Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Afghan Ignorance Continues…

Gen. McChrystal is variously said to have just “screwed up”, “exercised poor judgment in speaking with Rolling Stone”, or that he quite intentionally revealed the truth of his frustration with his impossible assignment to “pacify the natives.”

This reveals another aspect of human nature.  The most dedicated and loyal among us will agree to the impossible order – even make the “mission impossible” his own.  That was McCrystal’s second mistake.  (His first was voting for the Islamist who directed the strategy, and the third was admitting he voted for him.)

Now Petraeus, McChrystal’s assigned replacement in Afghanistan, is reaffirming the security situation is “tenuous.”

The President’s pacification plan is apparently not working.  Is this a big surprise?  Anyone who is knowledgeable about the Afghani tribal mindset coupled with the Islamic ideology and the religious fervor it generates will understand that their inbred deceitfulness, cunning, and hard shell against outside influences will easily resist our own ignorant efforts of applying western carrots without significant baseball bats.  We are offering ice to Eskimos while the wolves continue to reek havoc.  What a wasteful endeavor.

This will continue until our leadership gets a clue about the nature of Islam, the reality of their intent, and the extent of the Islamist’s dedication to their cause.

As clumsy as Vice President Biden is, I tend to agree that his strategy is preferable to what we have been doing, short of outright conquest:  Counter insurgency only.  This involves a small fraction of the resources currently committed and directs our efforts at identifiable targets, not the whole damned Afghan population.  Unless we get behind fighting an all out war without any hands tied behind our military’s back with the aim of conquest – no holds barred – then the most we should commit to is Biden’s counterinsurgency strategy involving special forces and CIA.  The “inbetween”, half-hearted, suicidal rules of engagement bull crap we’ve been engaged in needs to stop.  Involving hundreds special forces without any limitations will be more effective than involving hundreds of thousands with shackles on all their appendages.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal clears way for Commander Hasan…

Well, wasn’t this to be expected!  How long could a dedicated, competent, loyal US general feel like he was accomplishing anything under Obama’s tutelage?  As it turns out, not long.

General McChrystal’s greatest blunder was admitting he voted for Obama.  The rest of his ultimate frankness was the sin of being human, not being able to live the lie Obama commanded of him while he was forced to pretend to be an effective general.

“Politico” reports that “McChrystal and his top aides appeared to let their guard down during a series of interviews and visits with Michael Hastings, a freelance writer for the magazine Rolling Stone.”

How many of his “top aids” failed “Media Savvy 101” all at the same time?  I cannot imagine this not being anything but a planned outing.  But I agree with Michelle Malkin who questions the mentality of any US military officer who chats with an “anti-war pop culture rag that specializes in slime” like “Rolling Stone.”  I thought of RS as a drug-induced, left wing, Commy-inspired rag since its coming out in 1967.  This lapse is right up there with his vote for Obama!

My wish for McChrystal is to resign before he is sacked without any explanation of “why” to Obama, except perhaps publicly citing “job pressure” and “need to spend more time with his family.” And then become a FOX commentator. 

This would be a “win/win” outcome.  We will have additional insight into Obama’s incompetence and will to lose; and Obama will have a clear path toward his ultimate desire to appoint a Muslim to provide a smooth transition from coalition forces to Taliban forces.  I can hear Obama’s shout out now:  “Hey Nadal [Hassan], wanna be General?”

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What Ed and Greece have in common…

A retired friend of mine, I'll call him Ed, realized he and his wife were spending beyond their means. At the rate they were going they would have to croak at precisely 9:54 PM on July 14, 2023 at age 77 when their money would run out.

As Ed related things to me, they set up a system where both personal and joint expenditures came out of a single joint account funded by their respective fixed incomes. Not only the essential household expenses like mortgage and utilities were drawn from this account, but the “nice to haves” like eating out, beauty parlor, travel, and hobby items were paid by this account. 

There was no real sense of accountability for how much was drawn out of that account because it was an impersonal common pot, not just one persons’ precious life savings.  Consequently both he and his wife felt liberated to draw more from that common pot than their budget allowed. Ed did the bookkeeping so he soon learned about the problem. Over the course of several months he brought his wife's over-budget habits to her attention. But each time she ignored him, giving the distinct impression that she was “entitled.”  And, not guilt-free himself, he spent more than he should have because he considered it “more fair” that way.

The same thing tends to occur at the national level.  I’ll use Greece as an example.  Several years ago the Greek government began to recognize their county's need for belt tightening. They have a socialist system that creates a big impersonal pot of other people's money. Over the years the people made all sorts of requests for services the government agreed to provide and pay for out of that collective pot. The people’s expectations of entitlements grew beyond the ability of the pot of money to pay for them, even with excessive borrowing.  These expectations could not be sustained without a sovereign default – national bankruptcy. The government understood that their level of spending could not be sustained. They informed the people of this problem. The people ignored the warnings and continued on their oblivious way to continue to expect and demand their entitlements.

Back to Ed's situation.  Finances began to deteriorate.  His own resources were being drained covering the repetitive over expenditure in the common pot.  He felt things were out of control and something had to change.  So he devised a plan whereby only the fixed, essential joint expenses such as mortgage, utilities, taxes, and insurance items would be paid for out of the joint account.  Ed proposed that he and his wife, individually, would be responsible for all other expenses for the nice to have items that caused their resources to be prematurely depleted.  No longer would the collective pot of money be used to cover the alleged “entitlements.”  And they would each be allowed to contribute less to that common pot.

Well, as Ed tells it, this is really where the eerily similar parallels between the reaction of the Greek population and that of his wife to this “personal responsibility” proposal occurred.  When the Greek government proposed that “entitlements” be shifted from the common pot of the Greek treasury to the individual Greek citizens, they really didn’t care for that suggestion much. In fact, there were days and days of rioting in the streets at the suggestion that the government was not going to pay for their entitlements.  They felt the government was unjustly abandoning them.  They felt a gross distrust of their leaders as if they were entirely to blame.  If they could stage a coup to replace their stingy government with one that gave them everything they expected, they would do it.  And they still might.

The reaction of Ed’s wife was similar.  She was really pissed at Ed.  She felt betrayed.  She distrusted Ed.  She went through the 5 stages of grief.  She swore off sex.  If she was Greek she would have rioted in the streets.  “How dare you make me responsible for my own personal expenses” Ed related her accusation.  This reaction was despite the fact that she would be putting less money into the common pot, would keep more of her own money, and would have greater control of her own funds. 

What she will be missing is the illusion of unlimited funds in the common pot.  Wow!  That is the same illusion maintained by populations in most socialist societies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

BP reports reflect their priorities, not ours…

The updates BP is sharing with the public serve BP, not the public.  An example is the report below from one of their web sites.  BP is reporting how much of the oil they have collected over various time periods – NOT how much oil is escaping into the Gulf.

Granted, how much is being collected may be the only piece of data that can be measured with any degree of accuracy.  But the critical relationship is how much is being collected relative to how much continues to escape.  Has the total flow declined, remained the same, or increased?  Has the amount NOT CAPTURED decreased, stayed the same or increased?  By how much? We  are not hearing this piece of information.

From BP’s web site:

Subsea operational update:

•For the last 12 hours on June 17th (noon to midnight), approximately 8,020 barrels of oil were collected and approximately 4,770 barrels of oil and 24.5 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

•Optimization of the dual recovery system continues; on June 17th, total oil recovered was aprox. 25,290 barrels.

  • approximately 16,020 barrels of oil were collected,
  • approximately 9,270 barrels of oil were flared,
  • and approximately 50.3 million cubic feet of natural gas were flared.

•Total oil recovered from both the LMRP Cap and Q4000 systems since they were implemented is approximately 204,200 barrels.

•The free standing riser installation is progressing for the long term containment option.

•The next update will be provided at 6:00pm CDT on June 18, 2010.

Sign of BP Meltdown:

And now BP’s Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg (the one who made the "small people" comment) will replace the publicly skewered Tony Hayward as BP’s PR voice.   Good luck with that!  It doesn’t appear that BP’s culture of safety as a priority has really changed much as Hayward tried to proclaim during his Thursday congressional skewering.  If it had, this disaster would have been avoided and he would have been able to list dozens of steps the company has taken over the last year or two to enhance well drilling safety.  He may not have been on the front lines of operations (actually, I think he was) but he certainly should have been prepared with a comprehensive listing of recently established safety measures, unless there weren’t any.

We will begin to see additional ineptness on the part of BP’s management as that corporation begins a slow, painful meltdown.  This will be an example in managerial textbooks for decades.

Worst Case Scenarios:

And for you “worst case scenario” buffs out there (AKA conspiracy theorists) below is a provocative piece for your consideration.  Note that with enough off-the-wall creative theories out there, one or more could be near the truth…

Richard Hoagland produced the above report.  Check him out at Wikipedia.  He is a noted conspiracy theorist with little to no credibility in the science community.  He provides just enough facts to make his story sound possible.

Here is another “worst case scenario” from the site administrator at Godlike Productions, another conspiracy site.  Interesting reading.

July 18 update: 

It is great to see that the “doom and gloomers” so far appear to be wrong.  It appears that the well casing is intact and able to withstand at least 6,700 psi of pressure from that oil and gas-laden cavern.  Now if Obama can only get off his “destroy the American economy” high horse and open the Gulf to drilling again.  Don’t you think the oil industry has learned its lesson and will institute safeguards to assure this type of disaster will not occur again? 

I’m becoming more and more convinced that the government adopts many laws and regulations as political eyewash, with little funding and less real intention to effectively implement or enforce them.  That was the case with the oil and gas industry and that is the ongoing case with Federal immigration laws.  So, no, I don’t think it would be tremendously helpful for the Feds to adopt sweeping new regulations over off-shore drilling.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Attitude of our Democratic Congress…

A journalism student is assaulted by Democratic Congressman for asking “do you fully support the Obama agenda.”

A little “touchy”, eh?  Just like the Islamic sympathizing Barack Hussein Obama he is defending.  I wonder if the Congressman will call for the student’s head.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More evidence of Obama Muslimhood…

From May 2010 Israel Today

The clear agenda of the Obama administration to isolate Israel in deference to Arab demands reminded me of a testimony I heard in a church in Washington State in 1998.

A Christian sailor, today the pastor of that church, saved his ship in an act of great heroism. In return for this, he was recommended for promotion to an officer’s course. But first, he had to pass a “loyalty” test. The question was: “What would you do if you were captain of this ship and ordered by Washington DC to launch a nuclear strike on Tel Aviv?”

The sailor shrugged and laughed.“Why are you laughing?” asked the captain. His answer was: “First, I am a Christian.  God promised that Israel would never be destroyed. Second, I wouldn’t want to be on that ship because God would destroy that ship and all on board.” The captain asked the sailor what he was doing in the US Navy. How could a man holding these Christian beliefs follow orders from Washington? We are not talking about the Russian, Turkish or Arab navies, but rather the navy of the so-called greatest Christian nation on earth, the United States of America.

Indeed, Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush (Sr.), Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were also subservient to the Arab agenda, under the guise of the “land for peace formula.”

Even George W. Bush, who is widely regarded as one of the best friends Israel ever had in the White House, coined the phrase: “A Palestinian state in 2008.”  But worse than a so-called “Christian” president doing the bidding of the Arab/Islamic agenda, is a Muslim president flying under the radar with no one politically incorrect enough to stand up and say: “The emperor has no clothes!” Today, the United States has a president by the name of Mubarack Hussein Obama. Until proven otherwise I believe he is a Muslim.

My wife Rachel, who monitors Arab language broadcasts for Israel Radio, picked up a revealing statement on the “Round Table Show” on Egypt’s Nile TV. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said he had a one-on-one meeting with Obama, who told him that he was a Muslim, the son of a Muslim father and stepson of Muslim stepfather, that his half-brothers in Kenya were Muslims, and that he was sympathetic to the Muslim agenda. He asked the Arabs to show patience.  Obama promised that once he overcame some domestic American issues (like healthcare reform), he would show the Muslim world how he would deal with Israel. [bold italics added for emphasis.]

Pro-Arab, so-called Christian presidents are one thing. But how concerned should we be if the US President is a Muslim who is loyal to the Muslim agenda to isolate and weaken Israel? When the Palestinians talk about nothing but war with Israel and its annihilation, and the president of what was our strongest ally backs their demands for a state with Jerusalem as its capital, and adheres to the same faith, should we not be warning the American public?

I can understand why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is so adamant not to offend Obama. But I think it would behoove us to work with the US Congress, three-quarters of which recently sent the Obama administration a letter demanding that it stop harassing Israel (see page 3). Congress still stands with Israel.

In addition, Obama is losing support among American Jews. While 78 percent of US Jews voted for him in the 2008 elections, a new poll shows that today, 48 percent are unhappy with his performance and only 42 percent still support him.  Polls also show that more than 60 percent of American Christians support Israel.

It is time to create an awakening among our true brethren and allies in America: Congress, the Jews and the Christians. We must work together to thwart the emerging alliance between the US and the Arab-Islamic agenda. We must pray for an awakening among the Jews and a Christian revival for Israel’s survival.

By Victor Mordecai

And you ask: What difference would it really make if he was a Muslim?  You are seeing it roll out before your very eyes in his ignominious treatment of our traditional allies and his pandering of nations diametrically opposed to our national interests.  He is hell bent on leveling the world playing field by coaxing the US to third world status while enhancing the status of failed third world Islamic nations.

And his claim of Christianity?  Understand Islamic doctrine:  It is acceptable, even commanded to deceive in the furtherance of the Islamic ideology.

See more on this at Atlas Shrugs.

An open question: Saudis and Israel

One question puzzles me even more than the question of why US Jews support a US President who incessantly disses Israel.

And that question is:  Why would Saudi Arabia promise to look the other way when Israel is ready to fly through Saudi air space to bomb Iran?  After all, Saudi Arabia is a prime sponsor of Islamic Wahhabi fundamentalism being exported to the US and to the world.  Jews and Israel are the “little Satan” in their ideology.

I am aware of the mantra “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.  But still, the Saudi/Israel thing makes little sense to me – unless it is simply the intolerance toward other non-Wahhabi Islamic sects that prevails.  Does the Saudi government really trust Israel more than Iran?  Or is this merely a disinformational taqiyya ploy by the Kingdom?  Can someone enlighten me?

Hispanics fleeing Arizona…

Congratulations, Arizona!

You have accomplished what our dismal, so-called “kick-ass” federal government has refused to do.  From Yahoo News:

Arizona’s hard-hitting immigration law is driving Hispanics out of the state weeks before the controversial law goes into effect.

Although concrete figures are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests Hispanics, both legal residents and illegal immigrants, are starting to flee.

Schools in Hispanic neighborhoods are reporting abnormal enrollment drops, and businesses that serve Hispanics also report that business is down, according to a USA Today report published Wednesday.

The report suggests that the immigration law is compounding demographic trends that have already significantly curtailed illegal immigration during the past two years. The bad economy has been the primary deterrent to many Hispanic immigrants seeking to enter Arizona, says Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington.

Although the article makes Arizona’s action sound harsh and cruel, their law is identical to the Federal law that is not being enforced.  The lack of Federal enforcement causes harshness and cruelty to those of us who are LEGAL residents.  The feds are not serving us well.  I can’t wait for November.  And especially 2012! 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Church of Irrelevance

The teaching in our churches lacks relevance to what is going on in our culture, politics, government and in other ideologies/religions that marginalize or demean the Christian faith.  Many churches seem oblivious to the undercurrents in our culture and world that are or soon will be negatively impacting our lives.  Certainly the personal gospel is central to the Church.  But there are only so many times I can listen to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved” and 2000-year old stories about an extinct culture without becoming uncomfortably restless about the lack of connection being made between Scripture and today’s pressing issues.

I recently experienced a Sunday School in a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church teaching on the book of Psalms. Now there are literally hundreds of topics in that book that can be effectively related to current events and circumstances that are of critical interest to most folks. This teacher (more accurately, a self-absorbed expositor) was a bearded academic looking "Dr." in his 60's or 70's. Did this learned doctor, who should know better, even attempt any relevance or interaction with his student captives trying to act reverent?  None. He was grossly absorbed in hearing his own voice and his own private immersion in his text.  How different this presentation was from the teaching of the great PCA preacher D. James Kennedy.  He had a handle on relevance.  And I’m sure others today do also.  But certainly not most.

The book of Psalms relates the dire current events as told by a man immersed in the challenges of leadership and politics of his day that were of critical relevance to his contemporaries.   Even Glenn Beck is doing more to  garner renewed interest in Christianity than most pastors.  Now why couldn't the doctor make the same stab at relevance to his contemporary listeners?  He made no attempt at making the text relevant to today’s issues.

Granted, the PCA churches are among the more academic and cerebral denominations out there. But this lack of connection with today’s issues appears to be quite common across the board of Christian denominations.  I attended several churches of various denominations recently.  They all seem to suffer from the same disconnect.   They all appear out of touch with many of the topics of greatest importance to individuals, our nation and our Judeo-Christian-inspired liberties.

The Bible contains countless examples of compelling topics of that day that are just as compelling today.  It is a shame that our church leaders and teachers appear to be so immersed in the literal aspects of Scripture and related ancient history that they fail to draw the essential parallels to today's screaming needs.   Christianity’s primary sacred text is too often presented in such a way that the connection is not made.  Do they expect the average listener to make the connections?  I consider myself at least as interested in the Bible as the average church goer.  Yet the way I’ve seen it taught lately it may as well be Alice in Wonderland. Are the expositors so far out of touch with today’s issues that they are incapable of relating Scripture to current events and needs?

Bible writers weren't academicians. They were kings and entrepreneurs and political advisors and politicians and revolutionaries. They were deeply immersed in the critical issues of the day. Today's pastors and church leaders?  Hardly.  I tried approaching a couple of pastors with this observation.  Their response.  “We don’t want to get political.”  Or “we don’t want to offend anybody.” 

How knowledgeable are church leaders about Islam, Christianity's greatest threat?  How about secularism and materialism, the idols of today?  How about "progressivism" that attempts to replace God with government? These challenges are being ignored by our churches.

No wonder mainline denominations are fading. No wonder there is a Christian faith void developing in the West.  Something will fill it.  Islam will.  New age is another.  Science and atheism are others. And an all pervasive federal government is filling it in the name of “progressivism.”

The trouble is, none of these alternative void-fillers instill the same set of values that Bible-based Judeo-Christian principles on the founding and continuing operation of our nation, legal system, liberties, and moral code.  In contrast, these alternative value systems are materialistic, harsh, unforgiving, and cold.  Allow our Judeo-Christian value system to lose relevance because of the failure of our churches and we become an oppressive, unproductive society.  But that is our current direction – as long as our churches continue their quest toward irrelevance.