Saturday, June 29, 2013
As you'll recall, back in May I let everyone know it was okay to kill endangered eagles as long as you were a Green Energy Wind Turbine consortium treasured by the Left. Well, those hungry turbines have made the news again, this time overseas on a rocky & mountainous area of the Outer Hebrides called The Isle of Harris.
Outer Hebrides? Where's that, Steve?
The Outer Hebrides are a little cluster of islands at the northwestern end of Scotland. One might consider it the Boondocks or BFE., colloquially speaking. The Isle of Harris and it's sister the Isle of Lewis are in the ancient lands of the powerful Clan MacLeod. Tinted shots of the island were used as the surface of Jupiter in the film 2001:A Space Odyssey.
Enter the White-Throated Needletail.
Also known as needle-tailed swift or spine-tailed swift, it is the fastest-flying bird in flapping flight, with a confirmed maximum speed of nearly 70 miles per hour but is rumored to hit up to an astonishing 106 miles per hour. These birds have very short legs which they use only for clinging to vertical surfaces. They build their nests in rock crevices in cliffs or hollow trees. They never settle voluntarily on the ground and spend most of their lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in their beaks. They even drink on the fly.
These swifts breed in rocky hills in central Asia and southern Siberia. This species is migratory, wintering south in the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia. It is a rare vagrant in western Europe, but has been recorded as far west as Norway, Sweden and Great Britain. And here's where the tragedy begins.
The Needletail is not endangered, but in the United Kingdom it is a very rare sight. In fact, they hadn't seen one there in 22 years. There has not been a sighting of the species in Britain since 1991 when a single bird was seen four times - in Kent, Staffordshire, Derbyshire and finally Shetland. So when one was spotted, bird watchers (known as twitchers) literally dropped everything and took ferries out to Harris to see the bird.
A spokesman for Bird Guides said it was only the ninth time it was spotted in the UK since 1846. It was first seen by two bird spotters from Northumberland on Monday. After that, word went out through the twitcher grapevine and soon more than 80 bird watchers from all over with more en route were watching the speedy black & white avian when.....it slammed into a wind turbine and was instantly killed.
Another victim of Green Energy.
Rest in Peace, little bird. You died so some asshole vegan in a hemp pullover could eat his tofu with a clear conscience under a dim corkscrew lightbulb lit by a windmill.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Once again, I sense a great disturbance in The Force. In this case, the force in question is our Army force, and it's a force about to be gutted once again.
I remember the drawdown of troops that started when I was in Germany in the late 80s. While I was there, the Army shut down the 8th Infantry Division and the 56th Field Artillery Command, the command responsible for the Pershing intermediate range nuclear missiles. The drawdowns stopped abruptly at the end of 1990 when Papa Bush found himself headed to Gulf War 1. That brought a new term to my lexicon: Stop Loss.
Stop Loss meant that NO ONE, and I mean no one, was allowed to exit the Army unless under the most dire of emergencies. No one was leaving their units, either. If you were scheduled to get off active duty, you were stuck in Uncle Sugar's service until further notice. If you were scheduled to leave your unit and transfer to another unit, scratch that till further notice. Several of my friends were stuck going to Iraq when they were supposed to be getting out and starting college or starting police jobs they had set up in advance.
After the war ended, Stop Loss ended too, and the great RIF of 91 began. Reduction In Force meant at that time that "Hey, the Russians are a non-issue, we just won a quickie war, and you guys are no longer needed", and basically the Army was letting people take Early Outs and Early Retirements if they had served a certain amount of their enlistment contracts.
The Clinton years saw a further reduction in forces and we found ourselves after 9/11 with less equipment and fewer troops than we would have liked. The active duty Army had to rely MUCH more on reserve components and National Guard units than ever before since WW2. Fewer troops meant longer deployments and more frequent deployments, especially in our Special Operations forces. It's nothing in the SpecOps community to see guys who have made 20 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the regular forces, I saw guys make three to five and sometimes as many as seven rotations through the combat theater.
And now Obeezy and his minions are busily gutting the military again, cutting the forces we do have left. This means that when things go to shit again in the Middle East (and they always do; just look at Syria)or when something threatens us domestically we'll have fewer assets around to deal with it.
We have a Navy with the fewest ships since the First World War, when we had a 600-ship Navy under Reagan. Sure, our ships are more capable now than ever before and in some cases one ship can do the work of two or three of its predecessors, but fewer ships means longer deployments and a longer time between refits and maintenance. Gear wears out and doesn't get replaced and it fails and people die. People get tired, mistakes get made, and people die.Families get tired of longer deployments and marriages die. Dudes stop re-enlisting. The force suffers.
They canceled the Air Force's orders for F-22 Raptor fighters. Just make do with the excellent-but-thirty-year-old planes you have now. The F-35 program crawls along and stalls. Just make do with the excellent-but-thirty-year-old planes you have now.
|I'm just the messenger...
And now, the Army announces that it's cutting 12 Brigade Combat Teams over the next three and a half years. In addition, Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno told reporters at a Pentagon news conference the Army will shrink its active component end strength by 14 percent, or 80,000 soldiers, to 490,000, down from a wartime high of 570,000 troops.
The Army National Guard will cut 8,000 soldiers, he said, without making any force structure changes. And the Army Reserve will skip a planned force increase and maintain its current size of 205,000.
In all, 12 brigade combat teams will inactivate, the general said, including two brigade combat teams stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany, that were already scheduled to inactivate in fiscal 2013.
Two brigade combat teams will remain in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments, Odierno said.
|This makes sense to some of you...
One brigade combat team will inactivate at each of the following installations: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Knox, KY.; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Stewart, GA, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Washington. (God I hate that Joint Base name crap. It's their new way of combining a local Army base and Air Force base into one giant entity to keep it from being closed. It's all the latest rage. Locally, Joint Base Charleston combined the Navy's Goose Creek Weapons Station (which houses their nuclear power school) and the Charleston Air Force Base)
In Germany, the 172d Infantry Brigade Combat Team is going to get the axe in Grafenwoehr (or just Graf as we called it), leaving the Second Cavalry Regiment to hold the line at Graf. Up in Baumholder (The Rock, as it was always known) I'm less certain who was closing up shop as their website listed no current BCT at the base. Baumholder was actually supposed to close as a base not too long ago but seems to have been spared. Most recently though the base was home to the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which closed up shop and disbanded six months ago.
As for the other bases, it's starting to come out as to who is going to have to "case the colors", Army lingo for closing up shop, folding your flag, and being shut down. At Fort Bliss, it is rumored that the 3d Armored Brigade Combat Team, part of the First Armored Division, is the likely unit to be axed. At Fort Bragg, it's looking like it's the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team. At Campbell, it's the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division, which traces its lineage back to the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was activated in 1942. Soldiers from the regiment serving in World War II were made famous in historian Stephen Ambrose’s book “Band of Brothers.”
Up in New York at Fort Drum, it's the Spartans of the 10th Mountain Division's 3d Brigade Combat Team. At Fort Carson it's the 4th Infantry Division's 3d Brigade Combat Team, where it has been assigned since the Vietnam War. Ar Fort Hood it will be the First Cavalry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team. At Joint Base Lewis-McChord it will be the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, part of the 7th Infantry Division.
At Fort Stewart, just an hour or so down the interstate from me, it is 3d Infantry Division's 2d Armored Brigade Combat Team. Some of the base's loss is offset by other units moving to the base, however. As such, the division's remaining brigades will gain a maneuver battalion and fire and support elements under pending Army restructurings. Additionally, Fort Stewart will gain a Fires Brigade headquarters, a Gray Eagle drone company, a Civil Affairs Battalion, a heavy transport company and a Chemical Maintenance company.
At Fort Riley, my old stomping grounds, the 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Infantry Division is getting the axe. The First Division, the famous Big Red One, is getting a serious one-two punch because their 3rd Brigade Combat Team, housed at Fort Knox in Kentucky, is also getting axed. That cust the division in half until other units move in under restructuring. The two brigades set for reorganization are the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, both located at Fort Riley. As part of the reorganization, each brigade will receive a third maneuver battalion and see an increase in its engineer and artillery capabilities.
Each brigade that gets cut means a loss of around 3,000 soldiers and their families, not to mention civilian employees at the bases associated with the units. The economic impact in the base's communities will be felt sorely until new units move in.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear said he was disappointed by the plan to inactivate the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox.
“This decision will likely remove nearly 10,000 military employees and dependents from the area, which will have a profound economic impact, not only on Fort Knox but the surrounding region as well,” he said in a prepared statement.
Oh, goody. More unemployed people in a shaky economy.
And with the National Guard shedding 8,000 troops, that's 8,000 people with a reduced income from their Guard drills and 8,000 fewer people on hand to assist their local communities in times of emergencies like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and wildfires.
But that's okay. As long as we can send weapons and supplies and aid to people who hate us in Syria or Egypt or Pakistan, and as long as we can keep printing food stammps and welfare checks, it's all good in Obeezy's Hood. It's the Democrat Way.
If you're a long-time fan of my little corner of the Interwebz, then you've likely read a few of my previous posts in what I like to call my Conversations With Liberals series. In this series I take apart stupid things uttered by Liberals and dismantle their arguments, and show you their vile hatred with their own words.
However, if you've missed my earlier forays into the Den of Iniquities, you can always go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I'd like to think you'll learn a lot.
The picture below, I'm sure, has been circulating about the Net for a long time, yet it had escaped my notice until just a few days ago. It's nothing new whatsoever for the Left to compare Conservatives as a whole and the Tea Party in particular to the Nazi regime of the Hitler era. It's one of their favorite trite, jaded, and patently bullshit arguments.
Usually I'd ask where to begin, but the beginning is always the best place I suppose. Any questions? Yes. Several, chief amongst them being how often do you come out of your parents' basement to run to Starbucks for a triple mocha venti fucciato and a pithy repartee with your hipster brethren & sistren?
1. Nationalism. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines nationalism as loyalty and devotion to a nation. Y'know, most everyone in every nation on earth engages in this, except for Buddhist monks who transcend such things, and liberal assclowns who are ashamed of their country and apologize daily for living where we do. Yes, we Conservatives do believe in a sense of American Exceptionalism and pride in being Americans. We're not ashamed of being the country most everyone on Earth turns to, unless they're trying to destroy us for our freedom & prosperity. The Nazis used nationalism to stir up a downtrodden populace and replaced national pride with a misguided hatred of those not of their ilk. Perhaps you've mistaken nationalism with nationalization? The Nazis did that, nationalizing industries because Nazi is a contraction of National Socialist Workers Party, a socialist system VASTLY apart from the Tea Party and more in line with the Leftist liberals and, dare I say, Obama and the Democrats. Y'know, where the federal government rules everyone...
2. Authoritarianism. Oh, you mean where the all-powerful and all-knowing kind & benevolent master, Mother Government, runs your life and doles out welfare and healthcare and controls you and spies on you? Like, say, Hitler's government and Obama's government? The Tea Party is rather anti-authority and stands for lesser, smaller government staying the hell out of the affairs of daily life.
3. Social Darwinism. Seriously? SD is a sociological theory that sociocultural advance is the product of intergroup conflict and competition and the socially elite classes (as those possessing wealth and power) possess biological superiority in the struggle for existence. I find it laughable. It's an elitist snobby notion that just because one is wealthy or more rather born into wealth that they are biologically superior. That's bollocks. Utter bollocks indeed. The Nazis were batshit crazy about superiority and being the Ubermenschen. Conservatives believe that anyone can thrive if they work hard and the government gets the hell out of our way. On a side note, liberals and Obama Sheeple worship the Hollywood Elite, rich sports stars, entertainers and other Limousine Liberals. They often blow their money on the lottery trying to become rich and superior instead of working for it and bettering themselves.
4. Indoctrination. Nazis indoctrinated kids from the earliest ages, with youth groups and pro-Hitler songs. So do Democrats and other Liberals via the public school system, from kindergarten up to lib-riddled universities. Remember the Obama Youth songs? Toss in the free lunch program and kids believe that the benevolent hand of the government shall coddle them from cradle to grave. No wonder libs hate that so many conservatives home-school their kids; they can't get LIBERAL INDOCTRINATION.
5. Propaganda. Oh, yeah....Crazy Joe Goebbels was a master of propaganda. And when you have the mainstream media on your side, print and broadcast, it's easier to spread the Fuhrer's message to der Volk. Kinda like how the mainstream media in America kisses Obama's ass as it leans so far to the Left it can no longer stand up straight. All the while they bash the Tea Party and paint them to be insane babykilling racists....oh, hey... that's propaganda.....
6. Anti-intellectualism. The Nazis were scared people would think for themselves and thusly campaigned against the intellegentsia. When people think for themselves and are self-reliant they can no longer be controlled by the government. That's why the Tea Party educates folks as to what's really going on in America and what their true rights are under the Constitution. And that's why the Left hates them.
7. Militarism. Yes, the Tea Party and Conservatives believe in a strong military to defend our borders and keep us free. The Nazis also believed in a strong military, to control the populace and conquer those they deemed inferior.A modern equivalent would be, say, arming Homeland Security to the teeth, loading up on IRS agents to enforce government health-scare, and the NSA spying on you.
8. Anti-Communism. Man...y'all say that like being against Communism is a bad thing. Ladies & germs, communism is a bad thing. Funny thing is, the Nazis were socialists, just like the Soviet commies were. But Hitler viewed the Russians/Soviets as subhumans and had to demonize their Stalinist communism to maintain control. The Tea Party is indeed against socialism and communism and all in favor of capitalism and the right of free men to pursue individual prosperity with minimal governmental intervention or taxation, values the Democrat Party despises & abhors.
Nice try, Libs. But, as always, you have failed and your argument is invalid.I suppose you'll call me a racist now because I disagree with you....and I will continue to wage Teahad back at you.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
minus the radiation.
In that article I made it abundantly clear that the worst cities in America, those with the biggest crime problems and the scummiest slums, were run by Democrats.
Well, a new list of the Most Dangerous Cities in America has come out, from the fine folks at 24/7 Wall Street. A look at that list reveals that the things really haven't changed much since last year other than it would seem that New Haven, CT has replaced Little Rock on the list, and one of the cities has replaced its Democrat mayor with a Republican of dubious standing.
10. Cleveland, Ohio -- Run by Democrat Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cleveland most recently made the news for a guy holding a couple women hostage as sex slaves for a decade, repeatedly beating, torturing, and raping them. Stay classy, Cleveland.
|The Mayor of Cleveland
|A run-down house in Cleveland
9. Baltimore, Maryland -- Run by Democrat Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. A crap town in a deeply blue state. Like I've always said, don't let the shiny, pretty, touristy Inner Harbor fool you. Baltimore is a sty.
|The Mayor of Baltimore
|Looking good, B'more!
8. New Haven, Connecticut -- Run by Democrat John DeStefano. Most people think of Yale and quaint New England charm instead of a crime-ridden cesspit. Surprise!
|The Mayor of New Haven
|Hey, that's not the Yale crew club!
7. Birmingham, Alabama -- Run by Democrat William A. Bell. Ahhh, that Deep South charm and hospitality. And crime....
|The Mayor of Birmingham with a llama
|Meanwhile, the city has some drama
6. Stockton, California -- Run by Republican Anthony Silva. Silva took over 6 months ago from a Democrat who ran the city to actual bankruptcy. He's also under investigation for sexual battery.
|The Mayor of Stockton
|Police in Stockton securing a scene
|The Mayor of Memphis
|A scene in Memphis' Ward 232, the worst in the city
|The Mayor of St. Louis
|Hey, that's not the Arch...
|The Mayor of Oakland
|Oakland Police officers in March of 2009 after a scumbag on parole for assault with a deadly weapon opened fire and killed 4 Oakland officers.
2. Detroit, Michigan -- Run by Democrat Dave Bing. What more can really be said about Detroit that hasn't already been said?
|The Honorable Mayor of Detroit
|Inner Detroit from the air
|Inner Detroit from the ground
1. Flint, Michigan -- Run by Democrat Dayne Walling. The police chief in Flint was begging for more cops a year ago when they were at the top of this onerous list. Instead he got recommendations from Michigan State University researchers on how to make do with fewer. Or, more rather, how do work more efficiently with reduced staffing. They're still at the top of the list. It's led the list for years and yet the good people of Flint continue to do the same thing over & over again. They elect Democrats and expect to be saved by the All Knowing Benevolent Government.
|The Mayor of Flint
|Good luck, fellas.
|A typical view in Flint
|Can't wait to visit Vehicle City
|Urban Artwork. Yeah, that's the ticket...
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
|Let me be clear. I won't know where I send troops until I see it on TV.
So, here we are after a decade of America's finest sons & daughters coming home in metal boxes draped with a flag, a flag later dutifully and solemnly folded and handed to a grieving family member with the thanks of a grateful nation, and John McCain and other alleged Great Men are shaking dice in a plastic cup like a Yahtzee Game or looking at a Magic 8-Ball to see where we'll send troops next.
Steve, you sound like a pacifist. What the hell? That's not like you.
Me, a pacifist? Not bloody likely. I love seeing Bad Guys get a beat down courtesy of the best warfighters the world has ever known. But as a former soldier I am keenly aware of what it's like to be a pawn of Great Men and being the pointy end of the spear. No one longs for peace like a warrior, for the warrior is the one who has the most to lose in war.
|What fresh Hell is this? If it's Wednesday it must be Asscrackistan...
|Hi ho, Hi ho...it's off to war we go. With guns and blades and hand grenades, hi ho, hi ho, hi ho...
I find it ironic that John McCain, the RINO with the biggest horn in Washington, likes to gut immigration reforms that leave our borders unprotected but hawkishly calls for us to scurry into Syria to help topple their government like that's going to make us more secure. Even more ironic is that as a guy who spent years as a POW getting the crap kicked out of him he's always willing to send in the troops if it makes him look more like a prototypical Republican, especially when he needs to score points with Conservatives after he does something progressively liberal to appease potential voters who just vote Dem anyways.
Yeah, after a decade of Americans fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with few tangible results in our favor we've just recently sent a couple hundred troops to Jordan to curb Syrian violence (It hasn't worked) and now Capitol Hill wants to send in more troops and send in arms shipments to equip the rebels. But last time I checked, we were under a sequester, right? They cut military spending because all those babykillers and evil war mongering knuckledraggers are just a drain on the coffers of polite society when that money is better served on welfare and food stamps for baby-mommas and generational lagabouts who vote Democrat because the Dems keep handing them free money.
But if we're cutting military spending, with troops seeing tuition assistance cut and public affairs events like annual airshows cancelled, with thousands of federal employees losing hunks of their paychecks due to furloughs, where the hell is the money coming from to magically deploy troops for Syria? Why are we able to cobble together billions in military aid packages to an anti-American Islamist government in Egypt or billions for Pakistan, a country known to harbor Islamoterrorists, a country we routinely drone-strike because of it?
We cut money and punish the military when it suits the whims of politicians and then deploy them to satisfy the whims of politicians. We have troops deployed all over the place and while most of the locations are well-known spots like nearly 30,000 in Korea or 35,000 in Japan or 55,000 in Germany or 20,000 in Italy, or 6,000 or so in Panama, maybe 5,000 in Guam, there are a dozen or more that are less known.
We have a thousand or so people in Cuba at Gitmo even though Obeezy closed it when he took office as promised. Oh wait...no he didn't. He couldn't because we kinda need it to keep scumbags off the streets. We keep 500 or so troops on a rotational basis in Honduras as part of Joint Task Force Bravo. We've got 700 or so out in the Philippines chasing down Islamists there. We have over 3,000 in Djibouti coordinating drone strikes and Special Ops missions. We have at least a hundred in Niger to help the French fighting Islamists in Mali by doing drone recon. For the past year and a half we've been rotating about a hundred Special Forces advisors in and out of Uganda at a cost of about $4.5 million a month to operate in Uganda, South Sudan, Congo and the Central African Republic, helping to eradicate Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army terror group.
There are already over 1,000 Marines from the USS Kearsarge amphibious group in Jordan on a training exercise, along with 4,000 more from the Army & Air Force, many of whom will be staying behind with their F-16s and Patriot missile batteries after the exercises are over at the behest of the Jordanian government.
We're all up in the 'Stans....Good old Afghanistan, of course, with about 70,000 or so pairs of boots on the ground in addition to Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, & Turkmenistan.....plus Turkey, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Diego Garcia, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and that good old standby, Iraq. We still have some people in Iraq, even though the average low-information Joe & Jane Voter thinks we completely pulled out. News Flash: while we stopped combat operations there ostensibly and pulled out the majority of our troops in order to continue grinding them up in Afghanistan, things in Iraq have just gone back to random bomb attacks on civilians between rival groups just like the Bad Old Days.
Oh, yeah, before I forget, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Messiah Obeezy (Blessed Be His Name) also has troops at bases on the borders of Bolivia in Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to hunt for drug lords or something like that.
Yeah, we have boots on the ground in more countries than WalMart does, only they're turning a profit doing it while we're pissing away billions to countries that hate us and we're pissing on the countries that actually still do like us. We're over-taxing our troops and wasting resources and giving away billions to be later used against our own people.
But Obama won't know he's on vacation till he sees it on the news, I guess.