Closing Thought–02Apr18

Recently I wrote about about our newest federal budget and just much of it goes to the Pentagon… is heavy toward the defense spending…..

  • $23.8 billion for 14 Navy ships, about $3 billion more than the Navy requested. The new ships include an aircraft carrier, three littoral combat ships, two Virginia-class submarines and two destroyers.
  • $10.2 billion for 90 F-35 fighter jets, 20 more than previously budgeted.
  • $1.8 billion for 24 F/A-18 fighter jets, 10 more than the Navy requested.
  • $11.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, $3.3 billion above the original request.
  • $238 billion for operations and maintenance. Since the fiscal year is nearly half over, the Pentagon will have more flexibility to spend this part of its budget this year.
  • $89.2 billion for research and development.

The troops were not cut out of the process….but their part of the budget is not good enough….$137.7 billion for personnel pay, which includes a 2.4 percent pay increase.  They get a raise but not nearly enough for the job they do.

What part of this budget will be detoured to help pay for that gosh darn wall?

World War One–A History

1918 was the last year of the Great War, World War One…..this war is not too important to Americans because we had a minor roll and did not suffer as much as the Europeans…..but it is a war that needs to be studied and understood…..

I have a couple of articles that will help understand……some countries played a small role in the war……

This year marks the centenary of the end of World War I, a war that was heralded by American President Woodrow Wilson as “the war to end all wars.” Of course that didn’t happen. Instead, three old dynasties collapsed (Hapsburg, Osman, and Romanov) and in their place sprung up a number of new states that were to be modeled after northwestern Europe’s nation-state.

These new nation-states sowed the seeds of the ethnic strife that has plagued Europe and the Middle East since 1918. You’d think the results of this war would give Wilson a bad name, but Princeton has an entire school dedicated to foreign affairs named after Wilson.

There are many things that were first used during World War One…..things like machine guns, helmets, etc…..below are links to the legacies of the Great War…..

The war was a horrendous waste of human life…..millions upon millions died and for what?

Conservatism–Long Lost Theory

For years I fought against anything conservative….I thought that their policies were harming a large portion of the society…..but starting in 2010 I became afraid of what conservatives had become….a political tribe that had no real policies that benefited society and the conservs of old were not so bad after all……

It is no secret that I am not a fan of our current president…..I find is approach to politics as uncouth as it can get…..

Analysts of all stripes have been peering through the political dust of 2017 to figure out what the hell happened. The academic monographs and bombshell memoirs stand side by side on the already groaning bookshelf devoted to explaining the Trump phenomenon. In all likelihood it will take decades to get a proper perspective on the year in American history that has irrevocably transformed the political landscape.

That transformation is deep-seated. It has not only created a schism separating competing ideas; it has pried apart the very conceptual frameworks that shapes those ideas, a gestalt change that signals we have reached a turning point in history. What we are witnessing is a watershed shift in philosophical first principles. The first irony to be observed is that this sweeping philosophical transformation was occasioned by perhaps the least philosophically minded president in United States history.

Before, years gone by, there was an intellectual component to conservatism….a component that had substantive debates with the Left….but those days are gone….now it is boiled down to slogans and insults…..the conservatism of old is dead….

Had conservatism a Cassandra, she might, amidst the current mood of triumph, point out that whereas 50 years ago the American Right boasted several political theorists destined to exert a lasting influence, today it has not one to its credit. In the 1950s and ’60s, James Burnham, Richard Weaver, Leo Strauss, Harry Jaffa, Russell Kirk, Friedrich Hayek, and Willmoore Kendall (among others) were all at the apex of their powers. No figure of similar stature remains.

To be sure, this does not mean that conservatism has gone into intellectual decline. We may, on the contrary, be living through the high summer of conservative ideas in America. If in 1950 all the right-wing intellectuals in America could fit into a single living room, today they could fill Madison Square Garden; if in 1950 one could read their combined monthly output in a single sitting, today one could not possibly keep abreast of the voluminous popular and scholarly literature that they produce. From journalism, politics, and law to religion, economics, and international relations, self-identified right-wingers abound.

I long for the days of the intellectual conservative and I think conservatives are also longing for those days gone by.

The Saudis Are At It Again

I do hope that everyone enjoyed their Sunday…..but now it is time to get back to the seriousness of the world around us.

The Saudis have been getting some pretty bad press lately……their war in Yemen, their beheadings, their lousy human rights score, etc….things are so bad that they hired a PR firm to help improve their image……and I admit that it does need work and lots of it…..

The Crown Prince called MbS has come to America to start his rehabilitation…….and he went straight to the Jews to get the PR off on a positive footing……

Amid recent reports of improving Saudi-Israel ties, at least behind the scenes, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is visiting the United States, has met with the leaders of a number of US Jewish organizations.

The prince visited with officials from AIPAC, Stand for Israel, the American Jewish Committee, ADL, the Jewish Federation of North America, and others. The visits were revealed in a leaked copy of his itinerary, and were not meant to be publicized.

It’s not just that these groups are Jewish, as such, or even that they’re broadly pro-Israel. Much of the controversy is seen as many of the groups are both involved in the Israeli settlement venture, illegal under international law and widely criticized in the Middle East, and are anti-BDS groups.

Analysts familiar with the situation say that these meetings are being done broadly for the benefit of how the Saudis believe it looks to the Trump Administration. The Saudis apparently think such meetings show the prince as much more willing to engage with Jewish groups, and by extension to align themselves with the administration’s pro-Israel policy, than previous Saudi leaders have been.


If they can get the Jews on their side then the US will weasel in behind them…..

Then I read a report that MbS has stated that the US was behind the spread of radical Islam, as the tin foil hat group likes to call it………

In a sensational interview with the Washington Post, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and de-facto leader Muhammad bin Salman has blamed the US and its allies for putting pressure on Saudi Arabia to export the extremist Wahhabi ideology during the Cold War as a means to counter the influence of the Soviet Union in the wider Muslim world.

Slaman’s statement is unequivocally true as the US constantly worked to prop up monarchical regimes in the Arab world at the expense of secular Arab Nationalist governments whose style of government and geo-political struggle for post-colonial liberation automatically drew them closer to the USSR. In Asia, during the Soviet intervention on behalf of the legitimate Afghan government in the 1980s, the United States collaborated with Riyadh to fund and arm the Mujahideen which ultimately mutated into Al-Qaeda.

There is more…….

“Asked about the Saudi-funded spread of Wahhabism, the austere faith that is dominant in the kingdom and that some have accused of being a source of global terrorism, Mohammed said that investments in mosques and madrassas overseas were rooted in the Cold War, when allies asked Saudi Arabia to use its resources to prevent inroads in Muslim countries by the Soviet Union.” [emphasis added]

The extreme form of Islam is called Wahhabism and it originated in Saudi Arabia… is possible that the US tried to use religion to halt the spread of Communism….but I think that MbS is trying to put a US spin on his country’s radicalism….

The tour, the PR tour continues, and he will get whatever he wants from the Trump White House including the nukes he so desires.

Now think about that for damn minute.

In case it is too much to ask then here is what I mean……nukes in the hands of radical Islamists….the very fundamentals that fuel AQ and ISIS…..get it now?