Far East: Wars have started over less weighty issues than the sovereignty of islands in the East China Sea called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. They are barely rocks above water, but they sit atop valuable resources and are rapidly becoming a flash point as a rising power confronts one whose sun has set. These islands have become involved in a three-way tug of war between China, Taiwan and Japan with each sending fishing boats, even armed vessels, to the area. Private boats from
''War clouds are gathering in East Asia, and we would suggest that President Obama find time between celebrity events and talk show appearances to start attending the national intelligence briefings.'' Well, how dare they?
You can teach any competent large ship captain to navigate an aircaft carrier to and fro. However, to actually employ such a vessel as a weapon is a whole other matter.
If it ever came to conflict I doubt the Chinese would even let their carrier leave port. The Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is more than capable, and operates at least a dozen SSKs (diesel-electric submarines). The ChiComs' carrier would become a deep-water reef if they chose to employ it in a conflict against Japan anytime over the next decade.
I would love to watch the Chicoms first attempt at carrier flight ops. Back during Viet Nam doctors stuck wires in and on pilots from the air force and navy to find what caused the moststress in combat. The resuslts were that the greatest stress on an AF pilot was when he was dodging telephone poles (evading SAMs) while the greatest stress on a Navy pilot was night carrier landings.
The article itself is a fair backgrounder on the situation. The mention that "Obama hasn't taken a position" is worrying, disgusting, and too-typical.
However, the headline is both misleading as to the article, and wrong as well. China has commissioned a ship. Period. No planes, no pilots, and the ship is fit only for limited-capability VSTOL aircraft, as it has no catapults. No, not at all likely to refit cats, for many, many reasons [not enough steam, no space for machinery, deck layout and space].
But China may want/need to act well before the ex-Varyag has any ability to project power.
#5: I can't confirm the rumor that one of the costliest line-items in the construction budget was for gray paint to refinish the transom on a, ahem, "regular" basis during quals. But it sounds credible.
Energy Policy: The president falsely claims that the jobs created by the pipeline from Canada would be but a "blip relative to the need," ignoring his own State Department and the unions that support him. At the rate President Obama is going, he may claim that building the Keystone XL pipeline will actually cost jobs. In an interview with the New York Times last Saturday, he argued that the best estimate is 2,000 initial construction jobs followed by no more than an additional 100 jobs, a mere "blip." The newspaper´s transcript of the interview showed Obama
Energy: A Saudi prince has warned that his oil-reliant nation is under threat because of fracking technology being developed in the U.S. and spreading around the world. OPEC is now caught between Riyadh and a hard place. Indicative of the panic rippling through the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries over the U.S.-led fracking boom, billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says his Gulf Arab kingdom needs to reduce its reliance on crude oil and diversify its revenues, lest the era of gold-plated toilets come to an end.
Welfare: SNAP, the U.S. food stamp program, has become a conduit for redistributing wealth and fundamentally transforming America, as welfare recipients now send food overseas and the White House markets to illegals. While the administration laments the distraction of "phony" scandals like Benghazi and Fast and Furious that leave real Americans dead, it trots out phony statistics about how well the economy is doing. "And what is absolutely true is that we have come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a recent press briefing
Bankruptcy: The fundamental transformation of Detroit is complete, as socialism´s theme park succumbs to government run amok, a reminder that government isn´t the solution to our problems but their cause. The wisdom of President Reagan´s words have been lost under an administration that believes government is the entity from which all blessings flow. So has Margaret Thatcher´s observation that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people´s money. Last Oct. 13, President Obama boasted in a weekly address about the bailed-out auto industry that, "We refused to throw in the towel
Bill Of Rights: A Nevada family files a lawsuit after police literally seize their house to use as a command post after entering without a warrant and assaulting family members. Isn´t this what helped start the American Revolution? For those who snoozed through civics class, recent news events have provided an education on the U.S. Constitution, the bedrock of American democracy, assaulted by an administration that views it as obstructionist and irrelevant and by courts that view it as a "living document" — which is to say it means whatever they say it means on any given day.
Guns: Illinois has become the last state in the union to allow citizens their full Second Amendment rights, and officials in the murder capital of America worry about the consequences of citizens defending themselves. Illinois´ legislature on Tuesday voted to let gun owners carry concealed weapons. The action followed a violent and bloody Fourth of July weekend in President Obama´s hometown during which 74 people were shot and 12 were killed.
An oil-laden train not unlike those rolling down American tracks derailed and exploded Saturday in a Canadian town, proving why pipelines are safer and environmentalist opposition to a pipeline from Canada is misguided. At least 13 people were reported dead and 37 missing in the charred Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, 130 miles east of Montreal, after the accident created an inferno of burning crude. Some may never be found, likely vaporized by the sheer intensity of the blaze that burned for 36 hours. Canada´s oil boom, due largely to development
Regulation: No longer the stuff of science fiction, a little-noticed change in energy-efficiency requirements for appliances could lead to government controlling the power used in your home and how you set your thermostat. In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an "optional" requirement for a "smart-grid" connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider. The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances´ power consumption, "including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times."
Oil: Production data for April show how fracking has shattered not only the shale rock in formations like Texas´ Eagle Ford and Permian Basin but also the myths of "peak oil" and petroleum as an energy source of the past. As Mark Perry notes on his Carpe Diem blog, Texas produced an average of 2.45 million barrels a day (bpd) of crude oil in April, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That´s the highest average daily output for Texas in any month since April 1985 — 28 years ago. In only 2-1/2 years, the Lone Star State
Mideast: The assault on a monastery and the murder of its priest by Syrian rebels is a stark reminder of the threat to Christians in the Middle East and that the enemy of our enemy is not necessarily our friend. The Vatican has confirmed the murder by beheading of Syrian Catholic priest Francois Murad in the town of Gassanieh in northern Syria by jihadists belonging to the al-Qaida-linked group Jabhat al-Nusra, or Al-Nusra front. This raises questions about our involvement in aiding Syrian groups opposed to the regime of Bashar Assad
Energy Policy: A billionaire hedge fund manager and Barack Obama donor is pushing the president to stop the pipeline that would compete with one he´s invested in. That pipeline could send Canadian oil to China. Environmental activist Tom Steyer donated as much as he could to get Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey elected to the Senate in the recent special election to fill the seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry. He wanted another senator who´s opposed to completing the Keystone XL pipeline that he says would be an environmental plague on the planet.
Energy Policy: The president said Tuesday the pipeline from Canada should be built if the State Department finds it will not add to carbon pollution and is in our national interest. But State already has — twice. ´Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation´s interest," the president said in his speech on climate change. "And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." As with Benghazi, President Obama must not talk to the State Department much.
Citing a potential al Qaeda attack, the State Department on Friday issued a worldwide travel alert and warned American citizens that the terrorist group may be plotting a strike in the Middle East, North Africa or elsewhere. “Current information suggests that al Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,” reads a portion of the alert, which lasts until the end of the month.
Executive Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze gave some ambiguous and potentially dangerous self defense advice Friday on “Hardball.” Glaze, speaking in opposition to “Stand Your Ground” laws, said in a circumstance where someone “comes at you” with an axe handle one should attempt to either “talk,” “fight with your fists,” “run away,” or “deescalate the situation,” but not shoot the attacker: MARK GLAZE: Very often somebody will come at you. They might want to have a fistfight. They might come at you with an ax handle. CHRIS MATTHEWS: Would you consider the guy with the ax handle armed or not?
American scientists claim the planet is undergoing one of the largest changes in climate in the past 65 million years. Climatologists at Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment have warned the likely rate of change over the next century will be at least 10 times quicker than any climate shift since the dinosaurs became extinct. If the trend continues at its current rapid pace, it will place significant stress on terrestrial ecosystems around the world, and many species will need to make behavioral, evolutionary or geographic adaptations to survive, they said.
About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. “If not $15, then something. I mean give us something. I work 36 hours a week and barely make enough to pay my rent, gas bill, light bill. It gets to the point where I barely have enough for lunch sometimes,” said Angel Richardson, 21, who works at McDonald’s. “I’m five months pregnant, what am I going to do in four months? I hope something changes.” The minimum wage is $7.25 nationally and $8.25
[Video] Rapper Jay Z appearing on HBO´s "Real Time" with Bill Maher says that the black community wants upward economic mobility rather than a stronger police presence. In a conversation with former Congressman Barney Frank about police tactics such as stop-and-frisk, Jay Z suggests the stagnant economy and wealth inequality could cause widespread social unrest: "The real problem is there´s no middle class, right? So the gap between the have and have-nots is getting wider and wider... It´s gonna be a problem that no amount of police can solve, because once you have that sort of oppression
The administration has popped the bubble of hope some small business had that switching to part-time staff would let them escape the high costs of Obamacare. The Small Business Administration on Thursday created a website to explain to businesses that the government will simply tally up the number of part-time employees firms have to determine if enough hours have been worked to essentially create a "full-time equivalent." Some smaller businesses had thought that if they could get under the 50 full-time employee cap that activates Obamacare by cutting full-time workers and hiring more part-time workers they would escape
Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms "citizen" and "brown bag" are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city´s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. "Luckily, we´ve got options," Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. "For ´citizens,´ how about ´residents?´"
You don´t have to be gay or even Russian to feel the wrath of the Russian government´s homophobia. You could go to jail if you are "pro-gay," whatever that means. And that´s under just one of a growing number of hate-infused bills becoming law at a time when, as it happens, Russia is preparing to host the world in the next Winter Olympics. The perverse anti-gay legislation is inflaming an atmosphere of persistent intimidation and at times deadly violence against Russian gays and lesbians. The question now is: What should the rest of the world do?
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested on Friday morning that the tea party movement is comprised of the same types of people who fought against the civil rights movement during the 1960s. Speaking with the Daily Beast, Rangel said of the movement: “It is the same group we faced in the South with those white crackers and the dogs and the police. They didn’t care about how they looked. He added that the tea party movement can be defeated similar to how the civil rights movement eradicated Jim Crow mentality: “It was just fierce indifference to human life that caused
The nation´s most active death penalty state is running out of its execution drug. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Thursday that its remaining supply of phenobarbital expires in September and that no alternatives have been found. It wasn´t immediately clear whether two executions scheduled for next month would be delayed. The state has already executed 11 death-row inmates this year, and at least seven more have execution dates in coming months. "We will be unable to use our current supply of phenobarbital after it expires," agency spokesman Jason Clark said. "We are exploring all options at this time."
I think she’s one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world,” confessed Bob Greenblatt, the chairman of NBC, as part of his announcement that his network is making a miniseries about former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, with Diane Lane in the starring role. Words are funny things. For instance, G.K. Chesterton once remarked that that the word “good” has many uses: “For example, if a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of 500 yards, I should call him a good shot but not necessarily a good man.” So it is,
After purchasing the Boston Globe in 1993 for a then-record $1.1 billion, the financially troubled New York Times just announced it sold the 141 year-old paper to Boston Red Sox owner John Henry for a mere $70 million. That´s a straight 93% loss. Figuring in two decades of inflation would only make it worse -- as does the fact the Times retains the Globe´s pension liabilities, estimated at over $100 million. (snip) What might have sweetened the lower offer for the Times is that Henry offered a straight cash deal, which is expected to close sometime in September or October.