US opens embassy in Jerusalem

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem:

“Today I am proud to celebrate the opening of the United States Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. This significant event fulfills a promise made by President Trump. As he proclaimed on December 6, 2017, “Seventy years ago, the United States, under President Truman, recognized the State of Israel. Since then, the State of Israel has made its capital in Jerusalem — the capital the Jewish people established in ancient times. It is therefore appropriate for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

“We remain committed to advancing a lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I am delighted to have visited Israel on my first trip overseas as Secretary of State. I look forward to returning soon to visit our new US embassy and Ambassador Friedman in Jerusalem.”

Israel turns 70

Me and my buba on Yom Haatzmaut, the actual day, May 14, 1948.

And for some background on the day, this is fascinating: How Harry Truman Crossed His Own State Department to Recognize Israel. One of the few businessmen to have been an American president. Read it through. The Deep State has a long history.

And there is also this. From Instapundit

THE LATE 1940s SAW A LOT OF MAJOR MOVEMENTS OF REFUGEES:  In 1945, there were almost 1 million Jews living in Arab lands.  Within just a few years, that had changed radically.  When India was partitioned, 14 million were displaced. Large centuries-old German settlements in the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia disappeared as ethnic Germans, were expelled or deported, fled or died. Only in the case of Palestinians is the refugee issue still alive, says Jeff Jacoby.

As I often ask, but with fewer with each passing year who even understand the question: where is Prussia today?

The quiet disaster of modern economic theory

Quite an interesting article with the title The quiet triumph of economics which takes the contrary view to my own view which thinks of economics as have almost entirely sold its soul to the left. So what is the case for?

Economic science has long settled what in his time was the most pressing empirical issue: whether a system of production coordinated and planned from the top could yield better outcomes than the independent actions of individual people guided by the price system.

Today, there is no serious intellectual case for the planned economy. That proponents of more central planning — through, for example, industrial policy — wrap their arguments in vague language about “long-term strategy” and “mission-oriented directionality” is a testament to the lack of economic credibility such views command.

What has actually settled the score has been the irrefutable empirical evidence of the Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cuba and now Venezuela. Not that there aren’t still plenty of economists who will still tell you about the benefits of socialism, and if you think a modern Keynesian model, with its C+I+G, is the very essence of a free market sentiment then have a look at the way our economies are now managed. The only element that still survives are the entrepreneurially managed firms that the dismal record of regulation and taxation have not quite managed to kill off. We live in a crony capitalist state, not that different from the mercantilist system Adam Smith was writing about in 1776.

And if you want a sense of how out to lunch this chap is, hard to beat this for stupidity:

Whereas John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes championed, when they didn’t themselves lead, such causes as women’s rights, revolution and post-war reconciliation (respectively), today’s economic scribblers largely speak to their own tribe in a language increasingly bewildering to the layperson.

Yet, Mill, Marx and Keynes were much more than practicing economists. They were eminent public intellectuals of their time, so using their trajectory as a benchmark for today’s average economist is like asking any small business owner to measure up to Henry Ford.

Mention of Keynes is bad enough, but Marx! The quiet disaster of modern economic theory goes apace.


He just keeps rolling on

From The Diplomad speaking to us on diplomacy with an American perspective but outside the Deep State. All sounds good to me.

Trump Rolls On

OK. Are there any other world leaders out there? If so, they shouldn’t bother coming to work. Take a holiday. Enjoy the coming summer in the northern hemisphere and the coming winter in the south. Just go home. Relax. Trump’s got ya covered.

He does it, yet again.

He has killed the Iran nuclear “deal.”

Trump knows how to do foreign policy.  We’ve had to put up with decades of condescending lectures from the traditional foreign policy “elites” on how difficult foreign policy is; how it’s just more complex than YOU could ever understand; don’t try it at home; and just leave it to the experts. Seems that our President is following in the foot-steps of Ronald Reagan, and even blazing a few paths of his own when it comes to foreign policy. Amazing how a clear articulation of purpose, a demonstration of strength, and a refusal to accept the standard bromides produces different results. What’s that definition of crazy? Shall we say, President Trump is destroying the world order in order to save the world? Sounds good.

The mullahs in Teheran, the murderers in ISIS, Pyongyang and Damascus, as well as the virtue-signaling, pearl-clutching bien pensants in Hollywood, media, academe, and all the capitals of the Far Abroad, now know they’re dealing with a different sort of U.S. President. Thank the Lord this President has followed the Diplomad’s long-standing foreign policy dictum, “Do not listen to the Europeans,”

[T]he surest way to lose American lives and treasure is to listen to the Europeans. Europe has not gotten anything right on the world stage since, well, since . . . well, since at least the French Revolution.

Let’s not forget that since the USA became a significant player, the principal aim of European leaders has been to embroil the USA in Europe’s wars, have the USA fix the messes caused by European leaders, but have the USA take instructions from Europe’s leaders. Even Churchill, whom I admire immensely, was not immune; he desperately wanted the mighty US in WWII, but wanted to dictate the how and the where of the application of US power. We, of course, previously saw the same thing in WWI. In that conflict 100 years ago, the geniuses in the European high commands needed US troops to halt a resurgent Germany after the exit of Russia from the war, but did not want an independent US force. Vietnam and Libya were also two messes in which we became involved to bail out Europe. Pershing successful resisted them. Let us also not forget that the long years of the Cold War involved the US footing the bulk of the bill for defense, allowing Europe to maintain Legoland militaries and spend their own wealth building cradle-to-grave social welfare systems, which, of course, relied on the despised US military for protection.

It goes on and on . . uh, well, not any longer. Just as Reagan did before in rejecting European advice on how to handle the USSR, it seems that Trump has a very clear home-grown idea of how to do things in the interest of the United States. About time.

The “deal” with Teheran was a classic convoluted mess so favored by the Euros and their admirers such as John Kerry. I have written a great deal about that “deal” (hereherehere, and here, for example, and there’s lots more). Don’t want to repeat all I have said before except to restate that this was a classic con job.

Of course, the Iranians and the Europeans are upset over President Trump’s bold announcement that we are walking away from this “deal.” As I have noted before, the “deal” guaranteed Iran’s acquiring a nuclear weapon, while, mostly European and Russian companies make a lot of money off the Iranian regime whose bank accounts became flush with billions of dollars and euros magnanimously provided by the Obama misadministration in the dead of night.

As to American opinion, I conducted my own highly “scientific” poll. Yesterday, I was at my local gun store, doing a little shopping in the wake of having received my concealed carry permit. Four “customers” were siting in the back of the little semi-rural gun store (“Green Acres”!) when the president came on TV to announce the end of the Iran so-called deal. All four broke into spontaneous applause, with one elderly gent wearing a Korean War Vet cap, telling his wife, “The President has done a great thing!”

There the science is settled, and now . . .

Let the fainting begin!

We hear cries of outrage from Obama, Kerry, and Clinton, of course, who see their “legacy” coming apart. The Iranians are running to Russia and Europe trying to save a vestige of the “deal” to make sure the goodies keep flowing. Kerry, of course, is repeating his anti-American antics of decades ago: just as he did with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris during the Vietnam War peace talks, he has been in Europe trying to strike some sort of new “deal” with Iran to undermine the US president. Kerry does treason quite well.

Among the many curious things being said is that Trump’s walking away from this “deal,” imperils our ability to reach a deal with North Korea. Well, yes, it does imperil the ability to reach a “deal” like the one with Iran, but that’s what we don’t want! While the fainters fainted, newly minted SecState Pompeo flew into Pyongyang to set up the forthcoming meeting between Kim and Trump, and flew out bringing home three American hostages. Sounds like Kim is more than willing to deal, and Trump has his measure of the man.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy is opening in Jerusalem, and the pearl-clutchers can’t believe that the world has not come to an end, yet again. The Saudis and other Arabs are making friendly noises towards Israel, clearly seeking Israeli support against Iran, and have supported Trump’s move on the faux deal. They know from whence the threat comes, and it’s not from Tel Aviv Jerusalem. The mullahs are rightfully in panic mode.

I can’t wait for President Trump to turn his full attention to the threat on our southern border and put an end to Mexican interference in our politics.

Roll on!

How the Libs can win and where Labor will never follow

There are certain political observers who would have seen Labor elected in 2016 to teach the Libs a lesson, but I have to say the thought still terrifies me. There are then those in the Coalition who believe that their superior economic management will make all the difference, a notion so absurd I cannot believe that they actually believe they have their finger on the pulse of the nation. So let me draw their attention to the above, which I picked up via Steve Hayward on Powerline, who heads his post: Gee – I wonder if it might be immigration?

This is where their winning break can and will come from, and I am at least comforted that Peter Dutton is such an excellent Minister and is supported by the Prime Minister. And on this Labor will never follow, because their strategy is to bring in an entirely new cohort of citizens on whom Labor will be able to depend.

Perhaps sooner is better than later

From Scott Johnson at Powerline: Israel stikes Iran in Syria. And since this is a blog site and not a news service, I will give you an opinion. This is good and if we are looking for peace in the Middle East – what an idea but now possible – it would be best if the Israelis succeed. I wonder if they can give PDT two Peace Prizes in a single year? The rest is from Scott.

Israel Defense Forces conducted predawn retaliatory airstrikes targeting dozens of Iranian bases, command centers and weapons caches in Syria. Targets included sites throughout Syria. On Twitter, retired IDF spokesman Peter Lerner reports that targeted Quds Force positions include intelligence observation posts, logistics command positions, military command posts and bases, and a weapons depot at Syria International Airport, and the vehicle on which the rocket launch that provoked the strikes. Israeli jets also targeted Assad’s already weakened air defenses. No jets were lost in the retaliatory strikes.

The Israeli airstrikes responded to 20 Grad and Fair-5 rockets launched from southern Syria by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’s al-Quds Force at Israeli military positions on the Golan Heights. The strikes also took out the vehicle that launched the 20 rockets. Looking around quickly online this morning, I find that Judah Ari Gross’s Times of Israel story and the related AP/TOI roundup provide the essential information.

Iran wants to set up bases to wage war on Israel from Syria. This Israel will not abide. I wonder how long it will be before Israel exhausts its list of known targets in Syria and moves on to Iran. Taking a look at this morning’s IDF targets in Syria, Roger Simon wonders the same thing (tweet below).

Roger Simon@rogerlsimon

IDF attacks dozens of Iranian targets in Syria

IDF attacks dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Qods Force in Syrian territory.