Lab-Grown Meat for our Troops

And for everyone else, too. DoD wants to have this stuff for our soldiers to the tune of a $450 million budget increase—increase, not an initial funding—for BioMADE to produce meat in a petri dish for our military’s chow halls and, presumably, for what passes for MREs these days.

The Department of Defense is funding a bio-industrial manufacturing company that has proposed feeding US troops lab-grown meat to help “reduce the CO2 footprint of food production.”

BioMADE’s proposal includes

growing meat and other kinds of food by “utilizing one carbon molecule (C1) feedstocks for food production.”

There are plenty of reasons to object to this expenditure and to this food “development” program. One thing not being addressed, though, is the simple fact that there are some few lipids—fat molecules—that our bodies cannot make from scratch and must be eaten intact. They are essential lipids in precisely the same manner that essential amino acids cannot be made by our bodies and must be eaten intact by eating…meat. (I’m eliding here the question of whether these essential amino acids will be produced in the petri dishes.) These essential lipids are best taken in by eating…red meat. Which is not the petri dish meat—which isn’t really meat, but protein—that BioMADE wants to inflict on sell to our troops.

Will BioMADE be growing fat in adjacent petri dishes? Or will our troops’ diets suffer, and their health be heavily endangered, by that lack?

Limited Options?

Some of The Wall Street Journal‘s news personalities claim that not only are America’s options few, but we are Running Out of Options in the Gaza War. And further, as their subheadline intimates, those options are purely American political re-electability options.

Biden’s stalled cease-fire plan is a political vulnerability ahead of his debate with Trump. Israel and Hamas have a longer timeline.

Of course they do, and of course the news personalities’ bit is nonsense.

While it is true that our—not only Biden’s personal political prospects (and Trump’s, come to that)—are limited, it’s only in the fetid imaginations of pressmen that our options are running out.

Putting any emphasis at all on any sort of ceasefire in the Gaza Strip is dangerously misguided. There can be no hope of a ceasefire with an enemy that will strike at will regardless of the terms of any extant ceasefire agreement, just as Hamas did last October, in violation of the then-existing ceasefire agreement, and just as Hamas has done repeatedly before then in violation of all of those ceasefire agreements.

Our option as a nation—disregard self-serving politicians—is restricted to a single one. Support Israel fully in its war for survival against butchers whose own sole goal is the extermination of Israel. That war, of course, is the source of the longer timeline of Israel and Hamas (notice that: a single timeline, not separate ones for the nation and the terrorists). Hamas mucky-mucks have promised repeated October 7s, no matter the costs the terrorists inflict on Gaza Strip civilians, until the terrorists achieve their goal of extermination. Which makes Israel’s timeline stretch until they’ve succeeded in destroying (not exterminating—an out of line IDF general has badly conflated the two) Hamas.

On reflection, though, there is one more national option, even if Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden lacks both the political courage and the morals to apply it. That is to cut off Hamas’ source of money and arms: going back to enforcing existing sanctions on Iran (which are less effective, now, due to Russia’s and People’s Republic of China’s support, but still damaging), to begin sinking Iranian arms shipping and interdicting overland arms shipments through Iraq before it can deliver arms and ammunition, and severely damaging, if not destroying, Iran’s nuclear weapons development facilities cybernetically and, if necessary, kinetically. Dealing with Iran also would have the happy side effect of weakening Hezbollah’s ability to continue its terrorist attacks against Israel from the north.

An Arms Sale to the Republic of China

The Biden administration has approved a sale of $360 million worth of drones, missiles and other military equipment to the Republic of China.

So far, so good.

There remains a Critical Item, though: when is the actual delivery. American governments—not just the Biden administration, this time—have a venerable history of slow-walking actual delivery to the RoC.

Over-the-Beach Resupply

We have a floating pier off the coast of the Gaza Strip which was intended to greatly increase the amount and pace of humanitarian aid to Gazan civilians during the ongoing Hamas war against Israel. It took weeks to get the components sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and then along the length of the Mediterranean Sea to that Gazan coast. Those weeks included delays enroute (and at the start) caused by equipment failure, both in some of the components and in the ships transporting the components.

Once assembled and in more-or-less operation, the volume of traffic was much lower than expected, and under heavy Med seas (heavy for the Med, the seas weren’t the raging high waves of the Atlantic), the pier broke apart with a section being pushed across the remaining gap between the end of the pier and the actual shore (a gap that exists by design) up onto the shore. A ship sent to catch the pier section before it grounded also wound up grounded in the shallow waters near the shore. It took some weeks to repair the damage and reopen the pier.

Now, in anticipation of further heavy seas, this pier has been preemptively dismantled.

This is the level of capability we have in our military to conduct post-forced landing resupply while our troops remain engaged, either still on/near the beach or farther inland? I hope not. I hope this floating pier is not typical of our ability conduct over-the-beach resupply, especially while under fire, but I’m not sanguine about it.

RFK Jr’s National Defense Plan

Third party Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, Jr, now is promising to cut our national defense spending by 50% if he’s elected.

I will push for [a] 50% reduction in military expenditures in my first four years in office, with more cuts to come thereafter. A way to keep the dollar strong is to keep the country strong. We can do that by redirecting our bloated military budget toward infrastructure, education, and health, and building our economy and building small business.

Kennedy insists, instead, that the United States should

project strength through moral leadership and strong economics.

What would this Kennedy have us do, though, when our arming-up enemies—Russia, People’s Republic of China, Iran, among others—come with actual guns and bullets and destruction and killing. Does he expect our remaining armed forces to defend our nation by throwing copies of Aristotle’s Nicomachean or Eudemian Ethics at them? Or perhaps Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations? Maybe Summa Theologiae, the compendium of St Thomas Acquinas’ writings? All nine volumes—there’s some heavy artillery. Or something both older and more current, the Christian Bible, which contains—rapid fire, now—Judaism’s Torah.

How strong does Kennedy think our economy would be when moralizing in the face of bullets fails to persuade?

Does he really think our infrastructure, education, and health really will matter when they’re controlled by our conquerors? That our economy and small businesses will be for our benefit when they’re controlled by our conquerors? That our dollar will matter when the currency in effect is that of our conquerors?

Kennedy badly misunderstands the parable of the mouse and the owl: the mouse thinks the owl’s ways are wrong, while the owl thinks the mouse is lunch.