Waiting for Leadership

Yemen is a mess, but it is Saudi Arabia’s problem — the Saudi’s oil fields are vulnerable and the Saudis and the ISIL oriented fighters in Yemen know it. The Saudis have a decent fence between the two nations, but that was only sufficient if Yemen had a relatively friendly government, and today it decidedly does not. The Yemeni rebels simply don’t have the muscle to take on the Saudis.

Now that the UAE is back in the fray through Jordanian airfields (token, to be sure), and the U.S. is still in the sky, SOMEONE has to field that famous “boots on the ground” — and while that should be Iraq, we have already seen how quickly they can run. It is reported that Delta Force is active on the ground.

ISIL was reputed to have 30,000 fighters when they rolled down that two lane “highway” from Syria, and the number appears to be 50,000 today. The Kurds have held ISIL at bay, and neither the promised German or US guns have arrived, but the armies that exist in the area. The well trained 80,000 man Jordanian Army could do it, and we don’t know if they have either decided or brought up reserves to do it, but they could.

Turkey could, but they won’t. They have a Muslim nation, politically secular but under a Muslim leader who appears to be more in league with ISIL. To be perfectly honest, there is no one until the “”new” Iraqi Army — which is more likely to be similar to the “Old” Iraqi Army — is ready…about 18 months.

We theoretically have a coalition, but it is AWOL. I understand that the president hates to “project American power” — and that is a deeply held American feeling as well, but once in awhile it needs to be done. FDR recognized that before our forced entry into WWII. Of course his interest was European, Washington D. C. being on the East Coast virtually guarantees that we have been and will continue to be Eurocentric, so he was delivering war goods to Britain long before there was a declared war.

But FDR was prepared to take leadership.

Obama is not.

Advertisements

Scott Walker Scores!

The general consensus is that Scott Walker stole the Iowa beauty contest, and that is good news to me because he is my early favorite. Scott won three elections in a Blue State, against a phalanx of union members, many of whom were bused in from other states to occupy the State House.

One of my early favorites was Bobby Jindal, but he fell heavily this past weekend by leading what I consider a religious revival in Louisiana, and, a potential candidate I had previously downgraded because he was a preacher, Mike Huckabee, rose somewhat in my opinion because  he said he was not running as a preacher, but as a former Governor.

I certainly do not ask a candidate to give up his faith, but my concern is that it should not be his major driving interest. While not all Founders were Christians, many were, but none were preachers. Reading their letters and speeches, they did believe either in God or a higher power, but their faith was mentioned in passing without being a revival event.

We live in a world where Muslim extremists — and even if it is a small percentage, a small percentage if 1.2 billion is a lot of people — still live in the 12th century, and are sensitive to anything that reminds them of the Crusades of that 12th century because they live in the 12th century, remembering their glory day when Islam controlled Greece, Turkey, Spain, Sicily, Southern Italy…

When President Bush said, in September, 2001, “”this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take awhile,” that was more than an unfortunate slip, that was a rallying cry for extremists.

Now much of the glory days of Islam geography was under Muslim freebooters, admittedly — Muslim pirates and local potentates not under any international political  leadership or any real religious leadership either.

But the Islamic geographic map was large. That large geographic map mitigated against a real Caliphate because the extent of the communications was not there. That made the Muslim world more susceptible to a semi-coherent “Army” of Crusaders picking off one portion at a time.

(I say the Crusaders were semi-coherent because they were not an “Army” in the standard sense…sort of a gaggle of peasants, merchants, Knights with 30 men retinues, and Kings/Princes with thousand-man retinues: All involved in a “Holy War” and promised eternal salvation by the Pope should they die in battle. We have heard echoes of that, recently.)

What we DONT need is any political leadership that reinforces the United States is a “Christian Nation” or that we are on a “Crusade” in the Middle East. Within the past few years the secular country of Turkey elected a Muslim president, and moved away from the Western orb. We don’t need our secular country to move into a Christian nation, reinforcing in the minds(sic) of the radicals that we are on another “Crusade.” That will just draw more to their cause.

Please Keep Up!

I read many newspapers and magazines for information, and a few just for the pleasure of the writing as well — like the Weekly Standard. The erudite use of the English language is often missing from publications, which tend to “write down” to what is their presumed readership, but he Weekly Standard assumes adult readership.

Many years ago, I wrote for a small computer weekly in San Diego, which still exists but under another name, but the weekly Editor’s instructions to writers were: “Write as if you were explaining to your elderly Aunt, who is quite bright but completely non-technical.”

Subsequently, I began my columns for a North County Daily, whose Editor gave these instructions: “Write to the Ninth Grade level.”

To his credit, my current Editor, and my previous two Editors, gave me no instructions at all — they had seen my columns in previous publications, and understood that I write what I write, and attract readers to whatever level that is.

The Weekly Standard writes to a high level, and says, unabashedly, “Please Keep Up!”

That is a phrase that might be applied as well to the freeways of California, which have recently been running at 82 or 83 MPH. Not everyone has the word. Our main problems are recent emigrants to the state from parts of the country, or world, where these speeds are unknown except for fleeing felons!

 

Hillary Knows, But Is Playing To The Crowd

Hillary wants us to understand our adversaries, but my concern is that if she she understands our adversaries herself, she is playing politician to those who do not understand our adversaries.

They are, unfortunately, the majority..

In short, Muslims and Christendom have been in conflict for more than a millennia, and Jews and non-believers are lumped into the term “Infidel” although they are more than willing to be spectators to the Christian Muslim kerfuffle. The Muslim will not permit this, but we must remember that Muslims have ruled many nations (think Spain), where Muslims permitted Infidels to live in peace — so long as they paid tribute.

Into this peace came the Crusades, eight in number although only the first few could be called armies, and the final Crusades were just more armed processions to Jerusalem.

(The first Crusade was substantial (100,000 Knights and Nobles) in 1095. Now THAT was a Crusade!)

While this was a “European” endeavor, it was mostly FRENCH (strangely enough). Now you may not consider the French particularly warlike, but the Crusades were anchored primarily in the Normandy area of France, which was an area populated by farmers whose previous lives were spent in an endeavor you may have heard of.

(They were Vikings!)

Now the Crusaders were a rough bunch, easily approximating the excesses of ISIS, and they raped and murdered across the continent, through the Byzantine Empire, and into Muslim territory. They savaged Jewish communities as well as Christians and Muslims.

Anyway, it is a long and murderous, history including the Barbary Pirates trouble — it was here that the newly formed United States built its first REAL Navy, a Navy designed to subdue the (Muslim) Barbary Pirates.

(It was NOT here, as commonly believed, that we decided that famous, “Millions for Defense, but not one penny for tribute!” That was actually said by  Robert Goodloe Harper, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, regarding FRANCE in the famous “XYZ Affair”)

(It was, however, there that we signed a Treaty of Tripoli, approved by the Senate unanimously and signed by a Signer of the Constitution, President John Adams) declaring that, “the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

I only mention this because I read comments on-line that “This is a Christian Nation” and it is in some ways THAT grates against other religions. We ARE a nation founded on Western, which is to say Judea Christian CONCEPTS — but we are NOT a Christian nation!

As I say, our problems — not with Muslims, per se, but with sects of the Muslim religion, have a long, long history, and one unlikely to be solved by “understanding” them. We must first try to understand who “them” are, and they are the many branches of the Muslim religion, some very violent, and morphing as they go.

Hillary is an educated woman. She knows this, but she is also a politician and knows that many do not know the history or the problems entailed with the various sects of the Muslim religion.

 

Quick Hits

The Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is over, and among the sparkling new TVs, Home Automation, and Gee-Gaws that will never go into production, the most important innovation occurred before the show– an Audi A7 with a Journalist at the wheel(sic), and it was a driver less car.

Now, to be certain, the Journalist had to take control after the Audi hit an off-ramp because it was really only designed for freeway work, but Google has the city driving down pat, and Mercedes has prototype driver less cars and trucks.

It’s close. Very close.

I have told the story before of being dragged out of 5-Way heart by-pass recovery at home by my friendly neighborhood MD/Ph. D (Engineering) who carted me off to Victorville, California, to witness a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (one of the few government agencies that actually work) challenge for “Autonomous Automobiles. This was four years ago. No apparatus filled autonomous cars finished the 50 mile city model, but Stanford University did well enough to win the million dollar prize. (Stanford had won the previous “Freeway” Challenge in the desert years before — and another million dollar prize.)

The driver less cars in California will require a special license and a carbon life-form behind the wheel, as did the Audi driven to the Las Vegas convention.

Still 565 freeway miles without a scare is not to be sneezed at.

——————–

 

We have an entirely analogous situation developing between the good Muslims of the world, Blacks in Detroit and the overwhelming number of good teachers in California.

And there is a lesson to be learned here.

The president and his administration appear to be counting on the Muslim nations and communities to grab hold of their, by any count, small number of atrocity-bound Muslims.

Ain’t gonna’ happen.

By any measure the vast majority of teachers are good or even great teachers, and California has waited for decades for the good teachers to rein in their union and get control of the awful teachers who give them all a bad name…it has not, will not happen.

Similarly, the vast majority of Blacks, even in crime-ridden communities like Detroit and Chicago, are law abiding citizens. They know who the drug dealers, pimps and gang-bangers are — but they draw their blinds and double-lock their doors without calling the police.

Waiting for a modern population to rise up just isn’t going to happen. In the early days of America, certainly — can you imagine the western Settlers sitting in their traffic-jammed cars without heating tar and plucking feathers while marching on the halls of the San Diego Association of Governments who fund freeways too little and mass transit too much?

Neither can I.

——————————————

The Islamic Empire had a Caliph called “The Bloodthirsty” who invited opponents to dinner, clubbed them to death, threw a rug over them and dined on the rug as their opponents bled to death.

But being the reason he was called the Bloodthirsty.

But Islam was not the only group where the norm in being bloodthirsty. In the early Middle Ages, Basil II of the Byzantine Empire was rumored to have defeated an army of Bulgarians and put out the eyes of 14,000 soldiers, leaving one out of 100 with one eye to lead the defeated troops back home. That is possibly apocryphal, but that it was even believed at the time served its purpose.

The ISIS group can be accurately termed “Fundamentalists” in that they adhere to Middle Ages norms.

——————————————

In my Little Known And Completely Useless Information File: Perhaps you remember the “Ice Man” an ancient Stone Age man discovered a few years ago, who had been frozen as he fell some 5,200 years ago in the Alps. As you may know, newly discovered methods of obtaining DNA even from ancient bone, (Ice Man was not even much of a challenge) but the interesting thing to me is that 16 descendants of Ice Man have been discovered in Austria…..

In a related ice age data, Archeologists now have a new specialty — studying items being released by melting glaciers. It seems that there was a warming spell about 7,000 years ago and a treasure trove of lost items is being released by the current warming spell in Norway. They have recovered mittens, snowshoes and many farming items. (Bet you didn’t know that autos caused CO2 warming 7,000 years ago! We learn every day.)

The study of DNA is very useful in determining the flow of humans, and when they arrived in certain places…

One more note: Not all ancient Egyptians who were mummified were kings — commoners were also mummified. Millions of them!

In fact, in the early 1900s, there were so many Mummies, that Indian trains burned them for fuel.

Well, the Death Masks for Kings and Queens may have been made of gold, but commoners often had death masks made from used Papyrus and glue. Recently, technology has been able to melt the glue and recover the used  Papyrus, and we can read it…and a portion of an unknown Book of the Bible has been recovered. The actual announcement was leaked in 2012, and has just been officially acknowledged, but the contents have not been released.

 

 

 

African Fatigue

Catholic Archbishop Kaigama in Africa comments that the world mourns 17 dead in Europe but overlooks the recent slaughter of 2,000 in Africa by the Boko Haram.

Of course, he is right, but he might have also remarked about the capture, rape and sexual slavery of the 200 schoolgirls a few months ago that momentarily brought the First Lady to Hashtag Heaven!  #Bring Back Our Girls.

And that was nine months ago, now forgotten.

Of course racial concerns might be the problem, but may I suggest another explanation: African Fatigue.

It was more than 20 years ago when the Editor of a newspaper I was then writing for, decided that a good headline for an article I submitted should read, “Let the Ethiopians Die.”   that was a harsh but approximately correct reading of my column.

There are some parts of the world where situations are so bad because of constant floods, tsunamis, or geographic terror that nature is telling man that he should not continue to live there. There are other places that have such systemic political terror combined with abject poverty that Western nations could not find financial pockets deep enough to solve.

The continent of Africa has both situations simultaneously. There is a reason that several waves of proto humans led the Out of Africa movement, developing first in the Mediterranean, then on to Europe, Asia and eventually the American continent.

The Continent of Africa contains the seeds of its own destruction, and no Western nation — or combination of nations — has the financial, medical, agricultural, or military resources to solve the multitude of problems.

The Archbishop is correct when he says Boko Haram has within it the seeds of the destruction of Europe, but Europe — which is not capable of solving the African problem — does have the capability of containing the problems to Africa, and that has always been the strategy.

I have looked at the international situation for more than 60 years, ever since I entered the Naval Academy as a Plebe and was forced to read the NY Times and the Washington Post before breakfast every morning, and answer many questions from Upper Classmen. Those Upper Classmen were the Genesis of my Infomania.

Looking at the world from a 50,000 foot view, it is apparent that the archbishop cannot count on the West to save Africa from Boko Haram. Yes, the West will always do something…just not much. The West will do enough to contain Boko Haram, and indeed EBOLA or any other threat, but not ever enough to save Africa…not necessarily because they are Black, but because sub-Sahara Africa is too big a bite for anyone, or “anyones”, to chew.

So the strategy will be to keep EBOLA, Boko Haram, and other threats in Africa, while trying to slowly bring tribes who never developed the wheel or a written language to at least have clean water. Africa is not the only aboriginal group that never developed — the American Indians, tribes in Asmat in Dutch New Guinea, the Hawaiian Polynesians, the Aborigines of Australia, and several tribes in the upper Amazon also never developed “civilization”, but nowhere are there so many, so poor, so mismanaged as in Africa.

Archbishop Kaigama is correct, but can’t count on help. Not all things have a solution.

Off Vacation: Quick Hits For a Few Days

There are still questions about who really “hacked” Sony.

Programming is a “Black Art” (I am a former programmer, Systems Analyst and computer science professor), and in the Ether anyone can be anyone else.

Tracking back, deconstructing and analyzing a hack is a long and time consuming process. False leads cover other false leads. This is a job for a new Bletchley Park, but it is just possible that NSA alerted the FBI that it had intercepts, and the FBI was covering for NSA  rather than doing the hard work of deconstructing the code.

The question is if it was a disgruntled “inside job” — but no one really knows…yet! I suspect the FBI and NSA are right, but like the shooter on the grassy knoll…

—————————–

 

The Brits are scrambling to contain a flood of Bulgarians and Romanians who come for the huge benefits available — paid by Britain even to those family members who remain in Bulgaria and Romania!

Too late, regrettably — the Brits wanted to demonstrate “Diversity,” and they certainly have done so. Britain has slashed its wrists, and it is only a matter of time…there are camps in Calais, France, just waiting for transportation to Britain!

Britain committed national suicide, and they will willingly die, rather than be thought of as “racist.”

RIP, Britain.

 

———————————————————-

 

The Left, in this case Bernie Sanders, continue to single out the Koch brothers as the bogie-man of political spending, but he is very selective.

According to POLITICO, Liberal Steyer was the largest donor, and liberal Bloomberg was #2. The Koch brothers have donated more obey to charity than Bernie will ever see in his, and his family’s lifetimes!

 

——————————————————-

Everything you need to know about Christmas and technology is that more than half the devices activated by new users during Christmas Week was an Apple product! That is domination.

—————————————————————-

At 1400 hours on December 31, I received my authorization to get my home underway on SOLAR power — right in the midst of snow flurries. The panels have been up, and connected for several days in bright sunlight, but I was not permitted to throw the switch and parallel the electric power of San Diego Gas and Electric.

It is now operable. My interest was not clean power, but that I could cut my enormous electric bill in half

————————————————————

I support Israel, but their claim that they are an “independent” nation is belied by the fact that we have sent them money for so long they just include it in advance in their budget!

I love Israel, and I love my children, but I cut my kids off when they were 21 years old. I wish we could do that with Israel!

 

—————————————————————

 

First, almost all men marry above them — it is in the nature of things because men are rotten. Some are more rotten than others.

My wife and I have been married for 57 years, and an unkind word has never passed between us.

The secret is simple: never say “no” to your spouse!

 

———————————————————

 

I am astounded that a Court has ordered the chemotherapy of a 17 year old girl, overriding the wishes of both the family and the girl.

Outrageous! Yes, she is technically a minor but Courts start listening to “children” as to which parent in a divorce the “child” wishes to live at 13.

At 17 a “child” is old enough to be listened to about her medical issues? I believe her decision is stupid, but stupid is a permissible offense in America!

 

————————————————–

 

The US is planning to close some European bases.

Good! In actuality, GREAT! The Europeans have relied on our charity for decades…the EU nations have between 25% and 50% annual military budgets that we do. They rely on us, while they have about the same GDP as the U.S.!

They have been welfare recipients for long enough!

The Lord helps those who help themselves! The Europeans have NEVER helped themselves, and the U.S. has had to pull their irons out of the fire since WW1.

As a result, we have worn out our ships, tanks and men on a war footing for decades. My submarines were six months at home and six deployed for my entire career, and the six at home were getting repaired. Ships and submarines are not designed for that — and neither are the men.

I had one Skipper who had 21 deployments in 18 years. (obviously, he was divorced.)

Those who favor such activity are seldom those who must perform them.