Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Will to Win

This was received from an Air Force colleague, who had received it from a Marine friend. It's worth passing on.

Unless you are willing to be as unreasonable and as brutal, as your enemy, do not engage him in a conflict -- because he will win.
An old leatherneck says it better. Here's what the WWII veteran said right after overhearing someone say that "You can't bomb an ideology.":
The hell you can't, because we did it. These Muslims are no different than the [Imperial] Japanese. The Japs had their suicide bombers too. And we stopped them. What it takes is the resolve and will to use a level of brutality and violence that your generations can't stomach. And until you can, this shit won't stop. It took us on the beaches with bullets, clearing out caves with flame throwers, and men like LeMay burning down their cities, killing people by the tens of thousands. And then it took 2 atom bombs on top of it. Plus we had to bomb the shit out of German cities to get them to quit fighting. But, if that was what it took to win, we were willing to do it. Until you are willing to do the same...well I hope you enjoy this shit, because it ain't going to stop!
Back then, we had leadership, resolve, resources and determination. Today we're afraid to hurt people's feelings .... and worry about which bathroom to piss in!!!

On one thing, though, I must disagree. "These Muslims" ARE different from the Japanese of World War II. The Japanese fighters were soldiers — uniformed soldiers, with a code of conduct enforced by their superiors and their military structure. They acted as a military force. Compare that to "these Muslims" who lack honor, think committing rape is normal and acceptable behavior, and prefer to attack civilian non-combatant targets — right down to beheading a woman for the "crime" of going to the market by herself. In other words, this is what "these Muslims" are like.

This is the new reality, as we've all seen. We ignore it at our peril.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Just To Be Clear

It's being reported that 54% of Democrats believe the Russians interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking into and changing vote totals last November 8. That means they've fallen for some "fake news" 'bause that's never what the actual news reports said. The actual charge was that the Russians influenced the U.S. election by passing all those e-mails to Wikileaks. (But see this item.)

And what follows from that is this:

I would also say all the continuing crying, screaming, bellyaching, rioting, and abuse of process on the left demonstrates a HUGE amount of hypocrisy on their part. Just compare what they were saying before the election with what they've been saying since.

It won't make sense to the young and historically illiterate, but what all the Leftist bitching and moaning makes me think is this:

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The "Russian Hack"

The primary US media outlets have been spending a LOT of ink and air time talking about the Russians and their purported hacking of the US presidential election last month. These stories are disingenuous. In point of fact, the hacking that was done — by whomever — was, according to the detail behind the stories, of the Democratic National Committee (& maybe the Republican National Committee) and the Hillary Clinton campaign organization and the Hillary Clinton State Department. There have been no real reports of the hacking of any state's election voting processes. So the claims are really of using hacked material to influence voters to change who they voted for, no matter how the primary media outlets may wish to spin them.

Let's look at some of the issues surrounding these claims.

First is the difference between what is claimed in the stories and what has actually been reported by the stories' sources. That is pure deception. And the reality takes us from the realm of direct action to the realm of influence. In the latter realm, Russia would have a lot of company.

And what was Russia doing to influence the US presidential election? It was purportedly releasing through Wikileaks e-mails sent among members of the Hillary Clinton campaign showing it and she were disingenuous, deceptive, unethical, criminal, & etc. Meanwhile, as the hacked e-mailes showed, others were working to influence the election.

Second is motivation. As reported

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter," the Post reported on Friday.
The problem is that despite Vladimir Putin's reported dislike of Hillary Clinton, Russia could more easily have pushed the US around with her as president (just as with President Obama) than with Donald Trump in the Executive Office. A serious pragmatist like Vladimir Putin would — and has — go with what best serves his purposes regardless of his personal feelings.

Third is the question of why the Russians (or whoever) would have released data hacked from the Democrats but not the Republicans. There are two possible answers to this, both of which may be true.

(1) It may be that the Republicans' e-mails gave the Russians (or whoever) nothing juicy as the Democrats' did — nothing unethical or illegal to attach to the Republicans' candidate or his campaign like what whoever found in the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and her campaign, including her campaign manager.

(2) The hacker may not have gotten into the Republicans' e-mails. Perhaps no one at the Republican National Committee responded to a phishing e-mail and no one in the Donald Trump campaign did that or kept and used a completely unsecured server.

Fourth is was it really the Russians? The leaked e-mails came out through Wikileaks. And the Wikileaks folks insist they didn't come from the Russians — or anyone else foreign — but from a disgruntled Hillary Campaign individual frustrated and disgusted by the behaviors he saw running rampant in the campaign. Of course, the primary media outlets are ignoring what Wikileaks keeps saying — it doesn't fit their narrative.

Fifth is the question of what impact the leaked e-mails had. In a way, it doesn't matter:

  • If they had a major impact, it was because of what they revealed about the candidate and her campaign organization (see "third" (1), above). In such a case, the impact would be the same whether the e-mails came from a whistleblower, a hacker, or Woodward & Bernstein.
  • If they had no major impact, the whole premise of the media story collapses. In that event, it doesn't really matter who got the e-mails out. Aside from a desire for blame, of course.
In any case, it appears the likely answer is that the e-mails didn't have much impact. The reason I say that is that we kept seeing stories about how sparse the crowds were at Hillary Clinton events, while Donald Trump events were . . . well, like this:

The remaining question would be how well such crowds transfer into vote margins. This time, the rally crowds appear to have transferred just enough to make a real difference; last time (2012), not so much.

The bottom line of all this is that No, Democrats, Russia and Vladimir Putin didn't steal the presidential election for Donald Trump.

Since the election, Leftists have used the purported Russian hack (as well as other reasons and no real reason at all) as excuses for demands that the election results be overturned. All of these excuses boil down to "It isn't fair! We didn't win!" A typical immature child's reaction.

But even an immiature child should understand that don't change the rules of the game after the game has started. And you especially don't change the rules of the game to change the winner after the game is over. That would be like changing the definition of Checkmate because you don't like the fact that you lost.

All of this still leaves at least one problem, one that is suggested by the issues above. With all these issues, why did the CIA (reportedly) give this story to press people but (apparently) not not to those in the normal reporting chain? And why, when asked, was the CIA unwilling to provide more information — and maybe even evidence — to appropriately cleared folks like Congressional intelligence committees (and unlike the press folks who lack security clearances)? This key question, put another way, is

[I]f it turns out people in the CIA were pushing a phony story to damage Trump's presidency, and that a credulous anti-Trump press eagerly spread these claims — they should be held accountable as well. Undermining the credibility of our Democratic system is a terrible offense, no matter who is behind it or why.
That same article provides a thought that can perhaps help lead us toward an answer.
Until some actual facts are known, however, everyone would be wise to keep in mind that everyone currently pushing the Russians-stole-our-election story has a reason to hope it was true.
I wonder if that would be "hope" or "wish". And what they would do to make their wish come true.

UPDATE: Even some of Hillary's friends on the Left can't swallow these claims. See this story, citing this one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reflections on Pearl Harbor

Today marks 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that brought the United States into World War II. That makes it a good time to reflect on that attack. And the best way to do that may be through some contemporary analysis reported in the 1985 book Reflections on Pearl Harbor by William H. Ewing, now out of print.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was appointed as Commander of the Pacific Fleet in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack. The story I have read is that President Franklin Roosevelt reached him while he was attending a concert on the day of the attack, and appointed him that day to his new post.

Transportation, in particular, was not as rapid then as it is now. It apparently took more than two weeks for Admiral Nimitz to arrive at his new post. What happened very shortly after his arrival is described in an excerpt from Reflections On Pearl Harbor by William H. Ewing, reported online in 2011.

When Nimitz landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941, there was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat--you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war. On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Afterwards, someone asked him, ‘Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?’ Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone: ‘The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America.

Nimitz explained:

Mistake number one: The Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk, we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.

Mistake number two: When the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow every one of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.

Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.

That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.

I have read elsewhere that the Japanese chose to attack on a Sunday morning to insure the maximum number of capital ships would be in port and at anchor (see Mistake number one above) and that preparedness in their other attack locations would be similarly degraded. This may suggest the "double-edged sword" nature of so many decisions. It may also relate to the Pearl Harbor attack being a late addition (approved by Emperor Hirohita on November 5) as part of the broader attack that opened World War II's Pacific War.

There was also what might be called Mistake number four: Either through a failure of intelligence or the Japanese need to proceed with their overall attack as planned regardless of inopportune circumstances at a single location (especially that of a late addition to the plan), all the US aircraft carriers were at sea at the time of the attack. Thus the carriers, which had to be the number one target of Admiral Yamamoto's attack plan, were preserved and able to successfully prosecute the Pacific War. After all, the Japanese attack demonstrated (if a demonstration was needed) the effectiveness of aircraft carriers.

All this provides a different window on the Pearl Harbor attack, and should be food for thought on today's 75th anniversary of that attack.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Worth Passing On

Donald Trump & Carrier

President-elect Donald Trump called the head of Carrier Air Conditioning's parent company and had a "heart to heart" talk with him. With that and some additional serious negotiations, the Carrier plant in Indiana will remain open instead of moving to Mexico, saving 1,000 jobs.

If President-elect Donald Trump could do that without yet being in office, why couldn't President Barack Obama do anything like it?

Looks like it's because Donald Trump actually gives a damn.
He cares.

Not even in office yet, and he's saving jobs.