Archive for December, 2013

And now a stealth insult from BREAKING DEFENSE

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 15, December 2013 by chockblock

This doesn't happen as much as  Russell Rumbaugh thinks it does

Because a soldier’s child under the knife would actually be true.


For the most adamant, personnel costs are about to eat the entire Department of Defense budget, reducing it to just a welfare agency and leaving the United States at the mercy of its enemies. Since the creation of the All-Volunteer Force, spending per servicemember has risen inexorably. The Department—as with the rest of the country—has watched its healthcare costs dramatically outpace inflation. Since the defense budget started expanding in the late 1990s, Congress has consistently heaped largesse on defense personnel. It repealed the retirement reform passed in the 1980s just before it kicked in, let former military members double dip by taking their military retirement pay while drawing a full civil service salary, allowed retirees to keep both their retirement and disabled pay, created the $10 billion-a-year TRICARE for Life Medicare supplement, and expanded eligibility for both healthcare and retirement benefits.
Budget Deal Proves That Congress CAN Take On Military Pay & Benefits Costs , Russell Rumbaugh, BreakingDefense.com

I’ve said before that personel costs are NOT eating the DoD alive.

If anything it’s a ploy to keep the big projects going. SO the recent budget deal screwed vets 62 and younger. Their COLA (cost of living adjustment) is slightly below inflation. Ouch. Pensions are fixed and for some who can’t work it’s their only income. Oh it is supposed to save $1 billion a year but future budget numbers are always 1 part projection and 2 parts fantasy.

This Rumbaugh clown thinks that pay and benefits are some luxury to be “cut”. No there is no personnel vs. readiness battle. During the 90’s the problem was cuts across the board. Now we have things like ARMY FAMILY COVENANT:

The pledge states simply: You are changing your life for the Army, so it seems that a bond should be formed that lets you know this is not a commitment taken lightly. The Army will look out for you, your soldier and your entire family. For we are all one family in the Army and should act accordingly.
— via GoArmy.com

So what does Rumbaugh use to illustrate this?

A picture of a pet in a vet clinic.

There isn’t a middle finger big enough.

You have spat upon every child, spouse and retiree who’s had to go under the knife, see a doctor, pay for food and balance a budget. Pet care is an OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE YOU DIPSTICK!!!

Ahem. Child care isn’t free either, service members pay on a scale based on rank and/or income.

Health care, pay and the tax free food and clothing sales keep service members in uniform. You should know that Rumbaugh, you were in the Army in the 90’s when people were on food stamps due to low pay. I noticed several references to the “All Volunteer Force” like it’s a bad thing. I’m starting to suspect that this is another stealth call to bring back the draft because a drugged out, unprofessional military is cheaper somehow…

According to MOAA calculations, a service member who retires as an E-7 would see an average loss of more than $3,700 a year in retired pay by the time he or she reached age 63, while an O-5 stands to lose more than $6,200 a year.

“A 20 percent reduction in retired pay and survivor benefit values is a very substantial cut in military career benefits, and does not represent good faith to our men and women in uniform,” MOAA president and retired Vice Adm. Norb Ryan said.

William Thien, the Veterans of Foreign Wars national commander, said the provision puts the all-volunteer military in jeopardy.
Levin: Proposed COLA reduction to get second look

Good for the veteran advocates and military associations, we need to push back before the idiots and arm chair generals ruin the military.

tl;dr – join MOAA or AUSA to keep the benefits and pay you’ve worked for.

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Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe on College

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , on 14, December 2013 by chockblock

All over America there are jobs waiting to be filled. Many trades are losing experienced people because a generation is getting old. Lefties told children “go to college or you’ll flip burgers!”

And what are they doing? Flipping burgers deep in student loan debt.

Instead we should invest in vocational training and skills to get jobs instead of massive debt.

Accountability is for Little People [tm]

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 13, December 2013 by chockblock

Dere’s little stealin’ like you does,
and dere’s big stealin’ like I does. For de little
stealin’ dey gits you in jail soon or late. For
de big stealin’ dey makes you Emperor and
puts you in de Hall o’ Fame when you croaks.

— Brutus Jones, The Emperor Jones


Maryland exchange director resigns, was on Caribbean vacation when it imploded.

More thoughts at This Ain’t Hell:

For millions of them, their previously acceptable health care insurance has been converted without their consent, or even any opportunity to express their concerns, into a catastrophic insurance policy that would have, prior to Obamacare’s passage, been available to them at a fraction of the premiums they will now have to pay.

–“America’s New Millions of Uninsureds

If this was a private program, people would be going to jail.

And yet again the media doesn’t get “military”…

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 10, December 2013 by chockblock

And now how!

Here we see a call for peace in Asia:


The clock starts ticking for the next crisis. With China’s announcement of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea and the strong response from Japan, the United States and several other countries, tensions in East Asia are mounting. Since the crisis over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in September 2012, both China and Japan have begun to conduct frequent air and marine patrols in the Diaoyu/Senkakus area. With the flyby of the American B-52s, the area around these tiny islands has become a zone of tension with high probability of an accident and subsequent conflict.

To overcome this, Chinese and Japanese leaders first need to demonstrate their vision, courage, and determination to make peace. The establishment of the zone of peace is a crisis prevention tactic. It will not change any legal claims or the status of the territorial claims. If they want to avoid conflict, especially one arising from a small incident, they should take measures to decrease the likelihood of such accidents through using tools such as the zone of peace.

–“How to Prevent Accidental Conflict in the East China Sea:China and Japan could avoid conflict in the East China Sea by setting up a “peace zone.”,By Zheng Wang,thediplomat.com

Alright, this would be a good idea, trouble is the hate China and Japan have for each other. The “zone” and “islands” in question are worthless (except for undersea deposits of oil, minerals and fishing rights). Yet they might start shooting over it.

Japan did horrible, horrible things to China in World War II. The Chinese Community Party needs a win to cement the idea it’s a superpower. Japan just wants it’s territory respected (and yes some of their right wing isn’t too keep on China). Peace? Hardly. If the U.S. intervenes we’ll be seen as on Japan’s side. Or worse the diplomats of our current party will be so wishy-washy that any deal will be crap.

So smart diplomacy isn’t their thing.

Neither is defense:

“Want a better U.S. military? Make it smaller. The bigger the military, the more time it must spend taking care of itself and maintaining its structure as it is, instead of changing with the times. And changing is what the U.S. military must begin to do as it recovers from the past decade’s two wars.”

Want a better U.S. military? Make it smaller

Tom, you’re an idiot. The Louisiana Maneuvers exposed an Army ill-equipped for war. Jeeps with wooden signs that said “tank”, wooden guns, four “bombs” dropped from air planes. The cycle repeated just before Vietnam. The USAF sold off thousands of iron bombs as scrap to prep for the nuclear mission. Cue 1965 and TAC was in country, a flight of 4 jets would have 1 bomb each. The old bombs? Sold to West Germany for pennies on the dollar and bought back in haste for much more.

Tom Ricks wants to repeat that. A downsized military loses thousands of junior enlisted, NCO’s and officers with experience. No we can’t draft it, recruit it or get it from the moon. Aircraft, tanks, ships and wheeled vehicles put in “storage” rot unless kept up, something a “smaller” military won’t be able to do. All lefites hate carriers and now China’s new anti-ship ballistic missile is there new excuse to get rid of them.

Yeah, take away the carriers, downsize the air fleet and shrink the ground troops and we have no leverage to force China or any one to the negotiation table. A frigate navy is what Tom Clancy predicted if we lost our carriers, something his latter pie in the sky novels got right.

While the fall of Communism and the post-Cold War era wasn’t kind to Clancy, Tom Ricks and Zheng Wang seem to think it’s 1939. They want Peace In Our Time.

Given how well that went back in ’39, I saw we ignore them and their MSM ilk.

Chew On This: As the World Burns….

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , , , , on 3, December 2013 by chockblock

Chew on these tasty links (they are a little spicy, beware):

So what is the government doing? What is the priority?

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the Air Force Office of Special investigations (OSI comparable to the Army’s CID and Navy’s NCIS) has been running confidential informants among the student body at the Air Force Academy;
— “Snitching on classmates at the Air Force Academy“, This Aint’ Hell

Oh yeah, those informants are “disavowed” afterward.

The Afforadable Care Act’s web portal still isn’t working so sayth Instapundit.

The DoD is “floating” a plan to close Commissaries based in the US. Mind you, those are where many service members redeem their EBT (foodstamp) and WIC bennies. Cause we’re paid too much or something.

RSM gives is them gem from the New York Times:

Got that, troops? “Tough choices,” your compensation is “on the table,” because defending your nation isn’t really anything special.

On the other hand, says New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, something must be done for America’s real heroes, retail clerks:
Ask NY Times Who Deserves More Pay: America’s Troops or Fast-Food Workers?, The Othermccain.com

So as the world burns, the DoD wants to focus on spice smokers and the Media wants to cut our benefits.

Really? At a time when we need the men and women in uniform the most they want to focus on things that don’t matter or view us as a liability.

The last time(s) we did this bad things happened. In the 30’s the military was ragged and understaffed with wooden guns, flour sack “bombs” and jeeps with wooden signs that said “tank” used in exercises. In the 70’s, the drugged out, worn out military was barely able to keep up with the USSR. Thief and drug abuse was rampant as the military was ignored, there were military familes on food stamps. In the 90’s, service members were on food stamps (again), all four services bled numbers. Worse, pilots, senior NCO’s and officers left in droves taking years of combat experience with them.

In the wars that followed, the men and women in uniform paid the price as lack of training, lack of support and bad gear bit us in the ass. We got lucky in Desert Storm, but after the Gulf War the cuts just kept coming (see above).

The post 9/11 era brought enough money to expand the military and I get that there has to be a contraction. But the cuts to pay and bennies AND cuts to training and readiness will lead to a hollow force. A hollow force just as the world isn’t getting peaceful.

It’s getting worse.

We can’t repeat the 30’s and the 70’s.

There are still service members’ families on food stamps. College, medical, dental and other “costly” benefits keep qualified people in the ranks. We can’t draft experience and esprit de corps. We can’t fly, drive or sail ragged rusted out tanks, planes and ships.

Either we are committed to Allies or it’s just empty talk. Either we fight for our principles or accept a world dominated by countries that hate us.

The world won’t wait for us to dither.

Don Gomez knocks the draft arugement out of the park

Posted in army life, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2, December 2013 by chockblock

Via Hotair.com:

“The most important point in arguing against bringing back the draft is that we don’t need it. That is, the armed forces are currently having no problems with recruiting, and in most cases, are recruiting over 100% of their target goals. To bring back the draft, the military would have to do one of two things in order to make room for the conscripts: increase the size of the overall force or partition off a certain quota of positions to be made up of conscripts. Considering the current economic situation and the planned reductions in troop numbers, increasing the size of the overall force is a nonstarter. Given the military’s current recruiting success, partitioning off “slots” for draftees could work only by turning away otherwise qualified recruits. Then, there would still only be a tiny portion of the armed forces that were draftees in a mostly all-volunteer force.
Why Bringing Back the Draft Makes No Sense Don Gomez, Small Wars Journal

Given that the Army has gone from a high of 500,000+ to a low of 470,000 and dip below that, why on earth do we need to put Americans who don’t want to join into the service?

I suspect that it’s part of the left’s plan to gut the military to pay for more social welfare. Lefty policy wonks want draftees so that they can scream about “skin in the game”. Sorry this isn’t football.

Most positions in the military are combat service and support, not shooting or kicking down doors. Most draftees would wind up fixing trucks and mopping floors. The old school Keyensian economics numbskulls think that’s a good idea. Reality is that it’s a bad idea and will turn the clock back to the hollowed out force of the 1970’s.

VA ID cards can lead to ID theft

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , on 2, December 2013 by chockblock

via This Ain’t Hell:

This is an insult to veterans. Given the govenment’s track record on PII (personal identification information), this is not a surprise.

Walk carefully, guard your info.