Your House Is On Fire – And Mine Is Catching…Thanks – Part 2

March 31, 2011

tell me...how is this fair?

 

Not even a year ago, I wrote this article among others.  It was about the Greek Debt Crisis and how Europe wasn’t solving its problems but just kicking the economic can down the road.  It took just over 10 months for all the money spent over Greece to burn up confidence in the EuroZone.  Now its Ireland and Portugal whose leadership is in flux and their economies and banks in turmoil.  They’re called PIIGS for a reason.  Portugal, Ireland, Iceland, Greece, Spain.  Mark my words, Spain is the one to REALLY worry about.

   You won’t see this stuff at the top of the news…and that is my point.    Too many other juicy stories drown out the very significant problems of the European Debt Crisis.  The synical and conspiracy theory part of me thinks its convenient that way…but that gives people too much credit.  They’re more worried about Dancing with the Stars and American Idol….and if they are in tuned, they see the kubuki theatre of  ‘fiscal debate’ going on in DC right now.  Congress is arguing over about $30 billion in spending cuts when we have an annual deficit of something to the effect of $1.5 trillion on our $3.8 trillion budget.  Congress is arguing over the change in the couch while the house around them is burning down.

  The next to last thing we need is Europe’s serious economic problems.  The last thing we need is to ignore them and get caught with our pants down when it spreads.

That is the problem with socialism, eventually you run out of other people’s money (thanks Margaret).  It’s that socialism that is sinking Europe and what we’re ignoring here at home.   What will that mean for your pension, your 401(k), your children’s future?  What are you willing to do about it. 

I can tell you that the same tired players who have money and power from the status quo aren’t the answer.  We need to elect new leaders, pure and simple.

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No Fly Zone? Really?

March 17, 2011

Get Ready For These...

Gaddafi and his craziness would have been ‘great’ mass-media news by itself, now he has to compete with the buzz from Japan – but it doesn’t cloud the irony of the UN resolution for enforcing a no fly zone.  Let me make a series of  points and then a series of comments and you can draw your own conclusions. 

To give away the punch-line, this is an ‘easy’ win where we can do ‘what is right’ without real repercussion, loss of life, or long-term fallout since everyone knows that Gaddafi is a whack-o.  Oh yeah, we’ll still get our oil tanker from the Saudis as well.

POINTS

1) A no fly zone means not only not letting the bad-guys fly around, but blowing up airfields and anti-aircraft batteries to protect the fighter planes that are flying the combat air patrols (CAP) to support the no fly zone.  That means air to ground offensive strikes.

2) France, Italy, and the UK are eager to directly support and engage in an enforcement campaign.

3) As of yet there has been little discussion about the U.S.’s direct involvement except to say that we have a seat at the table and are certainly part of the NATO planning.

4) Gaddafi, a self-agrandized despot of  a looney-toon, openly threatened hostilities now and in the future in the Mediterranean if the world imposed a no-fly zone on Libya.

5) The world has been deafeningly silent on protests in Bahrain and Yemen due to needed cooperation from the non-democratic despots there.

6) We had similar actions under Bill Clinton in Bosnia with air patrols and cruise missile strikes.

7)  Fighter pilot types would love nothing better than to have a no-fly zone.

COMMENTS

1) No one has a better military or equipment to wage an air war than the U.S.  We have tomahawk missiles, F-22s, B-2s, SEAD mission F-16CJs, and the experience with all this hardware in actual wars.  I find it hilarious that the French think they are up to the task and they probably want as little help as possible from the USofA.

2) We had a no-fly zone over Iraq as well for a very long time.  We got very little support the second time the US kicked Saddam’s ass because nations like France did not feel we were justified in intervention.  Why the change in heart?  Because Libya isn’t that far from France maybe?  Because this one is ‘easy’?  Both?  Its far more complicated that simple solidarity with the Libyan rebels – there are legitimately beleaguered revolutionaries all over the world that are ignored every day.  Why are the Libyans so different and special?

3) The world loves to hate the US, but when push comes to shove, we are the only ones with the hardware, know-how, and force projection capability to do the job right.  Why?  We are America.  We are too good to the rest of the world and we go unthanked for it, but god-forbid if we don’t kick someone’s ass when everyone thinks it should be.  The media doesn’t know it yet, but our NATO brethren desperately need our know-how and hardware.  We spend a lot of treasure and spill a lot of blood so that others don’t have to – largely because they don’t need to fight any more because we too willingly go do it for them as the world’s defacto policeman.  Now our allies and the ‘good guys’ of the world have grudgingly grown dependent upon our strength and just dominance.  This is what you get, responsibility to protect France get again – for at least the 3rd time now. (I especially enjoyed that one by they way)  What other nation has been the ’empire’ of the world and done it so benevolently?

4) This no-fly zone could be a slippery slope.  All it takes is one flight of Libyan migs to execute a reprisal attack against a French cruise-liner in the Mediterranean.  That  then greatly ups the ante for NATO to ask itself if it is going to live up to its charter and say that an attack on one is an attack on all.  Gaddafi is a crazy-man.  You’re wrong if you think he lacks the stones to do something like that.  Thomas Jefferson warned against foreign wars of entanglement for exact scenarios like the fictitious one above.  Look up the cause of WWI; a web of alliances is how it started and America had to eventually get drug in via alliances to end the damn thing too. 

5) We want Libya’s oil, but the country doesn’t make Saudi Arabia amounts of it.  Also, Gaddafi is unsavory and crazy.  The pro-democracy demonstrators in the other Arab countries are just as right and just in their cause, but the situation in those countries are much more complicated.  We NEED the autocratic ruler’s  support there because of their oil (Saudi Arabia being the clearest example). Our dependency on foreign oil is why we waste so many lives and $$ in that part of the world in the first place.  They know it and that is what protects them and keeps them loosely aligned with the West even though they don’t like us and refuse to move beyond a 10th century mentality in how they rule or look at the world.

6)  True to form, the West picks and chooses its battles.  Today, Libya is a worthy while Darfur is not.  Yesterday Bosnia was, but Somalia was not (and today you hear about the consequences of those actions in the news – pirates).  These guys could very well be thinking that this is a mini-Desert Shield type operation.  Of the lot looking at this no-fly zone, the US is the only player that has the ability and will to go it alone –  right or wrong.  You see that both in our introduction and pull-out of Somalia and our mounting successes in the new Iraq.  You saw it in defeat in Vietnam and the barest margin of victory in Korea.  All but the First Gulf War show that victory is never easy coalition or not.

7) Fighter pilots get to justify their existence and over-inflated egos if they shoot down some ancient Mig 19s using their AIM-9 air to air missiles from 20 miles away.  That’s not war, that’s  shooting fish in a barrel.

Don’t think that victory of this despot will be as easy as it could appear.  If Gaddafi is going down, he won’t go without a fight – he’s already shown that these past 2 weeks.  If anyone would have the audacity to lob a russian missile at Sicily, sink a french passenger liner, or attack an American cargo ship – it would be Colonel Gaddafi; certainly more so than Slobodon Milosevic or even Saddam Hussein himself.

Those men were evil, this guy is both evil and deranged.

– G.S.


Fear and Stupidity

March 17, 2011
…and we dropped dozens like this…(that doesn’t even count the Ruskies!)

   Forgive me if I seem a bit short, but is anyone TIRED of the fear-mongering they see on TV about the nuclear reactor problems in Japan?  I mean, c’mon there is a terrible humanitarian crisis going on with the earthquake and the tsunami BEFORE we even talk about the leaky nuclear reactors.  The true human toll and the real loss of life and property – those are the REAL STORY – and it is over-shadowed by the silent, invisible killer that give you cancer.

– RADIATION!!!! – bum, bum, bummmm!!!!!
Really, don’t you feel like sheep listening to the talking heads find yet another retired nuclear expert and stoke the fears that the Japanese are under-stating the problem.  I’m not saying its right, but OF COURSE THEY ARE, its government.  Do you really think they will tell people the whole truth – just imagine how panicky the Japanese would be then…and they’re a disciplined people!    You a$%holes on TV with your dumbed-down  24/7  news media coverage just lap up the mystique of a danger people can’t see and make a fever pitch WITHOUT full disclosure from the Japanese authorities.   
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Its all a game of fear and consumption – but this time the consumption is replaced with knee-jerk stupidity.  They want to get you afraid so that you’ll buy your bottled water and iodine tablets and buy into the story that nuclear technology is unsafe and dangerous.  They are quick to look at Chernobyl, TMI, and now the crisis in Japan; but they forget all the tangible and 99.99% safe benefits of nuclear power.  I mean this was an earthquake.  YOU CAN’T PREVENT AN EARTHQUAKE!  Its a good excuse for things to break! 
  All this angle does is to get the lowest common denominator of our society all panicy about a slight bump in background radiation that may or may not happen from 5,000 miles away.      Yes, that is how far California is from Japan.  Its a long damned way.  Get over it.  I don’t see how this makes for good TV and ‘good’ news when they repeat the same crap over and over; it is innane.
Beside the raw damage and loss of life and human misery that the tsunami caused, the worst part of this is we are now hearing how governments – national (Germany) and local governments in the U.S. are questioning nuclear power.  You’re kidding me.  This is a freak accident – literally an act of nature.  You can’t stop earthquakes – so you have to just deal with the fact they’re going to happen.  Do you really want your energy prices to be higher, have rolling brown-outs, support big oil, and move away from carbonless green energy by deep sixing all the proposed NEW nuclear facilities this country desperately needs?  And those are just a few!  We haven’t built one reactor in 30 years because of irrational fear.  We really are going to let a bunch of dumb politicians that buy into the news media hype derail progress with so much tangible upside and the most minsicule risk of downside?  Yes, it may be a small risk with a terrible consequence should it happen, but will we let fear get in the way of one of the few things that I think this administration has right?  Further now that its known what happens at a nuke plant at a level 9.0 earthquake/tsnuami strike, we can create safety systems for the new reactors we should be building.  Cut the red tape, the brainless politicians, the equally innane pundits, and the lack of knowledge of what nuclear power can do for this once great nation.  We’ll have real progress,  infrastructure investment, cheaper energy costs, less carbon emission, thousands upon thousands of high paying unexportable American jobs, and all the services and manufacturing to support them.  Why wouldn’t you go nuclear?
You wouldn’t because of fear, mass-media consumption, and now…stupidity.  How am I not surprised…  I’ve already told you we’re past the tipping point, this is just another example from a different angle.  Where did our logic and reason go?
– G.S.