Archive | March, 2012

Made In China or You Get What You Pay For

30 Mar

Check out this article from DefenseTech.org GAO Buys Fake Submarine Parts From China.

According to the article, the GAO setup a sting type operation to buy parts for US military equipment only to find out the parts were fakes. It’s bad enough if the parts are fake but worse is not knowing how many other parts weren’t decidly fake, but rather just shoddy or defective.

The parts we’re talking about aren’t backpack straps and zippers. These are extremely sensitive, high-tech pieces of machinery and you simply can’t afford to have parts like this going into them.

Whether it’s just cheap/shady Chinese businessmen doing their best to scam a few bucks or state intended, it is essentially just sabotage.

From the article;

“These findings should outrage every American,” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, calling the new report “deeply troubling.”

“The Chinese government’s refusal to shut down counterfeiting that occurs openly in their country puts our national security and the safety of our military men and women at risk. It also costs thousands of American jobs.

Well Senator since national defense is a job of the government, what are you going to do about it?

China has been increasing it’s attacks on the United States in nearly every manner other than an act of overt and outright war and here we have the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee who can only tell us this is “deeply troubling”, but yet offers no solutions or ideas.

It’s utterly ridiculous for a country as large as the United States to send weapons manufacturing of any  kind over to another country. Canada and the UK might be okay partners but China; really?!

There are many ways to fight a war and many factors that contribute to the outcome. Troop strength, logistics, mobility, leadership, and even weaponry. What most of those things have in common is that they are conducted by people, they are tasks done by ability. The one thing that is absent of people however is weaponry. There are two ways to lose that segment. 1) To have highly-technical and complicated equipment that is unreliable and difficult to maintain/repair. 2) Getting your weapons/replacement parts from an enemy who no doubt has his own interests at heart and not your.

Taking the issue further, again at DefenseTech is this article Richard Clarke: All U.S. Electronics From China Could Be Infected

Well, former U.S. counter-terrorism czar –currently running his own cybersecurity firm — Richard Clarke is coming out and saying that all electronics made in China may well have built-in trapdoors allowing Chinese malware to infect American systems on command. The malware could do everything from take over a device to disabling it to secretly siphoning information off of it.

Fantastic, no we don’t even have to send them the work schematics with our orders, they can just take them right from our hardware.

Sadly none of this should be news to anyone in the Government, ESPECIALLY, those on the Armed Forces Committee. Is it unreasonable to expect our elected representatives to actually seek out REAL work to be done instead of continually standing there with their heads in the ground?

Forget teaching your kids Spanish, Chinese is going to be a far more important language starting in another generation.

http://defensetech.org/2012/03/28/gao-buys-fake-submarine-parts-from-china/#more-16766

What We’ve Got Here Is Failure To Communicate

29 Mar

I saw this segment on Bill O’Reilly last night. While the crux of the story centers around Trayvon Martin, I’m not talking about that, but rather the big picture that’s being discussed in this video.

At :55 seconds in, the first guest, Faith Jenkins, makes the point that too many people are trying to get something out of this case and that’s just wrong. Agreed.

However when O’Reilly talks to the other guest, Jasmyne Cannick, she says that this is the culmination of years of frustration of being racially profiled. Agreed.

Back to Jenkins who acknowledged the point of profiling to best identify crime when the statistics point to most crimes being committed to young, black males. Jenkins states that profiling sometimes crosses the line (around the 4:20-4:30 mark).

That was the big point. Of course profiling crosses the line, you’re picking on someone for an external factor simply because the greater probability that other people who also possess that factor happen to criminally inclined, I.E., skin color.

Profiling crosses the line because race is that “line”. It may not be fair, but that’s reality.

Life is tough for black people in America, many people write you off right from the start, being black in America comes with it’s own struggles. This is not a secret, we all know these problems exist.

But, is the police department to blame for profiling all young black males, because too large a percentage of them have criminal records, or should more (though certainly not all) of the blame fall onto a black culture in America that hasn’t done enough to prevent these young-males from going astray?

Surely many people in Black America do try their best to keep these problems from growing. However it’s clear that despite their noble intentions and best efforts they are too few in numbers to be able to keep pace with the downward trajectory of their own race.

The essential question is “Who should be most responsible for the general perception of black people in America?”

Should white America be more accepting of all aspects of black culture regardless  or should black America be more accepting of white culture? This question is the core of the chasm that divides America on race. This is not a perceived chasm existing only in space, it is real and exists in every city in the country.

Additionally, with the attention given to “hoodies” now as the rallying point in the Martin case, is the answer really more people wearing an article of clothing that already got a kid profiled and killed or is time to reverse course and shun the attitudes and ideas that have gotten us to this point?

French Riot Season is Almost Here

28 Mar

Thanks to the BBC again for anything highlight. Vigilance call after French Jews hit by new attacks.

No, the article is not 2 weeks old, it’s actually from today. The story reveals that their have been several new attacks against Jewish targets in France. While the new attacks haven’t been on the same level as the recent shootings, it is all very clearly linked.

It’s too bad that France (and they aren’t alone in this problem, but that’s a story for another time) cannot act with the freedom to call these problems what they are and that includes the original shootings by the now dead Merah.

What they are is anti-semitism from Muslims. Anti-semitism isn’t new to France, in fact it’s not new to most places, and neither is Muslim anger and outrage in France. Unfortunately France is so politically-correct and afraid to hurt anyone’s feelings that they cannot simply state this.

I would’ve bet money on the Merah shootings having an Islamic connection and what a surprise, they did! But did anyone say so? Hardly. The French didn’t want to step on any toes and the press willingly obliged them.

Why is it that when someone fails to integrate into a society they elected to join, is it the fault of the society for not giving them enough? As if they weren’t pampered anyway.

Why is it that the problem is never stated as someone who is adherent to an ideology that conflicts with everyone else?

I thought common sense of law said that your rights end where mine begin. You don’t like Jews? You detest France’s foreign policy? You despise the government for attempting to limit your ‘dole’? Great, then don’t live in France if these are such big problems for you.

It’s time for everyone to put everyone to put on their big boy pants so they can be told they’re just going to have to deal with their problems because the world doesn’t revolve around you.

This should be a continuing story this year. After all it’s getting close to the summer riot season in France.

Book: Hitler’s Panzers by Dennis Showalter

28 Mar

I just finished reading Dennis Showalters Hitler’s Panzers and thought, why not try my hand with a book review.

Hitler’s Panzers is an excellent book for the entry-level history buff. The book is well written and easy to read for those who are already familiar with the basic history of World War 2, but would like to know more about the German experiences and events that led them to wage war in the manner  that they did.

Not thick with unnecessary details or encyclopedic tangents, the book is easy to read and sheds light on just how the Wehrmacht developed its “Blitzkrieg” tactics to how it used them all the way up the desperate position they found themselves in the wars latter stages.

Showalter has clearly done his research as he demonstrates a tremendous knowledge of World War 2 and references the operations in each theatre at a strategic level and offers enough insight into the allied side of operations to more clearly explain things, but still the book maintains it’s dedication to its theme throughout.

For those who have always ended up confused while keeping all the different pieces of organized and understood,  Hitler’s Panzers should help clear some of that up with it’s informative breakdown of the different types of both Axis and Allied armored equipment.

I Went To Egypt And All I Got Was A Case Of The runs

27 Mar

American politicians must not be big readers, surprisingly I think they like to just imagine they are an immediately correct and therefore there is no need to explore other options.

What the heck am I talking about?

The fact that the United States is going to give Egypt $1.3 billion for military equipment purchases. Bloomberg has a decent writeup on the story’s details.

Now these payments to Egypt are nothing new, they’ve been receiving billions of dollars in aid money ever since their “peace” with Israel.

It’s not a bad idea to try and win friends and influence people in Egypt’s new ruling parties, but what kind of country to we look like when we’re just jumping in bed with every country that comes along as potentially threatening.

Realistically Egypt is not a threat to the United States. There isn’t much chance of the equipment we sell to be used in an attack against Florida.

Here is where it shows that America’s politicians do not read or extend themselves. For clearly they have never read The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli and pondered the question “Is it better to be feared or loved”. I  give you Mr Machiavelli,

Nevertheless he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Machiavelli tells us that it is preferable to be feared, but not hated. One might just say “respected” as a quick substitute. But does Egypt respect us, sure we supported the guy they overthrew, so in showing support for them it proves a point, but how effectively? Not only does it make the United States look like floozies, but the reason we supported the other guy is because he did what we asked when we asked it. That was the agreement, you do this, we give you cash. Does that agreement exist with this green government? I don’t mean green as in environmental, but green in the sense that they probably don’t have time for games.

That is why I also included the paragraph before the actual question of being loved or feared. Where is the United States temperance? Are we sacrificing prudence and caution for a quick facebook friending between nations?

By all means go ahead and offer aid and support to nations who would like it, but you can’t go around throwing money at everyone without regard for who they are and what they represent. It’s your money, you get to decide who gets it, and the people who get it ought to be the ones who are inline with you or at least agree to play by your rules.

The United States appears to longer care about having any integrity being respected by other nations. Simply state that you feel slighted and the United States would rather settle than go into court and face a trial where it might look tough or harsh.

You Spent How Much!?

26 Mar

From Telegraph.co.uk, Angry groom set wedding hotel ablaze.

This is a perfect image of what is wrong on so many levels with society today, and although this instance happened in England, it easily could have been an American and i’m sure you can easily find an example of one as well.

The wedding cost £30,000 or approximately $50,000. It’s no wonder the bride-groom set the hotel on fire when he was putting himself into such debt, and just for a wedding. It’s not as though he was spending the money on anything he was actually going to receive a benefit from by spending that much more than a more reasonably priced event.

Does a $50,000 wedding offer any more security than say a $10,000 affair? One could easily argue that the more money the wedding costs, the less likely it is to succeed in the long run. Here’s a helpful bit of advice to men everywhere, if the woman you intend on marrying MUST have an expensive, elaborate wedding in order for it to be meaningful, leave her. Not only will you be throwing money in a hole for the wedding, but you’ll lose even more when you end up divorced and you will cause no woman with that mentality is going to be tolerable for long.

Sadly however these extravagant weddings are become more common. Much like the “sweet 16” birthday parties, where teenagers are competing to have the “coolest” party. Not only is it ridiculous, it’s just plain dumb.

I have the belief that the things people do and say when they’re drunk, which apparently this bride-groom was, are things they want to do and say when they are sober but lack the guts or courage.

This unfortunate man saw the problem coming as it says in the story, but even worse he knew it was a problem and still kept up with it.

It’s the lack of common sense like this that makes me wonder whether western society can redeem itself or if it’s all going downhill and resistance is futile.

 

In Case of Emergency; Seize All The National Resources

23 Mar

From examiner.com President Obama signs Executive Order allowing for control over all US resources.

Apparently President Obama IS capable of long-term thinking. Since the Executive Order he created gives him the power to take control at will over the United States energy, production, transportation, food, and water resources at any time.

But surely he would only do such a thing in an “emergency”, when his judgement alone is the only one capable of making the “correct” decision and the vote of congress is nothing but a hindrance to the achievement of progress in the United States. That has to be the truth, otherwise I can’t imagine why this Order would stipulate that it is permissible in “peacetime” as well as in “war”. He’s just being prepared right? We would want to be caught surprised and then have Congress hold sideshow contraception hearings instead of handling the crisis or…actually I don’t know, what is a peacetime crisis called actually? A domestic disturbance perhaps?

Surely we don’t need to worry about constitutionality in this issue. He would never intend to DO such a thing as is allowed by this law, no no, he clearly just wants everyone to be more comfortable knowing that we have a leader who can rapidly seize any asset in the country at will. Seriously, how many times do we find ourselves, as a nation, asking “Gee if we could only just take what we need and not have to pay or care who it belongs to”.

Since the President is clearly trying to be prepared for “disaster” or those pesky “domestic disturbances”, I am soon expecting another Executive Order to come down that gives the President the right to chain the workers of the seized assets to their work stations. You know, in case they’d rather go home and be with their family when the nation needs them to forcibly work to continue it’s fight for good.

The only problem I see with this issue, is that the news media is making way to big of deal of it. I mean this is really nothing and yet just look at all the coverage it’s getting. The media clearly has it out for President Obama, I mean they hardly even touched on the PATRIOT Act when we had President Bush. It’s completely unfair and biased.

Enough of the sarcasm, and if you couldn’t pick up on that, I suggest you attempt to improve your 5th grade reading level or lay off the hooch. Regardless of my sarcastic method of delivery the issue remains serious.

Ironically if President Obama would have waited a week and signed the Executive Order today, it would mark the 79th anniversary of the passing of the Enabling Act of 1933.

The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was passed by Germany‘s Reichstag and signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on 23 March 1933. It was the second major step, after the Reichstag Fire Decree, through which Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and established his dictatorship. It received its name from its legal status as an enabling act granting the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag. The act stated that it was to last for four years unless renewed by the Reichstag, which occurred twice.

While the Germans put the motion through the full legal process, it still is exactly the same as this Executive Order. “granting the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the United States soon has it’s own “Reichstag fire”.

Not So Holy Rollers

21 Mar


Bay news 9 in Florida reports;

Offended by religious group’s highway blessing, atheists ‘scrub’ it away

When it comes to religious arguments I tend to take the side of whomever is being picked on. I respect everyone’s right to practice and make their own religious choices, that also includes those who make the choice of no religion at all.

Whatever your religious choice I support it, share and discuss it with your friends, be proud of it. It’s a part of who you are.

But the moment you make your religion, or absence of, into a public display to prove a point, I lose some of that respect for you and will switch to support the other side.

Atheists have been getting a lot of recognition lately for getting themselves organized, mostly in efforts to fight religious pressure or encroachment or whatever they want to call it. What they fail to realize is that in their fight against religion they are acting out in the same way which they criticize these various religion for.

I agree it’s annoying to be hounded or subjected to the unwanted religious discourse of a complete stranger, but what makes the atheists any different in their counter-attacks.

While I support and respect their beliefs, their public flaunting of it doesn’t make it no more acceptable.

Rather than breaking away from the establishment and doing their own thing, these atheists are becoming exactly what  they are fighting against.

Almost Made It.

20 Mar

While watching this video I was surprised. I thought I might be able to make it through a whole Bill Maher segment without raging (I don’t have HBO and never watch Maher, but I can’t stand his I can’t lose cause I say whatever I want regardless of accuracy or reality attitude).

I was wrong.

Now I’m still impressed that the segment was aired, though I wonder if the flak Maher has recently taken didn’t have something to do with it. But more so I was surprised to see Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, is the one who made the video.

First she went to Mississippi and interviewed rednecks who didn’t like Obama. Fair enough I suppose, but to interview welfare Queens in New York in the same context was very admirable. To be as fair as she was, given who her mother is, shocked me enough to say I might be a fan of hers, depending on what she does in the future.

However here’s my problems.

She brings up the point that there’s “$70 m food stamps and $700 m for defense and mentions wall st.  if we’re gonna talk about the entitlement culture“, but she never really finishes the statement. I don’t know if she’s one of those “well if we didn’t spend so much on defense” liberals, or making the point that we spend too much on everything. I agree with the later, but not the former.

My other problem with the segment is with Maher. Specifically in his comparisons of the white guys and black guys.

First he says this, when they discuss the white doorman from the video and his take on things.

“most doormen are white, they don’t usually hire black doormen

Is it really that they simply do not hire black doormen, or is it more likely that black men are not employable to be doormen?

The thread continues when Maher references how the black men state they deserve welfare because they were in prison or this countries history involved slaves;

“the black guys legacy is real, the white guy his legacy is a chip on his shoulder…they could get over it, psychologically…I think the black legacy is a little more real

Why can the white guy simply get over his problems, but the black guy can’t get over the fact that half of this country had slavery 150 years ago? I thought we were all supposed to be equal. Doesn’t seem equal to me if one person is told tough shit while the other is coddled and told everything is gonna be okay, it’s not your fault.

Why, is the white guy is supposed to just get over his “psychological problems”, but the black guy isn’t expected to throw off the weight of “black culture” and become employable. Get educated, dress professionally, be well spoken, and fulfill the responsibility of fatherhood. Anyone can claim to be a victim of society, even Paris Hilton.

The fact is nearly 50 percent of black males fail to graduate high school. 50 percent! And in some cities the rate is even lower. Maybe the white guy does have psychological problems, but that’s a far more complicated affair than having an education problem. It’s not lack of funding, look at any inner city school district’s budget/finances for an instant aneurysm.

Yeah it’s true that being black in America comes with problems. You’re looked at as being lower. But that doesn’t stop black people from becoming successful and what is it that’s different about successful black people? They took advantage of the system and didn’t play the helpless victim.

If black people ever want to see their collective status rise in America we need to have this discussion without worrying about stepping on a few peoples toes. Are we worried about hurting that white guys feelings with his “psychological problems”?

The fact is that a black person is;

  • less likely to graduate high school, or earn a college degree
  • more likely to go to jail
  • grow up in a single parent household
  • has a lower life expectancy

There are probably many more things that could be mentioned.

To be fair white people aren’t perfect and suffer from many of these problems too, but since we never focus on white people in the national discussion, why start here?

As long as black people continue to play the victim and are excused from taking accountability for their own success or failure they will continue to be the stuck at the bottom of American society.

Let’s take tax breaks for oil and give them to green energy?

19 Mar

So anyone who knows there memes might recognize the title of the article as being a “pushing patrick” but it’s still a rage inducing topic.

Obama to Congress: Kill oil industry’s tax breaks is an AP article on yahoo.

If you aren’t able to tell from the headline, let me summarize the articles content. President Obama want’s to end tax breaks for oil companies, and thinks we should give them to “green energy” companies.

“They can either place their bets on a fossil fuel from the last century or they can place their bets on America’s future,” Obama said.

Funny thing I actually think the President is on to something here, too bad he got off at the wrong exit.

There’s two reasons to support ending tax breaks. 1) To save money. 2) To keep a level playing field.

Even though federal discretionary spending is a small budget off the annual deficit, when you have a $15 trillion deficit and growing, it’s more of an attitude than ability thing and you have to start somewhere.

Plus if we want to do this whole “tax the rich, fair share” thing, shouldn’t the marketplace be fair too? All industries pay the same tax rate regardless of industry or profit size. That way the things people actually want to buy and support will survive and those that don’t will have learned valuable lessons to apply next time.

If green energy is that important and impactful it will find work, however if it doesn’t fit or viably work, then you are a damn fool to think you can make it fit.

On top of that, as i’ve said before what difference will it make if in 20 years we have simply replaced the “big oil” cronies and lobbyists, with the “big green” cronies and lobbyists? (“Big Green” doesn’t quite have the necessary sinister ring to it, so the floor is open to better suggestions).

I thought the hope and change message of 2008 was to transform the way business was conducted in Washington DC. I suppose we misinterpreted that. Rather than changing “how” business is done, we want to change “who” business is done with. Nobody to blame but ourselves right, (except most people can’t even do that still, but that’s a story for another time)

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