250 years ago in America

Just six short years from now, on July 4, 2026, we’ll celebrate our 250th birthday as a free country.  I’ll be 80 then, and it will be a very special day for me.  I’ve read countless books on colonial and pre-revolutionary America, and all the years leading up to the revolution are full of wonderful stories..

250 years back from today, in the spring of 1770, the seeds of our liberty were being sown in Boston.  The British were taxing us, for the first time, and we didn’t like it at all.  The free men of New England had the highest standard of living anywhere in the world, and the lowest taxes.  As far as they were concerned, they had created their own prosperity, they had done it without any help from any government, and if they were going to be taxed like the British they wanted to be represented in parliament.  These men and women were self-reliant.  They controlled their own local governments, and they were not going to submit to second class citizenship.

The British responded to this tax resistance with force, and in 1770 two regiments of redcoats were stationed in Boston to put down any unrest.  The locals and the soldiers hated each other, and one night in March hostilities got out of hand, and seven Americans were shot and killed.

Paul Revere made a famous engraving of that Boston Massacre, and copies circulated throughout the colonies, and helped fire the resentments which evolved, over the next five years, into the American Revolution.

250 years ago today, in America.

No time to swap horses

The United States will power its way out of the mess the coronavirus has caused.  The economic crisis will last far longer than the health crisis, and its impact will be far more dramatic.  Things have changed in this country.  Permanently, and in ways we can only dimly foresee.  God help us all.

The rest of the world, by and large, is in deep trouble, and recovery, if it comes at all, will come only after years of turmoil and upheaval.  See the suddenly timely “Disunited Nations” by Peter Zeihan.  The world is about to become dog eat dog, every nation for itself, and only the strong will survive.  All over the globe, from China to Russia to the EU to the developing world, to the Middle East, economic disruption is coming, resource wars are looming, and international relations will not be for the faint of heart.

President Trump has dealt with foreign leaders for over three years, and has demonstrated a firm grasp and a clear vision. He’s the man for this job, as any fair minded American understands.

And Sleepy Joe?  Please.

The essential deplorables.

If you’re working outside your home, chances are you’re essential.  It varies state to state, but much of blue collar America is essential, from farmers to pickers to food processors to truckers, and on and on.

Hollywood, teachers, lawyers and environmentalists are not essential, along with a long list of occupations favored by self-styled elites.  We can get along without them, and that’s what we will find ways to do.

The wuvirus could cause profound and lasting socioeconomic change.  Old elites may be overthrown, and some sort of new social order will emerge.

In a way, it’s an exciting time to see unfold before you, in ways we can’t imagine.

Is Trump playing the Russians?

(In today’s American Thinker)

With President Trump, we’ve learned not to take him literally.  He says things for his own reasons, and his words are an uncertain guide to his actions.  This is one aspect of his art of the deal: keep your opponent guessing.

Does he really want the Saudis and the Russians to cut a deal on oil, and drive the price back up?  Or would he prefer to keep the price war going, severely punishing the Russians?  He can easily protect the American oil industry with a tariff, which he discussed with the oil executives on Friday, and which his most trusted oil adviser, Harold Hamm, is pushing.

In the big geopolitical picture, American energy dominance is a powerful tool for advancing American interests.  We have a dominant economy, a dominant culture, and a dominant military.  Add energy dominance, and it’s America First across the board.  A long price war outside our borders will crush marginal producers around the world, and it would hurt the Russians severely.  When the dust settles, American shale can continue its ascendance to domination in world markets.

The OPEC meeting on Monday, which caused the oil price to jump, has been postponed.  The Russians said some mean things about the Saudis, and that was all it took. Look for the Saudis to slow walk this process, while they claim to want a deal. They are in the catbird’s seat, and they have been inflicting pain on other producers for only a month.  They’re just getting started.  If they back down now, they lose face.

Muhammad bin Salman has been in power only since 2017, but in that short time he has seized unchallenged power within the Saudi royal family.  He has arrested hundreds of them, and made some very powerful enemies.  Those excluded from his cirlce, and from power, thirst for vengenace.  If he shows weakness in his handling of this price war, it can increase his vulnerability.  He can’t afford to let that happen.  Losers in Saudi royal intrigues can pay with their life.

He has every incentive to continue this war.  Especially if President Trump is winking at him in encouragement.



A game of cutthroat

The Clint Eastwood movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” ended in a three way shoot out, a game of cutthroat to the death.  Trump, Muhammad bin Salman, and Putin are playing their own version right now, over oil.  They are the three big dogs in the world oil industry, each fiercely protective of their country’s interest.  Each determined to be the winner, and the others the losers.

It’s a complicated game.  Deception is the key.  Make both of your opponents believe you are their friend, while trying to take advantage of both of them.  There is no room for friendship in this game, only stark national self interest.

Putin is playing the weakest hand, and an unstated reality is that the Saudis and the Americans have worked together strategically for 70 years.  They would prefer to maintain that relationship.

So they have to figure out a way to screw the Russians.  The easy way is for Trump to put a tariff on all oil, except from Alberta.  That leaves the Saudis and the Russians to fight it out between them.

Putin loses that war, and our number two geopolitical foe has his head handed to him.  Marginal oil producers around the world are driven out of business, and our shale industry, healthy and intact, proceeds to provide the USA with energy dominance.

All the President needs to do is impose the tariff.