Friday, November 26, 2010

Demented North At It Again

Once again, North Korea is provoking the South. This time they decided to lob a couple of hundred artillery shells onto Yeonpyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. This is an island occupied mostly by civilians ... yes there are military troops there ... but they are there to protect the civilians.

This ... let's call it like it is ... ACT OF WAR, resulted in the deaths of 2 Korean Marines, 2 Civilians and the injury of 18 other civilians. And what was the response? Nada ... zilch ... zip. Counter-battery fire should have been immediate and overwhelming. The US has 28,000 troops in South Korea (most of them on the DMZ) that are for lack of a better word, "hostages" to the vagaries of Korean diplomacy. We cannot allow these troops to continue to be caught in the middle of two 1,000,000 man armies.

We need to withdraw our troops from the DMZ and protect South Korea from the sea and the air. These troops are just a symbol of our support ... they should not be hung out to dry.

A scary development seems to be unfolding. It seems that South Korean military that have been examining some 20 unexploded rounds have determined that these are vacuum bombs. These bombs ... also known as fuel-air bombs, thermobaric bombs and aerosol bombs ... are particularly nasty. They consist of two explosives and fuel. The first explosive spreads the fuel through the air and the second, detonates the fuel. This results in an enormous blast wave that disintegrates whatever is below. The over-pressures resulting from this type of bomb are very similar to a nuclear weapon. These are of course very small bombs (they have to fit on the rockets launched from the Norths' MLRS's, but the technology is pretty much the same to construct a larger weapon.

Something must be done to reign in the madman Kim Jong Il. I'm just not sure what it is ... and I definitely don't trust the current administration to solve this problem. I wouldn't put it past the administration to get us into another messy war to distract us from the US economy and Obama care.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

It's Time To Trim The Fat

As we prepare to carve up the turkey on Thanksgiving ... I suggest that lawmakers start thinking about ways to carve up our bloated budget. Being the ever helpful soul that I am ... I will give them some suggestions.

Let's start with TARP. It seems that most of this money has been paid back ... but as is the M.O. of the Beltway ... this repaid money has been used again. All money paid back from TARP (usually with interest) needs to be used to pay down our national debt.

The General Motors IPO. This money that is being paid back by GM (and any that comes in from Chrysler) should also go directly to paying down the debt.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the parent company of NPR and PBS. This entity should be dissolved, saving us $422 million a year. With all the competition in media, there is no longer any need for this entity. This program was set up back when most of the country only got 3 TV channels and a couple of radio stations. Can we sell the rights to ELMO? That would take a big chunk out of our National Debt.

The National Endowment For The Arts. I can't see a better way to save $161 million a year than to bury this office ... and I can't say I'll miss the urine-soaked crucifixes and dung-encrusted sculptures of Christ that this office pays for.

Government Workers. Freeze the salaries of civilian government employees for this coming year (we can decide whether to continue the freeze next year). This will save us $5.2 billion dollars for every year that it is in effect.

Government Workers. Slash the federal civilian workforce by 10% ... saving us $26 Billion dollars a year, and by leaving out the military and arms of Homeland Security, will still keep us safe.

We need to systematically look at every single line item in the budget and cut it to the bone. Austerity measures are never popular ... Let's see if this new Congress can walk the walk ... we already know that they can bloviate ... can they execute?

Let's get some feed-back on other programs you think should be cut.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Do Not Hire Pelosi

Republicans are celebrating the pending election of Nancy Pelosi to the House Minority Leader post. They reason that Ms Pelosi has overseen the destruction of the Democratic Party in the House ... and besides, who wouldn't want to see her face as the leader of the Democrats. They figure that with her in charge, it increases Republican chances to take the Senate and the Presidency in 2012 ... I do NOT agree.
Nancy Pelosi has been one of the most effective Speakers in recent memory. She took the President's agenda and through arm-twisting, back-room deals and various levels of bribery and cohersion, forced President Obama's agenda down the throats of every American. Nancy Pelosi was able to pass Obamacare, Cap and Tax, and Financial Reform through the House ... often getting her caucus to vote on these items, even when they knew it was political suicide. She is a formidable woman ... who knows how the game is played.
I, like many Americans, are sick of the gamesmanship in Washington. I would have liked to see a minority leader that could work with the majority to solve some of the problems we are having now ... I do not want to have to wait 2 years to start getting results. Can the country survive till 2012? Sure it can, but the trip back will be harder. Just like saving for retirement ... It's better to start now.
~ Speaking of starting now ... let's start trimming the budget. We can start by eliminating the 32 "czars" that the President has appointed (not counting the new "cyber-security czar"). I double-checked my copy of the Constitution and there was no mention of czars in it ... Maybe the President has a different edition (that would explain a lot). Each czar has a salary of around $150K+, but when you figure in staff, benefits, pension, travel ... you get a cost of $2.2mil a year per czar. I know $70 million is a drop in the bucket ... but it's a start. The last Czar died in 1918 ... let's keep it that way.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Week In Review

The Republicans won back the House of Representatives on Tuesday picking up over 60 seats. Some pundits likened it to a "Red Tide", sweeping across the country. Though I like the symbolism of it, a red tide is actually an algae that multiplies at such a rate that it eats up all the oxygen ... killing all life in the area. The only things that got chewed up in this tide were Democrats and RINOs.

Republicans fell short of winning back the Senate. They needed to pick-up 10 seats and only got 6. It's very sad that Harry Reid and Patty Murray held on to their seats. But then again, it seemed like the entire Democratic Party apparatus was mobilized to help them. And let's not forget the Unions. I've always felt that if you are unsure of who to vote for in a particular race, ask a union member who the union supports ... then vote against that person. It's a technique that has never failed me.

President Obama has left on a 10 day trip to India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan. There are reports out there that the trip is costing us $200 million dollars a day ... $2 billion dollars for the whole trip. I find this a little hard to believe and may be a bit of sensationalism (the source for this information was credited as ... some guy in India). This has been billed as a trip to open up trade with these countries, and I am all for more trade (especially exports), but why is the President just going on this trip now. Why has he waited 22 months to try to open up trade and get US manufacturing jobs going? Couldn't he have done this sooner? Like maybe instead of one of the countless vacations he took?

The United Nations Human Rights Council has sat in judgement of the United States. We have been found wanting in the Human Rights arena. Hundreds of suggestions have been offered to address these grievances. This help, in the form of the suggestions (and accusations) has come from our friends across the globe. Mexico says we need to fix our immigration laws ... I agree, we should make them more like Mexico, then we can imprison illegals just for being here. Iran says we violate the rights of women ... Hey Iran ... are you still planning on stoning that woman for adultery? Also chiming in with accusations were Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and of course, that bastion of human rights, Libya. This would actually be hysterically funny except for the fact that the Obama Administration signed us up for it, thinking it would be a good exercise in transparency.

All in all ... it's been a good week. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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