Is It Possible For A Dictatorship To Be A Top World Power?

Every day you read something scary about Russia or China, or maybe both, flexing their muscles on the world stage.  Russia interferes in the U.S. elections!  Russia sends cruise missiles into Syria! Russia tests new "invincible" nuclear missile!  Russia poisons ex-spy living in England!  China builds militarized islands in the South China Sea!  China expands its navy!  China helps North Korea avoid sanctions!

Then you consider the political news coming out of both countries.  The short version is that, after a few decades of flirting with nascent versions of liberalism, both countries are most if not all the way back to absolute dictatorship. . . .

So both Russia and China are now going to have near-absolute rulers in power for life.  Is there any problem with that? 


Read More

For Now, Germany Will Continue Its Energy Self-Delusion

WELT AM SONNTAG: Mr. Vahrenholt, what do you think of the coalition agreement between CDU/CSU and SPD with regards to energy and climate policy?
FRITZ VAHRENHOLT: When it comes to energy policy, the 177 pages of the coalition agreement are an act of stupidity. In 2019 and 2020, the expansion of wind power in Germany is set to be massively accelerated even though nobody knows what to do with all this wind power in times of heavy winds. And when there is little wind, the expansion does not help, as electricity production then remains close to zero. It is like the foolish acts by the people of Schilda (Schildbürger) who tried to carry sacks of light  into the windowless town hall.

And you thought the Germans were smart, at least in matters that involve science or engineering?    Yet here they are, already in a spot where they have more electricity than they can use when the wind blows at full strength, mixed with periods where the wind system provides nothing because the wind isn't blowing.  And the solution is, "massively accelerate" the development of wind power!  Do they know that double zero is still zero?  And, by the way, triple zero is also still zero.

Read More

At The Times, Promoting The Climate Scare With Fake Information

Over at the New York Times, as we all know, they have a quota of at least one big front-page article per week designed to play on your emotions to get you on board with the climate scare.  Today's entry, occupying three of six columns on page 1 (plus a big color picture that covers four columns) has the headline "Fastest Drying in 2,000 Years Imperils Millions."  The sub-headline is "Many of World's Poorest Face Warming Crisis in Horn of Africa."

You get the basic theme from the headlines:  "Climate change" and "warming" are causing a great drought in a wide swath of eastern Africa.  It's not just any old drought, but the "fastest drying in 2,000 years."  Millions are "imperiled"!  

Unfortunately, as is often the case over at Pravda, somebody forgot that in the age of the internet, the actual data are out there and easily available for all to check.  As you will see, this is beyond embarrassing.

Read More

Trade Deficits: Two Descriptions Of The Same Thing

I thought readers might enjoy a comparison between two descriptions of the consequences of the U.S. trade deficit, one the version of President Trump, and the other written from the perspective of a consumer in China.  You would think that they couldn't possibly be talking about exactly the same thing, but in fact they are.

Read More

Who Is The Worst Member Of President Trump's Cabinet?

I don't know about you, but overall I've been generally impressed with the quality of President Trump's cabinet appointments.  Sure, I could find something to disagree about with pretty much every one of them.  But the change from the Obama days has been dramatic, and dramatically positive -- from advancing an endless list of brain-dead progressive power grabs, to pushing back against the bureaucracy and rescinding many of the worst of the Obama-era regulations.

Is there any one of them who stands out as particularly bad?  I have a nominee, and it may not be the guy you would expect. 

Read More