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Reporting UFO Sightings to the U.S. Navy Just Got Easier

April 25, 2019 in History

By Becky Little

Back in the 1950s, if you saw an unidentified flying object, you could fill out one of the U.S. Air Force’s in May 2019.)

The short-lived Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was able to run as long as it did because it had support from prominent members of Congress like Senator Harry Reid. Similarly, the Navy’s recent UAP updates may have been a response to Congressional interests in tracking them.

“In response to requests for information from Congressional members and staff, Navy officials have provided a series of briefings by senior Naval Intelligence officials as well as aviators who reported hazards to aviation safety,” the Navy said in its statement to POLITICO. It did not, however, identify which members of Congress had requested the briefings.

READ MORE: The 5 Most Credible Modern UFO Sightings

…read more

Source: HISTORY

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The Jones Act Is Protecting U.S. Shipyards to Death

April 25, 2019 in Economics

By Colin Grabow

Colin Grabow


Fresh reports
have emerged that the Philly Shipyard, the
recipient of multiple government
bailouts and largesse
, is once again on the brink of shutting
down. The shipyard’s looming failure isn’t just an indictment of
the corporate welfare that has been shoveled in its direction by
politicians, but also a little-known, nearly 100-year-old law
called the Jones Act.

Passed in 1920, the Jones Act mandates that vessels transporting
goods between two points in the United States meet four conditions:
they must be U.S.-registered, at least 75 percent U.S.-owned, at
least 75 percent U.S.-crewed, and U.S.-built. The logic behind the
law was that restrictions on foreign competition would, among other
things, encourage the development of a strong U.S. shipbuilding
sector.

It hasn’t worked out that way.

Rather than prospering, U.S. shipyards have been in a decline
for decades, and there are only a mere handful that build
oceangoing commercial ships. That may seem a headscratcher to some
given the Jones Act’s U.S.-build requirement, but it makes more
sense when one considers that these ships cost up to
five times more
than equivalent vessels built in foreign
shipyards.

The most recent vessel christened at the Philly Shipyard, the
Kaimana Hila, is a case in point. Built for transporting goods from
the West Coast to Hawaii, the ship offers a cargo capacity of 3,600
TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) for the whopping price
tag of
$209 million
. For comparison, the world’s largest container
ship, the 21,413 TEU capacity OOCL Hong Kong, was built in South
Korea for
$158 million.
That’s over six times the cargo capacity at a $51
million discount.

Faced with such high
prices shipping companies have delayed replacing their vessels and
instead keep them years — and sometimes even decades —
past their typical useful life.

Amazingly, despite the Kaimana Hila’s sky-high price the Philly
Shipyard is actually said to have
lost money
on the deal to build the ship.

Faced with such high prices shipping companies have delayed
replacing their vessels and instead keep them years — and
sometimes even decades — past their typical useful life.
Expensive ships make for expensive shipping, contributing to a
domestic
decline
in this form of transport in recent decades despite a
growing economy. Indeed, Jones Act shipping can be so expensive
that ranchers in Hawaii sometimes opt to place their cattle on
airplanes
for transport to the West Coast instead of ships.

Declining demand, meanwhile, has made it a struggle for U.S.
shipbuilders such as the Philly Shipyard to
achieve scale
or invest in the technology needed to bring their
costs down. They’re caught in a vicious cycle …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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President Trump: Just Another Jailer of the Cuban People

April 25, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Nowhere has the president’s foreign policy been a bigger
bust than in his promiscuous imposition of economic sanctions. So
far, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela have refused to
surrender despite the Trump administration’s “maximum
pressure” policy. That hasn’t stopped Trump from
exhibiting one of the classic signs of insanity: doing the same
thing over and over and expecting different results.

Trump’s hope was for a quick victory in Venezuela. When
that country’s military refused to switch sides and make the
National Assembly’s Juan Guaido president, as the
administration had expected, Washington had no answer. Steadily
increasing economic restrictions only further impoverished the
desperate population. And thankfully, Trump has so far preferred
bombast and bluster to military action.

The administration searched desperately for someone to blame.
They settled ultimately on Cuba, which is aiding Nicolás
Maduro’s government in Venezuela, and Barack Obama, who
relaxed the half-century economic embargo against the Cubans.
National Security Advisor John Bolton declared: “The Obama
administration’s misguided Cuba policy provided the Cuban
regime with the necessary political cover to expand its malign
influence and ideological imperialism across the region.”

By cracking down with
more sanctions, he’s enabling Fidel Castro’s heirs.

This is nonsense, of course. The Cuban and Venezuelan
governments have been closely linked since 2002, during the
Bush administration
. Havana’s support for Venezuela had
nothing to do with Barack Obama. Cuba’s behavior is nasty,
but not nearly so bad as what Washington tolerates from its allies,
such as slaughtering thousands of civilians, as Saudi Arabia has
done in Yemen.

In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries took power.
Although many Cuban Americans eagerly hoped for Fidel’s
ouster, the regime survived an economic contraction of more than a
third, known as the “Special Period.” So the
Cuban-American community insisted on new and tougher sanctions,
which only hurt the Cuban people more. After six decades, U.S.
policy had failed to overthrow the Castro regime, yield democracy,
improve human rights, or even win compensation for nationalized
property.

Of course, Washington’s sanctions also hurt the Cuban
economy. But that country’s poverty is primarily
Havana’s fault. If socialism worked, why would the island
need access to capitalist economies to succeed? Anyway, there is
plenty of European money in Cuba. The embargo did, however, allow
the communist government to blame the United States for its own
economic mismanagement.

Nevertheless, even officials in Havana recognize that their
state-controlled economy is a disaster. Cuba continues to lose
ground to the rest of Latin America. Food shortages are rife; hard
currency from relatives abroad is necessary to keep many families
afloat. Economic opportunity is absent. A retired diplomat told me
that three of his four grandchildren now live abroad, an …read more

Source: OP-EDS