Commentary on sports, current events, and politics

Why Judges Can’t Decide Election Cases According to Facts and Law

 I was thinking that judges are hiding behind procedural walls like “standing” and “laches” to get rid of issues they don’t want to consider, like election fraud. I think they are afraid of rioters or being doxed etc.  So a petitioner is made to deal with the judges reptilian brain and not the frontal lobe of the cerebrum. In such matters, the fight or flight mechanism overrides judicial consideration of the law and evidence every time. As to the procedural arguments, if a petition is filed before the election, there is no actual case or controversy, so no standing, if the case is filed after the election, laches is found to apply as there is too much delay. The reptilian brain does not a good lawyer make.

Susan Page’s Best Unanswered Question In The Vice Presidential Debate.

Last night at the Mike Pence v. Kamala Harris debate, the horribly biased moderator, Susan Page of USA Today, asked each candidate a question about Roe v. Wade. She asked Pence “If Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion becomes a state issue, would you hope your home state of Indiana would outlaw abortion?” She asked Kamala Harris the opposite side of that question “wondering if California would vote for unrestricted abortion?”

These questions were the most important of the debate as leftist commentators indicate that a reversal of Roe would end abortion where the truth is that a reversal would allow states to pass their own abortion laws. That means California could pass an abortion-without-restriction law that rids them of those nagging restrictions in Roe v. Wade. These are the references to trimesters, doctors and such interferences.

If pro-Choice advocates looked at Roe as containing restraints and other restrictions on abortion, they would be leading the charge to drop Roe and move to situation where abortion is a matter for the legislatures.

Some say California could allow abortion up to birth and then allow infanticide up to, say, age 3.

That may seem radical to many, but so was abortion in the third trimester and even at the time of birth as with partial birth abortion not very long ago. Neither candidate answered the question!!

Stay tuned.

The Most Absurd Claim in the Mueller Hearings

Today, July 24, 2019,  former special counsel Robert Mueller testified in front of two house Committees. The special counsel was engaged to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 US Presidential election. It is very clear that the Russians did tamper in our election, just as the Obama regime had interfered with Russia, Israeli and probably other elections and the Russians interfered with Italian and out election among others.

That Russia interfered in our election and will again is a given, It happened and will happen again. So, too, did Obama interfere in Russian elections as well as Israeli elections, and the Russians interfered in the Italian election among others. That’s what governments do now.

The most absurd claim is that the Russians interfered to assist Donald Trump. The Russians read the polls and expected a Hillary Clinton victory. Their effort was to dull the effect of this victory so dealing with her would be easier.

The real proof as to the the absurdity of the pro-Trump claim is an inquiry into who the Russians will favor in 2020, Certainly they will seek to help Joe Biden, whom they made billions dollar deals with, Bernie Sanders, who honeymooned in Moscow, Elizabeth Warren a socialist as is the rest of the Democratic nominees, Kamala Harris, “Da!”

(Amy Klobuchar is one of my senators and is not a socialist, and she should let the notion know that)

The Democrats will very soon understand that Russian interference will clearly benefit them in the coming election and will be pulling back their criticism. They know that the Russians will prefer their candidates and that Trump has been very hard on the Russians.

The claim the Russians favored Trump is absurd and is put forward by the Democrats because their strategy going forward is to paint Trump with that brush, but whey will back off soon when the prospect of Russian interference will clearly be for their presidential candidate in 2021.




The Really Big Error in the Green New Deal

The proponents of the Green New Deal are, it is said, enthusiastic. They are also uneducated, narrow thinking, and just plain wrong.

The errors are obvious as eliminating air travel simply won’t fly, (sorry.) The idiocy goes on.

The really big issue that they have missed totally is that the great mass of the worlds commerce by tons is moved by ships that burn black oil, bunker and other derivatives of oil and is carbon based and releases tons of co2 when burned.

There is little need to go on as there is no way to move tankers, cargo ships, container ships or ocean liners across thousands of miles of ocean carrying millions of tons of cargo except by turning oil into steam. In short, the Green New Deal ends commerce around the world. The ensuing world wide depression would be cataclysmic.

So, the proponents of the Green New Deal are not just enthusiastic, the are stupid to the point of being extremely and existentially dangerous. Let the concept die an early and painful death  and let us not pay any attention to such nonsense going forward.

Truth Over “Settled Science.”

‘Settled Science’ Is Going the Way of BuzzFeed

“Settled science” and BuzzFeed share a fatal commonality.  Both are driven by an agenda rather than facts.  BuzzFeed learned that lesson yet another time last week.  Two years ago, the publication pushed the Clinton-bought phony and unverified Trump Russia dossier, which launched stories of collusion, FISA warrants, and the ongoing Mueller investigation.

In a bit of irony, it was the Mueller team that slapped down BuzzFeed’s latest story accusing President Trump of asking Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.  Imagine the fake news media being fact-checked by their hero, Robert Mueller.

So-called settled science faces similar collisions with reality.  Driven by a particular agenda, whether financial or political, science becomes blinded to any contrarian views, insisting that the issue is “settled,” shutting off any further inquiry, debate, or honest disagreement.  In some areas of science, dissenters are labeled as “deniers” with threats of violence, loss of job, or even imprisonment.

The most prevalent example is climate.  From global cooling in the 1970s to global warming in the 2000s, the names have changed, but not the agenda.  Since climate models are misbehaving, not providing the desired predictions, the names have morphed into “climate change” or “extreme weather.”  But still the science is considered “settled.”

Barack Obama in 2014 told Congress, “The debate is settled, climate change is a fact.”

Someone with a bit more science knowledge than the community organizer from Chicago, physician and author Michael Crichton, said this about settled science: “There is no such thing as consensus science.  If it’s consensus, it isn’t science.  If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.  Period.”

The latest bit of unsettled science is something few of us are thinking about in the midst of global warming-induced winter storms and piles of snow – namely, sunscreen.

A recent article in Outside magazine sums it up: “Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests – and quite possibly even racist.  How did we get it so wrong?”

It started with vitamin D.

People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood have significantly higher rates of virtually every disease and disorder you can think of: cancer, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, depression, cognitive impairment, autoimmune conditions, and more.  The vitamin is required for calcium absorption and is thus essential for bone health, but as evidence mounted that lower levels of vitamin D were associated with so many diseases, health experts began suspecting that it was involved in many other biological processes as well.

Why were so many of us low in vitamin D?  “Vitamin D is a hormone manufactured by the skin with the help of sunlight.  It’s difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities through diet.”

Enter the settled science that sun exposure is bad.  Excessive sun exposure, particularly sunburn, increases the risk of skin cancer.  Dermatologists recommend absolute protection from the sun, even on cloudy days.  Use sunscreen, the higher the SPF rating the better, and apply it multiple times a day, even if you are just going to work and back.

Easy enough.  Just take a vitamin D supplement every day, stay out of the sun, and all will be well.  Or will it?

“Vitamin D supplementation has failed spectacularly in clinical trials” according to the Outside article.  Five years of high-dose vitamin D had “[n]o impact on cancer, heart disease, or stroke.”

Maybe simply taking vitamin D as a pill isn’t the same as getting it naturally from sun exposure.  Perhaps the low blood levels of vitamin D in the unhealthy weren’t the actual cause of health problems, but instead just a marker.

This is the scientific conundrum of causation versus association.  Does having blue hair cause elderly ladies to play bingo, or is this just an association?

The science of sunlight is a bit more complicated.  The skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a blood vessel-dilator that lowers blood pressure.  This in turn reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Vitamin D is produced along the way but may not be preventing actual disease, instead serving as a marker that an individual is receiving enough sun exposure.

But too much sun, particularly sunburn, does increase the risk of skin cancer.  Some types, like basal cells, are a cosmetic nuisance, whereas melanoma is deadly.

Much as with climate.  One can argue that fossil fuel consumption is a threat to the climate.  Yet the benefits of fossil fuel energy production have lifted millions out of poverty, prolonging life spans and quality of life.

Swedish study tracked 30,000 women over 20 years and found that “[s]un avoiders were twice as likely to die as sun worshippers.”

What unsettled the science of lathering on sunscreen or avoiding the sun altogether was the finding that “[a]voidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude as smoking, in terms of life expectancy.”

How else to explain our prehistoric ancestors, wearing minimal, if any, clothing, spending their days in the sun, without becoming extinct?  Settled science looks simplistic, much in the way Al Gore’s insistence the CO2 controls the Earth’s thermostat looks simplistic when we consider that the upper Midwest was once covered in a mile-thick sheet of ice when the planet cooled but then melted when the planet warmed.

It seems that sun exposure, in moderation, may not be bad for you.  In fact, it may be healthier than avoiding it.  Does this sound familiar?

In the annals of settled science, we have heard this song before.  Once upon a time, margarine was good and butter was bad.  Margarine is a trans fat and now considered unhealthy compared to butter.  Dietary fats in general were unhealthy, and people were told to eat carbohydrates instead.  This ushered in an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes.

Same with coffee, at one time the cause of all types of nasty diseases, now providing numerous health benefits.

Don’t forget carbon dioxide, which, some say, is killing the planet.  Constituting only 0.04% of the atmosphere, does a small increase in CO2 mean the planet is doomed?  Or is it beneficial, since CO2 is plant food, necessary for photosynthesis, responsible for “greening” the planet – which in turn leads to more food production?

There’s temperature as well, which fluctuates on the Earth in varying cycles for unclear reasons.  Warmer temperatures might raise the sea level a few inches but may also increase the amount of fertile land and provide a longer growing season.

Although we know much about the world, there is plenty we don’t yet understand.  It’s the height of hubris to assume we have all the answers and that the science is settled.  The sunscreen about-face is just the latest example.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

My Encounter With Tom Wolfe

A decade ago, I was flying from Boston Logan to Long Island MacArthur airport. At the gate in Long Island, I stood next to Tom Wolfe at the plane’s door. He was resplendent in a white suit and matching vest, white shirt and black tie, and he was wearing spats over black shoes; a splendid ensemble.

While standing next to him and searching for something to say, as I couldn’t let this opportunity pass, I ask, ” I suppose Daisy is picking you up in the yellow car?”

He returned an icy stare as I had obviously said something that didn’t please him. He quickly forgot about me, but I can’t forget about him.  A Man in Full, no doubt.

A Day With Candace Owens

This is an article by John Hinderaker of the Center of The American Experience discussing Candace Owens’s speech Tuesday in Minneapolis. She is a force to be reckoned with. The Link to the full story which includes video, is Here



In the last two weeks, Candace Owens has exploded onto the political scene. Beginning with Kanye West’s famous tweet, her life has been a whirlwind of television and radio appearances and speeches. The Left is attacking her viciously, while some on the right view her as a potential savior.

Candace spent yesterday in Minnesota. As Scott described here, she spoke at a lunch forum for Center of the American Experiment, the think tank that I run. We booked Candace before her sudden burst of publicity–sometimes you get lucky–and ticket sales went through the roof as her fame grew. Ultimately, 550 people attended the lunch forum. Candace said that she was stunned both by the size of the crowd and the warmth of her reception.

Her original purpose in coming to Minnesota was to speak at St. Olaf College, 30 miles or so South of the Twin Cities, at an event sponsored by Turning Point USA, the organization for which she works. (That event was organized by my daughter, who is the TPUSA president at St. Olaf, and I got the idea of inviting Owens to speak from her.) My wife and I drove Candace to St. Olaf for the evening event, which we attended, and back to her hotel in Minneapolis. So as it turned out, I spent a good part of the day with her. Since she is the woman of the hour, I offer these observations for what they are worth.

1) She gave a terrific speech to the Center audience. Her theme of individual empowerment–especially black empowerment–is powerful. The speech was as enthusiastically received as any I have seen. This short series of clips gives you a good idea of her style and some of her themes:

The audience, as you would expect, was mostly white, but we did draw a good number of African-Americans. During the Q and A session, a middle-aged black woman prefaced her question by saying that she had been waiting for decades for someone like Owens to come along.

2) Candace is tremendously likable. Scott noted that she is beautiful, which actually understates the case. But appearance is at most a door-opener. She exudes warmth and genuineness, on stage as well as privately. Five minutes before our lunch event was supposed to begin, I was nervous because I had seen no sign of her. I made my way to the rear of the ballroom, and found her there, taking selfies with members of the audience. We worked our way back to the front of the room, slowly because she stopped to greet and take pictures with all the student tables. When the event was over, she posed for pictures with–I am not exaggerating–100 to 200 people.

3) Her speech at the college was very different from the one she gave at the lunch forum. There was perhaps a 30% overlap in material, with the rest being different. And in a smaller hall, talking to an audience of college students, her tone was quite different. She explained afterward that she never writes a speech, but rather starts talking and tries to gauge the audience and relate to it. Which she does extraordinarily well. This ability cannot be the product of her still-modest experience; it must be a gift.

4) After the St. Olaf speech, she got together with a group of 25 or 30 kids who are members of Turning Point. She chatted happily with them and posed for another round of photos, despite the long day she had already put in.

5) Spending time with Candace Owens made me want to be 28 again. After giving two strenuous speeches and mixing with two groups of fans, we got her back to her hotel at around 9:30, still without having had anything to eat. She was up at 5:00 this morning for a remote appearance on Fox & Friends. The subject was a vicious op-ed that the New York Times published, attacking Candace as a “dangerous” figure (but also a “puppet”). Here is her segment:

6) President Trump is a major Candace Owens fan. I suspect that he saw her appearance on Fox & Friends, because shortly after he tweeted:

Donald J. Trump


Candace Owens of Turning Point USA is having a big impact on politics in our Country. She represents an ever expanding group of very smart “thinkers,” and it is wonderful to watch and hear the dialogue going on…so good for our Country!

7) Candace understands and articulates clearly why the Left hates her. The Democrats are used to getting 90% or more of black votes, and they need them. If they drop down to only, say, 70% of black votes, they can’t win a national election. This is why they are in a constant state of hysteria, trying to keep black voters in line. Someone like Candace Owens, an appealing person who preaches a message of black competence, black independence and black individualism, represents a serious threat.

Candace gets Google Alerts on her name to learn, as she said, more about herself. She commented last night that the only positive account of her that came through on Google Alerts yesterday was Scott’s post on her American Experiment appearance.

8) Kanye West has been under tremendous pressure to recant his support for Owens and for free thought, but Candace is convinced that he won’t be intimidated. She expects him to double down on black independence, and thinks that other African-American celebrities will join in. We will see.

9) A few on the right have suggested that Candace might be a phony. I saw absolutely no sign of this. While a relatively recent convert, she understands conservative principles. She cites Milton Friedman and Thomas Sowell as influences. And her insistence that black Americans’ futures need not be dictated by their past is plainly a passionately held conviction.

10) Even before Candace burst onto the scene, I thought that Turning Point USA is one of our most effective conservative organizations, and the most effective one on college campuses. Now that Owens is teaming up with Charlie Kirk, that is doubly true. TPUSA is an organization worthy of your support.

11) If you get the impression that I liked Candace, you are right. She was as engaging offstage as on. I suppose sudden fame could spoil her, or she could succumb to one pitfall or another. The Left, of course, is lying in wait for her to make a mistake. But my guess is that she will be a significant force on the right, and in American public life, for many years to come.

The Third Passenger Theory of Chappaquiddick. It Makes Sense.

Ted Kennedy’s actions after the incident at the Dike Bridge, indicates that he did not know Mary Joe was in the car that evening. This article explains why.  

I read the book and found its argument compelling. 


New Chappaquiddick Book Presses Theory of Third Person

CHAPPAQUIDDICK TRAGEDY: Kennedy’s Second Passenger Revealed. Donald Frederick Nelson. Pelican. 191 pages, hardcover, sold in bookstores and online.

A new book by a Vineyard author tackles an old controversy. Anyone interested in the 1969 Chappaquiddick tragedy will find it compelling reading.

A car driven by U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts plunged off Chappaquiddick Island’s Dike Bridge and submerged in Poucha Pond at approximately 12:45 a.m. on July 19, 1969. Mr. Kennedy escaped the vehicle, but a passenger named Mary Jo Kopechne did not. Mr. Kennedy said he dove repeatedly and unsuccessfully into the water, attempting to rescue Miss Kopechne. Then, he said, he walked 1.2 miles (past two lighted homes and a firehouse) back to Chappaquiddick’s Lawrence cottage, where he had been partying with political associates and six young Kennedy acolytes known as the “boiler room girls.”

Later, according to his testimony, because the On Time ferry ceased operations to Edgartown around midnight, the senator flung himself into Edgartown Harbor’s outgoing tide, crossed to a beach near the Edgartown lighthouse and walked back to the Shiretown Inn where he was staying. In the aftermath, which is painstakingly detailed in the book, accommodating police, politicians and attorneys general did a slapdash job of investigation, and Mr. Kennedy got off with a brief license suspension and a suspended two-month jail sentence for leaving the scene of an accident. None of the investigators uncovered, though it was on the public record, the fact that as a law student at the University of Virginia, Mr. Kennedy had been convicted of three moving violations. The information wasn’t disclosed until the morning Mr. Kennedy pleaded guilty.

Suspicions grew immediately. For one thing, back problems dating to a plane crash he’d survived several years earlier raised eyebrows about the desperate swimming he described. Mr. Kennedy had competed in the Edgartown Yacht Club sailing regatta on July 18 and subsequently took a bath to ease his pain. Was he in any position to dive into dark waters off the bridge and later fight the harbor’s current (which was actually incoming), even though a phone line at the dock could have summoned the ferry after hours? And since Miss Kopechne might have been breathing in an air pocket at the back of the car, why did he bypass two houses and a fire station and fail to report the accident until nine hours later? Moreover, if he was aware of her predicament, why was he chatting amiably with fellow guests at the inn hours later?

The truth, says author Donald Frederick Nelson, is that Senator Kennedy didn’t learn about Miss Kopechne’s fate until he subsequently received the news by phone from his cousin, Joseph A. Gargan, and former U.S. Attorney Paul F. Markham.

There have been dozens of books, studies, television investigations, blogs, rumors and innuendo about the tragedy. A few weeks ago, a Hollywood film crew arrived to shoot scenes for a major motion picture. And now we have an exhaustingly researched book by a retired, award-winning research physicist who lives in Worcester and Oak Bluffs with his wife Margaret. I know Mr. Nelson, 86, from Island bridge clubs and find him sober-sided and fact-oriented. By his account, he consulted 204 sources and read through thousands of pages of legal proceedings. His writing is as lyrical as it is factual.

The author reasonably asks why Mr. Kennedy didn’t seek help immediately and concludes that he didn’t realize there was a passenger in the back seat of his Oldsmobile 88. Mr. Nelson writes that Miss Kopechne, who had imbibed three or four alcoholic drinks in her last hour and probably more during the four-hour party, according to later blood work, had crawled into the back seat of the car to sleep the alcohol off. And then Mr. Nelson delivers a crushing blow to the Kennedy account that had been speculated for years but probably never given such exhaustive proof. He contends there was a another passenger, Rosemary (Cricket) Keough, sitting in the passenger seat and who successfully exited the vehicle after its plunge. Neither she nor Mr. Kennedy noticed the dozing woman behind them. Since there was apparently no tragedy, there was no hurry to report the incident.

“Kennedy was guilty of reckless driving and lying repeatedly about the wreck, but he was far from being so callous as to knowingly walk away from a trapped, dying person,” Mr. Nelson writes.

The author builds an impressive case for Mr. Kennedy’s additional passenger. Miss Keough’s handbag was found in the front of the car. If another woman had entered the vehicle to drive off with the senator, surely she’d have alerted Miss Keough and returned the bag to her, Mr. Nelson suggests.

Ms. Keough claimed to have left the handbag from an earlier drive, a supposition disputed by a next-door neighbor who had been watching the raucous party. Miss Keough wasn’t grilled sharply at the inquest. Questioning the politician on the morning of July 19, Edgartown police chief Dominick J. Arena asked: “Can you tell me, was there anybody else in the car?”

“Yes,” said Mr. Kennedy.

But Chief Arena never followed up on that disclosure. When Ms. Keough visited Mary Jo’s grave on the first anniversary of her death, she said: “My friend Mary Jo just happened to be in the wrong car at the wrong time with the wrong people.”

Miss Keough repeated those exact words to the Boston Globe Spotlight team of investigatory reporters five years later. The author notes that “people” is a plural noun.

Unfortunately, one piece of clinching evidence is still missing. Mr. Nelson writes of Mr. Kennedy: “His companion, sitting in the front passenger seat, was thrown violently against the right front door and window and then against the ceiling, as the car struck the water first on its right side and then its roof. Upon impact, shards of sharp, tempered glass from her shattered side window struck her head, shoulders and right arm. There were no restraining seatbelts. Lacerations, abrasions and contusions on the face, head, arm and shoulder seem inevitable for a front, passenger-seat occupant. But there were no such injuries whatsoever to Mary Jo!”

Were there signs of injury on Ms. Keough? She called Chief Arena asking for her handbag, and he told her to come to the station. But she sent someone else and was quickly whisked off the Vineyard. Ms. Keough did not answer phone messages left by the author.

Mr. Nelson offers an ironic afterthought. If Mr. Kennedy had come clean about everything from the beginning, he might have escaped with nothing more than a license suspension and been free to pursue the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1972. As Richard Nixon, the sitting president at the time, would discover, sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime.

Jim Kaplan is the Gazette’s bridge columnist and the author of Clearing the Bases: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime.

How The Austin Bomber Was Located. The Panopticon State Works.

The Austin Bomber was traced using cameras and cell phone data. His every move was followed from FedEx stores to his hotel. This is the world we live in. Get used to it. 

Austin bombing suspect dead, apparently tracked down by surveillance state

A 24-year-old “white male” suspect in the bombing spree afflicting Austin, Texas is dead after blowing himself up in his car while being fired upon by police.  Information is still very fragmentary, but according to reports on Fox News this morning, police were led to him through the blanket surveillance capabilities that have come characterize American society in the wake of the “war on terror.”

Specifically (and keep in mind that early information in huge media events often is subject to change), the suspect was photographed dropping off two packages at a FedEx office in Austin.  (Update: photos.)

Hat tip: Conservative Treeehouse (source link).

He was wearing a hat and wig, reportedly, so no facial identification was possible, but police were able to use cell phone tower data to identify everyone who was in the area with a cell phone turned on.  Evidently, the individual in question was already on some sort of police lists, and that identified him as a strong suspect.  From that point, getting to his location was inevitable.  Some reports indicate that police were able to trace his Google searches and identify the hotel where he was staying.  But if he had the same cell phone on his person, that could have led police to him also.

No doubt some of this information will prove mistaken, but the underlying point remains sound.  If you have a cell phone on your body with the battery in it, the police probably can know everywhere you have been and where you are now.  And with the proliferation of security cameras, they can see you and what you are wearing.

This is called the “panopticon” state that can see you everywhere.  China is spending a lot of money and devoting intellectual resources to becoming the most thoroughgoing panopticon state in human history.  But if you think you are not subject to constant surveillance and keep a cell phone with you, the police can find out where you’ve been and where you are now, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The demise of the presumptive perp in Austin is an upside of this situation.  The downside has yet to be fully plumbed here, but in China, it is clear that it is a foundational element of twenty-first-century tyranny.

Prepare yourself for further information on the suspect’s motivation.  Leftists are hoping he is some sort of rightist or racist, giving them moral bragging rights.  Conservatives are hoping he is a leftist for similar reasons.  If the leftist hopes are realized, expect a huge wave of accusation leveled at everyone to the right of Lindsey Graham dominating the mainstream media.  If he was a lefty, expect the mainstream media to change the subject.

Meanwhile, people in central Texas have to still worry about other packages that may be somewhere in the delivery systems of any provider of such services.

The Tariff Explained

In this article, the secretary of Commerce, explains the strategic need for this steel and aluminum tariff. The need is read and is intended to preserve strategic industries in the US.

President Trump announced Thursday that he is imposing tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports, with exemptions for Canada and Mexico. The president acted because steel and aluminum imports have helped erode the domestic industry to the point that it threatens national security. Unfair trading practices from countries like China have distorted the global steel and aluminum markets. It is time to halt the damage.

Since 1998, countless steel mills and aluminum smelters have closed. More than 75,000 steel jobs alone have disappeared. Today the U.S. has only one steel mill that can produce the advanced alloys used in armored-vehicle plating; one aluminum smelter that makes the high-grade aluminum needed for defense aerospace applications; and one steel mill that makes the materials needed for infrastructure like electrical transformers.

These tariffs aim to reverse this sorry state of affairs. Companies that produce steel and aluminum have said these tariffs will allow them to reopen mills, expand operations, attract new workers, and maintain critical steel- and aluminum-making skills.

It is true that higher steel and aluminum costs could mean price increases for American consumers. But they should be small for individuals and families. Monthly payments for a typical mass-market car might increase by $4 because of the tariff, according to Commerce Department estimates. Is that a fair price to pay for protecting national security? We think so.

Will it start a trade war? It shouldn’t. The U.S. isn’t the only country that has expressed concern about the types of unfair trade practices that are prevalent in the steel and aluminum industries. Countries like China have provided massive subsidies to their companies, and this is harming markets world-wide.

The U.S. has tried to work with others to address these problems. Unfortunately, mechanisms like the Global Steel Forum have fallen woefully short of their aims, with other countries failing to adhere to even basic transparency commitments.

The president will not stand idle while unfair practices erode America’s steel and aluminum industries and threaten national security. Other countries understand that.

Further escalating this issue is counterproductive. Rather, countries should take responsibility for their unfair practices and work together to address the underlying problems facing these industries. The U.S. is ready and willing to engage in such efforts.

The president has the authority to adjust or exempt countries from these tariffs at any time based on circumstances and national security considerations. That is why he is exempting Canada and Mexico. We expect continuing negotiations to create more national-security benefits than the tariffs.

Meanwhile, we will not hesitate to continue standing up for American families, American businesses and American workers.

Mr. Ross is U.S. secretary of commerce.

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