View 813 Friday, March 07, 2014
“Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”
President Barack Obama, January 31, 2009
If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.
Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983
Christians to Beirut. Alawites to the grave.
Syrian Freedom Fighters
If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan. Period.
Barrack Obama, famously.
Rob Reid please send me an email address.
Wednesday and Thursday were devoured by locusts. Actually by steroids, which I continue to take in the hope of restoring hearing in my left ear. I am also now interrupted by robot telephone calls of all kinds, to the extent that I am if a fit of fury. Anyone who uses his or her voice for a recorded message to be sent to lists the callers have not volunteered to be on should be sentenced to six weeks in the public pillory. During that time their message will be played. The public will be told when and where. The government will not supply baskets of rotten tomatoes, but volunteers may bring extra if they choose. If you are going to call me with and unwanted message, have the decency to be human so that I can tell you what I think of your message and your life choices.
Begun Thursday, continued on Friday:
I am now convinced that no one in power in this nation knows any history whatsoever. Not even the history of the Seventy Years War with Bolshevism or what we call The Cold War – which now may become Cold War One if Barrack Hussein Obama de Santa Anna has his way. The State Department has, I am told, 3000 officers with PH.D.’s. One wonders in what subjects. Certainly not in history.
Before Putin came to power, Clinton went out of his way to kick the Russians in the shins in the Balkan incidents; matters there came within minutes of a shooting engagement between a Russian commander and American forces; this in American support of the Bosnian side in a blood feud going back to the time of Suleiman the Magnificent and the Siege of Vienna in 1527.
When the Turks conquered the lower Balkans, they imposed the Koran-mandated tax on unbelievers. The tax imposed was young boys to be taken to Istanbul, forcibly converted, and raised to be Janissaries, elite infantry of the Turkish Army. Some Balkans converted to Islam and thus became tax collectors. Ethnically, the differences between Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Croat are small; but under the Turks the non-Muslims paid taxes and the Muslims collected them. This created blood feuds in a land known for them for two thousand years. Many of those family feuds continued to this day.
After the collapse of the Soviet System there was a period in which there was indeed a reset in the relationship between Russia and the United States, as Herman Kahn predicted there would be. Then came the Balkan crisis in which the ancient blood feuds dating back to the 13th Century were revived. That had lasted through the conquests of the Balkans and Hungary in the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, and continued as the Turkish controls began to recede. Then came the first Balkan Wars with their “Bulgarian Atrocities”, and the gradual liberation of Balkan nations, the brief existence of the Christian Kingdom of Montenegro, consolidation with Serbia, World War I and the dissolution of the Austrian Empire, formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, German occupation of the Balkans, communist Tito vs. Christian monarchist Draza Mihailovich, Tito’s victory and consolidation of Yugoslavia, Tito’s defection from the Soviet bloc and his attempt to play the USSR against the West to his advantage, and the breakup of Yugoslavia at his death. And during all those times the ancient blood feuds and hatreds continued. All contending sides had factions who advocated and used ethnic cleansing as a tactic.
The Russians, as Russians always do – see the origins of The Great War — took the side of the Christian Slavs. This resulted in several standoffs between US and Russian forces, one or which came within minutes of a shooting engagement. The US began bombing Serbs, and US air strikes crippled the economy of the Lower Danube for at least a year. From the Russian view, the US chose sides: against Slavs. The truth of this is not so important as the deep seated belief among many Russians that it is true.
About 100,000 people were killed in the Bosnian War.
FYI from Wikipedia:
- 1944 to 1947 & 1951: 1.5 million Poles were deported from the eastern territories annexed by the Soviet Union into the western territories, which Soviets transferred from Germany to Poland. By 1950, 1.6 million Poles from the eastern territories annexed by the Soviet Union had been settled in what the government called the Regained Territories.
- 1944 to 1948: Flight and expulsion of Germans after World War II. Between 13.5 and 16.5 million Germans were expelled, evacuated or fled from Central and Eastern Europe, making this the largest single instance of ethnic cleansing in recorded history. Estimated number of those who died in the process is being debated by historians and estimated between 500,000 and 3,000,000.
The President of the United States is said to have called the President of Russia to tell him that Russia must be punished. On hearing that I told Niven that it’s enough to make you wish for Jimmy Carter again; Larry said don’t waste a wish. He is right of course.
The President is also calling for the reduction of the Army to pre-WWII levels, and will punish Russia by cutting back on US cooperation with Israel in development of new anti-missile weapons (although we have a contract with Israel to co-develop them). We are reducing the size and cost of the Navy.
But Russia must be punished for its actions in the Crimea. The reactions of President Putin are not fully known.
The Washington Post has this to say:
A day after President Obama ordered sanctions over Russia’s military takeover in Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphatically rejected the U.S. position, saying his country could not “ignore calls for help” from ethnic Russians in Ukraine after what he has termed an illegitimate power grab there by pro-Western agitators.
Obama authorized the Treasury Department on Thursday to impose sanctions on “individuals and entities” responsible for the Russian intervention in Crimea or for “stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people.”
Speak loudly and carry a willow switch.
IMHO, Obama must be getting foreign policy advice from his old chum gang friends. Nuland certainly seems to be on drugs.
The comments make much better case for how ignorant this proposal is than I could. Though, I can add one observation… this proposal doesn’t account for the necessity, and thus having the capacity, to rapidly expand the Army when needed (and, at some point, it will be needed!).
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Retired.; Former Governor of Wasit Province, Iraq; Righter of Wrongs; Wrong most of the time; Distinguished Expert, TV remote control; Chef de Hot Dog Excellance; Avoider of Yard Work
The kind of army you have will dictate the kind of foreign policy you have. The 300 Spartans bought time == just enough for the Spartans and Athenians to win at Plataea. A strategy of Technology is needed; so are Seals and Marines. The United States has been able to depend on the seas as moats behind which we can mobilize, with Big Bill Knudsen’s conversion of Detroit to making cannon, tanks, airplanes, machine guns, rifles, artillery in enormous quantities to arm the conscripted soldiers being trained by the old Regulars, and the Marines held on by their teeth in the South Pacific. But the pace of war has changed, and we no longer have Detroit. We seem to have forgotten some of the lessons of Task Force Smith and Korea. As the pace speeds, the force you must fight with is the force you have at hand and can transport.
Restructuring of the armed forces of the United States is needed, but it is far more complicated than simply fixing numbers and budgets. It also involves the schools and what is taught in them. And entrusting the safety of a Republic to paid soldiers has downsides. Robert Heinlein and I debated for much of his life over conscription. His view was that any nation that needed conscripts had no right to exist. Mine was closer to Machiavelli’s. Conscription has the many benefits for a Republic, and its effects on liberty are not purely negative. A nation needs paid professional Legions, but their existence allows them to be sent to wars we might be better off avoiding. Clinton would not have sent conscripts to the Balkans.
Building a U.S. Army of 125,000 Spartans
Defense cuts are coming. The only question is how much. As it has grappled with the fiscal realities of sequestration, the U.S. Army has sought to define its mission in a post-war environment. The Pentagon’s latest budget request would reduce Army end strength to 440,000. While this reduction has caused a great deal of consternation in some quarters, this is not nearly enough.
In this age of budgetary and strategic uncertainty, the best course of action is to radically transform the Army by cutting the number of active-duty personnel by more than 75% to 125,000. To compensate for the resulting downsizing, the Army should adopt a multifaceted-approach to increase the quality, flexibility, and combat power of the force. This approach would entail stricter recruiting and promotion selection standards, significantly higher pay, greater emphasis on education and training, lengthier enlistment terms, longer deployments, a no-tolerance policy for criminal and disciplinary infractions, an increased use of private contractors for non-combat roles, and a rethinking of our reliance on the National Guard and Reserve.
They were professionals and "a rapier among scythes" at the war’s beginning compared to the vast, conscripted armies of the continent. But they didn’t last a year due to attrition.
The thing is, where are we going to go and get involved in a war involving masses? I don’t think the writer has a grip on the whole truth but he is on to something.
It is as good a presentation of the case for a small elite military as any, and an argument that citizens ought to be aware of.
Subject : On your March 2nd, 2014 post regarding Freefall Message
I was recently directed to your post on the web comic Freefall, by Mark Stanley, and while overall I was pleased at a wonderful web comic being given attention by you, there is one minor quibble in an otherwise interesting article.
In the description of Florence Ambrose, you say her genetic manipulation involves human genetic material, but I’m afraid such is not the actual case. It’s not mentioned in the comic, and not easy to find the link (produced below) if one isn’t already aware of it, but in the backstory archive, a collection of things Mr. Stanley has said on the now-defunct The Nice forum, she’s explicitly said to not contain any human genetic material due to legal considerations, although some of the modifications to make a red wolf functionally humanoid (if obviously not human) are adaptations of similar human brain structures.
While I appreciate that you don’t and/or can’t sit around all day doing little, I think that you should set aside some time (it’s not a short page) to at least skim the backstory. I’ve found that the extra detail, much of which is never mentioned or used in the actual comic, helps enhance my enjoyment of the story. Given the detail-heavy kind of stories that you write, I think you might also appreciate the work on the Freefall universe backstory.
I thought I had recommended reading the story from the beginning. My apologies for memory lapses. Thank you for the reminder.
Wednesday 5 March: I didn’t take blood measures yesterday but should have, and didn’t want to come upstairs and do it this morning. An hour after breakfast at which I did not take my metformin I found it was 221. It is now 115 and I have taken my morning pills including the metformin. Last night at bed time I could hear a faint scratching noise in left ear when I scraped the left hearing aid. Previously that was stone deaf since Sunday night a week ago. Can still hear that this morning, and possibly some high pitch bird calls. This may be a good sign. Hope springs eternal.
Took Zantac in hopes of controlling acid reflux caused by steroids. Did so and discovered that a side effect of steroids and Zantac is massive
Thursday, 6 March. MRI this morning. Blood sugar 147.
Friday after Breakfast: 234. Hike with Niven up the hill. Good walk, tiring but good. No change in hearing. Tapering off on steroid pills. Three today. Zantac continues. So does flatulence. Zantac plus steroids results in massive and uncontrollable flatulence.
Someone probably mentioned this already, but if they didn’t… You may want to know…
Corticosteroids (from the adrenal cortex) like you are taking are very different from anabolic steroids (from gonads) used by athletes (and legitimately to treat low testosterone).
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.