I can just hear the shared printer in my building saying, “Don’t want to print! Invisible paper jam, error 15! Go away!”
Category Archives: stupid
Seems that the 2nd Civil Support Team of the Ohio National Guard is participating in an exercise where the perpetrators of a chemical attack are posited to be “Second Amendment supporters”. Media Trackers tells us the story.
Buckeye Firearms Association spokesman Chad Baus told Media Trackers that “it is a scary day indeed when law enforcement are being trained that Second Amendment advocates are the enemy,”
“The revelation of this information is appalling to me, and to all citizens of Ohio who are true conservatives and patriots, who don’t have guns for any other reason than that the Second Amendment gives them that right,” Portage County TEA Party Executive Director Tom Zawistowski said in a separate Media Trackers interview.
Not a new paradigm, of course. Law-abiding citizens who are political opponents of the Obama-Holder secular-progressive statist left have been considered enemies all along. Aside from the preposterous scenario, this is yet another of the Federal Government/Law Enforcement/Military leadership’s conditioning the American people to think of gun owners (and advocates of free speech, limited government, and due process) to be violent and unreasonable criminals, comprising threats that need to be dealt with in the harsh totalitarian measures so often favored by those far-left ideologues who despise our liberties so. Of note is that, when similar training involved positing an environmental advocacy group committing an act of terror or violence, the apologies were profuse, and immediate.
Before I get the same hackneyed arguments that “this is just a training exercise”, the same weak reasoning was used to explain away the following:
- The FBI report that white Veterans who believed in God, the Second Amendment, and limited government were a terrorist threat
- The change in language from “Islamic extremists” to “violent extremists” was mere semantics and not for the purpose of labeling political opposition in the same language as America’s enemies
- Increased militarization of police, including having them acquire heavy armored vehicles for use on American streets
- When Barack Obama referred to political opposition when he talked of “punishing our enemies”
- The Joint Staff College posited a training scenario with the enemy being Tea Party activists
There have been myriad other instances where elements of the government have acted against law-abiding citizens as if they were criminals and threats to security, while often ignoring those who are sworn enemies of this country.
“You want to have it as realistic as possible, but you don’t want to single out an issue as emotional as that,” Eliason said.
Of course, the quote above would never be uttered by any official regarding demonizing of gun owners and advocates of our Second Amendment liberties. Everyone knows that gun owners are evil. That is to say, gun owners that didn’t vote for you. Which is almost all of them.
It is telling that the spokesman for the Ohio National Guard was unwilling to talk. Law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Constitutional liberties and see themselves portrayed as violent terrorists are due an explanation for such an outrage.
I caught this little buggy on I-95 in Maryland, headed north, obviously. (Those are MA State Police plates.) And again, in CT, where I snapped these pictures through my windshield.
The Massachusetts State Police, it seems, have acquired at least one MRAP. This, in a state where a law-abiding citizen is all but forbidden to own a gun, let alone carry one. And, in many towns, if the Police Chief doesn’t feel you “need” one, then there is no “all but”, because you will not be issued a Firearms Identification Card, and denied firearm ownership. But the State Cops? They get armored vehicles made to stop a rocket-propelled grenade and 7.62 SLAP rounds.
“Cadillac” Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts Governor, is super-tight with President Barack Obama. They share skin color, and the same obsession with that skin color. They share a socialist-communist progressive political viewpoint. They also share the philosophy that political opponents are to be treated as enemies. And now Patrick is ensuring his State Police force now has the weapons it needs to suppress the dangerous elements of the Massachusetts electorate who dare challenge the omnipotence of the state.
It is axiomatic that whatever capabilites Law Enforcement entities acquire, they will find a way to use them, even if that use is more than a little ex post facto justification for having such capability. Some Barney Fife somewhere will insist upon it. Hollywood’s portrayal notwithstanding, the number of Massachusetts State Police Officers killed in the line of duty totals just 41 in the century and a half since its founding in 1865. The vast preponderance of these deaths in the line of duty have been accidental, with motorcycle accidents (13) accounting for more than twice the number killed by gunfire (6) in those 150 years. That’s right, just SIX Massachusetts State Police Officers have been killed by gunfire in the line of duty. Only three in the last 31 years.
But they now have MRAPs. At least one. And no, I don’t care in the slightest if DoD GAVE them to the State Police. Operation and maintenance costs aside, there is no need for such vehicles to be in the possession of law enforcement of any kind in MA. Give them to the National Guard, or foreign military sales. Because in the hands of cops, under the rubric of “safety”, they will surely wind up on the streets of the Commonwealth, either in a wildly overblown response to an incident, or as a means of intimidation of the population, who could do little to nothing in response to such a capability.
Cadillac Deval wants to play with MRAPs? I’d take up a collection to ship him and his Personal Security Detail, and that MRAP, to Helmand, or South Sudan, or Northern Nigeria, or Mali, so he can tool around in a place where his new toy is more appropriate. He might even get to see if it can stop an RPG. Or five. Because that MRAP sure as hell doesn’t belong on the streets of cities and towns in Massachusetts.
Well, that didn’t take long. From The Weekly Standard, via Drudge. Just 48 hours after sanctions were lifted against Iran, and several billion dollars in assets and capital were released, Iran’s Foreign Minister tells the world Iran’s true intentions, and lets the world know that Barack Obama, John Kerry, and the United States were played for fools. Or worse.
The worst aspect of this statement from the Iranian Foreign Minister is that I have a sinking suspicion Zarif is telling the truth. Which means, of course, that the American people were lied to (again) by this Administration, because the terms of a “deal” with Iran were so unfavorable as to be a virtual sell-out. So, essentially, what we have lifted three decades of sanctions for is an Iranian promise not to enrich uranium past five percent. With virtually no way to verify if they comply or not. Despite UN Security Council Resolution after UN Security Council Resolution demanding Iran stop enrichment altogether. Already, the talk about sanctions being lifted has had the profound effect of bolstering Iranian currency, which was once in free-fall. Now, with the injection of the hard capital released as the sanctions are lifted, any economic leverage we had to turn the screws on the recalcitrant supporter of terrorism and violence the world over, is gone. G-O-N-E.
Congress, for its part, has feet as cold as this Vermont evening, and wants no part of the Iran deal. A bipartisan coalition has threatened to vote further sanctions against Iran, carrying enough votes to override Obama’s veto. Not getting the hint, Obama then threatened (why is it that all of his threats are directed at political opponents and not national enemies?) to use executive orders to override sanctions against Iran.
Expect that Iran’s nuclear program will continue, unabated. Enrichment to weapons grade can re-start at any time, if indeed it is ever halted. The sanctions which had allowed the West leverage over the sponsor of terrorism are now lifted, and cannot be easily, if ever, resumed. Sort of like putting toothpaste back in the tube. Even if Congress wishes to do so, our own President has promised to thwart the effort.
So, not long from now, Iran will have a nuclear weapon to put atop the ICBMs they are jointly developing with the North Koreans. They will once again threaten Israel with destruction, and have exponentially increased their ability to do so, with the acquiescence of the United States, especially Barack Obama.
One has to wonder whether Barack Obama is more Neville Chamberlain or Vidkun Quisling.
It’s a good thing we don’t look like idiots in Syria, at least…..
…and you see how positively intolerant those who define themselves to be “liberal” truly are.
Those “liberals” who wish vile outrage and harm to those they disagree with politically, or to their loved ones. And others, also “liberals”, who actually advocate the punishment, even execution of those whom are skeptical of the pseudo-science of global warming.
Andrew Cuomo, the uber-liberal New York Governor, declared that his state has no place for people who do not think as he does. The Washington Examiner has the story. The newscast video is definitely worth the time. Some of the rebuttal commentary is excellent.
Of course, Cuomo was quick to pull the veil back up, trying to distance himself from his intolerance and hateful rhetoric. Because Cuomo is a hypocrite and a coward, without the spine to stand behind his remarks. And, just as predictably, the American news media has buried the story. (But you can find some reality contestant’s “anti-gay” remarks anywhere.) Nonetheless, Cuomo has stated rather unequivocally that pro-life and pro-Second Amendment Americans, and Americans who believe homosexuality to be wrong, Americans who are law-abiding citizens, are not welcome in the State of New York. Because he disagrees with them.
So the next time a liberal begins to lecture sanctimoniously about tolerance and acceptance, refer him/her to Andrew Cuomo, or Martin Bashir, or Allan Brauer, or Al Gore, or Steve Zwick, or Chuck Schumer, or Janet Napolitano, or…..
And maybe ask them to explain why, for the Left, “tolerance” seems so much like tyranny. Andrew Cuomo believes that only those who hold his opinions are welcome.
Jonah Goldberg calls it “Liberal Fascism”. Perhaps the slogans painted on the buildings in New York may read “Cuomo Ha Sempre Ragione!”
Ahh, “liberals”. The face behind the veil is a familiar one.
“If you wanted to make some money in Washington, you would have to toe the line that the Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat.”
Author and Middle East expert Barry Rubin gives an unvarnished appraisal of the Obama Administration’s embracing of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Faustian deal with Iran.
There was a secret debate happening in the Defense Department and the CIA in which some people thought that all Muslims were a problem, some believed that only al-Qa’ida was a problem, and still others thought the Muslim Brotherhood was a problem.The main problem, however, was that all Islamism was a political threat, but it was the second position that eventually won over the Obama administration. Take note of this, since 2009, if you wanted to build your career and win policy debates, only al-Qa’ida was a problem. The Muslim Brotherhood was not a threat; after all, it did not participate in September 11. This view was well known in policy circles, but it was easy to mistake this growing hegemony as temporary.
Some high-ranking defense department officials–for example, one on the secretary of defense’s level–were pressured to fire anti-Muslim Brotherhood people. I know of at least five such incidences.
Al Banna: “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.”Brotherhood motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”
Larry Storch, the veteran actor who portrayed the hapless Corporal Randolph Agarn on the classic (!) TV series F Troop, turns 91 today. Born on January 8th, 1923 in New York, Storch dropped out of school during the Depression to work the comedy clubs to earn money. While he did attend High School, at DeWitt Clinton, he was a schoolmate of Don Adams, of Get Smart fame. (And a World War II Marine wounded on Guadalcanal.)
Like so many actors on the set of F Troop, Storch was a Veteran (along with Forrest Tucker, Joe Brooks, Henry Gibson, Ken Berry, and James Gregory), serving in the US Navy during World War II aboard USS Proteus. One of his shipmates was none other than Tony Curtis.
F Troop only ran for two seasons, 1965-1967, but the cornball schtick and physical comedy made it a favorite. I saw it in syndication beginning in the late 60s, and it always made me laugh. My Dad thought it was “idiotic”, and perhaps it was. But Fort Courage had everything (except sunshine, it seemed, on the sound stage), including a cannon with a wheel that fell off (and invariably shot down the guard tower), a blind lookout (Trooper Vanderbilt, Joe Brooks), a bugler who couldn’t play a note (Dobbs, James Hampton), a well-meaning but inept Captain (Berry), a smoking-hot frontier babe (Wrangler Jane, Melody Patterson), a grizzled Veteran (Duffy, played by old western star Bob Steele), and a scheming Sergeant making cash on the side (Sergeant O’Rourke, Forrest Tucker). (It also had an opening theme that could stick in your head for WEEKS….) The “opponents”, the not-so dangerous Heckawi Indians, were in on the black market business, with comedic caricatures of their own.
Recurring regulars and guest stars included Henry Gibson, Harvey Korman, Edward Everett Horton, Paul Lynde, Lee Meriwether, and a host of others. Some of the classic episodes include the antics of visitors to Fort Courage. (Harvey Korman as Count Ferdinand von Zeppel.) But my favorites were the boys of F Troop. Especially Agarn. He had the absolute coolest hat, and could make the best faces.
Larry Storch was in a number of television comedies and variety shows over his career, and was a talented impersonator. He has film and stage credits that include The Great Race (with shipmate Tony Curtis), and was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson and a semi-regular on Hollywood Squares.
Happy Birthday, Corporal Randolph Agarn of Pissaic, New Jersey. I don’t know why everybody says you’re dumb!
John Kerry wants Iran involved in mediation in Syria.
“You have a forest fire that’s raging and you’re calling in some of the arsonists … to discuss the best way to put it out,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group. “It’s mind-numbing.”
Our allies, the French? They want no part of Iran in Syrian negotiations. Neither do ex-pat Syrians. The Russians? All for it.
Either John Kerry is dim-witted to the point of disability, or he is a traitor. Or working for one. The more he sells America’s safety to Iran, the less any other possibility remains.
We have had a bear eating a chimp at a Chinese circus… and a taxpayer-funded researcher doing who-knows-what to some monkeys in a university lab.
Now, the tell-all headline comes to us from The Oregonian.
Alleged masturbating man in Salem bar arrested after Taser proves ineffective, officials say
There isn’t much to add, except maybe this:
A bartender told authorities that Frey exposed his genitals and started masturbating at the bar, officials said. By the time a Marion County deputy arrived on scene, Frey had moved from the bar to the bathroom, but reportedly had not stopped pleasuring himself.
So what’s the guy say when someone asks “How was your weekend?”
One of the more interesting trips I ever had as part of my Russian Flight Escort assignment was a trip to Russia to escort an AN-12 from Tiksi AB, Russia to Eielson AFB, AK for a joint Arctic Search and Rescue exercise between the Russian and US Air Force’s.
Tiksi had the distinction of being the most Northern permanent Air Base in the world (it has since been closed). We were going there in January. I shiver just thinking about it 20 years later.
Due to the high visibility of this exercise, the Assistant US Air attaché (a Lt Col) from the embassy in Moscow would be coming along and was going to be staying with the Russians for the duration. I was just along for the flight into Alaska.
I met up with the Attaché in Moscow and the next day we hopped on an IL-18 (4 engine turboprop) that was the personal plane of the Russian 3 star for the flight from Moscow to Tiksi.
The Lt Col AF Attaché was a great guy (ethnic Ukrainian) who spoke fluent Russian. Unfortunately for this assignment, he was not a good drinker.
I was up front in the passenger section and the Lt Col was in the rear of the aircraft in the VIP compartment with the Russian 3 star and all of his staff.
About three hours into the six-hour flight a Russian Colonel came up to me, shook my shoulder to wake me up and invite me back to the VIP section.
Turns out the vodka was flowing and the Lt Col was not doing so well. I took his place at the table with the 3 star and told jokes/stories when it was my turn. I had to hold the Lt Col’s head as he puked in the lav on our approach into Tiksi.
IL-18 getting deiced at Tiksi AB. Sun is out, so it must be summer.
We landed and it was -40C. That’s where Celsius and Fahrenheit meet on the back side. This is were the Russian tradition of always taking off your gloves to shake hands really started to suck. I had my AF-issue extreme cold weather mittens on over flight gloves so of course every damn officer on base came out to welcome us to their frozen base. The good news is you really can’t feel the frostbite once the appendage is numb (this will come into play later in the story). It was also very dark. In January in the Arctic Circle it’s always dark. You get a bit of glow on the horizon for about an hour in the morning. That’s it, daylight complete.
We got the Lt Col to bed and then I had to fill in for him for the afternoon and evening. The 3-star’s valet picked me up from the VIP quarters and drove me to the ‘Banya’ on base. It’s basically a sauna/steamroom and it is a very old school Russian tradition.
The Banya, complete with Birch twigs. Sadly, no girls are involved in this story.
I walk in and the General is already there. He starts taking of his uniform. All of it. EVERYTHING.
So I do too. We’re soon sitting buck ass nekkid in the banya when his valet comes in with champagne.
Drinking champagne naked with a Russian 3 star. Well, at least it can’t get any weirder than that.
Next thing I know he starts hitting me in the back with birch twigs. It’s a Russian thing, meant to improve circulation, but I was not warned of this. After a minute or so he hands the twigs to me so I can reciprocate. I do. Sadly, that was not the gayest thing I did that night.
After our mutual flagellation session the valet brought in chilled vodka and strawberries. That was nice, and it was soon time to go. The General informed me that since this was my first time in a Russian Banya I needed to ‘complete the experience’. This involved diving naked into the snowbank outside. Evidently it is healthy to ‘close up the pores’ after sweating so much. So I did it. At 1:00 am, -40C.
It also does a great job of ‘shrinking the penis into the mid-section’.
The next day we hopped on the AN-12 (C-130’ski) for our flight across Siberia to Fairbanks, AK. The trip over was relatively uneventful and thankfully no one got naked.
Next up will be some stories about a few of my trips with Yeltsin. Will try to do one a week until my temporary retirement is over and I go back to 737 school in January.
Annie Kuster was in a “town hall” Q&A about the Middle East, when the question was asked about House Resolution 36, the resolution to establish a House Select Committee on Benghazi. Take it away, Annie.
Not only did Kuster apparently not know that a “House Resolution” emanates from the very same House of Representatives of which she is (nominally, at least) a part, she wasn’t even aware of the existence of HR36. Nor could she find Benghazi on a map. Note how her people cut things off in order to stop the intellectual bleeding, but it was a little late for that. She looked like the vapid, uninformed nincompoop she is. And Kuster’s answers are typical of the level of understanding that many of the far-left “feel good” liberal candidates have about the world around them, the economy, health care, and most of the other important topics of the day.
Hey, New Hampshire voters, at least the ones with the “Kuster for Congress” bumper stickers, this imbecile is YOUR fault. Her stupidity is YOUR stupidity. Revel in how incompetent your candidate is. And wonder not why I assume you to be similarly uninformed and ignorant when I see that thing on your car. You voted for a moron.
H/t to Delta Bravo!!!
In 1992 I was offered a special duty assignment at Air Force Special Activities Command (AFSAC). It was to serve as a Russian Flight Escort Officer for Operation CONSTANT SHOTGUN.
At the time I was a young Captain (O-3) flying C-21’s (Lear 35A’s) out of Norton AFB, CA, and it was a bolt out of the blue. Granted, I was a Soviet Studies major (Russian language minor) from the Air Force Academy and drawing Russian language pay, but it still took me by surprise. I’d never heard of this program.
Mainly out of perversity (this was STRONGLY against the advice of the ‘airlift career manager’ at Air Force Personnel Command), I accepted the assignment and PCS’d to Washington, DC.
It turned out to be the craziest, weirdest ride of my career. It delayed my eventual exit from the AF a few years and probably cost me a few thousand seniority numbers by the time I eventually left active duty and joined the airlines, but it was a one of a kind experience.
The gist of the job is that Russian/former Soviet aircraft military and diplomatic aircraft were required to have an Air Force Pilot or Nav in the cockpit when flying in US airspace. Our role was mainly to ensure they flew their assigned routing (cleared by AF reps at the FAA and State Dept to avoid ‘sensitive’ areas). The (then) classified part of the job was that we were actually Intel officers and trained to observe and report items of interest. That part of the job faded a bit as the Soviet Union broke up and, in reality, our main role evolved into being translators and flight safety advocates (many more stories on that in the future).
The standard practice for the escorts was to join the Russian crew at their last point of departure prior to entering the US and leave at the first landing out of the US. In this case I had to pick up an AN-24 leaving Tijuana and flying through the US to Vladivostok, Russia.
This mission was unusual because it was an Antonov factory aircraft and crew coming off a six-month ‘wet-lease’ to Peru. Why they were flying under a diplomatic clearance, I never found out, but the AF rep in the FAA wanted me on board so off I went.
I met the crew in Tijuana and they looked ROUGH. I was used to flying with the very best of the Russian diplomatic (a special division of Aeroflot) and military crews. These guys looked, well, they looked like they’d spent six months in Peru.
All of the aircraft Russian aircraft I’d flown to this point were large transports, AN-124, TU-154, IL-62, IL-76, IL-86, etc. Normally I sit next to the radio operator or Nav in a Russian cockpit and they give me a headset so I can help out on the radios. In the case of the AN-24 that was not an option. It’s a small, two pilot cockpit. After introductions and helping them file the flight plan we walked out to the aircraft. The Captain pointed to the right seat and said, ‘Садитесь, пожалуйста’ (Sit down, please), so I sat down, strapped in and started figuring out where stuff was (flaps, gear, radios). I worked the comms, got the clearance, and off we went to Fresno, CA.
Once we got to cruising altitude I started hearing this horrible screeching and screaming from the back of the aircraft. I looked over at the Captain and he said, ‘Расслабьтесь, это всего лишь обезьяна. ‘
I translated it to mean, ‘Relax, it is just the обезьяна’. What the hell was обезьяна? I was a DLI grad and conversationally fluent, but I was drawing a blank. Then the screeching started again. It clicked. I looked at the Captain and said, ‘Monkey?’.
‘Yes! It is just the Monkey!’
Holy crap! I threw off my shoulder harness and ran back to the cargo box where a monkey was literally going ape-shit. We’re talking throwing-feces-pissed-off. He was bouncing off the walls and the cargo pallets while the Russian mechanics were trying to catch him.
This was long before the Internet and the concept of ‘memes’ began, but I think I was the first to do the ‘double face palm’. Well, at least the first to do it at FL 190 in a Russian turbo prop.
My first thought was, ‘we’re all going to jail’. These guys had just smuggled some random monkey from Peru into the US. Hell, it was probably on some endangered species list. I was thinking about all of the people I needed to call once we landed in Fresno: State Department, Customs and Ag (already scheduled to meet us), FAA, Russian consulate in San Fran, and Animal control? The zoo? PETA?
What a shit sandwich! Then I decided…screw it, let’s try and brazen our way through.
I told the Russians: ‘when we land no one talks in English but me. If Customs and/or Ag ask you a question, look to me and I will translate the question and your answer. You guys have only two jobs: Make sure your paperwork and passports are ready as soon as we open the door and for fuck’s sake hide the damn monkey!’
I did the talking and they hid the monkey.
I flew with those guys for 3 more days as we hopped our way up the west coast, through Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to Vladivostok.
At Vladivostok I waved goodbye to the crew and to my new friend, the Monkey named Ivan. I doubt he survived the Russian winter, but he had one hell of a ride.
Word comes tonight that the so-called “Iran + 5+ 1″ talks have reached a preliminary agreement. Reuters tells the story.
The Western powers, including the United States, will ease sanctions against Iran, including releasing tens of billions of dollars in Iranian assets worldwide, resuming oil and precious metals trade, and importation of aircraft parts, for Iranian promises to suspend weapons-grade uranium enrichment.
Some say that Iran’s anti-US and anti-Israel rhetoric is not to be taken seriously, that Iran’s interests and those of the United States make rapproachment a logical move by both countries. That it is interests, and not ideology, that determines the course of a nation’s statecraft. There is talk that new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a moderate who represents a significant shift in Iran’s policies and objectives from his predecessor, the mercurial Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
Believe none of it. The trappings of office of Iran’s Presidency are so much window dressing. It is the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, who is the holder of power. This is the same Khamenei whom, less than a week ago, predicted the “extinction” of Israel.
In essence, any Iranian pledge to suspend uranium enrichment is unverifiable, any agreement unenforceable. Iran has been given license, and international recognition of its “right”, to enrich uranium for any purpose it chooses, handed to them by a weak, amateurish, bumbling Obama Administration. Israel, the only western-style democracy in the Middle East and vital US ally, has been cut adrift. She stands alone, precariously, while her neighbors plot her destruction with, for all intent, the permission of the United States.
This deal, if reports are accurate, is the biggest American foreign policy catastrophe in the history of this nation. We have sold our honor for a promise. And with that honor, sold the security of our ally. Like Munich, this dark episode in Geneva may be a precursor to the slaughter of many of the Jewish race. Israel is not Czechoslovakia, however. Benjamin Netanyahu has no intention of capitulating. Which of course means that war in the Middle East just became far more likely than less. Tensions are not eased, but heightened.
Interestingly, Netanyahu is in Moscow, and not Washington, during this crucial period. He has little regard for Obama, believes Obama to be untrustworthy, weak, and more than a bit anti-Israel. With good reason. The shameful events of November 23rd, 2013 may not lead to war, or to Israel’s destruction. But if we are fortunate enough to avoid that eventuality, it will be Israel, and not the United States, that will prevent that outcome. Israel now stands entirely alone. Because the greatest nation on earth has leaders without the courage and honor to stand with its allies, and without the character to recognize that the promise of peace at the expense of the security of your friends is no peace at all.
Weep for our Republic. The price of our folly will be the lives and liberty of our posterity. Our leaders are without shame. Which brings shame upon us all.
Just yesterday, we reflected on the death of a President whom, in his Inaugural Address said:
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. …
Fifty years is a very long time in America, it would seem.
The real impact of the Iran “deal” is nicely summed up by John Bolton, who calls the Obama Administration “feckless” and the agreement “abject surrender”. Difficult in the extreme to argue the contrary, if one has any grip on reality.
This interim agreement is badly skewed from America’s perspective. Iran retains its full capacity to enrich uranium, thus abandoning a decade of Western insistence and Security Council resolutions that Iran stop all uranium-enrichment activities. Allowing Iran to continue enriching, and despite modest (indeed, utterly inadequate) measures to prevent it from increasing its enriched-uranium stockpiles and its overall nuclear infrastructure, lays the predicate for Iran fully enjoying its “right” to enrichment in any “final” agreement. Indeed, the interim agreement itself acknowledges that a “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program.” This is not, as the Obama administration leaked before the deal became public, a “compromise” on Iran’s claimed “right” to enrichment. This is abject surrender by the United States.
Think of it as a Nuclear Munich.
That is if you managed to sign up for Obamacare successfully via a state or federal web portal. You are even more elite if you successfully navigated the federal websites. Then, you are the 0.015%! You and 26,494 of your friends did what millions failed to do. Astounding, innit? Congratulations, by the way, your health insurance rates are now anywhere from 25% to 400% higher than they were before 1 October 2013.
At this rate, 106,000 enrollees per month out of a population of 170,000,000 eligible to be insured, there should be more or less full enrollment by April of 2146. By which time virtually everyone who supported Obamacare, and everyone who opposed it, and likely most of the children of those people, will have been dead for quite a while.
Even if Sibelius can manage to improve the performance of the Obamacare web portal(s) by, say, 500%, at that rate it will take only 26 years to sign everybody up. So far, after the first month, the direct cost to the taxpayer for Federal website enrollees is a mere $25,600 per person. Not counting lost time and productivity from the millions who tried numerous times to enroll and could not.
The Obama Administration and its beholden media outlets (MSNBC, in particular) have crossed into the realm of the absurd in trying to put a spit-shine on this turd. Chatty Kathy Sibelius promises better performance from the $680 million web architecture designed by a firm run by a college classmate of Michelle Obama. (Now there’s some solid credentials, worthy of a no-bid contract! Authorized race and gender, and political affiliation! A three-fer!)
Administration officials consider that millions upon millions of people wasting their time in futile frustration trying to navigate yet another government-created abomination of a website as a hopeful sign that millions want Obamacare, because it is extremely desirable. (Financial penalties for non-enrollment notwithstanding, one assumes.) That is an interpretation that would make Baghdad Bob blush with embarrassment. It is difficult to even consider such pure tripe to be a version of the truth. What we are seeing is the rampant incompetence and unsuitability of the Federal Government in the very sector of our economy in which it insisted on insinuating itself.
In this Orwellian new world of government-controlled health care, perhaps those who end up dead for lack of access to rationed care can be described as “resting comfortably”. That the rest is for all eternity will be left out of the conversation. Welcome to socialized medicine.
Impressive. I bet CNN and Eric Holder will classify it as another school shooting.
He is the only one in the room professional enough to call a loaded weapon an empty weapon. Well, along with the other “perfeshunal” out of view on the right. Idiots like this are making arbitrary and capricious decisions about my (and your) right to keep and bear arms.
Stolen from SKK’s place. Who got it from Ogrish.
Apparently, it is a matter of perspective.
Senator Barack Obama, 2006:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills.
President Barack Obama, 2013:
To even entertain the idea of (not raising the debt ceiling) of the United States of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd.
Nary a peep from the sycophantic Mainstream Media regarding this stunning about-face.
H/T to Tom H
“we may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities.”
The lead story over at Drudge, via The Weekly Standard. Share your data, possibly medical and financial data, with law enforcement and audit activities? Yessiree. So says the People’s Republic of Maryland. And Comrade, er, Governor O’Malley.
Ahhh, Obamacare. And government overreach. Tyranny around every corner. And mouse click.
Government shut-down? It is beginning to sound like the best idea I have heard in quite a while. Maybe that way at least SOME of the Bill of Rights will not be trampled.
Well, we knew the Air Force’s primary aim in involving themselves in the C-27J Spartan airlifter program was to deny the Army any fixed wing intra-theater air. And they’ve succeeded.
But of course, that’s only after they’d signed a $2bn or so contract for the airplanes. And since they’ve been bought, they’re being delivered. But since the Air Force won’t operate them, they’re putting brand spanking new airframes into storage at Davis-Monthan.
The Pentagon is sending $50 million cargo planes straight from the assembly line to mothballs because it has no use for them, yet it still hasn’t stopped ordering the aircraft, according to a report.
A dozen nearly new Italian-built C-27J Spartans have been shipped to an Air Force facility in Arizona dubbed “the boneyard,” and five more currently under construction are likely headed for the same fate, according to an investigation by the Dayton Daily News. The Air Force has spent $567 million on 21 of the planes since 2007, according to purchasing officials at Dayton’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Of those, 16 have been delivered – with almost all sent directly to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, where some 4,400 aircraft and 13 aerospace vehicles, with a total value of more than $35 billion, sit unused.
The C-27J has the unique capability of taking off and landing on crude runways, Ethan Rosenkranz, national security analyst at the Project on Government Oversight, told the newspaper. But with sequestration dictating Pentagon cuts, the planes were deemed a luxury it couldn’t afford.
At this point, it’s too far gone for the Army to find the troop strength and aviator numbers to field the force. And the Air Force almost certainly can’t sell them to private users or foreign governments, because the manufacturer, Alenia Aermacchi, has stated publicly they will boycott spares and support to anyone who buys these airframes. They don’t want the potential markets to buy used what they could be building new.
So most likely, other, non-DoD departments of the government will end up with them. Already there’s word the Coast Guard and the Forest Service will end up with some, and I heard today one in State Department markings has been spotted.
But the Army still doesn’t have the airlift it needed, and still needs, when it first selected the Spartan almost a decade ago.
They are the intentional life-blood of domestic politics. As was intended by the Founding Fathers in their brilliance in the Separation of Powers of our three branches of government.
Barack Obama wants to negotiate. Loves to negotiate. Willing to negotiate with just about anyone. Traditional adversaries and sworn national enemies? No problemo. Russia? Sure. Tell Mr. Putin about my flexibility. Iran? Absolutely. No matter they still vow the destruction of an ally. Pick up the phone. The Taliban? Why not. Let’s get together and talk through our differences. North Korea? Red China? He’s all ears. (Heh.) Obama is willing to auction off American standing and American interests like so much attic junk at a white elephant sale.
But domestically? With Congressional Republicans? No way, no how. Not interested. Don’t wanna hear it. Not gonna budge. Because that means HIS prestige. And he is clinging to that no matter the damage to the country that elected him. He will hold our national defense hostage, like a petulant schoolboy, if he is not allowed his Obamacare, and another $1 trillion annual budget deficit, while continuing profligate government spending of tax dollars. Perhaps if for the next meeting House Republicans showed up attired in dishdasha, shouting “Death to America!” and demanding conversion to Islam, Barack would hear them out with a sympathetic ear.
Gotta say one thing, though. Barack Obama is really getting the hang of this leading from behind.
There have been many, myself included, who viewed with more than a little skepticism the Obama Administration’s instant and unequivocal claim of proof that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons on 21 August, allegedly killing more than 1,400. Whatever the number of killed, the video of dead children and contaminated victims occupied every network lead news story for more than a week.
Yet, the assertion didn’t make sense. Why would the Assad regime use chemical weapons and take the chance of being even more of a pariah and losing support of its greatest benefactor, Russia? Especially when the regime had the initiative almost everywhere and the crisis of the preceding months had passed? For no tactical advantage? There was a chance, of course, that the Assad regime had miscalculated in the wake of Obama’s non-response to the “red line” violation in March of 2013. Or a chance that a field commander used such weapons without regime authorization. But, especially after Obama’s foolish threat of a “red line” that “changes the calculus” (for which he apparently has little stomach to make good on that threat), use by one of the various Islamist extremist/Al Qaeda-affiliated “rebel” groups seemed every bit as likely.
An opinion piece by Ken Timmerman in The Daily Caller last week went unnoticed by many, but it makes some pretty damning statements regarding the Obama-Kerry casus belli for military action against Syria.
The Obama administration has selectively used intelligence to justify military strikes on Syria, former military officers with access to the original intelligence reports say, in a manner that goes far beyond what critics charged the Bush administration of doing in the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war.
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.
However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.
According to the transcript of the original Unit 8200 report, the major “hotly denied firing any of his missiles” and invited the general staff to come and verify that all his weapons were present.
…evidence known to the U.S. intelligence community, and presumably, to Congress.
An Egyptian intelligence report describes a meeting in Turkey between military intelligence officials from Turkey and Qatar and Syrian rebels. One of the participants states, “there will be a game changing event on August 21st” that will “bring the U.S. into a bombing campaign” against the Syrian regime.
The chemical weapons strike on Moudhamiya, an area under rebel control, took place on August 21. “Egyptian military intelligence insists it was a combined Turkish/Qatar/rebel false flag operation,” said a source familiar with the report.
I mostly know retired Major General Scales as the author of the official US Army history of Desert Storm. He’s also written several opinion pieces and essays. I tend to respect his opinion.
They are tired of wannabe soldiers who remain enamored of the lure of bloodless machine warfare. “Look,” one told me, “if you want to end this decisively, send in the troops and let them defeat the Syrian army. If the nation doesn’t think Syria is worth serious commitment, then leave them alone.”
They are embarrassed to be associated with the amateurism of the Obama administration’s attempts to craft a plan that makes strategic sense. None of the White House staff has any experience in war or understands it. So far, at least, this path to war violates every principle of war, including the element of surprise, achieving mass and having a clearly defined and obtainable objective.
Over the past few days, the opinions of officers confiding in me have changed to some degree. Resignation seems to be creeping into their sense of outrage. One officer told me: “To hell with them. If this guy wants this war, then let him have it. Looks like no one will get hurt anyway.”
If the services are ordered to strike, they’ll do the best they can.
URR has railed again and again about the spinelessness of GEN Dempsey. For him to say in front of Congress that he has no idea of what any possible US strategic objective is in Syria is a deliberate statement that the White House is clueless. I can assure you, it was no slip of the tongue, or off the cuff statement. After being a toady for the current administration’s policies for so long, one can only assume it is a sign of extraordinary frustration with the puerile thinking of the national security “leadership” in the Obama White House.
Dear Honorable Shinseki,
Good afternoon. My name is Master Sergeant Robert Thomas Bowman, I am a Veteran of 24+ years of service in the Army, and I retire in less than a month (1 October 2013). I have been involved in the VA claims process since 14 February 2013, and today (3 September 2013) I am writing you to describe to you how this process has gone for me and how I perceive the VA at this point. I will preface all my commentary by saying that despite the problems I have had, I am still one of the lucky ones. I am not physically disfigured from my service, am capable of working, and during my time in the Army I was fairly responsible with my finances and am not currently in any duress due to the VA disability compensation program and how slow things are moving. I could not imagine what it must be like for a young Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine who has served multiple combat tours in service of their country, cannot work because of their disabilities, has a family, and is waiting on this process to be completed to be able to pay their bills.
Read the whole thing.
H/T Castle Argghhh! on FB.
I’ve seen SwampHeathen1 deal with the VA, waiting on the phone for nearly an hour only to be disconnected, driving two hours to Birmingham to find out that the appointment had been cancelled and “oh sorry we forgot to tell you”, and fighting red tape and bureaucratic sclerosis at every turn. The people who have served this country deserve far, far better.