Wasted Time And Wasted Money

For a couple of years I have been drawing attention to the stupid at the Pentagon when they wanted to replace the close combat support plane, A-10 Warthog, with a gold plated brick, the F-35……a plane that has had nothing but problems….and the list of problems is extensive…..here read the problems for yourself……

The F-35, which comes with an estimated $1.5 trillion pricetag over the life of the program, has faced numerous hurdles and delays. Most recently, there have been concerns over its computer systems’ vulnerability, and Chinese hackers have possibly stolen classified data related to the project.

The F-35’s construction has continued, and it is being manufactured across multiple states and different countries. For better or worse, it’s going to be the US and its allies’ main warplane for decades to come.

Source: Pentagon: Here are all the problems with the F-35 – Business Insider

But guess what?  The Air Force is not the only service that has a piece of crap for equipment……the Navy is having similar problems with their newest warship…..

When a branch of the US military starts rolling out a new pet project, it is rarely either cost effective or literally effective. The US Navy’s littoral combat ship (LCS) program is really underscoring that recently, with more ships breaking at seemingly random, meaning four nearly brand new ships have broken down in less than a year.

Just yesterday, the Navy discussed problems with its first LCS, the USS Freedom, which inexplicably was put out of commission back in July when seawater got into the engine and the oil system and started rusting things out. Limping back to home port, the USS Freedom now needs an engine replaced outright, with no timetable for the fix, or the cost.

Today, officials reported the USS Coronado, which only got commissioned back in 2014, has suffered an unspecified “engine casualty” and is struggling back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. It had just left Pearl Harbor on Friday.

That makes four LCS ships that have broken down in the past year, which is a pretty disastrous track record considering that even the oldest ship, the USS Freedom, was commissioned in late 2008, and the US only had a total of six active duty LCS ships in total.

The LCS is a product of the US Navy’s efforts, in the wake of the Cold War, to shift its priorities away from having more large capital ships than the Soviet Union toward just having a lot of stuff that floats about in the water, so they could have a nominal presence more or less anywhere.

The idea was that the LCS would be a low-cost, reliable ship for limited missions around coastlines, but the reality is that upkeep on the ships has been dramatically higher than initial estimates, and an LCS ends up costing more than a larger, and more combat-ready ship like a frigate.

Still, with several billion dollars sunk into the plan and the Navy’s priorities still squarely on quantity over quality, the LCS fleet is being constructed in earnest, even as the few already completed stumble back into the docks, because they didn’t do so great on the reliability front either.

(antiwar.com)

The more we try to improve our equipment for our troops the more we screw up everything……what could possibly be the reason?

Defense contracts……it is about the bucks not the quality of the equipment….

Maybe they should adopt a new slogan…..”plan smarter….not cheaper”

Thoughts?

Jill Stein Should Be Part of a 4-Way Presidential Debate

It is only a matter of weeks before we have our first debate between the Mouth and The Warmonger….but to be fair there should be two other candidates in this debate…Gary Johnson and Dr, Jill Stein……

If a candidate is on the state’s ballot then they should be part of the process…..polling should have nothing to do with the debates…..

After the Republicans and Democrats finished their conventions in late July, the Green Party gathered this month to nominate Dr. Jill Stein for the presidency.

fter the Republicans and Democrats finished their conventions in late July, the Green Party gathered this month to nominate Dr. Jill Stein for the presidency. Stein’s campaign—with her party on ballot lines in the majority of states, and her poll numbers surging ahead of Green numbers from recent presidential elections—has the potential to be a breakthrough bid for the Greens, and for a more robust democracy.

Stein recognized the prospect in an optimistic yet urgent acceptance speech in which she spoke of “unstoppable momentum for transformational change.” The candidate who talks of ushering in a “Green New Deal” told the Green Party Convention that the party has “an historic opportunity, an historic responsibility to be the agents of that change. As Martin Luther King said, ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.’ I know that arc is bending in us, and through us. And we are actors in something much bigger than us as we struggle for justice, for peace, for community, for healing.”

Source: Jill Stein Should Be Part of a 4-Way Presidential Debate | The Nation

This would be fair and balanced….but we all know that the political process has nothing to do with “fair and balanced”……and the media will not do the right thing….they want to be the “king maker”…..so qualified candidates will not be part of the debates..

Everyone these days see the problems with this system and yet they do NOTHING to see it changed……debates with all qualified candidates would go a long way to help change occur…..

Stein and Johnson have earned the right to be part of this process…..

Why the Military-Industrial Complex Loves Hillary

Since the American voter is too lazy to look for alternatives we will probably get another Clinton as president….and because of that we will have a country and a foreign policy run by the M-IC.

What does that mean?

More war and more interventionism across the globe…..because the M-IC loves them some Hillary….

Military contractors are overwhelmingly favoring Hillary Clinton for president with their political contributions this year. Though Republicans normally enjoy a slight fundraising advantage here, she currently leads Donald Trump 5-to-1 among donations from employees of the top 25 firms in this extremely lucrative, highly government dependent industry.

An article in Politico last week tried to put a good face on this for Clinton. One consultant called Trump a “totally unknown quantity” and “scary.” Unnamed “defense watchers” say that Clinton “offers what weapons makers crave most: predictability.”

Source: Why the Military-Industrial Complex Loves Hillary | The American Spectator

Wait! Speaking of defense contractors…..

President Barack Obama announced last month that he plans to further delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, leaving at least 8,400 forces in the country after January instead of honoring his most recent pledge to cut numbers to 5,500.

Now, a new report compiled by the Congressional Research Service, which produces reports for members of Congress, reveals that the number of U.S. service members in Afghanistan is dwarfed by the nearly 29,000 Department of Defense private contractors in the country, outnumbering American troops three to one.

Source: In Afghanistan, Defense Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops 3 to 1 | Alternet

We have at least 4 more years to look forward to more interventionism, confrontation and war…

You voted for it….you got it!

Foreign Policy: While The Stupid Plays Out

This is an op-ed that I wrote for my friends over at Ace News Room……the world is focused on the destruction of the barbaric d/bags of ISIS and while they are distracted China is making several moves that could prove to be problematic for the US and its allies…..

I believe that the foreign policies of the candidates is the most important issue in this election…..and yet there is NO interests on grasping the complexities of the field…..while the …

Source: Foreign Policy: While The Stupid Plays Out

Ace News is a great source for news…please stop by if you want to get news that may have been missed by your local MSM…..you will not regret it.

Frederick Douglass on Capitalism, Slavery, and the ‘Arrant Nonsense’ of Socialism

Yes I know…I am a history nerd and I am proud of it.

One of my favorite people from around the Civil War time was the abolitionist Frederick Douglass…..I recent did a press of an article in slavery and capitalism and I saw another related article in Reason ….I thought I would pass it along….

Understanding the political philosophy of the abolitionist leader.

In November 1848 a socialist activist gave a speech at the 13th annual meeting of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society. “Mr. Ingliss” began his remarks well enough, reported the abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, who was present to give a speech of his own that day, “but strangely enough went on in an effort to show that wages slavery is as bad as chattel slavery.”

Douglass soon became infuriated with the socialist speaker. “The attempts to place holding property in the soil—on the same footing as holding property in man, was most lame and impotent,” Douglass declared. “And the wonder is that anyone could listen with patience to such arrant nonsense.”

Frederick Douglass heard a lot of arrant nonsense from American socialists in those days. That’s because most socialists thought the anti-slavery movement had its priorities all wrong. As the left-wing historian Carl Guarneri once put it, most antebellum socialists “were hostile or at least indifferent to the abolitionist appeal because they believed that it diverted attention from the serious problems facing northern workers with the onset of industrial capitalism.” The true path to social reform, the socialists said, was the path of anti-capitalism.

Source: Frederick Douglass on Capitalism, Slavery, and the ‘Arrant Nonsense’ of Socialism – Reason.com

Douglass is a fascinating individual that does not get the attention he should in our educational system….read an learn about a true American hero….a hero that some would just as soon forget…..but that will not happen as long as I breath….period.

You may thank me later…..

What Should We Do About ISIS?

2016 is the election of foreign policy and most important it is about the destruction of the barbaric group we call ISIS…..both major candidates have received applause for their calls for the destruction of this group….it is a popular campaign promise….but is there something else that we should consider when dealing with this bunch a savages?

The Atlantic has published a short series on an optional way of looking at the battle we are having with ISIS…..

In 2003, David Petraeus, then a division commander in Iraq, famously asked “tell me how this ends?” in reference to the conflict just starting there. It was a good question then, and it’s a good question now. The war against the Islamic State gets a lot of attention, much of it focused on the immediate: Is the war going better or worse this month than last month? Is the Islamic State gaining ground or losing it? Are U.S. air strikes killing more Islamic State leaders or fewer? But these things only matter if they contribute to an ultimate end to the conflict on terms the United States can live with. Will they?

In fact, we have a lot of evidence on wars like this and how they typically end. But it’s not a very encouraging story. The Islamic State threat is likely to persist, in one form or another, for a long time. In the meantime, we’re going to be stuck with a policy that amounts to containment and damage limitation, whose shortcomings will frustrate many Americans.

Source: Patience and Containment Are the Best Policies Against ISIS – The Atlantic

Patraeus?  Would that be the very same genius of the Iraqi Surge?  And he said what?

Then this publication followed up that story with yet another……

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist organization as it was in 2009. In a previous post, we argued that truly defeating the ISIS threat would be more expensive than most now recognize, and beyond what most Americans would be willing to pay, leaving containment as the only viable option. Ambassador James Jeffrey disagrees.

In particular, he argues that the United States and its allies should reinforce today’s U.S. force of roughly 5,000 soldiers with another 10,000 troops, order them to lead a conventional ground offensive against ISIS, and loosen the rules of engagement for ground fighting and air strikes to tolerate more civilian casualties. With these policies, Jeffrey argues, ISIS can be defeated promptly. Once Raqqa falls, the real U.S. mission is complete in his view. He doesn’t say what those 15,000 soldiers should do then, but he’s opposed to a costly stabilization mission and implies that U.S. troops should instead go home and avoid further commitment.

Source: What to Do About ISIS: The Problem With Vows to ‘Defeat’ the Islamic State – The Atlantic

So basically they are calling for a containment of ISIS rather than a defeat……

A Right Wing think tank for Israel sees it the same way…..but it is purely for the help this group could provide to Israel……

According to a think tank that does contract work for NATO and the Israeli government, the West should not destroy ISIS, the fascist Islamist extremist group that is committing genocide and ethnically cleansing minority groups in Syria and Iraq.

Why? The so-called Islamic State “can be a useful tool in undermining” Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia, argues the think tank’s director.

“The continuing existence of IS serves a strategic purpose,” wrote Efraim Inbar in “The Destruction of Islamic State Is a Strategic Mistake,” a paper published on Aug. 2.

Source: Israeli think tank: Don’t destroy ISIS; it’s a “useful tool” against Iran, Hezbollah, Syria – Salon.com

A case has been made for the containment of ISIS over destruction….but there is another aspect that needs to be considered….

The destruction could create a bigger problem……

Source: A Terrorist Diaspora | Ace News Room

Would a weakened ISIS contained in the Middle East be more preferable to a total destruction?

That is the question that needs some serious thought and a definitive answer.

How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home

I have been writing about the plight of our veterans since I began this site…..the US is NOT a friend to the American vet…..

Vets make great campaign props or to soothe the conscience of those that pretend they care and by saying “thank you” then they can sleep at night.

Veterans get lots of lip service but NONE of it translate into action that they desperately need…..I read this article in Truthdig from TomDispatch and it tells the real story of the American people and the veterans…..

A Vietnam vet told me about a veteran of the Iraq War who, when some civilian said, “Thank you for your service,” replied: “I didn’t serve, I was used.” It got me thinking about the many ways today’s veterans are used, conned and exploited.

Near the end of his invaluable book cataloguing the long, slow disaster of America’s War for the Greater Middle East, historian Andrew Bacevich writes:

“Some individuals and institutions actually benefit from an armed conflict that drags on and on. Those benefits are immediate and tangible. They come in the form of profits, jobs, and campaign contributions.  For the military-industrial complex and its beneficiaries, perpetual war is not necessarily bad news.”

Source: How Veterans Are Losing the War at Home – Truthdig

I know first hand how much the American people care about their veterans….and it is NOTHING like the persona that they want to protract……all that is just so much BS to make themselves feel better.

I for one am sick of all this faux patriotism……it is time for this country to stand up for the veteran as they have done for the country.

The Many Purposes of War

Back in the 60’s there was a song by Edwin Starr that asked the question….”War, what is it go for?”

An excellent question and it will depend on who you talk to for the answer.

I found a good article that answers this question…..answered them for me…..I guess you decide if it answers your question.

Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military theorist who wrote at the end of the Napoleonic Era, is noted for saying that war is a continuation of politics.  That saying explains much of current U.S. military war-making, but only if you first and foremost focus on domestic politics – and economics.

Wars make money for weapons makers, and the U.S. dominates the world’s arms trade.  Wars require a large “defense” establishment, and the U.S. national security state has essentially become a fourth branch of government that threatens to eat the rest.  Wars tend to strengthen reactionary elements within society, shunting to the fringes those who argue for peace amid a climate of fear.  Wars, in short, have their purposes – it’s just that the salient ones often differ from the stated ones.  For clarity, it often helps to follow the money.  Who profits from war?  Addressing that question will explain many of the reasons why America’s wars have no promise of ending

Source: The Many Purposes of War – LA Progressive

I keep saying it….and usually at the top of my lungs….Americans need to get off their asses and demand that all the war come to a halt.  NOW!

I will do what I must to focus the people on the real problems with our society….WAR AND MORE WAR!

Green Party US: THE GREEN NEW DEAL.

Green Party US: THE GREEN NEW DEAL.

The American voter has a real choice this election….my friend and a blogger that respect has posted the Green Party’s “Green New Deal”…..basically the platform for the party….it has something for everyone and if you do not like either of the two major candidates then may I suggest….THINK GREEN!

The Partition Of Syria

Back in the glorious year of 2003 and the invasion and the following occupation of Iraq there was an answer floating around to all the sectarian violence……partitioning.

The idea was first floated in the media by Sen. Joe Biden…..he stated that this would make all units or factions in the country happy….in essence a power sharing deal for all people.

Later others jumped on the bandwagon as the violence grew and grew..

Now the same type of idea is being floated about the violence in Syria…..

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama emerged from talks this week predictably far apart on the question of Bashar Al-Assad’s future. Russia wants him to remain as their client, recognising him as the country’s leader. Britain and the US say he will never be accepted by a majority of Syrians, who want him to go. What neither side will countenance is the only feasible option: dividing the country into separate ethno-sectarian cantons.Putin and Obama agree on the need to take on ISIL. But doing so now, when the war has come to be defined as Sunni versus Alawi – and other minorities – will only feed Sunni resentment and bolster the popularity of ISIL. A key first step is to create two arenas: one a coastal strip dominated by Alawis, Christians and sections of the urban middle classes; the other a Sunni zone, much of which is already controlled by opposition groups. Only with a safe and defensible canton will Alawis be willing to see Assad fall. Once the Sunni zone has been established, the West can assist ISIL’s opponents without bolstering Assad or conferring legitimacy on IS.In other words, intervention only becomes possible with the creation of a federal Syria operating under a power-sharing, or consociational, system.

Source: Partition: It’s time to recognise reality in Syria | USAPP

Image result for partition of syria

 

The Partition of Syria is a scenario to end the Syrian Civil War.  It would mean the division of the country along sectarian (religious) and ethnic lines.   The war is viewed of as largely a sectarian conflict.   Russia, the United States, Israel, and other UN representatives have suggested the idea of “federal division” (an effort deemed “Balkanization” President Bashar al-Assad has not ruled out the possibility of a federal democratic state of Syria. The opposition, however, has rejected the offer during negotiations; it has been stated that “dividing Syria is not acceptable at all”, and that a “non-central government” is the right direction. The Kurds, however, are open to the idea.  (wikipedia)

This idea will hold the same outcome as that in Iraq…..the violence will not end and the central government will be unable to govern.

Source: Iran’s Plan B: The Partition of Syria | Middle East Briefing

Then there is the US and their “Plan B…….

US secretary of State John Kerry called for Syria to be partitioned saying it was “Plan B” if negotiations fail.  But in reality this was always plan A. Plans to balkanize Syria, Iraq and other Middle Eastern states were laid out by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a 2006 trip to Tel Aviv. It was part of the so called “Project For a New Middle East”. This was a carbon copy of the Odid Yinon plan drawn up by Israel in 1982. The plan outlined the way in which Middle Eastern countries could be balkanized along sectarian lines. This would result in the creation of several weak landlocked micro-states that would be in perpetual war with each other and never united enough to resist Israeli expansionism.

“Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan… ” Oded Yinon, “A strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”,

Source: John Kerry’s Plan to Balkanize Middle East Countries. The Partition of Syria “if Negotiations Fail” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Personally I do not believe that this, the partitioning of Syria, is the answer to this problem……I think it will create more hard feelings than there exists today.