Friday, July 30, 2010
Max Boot discusses the historical cost of cutting the American defense budget in the Washington Post:
This prompted the following discussion--
I don't have a problem with cuts in defense spending assuming the following:
1. There are cuts in spending as a whole. If defense cuts are part of a broader effort to bring about some level of fiscal sanity then I am all for it. If the reason for defense cuts is so we can expand federal largesse in other areas then forget it.
2. Our policy makers and senior leaders are serious about scaling back commitments. If we are going to cut back, fine, but then we can't be everywhere. That means certain nations who have been underfunding defense since about I don't know, 1945 will have to step up and start behaving like adults. It also means we can't be the world's welfare provider everytime there is a natural disaster or a humanitarian crisis. If we are going to cut back forces it means we will have more occasions where we are watching the news and we see horrid things happening and our response will be, "Not our problem." We already do it (see Darfur), we're just going to be doing it more. Tought choices, but that is what our leaders get paid for.
Alas, I suspect (but am not sure) that this will not be the case. As Joe K. has pointed out before, DOD spending suddenly becomes “discretionary spending” we can cut whenever there’s a fiscal crisis. I’m skeptical there will be a logical, across the board approach to this. Congress would never have passed the healthcare monstrosity otherwise.
We will be cursed for intervening. We will be cursed for “not doing enough.” Europe is too far gone to recover their defense commitments without serious political and social upheaval. Plus, deep down, they are STILL relying on us to do their foreign policy work for them. Our politicians, as usual, will try to have it both ways.
I’m sure the Chinese will be picking up the slack as soon as their blue water naval ambitions are realized. Perhaps the African Union can fill in until then…(sigh) I think I’m beginning to understand how people become “isolationists”.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
(Image from: OFW News on the Web)
I originally saw this story on Yahoo yesterday. Apparently, some 4 million barrels of spilled oil is missing. The Witchita Eagle has the story via the Washington Post:
I'm certainly glad the leaking well has been capped. Like most Americans, I couldn't stand the "blame game" that went on for the past 100 or so days.
(Image from: President Suit, Savior of the World)
Last week, one of my friends sent us the in-depth article, "America's Ruling Class--And the Perils of Revolution," by Angelo Codevilla in the on-line summer issue of The American Spectator:
Meanwhile, Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) struck a similar chord with his "Pity the Post Modern-Cultural Elite" posted on his Private Papers website:
Yesterday, VDH continued the theme with "Pampered Populists:"
Since the 08 Election, Mainstream America woke up to realize we now have an entrenched "ruling class" that does not listen to the will of the people. Hence the Tea Party Movement. The American Spectator article generated the following comments from my friends:
This is quite interesting. The thing that drives me insane is that our overlord class is rife with imbeciles. You see it everywhere - so many stupid people who think they are brilliant, but in truth are buffoons. And the author certainly gets it right that this phenomena is not limited to one political party. I keep saying I hate "borrow and spend" Republicans as much as "tax and spend" Democrats, but this cuts more to the chase of a pseudo aristocratic class populated by self-appointed know-nothings.
What really irks me to no end is the complete lack of any sort of academic work or critical thinking to all this. I suppose it's a direct result of the worthlessness of higher education these days, where goobledygook courses pass for learning on what were once the core subjects of education. Its deeper than just PC -- it truly is a quasi-religious, faith-based approach to the spectrum of human existence except that the faith is based on the triumph of reason over right.
But you are right that there is little academic rigor--there is some, but it seems to be limited to evil conservative think-tanks. Most of academia today are enablers for the ruling class as it is.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
David Keen rolls-in on some of the reasons why Obama's popularity is in a flat spin:
Although as Charles Krauthammer pointed out in an article last week, getting Obama out of office in 2012 may not solve our nation's problems.
Keen's article prompted the following message traffic:
While it's great that Obama is not getting a pass for the damage he's done to the country, I am growing ever more concerned that the Republicans do not have a flippin' clue what they'll do when they come into office, aside from sound bite level plans. They're essentially doing the same thing as the Dems in 2008 by saying "vote for us - we're not the other guy!" That is hardly a prescription for success. Whatever his other flaws, at least Gingrich and Co. came in with a comprehensive plan, which was successful in getting some useful things accomplished. This time around the Republicans are fuzzy on the plans, and are being largely backed by a fuzzy, unfocused Tea Party.
Concur. I've heard a lot of whining and complaining, but beyond "taking back the House," there's nothing. Part of this is there does not seem to be a Republican leader in the House or Senate who is rising up as the focal point for any sort of reconstructive agenda (if that's the right term). Instead you've got RINOs who are all over the map (and will continue to be, as long as they are reelected for being like that) and the "throw the bums out" wave of (justified) indignation, but then.....a big empty and chirping crickets.
It's bothersome and if they don't have a clue now I'm not sure they're going to have one in November. And they have to quit with this "Sarah Palin should be President" stuff, not unless they want to ensure 4 more years of BHO in 2012.
As much as I like Palin, she will not be President any time soon, nor should she attempt to run for office - that would simply make things worse. She has found a nice niche as the Tea Party Den Mother and should stick with it.
Okay. I admit it. I adore Sarah Palin. Any woman who runs marathons and is a life-time member of the NRA is my kind of gal!
That being said, I agree with what's been said already regarding her running for president. While I think she MIGHT be good in the oval office, liberals froth at the mouth just at the mere mention of the idea. I love Kieth's TEA Party Den Mother title. Which in turn, would make her the right's #1 king maker/cheerleader.
As to what the "elephants will do when they stampede back into Congress," well, like most of you, I'm filled with Steynian/Krauthammerish pessimism about the Republicans being able to pull us back from the brink.
One of our favorite commentators, Victor Davis Hanson (VDH), has a "How to be an Effective President in 10 Easy Lessons:"
Sarah Palin found herself in a flame war, when she posted a message on Twitter stating a mosque at the Ground Zero Site is unneccessary:
And of course, the typical leftist response is to deem such comments as racist. The left is so eager to bring about healing and reconciliation, but they forget one thing: Al-Qaeda and other jihadist still consider themselves to be at war with the Great Satan, and all the Lesser Satans for that matter.
The time for reconciliation and healing is best brought about after the war is over--preferably when the jihadist surrender. Otherwise, all that's being done is giving Muslims preferential treatment and reinforcing their belief in the superority of their religion.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Three days ago, BP managed to install a plug in its Deepwater Horizon leak. News of that day can be viewed here at The First Post:
One would think the Obama Administration and BP would be clinking glasses over this apparent success. This however, is not the case. First, there appears to be some oil seeping up from the bedrock within a couple miles of the drill site. Second, BP and the Obama Administration disagree on where to go from here. Keep the cap screwed on tight, or begin siphoning off oil in a controlled manner?
The Seattle Times has the story:
Jonathan Gurwitz of the San Antonio Express-News, points out what's obvious to most of us--that border security is an integral part of national security. Unfortunately, our ruling class doesn't see it that way:
Meanwhile, Ray Hartwell of the Washington Times explains the legal justification for Arizona's immigration law and what can be done if Obama Administration continues to lean on the Grand Canyon State:
It's disheartening to read that 93 a democratic president was willing to enforce our nation's border, while our current democratic president files law suits against a state trying to "do the job the feds won't do."
Today's message traffic among my friends brings up some key issues:
Only after either terrorists or Mexican drug cartels kill a bunch of people in the U.S. will there be a serious attempt to secure the border. It's unfortunate and wrong, but I firmly believe this. On the other hand, it's only a matter of time. There've already been some hints along those lines - like the drug cartel that wanted to blow up a dam in Texas to flood out their rivals downstream. Something like this will be the catalyst for a change we can all believe in.
(More like "cataclysmic change we can believe in").
Too bad that seems to be what it takes to get real movement on an issue. And then we'll have a "Commission" to figure out why "nobody connected the dots" even though it's been plain to see for years (as was Islamic terrorism). About a year of sanity will prevail, then the Dems, La Raza and the amnesty lobby will crawl back out from under their rocks and start doing the same thing they've been doing in the past.
I recall even thinking this (much to my chagrin) in the week after 9/11. I was very disappointed, but not surprised, that the supposed bipartisan consensus was bonded with Elmer's.
(I don't think the "bipartisan consensus" was even that strong).
Well, the President just said "the border is the safest it's ever been." He's either lying (my preference) or deluded. But I'm not sure which one is worse.
(WTF?! I don't know which is worse either).
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
...or in this case, merely gets deported. A 12th suspect in the Russian spy-ring case, who worked in Seattle, was deported the other day. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has the story:
"The 12th Russian." Sounds like a Cold War spy novel doesn't it?
From a local angle, The Seattle Times, has the story on the former Microsoft worker-turned spy:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The NAACP is getting ready to cry "racism" against the TEA Party movement. Under the Dogma of Political Correctness, accusing anyone or any group as racist is a cardinal sin:
Rather than running the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the skipper of the Al Amal decided to turn back, rather than run afoul of any of the ships pictured above.
From FOX News:
BP installed a cap on the oil leak yesterday and will be conducting tests to see if it will hold. FOX News has the story:
FOX's Disaster in the Gulf timeline (Day 84):
On Sunday, two Somali suicide bombers self detonated at World Cup gatherings in Kampala. The Al-Qaida linked group Al-Shabab (or Al-Shabaab) claimed responsibilty for the attack:
According to today's news, an unexploded suicide vest was found and 4 arrests have been made:
I'm sure the Ugandan authorities will find another vest, or the safe house/bomb factory. Al-Qaida doctrine calls for multiple attacks, usually based on multiples of 4, in order to ensure success. They'll count on someone not leaving the safe house, one malfunction and one attack being thwarted at the scene. This gives the terrorists a chance of at least one successful, mass-casualty inducing, attack.
Friday, July 9, 2010
...just in time for the summer season.
Andrew Tabler of Foreign Policy, has the story on "Resistance Land:"
Now we know where that $400 million, the US pledged to the Palestinians, will be used for...
(Image and caption of "Hans Brix" from Team America)
Unfortunately, in the real world the Useless Nobodies (UN) can't even work up the courage to write such an angry letter to Kim Jong Ill, condemning N. Korea for the sinking of the S. Korean frigate Cheonan.
Neil Farquhar, of the New York Times (NYT), has the story:
The “...calls for appropriate and peaceful measures to be taken against those responsible..." statement, is the worst piece of diplomatic drivel I've seen in my lifetime.
In From the Cold has a theory on why Comradina Chapman, along with 9 others were traded so swiftly for prisoners in Russia accused of spying for the US:
I'm sure Comardina Chapman had no trouble at all getting well-connected men to divulge their secrets.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Instead of pursuing and prosecuting criminals and terrorists, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), filed a lawsuit against Arizona's new immigration law.
From Yahoo News:
Of course, it would be nice if the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, along with DHS administrator, Janet Napolitano, had read the law. Kris Kobach, in an NRO article, points out the flaws in the bleeting over the Grand Canyon State's attempt stem the illegal immigration tsunami:
Instead of putting American know-how to further space exploration, like the cancelled Constellation Program, Obama assigned Muslim outreach as the "foremost" mission to NASA. FOX News has the story:
The former director of NASA rolls-in on this zaniness:
I liked, and agree with, Griffin's "There is no technology they have that we need,..." comment. Unless of course, we want to bring IEDs and suicide vests into space.
(To read the caption, click on the photo to enlarge).
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
A federal judge is allowing the Mexican to become involved in challenging Arizona's illegal immigration law.
Meanwhile, inside the Beltway, our Dear Leader spoke about "pathways to citizenship" and deemed Arizona's attempt at stemming the tide of illegal aliens as "unenforcable."
Most conservative pundits think yesterday's speech served two purposes:
1. To divert attention from the Gulf Spill along with all the other unpopular mandates our Dear Leader is imposing, and
2. To curry favor of the Latino vote.
In short: The speech was pure politics.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Not only is the Gulf Oil spill the worst in US history, but now world history:
It's now been 73 days since the initial accident and still there's no sign of when the well will be capped. FOX News continues the daily count:
Another American icon gets a make-over, which includes the purging of all symbols of American:
Mark Steyn once referred to this as "catering to all those virtual blue-states."