Bombing Won’t Stop the Islamic State

So we sent planes and cruise missiles to create photo ops that show our resolve in stopping ISIS. All it did was create the false image that we actually did something important. We didn’t. At the same time the 47 cruise missles were flying, ISIS troops over ran and annihilated an Iraqi infantry brigade, and made further territorial gains against the Kurdish Peshmerga, the best hope we have there.

After the intensive bombing of German industry in WWII, a survey after the war discovered that German industrial output, the target of the bombing, peaked in late 1944, less than six months before the end of the war. By contrast, the Russians did not engage in strategic bombing, or the bombing of industry, as they focused their considerable airpower on German troops in a tactical bombing effort. They followed the tactical bombing by placing boots on the recently bombed areas.

That’s what works, boots on the ground. The belief that strategic bombing via atomic bombs caused Japan’s surrender has been debunked as Japanese records show that there was no panic to surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as our strategic bombing had actually done more damage to other Japanese cities. What triggered the Japansese surrender was the Russian declaration of war and invasion of the Northern Japanese Islands at the end of the war. The Russians seizure of Sakhalin Island, the northern most, former Japanese Island, and the Kuril Islands, where there is still dispute as to the ownership, caused the Japanese surrender. Sakhalin is part of Russia today.  The Japanese government made a decision that bombs were ok, but that Russian boots in Tokyo were not. The same rule will apply to ISIS (ISIL?). (for an ISIS/ISIL distinction, look Here)

Boots on the ground will win, but 40 cruise missiles will not. We need to get this right.  Obama’s generals know what to do, but he seems to be photo op oriented, we’ll see how it turns out.

MLB Races With A Week To Go.

Last year I wrote article nearly every day on the complicated MLB pennant race. This year, it is very siimple. In the American League, only the Central DIvision is undecided as Detroit leads KC by a single game. The Royals are playing Cleveland in Cleveland today and finish at Chicago. The Tigers host Chicago and then the Twins over the final weekend. That gives the Tigers at least a one game advantage and they will probably win the division, leaving the Royals as one of the two wildcard teams.

The other AL wild card will be the A’s who lead Seattle by 2. Seattle ends with the Angels, not the place to be if you are trying to sweep a series. Look for a playoff between Oakland and Kansas CIty for the fourth playoff spot. Of interest here, is that Oakland with 86-70 wins has a one game home field advantage over KC. 85-71 that may be determined by a coin lip in a week. Hang on.

In the National League, it is all over. St. Louis, Baltimore, and the LA Dodgers won divisions and Pittsburgh and San Francisco will play the wild card game. Pittsburgh has a 1/2 game home field advantage there, so another coin toss may occur. 

This season will end without the great drama I like to see, but that drama will likely come in the playoffs.  There are great teams playing and the chance of a Washington World Series is a lot to consider for me. Having just watched the Angels recently, I am leaning toward them as well. I would go to a game just to see Mike Trout play centerfield. There is also the possibilty of Baltimore-Washington, a LA-LA, or a KC-St.L World Series matchups.  Could be interesting, don’t you think?

For now, it is just a matter of waiting, unless, of course, something unexpected happens, and that happens often in the wonderful world of Major League Baseball. 

Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and the NFL Dilemma

Ray Rice was video taped punching his then girlfriend (Now his wife) in an Atlantic CIty elevator and then pulling her unconscious body from the elevator. Adrian Peterson punished his four year old son by hitting him with a switch. The league and Peterson’s team have reacted and both players are now inactive indefinitely. The media outrage is enormous and it is suggested that NFL Commissioner Goodell be fired.
There is no way the actions can be defended. Both are horrible. However, there was a delay in the media outburst that suggests that there is another agenda here. As this is an election year, I surmise that the media response here is political and financial. There have been several cases of domestic abuse in the NFL in recent years and none of those engendered the vigorous reaction by the mainstream medis so far. The effort is directed at generating support for the so called war on women (that doesn’t exist, by the way) to increase voter turnout among Democrats. The NFL target, very male, violent, aggressive is the perfect foil for this activity. Goodell, its leader, tall, large, rich and blond is a compelling target as well. So what are the aims of those who attack the NFL over this issue? (By the way, Goodell had already instituted a domestic violence program to stop such violence.)
The aim here is the classic shakedown. The. demands on the NFL will mount as various organizations demand money, probably in the billions of dollars, before going away. They may also demand positions within the NFL for their members, and then, urge that Goodell be replaced by one of theirs, to assure compliance with their demands.
The NFL’s dilemma is that it must stand up to the demands while taking actions to re-assure fans that domestic violence will not be condoned in any way. If the league gives in, especially with regard to the Commissioner, it will mean that the owners have given up control of the business. If the league acquiesces in this matter, the demands will only increase and spin away from Rice and Peterson into unrelated areas that will involve the surrender of more of its authority and ability to manage it own affairs. That is an existential moment that must be prevented. The sharks are circling here, and they must be kept out of the NFL boat.

Articles: Global Warming and the Feynman test

The link below explains the scientific process quickly and clearly,  It therefore, shows the error in climate change science, Simply stated, there is no evidence to support the claims that man-made co2 causes warming or that there has, in deed, been any warming. Absent evidence, there is no supportable theory of climate change.

Voter ID and Voter Registration Are Parts of the Same Whole

In the 2012 election in Minnesota, Voter ID was on the ballot and lost. The opponents said that requiring a photo ID would suppress voting “for those groups who didn’t have such ID”  I can’t imagine that anyone who wanted to get a photo ID wouldn’t be able to get one. Especially in that photo ID is required for Voter Registration! So a registered voter has already demonstrated possesion of a photo ID. All the Voter ID rules would require is that the person voting is, in fact, the person that Registered.  This is all it does, and does not suppress anything. All the absence of a Voter ID law does is allow a voter to vote for somone illegally. This is done, in the classic fashion, by voting for someone who has died, moved or just doesn’t show up that day, but is still on the rolls. An Illinois man once said that, “My mother had voted Republican before she died, but has voted Democrat since.”

Let’s take a closer look.

An example of the requirements for registration in Minnesota, as in other states, requires that the applicant show a valid photo ID like a driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or Tribal ID with name, address, signature and photo. Additionally, applicants can use a passport, military ID, University, College or High School ID. These documents identify the applicant and documents such as a valid lease that extends past the election, utility bills that show an address, banking documents or rent receipts, show voting precinct. In addition, a person known to the applicant can vouch for the address. Still, even if the vouch-for system is used, the prospective voter has to register by showing the appropriate photo ID.

There are holes in the registration system. The driver’s license requirement only works if citizenship is shown on the card. Also, online registration requires a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a social security number. Non-citizen workers can get social security cards and driver’s licenses under certain circumstances, so this system needs some work.

The registration process results in a voter roll that is present at the proper polling station. A voter simply gives a name, and is given a ballot. There is no validation that the voter is the person he/she says he/she is and that is what Voter ID is all about. The entire argument is over whether the voter’s ID needs to be verified at the polls. That is, a person who presented a valid ID to register is not asked to do that to vote. What seems to be no-brainer is vigorously opposed by Democrats. There must be a reason and this is the dilemma. Democrats say requiring ID will suppress the vote. How, I wonder, as each voter has already shown ID to register? The possiblities are that voter rolls are not checked with regularity. Therefore, if Jim Jones properly voted in 2012, but moved to Madison, Wisconsin, in 2013, he would still be on the Minnesota voter roll in 2014. Anyone with knowledge of this could appear, say to the poll worker, “I’m Jim Jones,” and vote. Of course, Jim Jones himself could appear and vote in Minnesota and, maybe, vote in Madison, as well! The discoveries of people voting in both Florida and New York have been illuminating. The anecdote about the woman who has voted Democrat since she died comes from Illinois, but could be Minnesota as well. If Jill Jones died in 2010, she is probably still on voting rolls. It would be easy to vote for her in 2014. Who’d know? as they say.
One way is to require a photo ID.

Many states have passed laws requiring voter ID at the polls. The result has been an increase in parrticipation. Voter ID rules are the necessary partner to the Registration laws. They are part of the same whole. Opposition to these rules is, however, vigorous and even passed law is subject to court challenges. Absent further information, I have to think nefarious purpose is involved, but I’m sure my Democratic friends will object, but so far they only give the suppression argument with no support. I would like to hear more.

Fall Baseball War on Labor Day, 2014

There is something disquieting about Labor Day.  It is the end of Summer, leaves turn color and die, the frost will finish off what’s left, even the daylight diminishes, and sun will be setting later until it is the shortest day and it is Winter.  Baseball is born in the spring when all teams have hope, flourishes in the Summer as teams figure out how good or bad they are,  then it is Fall and we race against the sun to see who wins it all before the game hibernates for the Winter. At this point, the teams know how good they are and how bad. The good ones now focus on the last 28 games and the ultimate, short course, pennant race. It is a no holds barred, free for all to see who will prevail.

Today we know who is really good, just good, could be good and bad. The really good are Kansas City and Detroit, Baltimore, Angels and A’s in the AL and Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh,  Washington, LA Dodgers and SF in the National.
The good team is Cleveland that just misses. The “could (will) be good” teams are Miami and Seattle, maybe next year, especially for Miami. The rest of them have serious work to do and only a few show any inclination to do it wisely. (By wisely, I mean.doing smart stuff,  not just stuff to appease the fans mid-winter like signing a bad pitcher, now 5-10, 5.96, to a multiyear contract that simply shows why they are bad.)
Kansas CIty leads Detroit by 1/2 game in the AL Central, with Cleveland 3 behind. In the AL East, Baltimore leads by 9. In the AL west, the Angels just crushed the A’s four straigth to lead by 5. The only drama is in the Central.

In the National League, Milwaukee and St. Louis are tied and Pittsburgh is two behind. Definte drama here. Washington leads Atlanta by six so its really over.  and LA.  leads SF by 2 1/2. But LA is going to win there.

The only drama is the race for the second wild-card. (DId I really say that?) In the AL, Seattle has a chance and Atlanta and Pittsburgh have a chance in the NL.We’ll see.

What does the lack of drama mean? It means that the playoffs will supply the drama the season fails to provide. More on that in a few weeks, but I’m betting on a Baltimore-Washington World Series. Both of these teams can hit, field, throw, hit with power and pitch!  See you in Baltimore in October.