, obliquely downslope from it.

He heaves a grenade; but he has held it just a bit too long and it explodes in air, just outside the embrasure. His second grenade hits the concrete wall and bounces right back on him. Three of its slugs hit him in the shoulders. Then, from out of the pillbox, a German potato masher sails down on him and explodes just a few feet away; five more fragments cut into him. He starts crawling back to his men; en route, three bullets from the machine gun rip his rump and right leg.

The seven are still there. Williams hands his map and compass to Staff Sergeant Frank M. Price, saying: “It’s your job now. But go the other way — toward Vierville.” Price starts to look at Williams’ wounds, but Williams shakes him off, saying: “No, get moving.” He then settles himself in a hole in the embankment, stays there all day, and at last gets medical attention just before midnight.

On leaving Williams, Price’s first act is to hand map and compass (the symbols of leadership) to Technical Sergeant William Pearce, whose seniority the lieutenant has overlooked. They cross the draw, one man at a time, and some distance beyond come to a ravine; on the far side, they bump their first hedgerow, and as they look for an entrance, fire comes against them. Behind a second hedgerow, not more than thirty yards away, are seven Germans, five rides and two burp guns. On exactly even terms, these two forces engage for the better part of an hour, apparently with no one’s getting hit. Then Pearce settles the fight by crawling along a drainage ditch to the enemy flank. He kills the seven Germans with a Browning Automatic Rifle.

For Pearce and his friends, it is a first taste of battle; its success is giddying. Heads up, they walk along the road straight into Vierville, disregarding all precautions. They get away with it only because that village is already firmly in the hands of Lieutenant Walter Taylor of Baker Company and twenty men from his boat team.

From 30 years ago: All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore; the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland’s 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England’s armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard’s “Matchbox Fleet,” and you, the American Rangers. Related: Lovat had asked his personal piper, Bill Millin, to pipe his men ashore. Private Millin pointed out that this would be in breach of War Office regulations. “That’s the English War Office, Bill,” said Lovat. “We’re Scotsmen.” And so Millin strolled up and down the sand amid the gunfire playing “Hieland Laddie” and “The Road To The Isles”…

75 years ago, and now

June 6th, 2019

Some numbers then:

Troops landed by sea: 132,715. Airborne troops: 23,400. The preparatory air bombardment was delivered by more than 2,000 Allied bombers. The invasion fleet included 1,200 warships, 4,125 landing craft, and another 1,600 support vessels of various kinds, all courtesy of eight different Allied nations. That’s about 7,000 ships, their crews, their supplies, and the tons and tons of fuel required to run them. The official count was nearly 200,000 naval personnel.

Ike’s message in case of failure then:

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

Words from a D then and partially repeated by a R now:

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer: Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them, help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

Then and now in a picture. Yikes!

Arithmetic and the WSJ

June 5th, 2019


Water is unlike any other commodity. Seen as a natural human right, it is available when we turn on the faucet or slurp from the water fountain at the park. Behind that veneer of plenty, though, companies are waking up to a new, water-constrained future—even in places like Lowville, usually blessed with plenty of it.

A potent mix of population growth, surging industrial demand, pollution and climate change is putting relentless stress on water resources all over the world. It is also pitting companies, used to near-limitless water, against other businesses and nearby residents, who need more of it, too.

During most of the 20th century, just 14% of the global population lived in conditions of scarce water supplies—broadly defined as insufficient water to provide for human needs—according to a 2016 study by a team of water scientists published in the research journal Scientific Reports. Today, that has leapt to nearly 60% of the world’s people, a result of surging population growth and dwindling supplies of freshwater.

The situation is especially dire in the developing world. In India, 600 million people face high to extreme water stress. Severe droughts have struck everywhere from East Africa to Central America in recent years, hobbling industry, farmers and forcing cutbacks in personal consumption.

More than half of the world’s cities regularly experience water shortages, according to U.S. environment nonprofit The Nature Conservancy. Last year, Cape Town, South Africa, implemented severe restrictions for months to keep from running completely dry.

Climate change, too, can heighten water scarcity as rising temperatures dry up available resources. Alternatively, it can increase rainfall and flooding, leading to other challenges corporations must face as weather becomes more unpredictable.

“With population growth, water scarcity will proliferate to new areas across the globe,” a 2017 World Bank report on the causes and effects of water scarcity said. “And with climate change, rainfall will become more fickle, with longer and deeper periods of droughts and deluges.”

So there might be too much rain plus not enough rain due to that horrible monster, climate change. Arghhh!! But there’s Water Water Everywhere:

The total volume of water on Earth is estimated at 1.386 billion km³ (333 million cubic miles or 84 trillion cubic feet), with 97.5% being salt water and 2.5% being fresh water.

That’s 10,862 cubic feet of water per person on the planet, and 272 cubic feet of fresh water, which is like 20,000 or 2,000,000 gallons per person – hmmm, that would make a lot of coffee and Coca Cola (and you can always convert salt water into fresh water if you like).

As for Cape Town, if the government is spectacularly stupid, trouble lies ahead. Even Time Magazine figured that out. Do better, WSJ!

Very minor Help! and other things

June 5th, 2019

We wanted to watch Jeopardy but the local station had banished it in favor of the NBA. Yawn. Where are Magic, Bird and Jordan? So we flipped through and saw this fellow Don Lemon and John former GOPer Kasich crucifying the Trumpster on Global Warming, aka Climate Change, aka the greatest economic scam in history outside communism and affiliates. Appallingly stupid people yap-yapping like dogs at almost literally nothing. As for real news, there’s apparently a great relationship between the Queen of England and the Evil One, and even some GB media reported that! Who’s free now?

Addendum: piece on Huawei that we haven’t figured out yet, though it’s obvious to us that the administration is doing the right things.

Final point on stupid media – the Mexico tariffs. If you are a real and successful entrepreneur, one of the main things you know is how to negotiate. You use the available tools to get an advantage. Apparently almost zero people in politics understand this plain and obvious fact.

How stupid can you get, and how fast?

June 5th, 2019

Pretty fast indeed. Creepy sleepy Joe is going to spend $1.7 trillion or maybe $5 trillion on the GND. “Science tells us that how we act or fail to act in the next 12 years will determine the very livability of our planet.”

The US has 327,000,000 or 4% of the world’s 7,700,000,000 population. 4%, 4%, 4% – how next to zero can you go? Hey Joe, how are going to shut down China’s, India’s, Indonesia’s, Pakistan’s, Brazil’s, etc., coal mines, steel mills, airlines, auto plants and cars, etc., in the next dozen years? Jeesh, how much idiocy can you take?

The only thing stupider than these politicians is their voters.

It continues, but far too slowly

June 4th, 2019

Dowd, no not MoDo. The GOP should seriously consider hiring Dorothy to speed things up. (Here’s a little fun – actually not much fun, but offered anyhow given the funeral procession speed of things; BTW, Jed Clampett was the original Tin Man.)

How does it all end?

June 3rd, 2019

(a) Not well, that’s for sure. We talked about the appalling arrogance and ignorance of the young the other day, and it’s hard to see that changing, except for the worse, anytime soon. (b) RLS and Instapundit say social media spells doom, and that seems right. (c) Hey, maybe June 4 Hong Kong will show us some nasty leading indicator re implications of China’s overleverage. (d) Finally, um re endings, oh yes, you could lose on Final Jeopardy.

Blather, rinse, repeat

June 2nd, 2019

The SJW’s are one of the most annoying groups in US history. Their lifespans are 2x those of 1861 America. GDP per capita is something like 200x what it was back then. Ah yes, back then. Hey in other Ancient History, 2005, we thought that your iPod was ruining America, but that was before everyone had a device in their pocket more powerful than all of Apollo 11’s NASA computers, to broadcast Absolute Truth (e.g., here and here). So now the SJW’s target Mel Brooks of course. We think a useful regulatory development for the twit generation would for them to have to repeat “I see nothing, I know nothing” 500 times before their comments can be posted. (HT: Silent Cal)

In other news, D-Day is almost gone.

Ee’d Plebnista

June 1st, 2019


After the legal Establishment had granted him the benefit of the doubt, Attorney General William Barr has shocked his erstwhile supporters with his aggressive and frequently dishonest interventions on behalf of President Trump. The spectacle of an esteemed lawyer abetting his would-be strongman boss’s every authoritarian instinct has left Barr’s critics grasping for explanations. Some have seized on the darker threads of his history in the Reagan and Bush administrations, when he misled the public about a secret Department of Justice memo and helped cover up the Iran-Contra scandal.

But Barr’s long, detailed interview with Jan Crawford suggests the rot goes much deeper than a simple mania for untrammeled Executive power. Barr has drunk deep from the Fox News worldview of Trumpian paranoia. It is hard to convey how far over the edge Barr has gone without reading the entire interview, which lasted an hour. Barr grossly contradicts Mueller’s findings with regard to Trump’s ties to Russia. “Mueller has spent two and half years, and the fact is, there is no evidence of a conspiracy,” he says. “So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.” This is just a wild lie.


Robert Mueller. I think it’s worth reiterating how impeccably he has behaved in what has become an extremely tense constitutional moment. He kept his cool and maintained his silence in an era of massive and deafening oversharing. His bland affect is attuned to the role he plays: as a neutral enforcer of the rule of law. He strikes me, in this sense, as a classic conservative — dedicated to existing institutions and liberal democratic norms. And he felt the need to explain this week, in the wake of the obfuscations and misdirections of William Barr, what his report actually outlined, its reach, and, most importantly, its limits.

Any objective reading of the report would come to the conclusion that the president clearly obstructed justice — several times. In fact, Volume II is proof of the president’s multiple attempts to rig, stymie, pressure, and prematurely end the investigation into Russian interference in our elections

then another actual conservative, Representative Justin Amash, Republican of Michigan, did another actually conservative thing: He read the report closely, and expressed his view that impeachment was obviously the only appropriate response to President Trump’s attack on the rule of law.

The title above is from a Star Trek episode since the people quoted above are obviously from a different planet.