Friday, March 30, 2012

Would Fox have run with this if it had been from a Democrat?

National Journal Editor Kristin Roberts: Why did the committee choose to go against the advice of the generals?

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan: We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice. We don’t think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget. I believe that the president’s budget by virtue of the fact that when he released his budget number of about $500 billion, the number was announced at the same time they announced the beginning of their strategy review of the Pentagon’s budget. So what we get from the Pentagon is more of a budget driven strategy, not a strategy driven budget.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, CJCS responds: There’s a difference between having someone say they don’t believe what you said versus … calling us, collectively, liars. My response is: I stand by my testimony. This was very much a strategy-driven process to which we mapped the budget.

Politics at it's finest......

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Morning Musings

If people can legally discriminate against gays based on their religion......

House gives preliminary OK to bill that supporters say preserves religious freedom, but opponents say allows discrimination

Shouldn't gays be able to legally discriminate against the faithful?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Individual Mandate

I found an interesting article that laid out the case for the Individual Mandate in the health care reform bill, currently under Constitutional consideration in the US Supreme Court. The article does a pretty good job of relating proposals from the right that supported the concept of the individual mandate, but falls short in it's support for the requirement.


There is a huge difference between forcing someone to conduct a specific purchase and using tax money from the general pool to pay for expenditures. Many who support the mandate reply that precedence from earlier legislation, such as Social Security, makes this current law Constitutional. I argue otherwise. Precedence does not always equal being correct. Social Security, popular though it may be among many, is an anathema to the concepts of liberty that we generally proclaim.

This is not an act of "regulating commerce" as it's supporters would have you believe, it's an act of mandating commerce; forcing the individual citizen to conduct a not unsubstantial purchase against their will. Though I generally loath the 'slippery slope' argument, this further expansion of precedence being used as a Constitutional rule of justice, bodes ill for the future.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Kirk Cameron is sort of a dumbass

Kirk Cameron appeared with Wallbuilders' pretend historian David Barton and uttered the following unsurprising tripe:

You know what's interesting is that faith is always involved in politics, it's just not always a Christian faith. If you think about it, even those who are secular humanists, they are importing their secular humanist faith and religion and morality and imposing it on everybody else through the laws that they make. So the idea of faith in government is inescapable; it's always going to be somebody's faith, even if it's faith in atheism.
Even the most ardent atheist has faith that there is no God - and that's a blind faith; you have to ignore all of the evidence - but he nevertheless holds his position by faith and that faith informs his decisions. So don't let anyone ever tell you that faith doesn't belong in politics because you can't get away from it even if your faith is atheism.
It's just a question of which is the best faith to have. Do you put your faith in the idea that we all evolved from slime? Or do you put your faith in the revelation that we were created by God in his image and he loves us and has given us a life manual called the Bible?
Kirk, I don't consider myself an Atheist, but the collective group is not as monolithic as Christianists like to portray them. All Atheists  do not 'have faith' that there is no God, nor do they all deny the existence. Many Atheists simply acknowledge that they don't believe in a God because the overwhelming lack of evidence [in their eyes at least] to confirm the existence of some higher power.

Many sacred books have been penned about many deities, but somehow merely longevity and popularity have reduced the playing field a select few competing candidates, not unlike the current campaign season.....except in this case, the election never takes place.

Kirk's diatribe speaks to the definitions of Positive and Natural laws. His vision of America, where we all abide by his [and others] interpretations of an unprovable deity, is an example of positive laws. He would restrict the actions of American citizens based upon interpretations [there's that word again] of a 2000 year old-ish tome. He is merely one of many who have the unfortunate habit of not only believing that this nation was founded on that tenets of that book, but actively interpose the concepts of liberty and freedom with religious values, irrespective of the belief systems of all Americans. Never mind the fact that two people of the same gender committing their love and loves to each other does not impact another's commitment to an opposite gender partner, Cameron, Barton and their ilk would deny the very privilege bestowed upon other Americans merely because a cherry picked excerpt from Leviticus says so.

Kirk may want to come to terms with not advocating for all portions of God's "Life Manual" to be adhered to by this allegedly Christian nation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here's your religious freedom, Santorum style

“This nation was founded as a Christian nation...there’s only one God and his name is Jesus. I’m tired of people telling me that I can’t say those words. [...] If you don’t love America and you don’t like the way we do things, I’ve got one thing to say -- Get out! We don’t worship Buddha. I said we don’t worship Buddha. We don’t worship Mohammed. We don’t worship Allah. We worship God. We worship God’s son Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Dennis Terry, introducing Rick Santorum. The rest of his rant was filled with the same tired falsehoods about 'not being able to pray in public' and such, that we've come to expect.

Hey Dennis, how about you don't let the door hit your fat ass on the way out?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

That's funny right there...I don't care who you are....

Senator Scott Brown on Santorum's Secret Service detail: “The First Time He's Actually Ever Used Protection."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The perils of NOT separating Church and State

Preaching politics from the pulpit is one thing; preaching from the seat of government is quite another.
A prayer to open the House session on Thursday included comments about abortion, same-sex marriage and religious freedom.
Father James Gordon of St. John Vianney in Maple Hill, delivered the prayer, saying, "We ask you to strengthen our understanding of traditional marriage: one man and one woman. We ask you to bring us back to virtuous morals in society, morals that kept us from killing a child in the womb through abortion.
"We ask you to defend us now in the fight for true religious freedom and freedom of conscience, that seems to be threatened now in the public sphere."
Gordon was a guest of Rep. Mike Kiegerl, R-Olathe. People who are invited to lead the daily prayer to open the House session are asked to steer away from political topics.
House Speaker Mike O"Neal, R-Hutchinson, said Gordon's prayer "arguably went beyond" those guidelines.
House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the prayer was inappropriate."The prayer needs to be ecumenical," Davis said.
Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons, said, "Prayers at the beginning of the each day's session of the Legislature are meant to ask for the blessings of the creator. Using prayer to launch political attacks against one's opponents is unacceptable."

The dumbest excuse for a mindless, group-thinking chant

Two men who kissed one another were kicked out of presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s rally Friday evening at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights.
Santorum was 15 minutes into his speech when the two men shouted and got the attention of the crowd. They exchanged a kiss, prompting guards to eject them and the crowd to chant “U-S-A” while they were leaving the gym.
When asked whether the kiss was a public display of affection or merely a symbolic act, Timothy Tross of Lombard and Ben Clifford of Algonquin, declined to comment.

I don't condone interrupting a speech or an event, but I'm equally saddened that I live in a nation where patriotism is partisan.

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

Today is the day to raise a pint for your Lass, to the Lads, for Luck and for Brothers here and gone.

Seo sláinte a chaimiléirach, goidach, comhrac, is ólacháin.
Dá bheith ag rógaireacht tú, go raibh bíodh bás
Dá ghoid dtú, go raibh bíodh croí; Dá griolsa thú, go raibh d'aainneoin deartháir
agus dá hól tú, go raibh ag mise

Here's to cheating, stealing, fighting and drinking.
If you cheat, may it be a death
If you steal, may it be a heart
If you fight, may it be for your brother
and if you drink may it be with me

Stolen Valor injustice

A whistleblower loses her job for doing the right thing and calling out a lying piece of shit.

On a tour bus trip to Southern California Edison’s Big Creek power plant, event planner Melissa Campbell was passing out snacks to dignitaries when one of them asked her a question that would change both of their lives and make U.S. judicial history.
“Do you know who I am?” asked Xavier Alvarez, an elected member of a local water board, not waiting for an answer.
“I am a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.”
Nearly five years later, Mr. Alvarez, who never served in the military, stands among dozens who have been convicted under the federal Stolen Valor Act, a misdemeanor crime that carries a sentence of up to one year of imprisonment for lying about receiving military honors. After Mr. Alvarez’s appeal, his widely publicized case recently went before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Read the Rest 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lock up your porn

Santorum doesn't want you to look at naked ladies.
The Daily Caller flags a little-discussed position paper on Rick Santorum’s campaign website—his pledge to aggressively prosecute those who produce and distribute pornography. Santorum avers that “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.” He pledges to use the resources of the Department of Justice to fight that “pandemic,” by bringing obscenity prosecutions against pornographers. 


Good to see that he's focused on the important issues of the day........

As much as I love me some Zombies.......

And enough with the baby mama drama....please! Start laying waste to some walkers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You don't often see such self identified myrmidons...

Dear god.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

But how does it taste grilled?

Gamey or delicious?
Russian and South Korean scientists signed a deal on Tuesday on joint research intended to recreate a woolly mammoth, an animal which last walked the earth some 10,000 years ago.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spin Control

Instead of wasting precious time engaging in empty rhetoric over non-issues, why don't we ever simply solve the damn problem?

Of, I know....once we actually start solving problems, the parties lose their hold over the population. Can't have that can we?
Anyone -- a local teenager, a traveling businessman, a married mother of four, an illegal immigrant, even a student at a Jesuit university -- can walk into my neighborhood CVS any time, day or night, and, for less than $30, buy a 36-count “value pack” of Trojan condoms.
That’s enough to last most Americans at least three months, according to Kinsey Institute surveys. If you want more, you can buy out the store’s entire stock. There’s no limit, and you don’t need to see a doctor for permission and a prescription.
Contrary to widespread belief, there’s no good reason that oral contraceptives -- a far more effective form of birth control -- can’t be equally convenient.
True, making the pill available over the counter could reduce the amount of outrage and invective available for entertaining radio audiences, spurring political fundraising and otherwise amusing the American public. But the medical risks are quite low.
Partly because birth-control pills are available only by prescription, people tend to think they’re more dangerous and less well understood than they actually are. In fact, “more is known about the safety of oral contraceptives than has been known about any other drug in the history of medicine,” declared an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health back in 1993. That editorial accompanied an article arguing for over-the-counter sales.

If only they could offer it online

Coming soon, zombies will be invading Michigan State University.
The School of Social Work is offering a one-of-a-kind online course called "Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse – Catastrophes and Human Behavior" that will do a lot more than teach students how to fend off the undead.
Starting May 14 – the first session of the summer 2012 semester – students enrolled in the seven-week course will learn how human behavior and nature change after catastrophic incidences – from the historical to the hypothetical – through a blend of traditional coursework, online forums and a catastrophic event simulation, which will be in the form of a theoretical zombie pandemic.
Aspects of anthropology, sociology and geology, among other disciplines, will be woven into the two-credit course, which will be scored on a traditional 4.0 scale.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This is the best the GOP can do?

Romney 2012: Because the only guy who can beat Obama is the guy who couldn't beat the guy who couldn't beat Obama.

- Tweet by John Fugelsang

There's probably bacon in there somewhere....

Courtesy of MSgt B

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why do these always have to be so true.....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm waaaay late to the party on this one, the MilBlogs and forums have had this for a few days now...but since I can't access Facebook or YouTube at work, it can cut into my blogging. 

No Veterans were harmed in the making of this product. Actually, everyone in the production served or serves in one way or the other.

My new favorite website

How many Zombies does it take to conquer any given empire or army? Centives decided to find out.

Warning....this website is not safe for work. There's nothing inappropriate on just won't get any work done.

What Stolen Valor means to those who actually earned it

A great guest submission over at This Ain't Hell, from a Civil Affairs Army Reservist. He puts into writing what most Veteran's believe about the impact of Stolen Valor.

Even before I joined the US Army the idea of military fakers has bothered me. I have never fully understood what makes someone want to present him or herself as something they are not, or wearing something that they have not earned. For starters, I am the “Blackfive Reader” that submitted Darrel Tracht to the Blackfive, that was followed up on here at and the It was my first experience actually encountering a military faker, or phony veteran. I myself am a combat veteran, and current member of the US Army Reserve. I was deployed to Zhari District, Kandahar Province in support of Operation: ENDURING FREEDOM X and XI.
Recently I relayed my experience about this fraud to a friend, during that discussion in explaining that this certain individual was posing as a US Navy SEAL, he asked me a very pointed question “but what did he take from you”? In some ways he was right, while I am graduate of the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, I am not a SEAL, I am not SF, how could I be bothered about someone faking to be something I myself am not? That question got me thinking about what we are really losing or what is really being stolen from us as a result of the epidemic of military fakers. What they have stolen for us as veterans is our trust in one another.
To me one of most important things we have as soldiers and service members is trust. From the earliest days in basic training we are taught to rely on each other, to rely on the team, the bond that holds that team together is trust. We have that trust in our fellow soldiers that we will support each other, that if we fall someone will come get us, we will share our last water or food even though we are hungry or thirsty, we will sacrifice for one another even though we may have only know each other for a short time.  It is in our creed, that we will never leave a fallen comrade, and we live it on deployment. We believe and trust that these are facts and not ideals. To us this trust is a scared thing, for many us of after deployment the only people some of us are even comfortable trusting is our own families and military families.
Military fakers break that faith, that strong bond of trust soldiers place in one another, they do this to us because when we meet a fellow veteran or someone claiming to be, no matter how hard we want to believe their story or service record in the back of our minds we are asking ourselves, is this guy a fake? The epidemic of military fakers has caused us to doubt the experiences of our fellow veterans. Instead of embracing one another in our shared hardship and experiences of serving our country, we question if it is authentic. I am sure as you read this submission you are thinking of asking me for my DD214, to verify my service. Since becoming a combat veteran I felt as though I shared unique bond with veterans of other wars, as a community of veterans we represent such a small fraction of our total population. And as we all know, our community of veterans continues to decrease every day.
The trust we have in each other is what military fakers or phony vets have really robbed us of. Because of them, when someone claims to be a vet, instead extending a hand and calling them brother, often our first inclination is to be suspicious of them. In doing so we doubt that trust. That trust, that we have at one time or another placed in the hands of complete strangers that we have served with. Beyond the stolen benefits, the fraud, or the stolen accolades, these liars, have caused us to be suspicious and doubt one another.
We cannot deny that we do it. We seek details to verify those things only we would know, or try to notice specifics or inconsistencies that seem out of place in their stories. It’s not that we are paranoid, we want to believe each other but we closely guard our status as combat veterans, and due to the epidemic of liars, we are conditioned to be on the lookout for those who would steal and malign that status. This doubt now has even extended to civilians doubting service members and veterans. News and local organizations have to ask for verifying documents, because all to often when they have not it has been proven that they have been duped by a fraud.
To that end, that is what I believe these liars steal from us, but because we want to honor those we have served and bled with we continue to root them out, to not let them tarnish what we have earned. While we may lose some of our trust in one another, the greater good is that we continue to expose these frauds because we will not allow those who have not earned, to steal from those who have paid for those honors with their lives.

Primary Day in Virginia!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Something to chew on.....

If the Bible is to be taken as the word of God, then why do the faithful pick and choose which passages to follow? Should they not have the religious liberty to demand adherence to all sections?

For example, Leviticus 18:22 says generally (depending on the version and translation):

"And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."

This is also used as one of, if not THE underpinning of opposition to homosexuals enjoying the same societal privileges as heterosexuals.

Yet, another Leviticus passage is viewed as abhorrent; Leviticus 25:44-46:

“Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

The disconnect is never explained to my satisfaction.....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Afghan National Police: Building competing with Reforming

An interesting assessment of the Afghan National Police for any foreign policy wonks out there, courtesy of Ink Spots.

From the Executive Summary:

The report refers to the problems of the dominance of military elements in buildingthe ANP. It is not clear whether the militarization of the ANP has significantly improved the chances of survival for members of the Afghan police. What is certain is that militarization cannot solve the problem of the weak legitimacy of the Afghan state. There is still a lack of trust between the public and the police, especially as the ANP is inadequately equipped to prevent or solve crimes. Moreover, the possible long-term consequences of militarization are problematic: It is easier to militarize the police now than it will be to drive out the spirit of militarization at a later date. The militarization of the ANP is therefore at the best ineffective and at the worst counterproductive. Only a police force which the people trust can be effective.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Brief Tutorial to Libertarianism

A fellow blogger and far better writer, Silverfiddle at Western Hero has written an awesome layman's outline of Libertarianism.
Libertarianism: A Beginner's Guide
Libertarians and conservatives are two different animals.  If you need an in-depth explanation, just try calling a libertarian a conservative on steroids or some such, and you will be treated to a full, vociferous explanation.
Conservatives want to conserve; libertarians, as the name implies, put personal liberty first.  From there, libertarianism branches out into a multitude of variants.