Wednesday, November 30, 2016

 

I Hope There is a Place....

by CDR Paul M. Pompier

stories-10I hope there is a place, way up in the sky,
Where Naval Aviators can go, when they have to die.
A place where a guy could buy a cold beer
For a friend and comrade whose memory is dear.
A place where no blackshoe or porkchop could tread,
Nor a Pentagon type would e're be caught dead!
Just a quaint little O"Club; kind of dark, full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke.
The kind of place where a lady could go
and feel safe and protected by the men she would know.

There must be a place where old Navy/Marine pilots go
When their wings get too weary, and their airspeed gets low.
Where the whiskey is old and the women are young,
and songs about flying and dying are sung.
Where you'd see all the shipmates you served with before,
And they'd call out your name as you came through the door,
Who would buy you a drink, if your thirst should be bad
And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad."

And then thru the mist you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen in years, though he'd taught you to fly.
He'd nod his old head and grin ear to ear,
and say "Welcome shipmate, I'm pleased that you're here!
For this is the place where Naval Aviators come
when the battles are over and the wars have been won.
They've come here at last to be safe and afar
From the government clerk and the management czar,
Politicians and lawyers, the feds and the noise,
Where all hours are happy, and these good ol' boys
can relax with a cool one, and a well-deserved rest!
This is HEAVEN, my son, you've passed your last test!"

 

Economies of Scale: Schools, Police, Fire, Businesses... Follow the EoS, or fail

Cost curves and school district size.

One of the most important, and least-understood, principles of microeconomics is cost curves. As a practical issue, every production process includes a period of declining average cost per unit due to economies of scale. However, eventually, every production process reaches the end of that declining average cost, and faces increasing average cost per unit due to dis-economies of scale.

Cost curves are substantially based on the available technology. When you plow your field with a mule, you need a lot of kids for labor, and you can only manage a small amount of land. Your cost curve begins to rise after a small amount of food is produced, so your farm can't be very large. When you plow your field with a self-driving GPS-controlled tractor, your cost curve keeps averaging down over a large quantity of food production, so you can profitably manage a huge amount of land. The Soviet Union had huge collective farms that were unable to support themselves; small American farms created surplus food.

The idea that "bigger is better" is simply not true past a certain size. If "bigger is better" were always true, we would have more Wal-Marts and fewer Dollar Stores. Yet, Wal-Mart is not the inevitable economic behemoth it once was, and more than one brand of dollar store has successfully competed against Wal-Mart. Former economic monsters like JC Penney and Sears are well past their heyday. Out of little Kresge grew huge K-Mart, which is about to disappear into the dustbin of history.

When you look at airlines, you see that the huge, do-everything airlines go broke over and over: TWA, Pan Am, American, United, Delta, Northwest, etc. You see the tiny airlines go broke over and over. But you see the in-between airlines like Southwest survive and thrive. They are big enough to get substantial economies of scale without being so big that they suffer dis-economies of scale.

Anyone who has ever lived in the South loves Waffle House. Waffle House is a small restaurant that does not have seating for more than about 25 people. If a Waffle House gets busy, they don't expand; they build another Waffle House nearby. My friends in Birmingham told me that there is one intersection in Birmingham with 4 Waffle Houses, one on each corner. Where I lived in Atlanta, there were 3 Waffle Houses within 4 blocks of my apartment. They know their exact efficient size, and they keep all of their restaurants at that size. Meanwhile, we have all seen restaurants get busy and successful, remodel and expand, and immediately go broke because they could no longer cover their costs.

Every industry has a "right" size where the cost curves are most efficient. In a free market, firms that are too small will be out-competed due to the lack of economies of scale, and firms that are too big will be out-competed due to the presence of dis-economies of scale. Up-sizing, down-sizing, and right-sizing are all attempts by firms to find their efficient size.

This concept is rarely applied to the public school system (or police departments, fire departments, sewer systems, water delivery systems, etc.). Instead, huge cities have huge public school systems, small towns have small public school systems, medium-sized suburbs have medium-sized public school systems, etc. This could never happen in a free market because most of these entities are simply the wrong size to be cost efficient.

It's not rocket science to look at the huge districts and realize that the amount of bureaucracy in them makes them inefficient. Break them up. Shrink them down. Find the sizes that are the most efficient and the least costly per pupil, and suggest that all school districts should aim to be about that size.

That also brings school governance closer to the local level, closer to the parents, and closer to the teachers. Here in Las Vegas, the entire county is one school district, and the county is bigger than Rhode Island, Delaware, and Connecticut -- it is about the same size as the state of New Jersey (8000 sq miles vs 8700 sq miles). It is frequently criticized for being big and bureaucratic, and not being able to move quickly to handle issues. The discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots is huge, so the argument that somehow having one district alleviates that is just silly. I'm sure that the situation is similar in places like New York, LA, Chicago, etc.


The same argument can be extended to school size (how many kids in a class, how many kids in a school). There is an efficient size to a school. Maybe very small schools are more efficient; maybe very large schools are more efficient. Maybe schools already perform this analysis for school size since they have to justify bond issues and there are outside contractors bidding on construction.

But the analysis surely is not being done for district size.

Break them up.

SK

Friday, January 22, 2016

 

13 Hours. Movie Review from a Military Professional

Maybe semi-pro; I know I can fight a tank or plan a Division operation better than the ex-SEAL/Ranger/Force Recon dudes in the film but if you want a squad infantry fight they are the ones you want.  To my eye there were several points of interest:
 
1)      The film isn’t 100% clear on this, but most of those CIA contractor guys were retired and in their early 40s.  Being played by younger actors.  Least service time among them was I think 10 years.  The clue is the guy at the end who needed a Service secretary to re-enlist them so they qualified for the med care they deserved; takes a Secretary to bring a retiree back into active service.  Their disparaging comment about the short military service time of the State Dep’t security dudes is another clue in the film.  Early retirement in favor of contractor work (pure mercenary or gov’t sponsored) has in fact been a retention challenge in the SF community the past 10 years or so.  Very well-paid work.
 
2)      The tight shot control during the fire fights, no John Wayne blazing away, the constant radio chatter to coordinate the fight… that’s what right looks like.  The “I have exactly the guns and gear I want instead of the issue cr@p” is one of the reasons these guys go contractor.  Or SEAL or Delta Force.
 
3)      The sense of abandonment  (why do you think us ground pounders think mean thoughts about the Air Force?  Sure, leather jacket envy, but it’s really that sense of abandonment.  Sorry, Matt, we don’t envey the brown shoes, just the jackets).
 
4)      The reviews state the film is apolitical because Hill, The One, etc aren’t in it.  But, consider the scene with the 4-star advocating to launch a team now and get clearance to land en route.  Who do you think is on the other end of that phone call?  It’s a very short list given a 4-star on this end…  COCOM CG at least; if that was the COCOM CG we saw on the phone, SECDEF or POTUS or their delegate would be on the other end.  The- accurate- message “we could have sent help or several sorts and decided not to” is 100% clear in the film.  Ambassador Matthews’ requests for additional security, denied by SECSTATE, were only implied.  Rightly so, it’s an adventure movie.  For the professional, however… we know who made the decisions.
 
5)      The phone home scenes were very hard for me to watch, having made such calls from overseas theaters myself. 
 
6)      The comment “ask AFRICOM to come help the secret base you are just now telling them exists” has an additional message to the professional.  3-letter agencies are notorious for mucking about in one’s battlespace without telling one then needing to get rescued.  If you know the CIA has a base you can plan the rescue ahead of time, maybe even rehearse it or have assets ‘be prepared to’ execute which cute response time down enormously.  If you need to start cold and go in blind, risk increases by an order of magnitude.
 
7)      The scene with the big, buff ex-SEAL reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth is spot-on.  Those guys love tuning up the mind and the body. 
 
·         An aside… one of the foibles of the Ranger & up SF community is every snake eater longs in his heart to be something yet more secret squirrel.  Rangers want to be SF… SF wants to be Delta Force…. Delta wants to be CIA contractors. Leaving bureaucracy behind is the mantra.   It’s a little sad when we maneuver officers think about it since apparently CIA contractors want to be home with their families.  Nowhere to go but home for them. 
 
The difference between being in uniform- and having in some sense a claim on the full might of the Republic to back one up- and being an expendable, deniable mercenary is made very clear in the film.  Those guys and the Ambassador and the CIA workers they fought to protect deserved better.  

PGS

Saturday, January 02, 2016

 

A 2016 New Year's Letter from Germany to America....

Excerpts from a New Year's letter to Friends in America....

Von: e+u
 An: Trish
Gesendet: 13:28 Freitag, 1.Januar 2016
Betreff: Happy New Year

 
Hi Trish,
 
Europe and the U.S. are moving more and more apart. Your Christmas card took 22 days to arrive.

 
There are virtually no news from our side. We have given up our plans to move to Austria ( Lake
Constanze). Austria is no alternative to Germany . We were looking into some smaller towns in 
Germany, which are not too distant from some of the larger towns. But it is very very difficult
to find something. With all the refugees flooding Germany , housing became a scarce 
commodity.
 
Sometimes we thought we should have bought a green card and moved to the U.S. when the 
USD was weak to get out of Europe - but that is too late now. And to be honest the news from
the U.S. are not very motivating. It is a nightmare for us to imagine Donald Trump being the 
next president (Do you think he really has a chance?). Also the news about shootings, the
discussions of wearing guns openely like John Wayne is also very disturbing.
 
This year over one million refugees came to Germany . Of those there are now more than
300.000 people from Syria , Afghanistan and Irak in Germany and nobody knows who they
are or where they are. We have a complete political breakdown in terms of security,
protection of our borders etc.Until now the German people believe all this is for free and 
will not end in higher taxes, however, the awakening will be very funny for some of the people, 
espec. the low income class. In the beginning politicians talked about the highly motivated,
extremely well educated refugees coming to Germany - if their statements were true,
we were wondering if there is still one doctor or other academic left in those countries. 
In the meantime even the politicians had to admit that most are not fit for a modern society,
their education equals more a four year school term in Germany , hardly the people we need.
But Angela Merkel is very optimistic, the second or third generation might be useful for our
society, up to then we have to support them.
In addition to that, they all tak about family reunion and expect to bring their families to 
Germany as well - there are millions to come in the next few years.
 
Germany will change dramatically in the next years. Even if you are optimistic, we have 
to watch that very careful. 
 
We wish you a happy new year - stay healthy.
 
Take care and stay in touch,
Love 
Erika and Ulrich
 
P.s. please let us know, if your e-mail account still works.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

 

Today's lesson in macroeconomics: Time Horizons

Today's lesson in macroeconomics: Time Horizons

A person's Time Horizon is the period of time over which a person -- or a society -- evaluates the costs and benefits of an action. How a person chooses to trade off costs and benefits between the present and the future has a huge impact on the person's future.

1: Consider a new born baby. There is no such thing as the future.  A baby poops when it wants to poop, cries when it wants to cry, and sleeps when it wants to sleep.

2: Now consider a 5-year-old child. The future lasts about 5 minutes. Offer the 5-year-old an ice cream cone now, or 2 ice cream cones tomorrow (100% daily return!) and the answer is easy: NOW!

Offer the same 5-year-old child a spanking now or 2 spankings in the future and the answer is easy: FUTURE!

To the 5-year-old child, there is no such thing as tomorrow. There are only benefits and costs right now. If something is neither benefit nor cost right now, it is not part of the child's evaluation. The child's time horizon is about 5 minutes long.

3: Fast forward to age 14. The teenager's time horizon is pretty much from now until the weekend. This weekend, there's a party, or a dance, or my friends are going to hang out, or I can watch TV, or go to the pool, or whatever is crucial to the particular teen.

4: Consider the average college undergraduate. I would routinely ask my students how many of them had term papers the previous term that were assigned on the first day in the syllabus. Answer: nearly all of them. How many started that term paper 15 weeks before it was due? None. By mid-term? Two or three. Two weeks out? Maybe 10. 48 hours before it was due? The vast majority.

The time horizon of the 18-20 year old is barely more than that of the 14-year-old. It most cases, it is less than a week. That extends slightly for certain institutional issues like Spring Break -- some people get their tickets early, after all.

5: But now let's look at the 35-year-old -- the "adult." A 35-year-old adult likely is married ("til death do us part" they claim), kids (stuck with them forever), and a 30-year mortgage. Now THAT'S a bunch of long horizon issues. The 35-year-old adult has been making choices that necessarily require longer time horizons.

Incidentally, this is why marriage at 20 is a bad idea for most kids. Their time horizon is a week, and their commitment is for life.

6: Now consider the 80-year-old senior citizen. Their life expectancy might not be very long, but they are concerned not only with their own lives but also the lives of their kids and even their grandkids. They write wills to allocate their resources even after they are dead, so  their kids and grandkids can have advantages for years to come.


So the issue, despite what the 20-year-old recruit might say, is not the difficulty in setting up an investment account. As you point out, that's not any harder than signing up for online gaming. The issue to the 20-year-old recruit is that he can see the money coming out today (a cost today), but he cannot see the benefit in 40 or 50 years. His time horizon is way too short for that.


Some people pay costs now and defer benefits until later. They are the savers and investors.

Other people take benefits now and push costs to later. They are the Democrats and the Socialists.

This also has implications for criminal behavior. After all, what idiot would rob a 7-11 in order to get a thousand bucks, and then serve a year in prison? Is a thousand bucks worth a year in prison? It IS, if you look at current benefits having value, and future costs being discounted to zero.



Societies have the same sets of trade-offs. A society can save and invest more in the present, and reap benefits in the future. Or a society can spend and consume more in the present, and pay costs in the future.The first society, because it saves and invests, acquires more productive capacity, thereby continually raising its standard of living.

The second society, because it is not saving and investing, is not acquiring more productive capacity, hence, it cannot raise its standard of living.

Societies make these trade-offs through laws and culture. As laws encourage more current spending -- e.g., the Fed pumps money into the economy but does not thereby create more resources, so the new money goes into speculative behaviors -- a society's culture shortens its time horizons. The members of the culture are seemingly rewarded for engaging in ever-more-short-sighted behaviors, so they engage in such behaviors.

I assume everyone here knows the Rule of 72: Where x is the growth rate, 72/x = how long to double. But most people don't realize how subtle the change is to have huge lifetime effects. Economies have growth rates that seem barely different, but over time, those effects are massively compounded.

Suppose an economy's growth rate is:

.72%:      72 / .72 = 100 years to double the standard of living
1.44%:    72 / 1.44 = 50 years to double the standard of living
2.88%:    72 /  2.88 = 25 years to double the standard of living

Think of the implications of that. If a society saves enough that the annual economic growth rate is slightly less than 3% every year, it should be able to double its standard of living every 25 years. Let's trace these out for a century:

.72% growth
1900    $10,000 per capita
2000    $20,000 per capital

1.44% growth
1900    $10,000 per capita
1950    $20,000 per capita
2000    $40,000 per capita

2.88% growth
1900    $10,000 per capita
1925    $20,000 per capita
1950    $40,000 per capita
1975    $80,000 per capita
2000    $160,000 per capita

WOW! The difference between .72% average growth and 2.88% average growth is that one doubles in a century, and the other climbs 16 fold in a century.

Now compare the U.S. and, say, Bangladesh from 1900 to 2000.

In 1900, both used horses to plow and for transportation. In 2000, one still did. The other put men on the moon. I'd call that about a 16-fold change.

In 1900, diabetes was a death sentence in both countries. In 2000, it still is in one. In the other, it is a nuisance that is managed by millions of people. I'd call that about a 16-fold change.


So the implications of Matt's young charges is far greater than just their own retirement. It is the entire fate of their culture. And with the continuation of policies that encourage short time horizons -- spend your way out of a recession -- US growth risks becoming come more and more like Greece.

Since WW II, their savings declined. The entire culture has adopted a consume-now attitude, and the Greek economy has been devastated. The Greeks have all but refused the pay-later portion of the consume-now attitude, leaving the remaining adults in Europe perplexed about what to do about the short-time-horizon Greeks.

It's hard to teach kids how to be adults. It's made even harder when those purported to be adults are still, in reality, kids.

Maturity = long time horizon.

- SK


Thursday, May 14, 2015

 

Basis of Hate and Civil Unrest in our Country and the World....

"The intolerant jew, and the bigoted pagan, have exhibited no more of a persecuting spirit, than the nominal professor of christianity, and the infidel and the avowed atheist. Indeed, it seems to be an "inherent vice," in unsanctified nature to endeavour by the pressure of physical force, to restrain obnoxious sentiments, and to propagate favourite opinions. It is only when the heart has been renewed and sanctified by divine grace, that men have rightly understood and practised the true principles of toleration. We do not say that none but real christians have adopted correct views respecting civil and religious liberty;—but we affirm that these views owe their origin entirely to christianity and its genuine disciples." - Foxe's Book of Martyrs

Sunday, August 24, 2014

 

Fiat Money...and the Face Thereon.

Sacagewea refused any sort of token or fiat coinage and bartered only in hard goods. So the U.S. put her on the worthless "golden" dollar. (Not Gold Dollar, Golden Dollar. It is artificially colored gold!) Sacagewea would never have accepted the Sacagewea Golden Dollar because it was a fake.


Thomas Jefferson famously called for "the eternal suppression of paper money." He favored using only gold and silver for money, and opposed all forms of fiat money, having studied the issue of fiat money issue in France, where it repeatedly led to poverty and economic destruction. So the U.S. repeatedly puts his face on fiat money.


Andrew Jackson issued an edict that the federal government would no longer accept notes from the (second) Bank of the United States (a private entity with a federal charter -- much like Fannie and Freddie). That crushed the Bank and set a hard money precedent that lasted until Abe Lincoln tossed it aside as inconvenient in the face of war. So Jackson has repeatedly appeared on U.S. fiat money.


Rand believed in the classical gold standard (gold is money, and any notes are drawn on gold) and opposed all fiat money. So it only stands to reason that she will appear on U.S. currency sooner or later.

As Rand repeatedly argued, the best way to destroy shrines is to enshrine mediocrity.

So we enshrine Sacagewea, Jefferson, Jackson, and Rand by putting them on paper money. The irony is cosmic -- and deliberate.

-SK

Sunday, August 03, 2014

 

Natural Law

You have a right to live your life.
You have a right to create.
You have a right to build something.
You have a right not to be impoverished.
You have a right to plant crops on your own field.

And if someone you meet is hungry, you have the right to feed them.

You have a right to defend yourself.
You have a right not to have people go into your home and snoop around.


THAT IS NATURAL LAW

...and this is where we defend it.  

Theblaze.com


Thursday, July 17, 2014

 

Where California has gone wrong... and why six states might make sense

Original Article is HERE, with an excellent comment made below:

I am born and raised here, went thru an excellent public school system here, got my several entry level jobs as a teenager and eventually started and ran a profitable small business here for 30+ years employing 30+ folks and raising a family...but that is not possible today. I fondly remember the Reagan years when everything from our school systems to our business friendly environment we were the envy of the nation...because he gave us SMALL government. low tax rates, and stood up to the Socialist unions. BUt that California is history. Our schools suck, teenagers can no longer wash cars or dishes, and/or or mow lawns because the illegals do those jobs (and pay no taxes). And NOBODY is looking to move to California for the friendly business environment...it is no longer a good state to be "an evil employer", for a host of reasons.
Becasue today we have a completely overgrown bureaucracy that has sucked the life blood of the Golden State dry. Frankly, 5 new states couldn't get any worse than it is now by disbanding the current monstrosity that has bled us dry.
Frankly spoken folks, it NEEDS to be broken up, it is a political monopoly. Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to government.
Assuming some of these new 5 states would logically establish SMALLER central governments, with the associated LOWER tax rates that would in turn allow more private and corporate liberty (aka; Capitalism) to grow the economy instead of this corrupt Socialist, Progressive, one party rule by DemocRATs that has bankrupted us both fiscally and morally...this would be a great idea! We might even be able to pay off our massive DEBT and cut back on our unsustainable entitlements that give paychecks to the homeless in SF and giant pensions for state workers that get paid far MORE than private sector and retire with a full ride pension after just 20 years...it is madness here!
That said, this is no more than an interesting "what if" discussion point. History has shown that is is nearly impossible to reduce the size and scope of a Socialist system once it has grown roots...and man do we have roots here;
1) highest taxes in the nation to support our massive Progressive infrastructure (which is massively inefficient as wel)l
2) highest unemployment and long term unemployed in the nation
3) highest debt in the nation, also highest long term unsustainable entitlement debt...who's gonna bail us out when the union pension house of cards collapses...we do not print our own currency like the fiscal fools in DC.
4) our schools have dropped to bottom due to large central control and union "tenure" and massive misuse from centralized Socialist rule...even though our spending is the highest in the nation!
5) Our once blooming bread basket of a Central Valley is a relative dust bowl today since our Eco Nazi Dear Leaders have cut off our NoCal water supplies to "save the Delta Smelt", a 3" fish that is neither indigenous nor endangered but occasionally gets caught in the irrigation valves.. It's no wonder our farmers want to split off their own state from the fools in Sacramento and get back to feeding the nation!
It may also be the only way to get rid of Geriatric Brown and his Billion dollar boondoggle "Bullet" (40 mph) train to link up Bakersfield and Merced, so it will take twice as long and cost twice as much as simply driving from LA to SF.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

 

Why Team Obama was Blind-sided by Bergdahl Backlash...

National Review Article HERE

Congratulations, Mr. President! And identical congrats to your sorcerer’s apprentice, National Security Adviser Susan Rice. By trying to sell him as an American hero, you’ve turned a deserter already despised by soldiers in the know into quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military.
I have never witnessed such outrage from our troops.
Exhibit A: Ms. Rice. In one of the most tone-deaf statements in White House history (we’re making a lot of history here), the national-security advisor, on a Sunday talk show, described Bergdahl as having served “with honor and distinction.” Those serving in uniform and those of us who served previously were already stirred up, but that jaw-dropper drove us into jihad mode.
But pity Ms. Rice. Like the president she serves, she’s a victim of her class. Nobody in the inner circle of Team Obama has served in uniform. It shows. That bit about serving with “honor and distinction” is the sort of perfunctory catch-phrase politicians briefly don as electoral armor. (“At this point in your speech, ma’am, devote one sentence to how much you honor the troops.”)
I actually believe that Ms. Rice was kind of sincere, in her spectacularly oblivious way. In the best Manchurian Candidate manner, she said what she had been programmed to say by her political culture, then she was blindsided by the firestorm she ignited by scratching two flinty words together. At least she didn’t blame Bergdahl’s desertion on a video.
The president, too, appears stunned. He has so little understanding of (or interest in) the values and traditions of our troops that he and his advisers really believed that those in uniform would erupt into public joy at the news of Bergdahl’s release — as D.C. frat kids did when Osama bin Laden’s death was trumpeted.
Both President Obama and Ms. Rice seem to think that the crime of desertion in wartime is kind of like skipping class. They have no idea of how great a sin desertion in the face of the enemy is to those in our military. The only worse sin is to side actively with the enemy and kill your brothers in arms. This is not sleeping in on Monday morning and ducking Gender Studies 101.
But compassion, please! The president and all the president’s men and women are not alone. Our media elite — where it’s a rare bird who bothered to serve in uniform — instantly became experts on military justice. Of earnest mien and blithe assumption, one talking head after another announced that “we always try to rescue our troops, even deserters.”
Uh, no. “Save the deserter” is a recent battle cry of the politically indoctrinated brass. For much of our history, we did make some efforts to track down deserters in wartime. Then we shot or hanged them. Or, if we were in good spirits, we merely used a branding iron to burn a large D into their cheeks or foreheads. Even as we grew more enlightened, desertion brought serious time in a military prison. At hard labor.
This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans “so dumb” they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don’t necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle — the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)
President Obama did this to himself (and to Bergdahl). This beautifully educated man, who never tires of letting us know how much smarter he is than the rest of us, never stopped to consider that our troops and their families might have been offended by their commander-in-chief staging a love-fest at the White House to celebrate trading five top terrorists for one deserter and featuring not the families of those soldiers (at least six of them) who died in the efforts to find and free Bergdahl, but, instead, giving a starring role on the international stage to Pa Taliban, parent of a deserter and a creature of dubious sympathies (that beard on pops ain’t a tribute to ZZ Top). How do you say “outrageous insult to our vets” in Pashto?
Nor, during the recent VA scandal, had the president troubled himself to host the families of survivors of those vets who died awaiting care. No, the warmest attention our president has ever paid to a “military family” was to Mr. and Mrs. Bergdahl.
(I will refrain from criticism of the bumptious attempts to cool the flames of this political conflagration by Secretary Hagel: I never pick on the weak.)
What is to be done? Behind the outrage triggered by Team Obama’s combination of cynicism and obliviousness (Bergdahl was so ill we had to set those terrorists free immediately, without notifying Congress, but now he’s chugging power shakes in a military hospital . . . and all this just happened to come at the peak of the VA scandal . . . ), military members don’t really want to lynch Bergdahl. But they want justice.
Our military leaders need to rediscover their moral courage and honor our traditions, our regulations, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. We need a fresh, unprejudiced 15-6 investigation (the military equivalent of a grand jury). We already know, as the military has known since the first 24 hours after Bergdahl abandoned his post, that sufficient evidence exists for a court-martial, but it’s important to do this by the numbers.
It’s hard to believe that the resulting court-martial would not find Bergdahl guilty of desertion (although there will be heavy White House pressure to reduce the charge to Absent Without Leave, or AWOL, status, a lesser offense). If he is convicted, I for one do not want him to go to prison. I’m sure he’s paid and paid for betraying his comrades, quite possibly suffering brutal sexual violence. But if he is found guilty, he needs to be formally reduced to the rank of private, stripped of all privileges and entitlements (the taxpayer should not pay for a deserter’s lifelong health care — Bergdahl’s book and film deals can cover that), and he should be given the appropriate prison sentence, which would then be commuted by the president. Thereafter, let Mr. Bergdahl go home and live with himself.
As for President Obama, how about just one word of thanks to the families of those fallen soldiers you sent out to find Bowe Bergdahl?
— Fox News Strategic Analyst Ralph Peters is a retired Army officer and former enlisted man.

Monday, April 28, 2014

 

Moving Closer to War in Ukraine...

Moving Closer to War

Paul Craig Roberts
The Obama regime, wallowing in hubris and arrogance, has recklessly escalated the Ukrainian crisis into a crisis with Russia. Whether intentionally or stupidly, Washington’s propagandistic lies are driving the crisis to war. Unwilling to listen to any more of Washington’s senseless threats, Moscow no longer accepts telephone calls from Obama and US top officials.
The crisis in Ukraine originated with Washington’s overthrow of the elected democratic government and its replacement with Washington’s hand-chosen stooges. The stooges proceeded to act in word and deed against the populations in the former Russian territories that Soviet Communist Party leaders had attached to Ukraine. The consequence of this foolish policy is agitation on the part of the Russian speaking populations to return to Russia. Crimea has already rejoined Russia, and eastern Ukraine and other parts of southern Ukraine are likely to follow.
Instead of realizing its mistake, the Obama regime has encouraged the stooges Washington installed in Kiev to use violence against those in the Russian-speaking areas who are agitating for referendums so that they can vote their return to Russia. The Obama regime has encouraged violence despite President Putin’s clear statement that the Russian military will not occupy Ukraine unless violence is used against the protesters.
We can safely conclude that Washington either does not listen when spoken to or Washington desires violence.
As Washington and NATO are not positioned at this time to move significant military forces into Ukraine with which to confront the Russian military, why is the Obama regime trying to provoke action by the Russian military? A possible answer is that Washington’s plan to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base having gone awry, Washington’s fallback plan is to sacrifice Ukraine to a Russian invasion so that Washington can demonize Russia and force a large increase in NATO military spending and deployments.
In other words, the fallback prize is a new cold war and trillions of dollars more in profits for Washington’s military/security complex.
The handful of troops and aircraft that Washington has sent to “reassure” the incompetent regimes in those perennial trouble spots for the West–Poland and the Baltics–and the several missile ships sent to the Black Sea amount to nothing but symbolic provocations.
Economic sanctions applied to individual Russian officials signal nothing but Washington’s impotence. Real sanctions would harm Washington’s NATO puppet states far more than the sanctions would hurt Russia.
It is clear that Washington has no intention of working anything out with the Russian government. Washington’s demands make this conclusion unavoidable. Washington is demanding that the Russian government pull the rug out from under the protesting populations in eastern and southern Ukraine and force the Russian populations in Ukraine to submit to Washington’s stooges in Kiev. Washington also demands that Russia renege on the reunification with Crimea and hand Crimea over to Washington so that the original plan of evicting Russia from its Black Sea
naval base can go forward.
In other words, Washington’s demand is that Russia put Humpty Dumpty back together again and hand him over to Washington.
This demand is so unrealistic that it surpasses the meaning of arrogance. The White House Fool is telling Putin: “I screwed up my takeover of your backyard. I want you to fix the situation for me and to ensure the success of the strategic threat I intended to bring to your backyard.”
The presstitute Western media and Washington’s European puppet states are supporting this unrealistic demand. Consequently, Russian leaders have lost all confidence in the word and intentions of the West, and this is how wars start.
European politicians are putting their countries at great peril and for what gain? Are Europe’s politicians blackmailed, threatened, paid off with bags of money, or are they so accustomed to following Washington’s lead that they are unable to do anything else? How do Germany, UK, and France benefit from being forced into a confrontation with Russia by Washington?
Washington’s arrogance is unprecedented and is capable of driving the world to destruction. Where is Europe’s sense of self-preservation? Why hasn’t Europe issued arrest warrants for every member of the Obama regime? Without the cover provided by Europe and the presstitute media, Washington would not be able to drive the world to war.

Friday, September 27, 2013

 

Ted Cruz: why his 21 hour "filibuster" matters

Monday AM the entire band of galley big screens at work were set to MSNBC.  During and after Ted's Talk the goons of the uber left were ranting about Cruz.  Over the next few days the TVs gradually changed to CNN and Fox, anything, just to get away from MSNBC.  It took until today for the TV that stares me down like an alien robot to finally change over to Fox.

In seeing the sub titles on MSNBC, and in reading RCP, and seeing selected videos at RCP, I have to ask, "are the media and pundocraciy that dumb?"

Here are some of the things both left and right have said:
-Ted's Talk was all a waste of time
-It will go, has gone, no where, there is no end game and it is / was irrelevant
-Ted's tactics are bad
-Ted offended the Lords of the Chumps, the Mac Pac, et al, showing his amateurism
-Ted's Talk was about his ego, his uncontrolled Narcissism, he total disconnect from the reality of how things are done round these parts
-Ted won't achieve anything.

You may have noticed that is is actually impossible for Ted's rant to be a waste of time, unless, sitting in front of a camera for, oh, say 12 hours, and talking about Ted talking, is also a waste of time.  The media, the sacred GOP columnists, others, could have just ignored Ted.  They didn't, they went into various stages of shock.  It was very important to them, yet some how trivial at the same time.  Well, if they are that disturbed, then Ted's Talk was not irrelevant, it actually mattered.

While the MSN clowns may be as dumb as they seem, I doubt they are, but they may be, there is no way that the Fox folk are that dumb, same for more the libs who have learned how to write, at least with a keyboard, if not with a pen.

So here we have Ted, driving all of DC just fippin nuts, and the Beltway Boys sound the alarm.  They appear on TV, write, do all they can to sound the alarm.  Of course, they will not actually tell us what the "alert" is.  They sound the alarm, but they don't say if it's tornado or hurricanes, flood or fire.  They could at least tell us what this Ted disaster could lead to, right, um.... wrong...no, they really cannot afford to tell us why Ted is cause for alarm.

There are a few hints.  The lib goons giggle and say "what in the world does Cruz have to gain, why is he doing this, ha ha ha, what an idiot, he is just making himself look more like an idiot, what is he thinking?  We sure don't know ... we have no idea ... anyway it does not mater because it will not work."

The GOP sees Ted and says the same stuff, but they also note that Ted needs to be destroyed, or at least shut up and listen to his betters, it's for the good of the party, and the country, and well, .....

Here is why Ted is, and was, such a threat:
1.The basic idea of Obamacare is, from the dems "you can't do anything about it."  From the GOP "We can't do anything about it, we are clueless and helpless, what do you want from us, we tried, forget it it's over."

2.Ted stood up and talked.  He did not do anything.  He did not introduce a bill, did not run for a leadership position, he did not even filibuster.  All he did was talk.  And the whole pack of careerist pols freaked out.  They panicked.  That is what they did because he spoke.  Now imaging how terrified they will be if he acts.

3. Ted showed "someone is willing to try to do something" and this conflicts with the whole carefully crafted image the parties have presented.  The public saw Ted talk, they see the millions of dollars of free advertising by those who slam Ted, now the public smells success.  The commoners see it, the siege of DC Imperial City has begun. The parties need to NOT explain what Ted is doing, NOT state the obvious. 

The idiots (and those pretending to be idiots) are saying Ted is lobbing stones at the castle walls because he does not like Grand Duke Obama and wants to "diminish" his prestige, or because he hates the donjon union, or he despises the government cistern for the middle class.  They look at the stones that slam into the wall, tossed by the Cruz siege engines, and claim it will never matter, the walls are too strong, the walls are too well manned.

When the Crusaders fell upon Constantinople, and there was no hope of them breaching the walls, the defenders held the walls, because they fought an opponent who could not fight them.  When the crusaders got inside, the guys on the walls said "what's in it for me? I don't even live here" and took off.

The idea that Cruz is not lobbing stones at the walls to insult the castle, but to breech the wall, seems to have never occurred to the idiots, well, they want us to think they are that dumb.

The rage over Ted is because he locked up the Senate, he put them in stasis, and they could do nothing but receive inbound comm from voters...they hate that.  The voters had time to make contact. 

The GOP had better destroy Cruz, they are accusing him of this and that, they know he is a threat, they need to destroy him, make his siege stop.  Of course, they might want to take a look around, check out who is on the wall.  The GOP has already been infiltrated.  If they get rid of Ted, they will have to watch their backs constantly, what about Lee, and Rand (well, in by castle story, Baron Rand) and what about Lord Rubio?  He has already torn up his treaty with the GOP rulers.  The GOP is oblivious to the section of wall that Cruz just bashed in, and they are so focused on Ted that they can't seem to figure out that these guys are in their ranks.  Has anyone said "Baron Rand has been quite, that is uncharacteristic, what is he up to? send out my spies."

To drag us to ancient Greece for a moment, lets stop at Delhi and see if Charles the Oracle has wondered what the right wingers will do next.  Let's make a Spamalot stop next, what about Will the Enchanter?  Has he warned that Rubio's recent treachery is maybe a tiny bit of a problem?

So lets get to what will happen.  It's all Cruz's bizarre ego show, right, it won't lead to anything.

I mean all of Chumpdom is safe, in the castle, right?

What about the Royal Repufamily? Well while Ted talked, during the night, Lord Mitch snoozed safely snug in his shell.  And while he dozed Rance the Traitor snuck up and slipped a stiletto right into Lord Mitch's back.  Turns out he was a soft shell turtle after all.  What has the world come to when the chairman of the GOP, yes the Holy GOPsee itself, sides with Cruz, and tells everyone on the wall that they should side with the guy outside tossing the stones, not with the Lord of the Senate? 

So there is your first casualty.  While Lord Mitch may have kept his reign after ...thinking about it....thinking about it...yes. the day before the Exhauster's Syria (that was supposed to be Exalted, but it is too good to change) speech Lord Mitch has an answer, and he is against the sortie out of the castle to attack Syria, and so the crown may stay on his head, primary be damned.  But now, now that Mitch stood against the utterly irrelevant speech by Ted, not only do all of the peasants of Kentucky know where he stands, so to speak, but Rance, the ultimate incarnation of the GOP establishment, has betrayed him, putting his primary run in doubt, or, did Rance slip in the knife because he was not trying to cost Mitch his primary, but already knew that it was lost?  

Mitch has next to no chance of being Senate majority leader, and now he has very little change of winning his own primary.  But speaking of the Senate.

For the Senate to just keep Obamacare in the spending should be no big deal, it's just as expected, a minor story, does not even rise to being a story.  That was then.  Now that Ted has said his piece, the ultimatum is clear, Ted, the barbarian outside the wall, has told the dems to take their pick, they can have Obamacae or the Senate, but not both, now choose. 

Hmmm....odd, I thought Ted had no clue what he was doing, I thought the professional idiots, the gang that tells us they have "no clue at all what Cruz is up to" had, well, no clue at all.  Strange, it seems that after this pointless show boating by Ted, and the millions of dollars of free advertising explaining how stupid he is, claiming that something could be done to stop Obamacare, did I say millions ...I'm sorry, let's make that billions, and right after the Imperial City just explained how a war would be a really good thing right now.....I mean it's not like it counts for the election.  Syria did not count for the election, right?  I know it's after Labor day and all, but it's not like it's an 'election year,' and those folks who lost their health care won't remember any of this, right?

Sure, right.  Ted calls off his siege engines at noon, and the GOP and the libs breath a sigh of relief.   "Thank the goddess or the non existent non being that's over" say the libs.  "He never had a chance" say the Chumps.    No need to worry, Ted's gone, the walls held, they are just, you know, breeched, just a bit.  The commoners will never flood in.

They are right, the commoners won't flood in, but they don't have to.  If Mac's second banana buddy falls, it Lord Mitch falls, the commoners are going to do what?  Pull back, maybe?  And the regular Senators that stand and watch, they will all rally behind the Chumps and Grumps, right? 

This is all about dismantling the GOP establishment, one Chump at a time, a Grump here, a Rino there. 

Obamacare is inevitable, there is no reason to try, there is nothing you can do, right?  The reason there is so much panic is because if the GOP establishment can be brought down, then Obamacare can be brought down.  The catch is, there does not seem to be a way of being down the one, and leaving he other intact.

Still, there is more idiocy here.  Ted is not aiming to "just" bring down the Chumps, he is not aiming to "just" bring down Obamacare, he is aiming at the castle, bring the castle down, and you don't just collapse the Chumps, and Obamacase, bring the castle down and you collapse the nobility, the whole aristocracy falls.  When that happens, you will see it, look to see commoners running for office and winning.  Not just a token win there or there, but flooding through the ruins of the walls.   Of course the real migration is when most of the GOP pols decide to join the commoners.  Again, it woudl never happen, we should think.  Manchin has already said he is up for accomodating the commoners, and he's a dem.  Really? we are supposed to belive that a dem would deal with the right wingers and the GOP pols will not?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

 

2nd Amendment quotes for use around the water cooler....

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

•"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." 
--James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46 

•"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
--Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787). 

•"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." 
--Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788. 

•"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." 
-- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356 

•" ... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..."
-- Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29

•"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?"
-- Patrick Henry, 3 J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions 45, 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1836 

Additional quotes can be found at: http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes/arms.html

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