Super hawk drops out of race, president downplays ISIS threat.

December 21, 2015

On the one hand we have a super war hawk dropping out of the GOP presidential nomination race and on the other and we have the president of the United States declaring that although ISIS (a so-called Islamic terror group) poses a problem it is not an “existential threat” (and I always have to look that term up).

Now while I originally was impressed (not supportive, just impressed) with Lindsey Graham’s forceful pitch on fighting the Middle East-based terrorists, I grew concerned that he seemed to have gone into a state of hysteria over it and that maybe he was a wannabe warrior who would never see the real fight himself.

But now President Obama concerns me when he claims that ISIS is just a problem but not the big all-important threat it is put up to be. Blames “the media” for hyping it. The media has not been spraying automatic weapons fire at innocent people or lopping their heads off last I checked.

Pretty sure ISIS and the general milieu of Islamic terrorists are an existential threat to the whole free world.

I think the U.S. first has to look at what it can do to protect itself, and then how we can cooperate with like-minded or situated Western powers, and then hopefully get some of the Middle Eastern powers who are threatened as well to step up and be on the front lines — but it is America’s interest first — from our own perspective. If Middle Easterners would rather run away to Europe than fight the terrorists, so be it. We must defend ourselves.

That does not mean we send in the Marines (and other forces) or mount a D-Day invasion, necessarily, but we do need to do something that will work — we have to keep our options open and not waste time and money and most importantly lives by half measures, as we are wont to do all these past decades.

We need steady, bold leadership, that acts more than talks. We talk to too much and give our battle plans or reveal our fear to our enemies.

Donald Trump actually every once in a while has a point, but he is mostly a blow-hard and a chicken hawk.

Hillary Clinton is somewhat tied to what seems to be a failed Obama foreign policy. But she is not Obama of course, but she did vote for the failed Iraq war as a senator during the W administration and was up to her neck as Secretary of State with the failed Libya policy on Obama’s watch, which at one time I mistakenly thought was working.

Ted Cruz is a right-wing extremist who does not represent the broad spectrum of the American public.

I would go on but my continuing excuse is computer problems.

Graham dropped out of the race today and I just meant to comment on that.

Says he will probably return to Iraq. I don’t know what he does over there, but I know he loves it.

 


Hillary demonstrates her force; chicken hawks squawk war…

December 19, 2015

Watched the Democratic debate this evening (Saturday) and the winner was…..surprise, surprise, Hillary Clinton. Did not say I bought all she was selling, but give the gal credit, she won.

She dropped in a Star Wars reference at the ending, saying “let the force be with you” in defeating the Republicans.

Sorry Bernie Sanders, the masses are not rising up in a socialist revolution.

And Martin O’Malley, no one knows who the heck you are and where you came from, except maybe in your home state. And even if you have done so many good and successful things on the domestic side in your home state of Maryland, and even though you sound like something between a used car salesman and a game show host, you have no chance.

Can Hillary beat Donald Trump? I would think so, unless the electorate has really lost its collective mind.

Any reading of history shows that Trump is a milder form (to the extent he can be mild) of Adolph Hitler.

(Hitler did supposedly got into office by popular election, but was it fair? Don’t know.)

You really cannot debate Trump, though. Jeb Bush has tried but all he gets is the smirk or rolling of the eyes and the taunting of the class bully, who in turn gets the attention of the media who seem to be addicted to the story of what he will do or say next and the admiration of those who just like to see smart or high-minded people squirm, or who prefer simplistic bombast to reasoned discussion and nuance.

As for Hillary’s chances against the rest of the Republican field, I think her debating skills could dispatch most of them.

Ted Cruz is a debater from college, but he is really edgy, kind of a reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, in looks and tone, and there is just something about him that is kind of creepy — however, he has seen a rise in support according to polling, so he might at least give Hillary a challenge.

It really seems to me that Jeb Bush could have given Hillary a run for the money, but somehow he just has not been able to get anywhere. One almost gets the impression he does not really want the job. He’s just trying to meet family expectations.

And if Hillary could not beat Marco Rubio in a debate, then I’m just wrong about everything. I have yet to see what the allure of Rubio is.

But of course presidential races are not won simply by debating skills.

George W. Bush was elected and re-elected.

I’m severely hampered in writing these blogs currently due to a malfunctioning laptop. I had wanted to go into all this debate about should we send the troops in against ISIS and should we go back into nation building and so on.

But I would just say we need to do what we need to do to dismantle ISIS but not get bogged down in a no-win war. We do have a professional military, and a president, with the support of congress, should use that military when necessary in the most effective way possible, realizing practical limitations.

I actually get a little uncomfortable when presidents commit to some specific strategy of battle so openly or worse yet when they try to predict how long it will take and then telegraph when we will leave. You see where that has gotten us.

The general public does not help when it sends the mixed message of we must fight but don’t send our sons or daughters.

We do have an all-volunteer force, so in effect we have a mercenary military — but bottom line, worse comes to worse, all able-bodied citizens might be called if things turned too ugly.

Among the political war hawks, few have ever seen or ever will see combat. John McCain has, although from the air, but he did get shot down and served long years as a prisoner of war.

Republican candidate (with no chance of winning even in his own party) Lindsey Graham is the hawkiest of all, and a reserve officer/lawyer warrior wannabe who in the undercard debate earlier this week went into some kind of near hysteria urging the deployment of American troops in large numbers into the Middle East.

The confirmed bachelor (if that describes his orientation) seems to like to make trips to the Middle East war zone and hang out with the boys.

But anyway, for now, like her, love her, hate her, whatever, Hillary seems headed for her own perceived destiny, with the welcome aid of the Republican disarray (caused by their own cynical moves all those years ago to take advantage of the existing reactionary underclass, which have come back to bite the Republican establishment in the rear).

But just as that upstart Barrack Obama got in the way of Hillary’s destiny nearly two presidential terms ago, the Republicans could somehow coalesce around a reasonable choice and spoil her show again — it just does not seem so from here.

 

 


Why allow one soldier to wear a beard and a turban and not all?

December 15, 2015

I don’t get the logic behind allowing an exemption for a Sikh U.S. Army soldier to wear a beard and a turban while other soldiers are not allowed to wear beards and headgear other than the standard uniform.

This is not the first time such an exemption has been made and it is only on a trial basis.

But again, what is the logic? Out of uniform is out of uniform no matter what your religion. And why should someone with a religion get special treatment? What is the difference if I just want to grow a beard or if my so-called religion dictates I should. And who decides whether one is really following the dictates of a bona fide religion or just wants to have a beard?

When I was in the army there was talk, unofficial perhaps, of allowing black soldiers to wear mustaches, while at the time white soldiers were not allowed to (and as far as I know are not now in most cases). The idea was that it was part of their custom. As if white people never had face hair.

If wearing face hair is not good for looking like a soldier or if it interferes with the use of equipment or creates a safety hazard or all of the above then there should be no exceptions. And in the case of religious requirements, if one religion is given special treatment, what about the others?

And is not the government supposed to be neutral on religion and not favor one over the other?

Now don’t get me wrong. I have no personal problem with the Sikh soldier wearing a beard and turban. I just don’t get the need for special treatment.

And why should religious customs have any bearing on military requirements? The military is not civilian life. There are required sacrifices.

I know the Navy at one time (or at various times?) allowed beards and not based on religion, at least not at the time that I recall during the Viet Nam War (or was it just after?) as a morale booster.

Uniformity and uniforms are important for a well-disciplined military and militaries certainly have to be well-disciplined to be effective.

I personally don’t think allowing exemptions is good for discipline or morale.

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For your reference, an article about the case in point:

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2015/12/14/3731722/active-duty-sikh-accommodation/


Sanders not likely to win, Hillary benefits from GOP mess…

December 14, 2015

Will Bernie Sanders lose the election because the media largely ignores him or does the media largely ignore he him because he has, so far, little chance to win?

I know some people who are convinced he is going to win but complain that the establishment media ignores Sanders even though he has a tremendous following.

Because I don’t think he as a ghost of a chance and say so I think that they think that I am against him. Not the case, necessarily, except I am not automatically for him.

I have read some of his positions as put out by his campaign and generally support many of them. But there is much more to being successful in office than stated positions. You must have the political power to do something. And don’t depend upon the masses to back you up. It is hard enough to get people to vote in this country, let alone continue to pay attention and put pressure on their elected representatives.

And welfare programs and the free cheese helps keep the rabble in line.

Also, It gives me pause that he is an avowed socialist. I am not one. I am for social programs, and I support socialist approaches to many things where it seems the most practical but I am not for forced socialism in everything.

I want most of the efforts from my own work to go to me (not all, some has to pay for government services and protection from radical Islam that wants to cut my head off, and some must go to the needy).

Still, I am not saying that Sanders could not be a good president – I just doubt he can get enough votes in either the Democratic primary or the general election.

Currently the Republican Party seems to be in a self-destructive mode, and that bodes well for Hillary Clinton.

I’m not wild about her and that is for sure. I’m wary and weary of the Clintons and their game of trying to appeal to the masses and hobnobbing with the super rich and foreign dictators and jet setting around the globe – playing both ends against the middle I suppose in an apparently highly successful effort to line their own pockets — kind of like televangelists. Clever yes, but do I have to be part of it by supporting them?

But who can I vote for on the Republican side?

Certainly not Donald Trump, and no, not Ted Cruz, and, well the list goes on. Reasonable and balanced candidates have no chance in the current Republican Party, which has lost control of itself.

The GOP might get its act together yet, but right now it looks bad for the party.

For that matter, the Democrats lack depth or imagination too.

But we are stuck with both parties because in our system third parties or independents traditionally play the part of spoilers, giving the advantage to one of the two major parties.

And now I hear talk that even old-time GOPers are vowing to vote for Clinton if either Trump or Cruz are win the nomination.

So at this point it’s looking like Hillary.

You go girl!

I just put that in there for fun.

P.s.

One article I read stated that despite what you have read, Sanders is going to win.

Well if that is the case, let’s just stop worrying about it and sit back and let it happen, since it is inevitable.


Assault weapons should be banned…

December 9, 2015

While I may think that President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East is not what it should be, particularly in respect to the fight against ISIS, the more immediate problem, the more immediate threat, is from assault weapons which are apparently readily available to most anyone in the USA.

There is no reason on God’s earth for every man, woman, and child to have assault weapons.

Yes, I am familiar with the argument that if  you outlaw guns (and I’m only talking assault weapons) then only outlaws will have them. But that is nonsense. Or at least it deflects thought from the problem that there are too many automatic rifles (and other such weapons) floating around. They need to be banned and confiscated from the general public. No one is safe with these killing machines available to everyone.

And the notion that we should all carry them for our own protection is ludicrous. Can you imagine what would happen as the result of minor disagreements? I mean we already have crazies killing people over parking spaces or slights real and imagined on our roadways. But with everyone packing tremendous firepower, well it would be a deadly free-for-all.

I remain a somewhat ambivalent supporter of the Second Amendment, even though I think it does not really give the right to every citizen to pack around fire arms of any kind or all the time. I am not sure its meaning was clear when it was enacted, and things have changed considerably in this world since then.

Any reading of the one-sentence amendment reveals that it is linked somehow to a citizen’s militia which for all intents and purposes has been replaced or supplanted by the National Guard. And please don’t tell me that we would ever be subjected to the whims of an ad hoc citizen’s militia dressed up in camouflage hunting gear.

—————

Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


 

If Donald Trump thinks he can suspend the right to the free practice of religion (banning Muslims) in this country (if he, God forbid, was elected president) then I think President Obama should by executive order ban all citizens from possessing assault weapons (unless they join the military and use them in that regard).

At this time I still support the Second Amendment, but there has to be some reason in all of this.

But any nation that would fail to act after a class full of school children was mowed down is in trouble.

For our lack of action on that we get San Bernardino and the rest; I cannot keep track.

P.s.

On Trump’s proposed Muslim ban: I would think we could put much more stringent controls on immigration, but it would seem a ban on one religion would violate the First Amendment. It is not the religion per se, but the terrorists themselves posing the threat. If there are concerns about one’s background those should be addressed.

First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

 

 

 

 

 


Urgency and leadership lacking in Obama

December 6, 2015

Just watched President Obama’s special address to the nation after the San Bernardino terrorist rampage.

I think he is in a state of denial or he is in control and just cool as a cucumber. But I fear it is the former.

How is it that ISIS can actually physically control the second largest city in Iraq, much of Syria, and parts of Libya? And it appears ISIS is using the comfort of its bastion that includes urban environments to demonstrate its ability and power to act as a governing body and to both direct and inspire terrorist attacks on the West, including the USA.

While the one thing we don’t need is mindless and dangerous and gutless bluster of Trump, we do need reassurance and leadership.

I’m not seeing that leadership or sense of urgency from the president.

He does not want us to get sucked or suckered into another protracted and costly and ultimately futile ground war.

Neither do I, but we need to be willing to use our expensive military to its fullest and most efficient extent.

We can’t be helpless against attacks on our own soil.

 

P.s.

Due to technical problems, I am limited to a few words. Just as well, and maybe better.