Archive for not safe for work

New GOP, old ideas?

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 4, February 2013 by chockblock

After the beating the GOP took in November, PJ media offered some advice for the party leadership.

Here are two of their ideas and my comment on them:

4) Investigate the possibility of reducing American forces in Germany: While NATO served an honorable and crucial role in winning the Cold War, the chances of another war in Central Europe are currently very low. Drawing down American troops to a “trip-wire” force could save up to $20 billion [3].

5) Consolidate and eliminate departments: There is also precedent for this. In the 1950s and the 1990s, programs that were duplicative were combined to save money (both decades saw balanced budgets). One possible department to consolidate would be the Department of Energy (whose budget was $27 billion last year [4]). Many of this department’s functions can be handled by other cabinet agencies. For example, regulation of oil and gas drilling can be done by the Environmental Protection Agency. Grants in the alternative energy field can be processed by the Commerce Department. Drilling permits can be handled by the Department of the Interior. And so on.

8) Make sure your members speak the language of the national interest: The 2012 CNN exit poll showed that Democrats were 38% of the voters, Republicans 32%, and independents 29%. So, any policy that comes across as appealing only to the Republican base isn’t likely to rally the nation as a whole. The good thing about “reform” themes is that they cross party lines, and especially appeal to independents.

9) National Guard/FEMA upgrade: The nation has repeatedly been hit by natural (hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) and man-made (9/11) disasters over the last generation. More extensive training for the National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency would seem to be a wise investment.

Why are US forces still in Europe? And don’t say it’s because of the middle east. Pull our forces out of Europe and leave a skeleton force to keep bases in Germany maintained. PATRIOT missiles, tankers and support units could be left in Germany. Navy ships, an infantry brigade and other units could rotate out on an as needed basis. Move the dependents home would save a vast amount of money. Make Germany a one year unaccompanied tour for most service members. Consolidate all the commands into one Joint Service Command and retire all the field grades who just sit in an office and drink coffee.

The National Guard needs to stop being the red-headed stepchild of the DoD. Upgrade their equipment and training. As the Active Duty force draws down, offer incentives to servicemembers to join the Guard. Newer vehicles and aircraft would help the Guard because they have a state mission AND are the strategic reserve of the DoD. No Rachel Maddow, they are not the unit at sit in the armory until a disaster strikes. If we’re going to use them, treat them well.

The education department should go back under Health and Human Services.  The Department of Homeland Security should either go away or be reformed after a long hard look at how it does business.  The silly “firewall” between departments could get the once over.  The FBI and CIA should share data on terrorists.

The Democrats have set themselves up as the party of “free stuff”.  We need to point out that under all their horseshit there is no pony.  Hold the “reality based” community to reality.  Point out that California and Detroit are disasters.

We need to show off the GOP governors and the states they are running. Show that our glasses are clean before we point out the turds in the liberals punchbowl.

Military pay and benefits

Posted in army life, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 3, February 2013 by chockblock

One again there are calls to “reform” military pay. I’ve said on this blog before that our service members don’t get paid enough. No we’re not europe; defense spending is not breaking the bank it’s actually smaller now. But many still attack our bennies.

Some bloggers, like In from the Cold, have struck back.

We have a powerful ally:

Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), deputy director, MOAA Government Relations
“Statements that rising personnel costs are “unaffordable”…“out of control”…”unsustainable”… and “will impact readiness” are geared to make headlines, alarm the reader, and (not infrequently) generate support for pursuing additional studies.

“If personnel costs continue growing at that rate and the overall defense budget remains flat with inflation,” CSBA authors hyperbolized, “military personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039.”

Elsewhere, they acknowledged that will never happen. But the quote was seized and repeated by reporters, pundits, bureaucrats and other “analysts.” E.g., James Kitfield did so in the July 2012 National Journal.

Is there any chance personnel costs will consume the entire defense budget by 2039? Of course not.

Before examining the personnel share, let’s first consider that the defense budget has consumed a progressively smaller share of federal outlays over the last 50 years”

The Military Officer’s Association of America is made up of people who’ve fought America’s wars. Company level commanders who’ve had to deal with military families. The Association of the United States Army echoes the call to help soldiers get better pay.

There are many leftist dirtbags who insist that the military revert to the Regan/Carter era of pay.

Pay freezes and benefit cuts would cause the Army to bleed numbers. Soldiers on food stamps, NCO’s and officers leaving, morale nosediving and enlistment down. The left wants that, I don’t.

How about we cut the think tanks and the pay of Congressmen who say stupid things instead?

Lens

Posted in guns, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , on 27, December 2012 by chockblock

The left and it’s partners in the media see the world through a Marxist-leftist lens. An Afghan policewoman has “mental illness and was driven to suicidal despair by poverty” but an American criminal has ” hundreds of bullets for a military-style assault rifle and handguns”. Um, both shitheads had “military style” weapons. All weapons are “military style” in fact. Unions conspire to drive up prices and pass that on to consumers at the expense of jobs. Politicians, not wanting to appear heartless, give public sector unions whatever they want. The costs get passed on to us all.

Screw up, don’t get fired, get paid and go back to work, even if your screwups cost lives. Wave around a banned rifle magazine and act shocked when police investigate you for violating the ban. Of course gun deaths have been going down for years, but that violates the narrative.

Meanwhile, as the world burns, a Democratic congressman proposes raising taxes when challenged on the “fiscal cliff.”

The left thinks name calling and class warfare will rule the day. It’s not about “compromise”, it’s about compromising opposition to win. Marx viewed all of history as haves vs. have-nots. The 60′s left viewed America as the enemy and violent dissent the way to power. “Tea Party?” “NRA?” According to the left they are products of the 1% and fake.

Meanwhile the left resorts to name calling and dancing on graves to promote gun control.

Real Americans don’t live with bodyguards, or in McMansions. Most businesses are SMALL, most gun owners obey the law. Rich people give to charity in record numbers as opposed to the prius-driving “I kisses a dolphin” crowd that expect the government to pay their student loans.

And they wonder why they are losing.

RESIGN HOLDER

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1, December 2012 by chockblock

Eric Holder’s bright idea bears fruit (via Instapundit):

“Washington D.C. – According to credible ATF sources, officials heavily involved in Operation Fast and Furious and named as partially responsible for the program’s failure by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the House Oversight Committee have been stripped of their government security clearances while some have been fired, demoted, and transferred. Criminal charges are also reportedly pending.

“former ATF Special Agent in Charge of Operations in the West Bill McMahon and former Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Division George Gillett have been fired…McMahon and ATF came under heavy fire just a few months ago after it was revealed McMahon had been receiving ATF paid leave while pulling a six figure salary from J.P. Morgan, the same bank that owns the bureau’s credit cards

Report: Security Clearances Revoked, Criminal Charges Pending For ATF Fast and Furious Officials” Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com.

What the hell? Conflicts of intrest, dead federal agents, many, many dead Mexicans and a country on the brink. Has the media and the administration no shame?

RESIGN HOLDER

Fiscal Cliff

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 29, November 2012 by chockblock

So zerohedge.com published this:

“We realize that this is a painful topic in a country in which the issue of welfare benefits, and cutting (or not) the spending side of the fiscal cliff, have become the two most sensitive social topics. Alas, none of that changes the matrix of incentives for most Americans who find themselves in a comparable situation: either being on the left side of minimum US wage, and relying on benefits, or move to the right side at far greater personal investment of work, and energy, and… have the same disposable income at the end of the day. “

Check out the whole article at the link.

Given that the US of A is broke, what’s going on in politics? Naked protesters want more gov’ment cheese, the Democrats want to play chess and the GOP wants to play dumb and the GOP still wants to give lots of sugar subsidies. The Democrats are not the progressive party they are the stompy hooves party.

We need a fiscal deal.

We as a country can’t afford a military presence in Europe, a tank/APC that’s 80 tons, a welfare state that pays people to sit there and buy Iphones and the farm subsides need to go.

The problem is as old as time: people want to eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner but whine when their waistline expands.

As Insty says, if something can’t go on forever, it won’t.

Either we fix the budget and drive away from the fiscal cliff, or the Democrats will have ruined the economy and the country. They will own it. Bush is not in office, the military is shrinking (so much for the “permanent war economy”). The huge recession, the jobless rate? THEIR. FAULT.

Like Europe, the Democrats promised free stuff and easy living. When it goes south, they will sling blame and attempt to “fix it” with taxes and b.s. economics. Some in the GOP will attempt to do the same. Porkbarrel politicians will still rob peter to pay paul, even in the face of doom.

If the GOP can’t stop them, we need a new GOP (or a new party entirely).

No, we are not Europe

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 23, November 2012 by chockblock

“Sweden has the population of North Carolina, no real linguistic or religious diversity, no experience of chattel slavery or mass immigration (and the children of recent immigrants in Sweden, incidentally, tend to have much higher poverty rates than the native-born), and a culture of Lutheran thrift and prudence that endures even though Lutheranism itself is on life support. America is and always has been a country of much greater diversity and wider cultural extremes, “
Can We Be Sweden?, Ross Douthat, New York Times.com. Via Insty

“Bush didn’t create the conditions that led to the crash; he inherited them from Bill Clinton, and a large cast of thousands all played their own parts. Republican policies had no role in the crash; and the Democrats’ policies would have had no role, either.”
“Another place where Republicans keep failing”, Noemie Emery, Washingtonexaminer.com

Most of the US Federal Budget goes to that govm’ent cheese.

Even Sweden or Europe can’t afford to be the European Welfare state:

“But while austerity tears at the funeral industry — and some say the social fabric of the country — it has been a boon for science. Donating a body has become such a popular alternative to the cost of a funeral that some medical schools complain they do not have enough refrigerators to store all of them…”
Economic Crisis Leaves Hard-Hit Spaniards Scrimping on Funerals, NYT.com

“According to Swedish Statistics, unemployment in May 2011 was 7.9% in the general population and 25.9% amongst 15-25 year olds.”–Wikipeida

U.S. unemployment is at 7.9 percent. What does it all mean?

It means that while some might blame the Cold War, Iraq War, the DoD, Regan, the Bush Presidents, it’s the quest for a socialist state and the welfare state that’s got this country in the shape it’s in. Both parties got Uncle Sam in the housing business. The result was good money was sent to bad loans. We knew this was coming: articles, teevee shows, talking heads talking about the end of cheap money.

We did nothing. George W. Bush tried, but the Congress stopped him.

It would be nice to give a house to everyone. It would be nice to have a guaranteed income. One of my college buddies liked to rant that “in Europe, you were guaranteed an income of $20K a year no matter what.” I wish I could see him now.

The US floated Europe during the Cold War. While American GI’s stood guard, Europeans partied, or in Sweden’s case, stayed neutral. Communism fell, pulling the rug out from under the socialist lie. We were promised a “peace dividend”, that went away with the conflict of the 90′s and 9/11.

But still the advocates of govm’ent cheeze pressed on. From LBJ and his War on Poverty to the Community Reinvestment Act of the Clinton-Era, politicians promised something for nothing. And in times of crisis the cry of “Free stuff!” gets louder. Our economic problems will only get worse as more people and special interests ask for more government money. With money comes power and with power comes attempts at control.

Sadly government control and government money distort the economy. High taxes drain the economy, backing loans mean more bad loans get made. Government steps in to “regulate” things and now we have the mess we are in. Government expanding to meet the needs of an expanding government.

Instapudit says that the answer is no, we can’t be Sweden. We can’t be France in the 70′s, Europe in the 90′s or Japan in the 80′s. No matter how much liberals try to turn the USA into Europe 2.0. All of those economies were founded on lies (and helped by American military and economic might). Some have recovered, others are spiraling downward.

We need to look to an American solution. If people want Sweden, they should move to Sweden.

The cost of Defense

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, November 2012 by chockblock

I admit that I am a Cold War baby. I was born in the 70′s, my father worked as a defense contractor. He met my mother when he was in the Air Force.

But what has the military done for the rest of us?

  • The very existence of this Wiki was made possible via the US Department of Defense wanting to create a way for people to gain access to powerful research computers they were geographically separated from—for both purely scientific/academic and military projects. Incidentally, it also protected the flow of information between military installations from attacks (up to and including nuclear weapons). This is what became the Internet. (The World Wide Web and the hypertext system, while still vital, was a civilian thing)
  • Your sat-nav. NAVSTAR GPS, developed for the US military and made available for public use after the KAL 007 shoot-down.
  • Supersonic flight—first done by the US Air Force.
  • The Moon Landings—military-trained pilots. Of the 12 men to walk on the Moon, only one (Harrison Schmidt) had never been a member of the US Armed Forces. Of the remaining 11, only the first (Neil Armstrong) was directly employed by NASA: Armstrong was a retired Navy test pilot, while the remaining 10 were still active-duty Air Force and Navy pilots (4 Air Force, 6 Navy).
  • US Space Exploration in general—the Titan space launchers were originally for Superior Firepower.
  • Antibiotics. In order to keep troops healthy, the US Military developed a way to mass produce penicillin in World War II to ensure every soldier would have access to some.
  • Nylon—originally created for parachutes. Or rather, originally created for women’s stockings, which used the silk needed for parachutes at the beginning of World War II; old stockings were turned into parachutes. And then they ran out of old silk stockings and started making the parachutes out of old nylon stockings and whatever other nylon they could get their hands on. Women held stocking drives to support the war effort.
  • Duct tape—originally created as a waterproof packing tape for supply crates being carried ashore in amphibious landings. In the military duct tape is colored olive drab instead of silver, and nicknamed “mile a minute tape” or “ninety mile an hour tape.”
  • In response to large natural disasters around the world, when the US sends aid, the first responders are usually the military, who have the logistical capacity to quickly move a lot of supplies and medical personnel, often to territory that doesn’t lend itself easily to conventional civilian transportation due to limitations of local infrastructure (pre-existing limitations or those caused by the disasters themselves). Entire naval battle groups have been rerouted to provide aid, occasionally even as the disaster is in progress.
    On the internet an anecdote exists of a supposed conference listing some of the capabilities of aircraft carriers in disaster situations, including on-board hospitals, cafeterias designed to feed thousands and the ability to both provide electricity to shore based facilities, and provide a landing point for rescue aircraft.
  • One of the benefits of joining the US military since WWII is having your college paid for by the Montgomery GI bill. One can also get a scholarship by joining the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps, essentially a college level cadet program that leads into a military career as an officer). In addition, each service offers the ability to gain college credit, and in some cases having a degree is a requirement for promotion even for the enlisted. In America joining the military to get an education is a fairly common motivation, helping to make the military an institution of society in many parts of the US.
  • – TVTropes: “Yanks With Tanks”

“There is no National Defense Service Medal for veterans of the Cold War. What were America’s GIs up to? They went on alert when Egypt claimed the Suez Canal in 1956. They manned missile silos in North Dakota and piloted B-52s aimed at Soviet targets. They crewed nuclear-armed submarines and drove tanks in the Fulda Gap between West and East Germany. Some of what they did is still secret.”
–”A Cold Shoulder for Cold-War Vets“, By BARRY NEWMAN, WSJ.com (via XBradTC)

So out come these idiots from George Mason University:

In 2010, the United States government spent more on national defense ($738.8 billion) than it did
at the height of the Cold War spending in 1986 ($572 billion), when the U.S. was competing in
an arms race against the then superpower U.S.S.R.

Once the U.S. embarked upon the path of permanent war, starting with World War II, the result was a permanent war economy. The permanent war economy continuously draws resources into the military sector at the expense of the private economy, even in times of peace. We explore the overlooked costs of this process. The permanent war economy does not just transfer resources from the private economy, but also distorts and undermines the market process which is ultimately responsible for improvements in standards of living.

What? What technology has been suppressed? What has been held back?

Let’s look at the budget:

Yea, less than a quarter even if you add in the “generous” pensions vets get from the Dept. Of Veterans Affairs. Here, here, here and here I destroy the left’s favorite arguments about the military:

  1. We don’t need a draft.
  2. Pay is not generous.
  3. The military is smaller today that it was during the cold war.
  4. There is no need to “reform” pay.

What we have here is a failure to adjust for inflation. “1986 ($572 billion)” becomes 1,2 trillion in 2012. 2010′s $738.8 billion becomes $349.9 billion in 1986 dollars. The military is smaller and cheaper than during the cold war.

I suspect that the left hates the military and some want to side with our enemies. The only country that had a military-industrial complex that broke it was the former USSR. A command economy sucks because it has to choose guns over butter. Like North Korea:

North Korea at night.

North Korea fights global warming!

The “report” from Thomas K. Duncan and Christopher J. Coyne i long on sweeping lefty generalizations and short of specifics(And if TvTropes can call out their bullcrap…). The “military-industrial” complex was a term Eisenhower(R) used to refer to Kennedy(D) and his fear that Kennedy would spend more on defense. Then Vietnam happened under LBJ, man walked on the moon and the DoD had huge growth. I’m stationed on an air base expanded and built upon during the Kennedy era.

I sense bad things for those of us in the service, since this is catnip to the left.

Artist vs Warriors

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 9, November 2012 by chockblock

A long time ago, a friend of mine had a theory about presidents he called “The Artist vs. The Warrior.

The Artist is that friendly face on the TeeVee saying that he’ll fix our problems and he cares.

The Warrior says that he is up to the challenge and will face our enemies.

The Artist talks about America’s past greatness.

The Warrior says we are a great nation.

The Artist makes promises.

The Warrior talks about action and follows through.

American voted on Nov 6th. They voted for the Artist.

Yes American, you want more gov’ment cheese.

As someone is fond of saying, something that can’t go on forever, won’t.

Those getting bennies and free stuff will be pitted against those who have to pay for it. Class warfare and the race card will continue to be played. There is no war on women, there is a war on our way of life. The Media is in the tank for those in power.

But we’ll keep fighting.
We love our country and don’t fear the hate, the slander or the lying media.

The Artist is a liar. Most of them promise more than they can deliver. The myth of “fairness”, that America is hostile to people who aren’t rich & white. Some pastors may “damn” America as some professors lie to their students, but main street still believes in the land of the free.

If the GOP is so in love with being in power that they are putting candidates who are no better than the Democrats, they need to go. Have we not learned from the Randy Cunningham scandals? From Jerry Fallwell? That Todd Akin is a flaming moron?

We will rebuild. You, leftie thinking “four more years of free stuff”, you own this mess. You drove us off the fiscal cliff.

Thanks, we’ll remember next November.

The bursting of the college bubble.

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 6, October 2012 by chockblock

It’s starting:

Who Needs College? The Swiss Opt for Vocational School (Time.com):
As young Americans contemplate the immense cost (and considerable indebtedness) involved in a college education, it may be worthwhile to consider the options available to the Swiss—and whether they are worth importing into the U.S. In Switzerland, even though university education is free, the vast majority of students opt for a vocational training instead.

The Parent Loan Trap
More than a decade after Aurora Almendral first set foot on her dream college campus, she and her mother still shoulder the cost of that choice.

Ah college, the high school after high school. A place of fun, drinking and lefty politics. To be young and without a care in the world…

Yeah right!

College used to be only for the rich. After World War II, the GI Bill put college in the hands of a generation that had adulthood delayed. That generation saw their children become adults in the background of yet another war. Those children went to college expecting it. When they had children, college was now just an extension of high school.

It’s now the norm for adults to dress like children, act like children and think like children well into their mid 20′s. That’s why many college students have tons of credit card debt and sign up for student loans that shadow them for the rest of their lives. The Occupy Movement was just the temper tantrum of a child who wants daddy to pay for more stuff.

The times are a’changing! Online learning, the post 9/11 GI bill and now the new interest in vocational school. Why is vocational school important? Simple:

  1. Many “adults” just don’t have the maturity for college, others are mature enough to know that college isn’t for them.
  2. Some would rather earn money now than take a gamble on a major that promises big but requires lots of upfront costs.
  3. Teachers KNEW, knew that college isn’t for everyone, but our liberal overlords pimped college because that’s what the left wants.
  4. Many young adults have plans for a family and don’t want to sit in a classroom

The left turned childhood into something that lasts until you turn 25. As our population ages and colleges keep feeding of students who can’t pay their loans, traditional colleges will die out. Now college students over the age of 25 were called “non-traditional students”. They will become the norm as more young people will have no choice but to forgo college. Others will go online as more and more colleges offer online courses.

All too often things like student life, football and leftist politics take over colleges. As the costs go up for traditional colleges, more young adults will go online or to vocational school. There are many good jobs out there for those without a 4 year degree. The lure of a job without crushing debt will burst the bubble. The left will howl in protest, expect an attack on vocational schools and online courses by traditional college faculty. And expect them to fail.

Just give it time.

Hot Crew! : Emlia Clarke

Posted in HOOAH!, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 4, September 2012 by chockblock

Emilia Clarke (born c. 1987) is an English actress, who is best known for portraying Daenerys Targaryen in the HBO medieval-fantasy series, Game of Thrones.[1]

And she’s a good reason to tune in…

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