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Author Archives: Dean K. Ehran

Racism: Cui Bono?

President Obama and the Democrats, that’s who.  Strong words perhaps, but I don’t really know what other explanation there could be.  Not only does he tangentially benefit from racism by virtue of a constantly renewed well of Democratic voters, but he directly benefits through a chilling hush applied to any direct criticism.  Think about the impact it has in living rooms of minorities all across America when pundits claim that the latest statement about the President is racist and just another attempt by those morons in the Tea Party to get a black man out of power.  What lens do you think that applies to the world of a black or hispanic teen when he hears his parents and the people he respects claiming that white people are out to get the first black president?  I’m not trolling…these questions have answers.

These political tactics don’t just slip out of the news cycle, they have consequences.  They take legitimate political discourse and turn it into racial tension and hate founded on lies.  There have been examples in the media for weeks now, but they’re not getting much mention because they’re of minorities attacking white people…not really something people want to cause a ruckus about.  How do you suppose something like this happens:

Two fearful white teens spotted Mark LaVelle on Indiana Avenue near Belgrade Street and asked for help. Suddenly, the mob appeared. LaVelle, who said that he didn’t know the two kids, who looked to be 13 or 14, ran with them into his nearby house.

” ‘We got you, you white mother——-!’ ” LaVelle said he heard someone yell in the “mob” of black and Hispanic youths.

What on earth were they so angry about?

She heard that an African-American “kid got knocked off his bike or fell off” and white kids were laughing at him. The group of African-Americans and Hispanics came back for retaliation, Kozlowski believes.

Seems fair.  Let’s say, worst case scenario, a few white teens shoved a black teen off of his bike.  That is awful, and regardless of motivation would justify a reaction of some sort…but dozens of teens and older men with bats, pipes, and at least one gun roving through a white neighborhood looking for white teens?  I’m getting ahead of myself.  LaVelle actually went outside to try to calm a crowd of dozens of people with pipes and bats down:

They were standing on his steps. One shouted, ” ‘Something’s going to happen now!’ ” LaVelle recalled in an interview Friday at his house. LaVelle got nervous and went back inside, locking his door with a deadbolt.

But the attackers pounded on his front windows and kicked his wooden door so hard, it flew open and some of them entered his house.

“The first guy hits me with a pipe. The second guy knocks me in the face. All I’m hearing is my wife and kids screaming,” said LaVelle, who feared that the next time they saw him, he would be in a casket.

He said that he was able to push the attackers out the door, but then a third man – who had a gun – tried to extend his arm. LaVelle grabbed onto the gunman’s lower arm and shoulder so he couldn’t raise the weapon. Then, police sirens screamed in the neighborhood, and the mob turned and ran.

LaVelle was able to identify three of the people from the melee. He said he did not know if they had been chasing the white teenagers, or if they were just trying to find someone to attack.

Police arrested Bergson Morin, 21, of Rosehill Street near Wyoming Avenue, Feltonville, as the man with the gun. They arrested Enrique Delgado, 32, of Rockland and C streets, Feltonville, as the man who hit LaVelle with the pipe. And they arrested a 17-year-old juvenile as the one who punched LaVelle in the face, giving him a black eye.

He’s a better man than I am.  I would have barricaded my wife and the boys in the back and waited in the house for them to leave.  Any person, teen or otherwise, that crossed that threshold would have gone to God that night…and where would that put us?  My wife and family would be safe, but can you imagine the racial explosion that could have caused?  LaVelle was a saint and here’s what he got for his composure:

LaVelle said that the next day the mother of the juvenile came back with some other people, banging on his door, screaming. LaVelle, who was at a charity sports event, was called back to the house by one of his sons.

When he got home, LaVelle said, the mother yelled at him, ” ‘You white mother——, you got my kid locked up! You got my son locked up because he’s black, you’re white!’ ” The mother claimed that her son had been “a witness,” not an attacker. To that, LaVelle said if that were true, it would come out in court.

But the mother, according to LaVelle, then yelled: ” ‘If you make it to court! I know where you live!’ “

This incident is not a picture of racial relations throughout America, but it also isn’t completely isolated. At the Wisconsin State Fair in August there were between 200-300 black youths running through the streets beating and harassing white people.  Nothing to see, move along.

These incidents don’t have to become a divider, but there is a party working to make racism divide us.  Why haven’t Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton been out in Wisconsin working to make it clear that this is not the behavior of a law-abiding and decent citizenry?  Why aren’t they on their way to Philadelphia to comfort this man and his family and then make their way through the town reminding people that America is a nation of people united in common principles standing against a historic trend of barbarism?  Because they’re race-baiting cowards that don’t give a rat’s ass about black or hispanic people.  Just so long as you are properly riled up about whatever ginned up racist remark about the President come next election they’re appeased.

And the President?  The man has probably spent more time in front of cameras talking to Americans than any President in televised history and he doesn’t see a reason to comment on racial tension?  I don’t know that the President needs to comment on the Philadelphia incident or the Wisconsin riot…we have cops for that, but couldn’t he put a stop to the cries of racism against his opponents?

It would be so easy for him.  Here, I’ll give it a go: “People of America.  I want you to know that I strongly disagree with the characterization of my political adversaries as racist.  Their ideas are heartfelt and though there are disagreements between us, I assure you that race is not a component of our national conversation.  Anyone saying otherwise is a liar and a traitor to the decades of work borne by our forefathers to heal this great nation.  Pass my bill.  Goodnight.”  In a few sentences the President could disarm the people that are silencing or chilling open discourse by branding their opponents as racists…but he has not.  He could stop the effect those cries of “racist” have in the living rooms of minorities across America by denying them the silent approval of the man they supposedly defend…but he has not.

The next year will see a rise in race-powered politics unlike anything we’ve ever seen.  To what depths will the President, the Democrats, and the Media take this nation to satisfy their desire for centralized control? President Ozymandias has set the stage for the consignment of a mighty people to the desert of history, and it is his responsibility to correct it.

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in politics

 

September 12th

Sept 11, 2001 is my generation’s Pearl Harbor.  More than any other atrocity in history this one hurts the most because we witnessed it.  It is the only vicious truth of history that we saw firsthand without the veil of indoctrination that has covered our eyes in public education and revisionist history.  Put plainly – we were not prepared for this evil by our fancy public education.

In homage to my forebears I have spent about two years of my life since then deployed…searching for and killing the people that did this.   I have nothing to add to the already touching remembrances of 9/11, but I want to remind everyone of 9/12 and of all the days afterwards.  There were 2,977 victims of Islamic terror in 9/11.  They have been and continue to be avenged.  Back in 2007, USA Today reported that we had killed about 19,000 insurgents in Iraq.  Now some people will tell you, “The real enemy was in Afghanistan!” or “We attacked Iraq for oil!11″  Grow up.  We sent our men and women into hell to find and kill the organization that did this.  Their systems are spread across multiple regions and their power base is not surrounded by a nice clean linear border.  We went to Iraq and they came from miles around to get a piece.  Over the last 8 years a generation of those bastards has come to fight us and died by our (and our allies’) hands.  Have we “made new enemies” by doing this?  Only if you actually believe that none of this would have happened if we had minded our own business.  If you’re in that camp I strongly urge you to buy a plane ticket to Pakistan, Egypt, or Syria and go talk to the locals about the moral equivalence of their cause…idiot.

There have been about 7500 coalition casualties to date in both wars.  We can’t even estimate how many would have died if we had not taken the fight to the enemy.  We have been attacked before, but September 11th was the only attack devastating enough to wake our country up, if only temporarily, to the danger of Islamism.

I don’t say any of this to discourage somber remembrance of the victims of 9/11 or the fallen since, but rather to add a note of triumph.  We haven’t beaten this ideology, but we are killing its adherents in droves all over the world.  Even the President, anti-war until actually being privy to Presidential Intel I’m sure, has continued to kill our enemy.

I won’t declare victory or kick my feet up and relax just yet, but take a moment to savor September 12th.  Have a beer and revel in your freedom to worship who you want and swear and watch Family Guy or whatever it is you do that Sharia would snuff out in a second.  We’ve earned it.

God bless America and God help our enemies.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2011 in politics

 

A Message to Conservatives

Not my message, Dr. James Lacey’s message.  Dr. Lacey is a lot of things, but the one I know him for is his role as the Director of the War Policy and Strategy Program at the Marine Corps University.  Yes, Marines are interested in education.  Surprise.

In his recent article in National Review Online, Dr. Lacey stands proud as a conservative and highlights some of the vile hypocrisies of the left…something I wish our candidates would do this election season.  Every time someone brings up images of Republicans pushing old people off of a cliff, blow up their spot:

…malnutrition is not the only problem afflicting Africa and other poor regions of the world. Among the greatest scourges is malaria, which infects 250 million and kills 1 million every year. In fact, in Africa, one in every five childhood deaths is a result of malaria. If you are a reader of average speed, then consider that ten to twelve children will have died from malaria between the time you started this article and the time you finish it. None of this is necessary. Malaria was vanquished in the United States and Europe through the copious use of DDT. But this blessing has been denied poor African nations because Rachel Carson in her 1962 book Silent Springblamed DDT for killing eagles and other birds.

Strong stuff.  I bet if you crunch the numbers, liberal policies are probably responsible for more black deaths than slavery was on any given year.  The points made in the article make me wonder if Dr. Lacey read Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny.  Either way, these primary debates are a rare time that the media is tuning in to cover conservative policy discussions.  Wouldn’t it be glorious to hear a candidate deflect a liberal moderator, in front of thousands of people never before exposed to these truths, into this:

Instead, we let leftist-dominated teachers’ unions run an education system that ensures half of the students trapped in it will be unemployable upon graduation. When these unions are called to account, they attack the critics as wanting to hurt the children. For how much longer will unions be allowed to claim they are “all about the children,” while in fact they are wrecking those children’s futures and condemning many of them to spend the rest of their lives in poverty? And why am I called a child-hating racist for daring to point out the truth?

I’ve already clipped more than I should.  If you’re new to these ideas or find yourself occasionally frustrated by liberals “holier than thou” policy proclamations you should click through and read it.  Hell, even if you’re familiar with the thoughts its always good to brush up on the sheer destructiveness of liberal policies throughout the world.  For every time we get called racist we should be right there saying, oh yeah?  What about the 46.5% unemployment for black teenagers under your economic policies?  What about the millions of blacks dying or going blind in Africa because of your environmentalist nonsense?  Call them on this crap – its not enough to be a strong conservative, we need you to be willing to defeat the new left in the realm of ideas.

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in politics

 

Ayúdame a salir de ésta…

…or, help me out on this one. A Mexican National opened fire in an IHOP with an AK-47 shooting nine (five of which were National Guard) – killing three at the scene (not including himself – screw adding him to the numbers). Of the three immediately killed, two were uniformed National Guard members. It is now being reported that we have lost another National Guardsman to injuries sustained in this vicious attack. So what the hell? Why would a Mexican citizen with a legal passport put two rifles and a pistol in his van and go to an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada and shoot nine people? Why were all five uniformed service members in the IHOP targeted? Was this a deliberate attack on our military?

Michelle Malkin thinks so:

Earlier today, a lone gunman — described as Mexican-born with a “valid U.S. passport” — barreled into a shopping mall parking lot, stormed an IHOP, and marched to the back where a table full of uniformed Nevada National Guardsmen were dining. The Guard’s headquarters are about four miles from the restaurant…

…It certainly looks and smells like an intentional hit on our military. I’ll update as info comes in.

Go to her site for a clearer articulation of her position and updates as the situation develops. The ArmyTimes sort of adds to her position:

Sencion shot each of the five Nevada National Guard troops sitting together at the back of the restaurant. Another woman was shot and killed…

…Sencion stepped out of the minivan and immediately shot a woman near a motorcycle before charging into the chain restaurant. Witnesses said he had unloaded a magazine when he was still less than 12 feet from his car….

…Sencion struck each of the Guard members in the restaurant in what witnesses described as a seemingly intentional attack. He then exited the restaurant and fired shots toward the barbecue restaurant, shattering the windows…

I’m chopping the article up some so click through if you think I’m marring context.  It sure looks like he brought the firepower for a planned gunfight to a location where National Guardsmen were trying to enjoy some damn pancakes and murdered them in cold blood.  I am reluctant to point to central planning on this, though I wonder where he got the weapons from (Gunwalker?).  They’re still investigating whether these rifles were fully-automatic which would be a little out of the ordinary, but the reports from the scene leave me thinking the AK-47 was (from ArmyTimes):

“I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill. “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you — you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”

Is it possible that he was just a crazy Mexican National with illegal weapons that wanted to kill people?  Or could he have wound up targeting the Guardsmen because they were the biggest initial threat?  I don’t know, but I’d sure as hell like to.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2011 in politics

 

There was a Firefight!

If you’re not following the Gunwalker case you should be.  Hell, you might even take some time to read about Gangwalker and Bombwalker…or Grenadewalker…or whatever they wind up settling on.  I can’t really blame anyone for unimaginative naming conventions used to label an incident of the U.S. Government permitting the sale of weapons to known felons as it is sort of new territory.  When was the last time you can think of that the Executive Department was accused of running an operation on our own soil that wound up causing the deaths of American citizens?  What if we sprinkle on the awful possibility that this was a calculated political decision meant to drum up support for increased gun control on law abiding citizens.  When the facts don’t support your case I guess you just go out there and make yourself some new facts.

Here’s David Codrea:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has acknowledged an Indiana dealer’s cooperation in conducting straw purchases at the direction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Exclusive documents obtained by Gun Rights Examiner show the dealer cooperated with ATF by selling guns to straw purchasers, and that bureau management later asserted these guns were being traced to crimes.

Well that would mean the ATF was enabling a chain of crimes (meanwhile committing numerous felonies themselves barring Presidential pardon of the felons in question) perhaps with intentional political ramifications.

Bob Owens at Pajamas Media (via Nice Deb):

There was never any mechanism within Fast and Furious to intercept the thousands of Gunwalker weapons once they left the gun shops, and the multi-agency team (DOJ, ATF, FBI, DEA, IRS, DHS) acted as nothing more or less than a shield to prevent straw purchasers and smugglers from being intercepted by local or state law enforcement.

The apparent purpose of the operation was to lend the thinnest veneer of truth to the 90-percent lie spread by Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton from the very beginning of the Obama administration. It makes sense only as a plot to manufacture evidence for the punitive gun control laws that Obama has championed his entire political career. Indeed, even after Gunwalker was exposed, the number of U.S. guns in Mexico, many of which were put there by the actions of the government itself, was still brazenly used as the excuse for ATF long gun reporting requirements currently being challenged in courts.

Likewise, what Codrea has dubbed as “Gangwalker” appears to be another attempt to provide guns to criminals in order to generate more gun crime and then more calls for gun control.

The biggest difference between the two operations at this early date only seems to be that Gangwalker is a purposeful attempt to create the deaths of American citizens in order to pursue the administration’s fanatical anti-gun agenda.

American deaths, for political gain.

Think about that claim for a minute, and what that would mean.

I can’t begin to summarize this situation as well as David Codrea, Nice Deb, Sipsey Street Irregulars, Bob Owens at PJM, and CNN…what?  You mean a search for “gunwalker” at CNN has nothing on this?  Maybe its a syntax thing…try “gun walker“…nothing?  Well damn.  It’s almost like they can’t be bothered to report on it with an appropriately scandalous term, though there are some token articles if you search for “fast and furious”…a term that is correct, but doesn’t really scream “someone has been breaking laws around here.”  Unless those laws are street racing.  Well maybe MSNBC is ready to stand atop the partisan bulwark and speak truth to power!  Well if you include the web results that Bing pulls with the query they actually have great coverage…almost as good as Google and anyone with the interest to vet their damn government.  Maybe gunwalker is too “insidery” a term?  Fair enough try searching either of them for “fast and furious, Indiana” to see if they have any interest in a connection made that involves the U.S. Government breaking its own laws to put guns in the hands of criminals that wind up shooting Americans.  CNNMSNBC…Bueller?  If you want to get a quick summary of all of the relevant information with good highlighting go to Nice Deb’s page and just read the whole blasted history of it.  Bottom line: start calling people because apparently our betters need to be reminded of silly things like the law that they swore to enforce.

A reminder.  This is the Oath of the President of the United States of America:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

From Wikipedia:

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.

President Obama, you got some ‘splaining to do.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2011 in politics

 

Global Warming: A Well Protected Lie

You may remember this picture.  I first saw it in science class…around 5th grade…

I’ve always sort of wondered how all of these brilliant scientists run around spending millions on research to prove the conclusion that mankind is responsible for changes in our climate.  Every time I talk to someone about it I point confused at the sun and ask, “What about that?”  Well…what about it?

I mean, Al Gore is calling people that don’t believe him racists as if science is about towing the line.  I can’t help but be reminded about being called a “flat earther” over this crap.

This article over at Financial Post makes me want to throw all of these people in jail.

The hypothesis that cosmic rays and the sun hold the key to the global warming debate has been Enemy No. 1 to the global warming establishment ever since it was first proposed by two scientists from the Danish Space Research Institute, at a 1996 scientific conference in the U.K. Within one day, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Bert Bolin, denounced the theory, saying, “I find the move from this pair scientifically extremely naive and irresponsible.” He then set about discrediting the theory, any journalist that gave the theory cre dence, and most of all the Danes presenting the theory — they soon found themselves vilified, marginalized and starved of funding, despite their impeccable scientific credentials.

This probably doesn’t surprise any of you that would read this, but the government funded scientific community has been defending its source of endless climate change money pretty fiercely.  Well the debate can finally be settled…if anyone actually gets to read about it that is:

Yet this spectacular success will be largely unrecognized by the general public for years — this column will be the first that most readers have heard of it — because CERN remains too afraid of offending its government masters to admit its success. Weeks ago, CERN formerly decided to muzzle Mr. Kirby and other members of his team to avoid “the highly political arena of the climate change debate,” telling them “to present the results clearly but not interpret them” and to downplay the results by “mak[ing] clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.” The CERN study and press release is written in bureaucratese and the version of Mr. Kirkby’s study that appears in the print edition of Nature censored the most eye-popping graph — only those who know where to look in an online supplement will see the striking potency of cosmic rays in creating the conditions for seeding clouds.

So here we are in the middle of a struggling economy and crippling unemployment and we’re letting the EPA shackle us to climate change mythology.  This isn’t a small issue.  As anyone that has thought about the problem for more than a passing moment realizes, if you take the AGW groups arguments and put them into policy we are committing ourselves to poverty – sacrificing the greatest nation in history on the altar of environmentalist propaganda.  We need to get this word out there so we can rally political pressure to dismantle the cap and trade agenda completely and release the people in the oil, coal, and natural gas development communities to continue growing our nation.  Chop chop.

 

Vacationing President: Wow, Congress really boned me.

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass., Aug 20 (Reuters) – A vacationing U.S. President Barack Obama accused Congress on Saturday of holding back the U.S. economic recovery by blocking “common sense” measures he said would create jobs and help growth.

The nerve.  I don’t know what pisses me off more, that he said it or that he thinks we’ll forget that if they had done what he wanted we’d be even more screwed.  Its like the President said, “Let’s go 100mph into that wall” and Congress said, “We’ll let you go 70mph into that obviously solid wall.”  Are you really sitting in Martha’s Vineyard complaining that everything would be gangbusters if only your hands hadn’t been tied by Congress?  You had the whole f’ing government until Nov 2, 2010…are you really complaining that your own party didn’t let you blow everything up faster?

Of course not, you’re complaining that a minority of the minority party has the balls to tell Americans that your policies are a death sentence for individualism.  Enjoy your vacation.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in politics

 

Dear GOP Candidates

First of all, I would like to thank you for having the guts to put yourselves out in front of the wrecking ball of the media.  They don’t like you and they don’t want you to win so don’t even waste your time trying to make them think you can be friends.  Its saying a lot that on the shallow end of their attacks they will call you a racist and an uneducated warmonger.  I can’t imagine what the deep end looks like.

So they’re going to attack you.  Screw ‘em.  You’re not running to appease people that watch MSNBC and HLN…as if you could.  What we need you to do is extraordinarily simple.  We need you to tie everything together for everyone.  We need you to make people understand that our fiscal policy is inextricably tied to our national security, and our national security is glued to our domestic policy…that single issue voting is nonsense and it always has been.  We live in a world of systems rather than simple machines.  Americans can be tricked into thinking that its all about the environment, or defense, or social security.  They can be lied to; told that there is no threat from China, Russia, and the Middle East.  Told that they pay too little for electricity. Told that the world they want to live in is somehow unjust and that it must change dramatically for the good of all mankind.  Its all tied together though and we need you to make that connection loud and clear because if you don’t understand the interconnections then you don’t belong in the White House.

Democrats are responsible for the economy, but so are Republicans.  This isn’t a contradiction because there are statists in both parties that think they were elected to make people’s decisions for them from on high in Washington.  Don’t be afraid to lay the GOP out along with the Democrats.  Don’t tie yourself to a sinking ship for the sake of a nomination.  We’re looking for a candidate that we haven’t seen in a long time and you need to build us a background that shows you’re not afraid to tear down the house that has been built and renew American Individualism with serious constraints on our Federal Government.  If only you would build it, we would come.

Don’t worry about “Independents”, whatever they are.  Take a stand on things and explain your position in plain terms.  Pro-Life?  Awesome, tell people why without sounding like a politician.  Want to cut spending?  Me too, but we aren’t going to able to cut anything if we can’t get people to understand why America is unsustainable.  Wow that is hard to read.  America is unsustainable, but only if we continue to lie to ourselves and follow the unconstitutional precedents that have been set by our forbears.  Social security as it stands is a fraud.  Don’t lie to people and tell them you’re going to salvage a fraud and make it into a sustainable fraud.  Get out of the business of retirement planning…you suck at it.  Don’t focus-group test your statements.  Know where you stand on things and tell us the truth.  If that loses you the nomination then it wasn’t meant to be.

WTF tax code.  I’ll vote for the person that says they’re going to end our tax code without reservation.  Did we send you to D.C. to make our decisions for us?  To nudge us in the “right” direction?  Hell no we didn’t.  Our tax code does so much to twist market forces right now that its sickening.  If you can’t get our tax code down to under 100 pages (I’m being generous) then you’re doing it wrong.  How much legal language does it really take to say, “Everyone will pay this percentage of their income.”  End all these other random taxes too.  I swear, every dollar I make is taxed a dozen times before it gets to me.  Its even worse if I want to hire someone.  The government is the only thing between Americans and financial success and that must end.  Articulate the way ahead and you’re a winner.

Keep us safe.  You have no greater responsibility than to defend us from our enemies, and they do exist.  They are not bogeymen manufactured to pass defense policy despite what liberals seem to believe.  Provide them the luxury to keep being so ignorant of the threats to our nation…its your job.  Don’t use threats of danger to push policy either – keep us prepared to respond to a threat with deadly force at a moments notice.  It is the only way peace for Americans is possible.  On the subject, fix our defense contracting mess.  Why are we throwing away millions on crap that we don’t even know if we’ll need and not spending money on things we know are essential?  Why do we allow contractors to break construction up over as many states as possible to ensure Congressmen won’t defund them?  Its bullshit and it has to stop.  Take all of that waste and use it to make our troops better equipped for the basics…better boots, body armor, and weapons.  We need a technological edge too, but keep your head on your damn shoulders about it.

In summary, you can’t be everything to everyone.  Independantism, whatever that is, can’t save America.  We need a leader that knows who they are, tells us who they are, and unleashes our economy from the burden of our government.  We can’t fix inequalities, but we can stop pretending to be responsible for equality.  Don’t let liberals set the rules for debate, challenge their premise before you answer their questions.  Above all, don’t pretend that we can right this ship with a clever mix of statism and free-market principles.  You don’t need to attack Barack Obama, you need to defeat his ideology.  The man is a statist and if you can destroy the notion that statism will cause anything but poverty in this nation you’ll have my vote and my wallet.

/rant

 

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in politics

 

There’s no debating beer

If you didn’t already know, Fox News is hosting a GOP debate tonight.  Ames baby.  This could be the debate that sheds some of the fat from the current field and really pits some of our candidates against the President’s ideas (or lack thereof).  I don’t really get a thrill up my leg for any of them…though that Ron Paul is quite fetching.

Speaking of dead looking things, here’s hoping zombie Reagan makes an appearance…at least a corpse can’t intervene in commerce and project American Exceptionalism where it isn’t needed or wanted.

Go buy some beer and take some time to figure out if any of these people really stand for anything.  Or don’t.  I’ll be drinking Torpedo, a 65 IBU karate chop to your palate.  Get some.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in politics

 

A Selfish Plea

I joined the Marine Corps when I was 17.  It was the year 2000 and I didn’t have a lot of options so I enrolled in the Delayed Entry Program – a pre-recruit training conditioning segment of the Inactive Ready Reserves.  I left for Parris Island in the summer of 2001 to join America’s force in readiness, but before I could call myself a Marine I would have to sacrifice a great deal of comfort and no small amount of pride.  I completed recruit training, completed Marine Combat Training, and earned my military occupational specialty in time to report to the II Marine Expeditionary Force in August of 2002.  I was a teenager then and time raced by as I settled into my first unit in the Fleet Marine Forces.  In one of the only decisions I don’t regret from my teens, I decided I couldn’t live without this marvelous girl that I went to high school with so I proposed to her and we were married late that December.  One thing though – Task Force Tarawa was stood up as a Marine Expeditionary Brigade for a hasty deployment to Iraq.  The resulting frost call required me to terminate my leave early and depart with my new bride in tow and drive from NJ to NC the night of our wedding…a truly expeditionary honeymoon.  I left for Operation Iraqi Freedom (the first in a series) in January of the following year leaving my new wife alone about 500 miles away from anyone she knew.  I knew this life was a consequence of service to our nation…that the importance of our duty would always come first when the hard decisions were made.  As a twenty year old man I have to admit that I didn’t really understand it, but I definitely knew that it was a fact of my life.  OIF I ended for me several months later and I returned home to learn how to be a good husband.  I’m still working on that.

After OIF I I had some time off before my next deployment, but as anyone who has been in the military will tell you things can be busy even in peace.  We were learning old lessons anew and our force structure was shifting which meant a lot of training even in garrison.  Being in the military isn’t like a normal job.  You don’t get to plan your time off under the assumption that you will actually be able to take it.  You request leave and hope that it gets approved despite blistering operational requirements.  Commanders work tirelessly to balance the morale of their units with their mission…and the mission always wins that battle.  It is what “serving” in the military means.  Your life is no longer really yours to do with as you want.  I’m piecing something together here and you need to understand that…we aren’t free to do as we please in the military even when we’re home.

In the following years I returned to Iraq a couple more times between 2004 and 2006 serving in Ramadi and Fallujah.  I would leave home every time knowing that I would never get that time back with my wife.  I missed every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Anniversary, birthday…you get the idea.  We don’t complain about these things seriously though…not even among ourselves.  We just trade stories and try to one up each other to see who has had it worst.  I have a friend that is a Gunnery Sergeant that has three kids and he has never seen one born and has made it to almost half of their birthdays.  You can really only pay for the beer when someone tells you that.

What’s the moral of the story?  Why am I telling you about a segment of my life?  I want to provide you a tangible reference to life in the military.  When I tell you that they’re thinking of changing our retirement plan perhaps now you can understand my frustration.  The military has a great program for people that sacrifice 20+ years of their life.  Its called the Cliff Vestment Retirement Plan and it gives us 50% of our base pay at retirement at 20 years with an additional 2.5% per additional year served over 20.  Pretty sweet right?  Thanks to our awful financial circumstances, the government is currently considering changing that plan in the middle of people’s careers.  Check out the full article at the Navy Times… (read the comments here too)

Unlike other proposals to overhaul military retirement that would grandfather current troops, the board suggests that DoD could make an “immediate” transition to the new system, which would affect current troops quite differently depending on their years of service:

• Recruits. The newest troops out of boot camp after the proposed change would have no direct incentive to stay for 20 years and would not get a fixed-benefit pension. Instead, they would receive annual contributions to a Thrift Savings Plan account and could leave service with that money at any time — although under current rules, they can’t withdraw the money until age 59½ without paying a penalty, except in certain specified circumstances.

• Five years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service until the “old vesting date” — the 20-year mark — they also would get one-fourth of the “old plan benefit,” or about 12 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity. If they separated, for example, after 10 years, they would walk away with no fixed-pension benefit but would have a TSP account with five years of contributions.

• 10 years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service for 10 more years, they would receive half of the “old plan benefit,” about 25 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity. If they separated after 15 years, they would walk away with no fixed-pension benefit but would have a TSP account with five years of contributions.

• 15 years of service. Troops would immediately begin accruing new benefits in a TSP account. If they remained in service for five more years, they would receive three-fourths of the “old plan benefit,” about 37.5 percent of their pay at retirement, as an annuity.

• 20 years and beyond. Troops who stayed in past 20 years would continue to receive annual TSP contributions.

Hey, I get it.  We need to make cuts.  Our government is rife with excess and we need to take the knife to it if we have any hope of making it another decade.  For all the hysteria over global warming and how the earth will be uninhabitable in a few decades if we don’t stop using electricity people sure don’t get crazy about the fact that we’re done for in less than a decade if we can’t get our debt under control.  I digress.  So we’re making cuts and the current military retirement system is being eyed as a place where we can save some money.  I understand that…after all it is a pretty sweet deal.  Hell, its even cost of living adjusted and starts at the date of retirement!  So what happens to someone that’s already given 10 or 15 years of their life with the understanding that they would be rewarded with what is essentially a ticket to catch up on all of the living they’ve postponed in the interest of national security?  Well they get a fraction of their previous retirement and, get this, entry into the Thrift Savings Plan for the last 5-10 years until they’re eligible for retirement.  Forget the 10 previous years of interest payments they lost.  Forget the fact that a 50% retirement for a GySgt under the current plan as compared to a 25% retirement with TSP for the last 10 or so under the proposed plan is a loss of about 85% of the total worth of their retirement as compared to the current plan.  We’ve got entitlements to save for people that haven’t really done much of anything!  Don’t forget that I wouldn’t even be writing this if our elected leaders could be bothered to do their jobs and make tough decisions without regard to their political future.  One of the few definite constitutional expenditures we have is our military.  The DOD needs serious reviews of its efficiency and nepotistic contract awarding practices to be sure, but its existence and purpose are among the few federal programs that we must have as a free people.

Don’t mistake this for a gripe session.  We will take whatever medicine our republic dishes out.  We will dutifully execute the orders of those appointed over us.  What I will not do is let you forget what these men and women are sacrificing for you.  What you would have lost if not for their suffering…their loss.  You enjoy the freedom to sit and watch debt ceiling debates or Desperate Housewives or whatever you watch only because there are men and women that are willing to give their lives to protect you.  Don’t you dare change the rules on them midstream because you failed to find the cuts that make sense.  Don’t you buckle to a miserable constituency of layabouts and wastrels with their hands held out – sacrificing the military because you know that they’ll take it with their mouth shut and their head up.

We fight for you…who will fight for us?

The opinions in this article are my own and should not be misconstrued as an official DOD statement.   

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Debt Crisis, Military

 
 
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