Thursday, March 31, 2011

There is never a bad time for Coffee



Combat Coffee 101

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This could become a daily routine......Douchebag Quote of the Day

And with the same characters no less. Another gem from the perpetually fact-challenged Michelle Bachmann who never met scripted spin she didn't like:
“I have been very reluctant to see the United States to go into Libya. For one thing, we haven’t identified yet who the opposition even is to Qaddafi. We don’t know if this is led by Hamas, Hezbollah, or possibly al Qaeda of North Africa. Are we really better off, are United States, our interests better off, if let’s say Al-Qaeda of North Africa now runs Libya?”
And for good measure, we'll add the equally venomous Pam Gellar:
“And now [President Obama] is essentially backing Al-Qaeda in Libya. Al-Qaeda has already established an Islamic emirate in eastern Libya, and is playing a leading role in the revolt against Gaddafi. The Libyan Islamist Fighting Group is also involved.”
 Note to both women.........
Despite fears that Islamic extremists may be playing a hidden role in the rebellion against Moammar Kadafi, the U.S. intelligence community has found no organized presence of Al Qaeda or its allies among the Libyan opposition, American officials say.

A U.S. intelligence-gathering effort that began shortly after anti-Kadafi forces started seizing towns in eastern Libya last month has not uncovered a significant presence of Islamic militants among the insurgents.

"We're keeping an eye out for extremist activity in Libya, but we haven't seen much, if any, to date," said a U.S. counter-terrorism official. A Defense official added that the U.S. had not seen a direct link between the opposition and extremists.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another example of why the fat ass draft dodger is no military genius.

Folks, this is pathetic. Literally, genuinely pathetic. "Kinetic military action, particularly on the front end." Kinetic simply means motion. That's all it means. Depending on movement for its effect, of, relating to, or resulting from motion. So, now we've got "kinetic military action."
Hey dipshit....kinetic has been in the military lexicon since before you became pseudo-famous for blathering.

Museums Rock!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Libya? It Depends.....

Before you buy into the spin about Obama not seeking Congressional approval....

for the airstrikes on Libya....and the meme that this is a unique and impeachable event....remember that Reagan ordered the invasion of Grenada in the exact same manner. 

Conyers v. Reagan

On the advice of one of my dear readers...

I will randomly institute a "Douchebag Quote of the Day". h/t Lesly

Today we bring you Michelle Bacmann...the never ending fount of idiocy:
“Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism.”

Quote of the Day

Borrowed from Abu Muqawama:
"Elected officials find it hard to ignore events overseas that offend U.S. values or threaten peripheral interests. But they aren't willing to risk serious commitment to deal with them. The result is pressure for intervention on the cheap."
- Steven Biddle

Hang Tough

One kickass kid doing great work in memory of MAJ Dick Winters.
Central Pennsylvania student Jordan Brown is a WWII buff and has embarked upon a campaign to ensure that the WWII vets who served on D-Day are memorialized. In May 2010, he learned of an effort to honor Jordan’s hero, Major Dick Winters, and all the men that served on D-Day by having a statue built in St. Marie Du-Mont, Normandy, France. (This larger effort is being undertaken by Emmy award winning filmmaker, Tim Gray, see www.TimGrayMedia.com )
When Jordan read about this effort, he decided to embark on his own campaign to make sure that the necessary monies were raised for this and an associated documentary that will be produced on Major Winters Leadership abilities.
Major Dick Winters (whose heroism & leadership were captured in the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks mini-series Band of Brothers) is known for using the expression “Hang Tough” when leading his troops in battle and also after the war. Jordan created olive green wristbands (to match the WWII army uniforms) that are inscribed with the words “Hang Tough”. (These wristbands are similar to the Lance Armstrong “live strong” ones.)

Jordan has been distributing these wristbands for minimum donations of $1. (Jordan wanted to ensure that children could afford them too.) To date, Jordan has collected over $32,000 towards the creation of the monument. He plans to continue to “hang tough” until all the necessary monies are raised to ensure that these WWII vets are honored appropriately.
In order to bring greater awareness to his efforts, Jordan has delivered speeches to area civic organizations, marched in parades, manned stands at fairs, and has been interviewed by local media.
Hang Tough

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blast from the Past....sort of.

Getting in the spirit of my new job, I ran across a PAO video of my last unit, taken while based in Baghdad during the Surge.

video

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mike Huckabee's theocratic vision for America

Huckabee speaking about debunked historian and Beck-ite David Barton and 'Applying the Bible to every aspect of the culture"

Jon Stewart v. Brett Baier

Good back and forth between these two...good points made by both.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The twists and turns of our hypocritical foreign policy

I don't usually quote someone like Robert Scheer, due to his legacy as a leftist firebrand.....but he's spot on in his analysis of who we partner with and who "must go".

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that Moammar Gadhafi must now go not because his human rights record is egregious but rather because his erratic hold on power seems spent. After all, from the London School of Economics to Harvard, influential foreign policy experts were all too happy until quite recently to accept Libyan payoffs in exchange for a more benign view of Gadhafi’s prospects for change under the gentle guidance of what Harvard’s Joseph Nye celebrated as “soft power.”
But that revisionist appraisal of Gadhafi suddenly became an embarrassment when this nutty dictator—whom few in the world could ever understand, let alone warm to—was exposed by defections from his own armed forces to be akin to rotten fruit destined to drop. Libya’s honeymoon with the West, during which leaders led by Tony Blair and George W. Bush thought Col. Gadhafi might finally prove to be a worthy partner more concerned with reliably exporting oil than ineffectively ranting against Western imperialism, has suddenly been abandoned as no longer necessary. As with former U.S. ally Saddam Hussein before him, the Libyan strongman now seemed an awkward relic of a time that had passed him by, and easily replaceable. Not so the royal ruler of Saudi Arabia and the surrogates he finances in Yemen and Bahrain; their suppression of their peoples still falls within acceptable limits because of the vast resources the king manages in a manner that Western leaders have long found agreeable.
But this time, in the glaring light of the democratic currents sweeping through the Mideast, the contradictions in supporting one set of dictators while toppling others may prove impossible for the U.S. and its allies to effectively manage. The recognition, widely demanded throughout the region, that even ordinary Middle Easterners have inalienable rights is a sobering notion not easily co-opted. Why don’t those rights to self-determination extend to Shiites in the richest oil province in Saudi Arabia or for that matter to Palestinians in the West Bank or Gaza?
The fallback position for U.S. policymakers is the “war on terror” standard under which our dictators are needed to control super-fanatic Muslims. That’s why the U.S trained the Republican Guard led by the son of the despised ruler of Yemen as the counterterrorism liaison with Washington. On Tuesday it was the tanks of the lavishly U.S-equipped Republican Guard that stood as the final line of support surrounding the Presidential Palace as calls for departure of Yemen’s dictator increased in intensity. The U.S. was still following the lead of Saudi Arabia, long a financier of the Yemeni ruler.
The Saudi lead was made clearer in the kingdom’s support for the royal family in neighboring Bahrain as Saudi troops were sent in along with forces from the United Arab Emirates to suppress Bahraini democracy advocates claiming that freedom would enhance the power of the majority Shiite population. The fraud here is to locate Shiite Iran as the center of terrorism when it was the Sunni monarchies that were most closely identified with the problems that gave rise to al-Qaida. Not only did 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 come from Saudi Arabia but Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with Pakistan, were the only countries to diplomatically recognize the Taliban regime that harbored al-Qaida. In Bahrain the majority Shiite population is dismissed as potentially under the sway of the rulers of Iran without strong evidence to that effect. Once again it is convenient to ignore the fact that Iran, as was the case with Saddam’s Iraq, had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack that launched the U.S. war on terror. 
All of which elevates the question of how long will the U.S. and its allies ignore the elephant in the room posed by an alliance for human rights and anti-terrorism with regimes in the Middle East that stand for neither? While the jury is still out on whether the West’s attack on Libya will prove to be a boon for that nation’s population, at the very least it should expose the deep hypocrisy of continuing to sell huge amounts of arms and otherwise supporting Saudi Arabia and its contingent tyrannies.
 Be Consistent

Factoid of the Day

It's probably safe to say that a majority of people who have a fear of Shari'a Law - and support legislation to ensure that Shari'a Law can never take hold in the US [though they cannot cite any sound foundation of how it could] - likely are regular viewers of Fox News.

The second largest shareholder of NewsCorp, the parent company of Fox, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal; nephew of ruling despot King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.......who rules through strict Shari'a Law.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holding His Hand

From The Unknown Soldiers:
One fall day in Guthrie, Okla., Glenda Porter was preparing to call her younger sister to wish her a happy birthday. But before she could dial the number, her phone rang. It was Angie, the wife of her son, Sgt. Rusty Dunagan, who was deployed to an undisclosed location in southwest Asia.

"She asked me if I was sitting down, and I just started crying," Glenda, 55, tells The Unknown Soldiers. "I said, 'Just tell me he's alive."

This is the call that she, and every military mom with a son or daughter overseas, dreads beyond imagination.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Doesn't matter if you don't believe in God......Suck it up and move along Citizen....

Rep Randy Forbes (R.-Va.) has spent four years fighting to have Congress officially support the right to have the national motto “In God We Trust” in government buildings and public schools. Forbes won a big victory on Thursday when the House Judiciary Committee passed his In God We Trust Resolution, which reaffirms the national motto and supports and encourages the public display of the motto in all public buildings.

Forbes is pushing this legislation because of a recent cultural shift in America to keep God out of public and government institutions.

“This sends a clear message to all these government departments and agencies that it’s all right to put up the motto on our buildings and in our classrooms.  And I think it will stop the tide of the chilling effect over the past several years,” Forbes said in an interview with HUMAN EVENTS.
HE

The unreconcilable two faces of Glenn Beck

Yesterday:
"Here is the point on that. I believe that's because [the president] just sees us as the oppressor nation. He just sees us as a nation who is and has oppressed the Native Americans and, and the Muslim communities around the world. And so he's - he's - he's not with the terrorists, I'm not saying that, but he is sympathetic to their cause."
When a Republican was President:
"More and more Muslims now hate us all across the world, and it really has not a lot to do with anything other than our morals.
"The things that they were saying about us were true. Our morals are just out the window. We're a society on the verge of moral collapse. And our promiscuity is off the charts.
"Now I don't think that we should fly airplanes into buildings or behead people because of it, but that's the prevailing feeling of Muslims in the Middle East. And you know what? They're right."
Washington Monthly

Idiot.

This asinine child wants to be your next President

“I was frankly very disappointed that Sarkozy did not share with us his Final Four picks,” Gingrich told reporters. “And I think it’s his failure to understand the importance of the Final Four that allowed him to focus on Libya in a way that, you know, clearly, if he had understood the American system, he would have realized this was not a good week to deal with Libya, because this was the week to deal with Kansas, Ohio State, and things that are really important.”
- Newt Gingrich

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This is why Dogs are cool

The video from Japan:



The translation:
We are in Arahama area. Looks like there is a dog. There is a dog. He looks tired and dirty. He must have been caught in the tsunami. He looks very dirty.
He has a collar. He must be someone's pet. He has a silver collar. He is shaking. He seems very afraid.
Oh, there is another dog. I wonder if he is dead.
Where?
Right there. There is another dog right next to the one sitting down. He is not moving. I wonder. I wonder if he is alright.
The dog is protecting him.
Yes. He is protecting the dog. That is why he did not want us to approach them. He was trying to keep us at bay.
I can't watch this. This is a very difficult to watch.
Oh. Look. He is moving. He is alive. I am so happy to see that he is alive.
Yes! Yes! He is alive.
He looks to be weakened. We need to them to be rescued soon. We really want them rescued soon.
Oh good. He's getting up.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

George Will on Libya

Libya is a tribal society. What concerning our Iraq and Afghanistan experiences justifies confidence that we understand Libyan dynamics?
On Libya, too many questions

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Anyone who has ever labored in a Tactical Operations Center can relate to this

Doctrine Man and the TOC from Hell

Since some are confused about who our enemies are in the "war on terror"

Yet another pretty good analytical report that will never be mentioned in the mainstream media. If you rely on cable of news of any alleged political stripe....you're not getting the news.

Separating the Taliban from al-Qaeda: The Core of Success in Afghanistan
Key Findings

• The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain distinct groups
with different goals, ideologies, and sources of recruits;
there was considerable friction between them before
September 11, 2001, and today that friction persists.


• Elements of current U.S. policy in Afghanistan,
especially night raids and attempts to fragment the Taliban,
are changing the insurgency, inadvertently creating
opportunities for al-Qaeda to achieve its objectives and
preventing the achievement of core goals of the United
States and the international community.


• There is room to engage the Taliban on the issues
of renouncing al-Qaeda and providing guarantees against
the use of Afghanistan by international terrorists in a way
that will achieve core U.S. goals.
Read the rest from the NYU Center for International Cooperation

The Good Idea Fairy.....Part Deux

Every now and again, I come across some tidbits of humor and reflection from before Libertas and Latte was born. I endeavor to post them as I stumble across them. Here's another from Bob-on-the-FOB:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Must. Read. This: Islamophobia and the crumbling of American strategy

Dr. Steven Metz, an unbelievably smart dude on things military and national security related writes a piece that simply must be read in it's entirety. If you find any redeeming quality in this humble blog, please take my recommendation and take a look at Islamophobia and the crumbling of American strategy
The notion that public diplomacy and strategic communication would address these problems also proved false.  Ultimately it does not matter whether the perceptions of the United States which are common in the Islamic world – that Washington is in the thrall of Israel, deliberately seeks to keep Islamic nations weak by any means available, and wants to politically dominate the Islamic world so as to exploit its resources – are accurate.  The naive American trust in the power of objective truth does not work in a deadly struggle with extremism.  Beliefs matter more than reality.  Hostility, anti-Americanism, and misperception are simply parts of the strategic terrain, as immutable as mountains or swamps.  Changing deep set perceptions and attitudes is like changing physical terrain: it may be possible over an extended period of time and at great cost and effort, but is normally not the wisest course of action.  Yet the United States continued to rumble along with a strategy based on wishful thinking rather than cold reality.
Yet for a few years after September 11, the fissures and faulty assumptions in America’s global strategy were papered over and held in check.  Islamic partners were willing to cooperate to a point given the benefits involved.  This gave Americans the impression of progress.  But cooperation was fragile and thin, based more on an expectation of material gain than shared priorities and perspectives.  And the United States was able to teeter along with a flawed strategy because opposition from the element of the American public most likely to oppose the partnerships in the Islamic world – the political right – was held in check by Republican control of the White House.  As long as it was George W. Bush and his administration arguing that extremists were not representative of Islam – something that President Bush stated often – the right muted its anger and hostility.  Criticism would only strengthen Bush’s critics.  But with a Democratic president, the gloves came off.   Politicians and pundits on the right found that public anger and hostility toward Islam was a useful tool to mobilize their constituency and attack a president whom a significant portion of Americans believed to be a secret Muslim.  Just as Iraq was President Bush’s vulnerability, Islam is President Obama’s.

Interesting if true......

The company responsible for syndicating big conservative radio names like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity has been using paid actors to call in to their radio shows.

According to a recent report in Tablet Magazine, Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, hired actors to call in as guests.

A website for the Premiere On Call service was taken offline before the report was published, but a cached version of the website is still available.

However, when Raw Story contacted Premiere's entertainment division, one individual who spoke off the record claimed that the service was still being offered.

"Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service," the website said. "We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we’ll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won’t hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners."
Raw Story

h/t Alternate Brain

A Checklist for Intervention

A pretty good article on what should be the requirements and considerations for the US conducting a military intervention.

Military Intervention: A Checklist of Key Considerations

Something to chew on when bleating about 'Socialism'

“Believing that certain forms of the state or certain forms of governing are socialist and certain forms are ‘free’ is erroneous and a bit ridiculous. All governing states are socialist by nature. The state by definition derives its control and power to enforce its monopoly by confiscating and redistributing the resources of its populace. It cannot survive without acting in this manner. While it may not directly control the ‘means of production’, to ensure its survival and growth it will control the necessary proportion of the product of those same productive means.

Attempting to try to ‘unsocialize’ the state is futile. One political party referring to the other as ‘socialist’ is hysterical. All politics that exist within the state monopoly are only variations on the question of who the wealth will come from and where it will go. This has always been the nature of the state.”
- Yuri N. Maltsev, former member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s economic reform team

If you know what this song is speaking about......

then you are my Brother, and we will share the misery of the PT Belt together.....



Courtesy of Bouhammer

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I don't know why, but a thoughtful argument always sounds better in a sexy Russian voice....



From Skeptical Eye

An update

to my earlier post "File this under"
Representatives from CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC news all declined comment Friday on what Clinton said.
But former CNN Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno agreed with her assessment.

"She's right," said Sesno, who is now director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University.

"Cable news has become cable noise. It was intended to be an opportunity to inform people, and instead it has become an opportunity to inflame people."

The cable news shift toward opinion has paid off handsomely for ratings leader Fox News Channel and, to a lesser extent, MSNBC.

CNN has resisted a partisan drift to concentrate more on news and has suffered in the ratings the past couple of years. With budget cuts, the influence of the major broadcast news divisions has been waning.
HuffPo

The Meme of "anti-Americanism" and the faux Conservatives who rely on it

If there's one thing that stands out amongst many who call themselves Conservatives.....it's hypocrisy. Not present among true Conservatives, but among those who are usually Republicans first and Conservative when convenient.

Maybe I'm the odd duck here, but my definition and personal recipe for the ideology of of modern Conservative [which is ironically a classical Liberal] is the pursuit of critical thought, honest discourse, a disdain for the echo chamber....in addition to rugged individualism, self reliance, service to one's community, fiscal responsibility and a strong defense.

Make no mistake about it, political correctness is as alive and well on the right as it is on the left. State one of the many quasi-Socialist aspects of our society that the vast majority [including the right] enjoys and relies upon, and you're somehow a Liberal. Point out hypocrisy and double standards between critiques of politicians, and you're the opposition. Fail to glorify or deify the existence of actions of military service members to an appropriate level, and you're anti-American.

What is this odd reliance on intellectually lazy and utterly shallow sentiments such as "anti-American"? Perhaps my definition is far too stringent. I would consider somebody who actively worked to bring down this society or it's defenses and replace it with a foreign entity to be anti-American. What we see these days amongst normally intelligent appearing people however, is the use of this term against anyone who dares offer a contrary point of view concerning any of the aforementioned politically correct issues. Fail to toe the line, and you get painted by this juvenile pejorative.

Similar hypocrisy raises it's head with cutesy little names to denigrate a political rival. Republicans surely didn't like the names Liberal had for Bush, but a distinguished lack of maturity apparently compels them to use such gems as 'the anointed one', 'Nobama', 'Barack HUSSEIN Obama' and my personal favorite 'Obama bin Laden'.

I find it especially silly when websites who like to tout that they 'Support the Military' and "Remember the Fallen' consistently forget [or conveniently ignore] that not all who are veterans, serving or supporters and family of the first two are Republicans.

Childish, immature and un-American.

I expect this from Liberals....but this phenomenon is part of what drove me, as a Conservative, away from the Republican Party.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Final Salute

I though I had posted this long before, but after conducting some maintenance on this humble blog, I realized my error. This is a must read...or at least watch the video.

The story that started it all - A Rocky Mountain News Special Report



Final Salute, A Story of Unfinished Lives

Friday, March 4, 2011

Are you shitting me????

Donald Rumsfeld interviewed by Bill O'Reilly....says of Hamid Karzai:
"The criticisms of Karzai, I think, have been misplaced... He's been elected leader of that country...I have seen no indication that he's corrupt and I think the way he's been savaged... He's the president of that country. We want him to succeed."
Newshounds

I can't even come up with a witty way of saying batshit crazy......

Tell me they're not going to quarrel over this??

 Capitol ceremony for WWI vet Buckles blocked
West Virginia’s two Democratic senators blamed House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday after their hopes of having the remains of World War I veteran Frank Buckles honored in the Capitol Rotunda were dashed, at least for now.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin III both released statements saying the Ohio Republican had blocked the Capitol honor. Asked if that were true, Boehner spokesman Mike Steel said the speaker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would seek Defense Department permission for a ceremony for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buckles died Sunday on his farm in Charles Town, W.Va., at the age of 110. He had been the last surviving American veteran of World War I.

The episode turned what West Virginia lawmakers had hoped would be easy approval for the rare honor for Buckles into a finger-pointing dispute with partisan overtones.

It was unclear late Thursday how the disagreement would end. Asked whether Boehner would be supportive if the Senate approved a resolution allowing Buckles’ remains to lie in the Rotunda, Steel said, “We’ll see what the Senate does.”

The honor requires a congressional resolution or the approval of congressional leaders, according to the office of the architect of the Capitol.

The bodies of prominent citizens have been displayed in the Rotunda on 30 occasions, starting in 1852 with Henry Clay, a Kentucky senator and congressman. Others include Presidents Lincoln and Reagan, unknown soldiers from America’s wars and civil rights hero Rosa Parks.

Steel said Boehner and Reid will ask Defense Secretary Robert Gates to allow a memorial service for Buckles at Arlington National Cemetery, “surrounded by honored veterans of every American war.”
Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Reid and Boehner were “discussing alternatives.” Summers would provide no additional detail.

Members of both parties of West Virginia’s congressional delegation had introduced resolutions to permit Buckles’ casket to be honored in the Capitol. The House version was sponsored by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

In his statement, Rockefeller called the dispute “a big disappointment and a surprising decision by the speaker.”

Manchin said, “I urge Speaker Boehner to reconsider this ill-advised decision. After all, there won’t be another request like this.
Rockefeller spokesman Vince Morris said lawmakers expected the resolution to “sail through” Congress this week.

“We’re kind of in a standoff,” Morris said. “We’re upset.”

In his final years, Buckles had campaigned for greater recognition for the 4.7 million Americans who joined the military in 1917 and 1918 during World War I. Among his goals was a national memorial in Washington for those who served in that conflict.

President Obama has ordered that flags on U.S. government buildings fly at half staff on the day Buckles is buried. His family has said they plan to inter him at Arlington.

Buckles enlisted at the age of 16 after lying about his age. He served in England and France, mostly as a driver and warehouse clerk. After the war ended, he helped repatriate German prisoners of war, returning to the U.S. in January 1920.
Army Times

A Fallen Comrade......gunned down far from the battlefield

Cathy Garner was worried that her son Nick Alden would be in danger in Afghanistan. Alden, a U.S. Air Force airman, didn't make it to Afghanistan. He died Wednesday when a gunman whom authorities are describing as an Islamic extremist began shooting on a bus at an airport at Frankfurt, Germany. Alden was 24.

Garner got the news in a telephone call from her ex-husband, who told her that their youngest son charged the gunman after seeing him fatally shoot the bus driver. At least 10 airmen dressed in civilian clothes were on the bus at the time of the shooting, according to media reports.

“I don't know all of the details, but apparently he was instrumental in keeping the other people on the bus safe,” said Garner, who teaches English at Starr-Iva Middle School.

Besides his parents, two older brothers and a younger sister, Alden is survived by his widow, Trish, and their 3-year-old daughter, Lilly, and 1-year-old son, William.
Link

Blue skies Airman Alden.....

File this under.....

What took you so long to figure this out?
We're the most technologically advanced country in the world, so slowly but surely we've been trying to take back the airwaves in Afghanistan against Taliban with the most primitive kind of communication equipment. Now, take that as one example where I don't think we were very competitive, and we have worked like crazy to change that, and then go to the most extreme where you've got a global, a set of global networks, that Al Jazeera has been the leader in, that are literally changing people's minds and attitudes.
And like it or hate it, it [Al Jazeera] is really effective. And in fact viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.
Hillary Clinton

I'm officially ashamed to be an American

Misanthropes like these disgrace their flag, their dignity and their God.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tea Party v. Libertarianism

What it means to be a Libertarian

Two SCOTUS rulings you may not have even heard about

The Supreme Court issued two unanimous decisions on Tuesday reflecting solicitude for members of the military.
In one, the court relaxed a filing deadline that had served to deny benefits to disabled veterans. In the other, it made it easier for military personnel to sue private employers for discriminating against them based on hostility to their service. 

The first case, Henderson v. Shinseki, No. 09-1036, concerned David L. Henderson, who was discharged from the military in 1952 after receiving a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. He sought additional government help for his condition in 2001, and he was turned down in 2004. 

Mr. Henderson missed a 120-day deadline to file an appeal by 15 days. He attributed the lapse to the very disability for which he had sought help. 

The second case, Staub v. Proctor Hospital, No. 09-400, concerned the interpretation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on membership in or an obligation to perform “uniformed service.” The law is similar to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, sex and other factors. 

Vincent Staub, an Army reservist and a civilian technician at an Illinois hospital, sued after he was fired by the hospital, saying his military status was a motivating factor in his termination. There was evidence that two of Mr. Staub’s supervisors were hostile to him because his military duties had caused him to be absent from work one weekend a month and two or three weeks a year.
NYT

So many inaccuracies......

Fischer: Well Governor, what got lost in all the shuffle was the legitimate point that you were making which is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial, hated the British - might have something to do with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. You know, I was struck by the fact that when he made his tour to Indonesia, he made a point of going to an Indonesian memorial that celebrated the victory of Indonesians over British troops - again, part of that anti-colonial thing. And so I'd like you to comment on that; you seem to think that there is some validity to the fact that there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president.

Huckabee: Well, that's exactly the point that I make in the book and I don't know why these reporters - maybe they can't read, I guess that's part of it because it's clearly spelled out and I'm quoting a British newspaper who really were expressing the outrage of the Brits over that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like that due to Obama's father and grandfather it could be that his version and view of the Mau Mau Revolution was very different than most of the people who perhaps would grow up in the United States. And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.
Link

But why let facts get in the way of good political rhetoric? The opposition somehow feels forced to paint Obama as an "other". He's not like you and I you know.....he's different.

Let's debunk, shall we?

1. There is absolutely no evidence that Obama attended a Madrassa while he was in Indonesia.
But reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.

He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.
"This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."
Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

"I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the "Situation Room" Monday. "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."
Vause also interviewed one of Obama's Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama's political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, "and are seeking to prove it."
"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."
CNN

2. Is there a definition of anti-American? I think not, but as a corollary, what could be more American [given our history and principles] than to be anti-colonialist?

3. The Churchill Bust. Forget Beck, Huckabee and the other assorted script readers.
A British Embassy spokesman said: "The bust of Sir Winston Churchill by Sir Jacob Epstein was uniquely lent to a foreign head of state, President George W Bush, from the Government Art Collection in the wake of 9/11 as a signal of the strong transatlantic relationship. 

"It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009. 

"The new President has decided not to continue this loan and the bust has now been returned. It is on display at the Ambassador's Residence."
 Telegraph

You may note that these script writers uniformly fail to report on anything that may possibly make Obama out to be anything other than American.
California decorator Michael Smith worked with Obama on updating the look of the Oval Office.

In came four pieces of pottery by contemporary Native American artists, all on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian. Also new to the Obama bookshelves are three mechanical devices on loan from the National Museum of American History's patent collection: models for Samuel Morse's 1849 telegraph register, John Peer's 1874 gear-cutting machine and Henry Williams' 1877 feathering paddlewheel for steamboats.

White House curator William Allman said the patent models fit Obama's personality - his "interest in American history, his interest in technology and his interest in the creative spirit."

The pottery and gadgets arrived in the Oval Office months after a collection of decorative plates from the Bush years made a quick departure - plates just weren't his style, Obama said.

A big bowl of fresh apples on the coffee table, something of an Obama family tradition, has proved hugely popular with visitors, although the president still keeps M&Ms handy for kids.

As for artwork, the Texas landscapes that dominated the walls in the Bush years were gone with Obama's inauguration. Swapped back in were traditional Oval Office paintings including Childe Hassam's "The Avenue in the Rain," an impressionist view of New York's flag-bedecked Fifth Avenue, and Norman Rockwell's colorful "Statue of Liberty."
CBS

I don't count myself as a supporter of Obama beyond his role as the Commander in Chief, but just remember to take into account the intentions of those pundits and bloviators when they casually drop the "anti-American" reference or "misspeak" about his "childhood in Kenya" or that he's "soft on the war on terror".

Conduct research, stay informed......it's the American thing to do.

This is how it begins.....

The world just got a little weirder: Scientists have identified four new species of brain-controlling fungi that turn ants into zombies that do the parasite's bidding before it kills them.

Once it infects an ant, the fungus uses as-yet-unidentified chemicals to control the ant's behavior, Hughes told LiveScience. It directs the ant to leave its colony (a very un-ant-like thing to do) and bite down on the underside of a leaf — the ant's soon-to-be resting place. Once it is killed by the fungus, the ant remains anchored in place, thanks to its death grip on the leaf.

Ultimately, the fungus produces a long stalk that protrudes from the ant's head, shooting spores out in the hopes of infecting other ants. Two of the four newly discovered species also sprouted smaller stalks elsewhere, including from the victim's feet and lower leg joints – the equivalent of knees.
 Yahoo

Who in the world of the Zombie Apocalypse could have predicted the lowly ant could be our impending doom?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Army PT Test.....about damn time

Sit-ups don't make a soldier, the Army has decided. So its 30-year-old fitness requirements are getting a battlefield-inspired makeover.
Soon every soldier will have to run on a balance beam with two 30-pound canisters of ammunition, drag a sled weighted with 180 pounds of sandbags and vault over obstacles while carrying a rifle. Those were just some of the tests the Army unveiled Tuesday as it moves toward making its physical training look more like combat.
Right now soldiers have to complete sit-ups, push-ups and a two-mile run twice a year within times that vary by age and gender. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the general in charge of the Army's initial military training, said he has been working to change that test for years.

Hertling said the current test "does not adequately measure components of strength, endurance, or mobility," or predict how well a soldier would do under fire.
Yahoo

Some of us NCO's have been saying this for years....and years....

I completed Master Fitness Training in 2001, and they were developing a 'new' six event APRT that we took. I guess there was no rush...