Firstly a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to all my VT colleagues and readers! Your President is right. The impeachment is the biggest witch hunt since Salem, based if anything on even less evidence. The Democrats have assumed the role of Thomas Newton, prosecutor at the Salem witchcraft trials and a complete religious nutter. If anything Newton was more balanced than TIPWNOI. I’m confident that the Senate will chuck this nonsense, assuming SCOTUS doesn’t do it first.
The entire process has been political from beginning to end. TIPWNOI may have been smirking when she banged her gavel, but the Democrat-controled House was always going to impeach, whatever the charge. In Democrats’ eyes President Trump’s crime is to have beaten them in 2016.
It is far from clear that the Articles of Impeachment actually engage the US Constitution and the Supremes may yet intervene. Whilst it is clear that the tribunal of fact in the impeachment process is the Senate Congress ultimately acts under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The chances of SCOTUS intervention have increased markedly since TIPWNOI’s hare-brained plan to delay sending the Articles to the Senate, ostensibly because she doesn’t know how the Senate are going to deal with them.
The reality of course is that the Dems know that their case is weak and they’re hoping some more evidence might turn up. The problem for them is that if the Senate turns up any more evidence it’s more likely to be their disadvantage than their advantage, particularly if it focuses on how and why Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of a dodgy Ukrainian natural gas company, if that’s not a tautology.
It’s not terribly surprising that the President’s numbers are heading northwards with this nonsense. The Democrats have shot themselves in the foot.
There’s an even bigger problem for the Democrats. This is the party which knowingly chose a non-citizen as their candidate in 2008 and 2012. I refer of course to Barack ‘von’ Obama, who was born a subject of His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1960 in what was then the Coastal Protectorate of Kenya.
A DNA test carried out (on my advice) in late 2007/early 2008 proved conclusively that Barack Obama was not related to his claimed mother. As I pointed out in Spyhunter it wouldn’t have made much difference even if the relationship was as claimed – Ann Dunham was simply too young to have transmitted US citizenship as an unmarried mother. Although she went through a form of ceremony of marriage with Obama Snr he was already married, in other words the American marriage was bigamous.
There’s never been a detailed refutation of my arguments in Spyhunter, indeed those pushing the argument that Obama was born in what is now Kenya were generally met with abuse rather than a rational response. The MSM have taken to ignoring the controversy, knowing they’re beaten, but the farcical attempt to impeach President Trump may revive it.
The President knows the truth – at one point his team of researchers on Honolulu were in touch with a mutual friend, who was reporting to the CIA. I believe the CIA are sitting on a photo taken by a university friend of Ann Dunham on Waikiki beach in or about July 1961, clearly showing that she was not pregnant. Normally we like ladies having a live birth in a few weeks to be pregnant. A 28 day gestation period is a bit short, even for a Democrat.
The Aussie Bushfires
My thoughts are with the people of Australia this Christmas, in particular those threatened by the serious bushfires in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It is highly likely that al Qaeda’s known policy of setting fires has been taken over by ISIS, who are active in Australia. I rather doubt that all these fires are accidental.
It’s time for ASIS to get off their bottoms, frankly. I know the agency is indirectly influenced by GO2 at Vauxhall Cross and the Correa/COREA Group in Frankfurt, via MI6 and CIA respectively, but they need to put Australian interests first. Hang the political consequences, which might include Australian withdrawal from the outdated Geneva Convention on Asylum should the fire-starters turn out to be bogus asylum-seekers.
Don’t expect too much from Scott Morrison. In a time of crisis he chose to fly off to Hawai’i for a holiday with his family. He’s entitled to a holiday, but not when his country’s burning. It goes with the territory, Scott.
Of course if there’s a party-room stoush as the result of this nonsense then the Aussie PM may find that he has more time to spend with his family. Some of us only get to spend weekends away at best!
The left of course are blaming climate change, ignoring the fact that Aussie summers have always been hot! I can remember enduring 40o heat in Melbourne in 1964, as a young lad. When I was stranded as a teenager in Alice Springs in 1975 (long story!) a friend, Bill, and I found ourselves hitch-hiking home in 50o heat. I was a teenager, he was a Vietnam vet, he very generously allowed me to take the one seat going in the small Japanese saloon which stopped and he ended up in hospital with dehydration. I haven’t forgotten, Bill, and will be buying you a tinny should we meet again.
He was a good bushman and taught me a few tricks about survival, by the way, such as how to chase, catch and cook a goanna, although thankfully the car stopped before we got to the eating part. I’m told goanna tastes a bit like chicken, but I doubt you’ll find them on the menu at the KFC in Alice Springs. (It’s on Todd Street.) Tough, capable and generous, Bill was a typical Aussie Vietnam vet.
Yes, Australia is experiencing a heat wave, but not for the first time. I am dubious about the ‘hottest ever’ claims, given the urban heat island effect and the way in which data is being manipulated to help make the case for global warming. In Iceland they’re digging snow from their rooves, never mind their driveways! That’s a lot of snow – thirty feet in places. In England we’ve had Christmas floods.
An old friend of mine, the late astronomer Sir Patrick Moore – a lovely chap – told me over 20 years ago that he thought we might be in for another Maunder Minimum, that is to say an extended period of low sunspot activity and global cooling, lasting perhaps 60 or 70 years. Most of the sun’s heat is generated away from the surface, which is comparatively cool, which is not to say that you wouldn’t need some suntan cream and aviator glasses if you decided to take a holiday there.
The Aussies seem to be fighting these fires mainly from the ground. Ground work is important but the best way to fight a bushfire, surely, is by dropping retardant from the air. I have long advocated Good Guy cooperation in fighting fires. The high fire risk seasons are different in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The older aircraft used to drop retardant are typically ex-airliners or military transports with a decent ferry range. Why don’t we cooperate more?
Until we see bushfires as a national security challenge, as well as a natural phenomenon, we won’t get political action. The job of PM is too big for Scott Morrison. Aussie Ambassador to Washington maybe? This is a complex world and not every ambitious polly has the brains to work it out. Unlike Good King Wenceslas they’re not likely to be singing carols about Morrison’s leadership nearly 1100 years after his death. (Wenceslas would have been a Leaver – his evil brother Boleslaus the Cruel doubtless would have been a Remainer.)
HRH Prince Philip
Special Christmas Greetings to that nice man with respect Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was airlifted to hospital on Friday. Hopefully he’ll be able join the Royal Family for Christmas at Sandringham House. It’s not been an easy year for HRH. As regular readers will recall some idiot in a Kia rammed his Land Rover back in January.
Thankfully the media have been less keen to recycle the ‘Prince Andrew/Virginia Roberts’ photo now that it’s been exposed as a fake. I recall a similar thing with the notorious Abu Ghraib fake – the MSM never acknowledged it as such, they just decided not to give it as much prominence.
Her Majesty the Queen has very generously subsidized the British taxpayer throughout Her reign, but surely that should now end. No, that’s not a misprint. Each year the Treasury trousers over £100 million of the Queen’s private income from the Crown Estate. Those funds are properly Her Majesty’s and should be restored to the Crown, where they belong.
With austerity ending the New Year would be a good time for the government to lay down a new Royal Yacht, somewhat larger than HMY Britannia, with a vehicle deck and a helicopter hangar. She should be a showcase for British naval architecture and design and have a dash speed of at least 30 knots, with suitable but discreet defences.
It might be an idea to end the nonsense of having the Queen wait for trains as well. Trains should wait for the Queen, not the other way round. The Royal Train could usefully do with some new carriages, suitably luxurious and protected.
The Sacoolas Affair
As predicted this is damaging Anglo-American relations. The CPS have now very properly charged Anne Sacoolas with dangerous driving causing death. No one could say that the charge is unsupported by the evidence.
The Foreign Office are claiming that she has diplomatic immunity, but that claim has yet to be fact-checked. Her husband was an intelligence officer, not a diplomat. The State Department reacted, somewhat churlishly, almost straight away and are insisting that Sacoolas will not be extradited.
It must always be remembered that Germany is totally opposed to either Britain or America conducting their own foreign policy. This partly explains the impeachment nonsense, because President Trump was showing signs of conducting his own foreign policy. In practice the Foreign Office and the State Department are little more than branch offices of the German Foreign Ministry. That‘s why in wartime the most that can be expected of either is neutrality.
The simplest way out of this mess is for Sacoolas to be extradited, but it’s not going to happen. The CIA’s large station at RAF Mildenhall is now at definite risk, along with existing immunity and extradition arrangements.
The new government wasted no time in bringing a revised Withdrawal Agreement Bill before the House of Commons. It passed with a big majority on Friday and the UK is on course to leave the Evil Empire on 31st January 2020. If the European Parliament vetoes the withdrawal agreement in January, which they might, then the EU doesn’t get the cash handout we’ve agreed and the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
If the EU Parliament approves the deal the transitional period will end on 31st December 2020. There is no practical possibility of either deadline being extended.
Desperate to subjugate Scotland to Germany the SNP are continuing to bang on about a second ‘independence’ referendum. They’re living in a dream world. They don’t know very much about the British Constitution. Their with respect astonishingly ignorant Westminster spokesperson, Ian Blackford MP, suggested to the Commons this week that the Scottish people were sovereign in Scotland. No. The Sovereign is sovereign in Scotland. That’s why we call Her the Sovereign.
My recent reading
This has included Echo of the Reich, a novel by Falklands War vet James Barrington, writing as James Becker. Written in 2012 it’s about a German nuclear threat to the 2012 London Olympics. Sound familiar?
It’s rather well-written and swiftly paced. Becker is well-informed and knows his subject. The Bad Guys are latter-day Nazis, not the DVD, but then Nazis are easier to sell. I won’t spoil the plot, but it’s a good read.
This week’s TV review: The Great Battleships of the
Second World War (Classic Media Group)
Given an airing this week on the Sony Movie Channel in the UK, this documentary is so seriously flawed that I wonder why poor Roy Ward, who does the voiceover, ever agreed to do it. The mistakes aren’t his of course!
I enjoyed acting as a consultant to Spooks (MI5 in the US) and would love to do some more TV and movie consulting, so this is a bit of an advert! One of the things I can do is post-production, matching stock footage to the commentary.
If you’re producing a one-off documentary about battleships in World War II why include a World War I destroyer, the Essex class carrier USS Benjamin Franklin, the launch of a Balao class (I think) submarine, a U-Boat and assorted merchant ships in the opening titles? The producers go on to make several howlers, asserting that the German High Sea Fleet’s battleships had larger caliber guns than those of the British Grand Fleet, indeed they go so far as to assert that the German ships had 15” guns at Jutland.
No German 15” gunned battleship saw combat in World War I. (I know the documentary is supposed to be about World War II, but it starts in World War 1). The Bayern class, with 15” (38cm) guns were commissioned in 1916, but too late for Jutland. The German battle fleet was mostly equipped with 11” or 12” weapons and was seriously outgunned at Jutland. The Royal Navy moved to the 13.5”/45 caliber Mark 1 gun with the Orion class in 1912, progressing to the 15”/42 caliber Mark 1 with the mighty Queen Elizabeth class in 1915.
It is true that German gunnery was better at Jutland but that’s largely because the German agent David Lloyd George arranged for the transfer of British fire control technology to Germany then as Chancellor of the Exchequer denied it to the Royal Navy. The transfer was so sensitive the fire control computers on the ships of the High Sea (not “Seas”) Fleet were removed before they sailed to Scapa Flow to surrender.
HMS Hood, somewhat mysteriously, is described as a “battleship”, when in reality she was a battlecruiser. The footage accompanying the description of the Battle of the River Plate show a variety of cruisers, none of them Ajax, Achilles or Exeter, and a couple of R class battleships, none of which ever went anywhere near the Plate.
Against this there is some fascinating, and rare, footage of the German bombardment of Danzig in September 1939, showing the ancient battleship KMS Schleswig-Holstein, a real veteran (Deutschland class, completed in 1908). There’s also some pleasing footage of the RAF bombing the Tirpitz, which I think includes the Tallboy bomb dropped by my late friend Squadron Leader Tony Iveson DFC, who was reckoned in Bomber Command to have been one of the pilots whose bomb hit the ship, which is still upside down. (A ‘wizard prang’ in RAF-speak.)
Once again a very Merry Christmas to one and all. This will be my last column for 2019 (don’t cheer too loudly!), but I’ll be back in the New Year.
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