Morning Musings

With the Gentle Giant as president, we are in retreat throughout the world. The Chinese hack our government and industry computers with impunity, and build islands to claim massively increased territorial waters in worldwide shipping lanes. Russia enters Syria for a military and economic expansion far beyond their borders — with a military that has been reduced to Third World status. Syria is their new training ground, and our Gentle Giant simply watches.
That Russia can warn us to leave an airspace they intend to control, says volumes.
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In my racing youth, the Racing King was Phil Hill, who was so good a California sports car driver that he won the pinnacle of all-world racing, Formula One (F1). 
But that was long ago, before cars by teams like Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes. Ferrari is paid $100 million a year just to appear on the grid, plus what they earn!

The top teams can expend $250 million in a racing season, and the United States has never had a modern team get off the drawing board — until now. After years and years of promises, someone with buckets of money (George Haas), years of NASCAR experience (winning the NASCAR title last year), and the drive to win has started to assemble an American team.

Well, not all-American at the start. F1 is far too expensive to go all-American team — the first announced driver is a Swiss-born driver, living in France, Romaine Grosjean, and the engine is Italian, Ferrari. The team will race out of Britain, where many teams are headquartered.

Grosjean is a known driver with Grand Prix experience — he finished third at the Belgian Grand Prix this year in an underpowered Lotus. He is a great bargain, driving far above his $1.5 million salary at Lotus. (Not counting endorsements, Fernando Alonso earns $50 million annually.)

The Ferrari engine will not be the latest 2016 edition, but a 2015 engine — “Works” (Factory prepared) engines are not sold to competitors. (This is so expensive a sport because for each race, the engine magicians must find more horsepower!)

But it is a start. Fortunately, Haas is a near-Billionaire, because each engine in a two car team will set Haas back $8 million, and the steering wheels alone cost $50 thousand apiece. Haas is a driven racing man who will eventually bring credit to America.

I just hope I live to see it!

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“…if you have to tell people you are (powerful), you aren’t”

Although Trump has lost some of his luster, he remains formidable because he is the Anti-Obama, and American voters typically respond to the last years of a failed presidency by electing the opposite.
Obama has ruled as he promised, by apologizing for our power, and gradually permitting that power to rust, following the dictum:

O, it is excellent

To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous

To use it like a giant.

-William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act 2, Scene 2.

In doing so, Obama has weakened our strength and our resolve, leading to a democratic yearning of the opposite — Donald Trump, a man fully willing to wield power, nay, anxious to do so!

A willingness to wield existing economic and military power would send shock waves throughout both our allies and our adversaries. Europeans rightly see Trump as the embodiment of the post WWII “Ugly American” — a demanding man, uneducated in the diplomatic niceties, and as George Will deftly defined Trump, “crude and vulgar.”

Will, whom I greatly admire, might have added, “successful.”

And it is this latter point that a segment of the voting population greatly admires. No, Trump gets no points for style, but he certainly ploughs ahead, seeking the one thing that has been denied this nation for too long, success. There are those like myself who have noted a singular lack of military success In Korea, Vietnam, and to some extent in Kuwait and Iraq, although those were military victories overshadowed by diplomatic defeats.

We have not had a full-throated leader of the Roosevelt/Churchill model in my adult lifetime, except Reagan, and the least full-throttled amongst the Republicans, Walker, has dropped out. (He was a one-trick pony, and although I supported his anti-government Union trick, it was not sufficient.)

I had hoped that some candidate other than Trump would see the advantage of bluntness on the grand scale, and there is a long way to go so perhaps more will, but there is only a little evidence . Carson could not be intimidating under any circumstances nor could Bush. Fiorina could — she has demonstrated flashes of it, and that leaves only Cruz of the Top Tier candidates.

Only Trump, Fiorina and Cruz currently fit the Anti-Obama mold.

Rich Lowery of National Review famously said of the last Candidate Debate, that Carly, “cut his (Trump’s) balls off” and we need a president who can do that in a private meeting with Putin, or Assad, or fill-in-the-blank!  

We should find a president who is not feared by the average farmer or baker in Denver, Kyoto, Coventry or Hamburg, but seriously feared by Mullah Omar, Putin, and Assad because they can no longer move on the worlds’ chessboard with impunity.

The moves by a Russia with their impotent military into Syria and the Ukraine, the Chinese stealing our secrets and claiming the nearby sea lanes, shows that there is zero fear of retaliation, and indeed there has been no pushback, and there will not be unless we elect Trump, Fiorina or Cruz.

 Obama has emasculated the nation, and we desperately need the Anti-Obama who will act, rather than just proclaim that we are back.

Dame Maggie Thatcher understood power: “Power is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Morning Musings

The introduction of Russian fighter jets into Syria changes the game, enormously!
Aside from the obvious opportunity for a US or other nation getting into a kerfuffle, a chance intercept of an Israeli jet is even more possible. Syria has been the staging point for Russian missiles being trans shipped to Hamas, and Israel has often taken those warehouses under bombing runs. In the future, Russia may be able to trans ship those missiles with impunity.

Putin knows that there is a vacuum in the Middle East, and he can fill that vacuum with impunity. Considering Obama’s reluctance to face China in the southern Pacific or, more importantly the huge and continuing cyber attacks, ISIS in the Middle East, or Russia in the Ukraine, Putin takes chances he would not rationally take. 

Estonia may be next. 

At some point the United States must face this obvious fact — some one will be the major player in the world. 

The world will not be better if China or Russia is that leading country.

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Dr. Ben Carson is a Creationist who believes in the Young Earth theory — that the earth is just 6,000 years old.

I believe that this disqualifies him to be president, and he had been one of my five potentials for president. 

How is it that someone so brilliant could hold such insane ideas? The answer is that his “Belief” gene is stronger in his DNA sequence than those who simply believe in religion — at least that is my unscientific opinion. 

Dr. Carson thinks that Darwin was influenced by the Devil. 

If you scratched many of the Republican candidates, you will find a Creationist.

We need to identify them, but it cuts both ways — it could be a big positive for the Evangelical wing of the Republican Party.

Stay Tuned!

Morning Musings (in the p.m.)

The head of the Chinese government will arrive shortly — do you really think the head of the China will get anything like the wall-to-wall TV coverage that the Pope is getting? 
Just asking!

The top three stories on the AP are on the Pope, and I have turned off the TV for the duration…

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I was really sorry that Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, dropped out — he was my first choice, but it was apparent that Walker is a better administrator than he is a campaigner. He was not prepared, got organized too late, needed to interject in the Debates if the moderators did not call on him (much as Carlie did, successfully), and simply was not ready for prime time. 

He will make a good Secretary of Labor!

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The President of the School Board for San Diego Unified is under investigation for abuse of power.

While she still has the support of her constituency, she obviously used her position to view the Counselor’s confidential college recommendation of her student son, got someone to change it from negative to positive, and used the Board’s website to raise college money for her son. 

Power corrupts…

The Pope and Capitalism

Robert Rector, who has spent an academic lifetime tracking information from the U.S. Census Bureau, reports that the U.S. has the richest poor in the world. Someone needs to tell Pope Francis, who has an apparent enmity for Capitalism. 

Now I have seen real “unfettered” Capitalism, as practiced in the British-controlled Hong Kong of the 1960s, and it worked, but it worked differently than the mixed economy that we have in the U. S. today. It is apparently “unfettered” Capitalism that the Pope abhors, although I doubt he ever saw it.

The Pope has also never seen the United States, so one assumes his economic knowledge is academic.

The Hong Kong of yesteryear, with “unfettered” Capitalism, was a marvel that drove the Chinese to decide to keep it under the slogan, “one country, two systems” but they continue to change it anyway, meanwhile stealing some of its most productive mannerisms to drive the Chinese economy. 

Unfettered Capitalism in the British Hong Kong had no safety net – it was, in the words of my ancient Southern youth, “Root hog, or die.”

Now no one died in Hong Kong because everyone worked. The shoes custom-fit for my wife were glued together by some poor seven-year-old child, and her dresses custom-fit at Harilela’s, which under the British was “By Appointment To Her Majesty The Queen,” were sewn by women in their 80s – or so I was told by Harilela’s.  

Hunger is a great motivator. It is not a system that would be tolerated in the U.S. – but then neither is polygamy, or child brides, or eating dog meat, or eating balutes (you don’t want to know), or letting cows roam the streets unmolested. All of these are acceptable in other successful cultures.

Child labor and sweat shops are no longer in our culture, although both were. We had real Capitalism, unfettered, in the Colonies at the inception of this nation – everyone worked because everyone had to contribute.

Today’s mixed economy may indeed be “nicer” and softer, and certainly we have created enormous wealth…and yes, we can afford to provide a safety net for the weak, the disabled and the lazy. 

So could have pre-Chinese Hong Kong, but that was not their culture. It can be debated whether our version of Capitalism has evolved or devolved, but it is certainly true that the U.S. has the richest poor in the world.

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks it, and Robert Richter of Heritage Foundation looks at the data and publishes his findings – and yes, Heritage is conservative, but, as an article in the Atlantic debating Richter’s findings states, yes, Richter’s data shows our average American poor have great material things like an automobile, air conditioning, several TV sets, a computer, and live in housing the average middle-class European would welcome, but the average American poor still have little access to higher educatio

The Atlantic article might also note that a Bentley is beyond the reach of the poor. Perhaps the Pope will address that.

My Grades

My grades: Fiorina, Cruz, Rubio Carson get an “A”

Trump, Christie get B+

Bush, Walker, Kasick Paul Get a solid B

Then the remainder 

First Impressions While Still Watching

Several comments on the debate:
Trump’s first debate made everyone up their game. Everyone was active and Trump did not stand out.

Secondly, that is one hell of a competent group of people! 

I am impressed!