Donor Matching Funds Announced!

A generous donor has offered to match all contributions dollar-for-dollar for the next $10,000 raised, doubling the impact of your donation and helping us reach our fundraising goal faster.

$14,690 of $60,000 raised

Blog

Restricting Production

“At the bottom of the interventionist argument there is always the idea that the government or the state is an entity outside and above the social process of production, that it owns something which is not derived from taxing its subjects, and that it can spend this mythical something for definite purposes. This is the Santa Claus fable raised by Lord Keynes to the dignity of an economic doctrine and enthusiastically endorsed by all those who expect personal advantage from government spending. As against these popular fallacies there is need to emphasize the truism that a government can spend or invest only what it takes away from its citizens and that its additional spending and investment curtails the citizens’ spending and investment to the full extent of its quantity.

“While government has no power to make people more prosperous by interference with business, it certainly does have the power to make them less satisfied by restriction of production.”

Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

Ford Follies: The Carrier Grift That Just Keeps Giving

uss ford u.s. navy aircraft carrier

Stop building these things.

Even the corporate/access defense media is starting to sound the alarm bells on the multi-billion carrier fiasco that is the USS Ford which is probably causing plenty of public relations professionals in the Navy to go apoplectic.

As my readers know (Podcast Episode 034 and Dispatch # 006 on my Substack), I am a long-time critic of the carriers forces thinking that they are the chariot and crossbow of the 21st century in the Earthly realm of war craft.

It’s sad that the tens of billions the US Navy has utterly wasted on these homages to WWII naval combat continue to take center stage in the martial gaze of nostalgic navalists and the gullible public that bought into the charade.

The acquisition has been a constant shift to the right for delivery of the flawed and failed ship.

The first vessel was ordered by the government on Sept. 10, 2008. It was scheduled for delivery eight years later, but because of all the new technologies involved, it could not be deployed on time.

Currently, the ten Nimitz class aircraft carriers are the largest warships in the world, each designed for 50 years of service life with one mid-life refueling. The USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) commissioned on Jan. 10, 2009, and is the final ship of the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The last Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is to be decommissioned in 2058.

Aircraft carriers are simply the most expensive missile sponges in the modern age.

The Navy is stuck in a strategic rut. The maritime branch seems to think it is still 1996, and that U.S. carriers can travel unmolested and dominate any distant target the Navy desires. 

That is not the case. 

The advent of anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) systems complicates the old American view of carriers as the ultimate – and easiest – form of power projection. 

Even oversight entities are raising alarms bells, in this case the technical problems with launching and retrieving aircraft which seems to be a reasonable expectation for an aircraft carrier:

Tellingly, the Navy’s new reliability metric indicated “improvement in the reliability of the catapult and arresting gear systems” but it somehow lacked a direct tie to carrier performance.The Navy, when pressed for clarification, said, it “has addressed EMALS and AAG issues via a reliability growth plan that has resulted in an average Operational Availability of ~0.98 for the last 5,500 (~45%) launches and recoveries across both systems.” And yet, somehow, the carrier, despite great operational availability scores, struggled to qualify pilots. This gets at the root of the problem. Essentially, the Navy seems content to merely field something that looks and acts like a carrier. And by introducing another metric, the Service is refusing to even acknowledge the launch-and-recovery problems exist, effectively discrediting Pentagon weapons testers by muddying their very real concerns about the USS Ford’s ability to accomplish the platform’s central mission—generating more aircraft sorties faster than any previous U.S. aircraft carrier….

The Navy, in a statement that took nine days to generate, focused on the DOT&E’s primary measurement of EMALS and AAG reliability, or, in the technological lingo, “Mean cycles Between Operational Mission Failures”. The unsophisticated measure tallies the number of launches and recoveries that occur between system failures, and then averages them. As a mean, the Pentagon’s testing measure isn’t perfect, and can be overly influenced by
outliers.

There is some even more alarming details in the latest Congressional Research (2023) document here.

The USS Ford has a displacement of 100,000 tons.

Let me geek out on visualization for a moment.One billion dollar bills weighs one billion grams = 1 million kilograms = 2,204,622.62 lbs = 1102.31 us tons. One billion worth of 100 dollar bills = 22,046.22 lbs = 11.02 tons.

It would take over 14,000 tons of one dollar bills to pay for one carrier and the US Navy accepted a carrier that doesn’t reliably launch and retrieve aircraft (you had one job).

14,000 tons.

BTW, no urinals since the berthings are built gender-neutral. Only toilets for blue water cruising. Those of you who have been at sea know how problematic this is. Virtue signalling that every sailor on board will pay for when in any seas that aren’t smooth and glassy in aspect.

Stop building these things.

Email me at cgpodcast@pm.me.

“Capitalism” Is about Freedom, Not Capital

“Why ‘capitalism’? Words have an unfortunate tendency to confuse. Free market capitalism is not really about capital, it is about handing control of the economy from the top to billions of independent consumers, entrepreneurs and workers, and allowing them to make their own decisions about what they think will improve their lives. So careless talk about ‘taking control of capitalism’ actually means that governments take control of citizens.

“But it doesn’t sound like it, does it? One of my intellectual heroes, Deirdre McCloskey, complains that the word capitalism gives the misleading impression that it is about the rule of capital, rather than liberating people to make their own economic decisions, which is really what the free market is about: ‘Capitalism’ is a scientific mistake compressed into a single word, a dramatically misleading coinage by our enemies, and still used by the sadly misled among out friends.’ So why do I use it? Because, no matter what we think of it, and no matter which word we would prefer for a system of private property and free markets, this is the word that has become inextricably linked to it, and if its supporters don’t fill that word with meaning, its opponents will.”

–Johan Norberg, The Capitalist Manifesto, 2023

Ticonderoga Leaves the Fleet: The US Surface Navy Continues to Shrink

tico

The US Navy surface fleet continues to shrink.

And every surface hull commissioned after the Arleigh Burke class in 1991 has been a failure.

The Chinese Navy exceeds the US Navy in total warships deployed. What makes this even more astonishing is that the Chinese maintain a regional naval power with optional blue water projection capabilities (mind you, untested) while the US maintains the fiction of a global capability. The current U.S. fleet is smaller, with more than 280 vessels. The Secretary of the Navy expects that strength to reach 300 in the early 2030s which is a pipe dream unsupported by the facts on the ground..

The Pentagon’s 2023 China Military Power Report said China’s navy had about 370 warships. The fleet is expected to grow to 395 ships by 2025 and 435 ships by 2030.

This document provides a deep dive (the executive summary on pages 2-13 will make your hair stand on end).

All Ticonderoga cruisers will be retired from the fleet in 2027 due to a variety of factors to include aging hulls, the inability to properly upgrade and maintain sophisticated sensor & weapons systems, a personnel competency crisis and the chaos avalanche of restricted shipbuilding and maintenance throughput at limited shipyards nation-wide. The first five ships were decommissioned awhile ago and the remaining 13 are being decommissioned. The youngest ship is 31 years old.

In the 21st century, the US Navy surface fleet will go down in history as very expensive target barges.

As they were initially intended to be destroyers, these ships were designed around a destroyer hull. But new weapons and combat systems give them a distinctly different look from their predecessors.

These ships brought a major upgrade in electronic warfare capabilities. They introduced the AEGIS radar system, the first of its kind able to track, target, and shoot multiple targets simultaneously. Mounting this radar on an older frame necessitated two large superstructures, one forward and one aft, giving the cruisers their boxy silhouette. Additionally, the ships mount two Mk 41 vertical launch systems (VLS) with a total capacity of 122 missiles. These systems reduce manpower requirements from previous missile launchers as well as providing added flexibility to arm diverse munitions, from TLAMs to SM-6s. 

With twin 5-inch guns, one forward and one aft, the Ticonderogas are some of the only ships in the fleet – alongside the ill-fated Zumwalt – to field two guns. 

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/farewell-ticonderoga-class-cruiser-pillar-us-naval-power-211740

These ships are a critical part of the defending the carrier armadas once underway and the remaining Arleigh Burke destroyers will step in but simply don’t have the capacity nor capabilities.

In the end, these are Cold War relics but then again, the entire US Navy surface fleet is a Cold War entity designed for naval warfare that is a thing of the past and simply floating missile sponges in the future.

What will replace them? Allegedly, the new FFG62 Constellation-class  future DDG(X), a new guided missile destroyer that will only have 96 missile silos, compared to the Ticonderoga’s 122. Don’t hold your breath for success in that endeavor.

Decommissioning is not cheap (of course it isn’t):

To illustrate the financial toll of maintaining even a decommissioned ship, consider the fate of the first guided-missile cruiser of this class, the Ticonderoga itself. Decommissioned in 2004, the ship was offered to various museums in 2010 but none was interested in taking the cruiser in. Consequently, it was handed over for disposal in 2020.

https://en.defence-ua.com/analysis/how_to_make_use_of_the_12_ticonderoga_cruisers_usa_is_decommissioning-11116.html

Email me at cgpodcast@pm.me.

 

US Forces Booted Out of Niger

niger1

2024 is the end of the ten year lease after expending $110 million to build and $30 million a year to maintain the base.

The French forces were booted in October 2023.

American troops are leaving now and the German troops will leave in September. The military regimes of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso marked their divorce from the rest of West Africa 10 July 2024 as they signed a treaty setting up a confederation between them and all pulled out of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) this year. Indeed, ECOWAS might not survive the Nigerien debacle in its current 15-member format if it stays the course.

Meanwhile, the military power nexus of Russia in Africa is on the march:

Russia has concluded military cooperation agreements with 43 African countries, and is a major, though declining, arms supplier to Africa. This cooperation is not linked to democratic pledges, and in multiple African countries hit by coups, Russia has continued or strengthened its military cooperation.

The Russian military will be the single largest non-African force influence in Africa after that departure.

The US is removing all its forces and equipment from Niger ahead of a September 15 deadline set under an agreement with the ruling junta.

US forces will be removed from a small base this weekend, while around 500 remaining troops will leave a critical drone base in the West African country in August.

The drone base, known as Nigerien Air Base 201, is located near the city of Agadez and was built at a cost of $110 million.

The US had around 1,100 troops in Niger.

https://trtafrika.com/africa/us-troops-finish-exit-from-nigers-capital-18181377

Email me at cgpodcast@pm.me.

They Hate Our Freedom

They Hate Our Freedom

Near the end of 2022,[1] the government finally released the notes from the 9/11 Commission’s interview of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney from April 29, 2004. Would you believe it turns out the president admitted that his father and predecessor’s decades–long, post–first Gulf War sanctions regime — enforced against Iraq by U.S. warplanes based in Saudi Arabia and responsible for starving and depriving civilians to death by the hundreds of thousands[2] — were the major motive for al Qaeda’s war against the United States, including the September 11 attacks: “With Iraq, the U.S. had a sanctions regime in place that was recruiting terrorists. Their propaganda with reports of starving Iraqi children were hurting us.”[3] But that is not what they told the American people. Bush said the enemy was out to get us because “they hate our freedoms.”[4] They were lying. They knew they were lying. They always lie.[5]

[1] Alas, too late for Enough Already.

[2] Richard Garfield, RN, DrPH, “Morbidity and Mortality Among Iraqi Children from 1990 Through 1998: Assessing the Impact of the Gulf War and Economic Sanctions,” Campaign Against Sanctions in Iraq, July 1999, https://casi.org.uk/info/garfield/dr-garfield.html.

[3] Memorandum For the Record, “Commission Meeting with the President and Vice President of the United States,” 9/11 Commission, April 29, 2004, https://archives.gov/files/declassification/iscap/pdf/2012-163-doc-1-release-material.pdf.

[4] President George W. Bush, “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People,” White House, September 20, 2001, https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html; George W. Bush, “President’s Remarks at Victory 2002 Event,” White House, March 29, 2002, https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2002/03/text/20020328.html; “The Vice President appears on Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” White House, September 16, 2001, https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html.

[5] On the question of Saudi involvement in the attack, see, Larisa Alexandrovna Horton, (the Mrs.) “The ‘28 Pages’ Explained,” Antiwar.com, July 21, 2016, https://original.antiwar.com/larisa-alexandrovna/2016/07/20/28-pages-explained.

ICJ Declares Israel’s Occupation Illegal

ICJ Declares Israel’s Occupation Illegal

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) yesterday issued its advisory opinion in its case examining the legal consequences of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, ruling that Israel’s persistent occupation and discriminatory policies have no legal justification and therefore violate international law.

The ICJ had already ruled in 2004 that all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, remained “occupied territories” under international law and therefore that Israel’s settlement regime and the separation wall it was constructing within the West Bank were illegal.

In that prior ruling, the ICJ, also known as the World Court, affirmed “the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force”.

That is a principle of international law emphasized in United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 242 from November 22, 1967, which in the wake of the June “Six Day War” legally required Israel to withdraw its forces to armistice lines drawn in 1949 after Zionist forces established the “Jewish state” of Israel by ethnically cleansing most of the Arab population from their homes in Palestine.  

The ICJ’s ruling for the more recent case goes further than its 2004 judgment by concluding that Israel’s prolonged occupation of Palestinian territory is itself inherently illegal.

The ICJ case is formally an inquiry into the “Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, which the court opened at the request of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in December 2022.

This case is separate from a pending case brought before the ICJ on December 29, 2023, by the government of South Africa, which charged Israel with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (or the Genocide Convention) for its murderous military operation in the Gaza Strip ongoing since October 2023.

The US government has also violated the Genocide Convention for its complicity in Israel’s genocide.

On January 26, 2024, the ICJ ruled that Israel was perpetrating a plausible genocide in Gaza and called on Israel to comply with its obligations under the Genocide Convention; and on May 24, the court issued additional provisional measures ordering Israel to halt its military operation in the city Rafah in Gaza.

As with its January ruling, Israel proceeded to ignore the ICJ order on May 24.

While the ICJ is a UN body that has no authority to enforce its judgments, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a separate body at the Hague in the Netherlands that was established independently from the UN by the Rome Statute in 1998, has sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for “crimes against humanity”.

In its ruling issued yesterday, the ICJ determined that Israel’s continued occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is “unlawful”, and that Israel is therefore obligated under international law to end its occupation “as rapidly as possible”.

Reaffirming its 2004 advisory opinion, the ICJ ruled that Israel “is under an obligation to cease immediately all new settlement activities, and to evacuate all settlers from the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

Additionally, Israel is obligated “to make reparation for the damage caused to all the natural or legal persons concerned in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

The ICJ also emphasized the legal obligation of UN member states to not act complicitly in Israel’s illegal occupation.

That applies to the US government, which has long maintained a policy of supporting Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, including by means of the US-led so-called “peace process”, which was always aimed at blocking implementation of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The aim of the “peace process”, which was premised on a rejection of international law, is not to be confused with the two-state solution, which is premised on the applicability of international law to the conflict.

As another example of US complicity in Israel’s violations of international law, in 2017, the Donald Trump administration moved the State Department’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, which was a violation of UN Security Council resolutions prohibiting UN member states from taking actions to prejudice Palestinians’ rights in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.

While a welcome development to those concerned with peace and justice, it is regrettable that it took until July 2024 for the world’s highest governmental authority on matters related to international law to explicitly inform the public that Israel has a legal obligation to immediately withdraw its military from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

Cross-posted from JeremRHammond.com.

What a strange fetish it all is…

What a strange fetish it all is…

Is it a fetish? There are some fascinating memes and clips doing the rounds of Trump lately. The populist appeal has become silly. The trouble is that some supposedly serious people are unironically aroused by it all. Then again, maybe it’s just for the LOLs? Grown men reliving the great Tumblr vs 4chan war, now those veterans find themselves on X and TikTok waging battle against the evil globalists or lizards or satanists or deep state. The forces of Zuck, Obama and Biden. Only one man can save them, Donald Trump.

When Shia Lebouf did his anti-Trump art piece, “he will not divide us!” little would he know that in time, Trump would become unifying. The oppositionis running the F grade team, not even really trying to win and in his surviving an assassin’s bullet Trump has become ubericonic. The machismo strong man that is the hall mark of all historical moments usually leading to government peaks, is usually thanks to prior failings and incompetence, thus ascending into a figurehead moment.

The obsession with Trump has been quite curious since early on, in 2015 Hilary Clinton pushed for him during the Republican primaries. He was just not taken seriously by the establishment aristocracy of government. She and her experts considered him the beatable one in the bunch. But a gap toothed Leon Spinks managed to beat Ali, and Trump was a better contender than even an Olympic gold medallist in that race plus Clinton is not Ali. When Trump won, her supporters squealed loud enough to wake a Snyder-cut mother box. His supporters cheered, and well we know what happened. Promises dwindled into a period of business as usual.

At least he didn’t start any NEW wars,” we were told. A high water mark of US liberal democracy and the revelation at just how comfortable the American public is with their governments foreign policy and imperial ambitions to wage war. But alas, he lost to Joe Sniffer Biden. Even with the laptop and revelations of corruption, debauchery of him and his son, conspiracy theories and general stench of a candidate who looked soiled. Trump lost, however controversial it may be. Gore vs Bush as a conspiracy of election fraud kept Michael Moore well fed as much as those of today indulge in the decadence of sweet sweet government corruption of the past presidential switch.

This time it will be better. The charges pressed against Trump seem pretty lame. Given the whole corrupt nature of most upper tier politicians. I guess all of them are just too big to fail. Whether deleting emails, receiving money from conflicting sources, taking home documents whatever none of that is really as bad as blowing up children. But, Bill Clinton survived Waco and the numerous tomahawk missile strikes and embargoes that took thousands of lives, it was a blowjob from an intern that seemed to upset the government fetishists the most. Just as Watergate was the blotch against Nixon not blowing to pieces millions of South East Asians.

There is even talk of Biden’s presidency being a form of ‘elder abuse.’ As though his Weekend at Bernies treatment means we should feel sorry for the man. He is scum. Has always been. For those with goldfish brains, look at his history and peel back the withered and decayed facade of a man who has profited from the theft of taxation and embraced government growth to the detriment of millions. Wasn’t he a segregationist…? That does not make Donald Trump a saint, eminent domain real estate makes some people very wealthy.

The concern is not so much who the president is, rather the rallying of a lot of people to this father figure. Online a lot of men are fetishising him. A feminist once told me that men have a childish obsession with hierarchies, many are drawn to careers and sports where they need a fixed leadership. They worship the military chain of command, though most are aware the higher it climbs the more political and less capable individuals tend to be. That is true for much of life. Though as she put it, men still see themselves as kings, despite clamouring for these figures who that want to be their king. Whether she is right or wrong is not for me, I am just making this known as I watch mostly men share gleefully in a ritual of worship of a man who is certainly enigmatic and revels in the celebrity. But why must people lust such a man to lead them?

Even many who claim to despise the government or the corporate world for that matter, they seem drawn to it. They rationalise that either the right management or leader will bring change, or perhaps they just lack imagination or even just like the security of the familiar. The status quo is understood…devil you know and all that. And for those who profess faith in a spiritual deity, the idol worship of a man whose almost an NFT and trademark, is a revelation. Is the god that many claim guides them really more powerful than nation and government? Or is this golden idol sent by the heavens to lead them, as a saviour of sorts?Divine rule of memes and all that.

Do so many just have daddy issues? Do they need a Christian Grey in their lives? A wealthy dominant to tell them what to do, to take care of them through promises of welfare and subsidies. To be controlled in every aspect of their lives, to be shielded by other potential dominants that may come by. And every so often they need to be spanked and sodomised…well you get the rest of the metaphor. Is that really it? Or is it just a ritual that is so traditional and regimented that it’s normal to simply accept and adore it.

Is it abnormal to raise a hand and ask, “what does God need with a starship?” Most of you likely don’t value the greatness of the Shatner period Star Trek films but there was a healthy level of dissent found within. When a “god” requested a star ship be taken to him, his followers, those brainwashed and the willing prophet never once questioned. It was Kirk who alone asked that question and defied the powerful. Are we in that world, where absurdity and power itself is a self fulfilling cycle. The supposed powerless, continue to bring star ships and feed the power of the state and leaders by obeying and indulging in their whims. And, worshipping politicians them in strange and unusual ways. Wanna feel sick, check out how media types and especially lady journalists humped the leg of Victorian premiere Dan Andrews, over his “covid leadership.” Not even the flu would make you that sick as to witness such a thing.

They are all just human beings. The experts, the masters, the mercenaries who serve them are not omnipotent. We witnessed the failure of security, where Trump survived by chance of timing. You want that monopoly to protect your family? And the theorists who don’t believe the lone gun man story, for them it means they fucked up the assassination too. They can’t even do wars well, just kill, die and spend. But alas all of us in the world will watch the next most important election. But we know Trump has basically won. A faded Ali had a better chance versus a prime Holmes but, this is not a prize fight merely another ritual of government so it’s more than just a contest of the mobs favourite ghoul, so stuff can happen too. Trump is funny and Liberal tears….are you not entertained?

It would be entertaining if it wasn’t a coercive monopoly but for some reason most just love government so much. The absurdity is mandatory. And, even though for most of us it’s in another country we suffer the consequences. Australia for example is but a vassal of empire. Alex Jones is right, it’s turned the frogs ghey, Pepe included. But in the end daddy Trump won’t cuddle you either.

July, 2024

Podcasts

scotthortonshow logosq

coi banner sq2@0.5x

liberty weekly thumbnail

Don't Tread on Anyone Logo

313x0w (1)

313x0w (1)

Pin It on Pinterest