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Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

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JULY 13,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

A VICTORY FOR OUR SIDE – FROM FOX:  The California Board of Education is set to push back against implementing an overhaul of its mathematics curriculum after opponents argued the plan needlessly inserts politics and social justice initiatives into lessons.  "California is on the verge of politicizing K-12 math in a potentially disastrous way. This postponement means the State Board of Education has heard the message loud and clear. STEM leaders don’t want California students left behind by introducing politics into the math curriculum," said in a statement Dr. Williamson M. Evers, a senior fellow of the Independent Institute.   The California board is slated to postpone implementing its proposed Mathematics Curriculum Framework during a Wednesday meeting, pushing final action on the curriculum to May 2022, according to the board’s agenda for this month.  Effective pushback prevented a descent into academic Hell, which could have a fatal blow to the once-great California public-education system.  But watch out for more flak, coming from the extreme left.

July 13, 2021       Permalink

 

THIS IS DANGEROUS, AND PROVOCATIVE – OVERNIGHT:  A new, authoritative report, says that the United States Navy, the primary force with which we confront China, is not ready for major combat operations.  This is a stunning accusation, and you may be sure the conclusions are being studied carefully by Chinese admirals, just as the Navy was studied by Japanese admirals before World War II.  From Daily Mail: 

A scathing new report commissioned by members of Congress has claimed that the Navy's surface warfare forces have systemic training and leadership issues, including a focus on diversity that overshadows basic readiness skills.

The report prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, came in response to recent Naval disasters, including the burning of the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego, two collisions involving Navy ships in the Pacific and the surrender of two small craft to Iran.

The authors conducted hour-long interviews with 77 current and retired Navy officers, offering them anonymity to identify issues they wouldn't feel comfortable raising in the chain of command.

The report focused on issues within the Navy's surface warfare forces, as opposed to submarine and aviation, and suggested that issues in the surface fleet could be unique due to better funding and training for submarine and aviation units.

One of the key issues raised by the officers interviewed for the report was a concern that Navy leaders spend more time focusing on diversity training than on developing warfighting capacity and key operational skills.

'Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we'll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,' lamented one lieutenant currently on active duty. 
'It's criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we'll all bleed the same color,' she added. 

One recent destroyer captain said: 'where someone puts their time shows what their priorities are. And we've got so many messages about X, Y, Z appreciation month, or sexual assault prevention, or you name it. We don't even have close to that same level of emphasis on actual warfighting.' 

'While programs to encourage diversity, human sex trafficking prevention, suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, and others are appropriate, they come with a cost,' the report's authors wrote.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  Our lives and the survival of our nation may well depend on how the American people react to scathing reports like this. 

The problems are not entirely new, but they've been inflamed by the behavior of the Obama administration, which had a low regard for national defense, and by American journalism's growing contempt for American power.  Include the deterioration of our schools and the corrupt teaching of American history, and you have the ingredients of a major disaster. 

July 13, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

JULY 12,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

CRISIS IN NORTH KOREA? – FROM FOX:   Speculation over internal conditions in North Korea and the stability of its regime is even more rampant than usual.  Reports of food shortages, a COVID outbreak and political volatility have fanned much of the speculation. Kim Jong Un’s recent extended absence from public view simply fueled the fire, triggering renewed rumors of health problems.  Still, it never pays to sell the regime short. It has outlived countless previous reports of its imminent demise.  Kim has now reappeared much thinner than before, but this has only fueled more speculation. His return to the scene coincided with senior leadership meetings in which he warned of dire food shortages, a dangerous influx of foreign influence and a "grave" breach of the country’s defenses against the COVID virus. Some experts interpreted the trifecta of failings as potentially leading to regime instability or collapse.  Kim acknowledged that the country’s food situation is getting "tense," going so far as to warn of another "arduous march," a reference to the 1990s famine that killed an estimated one million people. Crop shortages, skyrocketing food prices and closure of markets have led to increasingly dire conditions.   The Biden administration may soon be facing multiple crises, with no demonstrated ability to handle them:  a possible clash with China over Taiwan; a possible collapse of North Korea; the rise of a new, fanatical government in Iran; and an uprising in Cuba.  We are not in good shape.

THE GRIM REALITY OF CUBA – FROM FOX:   Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday questioned an early tweet from the U.S. State Department that seemed to assure Americans that the right to peaceful assembly is observed in Cuba amid new reports of a punishing crackdown by the government and an emerging "list of missing persons."  Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, posted a portion of an article from the Wall Street Journal that mentioned Cuba’s Communist government’s effort to snuff out protests. Havana deployed security forces across the island and arrested dozens. Reuters reported that it appeared police — many who were dressed in plain clothes — were seen beating some demonstrators.  "How is this possible??" Cruz tweeted. "The Biden State Dept told us that the Cuban communist dictatorship protects their 'right to peaceful assembly'?"  Cruz referred to the much-maligned tweet sent out by the State Department on Sunday that read in part, "Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly."  The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to emails from Fox News. President Biden said in an earlier statement: "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime."  The Journal’s report said the Cuban government essentially sealed off much of the country’s communication with the outside world and arrested more than 100 people. The report, citing activists, said that the whereabouts of many protesters are not known.  The American response has been anemic.  This is a decisive moment in Cuban history, and there is no guarantee the protesters will win.   They didn't win in Iran, nor in Venezuela.  Should America intervene more directly?

July 12, 2021       Permalink

  

KAMI (CONT'D) – OVERNIGHT:  You gotta believe that Kamala Harris has become one of the biggest political headaches the Democratic Party has today.  What is it about her?  Why is she failing so badly?  She almost seems to be saying, "Look at me, I'm in over my head."  We just sense that the knives are out, and that many in the party would prefer her to be gone.  The issue becomes urgent when we look at President Biden, clearly an aging, infirm man.  Are people asking whether Kamala Harris could actually take over the Oval Office?  Are they concluding that she couldn't?  She seems to mess up day by day.  From Fox: 

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume reacted Monday to Vice President Kamala Harris bemoaning "rural" residents who apparently cannot find an office supply store to photocopy their driver's license to send to state election authorities.

Hume told "Special Report" that voter ID is a "tricky issue" for Democrats, but that they are still trying to "make the most of" their argument against it.

"They're trying to label Republicans as people who want to suppress the vote. But a number of the things that the Republicans want to do in the laws they are passing across the country are things that are popular -- and voter I.D. Is very high on that list," he said. "I think it's politically really stupid to come out and criticize voter I.D."

Harris said over the weekend that there are a "whole lot of people who live in rural communities there is no Kinko's or OfficeMax near them," which she suggested they would need to locate in order to abide by legislation in states like Georgia, Texas and Pennsylvania that are seeking to strengthen election laws and integrity.

Hume added that Biden advisers are likely contemplating the effectiveness of having Harris out front as the point person on several such controversial issues like election reform, illegal immigration and border security.

"She seems at times lighter than air," he said.

Harris was previously criticized for her visit to El Paso, Texas, after weeks of being ripped by critics for failing to visit the southern border. Critics pointed out El Paso is some 800 miles upstream on the Rio Grande from the epicenter of the illegal immigration and human and drug trafficking crisis in places like McAllen, Del Rio and Roma.

COMMENT:  Please note the term "lighter than air."  If this gets wrapped around Harris, and the wrapping has begun, it could be politically fatal. 

The sound you hear is Washington knives being unsheathed.  It's the nature of the town.

July 12, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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