Monday Miscellany, 6/24/24

Monday Miscellany, 6/24/24 June 24, 2024

U.S. Navy is engaged in its most intense combat since World War II. Biden kills the petrodollar, along with American economic dominance. And a state buys ads against pro-life clinics.

U.S. Navy Is Engaged in Its Most Intense Combat Since World War II

Did you realize that the American navy is engaged in what is being described as “its most intense combat since World War II“?

Carrier Strike Force 2–consisting of the Dwight Eisenhower aircraft carrier, three cruisers, and four destroyers–is in the Red Sea fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who are supporting Hamas by attacking commercial and naval vessels in a major trade route.  From their bases in Yemen, the Houthis are launching waves of missiles and drones, while our navy is trying to shoot them down.

The attacks are relentless, night and day.  Carrier aircraft and ship-based antimissile systems have been shooting down most of the incoming missiles, but the pressure is constant and the American sailors and airmen are exhausted.  An Associated Press story quotes some of them:

“I don’t think people really understand just kind of how deadly serious it is what we’re doing and how under threat the ships continue to be,” Cmdr. Eric Blomberg with the USS Laboon told the AP on a visit to his warship on the Red Sea.

“We only have to get it wrong once,” he said. “The Houthis just have to get one through.”. . .

“It is every single day, every single watch, and some of our ships have been out here for seven-plus months doing that,” said Capt. David Wroe, the commodore overseeing the guided missile destroyers.

They have been going through this for seven months!  The British navy is also patrolling with the Americans.

In one engagement, F-18s from the carrier and fire from the ships shot down 18 explosive-laden drones, two anti-ship cruise missiles, and one ballistic missile.  But the Houthis have sunk two commercial cargo ships and have shut down traffic in the Red Sea by 50%.

The Navy has bombed and fired missiles at the Houthis, who have shot down a number of our Reaper drones.  But reportedly the Biden administration is limiting the response.  I’ll quote the Associated Press story:

Officers acknowledge some grumbling among their crew, wondering why the Navy doesn’t strike harder against the Houthis. The White House hasn’t discussed the Houthi campaign at the same level as negotiations over the Israel-Hamas war.

There are several likely reasons. The U.S. has been indirectly trying to lower tensions with Iran, particularly after Tehran launched a massive drone-and-missile attack on Israel and now enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

Trying to lower tensions with Iran, which is supplying and providing logistical support for the missiles being fired at our sailors?  In hopes that this will make them stop their development of nuclear weapons?  I don’t understand.

Biden Kills the Petrodollar, Along with American Economic Dominance

Fifty years ago, the Saudis made an agreement with the U.S. to use the dollar as the medium of exchange for the global oil industry.  All nations used the “petrodollar” to buy and sell oil, cementing America’s economic dominance.

But this month, due to the Biden administration’s antagonism to the oil industry, a mismanaged diplomatic dispute with the Saudis (the world’s second biggest oil producer after the U.S.), and global worry about America’s national debt, the Saudis announced that they will now drop the petrodollar, requiring payment in their own currency, the riyal.  Whereupon the world’s biggest oil importers, China and India announced that they would begin converting their currency to riyals instead of dollars.

Daniel Turner comments:

Among all the news stories that matter, few rank higher than this. It’s bigger than President Trump and Hunter Biden’s convictions, bigger than jobs reports and inflation numbers, and perhaps even bigger than the southern border crisis. The end of the petrodollar is the end of the United States as the world’s lone superpower.

The petrodollar led to the dollar becoming the world’s reserve currency, used to trade other commodities and stabilizing the global economy.  Turner suspects that this role will eventually be assumed by the Chinese yuan.

Jessica Marie Baumgartner says that another factor in the de-dollarizing of the global economy has been the proliferation of America’s sanctions against Russia and other countries, forcing the large countries in the “BRICS” alliance–Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa –to use their own currencies instead of the dollar in trading with each other.

A State Buys Ads against Pro-Life Clinics

Massachusetts has launched a million-dollar ad campaign, funded by taxpayers, to discourage women from going to pro-life clinics.

The state is buying time on social media, radio, and billboards in an effort to persuade women to go to abortion clinics instead.  The Christian Post quotes the governor:

“In Massachusetts, we are committed to protecting and expanding access to safe and legal abortion,” Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement.

“That includes protecting patients from the deceptive and dangerous tactics that anti-abortion centers often use to stop people from accessing comprehensive reproductive services,” she continued. “This campaign is an important way to provide accurate information so residents can make informed decisions about reproductive care that are right for them.”

The ads go on to give contact information for abortion providers.

Abortions are legal in Massachusetts, which has extremely permissive laws in its favor.  In line with the “pro-choice” ideology, women can make the “decisions about reproductive care that are right for them.”

So why is the state weighing in to influence that decision?  It isn’t enough to let women choose one way or the other.  Rather, the state is spending taxpayer money–including presumably a share paid by taxpayers for whom abortion is abhorrent–to prevent them from accessing pro-life efforts to help them should they choose to keep the baby and to point them to clinics that will profit from killing the baby.

What interest does the state have in not only legalizing abortion but promoting it?  If it’s “the woman’s choice,” why is the state trying to influence that choice?  If the goal is helping women make “informed decisions,” why isn’t pro-life information–which a woman is free to accept or not–permitted?

 

 

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