Friday, October 26, 2012
About Those Horses And Ships and Bayonets
ALL troops still get bayonet training as far as I am aware. I certainly did in the Vietnam war era. Equating bayonets with horses is therefore ignorant. -- JR
At the foreign policy debate, President Obama thought he was putting something over on Mitt Romney when he acted as if the Republican was an imbecile for suggesting that the rapid decline in U.S. Naval strength was anything but a good idea:
You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.
That was quite a zinger. In one fell swoop, he portrayed the Republican as ignorant about defense issues and established himself as the competent commander-in-chief. Except for the fact that he was dead wrong and did himself far more political damage than good.
Contrary to the president’s assertion, the creation of aircraft carriers and submarines did not mean that we needed fewer ships. Quite the contrary. Aircraft carriers need just as many if not more supporting vessels than the obsolete battleships that no are no longer under commission. So do subs. The decline in naval strength compromises America’s ability to project power abroad. That is particularly true in places like the Persian Gulf, where President Obama is trying to sound as tough with Iran as Romney.
Even more foolish is the president’s attempt to portray contemporary naval vessels with cavalry horses. That says more about his own lack of understanding of the military than Romney’s. It also may cost him some votes in a state that he still hopes to win: Virginia, home of the largest U.S. Naval base in the country and hotbed of support for a stronger military.
One more point about those horses and bayonets. For all of his contempt for them, it bears remembering that horses played a not insignificant role in the armed forces’ successful fight in Afghanistan, a point that Obama should have remembered. The Army and the Marines operating Afghanistan still use bayonets in close combat.
The more you think about this supposed zinger, the more it sounds as if Obama made a fool of himself, not Romney.
Department of Labor Denied
The other week a lady from the Department of Labor decided to audit the restaurant I worked for. I say “worked” for because I recently quit that job for a completely unrelated issue. Anyways, my employers were freaking out just a little bit. And can you blame them? Even though they do everything by the book, there is always something the state can trump up to extort money from you.
In the course of her audit she felt it was necessary to interrogate all of the employees. She walked into the kitchen one day, flashed her badge, and said she’d like to ask all of us some questions. She turned to me first. I politely said “one moment please.” Then I walked off and left the room. So, she began her questioning of others before she got to me. I made a B-line for my smart phone because I had zero intention of answering any of her questions. I also wanted to record the encounter.
You’ll note in this video how uncomfortable she is in front of a camera. No penalties were levied against me as a result of my refusal to participate. My employers even stayed cool. Their attitude was to just go along to get along. I made it clear to them and all of my colleagues that her job is to build a case against us to extort money, plain and simple. I think a lot of my colleagues were surprised that one could refuse to talk to the “authorities” and get away with it. I definitely see this as a victory since my colleagues have been shown, from somebody they know, that the state really is a paper tiger. Enjoy the video!
By Bradley Scott, a young American designer from New York City
I was extremely disappointed and angry to read an article documenting a very serious controversy surrounding famed Vogue Fashion Editor Anna Wintour. It is being reported that she is discouraging designers, like myself, to stay clear of dressing Ann Romney because her politics do not align with the common place liberal beliefs in the fashion industry. That is pure discrimination which would result in a lawsuit against any employer should that be the reason behind excluding a prospective job application, or employee termination. How dare she…
It is widely known that Hollywood and Fashion take a far left position on politics and contrary to what you may believe, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, I welcome the difference in opinion because that’s the epitome of why America is by far, the greatest country in the world. We are a free people who can think and vote as we wish, without fearing professional consequences or having our freedoms being taken away.
It is these same freedoms that come under attack when people like Anna Wintour exert her pressure upon us. We should be allowed to operate our businesses, which we built, at our discretion, and under OUR leadership. Her sole job it is to promote fashion to ALL women, of every color, race, nationality, religion, etc. Pressuring designers to turn to the evil disease of discrimination is an horrendously wrong turn for the industry.
In the most challenging times, which include global unrest, changing value of the US Dollar, shrinking profit margins to accommodate stores, and most of all, the intense effort to keep craftsmanship right here in the wonderful city of NY, we shouldn’t be dictated to by the “Queen of Fashion” that our ambition of seeing our designs on a wonderful woman like Ann Romney should be put back in our notebook as an off limits concept. How offensive!
Fox News reports: “Over the past year, the Vogue matriarch – who many say has enough power to make or break fashion careers – has become one of President Obama’s leading financiers. Wintour has raised over half a million dollars for the incumbent, hosted numerous lavish dinners in his name and even enlisted designer pals like Marc Jacobs and Thakoon Panichgul to design pro-Obama products”
It is one thing to be a fund-raiser, deploying designers to design for President Obama’s re-election bid as reported by Fox News, but it is another, to actually pressure designers to “say no” to the possibility of being honored by the possible next first lady if she should grace us with wearing something that ultimately took all our blood, sweat and tears to create.
I for one want absolutely nothing to do with this attack on women. This pressure upon designers should offend every woman in this country, not just the conservatives. Women all over should ask themselves why they read Vogue Magazine and think about why a magazine editor should be dictating who is deserving of our designs.
So I will close this op-ed by saying I hope all women, of every belief, faith and political stance, see this for what it truly is; an un-American, undemocratic, and unladylike attack upon not only Ann Romney, but the millions of American conservative women she insulted with this decree. After all, while the Devil wears Prada to cover major flaws, Ann Romney is pure class and I would be proud to have her wear my clothing, as would most other designers.
Well, I never ....
About 6 soldiers pull up on a main street in Halifax , Nova Scotia on some holiday. They're in a standard issue WWII type Willys Jeep.
In the span of about 3 to 4 minutes they completely disassemble the vehicle And reassemble it with no power tools and drive off in it fully operable!
The idea being to show the genius that went into the making of the jeep: And its basic simplicity. Fantastic!
As everybody knows by now, it was announced earlier this month that this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to none other than the European Union.
This can only further burnish the luster added to the Prize when it was presented to Barack Hussein Obama back in 2009.
Both these momentous occasions were simply the latest in a long series of distinguished recipients, who include Al Gore (2007), Mohamed El-Baradei (2005), Jimmy Carter (2002), Amnesty International (1977), the United Nations and Kofi Annan (2001), Yasser Arafat (1994), Desmond Tutu (1984), and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (1985).
“But Baron,” you say, “none of this is news! Everyone knows the Nobel Peace Prize jumped the shark decades ago. Why, it’s become a dumping ground for progressive political hacks — as designated by progressive political hacks in Norway!”
And indeed it has. But let’s not give up on the much-maligned Prize just yet.
An unidentified entrepreneur has come up with an idea to merge Commerce with the Pursuit of World Peace ’n’ Justice:
If he’s willing to throw in a free 20-ounce Diet Pepsi, I just might take him up on the deal…
‘Wastebook’ unearths government excess
When Americans go to the polls we won’t just be making a decision about what kind of government we want. We will be making a decision about what kind of government we will tolerate. In recent elections politicians from both sides of the aisle promised to go through the budget line by line and make hard choices. That hasn’t happened. The only change Washington has been interested in is in your pocket.
This week I released my annual “Wastebook” report, featuring 100 examples of mismanagement, wasteful spending and special interest deals that illustrate just how far Washington continues to go to avoid setting priorities. Consider a few examples:
Instead of working to close the massive hole in our federal budget, our government spent $350,000 through the National Science Foundation to study how golfers are better when they imagine a larger golf hole.
While millions of Americans are struggling to put enough food on the table for their families, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) spent $300,000 to tell Americans to eat caviar, one of the world’s most expensive delicacies.
At the same time, USDA and the Department of Commerce are spending more than $1.3 million to help PepsiCo Inc., the world’s largest snack food maker, build a Greek yogurt factory in New York.
As members of Congress complain about defense cuts, Congress split a new line of Navy littoral (near shore) ships between two completely different designs, needlessly increasing costs by $740 million while undermining the Navy’s capabilities.
The biggest waste of taxpayer dollars of all, however, was Congress itself, which I listed as the #1 waste of taxpayer dollars this year. With 23 million Americans unemployed and millions of others struggling to live within a budget, the Senate didn’t even bother to pass a budget for the third straight year.
Meanwhile, Washington spent much of the year talking instead of acting to avert a debt crisis and another downgrade. While members of Congress refused to back specific reforms and cuts, they were, however, very specific about what to fund. Robotic squirrels, Watermelon Queen Tours, climate change musicals, Moroccan pottery classes and pet shampoo products all received federal funding courtesy of future generations and potential foreign adversaries who are mocking us for our recklessness.
Wasteful spending matters because history has not been kind to great powers that lived beyond their means while wallowing in gratuitous excess. In Roman times, rulers used what was called “bread and circuses” — literally cheap food and entertainment — to pacify the populace in troubled times. Today, we make food stamps eligible at Starbucks and offer tax breaks for the NFL, NHL and the PGA (but not MLB). And instead of reforming Medicare for today’s seniors and near-retirees, we spend $1.2 million to see if encouraging them to play World of Warcraft, an online video game, will help them improve their cognitive function.
The purpose of detailing this waste isn’t just to remind the American people of what they already know — that Washington is doing less with more while they are doing more with less. The point is to remind taxpayers that they don’t have to accept the status quo. Every American has an opportunity to end spending behaviors in Washington that have become not just a punch line but the source of what Adm. Mike Mullen calls the greatest threat to our national security: our unsustainable $16 trillion national debt.
As I argue in “Wastebook,” each of the 100 entries highlighted in report is a direct result of Washington politicians who are preoccupied with running for re-election rather than running the country, which is what they were elected to do in the first place.
Some politicians and pundits try to rationalize excessive borrowing and spending as necessary until the economy gets back on track. But the fragile state of our economy is precisely why Washington must be more careful how tax dollars are spent. To do this Washington must set priorities, just like every family. The problem is Washington priorities are upside down. Important programs go bankrupt while outdated and outlandish projects continue to be funded.
The fact is advanced countries and economies like ours don’t stay advanced when we tolerate such silly spending decisions. Still, I believe We the People can cheat history and force Washington to make the hard decisions today that can give you and your children a brighter future tomorrow.
Pennsylvania desperation: ""A bill that landed on Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) desk this week would give companies that hire more than 250 new workers a gobsmacking tax incentive: 95 percent of those workers’ state income taxes would be paid to the employer, and not the state. It’s a bizarre strategy meant to attract companies from other states, specifically designed to lure California-based software maker Oracle into Pennsylvania. It’s also, as Philadelphia City Paper put it, 'lavish corporate welfare' writ large across state government."
From “Hope and Change” to … “Smirk and Disdain”: "In the third, and mercifully last, presidential debate of this campaign, the candidates sliced razor-thin nuances in their foreign policy views. Romney was measured and presidential, and he avoided the trap being set for him as a warmonger. He actually seemed to be less interventionist than Obama, who ran against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who has since become the sheriff from Blazing Saddles. As usual, when Obama was asked a question he would ignore it and revert to his tired talking points, mocking Romney on his foreign policy experience as governor of Massachusetts. ... Because he is losing steam, and because he is a whiner by nature, Obama attacked."
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 1:42 AM