Cutting military retirement?
Our elected representatives have a responsibility to get the obscene growth of our disgracefully wasteful and inefficient Leviathan of a government under control. But screwing over those who have dedicated their lives to keeping all of us safe is a reprehensible way to do so.
There is a greater recognition too –in Congress and among the Joint Chiefs— that it must come to terms with personnel-related costs, which are eating up more and more of what money remains.
“Forty-four cents of every dollar we spend goes to military personnel,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) “You look at Detroit, you look at General Motors, you look at what happens when you build up these costs, but we aren’t doing anything about it in our [defense] bill this year.”
Buck McKeon is a good guy, but last time I checked those overpaid auto workers were not humping a one hundred pound ruck sack up and down the Hindu Kush while pretty much everyone there tried to kill them.
They have looked at raising costs to the military and retired folks for medical care and now they are looking at basically giving a pay cut to active duty folks and using that to help fund retirement. I think it might be time to start ringing the phons of our representatives and letting them know what we think about this.
Peace in our time with Iran
I would say this deal is abject surrender from a winning position, but that is far too kind. Naivete, foolishness, hubris, and the arrogant misconception that wolves will become sheep if we just treat them sweetly, have combined to give the world's most dangerous totalitarian theocracy a green light to build a nuclear bomb at their leisure.
I could go on, and on and on. This deal is really that bad. But James Carafano of Heritage did the heavy lifting. Over to you Mr. Carafano.
No, that’s not a facile, partisan jab. What just went down in Geneva is, in fact, a replay of the greatest diplomatic tragedy of the 20th century.
The Munich deal rested on the ridiculous notion that Hitler could be satiated. The new pact builds on the equally ludicrous idea that Iran would give up the means to build a nuclear weapon that will serve as the tip of its foreign-policy spear.
The saddest part of this negotiated fiasco is that everyone agrees why Iran came to the bargaining table. The sanctions worked; the mullahs had run out of cash, and Tehran determined that the easiest way to get the funds flowing was to get the West to back off.
This is where the realists and the idealists part company. Realists knew that the sanctions were good for only one purpose: to weaken the regime to the point where it would collapse or be overthrown. They crossed their fingers, hoping that would happen before Tehran got a nuke it could turn on the West. Regime change remains the only realistic option to bombing or bearing the danger of living with a nuclear-armed Iran.
Idealists, on the other hand, held that sanctions were the magic button for getting the Iranians to be reasonable. Once Tehran started on the path to accommodating the West (they theorized), the mullahs would realize that the benefits of collaboration and transparency outweighed the burdens of isolation and confrontation.
Veterans Day Doucheasaurus
I do not require that anyone support the troops, or respect them or even agree that they are brave and selfless defenders of freedom and liberty. That is kinda the deal with this whole Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights: They are all about saying "You can't make me do that", except for the whole taxes thing. Over all you don't have to give a rat's ass about the troops if you don't want to.
But if you want to write a pitiful little screed on Veterans Day about how all this support for the troops makes you ill, then you have to be prepared for a little blowback. And if you make statements as stunningly dense and incandescently stupid as the following, well, you are gonna get mocked and mertilized verbally.
"The “freedoms” most Americans think of when they hear the term are enshrined in constitutional and statutory law. They are in no way dependent on the size, scope or even the existence of the U.S. military. If John Lennon’s ghost assumed dictatorial control of the U.S. government tomorrow and, as his first order of business, disbanded the entire military, Americans’ “freedoms” would not suddenly vanish."
First let me grant that there is a tiny little kernel of truth in that streaming pile of excremental ignorance. John Lennon's ghost would be unlikely to do much damage to our freedoms: now a Yoko Ono regime scares the crap out of me. But.....the idea that our freedoms are not and vouchsafed by our military is kinda dumb, devastatingly dumb actually. And the dismal failure to remember and recognize that the only reason those freedoms ever came to fruition was when in the course of human events better men than Justin Douche-little took up arms and won them in battle.It was called the Revolutionary War not the Revolutonary Sit In or Occupy Bunker Hill. Well actually it was occupy Bunker Hill, but that was by some brave soldiers not by a bunchg of dirty, nasty, patchouli-smelling hippies.
That is right, Our freedoms sprung forth directly from the use of a musket by an American soldier. They were scribbled down using a quill and parchment, and they were composed in the minds of a mixed set of soldiers and civilians. But absent the soldiers, there would have been a unrealized Declaration stained crimson with the blood of those civilians. And we would have remained vassals of the British crown. Those pesky soldiers rose up again and again whenever evil reared its ugly head. They ended slavery and reunited the country, they bailed the Brits and French out in WWI. Then when the Japanese and Germans decided a little global tyranny might be fun in the 30s and 40s they beat that assault on freedom down wickedly. Heck the fact that Justin's piece is in English is a tribute to their valor.
I would love to read Justin's piece on the pathetic obeisance paid to the Mullahocracy in Iran as published in the Teheran Times. I really would, but I don't think Justin has the stones to write that, or to pay the inevitable price when the whip comes down. Or his takedown of the cult of personality surrounding Vlad "The Impaler" Putin in Pravda. That kind of truthiness will get you a beatdown and a cell next to the Pussy Riot chickies. Nope, Justin sits smugly growing his hipster douchebag beard, drinking organic, shade grown espresso and smoking America Spirit cigs safe and warm like the spineless little pissant that he is.
You don't have to thank anyone for your freedoms Justin and you can squeak out all the sad, sorry, embarrassingly-constructed, reasonless, painfully poor prose that you want. I will thank the military on your behalf and thank you for providing some extremely light work giving you the virtual knee to the gnads you so desperately asked for and deserve. The fact that this ass-whipping was done with words and not a cat-of-nine tails is courtesy of the United States military past and present. Feel free to retain your blissful ignorance as to the irony you have entertained us all by providing. JACKASS!!!
A dead tango truly worth dancing about
Hakeemullah Mehsud was a bad guy, a major bad guy, and now he is simply worm food. And in honor of that we will do the dead tango dance. Yay!
This may be the first time I ever waited longer than Bill Roggio at Long War Journal to announce a successful return of a terrorist to room temperature.
After years of effort, the US has finally succeeded in killing Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Movement of the Taliban Pakistan, in the latest drone strike in Pakistan's tribal agency of North Waziristan. Hakeemullah, who was responsible for numerous attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the failed attempt to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in May 2010, was killed just as the Pakistani government was formally opening negotiations with the terrorist group.
While the Taliban have not released an official martyrdom statement for Hakeemullah, an official spokesman known as Shahidullah Shahid told Pakistani reporters that the emir is indeed dead, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. The Muhajideen Shura in North Waziristan also threatened to attack the Pakistani state and military to avenge his death.
Syrian tank round FAKE
No Freakin' Way! There is currently quite a bit of breathless commentary about a video purporting to show a Syrian tank firing a round that comes right at the videographer. I think it is fair to say that the tank did fire and a round was launched, but the round shown in the video is almost certainly a fake.
Since this wasn't an episode of Mythbusters, I sincerely doubt the camera in use was of the way high speed variety necessary to capture a tank projectile traveling at the speed of BAKOW! Nice special effects work, but not the real deal. That said, I am sure it sucked massively to be on the near receiving end.
Of his honor & his glory, the people would sing
An interesting thing happened yesterday. I bought some CDs and was listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Greatest Hits. The first song was Lucky Man, a beautiful story of a privileged soul with all of the rewards of earthly life.
He had white horses
And ladies by the score
All dressed in satin
And waiting by the door
But he chose to serve a higher calling.
He went to fight wars
For his country and his king
Of his honor and his glory
The people would sing
War respects no man's status or class and so...
A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died
Yet the refrain comes back and reminds us.
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was. Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
He died for something larger than himself. Greater love hath no man than this: That a man lay down his life for his friends. As I sat pondering what a beautiful song and tale this was, I looked on Facebook and I saw a post from Mike Brennan remembering his son Josh and this video. I then looked at the bracelet I have worn every day for about 5 years.
At that moment it was still the 25th of October, but it occurred to me that it was already the 26th in Afghanistan where Josh and the Rock paratroopers had been fighting the Taliban. Godspeed Josh, You were a Lucky Man.
Mike Brennan gave me the KIA bracelet at a fundraiser to welcome home Josh's unit from the war. He also asked me a funny question, "Hey Uncle J, I remember you from a few years ago. Did you counter-protest an anti-war event at the recruiting station here in Madison back in '04?"
That caught me by surprise, but the answer was yes. Mike was a City of Madison Police Detective and he said "I thought so. I was there in plainclothes to keep an eye on things. When this big guy with a huge sign on a 2x4 showed up, I got assigned to follow him around and make sure he didn't beat anyone with it. That was you. Your cute little blonde daughter was with you, right?" Again the answer was yes. He said "Yeah, I had a great time that day. You went around and argued with all the hippies and ripped 'em up. I wished I coulda said those things to them. That was one of my more enjoyable days on the force." Well, there was a mind blower, for sure.
It was great to meet Mike and the rest of the Brennans. They are the kind of people that make me proud to be from Wisconsin and an American. I'm thankful God put us together then and gave a very cool reminder of that yesterday. I carry Josh's warrior spirit on my wrist every day, not as a reminder, but as a symbol. When asked about the KIA bracelet I wear, I have the opportunity to tell about SGT Josh Brennan, an American hero. He will always be remembered, as will all the Lucky Men and Women who have given their lives for freedom.
Oracle sees the value of vets
It is easy for corporations to donate money to wounded warrior programs or veterans groups and pat themselves on the back for being good people. And doing that is certainly a good thing. But vets don't really want a handout as much as a hand up and Oracle has done a great job with that. They regularly hire and train wounded warriors and other veterans and both the vets and Oracle benefit from the arrangement.
They are holding an event here in Virginia. Good on 'em.
In keeping with our history of supporting those who serve our country
Welcomes Veterans to join us at our
Leadership and Get Connected Event for Veterans
- Meet Oracle leaders and learn about employment opportunities andthe Oracle Veterans Program
- Get connected to our Oracle veteran partners and resource organizations
- Join the panel discussion on the transition from military to corporate life, and hear what hiring managers are looking for now
Enjoy a special screening of the award-winning documentary
An unforgettable story of 11 wounded warriors and 1 Gold Star Mom who climb Mt Lobuche in the Himalayas
Meet Oracle Senior Producer & High Ground cinematographer
John Von Seeburg
and SSgt Cody Miranda, USMC, Retired
Thursday, November 21, 2013
2:30 - 6:30 PM, at the Oracle Campus in Reston, VA
Iranians almost certain to finish their nukes
The follies that are talks with the Iranians about their nuclear weapons program are ongoing and just as substance free as ever. The chances are near zero that the Ayatollahs will give up their decades long plan to become the second nuclear power in the Middle East. But if you listen to the reports from poolside at some four star hotel, you might be fooled again.
For the first time in a long time, the news out of negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, which took place Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, was extremely positive.
In a statement at the close of talks Wednesday—the first ever such joint statement from the Iranian and P5+1 delegations (the permanent five UN Security Council members plus Germany)—European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif hailed “two days of substantive and forward looking negotiations.”
“I've been doing this now for about two years, and I have never had such intense, detailed, straightforward, candid conversations with the Iranian delegation before,” said a senior U.S. official after the talks. “And I would say we are beginning that kind of negotiation to get to a place where, in fact, one can imagine that you could possibly have an agreement.” The official continued, “I think if you talk to any of the P5+1 members–and some of them have been doing this for a lot longer than I have… they would tell you the same thing.”
Let's play count the weasel words in that statement from one of our poolside pantywaists. "beginning", "get to a place", "one can imagine", "possibly have an agreement" Oh FFS, I can begin to get to a place where I can imagine that I could possibly have an agreement to be King of Siam, but that don't make it even the remotest of a real possibility. Just because one or more of these formalized liars in formal wear commented on the dashing cut of the tux of another doesn't mean the Mullahs aren't still building bombs. Those centrifuges are spinning faster that all the jaws at these talks are flapping and they are going to actually create something real, and real dangerous.
The fact that the Iranians are saying nice things to the toothless dogs we send to these soirees is more likely a sign that they are close enough to boom that they want to divert attention. That these clowns think this is a sign they have reconsidered their cunning plans to dominate the region and maybe the globe, shows just how naive they are.The clock is ticking and since there is no chance the West will do a damn thing, expect an Israeli action of some sort. They won't get fooled again.
Liberating the Memorials part II
Yesterday was a beautiful exercise in reining in the excesses of a government that has overstepped its bounds. The government works for We the People and when the motley collection of tools we have hired to run it cannot aggregate their fecal matter, it can get ugly. But what we will not tolerate is a tyranny of petty bureaucrats exercising powers they only borrow to protect their fiefdoms by punishing We the People.
Closing the World War II Memorial and all the other open air monuments is a sorry example of this type of excess and we will simply not allow that. So we didn't. Thousands of Americans, veterans and supporters, peacefully assembled and petitioned their government for redress of a heinous grievance. When our finest generation finds themselves shut out of their own memorial and unable in their twilight hours to pay respects to their fallen comrades, we have a problem. And We the People fixed it.
The barricades were removed and stacked, and some were even delivered to the tyrant in chief to remind him what the pecking order in this country truly is. While the headlines are sensationalizing the presence of some riot police near the White House, that was a minor distraction. The real event was a gathering of eagles and sheep dogs to put the pigs of Washington on notice. You are not more equal than others. You are servants of free people and we can and will throw you out of your cushy sinecures where you sup at the trough of the hard-earned wages of better people than yourselves.
It was a positive and wonderful reminder that America still belongs to We the People. Here is a look at some of the democracy in action with a stirring soundtrack provided by a band many of you are familiar with, Madison Rising. Their rendition of the Star Spangled Banner will get your heart pumping, your eyes welling and remind you just what is so exceptional about America.
Liberating the memorials
There were many patriots our today reminding our government what We the People think about locking vets out of our memorials.
This is my best girl dominating some barricades.
And a Captain Morgan looking St. Jacques.
And a former Governor of Alaska and her man and my woman.
The verdict....Monuments liberated. There will be a video of the festivities in the AM.
Guest hosting Secure Freedom Radio
BRUCE BECHTOL, of the Strategic Studies Institute, joins guest host JIM HANSON to discuss the Cold War style of espionage that North Korea still employs, and how this affects the national security of the U.S.
MICHAEL O’HANLON, of the Brookings Institute, outlines a different approach the U.S. should take towards Syria to push Assad out of power.
Fred Fleitz, a retired CIA analyst and founder of LIGNET.com, discusses the approach taken by President Obama towards Iran and the dangers it leaves for Israel.
Lisa Curtis, former senior adviser to the assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs and now with the Heritage Foundation, explains the political state of affairs in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India.
Shave and a haircut and 220 volts for Hasan
It was a disgrace to allow this mass-murdering,Islamist terrorist dirtbag to run around with chin whiskers for as long as he did. But at least now, he has been squared away.
Maj. Nidal Hasan began growing a beard in the years after the November 2009 shooting that left 13 dead and 30 wounded. The beard prompted delays to his court-martial because it violated Army grooming regulations. He was convicted of all charges last month at his court-martial at the Central Texas Army post and sentenced to death.
Now, Hasan is an inmate at the U.S. Detention Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home to the military death row. Lt. Col. S. Justin Platt, an Army spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday that Hasan had been shaved. He did not specify when or provide details, however.
I would like to think that the shaving was done with a nasty old disposable Bic razor they found in a corner of the latrine behind one of the crappers.But regardless, it was long past time to quit coddling a violent vermin. Unfortunately I think the Army has switched to lethal injection, because if there was ever a loser who deserves to fry, it is this bastard.
Just muscular enough to not get mocked
I don't believe I can add much to this beyond, too late jackass.
One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity "just muscular enough not to get mocked"
First to die for a mistake
Over at the Althouse blog, there has been an interesting rewrite of the infamous quote from Vietnam-protesting, medal-tossing, enemy-collaborating F John Kerry. Back then he asked
Meade IM's a rewrite of John Kerry's famous Vietnam question: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"The rewrite goes
How indeed? But since it will only be a fireworks display, not an actual military mission with, you know, an operational objective and all that. This is just a hundred million dollar fig leaf to cover the mouthing off done by our lead from behind President. Plus the only people to die will be Syrian military and civilians, so who cares right? Gee where are all the lefty war protesters these days?
Iraq looking for some help from us
The AP reports...The violence has spurred Baghdad to seek new U.S. aid to curb the threat, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. He said a U.S. assistance package could include a limited number of advisers, intelligence analysis and surveillance assets – including lethal drones.
“There is greater realization in the Iraq government that we should not shy away from coming and asking for some help and assistance,” Zebari told reporters Friday in Washington.
Jonn responds...Yeah, well, the Iraqis forced us out of their country because they couldn’t come up with a reasonable Status of Forces Agreement to protect our soldiers and Marines from the Iraqi courts. I don’t see them coming up with one now either.
That is partly true, but we did not always negotiate in the best faith.
When Bush was still running things, the Iraqis were playing internal politics and didn't want to be seen as caving to the Western Devils. That was a necessary thing to get an actual government up and running there. The folks who negotiated the short term deal were told by the Iraqis pretty bluntly, just let us look tough here and we will work something out on the back side.
Once Obama took command he had no interest at all in an American presence and little care about reinforcing a fragile ally born from a war he was violently opposed to. So we made all kinds of objections to any agreement, many of them complete BS and so in the end, we got booted. Not much in the way of strategery there.
I am not suggesting that we roll tanks back in, but we don't have many friends in the area. Might be nice to help out someone who owes us and have at least a little clout there. If not, they probably have Putin's number.