Friday, September 27, 2013

Marine Corps Disaster?





Click here for related story
[Military Times]

The Military seems to have changed a great deal during this Administration; it seems to be falling apart, perhaps for lack of leadership from the Commander-in-Chief all the way through the ranks.


We are scratching our collective heads on the changes the USMC Commandant is instituting -- or should we say, re-instituting, to reinvent the Military to what it was ten years ago. 

When did the Marines [et al] change from a Military organization to a social gathering!



In the referenced article, Marine Commandant Jim Amos raises issues and calls for reforms to correct the many problems rampant in the Marine Corps, and in the Military across the board.

We fear we may be seeing only the tip of the iceberg.




Here is the gist of General Amos' reform package:

1) Sergeants and corporals will live in the barracks with the troops
2) Officers and NCOs will be in and out of the barracks regularly at all hours
3) Officers and NCOs will have "staff duty" requirements
4) On-Duty Marines will wear service uniforms
5) Two NCOs, plus a Firewatch, will be on duty per barracks
6) No TVs or video games allowed in the watch-standers place of duty; watch-standers will patrol the barracks throughout the night.
7) Marines or corporals will no longer be promoted in groups -- but rather on personal assessments.

Every one of these changes were standard operating procedure when I was on Active Duty.  Has the Military eroded to such an extent that command authority has disappeared.  Could this situation explain some of the horrific situations we see in our Military today?

I'm reminded of a similar degradation of the Military under President Jimmy Carter, when we were required to adopt a "kumbaya feel-good" approach to running the Military.

When I was a detachment commander at Ft Bragg [1975-78], our new Brigade commander, Colonel Sydney T Weinstein [later Lieutenant General/DCSINT] ordered a Saturday morning "Commanders Call", and, in a shrieking tirade, demanded that the commanders fix the problem with the 525 MI Brigade's rowdy and undisciplined enlisted troops.

When he was finished with his histrionics, he shouted:
"Any questions?"

So, naturally, I raised my hand, causing smoke to billow from his ears, and he demanded:
"What part of what I just said do you not understand!"

I replied:
"Well, Colonel, I'm curious as to why you're telling your commanders of this problem"
-- which caused more shrieking and stamping of feet, and fire blowing from all his orifices.

He replied:
"Because YOU, as commanders, are responsible! Who else do you think is going to handle this problem!"
I responded:
"Well sir, have you noticed that big, fat ugly guy sitting next to you with all the stripes on his sleeve?


Weinstein replied:
"Yeah"

I advised:
"Well, he's your Sergeant Major, your chief of all things enlisted.
"He's the only guy you should be talking to right now about problems with his enlisted troops. By demanding that we do his job, you undercut his authority, and that of all the non-commissioned officers in your command. You might want to discuss this issue with him, tell him what you want accomplished, and then back him up with full authority to accomplish his mission. He's your guy!
"

Colonel Weinstein then turned to his Sergeant Major and asked timidly:
"Is what Davis is saying true?"

The Sergeant Major leered at the colonel and growled:
"You're God Damned right!
"Why don't you let me do my goddam job and quit undercutting me with your namby pampy West Point horse-shit!"


[The sergeant major was not one to mince words.]

Colonel Weinstein then glared at me and demanded to know how I knew such things,
and I replied:
"Well, Colonel, before I was an officer, I was a non-commissioned officer, that is, a sergeant. I've spent my entire life around the military as a dependent or as a soldier, so I picked up these pointers from NCOs and officers.  May I suggest you consult with your Sergeant Major on a regular basis and you'll find he can manage a great number of the issues that confront you on a daily basis."

Colonel Weinstein then closed the meeting, after which the Sergeant Major came to me and said:
"Captain, I still think you're an asshole, but I respect you for standing up to the colonel, and I'd be proud to serve under your command in combat!"

I thanked him for his kind words, and advised I would seek him out at the first signs of our next war.

Tom Weinstein and I had a turbulent relationship since my detachment, responsible for training all USFORSCOM units in tactical intelligence, took its direction from the FORSCOM Commander rather than the 525 MI Brigade or 18th Airborne Corps Commander.  But, he left me alone since his Brigade took the credit when all the commendations came in from the commanders of the units we trained, and from the Pentagon.  And, he did write my Officer Efficiency Report, so we reached a productive working accord.  I later briefly served under him at the Pentagon where he was Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, and I edited the Black Book -- a highly classified daily intelligence brief for the Pentagon General Staff. 

Weinstein's management style, unfortunately, never improved.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

ObamaCare: End of the Middle Class?


Click here for full story [Washington Post]

Here's a great analysis of the impact of ObamaCare by Kathleen Parker. 

We generally agree with her views, and we couldn't agree more with this piece.  We'll cover the highlights, and refer you to her full analysis.  As the Geeks like to say [to sound cultured], this is "Spot On".  Feel free to pass this analysis along to your friends, and even to Democrats.

Perhaps Parker's piece inspired Senator Cruz [R-TX] to present his strategy for defunding ObamaCare, which briefly, entails funding the Continuing Resolution in segments, leaving ObamaCare unfunded.
[It's more complex, but it has great merit; Mr Obama calls it extortion; we think it's sensible.]

But, we've digressed.  Back to Ms Parker's analysis; her bottom line appears to be
"ObamaCare will destroy the Middle Class" -- and we agree.

Popular approval for ObamaCare is down to 39%, from 51% nine months ago.
a) American youth, at the lower end of the wage scale, or unemployed, can't afford mandatory health care premiums.  Those under 27 can still get coverage under their parents' insurance -- but, there is still the increased family premium to pay.
b) Though promised otherwise, Americans cannot keep the insurance they like.
c) People who can't afford the mandatory health care face criminal penalties and fines.
     1)  Those over 40 will be forced to pay close to $4,000 per year for coverage
     2)   Those over 60 can expect to pay close to $7,500 per year.
d) Those protesting most loudly are the unions, who now realize they were double-crossed.

Is Obama's Red Line an Unemployment Line?
The economic impact as companies dodge the massive expense of ObamaCare:
a) Companies are trimming workers' hours from full time [40 hours] to part time [30 hours]
b) Large companies are firing workers or offering them early retirment to reduce overall benefits costs.
c) Small companies are trimming employees to fewer than 50 to avoid mandatory health benefits
d) Bottom Line:  Massive unemployment!

Lobbying makes a difference as large companies were granted a one year delay in extending coverage for their workers.

And, as we expected, and many predicted, Mr Obama has offered Congress an exemption to exclude them from ObamaCare -- with their health care underwritten by the American taxpayer.  This gambit is designed to induce Congress to block Conservative efforts to defund ObamaCare.

Ms Parker encourages a delay by Congress on taking action on ObamaCare, but she recognizes that may work to Mr Obama's advantage. 

Given that, we think Senator Cruz may have the best approach.

As a footnote:

Unaddressed in all these discussions are the rather unique provisions and authorizations in ObamaCare, to include a police enforcement organization, criminal sanctions against patients, hospitals and doctors, authorization for a private army, and authorization for the Surgeon General to take control of DOD in the event of "a national 'medical' emergency".


Emperor Soros weds again

The Soros lovebirds
Click here for full story [Daily Mail]
We're delighted to report the wedding of George Soros [83] and his lovely bride, Tamiko Bolton [about half his age].  It was a low-key wedding with only 500 of Soros' nearest and dearest friends, to include Nancy Pelosi and California Lt Gov Gavin Newsom, and New World Order leaders such as World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and hedge fund billionaire titans/rivals Paul Tudor Jones and Julian Roberson.

The reception, also low-key, was held in the cramped quarters of New York City's Museum of Modern Art [MOMA to local hoi polloi]; but, the guests somehow managed to survive the inconvenience.

But, beyond the gates of this Democrat-heavy event lies Mr Soros' rather unique rise to financial power.

Some remember Soros' early days as an entrepreneurial youth and Nazi collaborator representing the Judenrat which identified Jews to be rounded up and shipped to concentration camps -- after which he reportedly benefited from seizures of their property.  An adjunct of this process reportedly involved his selling insurance to these condemned Jews, claiming that their families would be financially sound if the condemned Jews did not survive; Soros and his collaborators apparently profited greatly from this enterprise; his explanation was that if he hadn't done it, someone else would have.

Brits remember Soros for his role in causing the collapse of the British Pound in 1992 by manipulating the currency market, and earning a tidy £1Billion at the expense of tens of thousands of British investors.

Soros learned his lessons well in that market manipulation and profited significantly when the US Market collapsed in 2008. A close look at Senator Schumer's leaking a memo on the tenuous stability of several Wall Street firms, causing the run on those institutions and the collapse of Wall Street itself -- with Goldman Sachs, and Soros profiting mightily.  There are those who point to his book, published in 2008 [written early that year] in which he described precisely how the Market would collapse.  Some felt that was the script he used to manipulate that collapse -- in collaboration with the Democratic Party.

Mr Soros seems well-skilled at predicting the future, particularly when it comes to helping to shape it, as he did in 1992 and 2008.  His predictions in January, 2012 included the absence of an economic recovery, massive federal debt, lawlessness, and a police state resulting from "mass murders".  

Isn't that odd.

We recall his financial support of Mr Obama in 2008, coupled with his ties to the company which furnished the voting machines used in the 2012 election, and the massive growth of the Department of Homeland Security [240,000 employees], and the restructuring of the military commands into the old Soviet model, the non-existent FEMA camps -- which seem to have been built under the oversight of armed federal marshals, and the firing of a series of four-star generals and admirals. 

We also have noted the Administration's non-stop effort to create a gun-control program in which the government would ban the private ownership of personal weapons; this effort has been bolstered by "mass-shootings" in Colorado, Sandy Hook, and Washington, DC, and the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Notably, in each of those events, we noted anomalies which eroded the credibility of the government's account of the events; most conspicuous were the registered members of the Screen Actors' Guild who made appearances as parents and law enforcement officials at Sandy Hook.

Notably, there are predictions of a declaration of martial law in October, perhaps to be preceded by a bio-chem "attack" on the United States? 
[But, Mr Putin may have defused that scheme lest Mr Obama gain too much power over a resistant population.]

But, we've digressed.

We wish to congratulate Emperor Soros on this, his wedding weekend, and we look forward to seeing him move into the White House to personally oversee the remainder of Mr Obama's term.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

NPR Going Broke?


A bargain at only $200 Million -- lots of space for fewer employees

Click here for related story [Washington Post]

Here's an interesting item.  NPR is dumping employees because it's a bit short of cash these days -- they fired 8 percent in 2011, and will fire another 10 percent this year.  It's hard to believe they've already blown through Joan Kroc's 2003 gift of $200 million

That's some serious spending, given the federal subsidy of $445 million, plus its $190 million in revenue from listener contributions, grants, plus corporate advertising.  We have to wonder about how they spend $116 Million in salaries on just 800 employees; that works out to an average of $145,000 per employee.  Not bad in today's labor market.  And, how did they blow $11 million on fundraising - given that most of their annual drives are staffed by "volunteers"?

The solution to their money management problems is to fire employees, rather than trim the fat and cut wasteful expenses and profligate spending. 

Could one problem be that they just blew $200 Million on a new office building and sumptuous offices and lavish furniture?  Add to that the mid-six figure salaries they pay their hosts, the "foreign correspondents" they pay to live large abroad, and let's not forget the $679,000 package they paid to get rid of Vivian Schiller after she fired Juan Williams because he appeared on Fox News as a guest commentator.

But, Vivian landed on her feet and moved to NBC News at a tidy increase in salary, generating a bit of turmoil there when she eliminated a popular programming division.  Then followed a new scandal which involved the digital altering of the content of the 911 call made by George Zimmerman regarding Trayvon Martin; seems NBC News edited out portions of that recording to make Zimmerman sound like a racist. Interestingly, Vivian's alternate title is "digital officer"; but, we're sure she wouldn't have had a personal role in the digital altering of the Zimmerman recording.

We recall a few years back when PBS moved its headquarters from Alexandria, Virginia to a massive [130,000 square feet] new glass structure  in Chrystal City, near Pentagon City.  This was a spend-like-crazy, spare-no- expense, ditch everything because we're buying all new stuff

I recall it vividly because I visited the newly vacated headquarters to buy high-end computer equipment at auction.  Having been a Sun Microsystems IT reseller, I was intimately familiar with their pricing, so I was stunned to see nearly new Enterprise systems worth hundreds of thousands of dollars being sold off for a few thousand dollars -- or even hundreds of dollars.  PBS seemed to have no interest whatever in recovering even a modicum of the value of their equipment since they were on a spending spree to buy everything new.  Apparently, they'd just received more government grants.

But, we digress.  Let's follow the money trail again.

One criticism of NPR has been that it gets a sizable chunk of its operating budget from federal funding -- although they claim their support comes primarily from listener donations.  But, NPR soaks its syndicated affiliates for their dues after the affiliates get 15% of their operating budgets from the federal government -- which contributes $450 million per year to those stations, PBS, and NPR.

For a while, NPR received a goodly portion of its revenue from corporate sponsors [er, "donors"] whose announcements sounded remarkably like advertisements, aka: "public interest messages".

NPR has lost many of its corporate sponsors since CEO Vivian Schiller and fund-raiser Ron Schiller were forced out due to their extremist political views [e.g., attacking Conservatives, the Tea Party, and Jews as racists, and promoting candidates and incumbents in the Democratic Party].


Orgasmic Ari

Ari Shapiro is NPR's White House correspondent, and seems almost orgasmic as he gushes praise for President Obama on every event he covers.  If there is a Republican involved in the event, we can count on Ari to use disparaging terms and ensure that Mr Obama seems so much brighter and capable than the Republican. 

There are times when we think he may replace Jay Carney as White House Press Secretary



Even after the forced departure of the Schiller team, NPR news and commentary seems to be heavily slanted to the Left -- annoying corporate donors who aren't interested in being linked with Left-Wing propagandists, particularly as President Obama's public approval polls continue to plunge.

Another embarrassing financial sinkhole is program host salaries.

Think in terms of NPR's annual fund-raising campaigns in which listeners are asked to donate
"...just $10 per month" to keep NPR on the air.

To put that in perspective, it takes about 3,000 of those $120 per year donations to pay the tab just for Steve Inskeep, Morning Edition's part-time host, at $373,552.  Extrapolating that a bit, it would take about 10,000 such donors to pay the salaries of the three co-hosts.
Think about it; 10,000 listeners donating scarce cash to pay three "not-for-profit" radio hosts to deliver news with a Left Wing slant.

The staging template these days for the "Morning Edition" seems to be "two up - one back", with two hosts, e.g., Renee Montagne and David Greene on, while Inskeep writes his memoirs. Then Greene goes on vacation for a few months, leaving Inskeep and Montagne; and finally it's Greene and Inskeep while Montagne vacations.

Other host compensation:
Renee Montagne:  $405,140
Michele Norris:      $298,360 [2009-10]
Robert Siegel:       $375,652
Scott Simon:         $364,465

Limousine Liberals understand the poor!
Pam Fessler NPR's correspondent on poverty and philanthropy, commented on the "economic divide". She expressed shock, mind you, that her restaurant dinner tab ran "uncomfortably close" to the amount a woman she interviewed received in a welfare check every two weeks. 

But, as she noted, she's always prided herself "on understanding the lives of others" -- "few of us are, or have ever been poor".  Why, her maid may even know some of these poor people -- but, she certainly wouldn't want them in her house!


If you think back, these were the commentators who were enthusiastically supporting the "Occupy Movement" condemning all those "One Percenters"; but, oddly enough, these folks did not identify themselves as "One Percenters".  They demand a world where all are equal, but, in Orwellian terms, ".... some are more equal than others."

Now, we've beaten up on NPR waste and political manipulation long enough. 

We would like to note that NPR does play a critical role in informing the public about actual news and global events of interest in an objective way. Peter Kenyon provides perhaps the most balanced reporting in the News Media of events in the Middle East. We still listen to a variety of NPR programming, and are particularly pleased that NPR is a conduit for BBC and Canadian Broadcasting which gives us world news and commentary [albeit between midnight and 5 am].   Amazingly, Bob Edwards, the very credible voice of NPR for many years -- until he was forced out, is now carried periodically -- to the delight of many of NPR's original followers.

To be clear, we used to be a donor for years -- until NPR became politicized and a conduit for DNC political spin, after which we terminated our donations. 

But, we still rely on their stringer-based apolitical reporting to keep us informed in a far more responsible and objective form than any other news service.  We hope that NPR can return to its mode of apolitical reporting -- and perhaps even to responsible management.




Monday, September 16, 2013

Navy Yard Shooting


 
The US Navy Yard, before renovations


Click here for photo link [The Guardian]

A great deal of confusion this morning in the midst of a shooting spree by as yet, unidentified persons in the Navy Sea Systems Command building at the Washington Navy Yard.


Shooting broke out this morning in the Washington Navy Yard this morning; it was reputed to be one of the most secure military sites in Washington, with limited access through guarded gates, with the interior buildings accessible only through entrances with both guards and scanners.  The shooters, dressed as uniformed military and security personnel, successfully bypassed those security barriers and moved freely among the 3,000 military and civilian personnel in the headquarters building, their weapons drawing little or no notice.

So far, it appears there are/were three shooters; one is now dead.  Two others are being hunted by security personnel.  According to Mayor Gray, casualties include 12 killed with an undetermined number of wounded evacuated to the Washington Medical Center.

One of the early witnesses described the shooters as firing from the Fourth Floor into the Food Court below -- causing patrons to dash for safety. 

One shooter,  dressed "all in [dark] blue" but not further identified [NFI] was walking the halls shooting at people.

A second shooter was described as a tall [5'10"] Black male, wearing an olive drab military uniform [US Marine?], approximately 50 years old, carrying a rifle.

A third shooter, White, [NFI], was wearing a Navy style short sleeve khaki uniform, wearing a beret, and carried a handgun.


Details of this tragedy are still unfolding.

-------------
UPDATE:

Notably, photos of the perp and more specific information seem to have mysteriously disappeared from this blog since it was first published.  Isn't that odd!

[The FBI later released vague information, referring to a young ex-sailor who had worked as a waiter at a cafe in Texas, but somehow was granted a Top Secret clearance and recruited by a Defense Contractor [not further identified], who then smuggled a shotgun, a rifle, and several handguns through the security gate, and somehow, these weapons -- plus a large bag of ammunition, went unnoticed at the security gate.]

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Famous Obama Quotes

I know what I'm saying, because I'm saying it!


Click here for referenced article [Boston Herald]

We tip our hat to Howie Carr of the Boston Herald for assembling these memorable quotes by our Leader from Behind.  The article brings back those Media highlights of W's verbal fumbles; the difference is that Mr Obama enunciates clearly, and actually believes what he says.

"On the issue of Barack Obama's mismanagement of the so-called Syrian crisis, the American public seems split into two camps:
a) Half the country believes he is lying
b) The other half believes he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.
Is it possible both sides could be right?"

Treatment for kids with asthma: "Breathalyzers"
[No teleprompters that day]

"Companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future."
[Not long before Solyndra fired all its workers and declared bankruptcy]


"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, and I see many of them here in the audience today..."
[perhaps they could stand and be recognized]

"I'm focusing laser-like on the economy"
[oops, just burned a hole in it and it's sinking]

"The US built the 'intercontinental' railroad"
[the only one on the planet]

To first audience:
"I favor legalizing same-sex marriages"
To second audience:
"I am not somebody who promotes same-sex marriage."
[Awkward moment might come when he mixes up his audience.]

When he bowled 129:
"This is like the Special Olympics"
[those kids are such losers]

He was a fan of the "Nitally Lions" of Penn State.
[Not to be confused with the Nittany Lions]

Major Hasan's murder of soldiers and their families at Ft Hood was "Workplace Violence"
[then denied victims' families compensation]

His grandfather "liberated Auschwitz"
[odd, since his grandfather did not serve in WWII]

In his autobiography, he "... was born in Kenya"; as a Presidential candidate, he was born in the US.
[tough to remember without a legitimate birth certificate or SS number]

He was "unaware that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright was a radical"
[just a little outspoken religious guy who hates White people]

Trayvon on Facebook



Trayvon: "He could have been my son"
[And, this we believe!]

 






His association with self-avowed terrorist Bill Ayers was "brief and casual"
[shared the same office for five years as business partners, co-chairing Chicago Annenberg Challenge - but wouldn't recognize Bill now]

He didn't know self-avowed terrorist Bernardine Dorhn
[She and Bill Ayers hosted his political launch party in 1989; she introduced him to Michelle]

Keep these quotes in mind when you listen to Mr Obama announce what he will do next for America -- or whatever the name of that country is he's in charge of.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Racism: DNC's WMD?




Bre'r Rabbit and the Tar Baby                                              [Walt Disney]

Click here for related story [New Republic]

I was chastised recently for being a racist because I used the term "Tar Baby" in reference to Mr Obama's Benghazi self-inflicted albatross [apologies here to the Audubon Society].

This came as a shock to me since
a) I was a Civil Rights activist in the 1960s, and
b) Tar Baby is a benign reference deriving from the many Uncle Remus tales captured in the African American oral history by Joel Chandler Harris. who was notably not a racist and whose commentaries were key to easing racial tensions in the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.

Harris' oral library derived from the extended amount of time he spent in the company of slaves [apologies here to descendants of Greek, Indian, Arab, European, African, and Hebrew slaves] and their children.  The slaves' traditional stories, with proverbs similar to those in Aesop's Fables, were told by two elder slaves whom he considered mentors, and whose philosophy framed his future political stances.   He noted that he felt at home with the slaves since he was the red-headed illegitimate son of an Irish immigrant, and they accepted him 
[Apologies here to Irish readers who are illegitimate offspring of immigrants.]

Uncle Remus
Based on his humorous writings, not unlike those of Mark Twain, he became the featured humorist and Associate Editor at the Atlanta Constitution through which he was able to encourage the elimination of many societal barriers to Blacks He captured all of his tales in his seven internationally best-selling books Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings; reportedly, the books were extremely popular in Europe and were de rigueur reading in the best schools.

President Teddy Roosevelt praised Harris' writings with these words
"Presidents may come and presidents may go, but Uncle Remus stays put." 

The books were extremely popular in both school and public libraries, and American kids knew the tales by heart, much as European kids knew Aesop's Fables.  When Walt Disney looked for material suitable for family viewing, Uncle Remus was an obvious choice for a feature-length movie.  Every kid in the 1950s and '60s knew the Uncle Remus tune of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and wished they had an Uncle just like Uncle Remus. 

If you watch the film, you'll notice it was "integrated" -- by golly, the kids were both Black and White, which was not unusual for films in the 1940s, '50s and '60s [e.g., The Little Rascals].  Excerpts, and the movie itself appeared frequently on the TV series Disneyland.

Everyone knew Bre'r [brother] Rabbit and Bre'r Bear, and everyone knew the story of the Tar Baby, which Bre'r Bear and Bre'r Fox created to capture Bre'r Rabbit -- who tried to punch and kick the silent figure made of tar.  Bre'r Rabbit ended up stuck fast to the Tar Baby, and it appeared he would be eaten by Bre'r Bear and the Bre'r Fox -- but he conned his mean tormentors by creating another iconic term, begging
"Please don't trow me in dat Briar Patch" as if he would die were that to happen. 
Naturally, they threw him in the Briar Patch, which was where rabbits would run and hide when pursued by predators -- and of course, Bre'r Rabbit escaped.

The moral of the story, of course, was that ill-thought out actions can capture you in situations from which you can't easily extricate yourself; so, the Tar Baby expression -- hardly a racial epithet -- derives from Black oral history going back 150 years; today's short version would be a "self-inflicted wound."  Benghazi is, and will remain, Mr Obama's Tar Baby
[apologies to my politically correct sons]. 

Notably, Tar Baby became a pejorative term only after Democrat spin doctors designated it as such because, of all things, tar is black. 
|Shall we now presume all references to "TAR" are racist because it is black?

aka: Thought Police
Unfortunately, Political Correctness has displaced common sense and traditional American literature, resulting in our Leftist oriented educators labeling revered authors such as Mark Twain and Harris as Racists because they incorporated common usage of a past era into their writing.

Our Political Correctness Police, aka:  The National Education Association [aka: Union Marxists] has ordered such literature removed from the classroom, and even from school libraries lest actual history displace and/or discredit the revisionist history now becoming the norm in our children's educational process.


The Democrats have seized this process and crafted it into a fine art-form, using it to castigate non-Democrats and introducing it into otherwise normal conversations -- and labeling discussants as Racists to put them on the defensive and divert attention from any rational discussions.

This process is how we ended up with a well-spoken, but incompetent buffoon in the White House who lurches from one crisis to the next to divert us from his most recent blunder.  But, we are not allowed to criticize him because to do so would be Racist.  Conservative and Independent politicians, along with other normal folks, are immediately labeled as Racists in even casual conversations if they start including facts in political, economic, or business discussions relating to this Administration.

During this Administration, Racism, which had gradually disappeared from the political spectrum due to 50 years of gradual but inexorable progress toward equality, has now became the default trump card for all things Obama.

I for one, am sick of the excuses of this Administration's chronic use of the race card to excuse away all its failures.  Until this Administration, there was little discussion of race or discrimination since it was fading into the shadows. 

Mr Obama has reintroduced Racism set society back 60 years and brought it all back in spades
[my apologies to Bridge players whose strongest suit is Spades]!




Thursday, September 5, 2013

Syria Post-Mortem


US - Russian Face-Off?

It appears Mr Obama may get Congress to support his attack on Syria, the result of which will be death, destruction, and ultimately, chaos to both Syria and the region.

Obama has not said there were chemical weapons actually used -- or by whom;
he's skirted responsibility, as usual, by saying
"I can say with high confidence that chemical weapons were used."
It's "legal speak".

--Saying 'with high confidence' is not the same as presenting facts that an event actually occurred.
It's the equivalent of saying:
"Don't hold me to it, but I THINK it may, or may not be true, maybe -- or maybe not."

--Omitted from the statement is a reference to the actual perpetrators of such an action if it did in fact occur; so, the action could have been taken by Assad, the Rebels, a CIA false flag op, or -- not at all
"... weapons were used" -- what weapons?  CBC points an accusing finger at the Rebels.

--There are reporters' statements that some of those reportedly dosed with these chemicals slipped away once the news photography was over.

Senator McCain [R] seems to have drunk a gallon or more of the Administration's Kool-Aid, and is now bouncing around in full attack mode as he worships at the altar of our Leader from Behind.  We are bewildered as the title RINO [Republican in Name Only] seems an appropriate -- though inadequate title.  Some have compared him to Benedict Arnold, who betrayed our Army during the Revolution. We won't go quite that far, but we do have to question his motives.

Our blog-post yesterday on Syria laid out the development of this fiasco from
the start [Benghazi]
to the finish [Red Line],
so we won't repeat it here.

Today, we simply want to review what we're facing in terms of an outcome.

1) The UN investigators have declined to identify the attack chemicals without a full analysis, and

     a) They have advised they can't determine who created or delivered them

     b) Mr Obama has stated he will use his own investigators -- to create his own "facts"
         [it was a successful approach in Benghazi -- why not use it in Syria.]

2) Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor provided a strained, convoluted response for Congress:

    a.  Boehner ...supports
"the President's 'call to action' and encourages all Members of Congress to do the same. Now, it is the President's responsibility to make his case to the American people and their representatives.... [and I] expect the White House to provide answers to Members' questions."

    b. Cantor ...
"America has a compelling national security interest to prevent and respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction"

    c. Both leaders fell short of a clear endorsement of Mr Obama's determination to wage war against Syria, although the Liberal Media interpreted these comments as an endorsement.  A "call to action" is nothing more than saying -- Yes, we need to do something -- without saying what needs to be done.

    d. Boehner has in fact, deflected the issue back to individual Congressional Representatives and has declined to act as the President's acolyte in this persuasive effort -- although the Administration is claiming full Congressional support, particularly since the Democrat led Senate Armed Services Committee, in a vote of 10 - 7, endorsed Obama's plan.
[Not a strong endorsement by any means, and, sadly, McCain voted "for".]

But, we presume that Mr Obama will move forward with his attack on Syria, claiming that Senator McCain speaks for both Houses of Congress -- and particularly, for the Republicans.

What then.

Lacking funds for training exercises, due to the Sequester, a faux war [aka: Live Fire Exercise] against Syria gives the Navy full authorization to fire missiles, launch aircraft, and to
"send in the Marines!"

There are Marines and Special Operations boots on the ground - in unknown quantities - in Jordan already -- they've been there for quite a while, but not in Syria, yet.

The Navy has deployed, perhaps as a swan song, a 40 year old, fully depreciated aircraft carrier and a dilapidated "Landing Platform Dock" possibly already earmarked for the scrapyard.  If they can be listed as damaged in combat, they can be scrapped after putting on a good show in this conflict.

    a)  The USS San Antonio (LPD-17) [Diesel powered bucket of bolts beset with problems]
    b)  The USS Nimitz [CVN-68]. [the Group includes 4 destroyers and a cruiser]


But, not to be left out of the fun, Russia has now deployed
a) The large Landing Craft Carriers Novocherkassk and Minsk,
b) The reconnaissance ship Priazovye, and
c) The anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev to join the permanent Mediterranean naval force. 
d) The guided missile cruiser Moskva will arrive to take control as the fleet flagship.

Other players:
a) China is sending a few Naval ships to "observe".
b) Iran is deploying 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops to reinforce Syria.
c) Turkey is sending its tanks to the Syrian border.

Now, the Russian ships, other than the Moskva, are relatively ancient, and likely wouldn't stand a chance in a battle with the more modern US vessels. The US Navy has little to fear.

Iran Air Flight 655
But, we recall a similarly tense situation in 1988, in which the USS Vincennes did all the right things, but a snap judgment under intense pressure resulted in an Iran Air commercial airliner being mistakenly shot down -- killing 290 men, women, and children. 

It was a faultless event, but the deadly results were the same. 

We're concerned that with a US-Russian face-off, extreme tension situations could lead to unfortunate results and we might end up in a major conflict as a result.


So the line-up in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Syria, will be the Russian Mediterranean Fleet facing off against the US Sixth Fleet.  Not a comforting picture for what is supposed to be a limited US engagement.

But, let's say the Russians do nothing but watch the US destroy Syria.

What then?
Syria, in shambles, with

1) No standing government, and a fragile rebel government dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood  
2) The infrastructure [electrical, water, sewage, transportation] is destroyed,
3) Refugees swarm back into the cities to find their homes and livelihoods destroyed,
4) No police force to restrict criminal activity
5) No financial system
6) No community.
7) Sectarian violence akin to that currently in Iraq
8) The US as "Peace-Keeper" with "boots on the ground"?

What is already in place is a Muslim Brotherhood cadre of al-Qaeda operatives ready to step into the vacuum and take full control -- and answer to Saudi direction.

The objectives?
1)  Establish a Sharia State
2)  Establish the exiled, Saudi-backed Syrian Muslim Brotherhood
3)  Seize control of Syria's military assets, to include deadly chemicals,
      and likely distribute to al-Qaeda throughout the region to topple more governments
3)  Terminate the Syria-Iran oil pipeline plan 
4)  Establish an obstruction-free corridor for an oil pipeline to feed Europe - but not Russia


With the bombardment of Syria and collateral damage of thousands of injured and dying, the US will garner the hatred of still more Arabs and Muslims.

But, for a more comprehensive view, take a look at this 2008 RAND study which explains the current version of The Great Game:

Here's an extract to get you thinking:

"The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with a power base of  much of the Salafi-Jihadist network.  This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long that is not easily broken or simply characterized.  For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources. The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact with that of prosecuting the long war."





Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Syria - Center of the Universe




Syria:  Currently, the Center of the Universe                                  [Flicker: 2914708371_e7c70fc155_b]
Click here for Pat Buchanan's comments

We are poised on the brink of World War 3 because, a year ago, President Obama drew a red line in the sand as a warning that the US wouldn't tolerate President Assad using chemicals against his citizens.  We're sure there were biochems used against the population, but, we're not sure Syrian troops ordered those massacres. 

Why would Assad risk that action since he's been winning the civil war without desperate measures; on the other hand, the "Rebels" would have everything to gain by using the biochems they found in a warehouse recently to conduct these attacks on civilians; the "international outrage" via this false flag action would draw in the USA for certain!

According to intercepts of senior military officers, the Syrian military hierarchy was bewildered at the recent attack which killed more than a thousand civilian women and children, with no one pegged as giving the order.  This followed earlier incidents in which investigators suggested that "... Rebels had prepared and used chemical weapons on numerous occasions.

Since drawing his red line in the sand, Mr Obama has been vacationing, playing golf, entertaining basket ball stars, and generally ducking press conferences and questions about Benghazi and the latest scandals in his Administrations; and, let's not forget, it was only a few months ago that Mr Obama wished to declare war on North Korea, but, that kind of fizzled once we determined that North Korea's artillery wouldn't quite reach the outskirts of Seoul, and North Korea fired off its only missile, which plunged into the ocean somewhere off the coast of North Korea.

And, there have been so many bizarre crises which Mr Obama has busily tried to use to outlaw private ownership of guns; Aurora and Sandy Hook, both with SAG performers, and of course Trayvon - the little  [6'2" 165 lb street fighter] Black child murdered by a White [Hispanic] guy just because he bought candy.  So, Mr Obama has been busy and unable to monitor the ongoing crisis in Syria -- and, well, he doesn't even have time to get his morning Intelligence Brief - and none of the White House staff quite grasp what the NID is; so, really, the White House is kind of like an echo chamber these days.

And, Mr Obama has also been busy replacing the numerous Cabinet members who flew the coop immediately after the election so they wouldn't have to testify about Benghazi.  Leon Panetta has disappeared into far off California, and Hillary is whirling around getting ready for the 2016 Presidential election [Obama hasn't told her yet he's running for a third term].

So, here we are, a year later, Benghazi remains alive in the Internet discussion and on the agenda of Congressman Issa [R] and Senator Wyden [D], but we've segued into a new crisis of Obama's making: Syria.

How did we find ourselves on the verge of WW3?

Well, there's been a civil war raging in Syria [see map above] since 2011.  Various countries, to include the US, Turkey and Israel saw this as an opportunity to neuter Syria's Assad as a political player in the Middle East. 

Some may recall that President Assad sent his storm troopers into Lebanon some eons ago to assist Israel in destroying it as a political/financial player; civil war ensued, and Lebanon ceased to exist as a modern entity, and Syrian troops became the occupying force.  And Israel was safe.


But, Syria was interested in creating a nuclear power system which might also produce the ingredients for  a nuclear weapon to use on its neighbors such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.  So, the neighbors sought to neutralize it.  Israel launched an air attack and destroyed Syria's nuclear facility, committing an act of war and violating international law, and killing countless civilians in the process -- and no one paid a bit of attention; rather, they cheered.

But, all that is in the distant [sort of] past, and we've been casually following the civil war which gained momentum following the Arab Spring.  And early on, we admired the students and family men who broke out their muskets and stones and rebelled against the Syrian dictator Assad.

And, amazingly enough, we had covert operatives whispering to the rebels that weapons would magically appear for their use against Assad.   So they solidified their resistance, and recruited new allies, and created a formidable force -- and Assad turned his military loose on the rebels and the Syrian populace at large with a vengeance, creating hundreds thousands of refugees, not to speak of tens of thousands of rebel and civiliarn corpses.

The promised weaponry was covertly arriving from Qaddafi's warehouses in Libya, having been liberated by Libyan rebels, and then inventoried and repackaged by covert operatives from a foreign government we won't name, because "shhhh", it's classified, and JimmyBob Clapper might get upset. 

But, that operation fell apart in September 2012 when a political scheme hatched by Mr Obama's inner circle  to kidnap the US Ambassador to Libya -- to be exchanged for the Blind Sheik -- went awry, and the Ambassador was killed -- and candidate Obama failed to look Presidential -- but won anyway.  The most awkward moment came when, during the "spontaneous demonstration" the contingent of Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians were caught on video shouting to the Libyan security forces:
"Don't shoot! Morsi sent us!"

Truck-mounted ZSU-23
Libyan security personnel subsequently advised that these Egyptians had materialized suddenly in a pick-up truck with a ZSU-23 anti-aircraft gun [not something you can hide under the seat] to fire into the compound, supported by heavy machine-guns, RPGs, and night vision goggles -- items you wouldn't expect to find folks in a "spontaneous demonstration" carrying  -- but which might have come from a military warehouse in Benghazi.



The results you all know now; dead diplomats, dead SEALs, and US diplomats and Military personnel terrorized by "special" FBI agents who threatened that they would be tried for treason if they said a word about what they knew about Benghazi.

But, we digress. How does this relate to Syria?

Well, the US Ambassador was miffed when he learned about this covert op [of which he was posthumously accused] of directing, and traveled to Italy to report it to Washington.  The weapons were being shipped to Turkey, loaded aboard a large cargo ship, supposedly to be furnished to the Syrian rebels.

But, instead of reaching the rebels, the weapons ended up in the hands of al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.  So, in addition to furnishing such advanced weaponry, the covert program also furnished to our terrorist enemies shoulder-fired SAMs [surface to air missiles] which they can use to shoot down our military fighter jets, transports, and helicopters [as they did in Afghanistan] - but now they have a fresh and unlimited supply, thanks to our "covert" operatives from Benghazi.

So, Pat Buchanan asks:
"Whose war is it?
"It is Shia Alawite vs Sunni, Muslim vs Christian, Kurd vs Arab, Islamist vs Secularist.  Backing Assad are Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia.  Backing the rebels are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, al-Qaeda, foreign jihadists, and the Muslim Brotherhood."

It sounds fairly similar to the entangling alliances evident prior to WWI, touched off by the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which sucked all of Europe -- and the US into a deadly war in which millions perished -- but no one won.

What can we expect if Mr Obama launches his attack on Syria?

1)  Missile/Drone strikes: Military and Government targets "surgically" destroyed with hundreds/thousands killed in collateral damage.

2)  Missile attacks on US ships in the Mediterranean with dead and wounded Sailors and Marines
----These two ships which are ready for the salvage yard will likely take [false flag] strikes
     a)  The USS San Antonio (LPD-17)
     b)  The USS Nimitz
----Their demise will be a windfall or Defense contractors who will compete to build replacements


3)  Collateral damage will likely include exploding biochem weapons, releasing the poisons in an uncontrolled manner, killing hundreds, if not thousands more Syrians.

4)  Assad government topples, resulting in chaos, resulting in al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood control and an imminent subsequent threat to Israel, which the US will be expected to protect.

5)  Iran steps into the vacuum to install Sharia Law into Syria.

6)  Russia gains leverage in the Middle East, and the Gulf States then are at risk.

7)  The US puts "boots on the ground" for "Peacekeeping" and  "Nation-building", and to direct supporting counter-insurgency operations, establishing the US as an "Occupation Force".

8)  And, the US is once again mired in a Middle East conflict -- for another ten years.

Or, Congress can "Just Say NO" dammit!

As a reminder:
The amateurish Covert Action in Benghazi has now supplied al-Qaeda with a vast array of advanced weaponry; expect it to be used against US and allied military and civilian targets for the foreseeable future.