Sunday, June 29, 2014

Sunday Morning News & Notes

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It's been awhile but got the writing bug back. I may be rusty but always try to bring my "A" game so here goes:

-The vile Nancy Pelosi says "we are all American's" while standing at the border where hundreds of thousands of people are swarming through unchecked. I wonder how she's feel if we shipped all of these illegals up to her district in northern California and forced them to pay for the care, housing and processing of them. I'm sure the rise in crime rates, burden on the local infrastructure and introduction of diseases would go over fantastically. K say we ship some to New York City as well since Mayor DiBlasio is of the same mind as Pelosi on this.

-Long time readers (if I have any more left) may remember the epic battles I used to get in with the Swarthmore College liberals. I liked them for the most part--at least as much as one can like the privileged children of wealthy white liberals who have had no real world, diversified experience outside of seeing one black guy who mistakenly took a wrong turn and ended up in Bryn Mawr. they used to attempt to debate me on the issues of the day in their cute, smug manner. Well, it appears things haven't really changed that much in the land of of the Swatties.

-To every person who's been paying attention the NY Times has done a horrible job (read the usual job) of covering the IRS scandal. Imagine for a sec it was a Republican president who ordered the IRS to audit and/or give special attention to his political enemies in a move to silence them. The story would be front page, above the fold every single day for months. The Times has not had one front page story and has barely even mentioned it. So after some inquiries from one of the fifteen readers they still have left, they did an internal investigation and found that they've done a fine job of covering a non-story thank you very much. Now shut up you rube.

-In what can only be described as the worst article ever written in a somewhat major online magazine; Slate tries to make the case that global warming is responsible for the carnage ISIS has caused in Iraq and Syria. No, really.

Could there be a connection between climate change and the emerging conflict in Iraq?The short answer is a qualified yes, according to Frank Femia of the Center for Climate and Security, a Washington-based policy institute advised by senior retired military and national security leader.
So who is Frank Femia? He's a guy who has a financial stake in ensuring the public takes global warming seriously so he interjects global warming into everything he can. Slate is of the same mind and using the fact that Femia's organization has affiliations with former top military men who are only seeking a paycheck has equated the lack of rain in Mesopotamia with the growing threat of ISIS.  The fact that ISIS is just the next group to follow in the 600 year tradition of re-establishing the great caliphate and is carrying on the same work as their ideological brethren form the 1600's is not worth the time to discuss. I would like to offer a new hypothesis: The downfall of Slate magazine has been caused by global warming: their incessant chattering about the topic that most America's rank last on their list of concerns has led to a massive decrease in their bottom line and forced them to publish articles that cause people to point and laugh at. 

ISIS, Jordan, Israel and Saving One of the Few Allies We Have Left

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One of the major failures that historians will write about the Obama years is the way we treated and lost many long-standing allies. Be it the shameless way he appeased Russia by pulling defensive missiles from Poland, the embarrassing way he treated Britain or the way he smacked Israel at every opportunity, this will be at the top of major foreign policy blunders. 

We now have the opportunity to help another ally when they need it most and my guess is that he will screw them over as well.
Israel and the US may be prepared to aid Jordan as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria eyes the Jewish state’s eastern neighbor, The Daily Beast on Saturday quoted US officials as saying. 
US officials speaking on condition of anonymity have speculated that if ISIS were to pursue a full-on assault on Jordan, Amman might not be able to repel the Islamists.
Correction; Jordan will not be able to repel the invading horde of ISIS terrorist's.  They've taken advantage of two teetering regimes in Iraq and Syria and have increased their numbers and effectiveness in both places. They've become a trained army and have sparked a revolution gaining adherents and momentum while the US sits back and allows them to expand unchecked. They've already managed to win and hold a huge swath of land from Aleppo to the northwest to the outskirts of Baghdad on the southeast:

The Jordanian's have been our most trusted ally in the region where we have few and King Hussein and then his son King Abdullah have expended serious political capital in recognizing Israel at the behest of the US while stoking enmity throughout the rest of the Arab world. As with most Arab governments, they seem a house of cards that can be easier undermined. Abdullah has bravely stood with the US and done our bidding when to do the opposite would have helped him much more at home.

ISIS sees the opportunity to expand their gains and the new caliphate by enlisting the aid of the disgruntled Jordanian youth while also provoking Israel into a regional war they would have a hard time winning. If even a small part of the kingdom falls, the Egyptians and Libyan Islamist's would quickly begin putting pressure on Israel and they will find themselves with pressure coming from the north, east and south. The fact that ISIS is Sunni means that they will gain quite a bit of help from many in Wahhabist Saudi Arabia whose leadership scared to death of the Shiite regime in Iraq but even more afraid of instability at home.

Meanwhile, President Obama has pledged that he will "aid" Jordan but doesn't quite spell out what that aid will mean. Is it weapons? Training? Boots on the ground? Perhaps we send over "advisors"?

And what of the Israeli's? How much assistance can they possibly give? The second they send any the Islamist's will score a major propaganda coup. Imagine the anger of disaffected Jordanian and Arab youth when they read communique after communique saying that the Abdullah monarchy needs to get assistance from the hated state of Israel. That will be the biggest recruiting assistance they could ever hope to have.

The only way to stop ISIS is to help Jordan seal their borders. Iraq is lost thanks to diplomatic bumbling by Obama and he is already working on arming those in Syria who wish us harm. If Jordan goes down, we will be facing not only death and destruction on a biblical scale but a middle east that is so transformed as to be unrecognizable from what it was a decade ago.

My guess is that we will offer them arms and training but not even consider shoring up their defenses with men. Obama does not have the stomach to engage in another war and will be content to leave this mess to his successor. Plus he can give a big "screw you" to Israeli PM Netanyahu who has dared on numerous occasions to call out Obama for his fecklessness. Meanwhile, millions of citizens of an ally we've needed throughout the years will suffer and the prestige and trustworthiness of the US will take another major hit.

Yes, many will blame Bush and Cheney but the US had a chance to stop this onslaught when it started in Syria but chose the wrong side. Obama believed that just by the sheer will of his personality that insurgents would overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad and then become friends of the US. The fact that the exact opposite happened in Egypt and Libya didn't teach him a lesson he would have been smart to recognize.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve News and Notes

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Here's what's happening in the world:

-MSNBC is the all white/GOP racism, all the time channel. But racism on their part is wholly acceptable because in their fetid minds, only conservatives can be racist.

-The NY Times is looking to 2016 and they are going full-bore for Hillary. They start with revisionist history on Benghazi.

-The political winners and losers of 2013. They sprinkled in a few Republicans as losers but it was a particularly bad year for the Donks.

-Someone with a hell of a lot more time than I have added up the body counts in movies and out it in graph form.

-Of course they did: NY Times and CNBC wish the killer of 70-million happy birthday on day after Christmas.

-The Pittsburgh Steelers got screwed. Too bad for them but the Chargers are sure happy.

-I can't believe they whittled it down to only ten: Media malpractice in 2013.

-This ought to give me a few more years: 3-D printed livers.

-And finally, Fly, Eagles Fly:


Who Would Win a Pacific Naval Engagement?

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Naval warfare seems a thing of the past. When one thinks of great naval battles, one thinks WWII and the genius of Chester Nimitz and Raymond Spruance. They think of the battles at Midway and Leyte Gulf.

But since then, what major battles have occurred? Some skirmishes during the Korean War and the war in the Falklands maybe but nothing of any major consequence. The US became the baddest mofo's on the water and our supremacy has never been challenged except for attempts by Russia to keep up, which ultimately and spectacularly failed (although they are spending more money to get some of their past glory back with mixed results).

So naval warfare now has become the projection of power by the US as a means to prevent war. If China and Japan start getting antsy, we send a carrier battle group to the region to keep an eye on things and settle it down before they come to blows. If Iran threatens the straits of Hormuz, we station an LHD in the area to make them think twice. And if a natural disaster occurs anywhere in the world we can send help.

Until recently, the US was the only game in town.

But now China has joined the game and they expect to be admired as more than just a "brown water" navy, they want to be known as a "blue water" navy, capable of projecting power farther from their shores. They've built up their capabilities steadily over the years by buying older equipment with the jewel being the carrier Liaoning (formerly the Soviet carrier Riga). The capabilities of the carrier will be at least 20 years behind the newer US Nimitz Class (and more behind the forthcoming Ford Class)  models with less than 25 pilots actually qualified to land on her deck. 

Japan has built up their naval forces as well in recent years--doubtless because of the direct threat from China. China has some scores to settle with her eastern neighbor and memories last a long time in that region. Japan has a sizable submarine fleet but only can deploy helicopter carriers versus fixed wing on the surface.

Australia, South Korea and Canada can also bring some force to bear if needed. A breakdown of current and proposed carrier forces can be found here.

Here's a breakdown of what each nation has currently available:

Taking the information above and the actual threat we could expect, the US would have to match up against the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army-Navy (PLAN). A conflict that could start over a direct threat to Taiwan, a battle with neighboring countries over disputed islands or a conflict over regional claims of territorial water rights. 

The Chinese have built mobile missiles including the HQ-7 that  could be a major threat to our carriers and have them deployed defensively and offensively all along their coast. Another major concern would be asymmetric warfare including disruption of our Internet and satellite communications, which the US Navy heavily relies on. China has deployed several missiles and possibly lasers with the major targets being command and control satellites in all orbits. For more on this I highly recommend this paper written by the good folks at the Heritage Institute.

Based on available information and using the chart above, the US could bring roughly 24 submarines to bear at any one time within the Pacific theater. Add to that two Canadian, and possibly 15 Japanese subs versus 46 Chinese vessels. I've used roughly 2/3 of the above total availability taking into account maintenance and stand downs. That's about an even number but the US would be forced to work with different partners while China would be working with their own forces using their own doctrine. Add to that that submarine warfare is generally not a team effort. Call it a slight US advantage since the PLAN have been training heavily for years and have made some progress (and haven't been shy about showing it according to some reports). The progress they have made is unknown at present.

But when it comes to actual naval superiority, it comes to aircraft carriers, the aircraft and armament they carry, their defensive capabilities and vessels accompanying them. Here the US has a vast advantage. In any engagement with the Chinese, the first thing they would attack would be our carriers and our first priority would be stopping them. Do we have the capabilities to do so? That is a question that has no answer at this point. The Chinese claim they've had great success with the DF-21D missile that is solely designed to take our carriers out. But in this world of new technology becoming obsolete due to improvements by the other side, we may now have a solution. Call this a major US advantage.

And finally, what about troop landing capabilities? 

The US LHD fleet including the WASP and Tarawa classes are highly-equipped troop transports with their own air wings. The air wing includes Harriers and Osprey's (and hopefully the USMC F-35) while also carrying anti-submarine helo's and additional troop transport aircraft. Tanks and Marine AmTracs can be put ashore quickly to project a large amount of power in a short time. The WASP class can carry and land a complete Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and supply that unit for extended periods while in battle. This is all contingent on the ability of air assets in locating and neutralizing Chinese missile batteries and aircraft that could harass any such landing. 

In conclusion; a large sea battle between the likely belligerents would result in a US win but potentially at heavy cost. The US would move assets from the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic if needed but based on current readiness levels, the US would neutralize and beat any adversaries within a short period. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Culture War to End All Culture Wars

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I find it infinitely amusing that the mainstream media is shocked whenever Christians and other conservatives flex their muscles. From the success of The Passion of the Christ to the success of movies that make America out as heroic, the MSM uses words like "unexpectedly" or "surprising" to describe their success. They seem equally befuddled when movies that pan Christianity and show America as inherently bad tank.

Take the success of the aforementioned "Christ", when Mel Gibson made that movie, he could not get a studio to back him and did it on his own. It was a mega hit. While Bill Maher's anti-religious (read anti-Christian because he doest have the balls to be anti-Muslims) Religulous was released, critics loved it and were stunned it wasn't the hit they expected. Another example; when In the Valley of Elah was released showing the US as bad and had overtly anti-war and thus anti-Bush themes, it was a complete and utter flop while war movies that showed our cause as patriotic and right were hits. Media pundits loved Born on the Fourth of July and Platoon because they portrayed America as evil and that fit into their paradigm.

So where am I going with this?

This morning I read on the front page of the Inquirer an essay about the Phil Robertson fracas. The author wrote these words:

A & E's Duck Dynasty was the unlikely TV megahit no one understood.  
No one understood how popular it would become, setting records for nonfiction cable shows and becoming the No. 1 nonfiction show on cable, No. 2 overall (to AMC's The Walking Dead).  
No one understood how closely audiences would identify with the Robertson family of West Monroe, La., and their conservative Christian values.
And there you have it.

Of course people understood it. A & E most-likely did not, this was a show that to them was more of a joke. Let's look at the bearded redneck in hillbilly Louisiana with their camp clothes and goofy religious beliefs and laugh at them. Kind of a latter day Beverly Hillbillies without the bubbling crude. It was supposed to be a show to fill time and show these idiot southerners in their natural habitat. A Real Housewives of New Jersey set in the bayou.

But something happened that they didn't expect; people identified with the real life cast. They are unapologetic Christians and live their lives by Christian values. People watched them, listened to them and agreed. Of course, A & E being in business to make money used them to make healthy profits and pad their ban accounts but they never, ever ventured past the jingoistic side of the Robertson clan. They sold shirts that were patriotic because the characters are but did not venture into the Christian values of the family.

And it bit them in the ass.

People watch because the Robertson's are what they wish themselves to be. Individualist, patriotic, self-made and familial. They are what a large portion of this country is: moral. They represent those of us who believe that we have gone way off the rails both morally and spiritually. I saw it when watching It's a Wonderful Life last night, we want a simple life where we make enough to raise a family, own a house and take a vacation without having pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality propaganda constantly bombarding us. We want to live by our own values and not have values we disagree with thrust upon us. The Robertson's are many of us.

So A & E has themselves a dilemma. If they opt to allow Phil back on the show, they will have GLAAD and every other pro-gay group boycotting them. If they choose to not bring the show back, they will never be watched again by a group that is approximately 150,000,000 people storming. The advertisers who paid to hawk their products on the network will bolt for the exits because they don't want the bad press and a thriving network will be watched by a whole bunch less people.

This is the culture war that will have a long-term effect. Christians and those who are just plain sick of all the PC bullshit will rally and the left in this country isn't ready for it.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Health Insurance is Not a Right

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Today on The Five, Bob Beckel driveled about healthcare being a civil right. His specious argument consisted of his contention that it was  guaranteed by the Constitution under the "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" clause I guess. I chuckled at the idea that he's turning twisting himself up like a pretzel trying to make the case it's in the Constitution but denies that the Founding Fathers expressly considered gun ownership a right even though it says it clear as day...but I digress.

This is not a new tack by the left who are pro-Obamacare. they make this argument but generally in comfortable settings where they will never be called on it; places such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, etc. There's absolutely nothing in the constitution about healthcare and was it was never intended to be.

You have a right in my opinion to stabilizing treatment and basic care but nothing gives one the right to have all healthcare costs covered. Health care came about as a perk for companies to offer employees when hiring and for unions to bargain for. Then the lawyers entered the picture and drove up costs for medical professional by suing over every supposed instance of malpractice thus causing doctors to get insurance for malpractice and raising their fees and it became a downward spiral.

But we haven't seen anything until O-care kicks in. The lawyers--major backers of Obama and the Democrats--will have a field day because they just got 30-million new potential clients.

So back to the argument about health care being a right. If someone refuses to take care of themselves--say they are obese--is it a right for them to get treatment for a condition wholly caused by them? No. What a bout a sick child, is it a right for their parents to have insurance to pay for the child? No again. There are options currently out there but they require one to get and hold a job. In other words, a perk offered by their employer that is part of the benefit package. And enough of the argument about people being without insurance, Medicaid was the last great healthcare debacle and it ended up being a mess that forced Obamacare on us. But Medicaid is out there and is an option.

This is nothing but a step towards universal healthcare along the Canadian model. The days of seeing a doctor the day you need one, getting a knee replacement without prior consent and charging the best pharmaceuticals to your insurance are over. Sarah Palin was belittled by saying we'd see "death panels' but indeed we will someday and that day gets a lo closer when O-care kicks in.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Next Phase of the War on Terror

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Yesterday we saw another Islam-inspired attack on civilian, non-Muslims in Nairobi, Kenya.

The big, audacious attacks like the embassy bombings and 9/11 are still the dream but are harder to execute. These smaller attacks are easier to plan and supply so now have become the norm. It's easier to take five or six young men, fill their minds with jihadi bullshit, teach them basic guidelines of where to attack for massive effect then set them loose.

As seen in Mumbai where LeT hit several sites throughout the city, this was an attack that had but one goal and that was to terrorize the local population. Al-qaeda and al-Shabbabb know exactly what they are doing: enter a populated area, secure it from escape, instill panic, allow Muslims to leave and then kill as many people as possible in the short time they have until security forces arrive.

These attacks are cheap, effective and will continue unless we change our tactics once again.

So what can be done to stop these types of attacks? A good question and one without easy answers. Short of arming and placing police and other security within every potential attack area, we have to be smarter before the attacks occur.

There were warnings in Mumbai and information will come out that warnings were received in the case of Kenya. These warnings will have to be investigated--and 95% will turn out to be a dead-end--and every one will have to be run down with old fashioned detective work. A colossal feat but cheaper and easier than placing armed security forces in every mall and sports arena in America. We have a large apparatus in the Dept. of Homeland security and FBI who can handle this challenge--if we change how we do business.

The Obama administration is loathe to be accused of racial profiling and thus has essentially been bullied into not investigating cases that could lead to sopping an attack. We need to get past that. There's history to support using profile-like tactics. During WWII, German and Japanese agents and those who supported the cause of their former homelands were rooted out by good detective work. And for the record, I am not even remotely suggesting we inter those of the Muslim faith like that great liberal hero FDR did with the Japanese. What I am saying is that we have to get over our national hang up of questioning those who may be most suspect but belong to a group that is most capable of causing harm. Every time the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) issues a letter condemning the profiling of Muslims, we need to hit back and tell them that they need to do more to stop it within their community. Instead, we allow them into the highest places of power and scoff at laws that ban their involvement in government. Every time CAIR accuses us of racial profiling or files a lawsuit, we need to remind the world just who they are involved with.

Until we change our tactics and--within the confines of our legal system--look long and hard at who wants us dead, we will continue to be a ripe target. We've been lucky, and thanks to the diligence of those in law enforcement and the intelligence community we have not been hit in an attack of this type. However, our enemies are changing tactics regularly and probing for weak spots.

We continue down the path we are on at our own peril.

Update: Or we can do what the Israeli's are doing in Kenya. Imagine if a rapid-reaction force of special operators was dispatched to the scene of every one of these attacks (think Rainbow 6) and exterminated the perpetrators then tracked down the planners and liquidated them as well. I would guess these cowardly attacks would be fewer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Night News & Notes

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Ran 4 miles today for the 2nd day in a row. Going for five this weekend.

Anyway, here's what's new:

-Are there any bigger douchebags on the right than David Frum and David Brooks? Guys, get over your egotistic, solipsistic selves and help us win back the White House and senate. Or better yet, take your elitist asses over to Media Matters.

-Last night on liberal TV and media (but I'm redundant) it was all about the AR-15 and banning it because another killer used it. Today when it was revealed that the killer didn't have one but only had a shotgun and two pistols he allegedly took from the security guys he shot it was crickets. As Ace notes, there was indeed an AR-15 there, it was used by the responders in taking out the killer.

-Heritage breaks down the latest long-range CBO report and finds that taxes do not need to be raised...again. Kinda wonkish but worth a read.

-Fox News is changing the lineup. Megyn Kelly goes to 9 and Hannity to few with Greta going to Shep Smith's old spot at 7. Kelly will kill in that spot.

-West Virginia is in play for the GOP.

-Obama waived two key components of a ban on arming terrorists so he can arm the Syrian rebels. If he couldn't keep the guns that he allowed to walk in Fast and furious out of the hands of the cartels, how the hell does he expect to keep the weapons we're sending to Syria our of the hands of al-Qaeda or it's allies?

And in honor of Megyn Kelly moving to prime time, I give you this:




Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Victory For the Constitution

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Every so often we see a political earthquake that changes the landscape for years or even decades. We saw that last week in Colorado.

Angela Giron is not smiling anymore
Sitting Democratic State Senators John Morse and Angela Giron were recalled because of their activities with regard to gun control. Morse seems like he was an all-around a-hole who everyone hated and acted as if he was anointed his seat instead of being an elected representative of the people. According to C. W. Cooke he pretty much irritated everyone from the left, right and center. generally this is a quality that is not conducive to staying ungainfully employed by your state.

But Giron was a different story; she was elected in a district that voted for Obama over Romney by 20%--a blowout in any election. She made the mistake of acting as if her constituents views did not matter when they were not in line with her own. She did the same thing that liberals always do when they are trying to legislate on decisive issues such as abortion or in this case gun control; she shut their voices out...literally. Now on an issue such as drug laws or highway spending, this would have been forgotten quickly and nothing would have come of it. But Giron treated men and women who wanted to discuss her trampling of the US Constitution and wanted to be heard. It turns out, they were heard loud and clear by the voters.

A coalition was formed and some diligent folks got the signatures needed to force a recall election. Money poured in from gun control advocates such s Mayor Michael Bloomberg's misguided organization. The National Rifle Association assisted those on the side of freedom and rights and the fight was on. And it wasn't even close. Giron lost by close to 12%. This in a state that is notoriously liberal on rights such as gay marriage and legalizing weed. The classless Giron, as is to be expected when liberals fail, blamed something that has absolutely nothing to do with her getting ousted.

How monumental was this? this was supposed to be a testing ground for more stringent gun laws in other states that are split ideologically. This occurred in a state that suffered through a recent mass-shooting in a movie theater. This was a slam-dunk if ever there was one in the view of gun-grabbing leftists. Except it wasn't. The governor heard the people loud and clear on this and is living in fear (and denial) right now since the coalition has tasted blood and his head hanging in their proverbial den would be the next logical step.

There's a lesson here for those who run for office and win: don't ignore your constituents when they have a grievance and sure as hell don't mess with their rights. Rural Coloradans are itching to secede and the primary reason is the usurpation of their rights as Americans.

This is a huge victory for 2nd Amendment advocates and advocates of the Constitution in general. politicians who wish to impinge on these freedoms granted us by a power higher then them do so at their own peril. many states are jumping on this band wagon and we will see a revolution sooner rather than later if this continues.