Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Nation (?) of Scotland and it's Defense

I've long been fascinated by my Scottish heritage and the continual yearning for a Scottish nation. I'm a bit of an Anglophile as I'm not yet sure where I stand on the 2014 Referendum on Independence, though I probably lean towards a Yes vote.

The Royal United Services Institute recently published an article tackling what is probably the stickiest of issues surrounding a possible Yes vote...that of a defense capability and apparatus independent of Britain. Quite a good [though Union-biased] read, since as the  author succinctly states: "Having independent Armed Forces is at the heart of what it means to be a sovereign country".

Kingdoms End?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How I Met Your Soldier's Angels

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alternate Political Realities

Just something that's been on my mind the last couple of days; I read numerous sites that have comment sections, and as expected, most are merely throw away lines - the 'yeah, me too's - and intentional trolls.

One line that I absolutely consider a throwaway, but has intrigued me, is the "we just need to eradicate all [liberals/conservatives], to make our country great".....paraphrasing the nonsense of course.

My curiosity surrounds the not amount of thought put into posting such tripe, because quite clearly, there is none, but to what degree would a single party, unilateral government be able to police itself? Since the post in question was advocating open season on whomever they considered liberal....would the GOP be able to police the rabid fundamentalist portions of it's party, or would we move closer to a theocracy, since to a man/group, these fundamentalists have every notion of ensuring that our civil laws comport fully with what they deem to be "God's laws".

Do people who wish for such a paradigm really think that their ideology or political party really has all the answers? Or would work for the benefit of the entire society?

I think it's a silly notion, but I'm curious to see if anyone disagrees.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My new favorite Pundit

To be sure, I'll not be agreeing with everything she writes, but I was taken this morning by Katie Kieffer's stunning beauty and her Memorial Day post on her website:

Let’s make foreign policy like it’s 2000. I think we will support our troops and vets by revisiting the foreign policy that former President Bush expressed in 2000. Otherwise, we will send brave hearts into vain battles.
In October, 2000, George W. Bush debated Al Gore on C-SPAN. He said:
“I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying: 
‘We do it this way, so should you.’ … It really depends upon how our nation conducts itself on foreign policy; if we’re an arrogant nation they’ll resent us; if we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us. …Somalia started out as a humanitarian mission then changed into a nation-building mission and that’s where the mission went wrong; the mission was changed, and, as a result, our nation paid a price and so I don’t think our troops ought to be used for what’s called nation-building. …If we don’t stop extending our troops all around the world and [conducting] nation-building missions, then we are going to have a serious problem coming down the road and I’m going to prevent that.”
As we know, Bush did not fulfill his 2000 foreign policy goals. I think he was right to enter Afghanistan and route the Taliban immediately after the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately, he overextended our stay and his executive reach. Today, Bush’s successor, President Obama, is proof that Bush was right in 2000. For, Obama’s efforts to ramp up Bush’s post-2000 expansionism are failing.
This month, Obama gathered his NATO partners in Chicago and signed an agreement that hands major combat operations over to Afghan security forces by the summer of 2013. (So much for consulting Congress and the Constitution.)
Nearly 11 years of war and $642 billion dollars are the temporal and monetary costs to U.S. taxpayers for the War in Afghanistan. No metric, however, quantifies the cost of elongated war to U.S. troops and veterans.
Obama should never have sent an additional 33,000 troops to risk their lives in this hopeless region in 2010. This month, bipartisan leaders of the congressional intelligence committee reported that the Taliban has become stronger since Obama’s troop surge. And, American troops are increasingly dying at the hands of our allies. Since 2007, around 80 Americans have died at the hands of our Afghan “partners.”
Obama should bring the troops home now—not in the summer of 2013. He can better utilize our troops on the U.S.-Mexico border where drug cartel violence threatens American ranchers, farmers and the U.S. food supply.
By keeping our troops and resources abroad, Obama is perpetuating a situation where current and former armed forces deal with suicidal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
And I would be remiss if I didn't share the smoking goodness that is Katie.

I hope this post is formatted well, as I cannot preview. The filters on my domain at work block my blog due to "Adult Content".


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Afghanistan: Why a ‘Limited-Win’ is Sustainable

An article in this months International Policy Digest looks at the positive and negative effects of out planned withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. One particular excerpt of note illustrates the way the internal conflict [as that is really what we're fighting in AFG] will likely be framed once we depart in large numbers:
The withdrawal of Western forces and absence of a common enemy could exacerbate fractures between rival insurgent organizations. Moreover, a reduced Western presence in Afghanistan will prompt the war to morph in focus from a West vs. Muslim conflict to a Muslim vs. Muslim conflict. This transformation could have serious consequences for Taliban fundraising activities in the broader Muslim world.
And a cogent summary:

While the picture painted by most of the western media in Afghanistan is pessimistic, the way forward in Afghanistan, even under a strategy of a limited-win, will neither be easy nor assured of success. There remains a significant possibility that the West is simply too war weary to maintain even modest commitments of troops and funds past 2014. Moreover, even if the strategy of a limited-win is fully realized, the West is still left propping up a corrupt and ineffectual government for an indefinite period of time. Nonetheless, abandoning Afghanistan entirely will have serious adverse consequences for the stability of the region and the security of the West, which is why a strategy of a limited-win may prove the better of several bad alternatives.
The medium-term future is surely likely to remain one of limited financial and military resources, as the the number and nature of trouble spots around the world proliferates. Afghanistan cannot remain on life support indefinitely; after a decade of commitment from the West, the country must learn to stand on its own two feet.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Words are failing.....

Friday, June 15, 2012

This stuff just writes itself.....

"I have seen the finger of God" - Glenn Beck

I bet you have Glenn....the middle one perchance?

Obamanomics and the blaming of Bush

I'm not terribly economically savvy, but I do enjoy what Bruce Bartlett writes. No liberal, he tarnishes the notion that the current economic troubles are Obama's fault alone, and that no small amount of blame can be rationally laid at the previous Administrations feet. Not saying that he's right or wrong, but it's a pretty good read.

The Fiscal Legacy of George W. Bush
Republicans assert that Barack Obama assumed sole responsibility for the budget on Jan. 20, 2009. From that date, all increases in the debt or deficit are his responsibility and no one else’s, they say.
This is, of course, nonsense – and the American people know it. As I documented in a previous post, even today 43 percent of them hold George W. Bush responsible for the current budget deficit versus only 14 percent who blame Mr. Obama.
The American people are right; Mr. Bush is more responsible, as a new reportfrom the Congressional Budget Office documents.

Random Thoughts

Where in the hell have all of the regular flexible gas can nozzles gone? You remember, the ones where you pulled it out of the can, bent it into the empty gas tank, and commenced to filling it up?

They now only sell contraptions that come with directions....and they don't work worth a damn.


In standard discourse in private and in the media......Why is homosexuality apparently only about the sexual act, but heterosexuality isn't? For that matter, why is there a homosexual 'lobby', or a homosexual 'agenda'.......but apparently none on the other side?


And an old stand by that haunts me every. single. day.

It's the Passing Lane....Look into it!

Acronym of the Day


(Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around a Table)

This is apparently the most prolific venue for news intake by the average American. A bunch of [usually pasty], and nearly always fluffy, guys in suits pontificating and arguing about things they really have no experience in other than where it supports a particular political ideology.

The media tends to amp up this otherwise dreary paradigm by compelling that these doughy keyboard commandos somehow maintain polar opposition in their positions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heresy! Slave Leia rocks!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Policy we can believe in

After the raid, Pakistani military officers “got even more pissed as the Americans, who had been so disciplined in the months leading up to the raid, made the situation even worse with a series of triumphalist-sounding comments. There was a huge and understandable hunger among the media for a play-by-play of the hunt for, and demise of, the world’s most wanted man. As day broke in a stunned Washington, John Brennan was rolled out in the White House press room to describe events that he only understood in fragmentary detail – much of it, as it turned out, suffered from the inevitable wild inaccuracy of first reports…
“At the Pentagon, top officers fumed at Brennan’s blow-by-blow description of how the SEALs operated; they believed that the former CIA officer had given away operational secrets never shared outside the tribe. (In fact, it appears no real secrets were divulged.) No one was angrier than Mullen himself, who still fumed about that news conference nearly a year later…
“By Wednesday of that week, Gates went to see Donilon, offering up a barbed assessment of how the White House had handled the aftermath of the raid.
“‘I have a new strategic communications approach to recommend,’ Gates said in his trademark droll tones, according to an account later provided by his colleagues.
“What was that, Donilon asked?
“‘Shut the f@*k up,’ the defense secretary said.”

It's long past time for someone influential to finally say this. Parties, Administrations and politicians need to stop using US forces as props during campaign season; need to stop breaking promises to Veterans; and need to stop using  classified or sensitive information as political fodder.

Friday, June 1, 2012

"I would never hide under a table"

The man had been banned from the artsy Seattle cafe for acting out, but he showed up anyway and tried to place an order. After the barista declined to serve him, he stood up, took out a gun and began shooting as people scrambled for cover.
One man tried to stop him.
Grabbing the only weapons at hand — bar stools — he tossed them at the gunman, even as the man aimed at him, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said Thursday after reviewing surveillance video of the massacre. The tactic created enough of a delay in the shooting that two or three other customers managed to escape.
"My brother died in the World Trade Center," the man, identified as Lawrence Adams, later told police. After his brother's death, he said, he resolved that if something like this ever happened, "I would never hide under a table."

This is the stuff America is made of....or at least used to be. Live strong, refuse to be a victim!