Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for the West as it commits suicide.
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Immigration without assimilation is invasion.
I went to bed late, waiting for Fox news, who’d rather be right than call things too early,. They called Pennsylvania for Trump, but there remained the suspicion that Mrs. Clinton would dispute the result, and we would have weeks of lawsuits, appeals, discoveries of “lost” boxes of absentee ballots going 80% to Mrs. Clinton, and more horrors. As I was getting to bed, Trump appeared at his victory party: Mrs. Clinton had conceded. Trump was gracious, full of Dignitas, and quite Presidential, complimenting Mrs. Clinton on her years of public service, and refraining from any criticisms. He also accepted Speaker Ryan’s olive branch, beginning down the path to at least a semblance of unity.
I woke up to discover that it was all true. Trump was indeed the President Designate, and will become President Elect once the Electoral College has done its work.
If Hillary Clinton had won we would know exactly what was coming: Obama’s third term. With Trump the future is less clear. I do expect him to keep his word on the Supreme Court: he has promised us “original intent” scholars similar to Mr. Justice Scalia, and there is every reason to believe that is what we will get quite early in his term. I expect that he will be able to appoint at least one more Justice and perhaps more. The Constitution is not in danger of being dominated by “living document” advocates who decide as the elite intellectual zeitgeist dictates no matter what the governed may have consented to. The Republic will, I think remain one in which governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
We can also expect nearly immediate repeal of the recent constitutionally questionable Executive Orders. I invite you to submit your favorite candidates for repeal. I have already asked my friend Dr. David Friedman for his candidates.
Changes that will require action by Congress will take a while; we can hope that Mr. Trump does not lose patience. Getting things through Congress takes some skill; fortunately Mr.Trump will have experienced expert advice. He seems determined to make peace with Speaker Ryan, who did yeoman service in delivering Wisconsin.
I saw Roberta yesterday and helped her fill out her absentee ballot, which was delivered to the polls by a kind hospital volunteer. She has expanded her vocabulary enough that I am sure that over time all her speech will return. She looked much better, if a bit exhausted by the relentless expert therapy. We appreciate your prayers.
I found this exposition on the biggest losers last night quite intriguing. I was one of the first subscribers to National Review when it was founded, and while Russell Kirk (my mentor) was a real friend of Buckley while I was more of an acquaintance, we got long well when I was at Pepperdine and Mr. Buckley spoke to one of my prelaw classes. Of course the egregious Frum read me out of the Conservative movement when I opposed the neocon position on Iraq. I remain conservative by inclination, but I no longer claim to be a member of any organized group. I have long held this sentiment:
Boswell: So, Sir, you laugh at schemes of social improvement?
Johnson: Why, Sir, most schemes for social improvement are very laughable things.
The National Review Editorial Board
In its staunch opposition to Trump, the National Review proved itself to be as out of touch and elitist as the liberals it frequently took to task. The magazine had forgotten its roots. No longer willing to stand athwart history yelling stop, it resigned itself to standing meekly by muttering not so fast.
The Navy called USS Zumwalt a warship Batman would drive. But at $800,000 per round, its ammo is too pricey to fire. – MSN News
Instead of this boondoggle, the ZUMWALT should indeed be armed with rail guns and lasers, to go along with its unique design and radar cross-section, to make it truly a ship of the Future.
The Navy called USS Zumwalt a warship Batman would drive. But at $800,000 per round, its ammo is too pricey to fire.
The Washington Post – The Washington Post – Tue Nov 8 11:25:24 UTC 2016
Fully loaded, the ammunition for one ship would total about $2 billion.
Zumwalt-class AGS round
Jerry, I’d not worry too much about the cancelled LockMart LRLAP round intended for the AGS guns on the DDG-1000 Destroyers.
I’m sure that Raytheon will be happy to adapt their already in-production and combat-tested Excalibur extended range smart shell to the AGS.
I’d be surprised if Raytheon hadn’t anticipated this situation and included planning for AGS support when designing the new 5″ Naval version, the Excalibur N5.
All the best to Roberta and yourself. Speedy recovery especially to Roberta.
Comment on “Quantum news”
Thanks for posting in your View for November 7 the link to the article about Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg questioning the interpretation of quantum mechanics under the heading “Quantum news”.
It is good when famous scientists begin to realize that scientists have very little to say about what the world is really like. Equations are merely equations. It seems obvious that Schrodinger’s equation is not an agent that controls and sustains the universe. It is merely a mathematical contrivance found useful for calculating certain quantities that we derive from our observation of the universe. The equations do not explain why they work, nor do they prove the existence of a wave function for the universe. Nor is quantum mechanics consistent with the mathematical contrivance called general relativity.
As David Berlinski writes in his delightful little book “The Devil’s Delusion”:
“… two influential ideas are at work. The first is that there is something answering to the name of science. The second is that something answering to the name of science offers sophisticated men and women a coherent vision of the universe. The second claim is false if the first claim is.
“And the first claim is false. Nothing answers to the name of science.”
“We have been vouchsafed four powerful and profound scientific theories since the great scientific revolution of the West was set in motion in the seventeenth century–Newtonian mechanics, James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of the electromagnetic field, special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics. … The theories that we possess are ‘magnificent, profound, difficult, sometimes phenomenally accurate,’ as the distinguished mathematician Roger Penrose has observed, but as he at once adds, they also comprise a ‘tantalizingly inconsistent scheme of things.'”
“We do not know how the universe began. We do not know why it is there. Charles Darwin talked speculatively of life emerging from a ‘warm little pond.’ The pond is gone. We have little idea how life emerged, and cannot with assurance say that it did. We cannot reconcile our understanding of the human mind with any trivial theory about the manner in which the brain functions. … We do not know what impels us to right conduct or where the form of the good is found.”
Sheldon and his wife will be very pleased.
From the mainstream media:
The reality TV star has made it very real.
Republican Donald Trump, a divisive outsider who overcame even his own party’s distrust, took to a New York stage in the early hours of Wednesday to claim the presidency of the United States. His acceptance speech, delivered after he said he had spoken with Democrat rival Hillary Clinton, capped a race that at times seemed out of control and until minutes earlier had been expected to continue well into Wednesday.
“This was tough, this was tough,” Trump told the crowd as he extended an olive branch to Clinton and the Democrats. “This political stuff is nasty and it’s tough.”
He also struck a conciliatory note.
“For those who chose not to support me in the past, of which there are a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can reach out and unify our great country,” he said.
Trump’s acceptance, which came as the final votes were still being counted, followed a chief adviser to Clinton telling her supporters to go home early Wednesday.
Clinton finally gave her concession speech (with accompanying tweets) late Wednesday morning, saying that she hopes he will be successful and offering “to work with him on behalf of the country.”
Mr. Obama has invited Trump to the White House to discuss transition; Trump’s acceptance was dignified and Presidential.
A-10 depot can’t recover from illegal neglect
Glad to hear the good news on your wife’s recovery, and that you are writing more.
And good news Strategy Page dot com published November 6, 2016:
Once more the U.S. Air Force had to reverse its plans to get rid of its most popular combat aircraft; the A-10. In September the air force, faced with the reality that the A-10 was its most effective warplane in the current war against ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Syria and Iraq, announced it was restoring maintenance funds for the A-10 and indefinitely delaying plans to start retiring all A-10s in 2018. Now the money is allocated to keep the 283 A-10s flying into the late 2020s. Restored maintenance funds will increase availability rates back to 70 percent or more. In 2015 A-10s flew over 87,000 hours and they could have flown more (as ground troops demanded) if maintenance funds had been available. The A-10 is a special Cold War era design that was optimized for operating close to troops on the ground. A-10s were designed for use against Russian ground forces in Europe. That war never happened and the last American A-10 attack aircraft left Europe (for good, it was thought) in mid-2013. By 2015 it was back. Meanwhile the A-10 proved to be a formidable combat aircraft in post-Cold War conflicts, first in the 1991 liberation of Kuwait and later in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the last decade the most requested ground support aircraft in Afghanistan has been the A-10. There was similar A-10 affection in Iraq. Troops from all nations quickly came to appreciate the unique abilities of this 1970s era aircraft that the U.S. Air Force is constantly trying to get rid of. In 2011 the air force did announce that it was retiring 102 A-10s, leaving 243 in service. At the same time the air force accelerated the upgrading of the remaining A-10s to the A-10C standard. This was long overdue because the original A-10 was a 1960s design. Most have now been upgraded. An A-10C has new commo gear was added, allowing A-10 pilots to share pix and vids with troops on the ground. The A-10 pilot also has access to the Blue Force Tracker system, so that the nearest friendly ground forces show up on the HUD (Head Up Display) when coming in low to use the 30mm cannon. The A-10C can use smart bombs, making it a do-it-all aircraft for ground support. The A-10 is a 23 ton, twin engine, single seat aircraft whose primary weapon is a multi-barrel 30mm cannon originally designed to fire armored piercing shells through the thinner top armor of Russian (or any other) tanks. These days the 1,174 30mm rounds are mostly high explosive. The 30mm cannon fires 363 gram (12.7 ounce) rounds at the rate of about 65 a second. The cannon usually fires in one or 2 second bursts. In addition, the A-10 can carry 7 tons of bombs and missiles. These days the A-10 goes out with smart bombs (GPS and laser guided) and Maverick missiles. It can also carry a targeting pod, enabling the pilot to use high magnification day/night cameras to scour the area for enemy activity. Cruising speed is 560 kilometers an hour and the A-10 can slow down to about 230 kilometers an hour. In Afghanistan 2 drop tanks were usually carried to give the aircraft more fuel and maximum time over the battlefield. The A-10, nicknamed “Warthog” or just “hog”, could always fly low and slow and was designed, and armored, to survive a lot of ground fire. Despite the success and popularity (especially with ground troops) of the A-10 the air force leadership had cut money already allocated to keep existing A-10s flying and abandoned plans to develop an acceptable (to the troops on the ground) replacement. The reasons for the change of mind were familiar to those who remembered similar situations dating back to the early 1990s. This time it was a recent survey of Marine, Army, and Air Force JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and JFOs (Joint Fires Observers) which showed an overwhelming preference for the A-10. JTAC and JFO teams are trained to call in air strikes and most of these teams contain a combat pilot. At the same time these teams work directly with ground forces and are well aware of what kind of air support the ground troops find most useful. Ground controllers mostly (48 percent) preferred the A-10. The next most popular aircraft (which 13 percent preferred) was the AC-130 gunships. While the AC-130 is in no danger of elimination (it is an armed C-130 transport) the A-10 is. Yet the air force leaders insist jet fighters (like the F-16, F-15 and F-18) can replace the A-10 but these 3 fighters are preferred by 14 percent. The AV-8B vertical takeoff jet is preferred by only 4 percent. Armed helicopters are preferred by 11 percent and armed UAVs by 9 percent. Air force leaders insist jet fighters can adequately replace the A-10 but ground troops and fighter pilots serving as JTACs say otherwise. As useful as armed helicopters and UAVs are the overwhelming preference is for the A-10, an aircraft explicitly designed to provide the best ground support. The air force refuses even to design a 21st century A-10 and there are no other aircraft in service that even come close. This hostile attitude by air force leadership to the A-10 is nothing new. It got so bad in 2015 that the general commanding the ACC (Air Combat Command) was fired (because of Congressional pressure) for giving a speech in which he declared that any air force personnel speaking out publicly in favor of the A-10 were guilty of treason. While ACC is in charge of most combat aircraft (fighters, bombers, recon and ground attack) ACC leadership has long believed that the A-10 has outlived its usefulness and that its ground support job could be done just as well by fighters like the F-16 and F-35. Experience in combat has shown that this is not true, but apparently to senior people in the air force backing the truth, at least when it comes to the A-10, is treasonous. While the air force leadership officially denounced the “supporting the A-10 is treason” remarks it was eventually revealed that while those apologies were being made those same air force generals were trying to sabotage the A-10 by quietly cutting major maintenance programs 40 percent. This meant that a growing number of A-10s would not be available for service because of “maintenance issues.” It is believed that such excuses would not include the fact that the maintenance problems were self-inflicted by the air force leadership and it would instead be implied that the age of the A-10s was a factor. The air force has been trying to retire its A-10 aircraft since the 1990s and since late 2014 they tried issuing studies and analyses showing that the A-10 was too specialized and too old to justify the cost of keeping it in service. This generated more opposition, and more effective opposition, than the air forces expected. This was helped by the fact that some of the “studies” were more spin than impartial analysis. All this created unwanted publicity about something the air force denies exists but is nevertheless very real; the air force has never really wanted to devote much resources to CAS (Close Air Support) for ground forces. Officially this is not true but in reality it is and the ground forces (army and marines) and historians provided plenty of evidence. The problem is complicated by the fact that the air force does not want to allow the army to handle CAS, as is the case with some countries and the U.S. Marine Corps (which provides CAS for marines and any ground forces the marines are operating with). Soldiers and marines both insist that marine CAS (provided by Harriers. F-35Bs and F-18s flown by marines) is superior. The army and marines also have their own helicopter gunships for support, but they lack capabilities only the fixed wing aircraft have. Despite all that the air force wants to eliminate the A-10, which soldiers, marines and many allied troops consider the best CAS aircraft ever, and replace it with less effective (for CAS) fighters adapted for CAS. The ground forces don’t want that mainly because the A-10 pilots specialize in CAS while fighter pilots must spend a lot of time training for air combat and different types of bombing, The A-10 pilots are CAS specialists and it shows by the amount of praise they get from their “customers” (the ground troops). To the dismay of just about everyone the air force dismisses all this as much less important than the fact that the A-10 cannot fight other aircraft. That was how the A-10 was designed, on air force orders, but that is somehow irrelevant now.
The Air Force has always hated the close support mission, but refuses to allow the Army to have any fixed wing aircraft to carry it out for itself. This is tragic.
General Powers many years ago made it Air Force policy to never give up a mission, even if USAF didn’t want it. Close support of the field army was vital in the closing days of WW II; and close recce/strike missions by P-47, particularly train busting, became nearly decisive in some battles. The P-47 was a good close ground support aircraft, but it was also an air superiority fighter (especially as the Luftwaffe faded in ability) so it did not block a fighter pilot’s career path to be assigned to close support; later, as close support became better defined, that mission was seen as a career impairment and to be avoided. The field army wants close support, particularly in urban environments but also in open country counter battery engagements; hot fighter pilots find that less important to their careers than getting Ace status and the other perks of the air supremacy mission.
It has come to a head several times. The Air Force doctrine is to establish air supremacy in a wide area. The Army believes that close support helps the Army win battles and advance to take the enemy airfields. The argument continues.
Given limited funding the close support aircraft are the first to be neglected by USAF. Given air supremacy, close support is the first demand of the Army. The dilemma continues.
Asteroid Leading the Vote
I couldn’t bring myself to vote for SMOD2016, but these are funny:
Raise a toast to deep sea nitrifying bacteria!
I’m not familiar with that web site. I gather “asteroid” is a web character, but some choose to make that a real earth striking object.
re: automating public service jobs
The first requirement to automate public service jobs is to sort out exactly what the rules are so that they can be applied in a deterministic way.
Just doing that would remove a huge amount of uncertainty and eliminate a lot of jobs (both public sector jobs of those who evaluate how the rules apply and the lawyers who make their living at the margins where there is uncertainty about exactly what the rules require)
actually automating them to eliminate the jobs would just be a bonus
I expect there is more interest in this subject than you suspect. If a robot can do a job that doesn’t need doing, it’s easy to fire the robot after the GS-9 has been dismissed as redundant.
You know all this, of course, but I sometimes wonder about some of your readers.
My great grandfather and grandfather were part of the 4.5 million Irish who immigrated to the US between 1820 and 1930. The population of the US was, at that point between 60-75 million.
They were Catholic, as well. GAD, we know about those people, don’t we?
They lived in the slums through my father’s childhood although my grandfather was a fireman for the NYFD. My Grandmother did not much like the British, but managed to live with the Poles, Hungarians, and Slavs in the neighborhood.
My father left by virtue of the GI Bill.
Disraeli told us:
“[The Irish] hate our order, our civilization, our enterprising industry, our pure religion. This wild, reckless, indolent, uncertain and superstitious race have no sympathy with the English character. Their ideal of human felicity is an alternation of clannish broils and coarse idolatry. Their history describes an unbroken circle of bigotry and blood”.
Edmund Spenser wasn’t fond of them either:
“Marry those be the most barbaric and loathy conditions of any people (I think) under heaven…They [the Irish] do use all the beastly behaviour that may be, they oppress all men, they spoil as well the subject, as the enemy; they steal, they are cruel and bloody, full of revenge, and delighting in deadly execution, licentious, swearers and blasphemers, common ravishers of women, and murderers of children.”
I’m glad Roberta is in Holy Cross and progressing.
Well, since my wife is very much of Irish descent, I can hardly be accused of discrimination against the Irish. I have always held the opinion that migration for the purpose of assimilation is precisely the way this country was built. From “hyphen Americans” we developed Americans without the hyphens who eat corned beef and cabbage and wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, and pretend to be furious with those who wear orange on that day; or march in a Columbus Day parade; etc. The Italians who entered the US as prisoners of war in WW II and were paroled out to truck gardeners around Memphis mostly stayed as immigrants, often marrying into the families they were “enslaved” to.
Of course migration without assimilation is invasion.
QEII: Make America Great [Britain] Again
It’s nice to see that someone understands how Americans feel right now; that someone is Queen Elizabeth II:
In an unexpected televised address on Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II offered to restore British rule over the United States of America.
Addressing the American people from her office in Buckingham Palace, the Queen said that she was making the offer “in recognition of the desperate situation you now find yourselves in.”
“This two-hundred-and-forty-year experiment in self-rule began with the best of intentions, but I think we can all agree that it didn’t end well,” she said.
Laughter is the best medicine, eh?
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Joshua Jordan, KSC
I guess the election has ended that offer. Although perhaps, given the obstacles he faces, Mr. Trump may ask her to extend it again…
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.