Category Archives: History

A New Little Ice Age

Has it already started?

Earth’s new climate will affect much more than the energy sector. Abdussamatov leaves us with a dire warning.

“The world must start preparing for the new Little Ice Age right now. Politicians and business leaders must make full economic calculations of the impact of the new Little Ice Age on everything — industry, agriculture, living conditions, development. The most reasonable way to fight against the new Little Ice Age is a complex of special steps aimed at support of economic growth and energy-saving production to adapt mankind to the forthcoming period of deep cooling.”

An overheated planet has never been a threat, say climate skeptics, not today, not ever in human history. An underheated planet, in contrast, is a threat humans have repeatedly faced over the last millennium, and now we’re due again.

To me, the evidence is quite a bit more compelling than it is for warming. He’s relying on history and empirical data, not computer models.

Nuts

In light of recent electoral events, on this 72nd anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, it’s worth revisiting an old news story from the battle:

World Outraged By Crude Surrender Response

December 22, 1944

BASTOGNE (Routers) A generous German offer of surrender terms was crudely rebuffed by an American general in this besieged Belgian town today, reinforcing the growing image of America as a brutish cowboy in the OK Corral, and almost certainly dooming it and its inhabitants.

The town has been under attack by German artillery almost since the beginning of the latest successful German offensive six days ago, and has been surrounded by German troops for the past two days. Its only defense has been the US 101st Airborn Division, under the command of General Anthony C. McAuliffe.

At 11:30 AM this morning, the German commander, General Heinrich von Luettwitz of the XLVIIth Armored Corps, sent negotiators in to arrange for the peaceful handover of the town. There are varying stories about what occurred next.

Some say that General McAuliffe’s response was a single word–“Nuts!”–a word that the German officer sent to negotiate had trouble translating back to his superiors. Other firsthand reports suggest, however, that the General actually issued a two-word reply, one in the imperative case suggesting that the unfortunate officer have someone engage him unwillingly in activity of a sexual nature, but one that was also more readily and universally understood.

In either case, the negotiations were ended, and with them any prospects for saving the town. As a result of the general’s needlessly insulting recalcitrance, the destruction of the town is now all but certain, and the lives of its terrified residents and defenders likely forfeit.

Surprisingly, some have defended the general, pointing out that the value of German surrender offers had been severely debased after the “massacre” of American POWs at Malmedy just five days earlier.

However, back in Washington, many were privately appalled. One State Department official noted that this could only diminish Americans in the eyes of the world as a heartless and base people, who don’t understand the exigencies and nuance of war. “General von Luettwitz is a noble aristocrat–not the SS troops at Malmedy, and anyway, we still don’t have all the facts on that. That town could have been spared,” he went on, “but General McAuliffe put his own ego and stubbornness ahead of the lives of the townspeople and his own men. But then, what do you expect from a hick who went to the University of West Virginia?”

Some at the Pentagon were dismayed as well. “Now we’re going to have to risk many more men to go in and save his sorry ass,” groaned an undersecretary. “Maybe Patton can do it, in between slapping enlisted men.”

The White House had no official comment, but staffers indicated that the general was perfectly justified in light of the Malmedy incident. It was clear that despite his incompetence and rashness, the general continues to have the president’s full support, and that the war effort would continue, despite its seeming hopelessness, as the tide of world opinion continues to turn against the nation.

(Copyright Rand Simberg 2004)

I wrote this during the politically correct Bush administration. It may have even more resonance today. And before you correct in comments, yes, I am aware of what school McAuliffe actually attended.

The Electoral College

Did the NYT care about this before the Democrats lost power?

No, it’s not “antiquated.” It is part of the Constitution of the United STATES of America. It’s part of the separation of powers. The Founders never intended that the president be popularly elected, with good reason. The people are represented by the House. The president is elected by the states. What they’re really saying is that they hate federalism in general (which is ironic, considering that states like California are considering seceding in the wake of the loss).

[Update a while later]

[Update a while later]

[Update Wednesday morning]

The electoral college is actually awesome:

Unlike governors, whose state governments have total sovereignty within their borders, the presidency governs over states with their own sovereignty under the Constitution. The role of the presidency is at least somewhat limited to foreign policy and questions that are at least loosely connected to interstate issues and enforcement of other provisions of the Constitution. For that reason, the framers of the Constitution wanted to ensure that the president would have the greatest consensus among the sovereign states themselves, while still including representation based on population.

That is why each state gets the same number of electors as they have seats in the House and the Senate. It reduces the advantage that larger states have, but hardly eliminates it entirely; California has 55 electors while Wyoming has only three, to use the Times’ comparison. Rather than being an “antiquated system,” as they write, it’s an elegant system that helps balance power between sovereign states with national popular intent, and it forces presidential contenders to appeal to a broader range of populations.

[Via Stephen Green, who has more]

[Bumped]

[Update a while later]

Wow, the electoral college is so awesome, that it’s thwarting our ability to defeat global warming.

[Update a few minutes later]

That NYT editorial attacking the Electoral College is garbage.

You don’t say:

The process of protecting smaller states from the whims of the larger, more populous states is precisely why the electoral college exists. Contrary to what the editors of the New York Times think, we are not one large nation where the federal government reigns supreme. We are a republic made up of semi-sovereign states. That sovereignty is what protects states like Wyoming and Montana from states such as New York and California. The people living in these different states both have their sets of values. The electoral college protects a state like Wyoming (the minority) from a state like California (the majority) in that the country is not governed by the say-so of the most populous states in the union. Under the electoral college, all states have a voice.

These people hate the United STATES of America. They worship the State.

[Update a few minutes later]

The DoJ/FBI refuse to investigate crimes against the Electoral College. Well of course they do; a Republican won.

Obama’s Versus Trump’s Economy

I distinctly recall in the fall of 2008, as an Obama win seemed likely, if not inevitable, that there was a lot of talk about small-business people planning to end investment, pull in their horns, and wait for the coming economic storm to blow over, which greatly contributed to the contraction, and the worst recovery since the end of the war. But I’m having trouble finding anything on line about it. Do others remember that, and have any links to anything?

I ask, because I suspect that the promise of an end to many of the punishing regulations is going to pull a lot of that money back into the economy (particularly if it can be repatriated without being confiscated).

The Battle Of The Bulge

It’s the 72nd anniversary of the beginning. Several years ago, I did a piece on how today’s media would have reported it:

Back in Washington, despite lofty rhetoric from the White House about the “liberation” of Europe, many had always been skeptical about the prospects for defeating Germany. As they correctly point out, the Germans are after all defending their homeland, and no matter how bad the alleged depravations of the Nazi regime, all familiar with the German character know that they can be depended on to fight to the death against any foreign invader, no matter how well intentioned. Many of the German dead or captured for the past few weeks have been adolescents, some only fourteen or fifteen years old, with dead, untrained yet willing hands clinging to their rifles. Seeing such images of dedication to the cause, it’s difficult for many to believe that victory is possible.

As a result, the new setback has renewed rumbling among some that the time has come to seek an accord with the Nazi regime that could allow a withdrawal from Europe with honor, and not lose any more American troops in a hopeless cause, let alone bog them down for an unforeseeable period of time. “It was Japan that attacked us, not Germany,” pointed out a Senate staffer. “We need to focus our resources on the true enemy in the Pacific.”

Some staffers on Capitol Hill implied that the timing itself of the offensive was suspicious. “Hitler wanted Roosevelt to be reelected, so that he could continue to fight a war against a sick, senile incompetent. Had he started this offensive before the election back on November 7th, everyone would have seen what a disaster this president has been on foreign policy, and Hitler would have had to confront a young, vibrant Tom Dewey.”

Those fascists, always interfering with our elections.