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Friday, March 7, 2014

Sanctions on Russia? Just "hit 'em where they ain't"

Non-US readers please grin and bear it a bit; this post will have a baseball reference. It will pass quickly, I promise. The wise advice from the baseball player quoted, however, also might be valid for cricket. Let me know. To clarify: I know barely more than nothing about baseball, and even less about cricket. Many years ago, some friends at the British High Commission in Pakistan tried to teach me how to play cricket, but soon gave up; I was terrified of the bowler, what we would call the pitcher, who did an over-the-top scary wind-up and then fired a ball very fast and directly at me. The whole thing proved unnerving. No doubt that my tail-between-the-legs reaction to cricket probably disqualifies me under Aussie immigration rules from ever being allowed to visit Australia--number one on my bucket list.

William H. "Wee Willie" Keeler (1872-1923) was one of baseball's great players, and something of a philosopher whose advice could be useful when dealing with the Putin-Lavrov drive to make Russia number one with a bullet. Keeler ended his career in 1910, with one of the highest overall batting averages in baseball history (.341) and, I believe, still the highest single season average, .385 for the 1898 baseball season. When asked by a reporter how he amassed such a record of hits, he famously said, "Keep your eye clear, and hit 'em where they ain't." In other words, put the ball where the fielders are not. This advice transcends sport; it is applicable for developing business, military, and diplomatic strategies. It also happens to provide a useful framework for dealing with Putin's Russia.

Our embarrassment of a President came on the tube today--when isn't he?-- trying to sound and act presidential--no Oscar. He presented the typical mishmash, grab-bag of sanctions that get developed by bleary-eyed bureaucrats in long inter-agency meetings over cold coffee and stale cookies late at night. I have been in countless get-togethers of the sort that produce these things. The result is inevitably a camel, you know, a horse designed by a committee. The sanctions are supposed to be targeted, smart, appropriate--come up with your own tired cliche--and are meant to show a steely resolve, but a flexible steely resolve, that inflicts pain without being too painful, and doesn't hurt anybody too much and who is too important and who might get angry and do something nasty back at us. In other words, it's nonsense that often does less than nothing, and many times makes you look weak and silly in the eyes of your opponent. Might as well quietly sacrifice a goat or two to Moloch and pray that he eat you last. His eye definitely was not clear, and he didn't hit "them" anywhere.

Forget sanctions. I previously wrote what we need to do in the long-run is to avoid creating the environment that allows situations such as the one we now see in Ukraine from arising. Instead of announcing sanctions that won't work, we should do something for ourselves that will immunize us from the lawless behavior of petty tyrants.

Frack. Yes, frack.

Get US oil and gas production going full scale. The US government should announce an end to restrictions on fracking on federal lands, and an end to the absurd restrictions on maritime drilling.  We should also announce our intention to become Europe's biggest supplier of natural gas. Just the announcement will drop the price of oil and gas and shave tens of billions off the oil- and gas-dependent Russian economy and hit the Russian government budget. It will, as I have written repeatedly, kick off a new wave of prosperity in the USA.


As long as we continue with self-destructive policies such as limiting our ability to achieve energy independence, we will limit our ability to respond to actions of petty tyrants.

"Hit' em where they ain't."

38 comments:

  1. Your premise is true and it will not occur; such is life in this our Great Republic in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Such a response is beyond the ken of all who serve The One. Second, one did not sacrifice goats to Moloch, one sacrificed children to the idol, hence the biblical abhorrence of this deity and all the practices associated with its worship. Third, Nap Lajoie holds the highest single season batting average: .426, which he did in 1901 while playing for the Philadelphia Athletics. Yes, I am being pedantic. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arg! I think Keeler holds it for anybody with more than 1000 at bats . . . I think.

      Yes, I downgraded the Moloch sacrifice to show that I have moved on with the times, as presumably goats are more acceptable as a sacrifice than children, except for maybe PETA..

      Delete
    2. By Jove, you've got it!

      Let's sacrifice PETA to Moloch.

      ;)

      Delete
    3. Well, seems how I believe that Jesus Christ ended the need for sacrifices once and for all back during Passover around 29 B.C., I'd just lock up the PETA types for disturbing the peace.

      However, someone of a different religion from mine once told me that a young activist tastes a little like dog, a little like pig, and a lot like sheep [sarc on this para.]

      Delete
  2. The greens hold too much power within the Democrat party for that to happen. Dr. Patrick Moore laid it all bare to see in recent congressional testimony. Not that it got any air time outside of CSPAN and a couple right side blogs. To feature that testimony on the mainstream media would be like running a Huguenot show on Vatican television.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Hit' em where they ain't."?
    Coal.
    Which way does the wind blow?

    CaptDMO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Captain,

      You're not supposed to tell anyone your pin number.

      Delete
    2. Hmmm, maybe Captain's handle is best read like it was written and read like Hebrew?

      Delete
  4. Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, has much the same suggestion at The Telegraph:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10680902/America-has-a-new-weapon-to-use-against-Russia-the-E-Bomb.html

    He calls it 'the American E-bomb!

    ReplyDelete
  5. While your prescription is undoubtedly correct, it would require hard work (and not least alienation of his watermelon supporters), and then again the pipelines, oh the humanity -pipelines!

    The halfrican constitutional lecturer abhors hard work, notice how he has not even lifted his phone or his pen as he had threatened.The pansified president is now nothing more than a shill for the black entertainment sector or echoing vacuous talking points put together by his advisers.

    The halfrican wants only that you show him R_S_P_E_C_T, for the wonderful results of his trillion-dollar-a-year transfers to the feckless, destruction of the healthcare sector and harassment of taxpayers.

    All hail Mugabe v2.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. paul_vincent_zecchinoMarch 8, 2014 at 6:54 AM

      Though the metro-Marxist media won't mention it, it's entirely understandable that our dear leader cannot spell 'respect'.

      Even Board Certified Pig-Ignorants who heard Aretha Franklin's hit song of the same title ca. summer '68 can spell the word because they were here in America to hear it.

      But our dear leader was not here to hear it, so how could he learn to spell it? He was in one them other 58 states, Indonesia, somethin' like that, learning to do things other than spell out the names of Soul Music hits.

      Whilst we young teens reveled in James Brown, Sam and Dave and received free spelling lessons from Ms. Franklin, it would be another two years before he would return to Hawaii to begin his mentoring at the feet of the great American Communist Party Member, pedophile, pornographer, and drunk/druggie, Frank Marshall Davis.

      Wonder how the exteemed Davis would spell the word?

      This entire business is just too vulgar to be believed, as Aunt Constance (Maggie Smith) said in "Gosford Park".

      For years when observing as a young man the fulfillment even then of Kruschev's 'we will bury you' promise, I took no solace from the Giddy who said, 'Oh, it can't happen here'.

      Oh, but History says it can happen anywhere. And it is. I hate it when I'm right.

      Concur: All hail Mugabe v2.

      Delete
    2. I'd be willing to swear that Khrushchev was miss-quoted when he promised to bury us. What he really meant was "We will Barry you."

      Delete
    3. Celia....I recognize that remark!

      Delete
  6. You lost Obama at "do something for ourselves".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Ms. Ner,

      Obama has no objection to jobs per se, though there is no sacrifice of his program he'd be willing to make for them.

      But petroleum jobs tend to be for burly men--not Democratic voters. And more energy--of any kind--offends the greens. And it tends to make you free, which he hates. And America secure--ditto.

      All of this may even be inchoate and unarticulated--he may not himself understand his impulses. Why should he care? He knows he's good.

      Delete
  7. Diplomad? Fellow Readers?

    http://annaraccoon.com/2014/03/06/uk-raine-terrain/

    Arkie

    ReplyDelete
  8. On the contrary Bob you'd be most welcome in Australia with your wit & wisdom. To stand up to a spell of fast bowling takes nerves of steel which is why only the best get to play at Test level. The odious Piers Morgan recently challenged Brett Lee to bowl an over (6 balls) at him. Brett Lee, though retired is still blindingly fast and accurate so the results were not surprising. The bumptious Morgan was belted from one corner to the other, knocked off his feet at least twice. It was filmed for Ch9's 'The Cricket Show' and several million viewers had a bloody good laugh. We Aussies (and Brits, Kiwis, Indians and others) all know what goes on at the wicket and want no part of it thanks, we'll watch it at the ground or on tv, cold beer in hand. Much safer that way. I notice your MLB batters all wear helmets now for probably the same reason - too many beanballs.

    ReplyDelete
  9. G'day Dip,

    PF is right. Despite your lack of understanding of "God's Other Game" [Rugby Union being THE game played in heaven] you would be most welcome here in Oz. Most of us have a soft spot for our American Cousins - you know you have been accepted when someone offers to buy you a beer and then "insults" you with a broad grin on their face. Baffles quite a few visitors. As PF says standing at the business end of a seriously fast bowler is not for the faint of heart. Extreme courage of extreme stupidity is a definite requirement.

    "However, someone of a different religion from mine once told me that a young activist tastes a little like dog, a little like pig, and a lot like sheep".

    Kepha some years ago we had two young Papuan Officers here in Oz doing some training. They were from one of the island tribes off the PNG coast, black as the Ace of Spades, top soldiers, and only half a generation from being cannibals. They assured us that their name for a tasty human, "long pig", was pretty accurate.

    I'm sure a "young activist" could find his/her way on to the menu. Slowly roasted with a side dish of taro.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes the Pacific Islands Regiment, a mighty unit of handpicked warriors. I had the misfortune once of playing them at rugby on the fields at Lavarack Barracks. Horrifying. Their backs were built like forwards and their forwards could run like backs. It was basically all over by half time and I am still sure to this day that our meagre score in the second half was only because they felt they were embarassing their hosts, good manners being paramount from those from that part of the world.

      Delete
    2. I once played against a Tongan team and had a similar experience.
      Won the game on points , lost on sheer toughness.
      Took a week before I could walk without pain.
      Really nice guys , though.
      Funny thing during the Haka ...only non Afrikaner player on a very Afrikaner university team and the captain turns to me and says:
      "Rooinek (perjorative term for Englishman) I thinks they wants to mate wif you"
      We all collapsed laughing during the haka and had to apologise to the Tongans before we even played them - no wonder they beat the shit out of us.

      Delete
  10. Bollocks - environmentalists would be stringy and bitter from all that lactoveganism and difficult to digest due to their astringent smugness. On the bright side , you could serve them with a watermelon garnish. I think even the PNG's would baulk at an unsavoury , unpalatable PETA silverside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nonny if we could find a stray "environmentalist" I'm sure the Papuans would be willing to see if they can get them to a palatable state. Like I said these blokes were only HALF a generation from being cannibals.

      I'm still in touch with one of them so it shouldn't be too difficult to arrange.

      Delete
    2. I am in British Columbia - I could supply an entire tasting menu for the Papuans.

      Delete
  11. paul_vincent_zecchinoMarch 8, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    From forty years observation, commencing with the 70s 'oil shocks', isn't it pathetic and irksome that we're held hostage by trucculent morons who deny Americans the extraction and use of their own resources in order to fund and empower foreign hostiles?

    ReplyDelete
  12. It is beyond pathetic, energy self-sufficiency for North America is the easiest of tasks to be successful, Mexico,USA ans Canada have an endless supply and sensible nuclear development could extend that supply for centuries.

    So what is preventing us?-in a word watermelons in high places. The EPA and Dof Energy need to be trimmed radically something like 80%, they are obstructors only. Thieir stupid policies result in the US Navy paying 700%+ for bio-diesel when regular diesel would do the job better with negligable problems to anybody.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/navy-to-run-on-26-per-gallon-bio-diesel

    Then get the IRS to audit phony tax exempt foundations like the Tides foundation whose soul aim seems to be to block energy development, with the same zeal that they audit conservative advocates, even little old Canada can do that!

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2014/02/11/terence-corcoran-worries-about-ottawa-witch-hunt-on-green-charities-proves-unfounded/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! I like watermelons--the fruit kind, that is; not the Green covering Red political ones. But there was one kind I had in Taiwan that came in season just as the hottest weather was going on. It was just about the best dessert you could find for that time of year. It had a yellow flesh and few seeds, was about as sweet as honey, and a few chunks of it could cool you off like so many glasses of ice water followed by a good shower. I told my wife (a local who introduced it to me) that it would henceforth be called "Taiwanese summer cake" in our house.

      Delete
    2. The readership here is astute enough to distinguish the difference.

      The communist (or progressive as they prefer these days) green coats fool very few.

      The administration with it's collectivist sympathies propping up the auto unions and giving them waivers for Obamacare, trying and spectacularly failing to start-up a green energy industry-how many failures there? Windmills, electric cars, battery plants, solar panel plants, bio-diesel plants, hydrogen-highways-trillions of dollars wasted, every last one a failure.

      The taxpayers money squandered to enrich the well-connected who donate to the Democrats. The five-year plan has ended like all previous five-year plans, impoverishment and unemployment. And still you are energy-reliant on the likes of Venezuela, quite the achievement.

      Heck of a job halfrican princess.

      Delete
  13. To steal from yet another great post dead-ball era philosopher:
    "Look at that guy, he doesn't drink, smoke, or stay out late chasing wild women and he still only bats .205."
    James the Lesser

    ReplyDelete
  14. It was Casey Stengel commenting to a sports reporter, while watching Bobby Richardson in the batting cage.
    James the Lesser

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James the lessor? Vs The Royal James?

      Delete
  15. Whitewall,
    James the lessor? No, I'm not renting anything, but another James is commenting and is alas somewhat smarter. So for clarity it's "the Lesser".

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is the Japanese who need our LNG. It costs a producer about $6/MMBTU to put it on a tanker plus $2 to ship across the Pacific They pay $15/MMBTU to unload it in Tokyo Bay.

    The self-inflicted shutdown of Japan's nukes means they must buy huge quantities of LNG from the only available supplier - Russia's Sakhalin Island field. It is strangling their economy.

    You can be sure that the FSB is handing out bribes and secret grants to those who oppose nuclear restart.

    As to Eastern Europe, they missed their chance to buy non-Russian reactors:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/sticking_it_to_gazprom.html

    ReplyDelete
  17. Entirely as an aside, what with all the mentions of cricket and rugby, will no one take notice of the great game of Footy? Oz Rules rules! Magpies! Magpies! Magpies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Takes away all shiney things.
      Gimme gimme!
      MINE MINE!
      leaperman

      Delete
  18. Followed the next day by signing agreements with Poland, Czec/Slovakia, Greece, Sweden, Canada, Japan, and S.Korea, with the immediate construction of Land Based ABM sites.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That'd be nice, but I would think the Poles and Czechs would not want to fall into the "fool me twice" category and end up with the rug pulled out from under them by Barry-O yet again in some sort of re-reset.

      Delete
    2. Have you read the Constitution of Poland? We should take notes.
      leaperman

      Delete
  19. The stupid only think they will inherit the earth. What they inherit is dinner. Themselves.

    http://madgeniusclub.com/

    leaperman

    ReplyDelete