Timidity Is

…as timidity does.  The Japan Times has it, too, as demonstrated in its editorial last Wednesday.  The editorial board is worried about Japan actually achieving an ability to defend proactively itself.  The board’s concern was triggered [sic] by a Liberal Democratic Party proposal that

Japan consider developing the ability to strike enemy missile bases.  …a response to North Korea’s repeated ballistic missile launches….

The board fretted that

an attempt by Japan to build up the capability to attack enemy bases could result in destabilizing the region’s security environment by giving an imagined enemy an excuse to carry out pre-emptive strikes on our country.

Foolishness

James Capretta and Lanhee Chen of American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution, respectively, have a piece in a recent Wall Street Journal edition that talks about how to “nudge” uninsured Americans into getting health coverage plans.  It’s impressive in its…foolishness…(I’m being polite).

Congress can help these Americans and many others get insurance by enrolling them in no-premium, no-obligation plans from which they could withdraw if they wanted to.

No. Not only no, Hell no. No squared. We’ve enough Big Government intruding into our private lives, arrogantly presuming to make our private decisions for us, without adding this to the steaming pile.

The False Premise of a Madboy

Harry Kazianis, writing in The Week Monday, portrayed northern Korea’s weekend military parading not as sabre rattling but as a demonstration of the fruits of development driven by military necessity.

Kim Jong Un—the leader of a nation that has an economy smaller than Ethiopia—knows all too well he has no way to match the United States, South Korea, and Japan ship for ship, plane for plane in a symmetrical sense. The only way he can hope to deter his enemies is to build the ultimate game-changer: nuclear weapons paired with missiles that can strike all the way across the globe.

A Democrat’s Disagreement

During the recent debate in the Arizona legislature concerning a bill that would allow school vouchers for all Arizona children, Democratic Congressman Jesus Rubalcava wrote on his Facebook page that he wanted to throat-punch one of the sponsors of the bill, Republican Senator Debbie Lesko.  The Arizona Republic captured a screen shot of Rubalcava’s Facebook post:

After Rubalcava’s post began circulating, after the ensuing uproar over his threat of violence against someone impertinent enough to disagree with him, he deleted his post (but not before the Republic had captured that screen shot) and apologized to Lesko.

A Misunderstanding

…between the roles of State and Defense and how those roles should be carried out.  The misunderstanding is illustrated in (though it’s not the primary subject of) a Friday Wall Street Journal piece by Dion Nissenbaum and Maria Abi-Habib.

President Donald Trump is (very properly) backing away from a Lyndon Johnson- or Barack Obama-esque micromanagement of what the military is permitted to do, including target selection, timing of engagement, and weapons permitted to be used on those targets.  Instead, he’s encouraging DoD to have its commanders on-scene to exercise more initiative, with less mother-may-I delay waiting for permission from the White House (and notice that use of the chain of command from the top down, too).   From that, as illustrated by General John Nicholson’s decision to drop a MOAB on his own initiative on a Daesh network of tunnels and caves in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, we’re seeing a more aggressive military with more timely activities.

Obamacare

As The Wall Street Journal rightly pointed out, regarding the failed Obamacare repeal and replacement effort and the failing renewed discussions between the House Republican Conference and the Freedom Caucus of No,

The fury…suggests that some Freedom Caucus opposition is more cynical than sincere. Do its members want to appear to negotiate in good faith but insist on changes that centrists can’t accept, so they can then accuse centrists of killing the reform revival?

And

…perhaps there’s still hope for health-care reform. But first Republicans have to decide if they can accept progress that is short of perfection. If they can’t, then they’ll blow their best, and maybe only, shot at repealing and replacing a failing entitlement.

YGTBSM

This episode is from Newark Mayor Ras Baraka (D).  He claimed last Sunday, with a straight face that

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is “targeting” mayors like himself, and intimidating them into being “fugitive slave catchers that run around and do their bidding in our cities.”

Milwaukee County, WI, Sheriff David Clarke was more polite than I:

I’ve heard a lot of stupid things [but] comparing fugitive slaves to illegal immigrants is the gold standard of stupidity[.]

I say, rather, that Baraka’s TDS has turned him into an irrational election-denier.

Trade Barriers

Since the meeting between PRC President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump is a matter of concern these days, and the trade negotiations that are part of that meeting also are a matter of concern, herewith a concern of my own.

Maybe this is the right time for the two leaders to cut a deal to slash Chinese trade barriers.

The three biggest PRC trade barriers are these:

  • the PRC’s demand for government backdoors into American foundational software used by companies wanting to do business in the PRC

Contrasts

As the Trump administration begins to shape its policy on drugs, tension is growing between a treatment-focused approach, embodied in a new commission on opioids headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the aggressive prosecution of drug crimes promised by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

There need there be no tension because there is no contradiction.  The two approaches—nail hard those who prey on the vulnerable and the addicted—and working to free the addicted from the controls of their addiction (“free from the controls” because an addict never loses his addiction; he can only reach a point where he can say reliably, “not today.”  That’s where current medical technology has us) rather than simply jailing them, too, potentiate each other.

Continued Veterans Administration Failure

Dr Dale Klein is, formally, on the Veterans Administration payroll—to the tune of a $250,000/yr salary—but he’s not employed by them, and so his pain management skills are actively denied our veterans who would benefit from them.  Klein blew the whistle on his proximate employer’s—Southeast Missouri John J Pershing VA facility—secret waiting lists and wait time manipulation practices.  Now he’s shunned by his employers and banished to a room by himself where he’s denied access to his patients and patients are denied access to him.