The Empire in Turmoil
Dec 25, 2012 - The Pope Attacks Christmas
You've heard many stories (mostly on Jewish owned Fox News) that evil people want to destroy Christmas. Add the Catholic Pope to that list. He says Christ's birth date is off by several years, and there were no animals at his his birth. So all devout Catholics need to remove the donkey and oxen from their nativity scene.
I find it odd that Protestants are often counted as a single group, because Lutheran worship is very similar to Catholic mass. Most Protestants would choose Catholic services rather than a Baptist church, with their odd ban on drinking alcohol (since Jesus drank wine), or the Christ of Christ, which prohibits using any musical instrument during service. Finally, the Amish are counted as Protestants, whose lifestyle most Protestants find insane and unbearable. On the other hand, Mormons are never counted as Protestant, even though they believe in Christ and reject the authority of the Catholic church. In summary, Protestant means nothing, and all should be called Christian.
Dec 23, 2012 - End Theft from Poor Folks
When someone can't pay their rent, they are evicted and all their stuff placed on the sidewalk. What if apartment mangers inserted a clause allowing them to throw someone out and sell all their stuff? People would be outraged, but that goes on in the storage business. Popular television shows depict the excitement when poor people's valuables are auctioned. They never interview the victims of these legal crimes.
If someone can't even pay storage costs, they are in dire straights, the poorest among us. Yet we allow their meager processions to be stolen and their lifelong personal items thrown out. The owners of these items must be deceased, homeless, hospitalized, or senile. Some may be imprisoned, and throwing out their clothes and other stuff makes readjustment even more difficult.
This is immoral, and our local governments should take action. Storage owners should never be allowed to seize personal property. If someone is not making storage payments, the owners should tell them to come empty their unit or they will call the county sheriff's office. Each month, a team from the county will visit local storage companies to execute evictions, which includes trucks from a local charities.
They will check the owner's record and run a background check and attempt to locate them. They will run cross checks and contact relatives, asking them if they want to come get the stuff. Then a sheriff will cut off the locks and begin looking for guns, cash, high value items like diamonds and gold, illegal drugs, and items of his list of stolen property, paying particular attention to units of those with criminal records. Charity workers will aid in the search. Within a couple hours the true owners and their relatives will arrive to haul away their property.
This process would be interesting and also worthy of a TV show, as a dozen thankful owners or relatives arrive to recover property. Owners of some units will remain a mystery, so the sheriff will allow the charity workers to haul away what remains. This benefits everyone in the community as local citizens are reunited with THEIR property. Local charities obtain items to resell to the local poor. Finally, the county government will solve crimes, seize guns, stolen property, and unexplained stashes of cash, gold, rare art, and expensive jewelry that can be auctioned for a profit.
Everyone wins, except current players in the now legal storage theft racket. If storage owners complain that stealing stuff is required to remain profitable, they must simply raise their rates. This would also ease the pain of some people in this industry who feel guilty about stealing stuff from poor people. This simple idea would be embraced by local churches that may press local governments to approve this popular idea.
Dec 17, 2012 - The ABCs of Corporate Tax Dodging
Starbucks provides a good example of international tax dodging. The scheme is simple. Starbucks established a subsidiary in Switzerland, which doesn't tax corporations. Starbucks pays almost no taxes in the U.K. on billions of dollars in sales because it never makes a profit. Its U.K. subsidiary buys all its coffee from its subsidiary in Switzerland, which overcharges with a hefty mark-up.
Patents have become another tool. Corporations set up paper companies in tax-free havens, which earn fat profits by charging its real companies huge fees for use of patents. These fees are so large that its real companies never make a profit. If anyone complains, the corporations claim this is all part of free trade, and the solution is to eliminate all corporate taxes. That is a good solution, if a corporate sales tax is substituted, so taxes are paid on sales no matter what income gain/loss strategies are adopted.
Dec 16, 2012 - Off the Cliff?
I predict that we will plunge off the "fiscal cliff," because it lets the Republicans off the hook. They don't have to agree to new taxes, but can just let the temporary Bush tax cuts expire, and then negotiate. No Congressmen has to vote to cut any program, the cuts are automatic and across the board, so the Obama administration has to make them quickly. In short, we'll borrow roughly $200 billion less from China every year as taxes rise $100 billion and spending is cut $100 billion each year. The economy slides back into recession, not caused by fiscal mismanagement, but the burden of the empire, mass illegal immigration, and exporting our manufacturing overseas.
Dec 15, 2012 - Debt Ceiling Games
Our Congress plays a stupid "debt ceiling" game. It passes funding laws and the U.S. Treasury must borrow money to pay for them. But Congress insists that it must approve this borrowing whenever it reaches the current debt ceiling. At that point, many Congressmen grandstand and accuse the President of big spending with borrowed money when he simply requests permission to fund programs passed by Congress by selling bonds.
The solution is to eliminate this artificial "debt ceiling" that exists only in the good ole USA. If Congress doesn't want to borrow money, it must raise taxes or cut spending. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell tried to score political points by proposing to eliminate the silly debt ceiling, because he thought the Democratic party majority leader couldn't muster 51 votes to pass his bill. The "Daily Show" broadcast what happened next; here's the video clip, after the advertisement.
Democratic party leader Harry Reid had quickly lined up 51 votes, so he called for vote that afternoon in support of Republican McConnell's sensible proposal. McConnell was shocked by the response, so he immediately announced that he would filibuster his own bill so that 60 votes were required, i.e. a few Republican senators would have to support it, so it failed.
Dec 7, 2012 - Jap Subs at Pearl Harbor
Traditional accounts of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor note the first warning was the sinking of a Japanese two-man midget submarine attempting to enter the harbor. Hard evidence has been uncovered in recent years that other Japanese subs entered the harbor, and one fired a torpedo that stuck the USS Arizona!
Dec 6, 2012 - Lynching a Latino Named Zimmerman
A classic tale of American injustice is the lynching of George Zimmerman. The American media, our "justice" system, and political leaders portray this tragic incident as a white redneck gunning down an innocent black teenager, Trayvon Martin, for walking through his neighborhood. Facts contrary to this tale are ignored.
First, Zimmerman is a Latino, his mom is Cuban-American. President Obama is half white, but no one would claim that he is a white redneck. Second, Zimmerman bought the gun after encouragement from neighbors because a person in the community had a dangerous pit bull that once escaped and threaten others. Third, the black teen was much bigger than Zimmerman. Fourth, the teen was taking a short cut though a gated community at night. That is not really a crime, but he was confronted while trespassing on private property, while wearing a hoodie favored by criminals to hide their identity. He didn't deserve to die, but since Zimmerman had already called 911 to summon the police, it seems unlikely that he tried to subdue the larger 17-year old Martin, who looks more threatening than the pictures released by the media when he was several years younger.
The fifth fact is that Zimmerman suffered injuries during the scuffle, a bloody nose and head wounds. Zimmerman had no criminal record, was attending a local college, was an official neighborhood watch volunteer attempting to thwart neighborhood burglaries, and had called 911 before the incident. All this supports supports Zimmerman's account that a scuffled ensued and he shot Martin while struggling over his holstered gun. There are no other witnesses or evidence to the contrary.
After the incident, the local sheriff cuffed Zimmerman and took him downtown, where he was interrogated and fully cooperated. Since his story was plausible, he was released without charge pending further investigation. At that point, the powerful folks who control our national media decided to lynch Zimmerman. Political leaders joined in, including President Obama, who must have known the inside facts ignored by most our media. Latino civil rights leaders refused to help him, but hundreds of patriotic Americans who are aware of our "injustice" system donated money for Zimmerman's defense. The local Sherriff refused to join the lynch mob, and was forced to resign.
The local prosecutor refused to press charges, so a "special" state prosecutor arrived with the rope. The lack of evidence presented a problem, so the standard tactic of imprisoning the accused until they plead guilty was used. This plan was thwarted when Zimmerman amassed enough donations to make bail. The angry lynch mob spent much time trying to get Zimmerman locked up, and a cooperative judge revoked his bail for a petty oversight not fully reporting donations for his legal defense. This incident occurred almost one year ago, and a trial date has yet to be set.
The only prominent person to come to Zimmerman's defense is Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. He followed the case and criticized the "special" women prosecutor for submitting misleading affidavits that ignored facts. Dershowitz publicly predicted that second degree murder charges would be dropped due to a lack of evidence. The power crazed prosecutor threatened to sue him and file an ethics complaint against him. However, in yet another case of prosecutorial misconduct, we now learn that she hid police photographs of a bloody Zimmerman taken just after the incident. (above).
This case will be interesting. The prosecutor will not allow it go to trial since she has no case. Her goal is to keep an innocent man in jail until he pleads guilty, although the facts are so embarrassing the judge set him free on bail. Standard pressure tactics have been used, like arresting his wife on a petty perjury charge, and delaying proceedings forever to exhaust his legal funds. She hopes he will break down and agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge like manslaughter.
If charges are dropped, don't expect apologies by the racists who abused and imprisoned Zimmerman for his role in the unfortunate incident. They will not be satisfied until that Latino is hung. Meanwhile, the corporate media has mostly dropped coverage of the case, with no apology, except NBC news, which faces a defamation lawsuit after it broadcast an edited 911 recording of Zimmerman to make him sound racist.
There are good stories of blatant racism every week, so I don't know why the corporate chiefs chose this one. I suspect because it's a dubious case that stirs up controversy and racial friction. Recall the standard tactic to keep the working class weak is to divert attention from important issues by creating conflicts among them. It's best to channel outrage and protests toward racial issues and away from threatening issues, like those raised by pesky "occupy Wall Street" types. If Zimmerman is freed, we will see outraged corporate front men posing as "civil rights" leaders expressing anger that an innocent man was released from jail.
Dec 2, 2012 - The Lottery Racket
I enjoyed a work of fiction "The Winner", by David Baldacci, about a lottery racket. A legal/investment firm chose a poor, believable "winner" each time. In this case, they approach a "winner" and offer her $10 million to "win" the $100 million lottery. After winning, she must move to a distant, wealthy town where she knows no one, and gets a mansion and money for life, AFTER she transfers her winnings to the racketeers, who keep $90 million.
If she wins and doesn't cooperate, she will end up dead. Even if someone listens to her crazy story about a lottery racket, why would she admit to her role in the scam, and lose everything? It's a foolproof racket. Everyone wins. Given the high level of corruption in our society, it wouldn't surprise me if this occurs. This would explain why our corporate media advertises and promotes gambling via frequent lottery news stories. Of course governments love this too, collecting massive fees by encouraging gambling, and then collecting much of the winnings via income taxes.
Everyone I know thinks that a $500 million "powerball" lottery is a bad idea, compared to allowing 500 people to win a million dollars each. But then running a racket with 499 more people is far more complex.
Dec 1, 2012 - More Arab Cleansing
In my Nov 21 blog, I wrote that American corporate news never reports on gradual Israeli cleansing of the West Bank. Israel's most recent land grab is so large that several American news outlets mentioned it, ignoring the part about the displaced Arabs. Even the BBC suggested that new Jewish immigrants will "settle" this land, as though it was always vacant. I call them Arabs to thwart comments by deranged people who insist that Palestinians don't exist since Palestine never existed as a state. No one in the U.S. objects, since our corporate television just spent hours showing us that peace is impossible.
Nov 25, 2012 - Middle School Flag Football
Like millions of Americans, I am an expert on football since I played in high school. I was never a star, like my Dad, who was an All-American in college and played a year with the Detroit Lions before his knee gave out. I teased him that it was easier back then, before they let blacks play. He coached high school football for a few years, but didn't let me play Pop Warner football, saying it was unsafe for kids.
My Dad was right, and recent research into Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) from our military has merged with NFL research to prove that getting knocked out is not good. While a person seems to quickly recover, the brain damage remains. Frequent blows eventually result in a permanent disability much later in life. As a result, the NFL has enacted rules to reduce serious head injuries.
While hard hits are still considered part of the game, NFL players earn millions of dollars a year. But what about the millions of middle school, high school, and college football players who earn nothing for risking their skulls? This issue has been ignored in the past, but the facts are now overwhelming. Will football survive?
That is uncertain, but medical specialists now agree that head injuries to minors younger than age 16 are very serious since the skull has yet to finish growing to form a "hard shell." The evidence is overwhelming that contact football should not be allowed for children younger than age 16. So why does middle school contact football still exist? Teenagers can't hit each other as hard, but they endure serious blows to the head when slammed to the ground. Will we soon see massive lawsuits against school districts similar to the assault against the tobacco companies?
Why do so many Americans want to harm kids with contact football for young teens? This is now a proven form of child abuse! Let us hope that decent Americans take action and limit middle schools to flag (non-contact) football, where they should still wear helmets for protection from falls.
Nov 24, 2012 - Christmas Tree Generals
A reader asks:
"Why do we call retired General and former CIA director David Petraeus a war hero when he has only a Bronze Star with V device earned in 2003 for "acting coolly under mortar fire," when he was a Major General. All his other decorations are attendance medals, good bureaucrat medals, and badges. Yet he is call a highly decorated war hero whose 11 rows of ribbons and badges belie that. Nor has he ever explained that his row upon row of ribbons are not for heroism and many are from other nations. General of the Army Eisenhower in his personal portrait only wore a single row of ribbons and none of his foreign awards. That was ten ribbons, none for valor, and Eisenhower never passed himself off as a highly decorated war hero. General Patton who did more than Petraeus ever will only had seven rows of medals, three of which were foreign awards. Stormin' Norman has more claim to highly decorated Hero status than Petraeus. And unlike Petraeus, he actually drew blood. Looking at Petraeus's ribbons, he did not participate in the 1991 Gulf War yet still made Major General. Major General H.R. McMaster who did fight in the Gulf War only has 12 ribbons but has more heroism awards. What is going on here?"
Given the ample historical facts available, many historians are amazed this "we never lost a battle" myth persists. Part of the blame lies with certain professors, who published this myth in articles like: "Lessons of History and Lessons of Vietnam" where in 1986 U.S. Army Major David H. Petraeus (left) wrote: "Vietnam planted doubts in many military minds about the ability of US forces to conduct successful large-scale counterinsurgencies. These misgivings do not in all cases spring from doubts about the capabilities of American troops and units per se; even in Vietnam, military leaders recall US units never lost a battle." Despite this dismal scholarship, Petraeus became a four-star General, partly due to marriage to the daughter of four-star Army General William Knowlton. General Petraeus was in charge of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and since he failed to learn from the Vietnam war, he failed in those conflicts because of persistent myths of U.S. military invincibility.
Nov 21, 2012 - Understanding Gaza
You may be confused about the never ending conflict in Gaza. Every year "militants" in Gaza launch rockets at Israel, doing little harm. Israeli warplanes bomb Gaza "in self-defense" and kill dozens, to recruit more militants. The conflict goes on and on because we are told that neither side wants peace.
If one reads international news (i.e. non-USA), stories appear about Israel's gradual ethnic cleansing of the West Bank. Israeli squatter towns (aka settlements in American news) continually expand after Arabs are forced off their lands, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. In order for this to continue year after year, a "comprehensive peace plan" must be avoided. This is achieved by perpetual "fighting" around Gaza. Israel maintains complete control of Gaza's borders (including access to the sea), so how do "militants" acquire thousands of unguided rockets every year? Most are home made, but where do they get the propellant and explosives?
Israel ensures they are supplied. Israel refuses to guard Gaza's border with Egypt, even though it could easily establish a security strip on the Gaza side to ensure that no rockets, propellants, or explosives cross into Gaza. Egyptian troops could also secure the border, but show no interest. There have been several international news reports over the years of large tunnels under the Gaza border where all sorts of things are "smuggled." This includes the current issue of "National Geographic" and television news shows where reporters walk through the tunnels. However, whenever Israeli airstrikes occur, the tunnels are rarely targeted. I wouldn't be surprised if Israel's Mossad secretly ensures a steady supply of rockets to Gazan militants.
Despite all our "news" coverage, no one ever suggests the solution is to simply seal the Egyptian-Gazan border, using UN troops if necessary, so that no more rockets rain on Israel and a comprehensive peace plan can be enacted. No one asks why Israeli warplanes bomb varied targets around Gaza rather than the tunnels? Why doesn't the Israeli army just sweep into the border area and destroy all the tunnels? Most television reporters can read a map, so why do they fear to address this obvious question?
Nov 10, 2012 - Drop PBS Funding
I like a few PBS shows, just a few. It has become just another corporate sponsored and controlled public disinformation channel, with full commercials. "PBS Frontline" was great, until is was somehow "acquired" by the New York Times propaganda machine and muzzled. I've been indifferent to the federal PBS funding debate because the amount is small. However, I just read that PBS has become a profitable racket for insiders. While they demand federal dollars and ask working class folks to send them a few dollars, I learn:"According to CPB's 2009 tax forms, President and CEO (and former senior Republican party leader) Patricia de Stacy Harrison received $298,884 in reportable compensation and another $70,630 in other compensation from the organization and related organizations that year. That's practically a pittance compared to Kevin Klose, president emeritus of NPR, who received more than $1.2 million in compensation, according to the tax forms the nonprofit filed in 2009."
So now I oppose any federal funding for PBS, which should employ only those willing to help provide a public service at limited salaries. I know the cost of living in DC is high and they have important positions, but earning more than $80,000 a year at PBS is immoral. I'll run it for half that amount! PBS would need that savings after most of their corporate sponsors end funding in protest to my airing of truthful news. For example, we've been forced to watch hundreds of hours and Democrat/Republican "democracy", but saw zero news about our nation's "other" political parties that offer real change and collected a few million votes.
Nov 5, 2012 - Mass Arson
An insightful reader explained why so many fires broke out during Hurricane Sandy. Property insurance doesn't cover flooding, and must be purchased separately. Few places in New York and New Jersey have ever flooded, so thousands of homeowners faced total devastation of their homes with no insurance, unless a fire "broke out."
Oct 30, 2012 - Air Force Generals Rob Taxpayers
Here is a story of blatant waste and corruption at a U.S. Air Force base in Japan. The base commander says spending $5000 a year to house airmen at on-base housing is unaffordable, so they must live off base to draw a $40,000 a year allowance for off-base rent from a different Air Force account.
Oct 28, 2012 - I Endorse "None of the Above" for President
Our Presidents are selected by billionaires before they are elected by a captive citizenry. We are given a choice of two nearly identical candidates. The media pretends they are different, but only because Obama blatantly lies about his views. He did nothing that he promised during his last campaign.
No universal health care, just a screwy plan for the federal government to pay the insurance racketeers a subsidy to insure more Americans. He increased military spending and expanded our overseas wars. He further trashed our Bill of Rights, openly proclaiming his right to secretly murder American citizens if a computer model shows they may be a threat. He kept Gitmo open, pretending he had no choice. When a former CIA agent publicly criticized American torture, Obama prosecuted him for leaking secrets and sent him to prison for two and half years. He pressured Congress to extend the temporary Bush tax cuts, something he swore was a horrible idea.
Romney's plans appear worse, yet he is running for office. He presents himself as an idiot by stating the greatest threat to our national security is rising national debt, followed by a promise to increase military spending. Obama will lead us in a steady, controlled economic crash. Romney's rhetoric indicates sharp maneuvers to avoid a crash, which may result in a quicker crash. We can only hope that Romney wins and proves himself a liar, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire and cutting spending across the board, to include "national defense." I hate that term, since our military hasn't been involved in national defense since the War of 1812.
Everything you see on television is a big corporate show to convince you there is a choice. Once again, this short video by Fox News host Joseph Napolitano explains all. He was fired just after this aired last year.
Oct 21, 2012 - 60 Minutes Propaganda
A classic CIA/Pentagon/Israeli/Defense Contractor propaganda piece posing as "news" appeared on CBS "60 Minutes" last week. A major effort is underway to convince Americans that we must intervene in Syria. The profitable Afghanistan adventure has become a mess so the war machine needs another playground. Most Americans are strongly opposed to invading another nation, so they must be convinced that our government has no choice.
After overthrowing Libya's dictator, Syria became our next target. All the violence in Syria is the result of foreign meddling, to include thousands of foreign fighters and millions of dollars of imported weaponry. This is difficult because Syria's President Assad enjoys strong support from the majority of his citizens. He was studying to become an eye doctor in London when his dad died. He became head of state, and was immediately cast as a villain.
In the "60 Minutes" propaganda segment, an attractive reporter reads from a teleprompter to inform Americans that President Assad is "one of the Middle East's last remaining dictators." That is an absurd statement since nearly every nation in that region is ruled by a dictator. The program instructs Americans as to why we must intervene. It displays a clean cut, pleasant former Syrian General as someone we must support, and then shows a threatening group of Syrian Jihadists, who support "al Qaeda" and Islamic law. No one from the Syrian government or a neutral expert is interviewed about this conflict, although it did note that our State Department has issued a waiver to allow anyone to send money and weapons to Syria.
The theme of the program is that unless America does the right thing and intervenes to help the nice former General bring peace and justice to Syria, thousands more Syrians will die and evil Jihadists will take over Syria. We'll know more after the election, when we learn what our President has been told to do about Syria. Our Presidents have little control over our foreign policy, which is why nothing is said during the "debates." Romney and Obama are only allowed to discuss the petty issue of embassy security in Libya. An honest assessment of Obama's foreign policy can be found in this article: "Peace" President's War Record, which notes that he waged new wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere while greatly expanding the war in Afghanistan and boosting our military spending.
Oct 20, 2012 - Overt Army Corruption
One of the worst rackets run by our military are unneeded overseas bases. As a great example, Army Generals decided that since North Korea is so dangerous, we should spend an additional billion dollars each year to maintain 20,000 more military dependents in that potential war zone to reduce the number of unaccompanied tours.
We are spending billions of dollars for a huge, expanded base just south of Seoul. Our South Korean ally has agreed to pay for a huge military family housing project. (pictured) It will make a perfect target for North Korean or Chinese tactical missiles should war occur, with an nice "bulls eye" circle! Our 8000 combat troops based there will not have time for combat as they will remain home protecting their families while our Army's primary wartime mission becomes the evacuation of military families, which could be ugly if thousands are injured or victims of North Korean chemical weapons.
Spending a billion dollars a year to keep 20,000 more military families in a potential war zone is a mad idea. What is driving this insanity? Greed! The U.S. GAO studied this plan last year, and learned the South Korean built family housing is not a gift from our ally. Page 15 of the report states:
13. According to USFK officials, the Humphreys Housing Opportunity Program would use private developers to construct military-housing facilities at Camp Humphreys that in turn would be rented by military service members using DOD overseas housing allowance funds—estimated at $4,200 per month.
This means American taxpayers will pay South Korean "developers" $50,400 a year for each family housing unit, which is more than each soldier's annual salary. These aren't even homes, but high rise condos. They are not located in expensive Seoul, but a rural area just to the south. Since the average South Korean earns just $20,000 a year, they don't pay $50,400 a year in rent. The Army's housing website for Korea says that local rent is between $1000 to $1500 a month, not $4200. The Korean developers didn't even pay for the land and don't pay property taxes since "their" buildings are on a U.S. military base! Who authorized this racket? As I wrote last year, the U.S. military should begin a gradual withdrawal from South Korean bases, and leave these new condos empty.
Oct 14, 2012 - Iraq Buys Russian Arms
More proof that our Iraq adventure was pointless is ignored by America's corporate media. Iraq's Prime Minister travelled to Moscow and signed an agreement to purchase $4.2 billion of weaponry. Negotiations are underway to purchase even more, including MIG-29s.
Oct 9, 2012 - Text Driving Offenses
Most states have made it illegal to text or speak on a cell phone while driving, citing federal statistics that show this causes over 3000 fatal accidents a year. Not too long ago, citizens could drink a beer as they drove. Drunk driving charges were minor and aimed at people who couldn't stay on the road or were involved in an accident.
Drunk driving is now a serious crime, with time in jail for a first offense, loss of driving privileges, and sometimes loss of a job. It has also become profitable for local governments, which pocket at least $2000 for each offense. Drunk drivers kill four times more Americans than distracted drivers (cell phones and texting.) Nevertheless, I see the same pattern evolving, as penalties grow from not illegal, to a simple traffic ticket, then to the same level as a DUI.
Some cities have set up stings, where a plain clothes officer stands on the sidewalk near a traffic light. He'll see someone talking or texting at almost every stoplight, so he walks over, flashes his badge, and tells them to pull over when the light turns green. If he tickets just four drivers an hour, he can pull in thousands of dollars a day for the local government, so watch out! You may soon face 60 days in the county jail for a second offense of answering your cell phone while driving, and forced to take the bus to work after a one-year license suspension.
Oct 8, 2012 - Africans Discovered America!
As we "celebrate" America's oddest holiday, most Americans now know that Columbus (actually Colombo) did not discover America, but arrived to steal what he could. Asians discovered America when they migrated across the Bering Sea. More recent evidence proved that some Polynesians sailed across the Pacific and settled in Chile. Vikings had several settlements, one as far south as Maine. Some "pure" blond Canadian Intuits (aka Eskimos) were tested and found to have European DNA.
The great book "Lies my Teacher Told Me," notes that Columbus' diary records that when they reached Haiti, he found the Arawaks (local natives) in possession of some spear points made of “guanine.” The Indians said they got them from black traders who had come from the south and east. Guanine proved to be an alloy of gold, silver, and copper, identical to the gold alloy preferred by West Africans, who also called it guanine. Given that West Africa is half the distance to the Caribbean compared to Europe, this is not surprising.
Oct 7, 2012 - Play "Spot the Advertising"
The most effective advertising is found in "news" shows. This is why you see lots of "news" about new products, like the iPhone 5, showing people waiting in lines. New movie releases are also promoted in our "news." This is no accident, it's a standard part of advertising contracts. For example, XYZ corporation signs a contract paying millions of dollars for a thousand advertising spots, which includes a promise of 100 minutes worth of news coverage, which their advertising people coordinate. This is kept secret, but used to choose which "news" stories to air.
Even most journalists are unaware of this, but must know something is going on when they are always denied permission to purse a story on local corruption. Instead, they are sent to cover stories like: a new mall opening, a concert coming to town, a house fire or auto accident (for insurance companies), a restaurant reopening, or a great new gizmo now for sale. The entire sports segment is just advertising for local teams.
Some corporations have a standing promise to pay money every time their product is mentioned on the air. Stephen Colbert once mocked and exploited this by including the word "Bing" in sentences (to promoted a new search engine) a hundred times during one segment. Hey, business is business. This is much more common with local news, so the next time you watch your newscast, play "spot the advertising," and match the content of the news with recent commercials.
Oct 6, 2012 - Fog of War
Someone has put the entire documentary "Fog of War" up on youtube. This is the greatest film about war ever made. A key theme is the need to understand what your "enemy" wants, and helps understand world events. For example, recent news is that Turkey may attack Syria because a mortar shell was fired across its border, which killed five civilians. But there is no reason the Syrian military would do that, it's just a ruse. More likely, it was fired by Syrian "rebels" or terrorists depending on what you prefer. It may have been fired by someone from the Israeli Mossad, our CIA, or even the Turks themselves.
Oct 1, 2012 - American Economics 101
Allow me to simplify our nation's economic debate. Our government is adding over a $1.5 trillion dollars a year into our economy with budget deficits by borrowing money from overseas and by creating money out of thin air via the Federal Reserve. Experts agree this money can never be repaid, and we must stop before an international loss of confidence causes the dollar to collapse and hyperinflation sets in.
On the other hand, experts agree that if we stop pumping up the economy with an extra trillion dollars a year, we instantly drop into a recession with millions more jobs lost. Social costs would rise (food stamps ect.) and tax revenues fall, costing the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars, thus requiring further cuts, and the downward spiral continues.
Congress has chosen the easy option, keep rolling the dice until the house cuts us off (that being the Asians.) Note all the media stories about the dreaded January 1st sequester cuts, which Congress passed to convince fiscally conservative Congressmen to support the last debt increase. These cuts amount to $120 billion a year in federal spending for each of the next ten years, while the 2011 deficit was $1500 billion. So this horrible sequester will cut less than 10% of what is needed, yet most Congressmen are screaming and the Pentagon claims this will cause a disaster, pushing it back to FY2007 levels of spending.
Unless Congress reverses, President Obama must implement these cuts with no Congressional guidance. On the other hand, he might just issue another executive order and overturn the law. However, if the Asians see that we are not willing to even begin cutting, a panic may be triggered.
Sep 30, 2012 - Ralph Nader is a Patriot
Ralph Nader is one of the few sober patriots left in the USA, which is why our corporate media hates him, and tells its zombie customers to ignore him. He recently declared that President Obama is a worse war criminal than George Bush, but a better President overall, giving him a below average rating. Previous Presidents had ordered some assassinations, but always denied it, whereas Obama openly declared he has authority to kill any U.S. citizen or drone bomb any nation that he deems a threat. Putting Nader video clips in Republican attack ads would prove effective, but such topics are out of bounds since Nader has been banished as an extreme leftist.
Obama's recent decree grants amnesty to even more illegal aliens. So far, Obama has exempted those with legal relatives in the USA from deportation. Then he declared that anyone who claims they arrived in the USA as a minor is now a legal resident, after his DREAM act failed in Congress. This means that a 30-year old foreigner who dashes across the border and is later arrested, can simply claim he was brought to the USA as a teenager. No proof is needed, because there is none. Last week, Obama overturned a federal law (like he is the Supreme Court) and ordered federal agents not to deport illegals who claim they have a "relationship" with a U.S. citizen or legal alien. They don't have to be married, or a different sex, they just self-declare that they have a long-term relationship.
Obama's amnesty decrees have halted all deportations except for those released from prison. We have millions more aliens heading north now that a blanket amnesty has been covertly proclaimed. No one in the corporate media asks where these millions of foreigners will work, or what impact they will have on the millions of unemployed Americans. If Romney addressed this issue and promised to reverse it, he would pull even with Obama in the polls. Unfortunately, Romney is on the same team as Obama, and likes the idea of flooding the nation with a million of desperate, surplus workers each year to drive down wages and break unions.
Sep 29, 2012 - Cracks in the 9-11 Cover-up
I don't know who is responsible for the 9-11 attack, but any reasonable person who takes time to watch this recent PBS program, now online, will agree that some group blew up the three World Trade Center buildings. The evidence is so overwhelming that over a thousand experts have gone public to expose this conspiracy. The program includes psychological experts who explain why some people refuse accept these facts (called cognitive dissonance) because it disrupts their world view.
Two aircraft did fly into the two tallest World Trade Center towers. The towers were damaged, but after most people were evacuated, "someone" destroyed them completely with controlled demolitions. They then destroyed World Trade Center 7, a 47-story building that was not hit by an airplane and located a football field away from the twin towers. It had a few minor furniture fires, yet it collapsed completely, in a perfect controlled demolition style, just like the other two towers. The official government explanations are laughable. I wonder if the 9-11 aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania was supposed to hit Building 7, or why "they" blew up that third building too?
I am impressed by the number of reputable experts willing to go on camera to expose this truth. Some had appeared in short documentaries that are online, but for the Colorado PBS to put this on the airwaves must cause shockwaves in Washington. The program is extremely popular yet no other PBS stations have rebroadcast this documentary. I suspect someone will get fired for this, and it may disappear from the Colorado PBS website soon. I realize many people are afraid to watch it, because they can't handle the truth. Anyone who sees this one-hour online program will agree that 9-11 was an inside job.
Sep 20, 2012 - Games Generals Play
Close the Rest of USAG Stuttgart - consolidate bases in Germany
Sep 18, 2012 - Look at the Map!
Let me congratulate retired Marine Corps General James Cartwright for informing our nation of a simple fact. We are looking at a half trillion dollar bill to rebuild our 5000 aging nuclear weapons. Most leaders realize that we can't afford that and need no more than 1000 nukes. Which should we cut, air launched, submarine launched, or land launched? Most likely, we'll cut all three, mostly for political reasons since there's lots of money to share among defense contractors.
Cartwright has disrupted this assumption by noting geography. He points out the our 450 Minutemen missiles kept in silos in the American Midwest can only be used against Russia, which is an unlikely enemy. I realize some Americans cannot shake their Cold war indoctrination about evil Ruskies, but we have no serious quarrel with Russia, which should be our ally against a rising China and Middle East chaos.
The Minutemen missiles are immobile, and were designed with the range to hit targets in the Soviet Union by arcing over the Polar region. They don't have the range to strike many targets elsewhere, and firing them over Russia would be extremely foolish. The Russian military might assume they are under attack and launch a counter strike. Even if we informed the Russians and ask them to trust us, they don't want American nukes attacking from their airspace. If we somehow end up in a nuclear war, we don't want to anger Russia. So its best to eliminate the entire Minutemen system and keep more air and sea based nuclear warheads.
Sep 16, 2012 - Where are the Marines?
The Pentagon has been slow to dispatch Marines to deal with civil unrest in the Muslim world. As I explain in The Okinawa Solution, the Marine Corps must return to its traditional naval infantry role and deploy small task forces worldwide, instead of its Cold-war tradition of deploying most units to Okinawa, Japan where they are not wanted or needed.
Sep 15, 2012 - Soap Opera Over Kabul
Our national media ignores how badly the occupation of Afghanistan has failed. The recent attack on Camp Bastion that killed two marines made news, but our media failed to add that six expensive AV-8B Harrier fighter-bombers were destroyed, and two damaged!
America's best writer, Fred Reed, provides a first-class summary:
"Oh lordy, lordy, how I love the Afghan war: It just goes on and on, without end. By comparison death and taxes seem long shots.
In the latest episode of this long-running sitcom, the Afghan army is killing GIs. Yes. Blowing them away right and left. In Washington, the Five-Sided Wind Tunnel is in shock and maybe awe. It has stopped training Afghan troops because it is scared of them. It has ordered our soldiers to stay armed to protect themselves against our devoted allies, to whom we are bringing democracy, because they want to kill us.
How can this be, you ask? The brass are puzzled too. The reason can’t be that Afghans don’t like night raids, torture, GIs going house to house and shooting women and kids, drone strikes blowing up weddings, and other routine mechanisms of democratization. Instead, it must be…Taliban infiltrators. Yes. This being decided, all is now well. Just as the military calls routine atrocities “isolated incidents,” it attributes Afghani hostility to Taliban infiltrators. Problem solved. In the modern marketing military, you don’t need a solution, just a saleable explanation."
Sep 11, 2012 - Attention Divorcees, It's Not Over
I saw something interesting in this article about Social Security benefits. If you were married at least 10 years, you can lay claim to your spouse's benefit long after you divorce. If she earned more, you can use her lifetime earnings to calculate your benefit. If she dies early, you can claim benefits as a widower at age 60, even if you divorced decades ago!
Sep 10, 2012 - Pay Your Damn Tax!
Many state and local governments are struggling to survive, and one reason is the Internet. Yes, the Internet, and its crazy sales tax exemption. No one likes to pay taxes, but your local Walmart and bookstore pay property taxes, sales taxes, and employ your neighbors. Internet companies do none of that, so they save money and pass some of that savings to their customers.
However, there is no reason on-line sales should be exempt from sales taxes. When on-line sales began over a decade ago, it was small and they cited a fuzzy court decision to dodge sales taxes. Amazon and others say that sales taxes must be paid by the customer because states have no right to order out-of-state companies to pay taxes. This means anyone who has ever ordered something on-line and failed to pay their state sales tax directly is a criminal tax dodger. Congress should just pass the law requiring sales tax payment, which is pending, and would provide billions of dollars in annual income for local communities.
A second step is for Congress to stop punishing citizens who live near military bases. There are no sales taxes on military bases, which is fine if GIs and their families stayed on base. However, most live off base and use local schools, roads, parks, and city services. Even worse, retirees all live off base and don't pay sales taxes. At the very least, military bases should charge sales tax for military retirees, or pay the sales taxes lost to local communities with appropriated funds. They should also pay a percentage based on the number of military members living off-base. If Congress thinks GIs should enjoy a sales tax exemption, it should fund it!
Sep 9, 2012 - Cope with Change
Jon Stewart is my favorite political commentator. Although he prefers Democrats, he often attacks them. In a recent show, he mocked Obama's campaign theme, which is no longer HOPE for the better, but more like COPE with permanent economic decline. Then he showed something that none of our major news networks dare report.
The Democratic convention was so scripted that when delegates rejected a silly proposal, it was adopted anyway. Toward the end of this embarrassing video clip, the mayor of Los Angeles defies democracy and presses ahead to pass an amendment by reading the teleprompter like a good robot, because the show must go on.
Sep 8, 2012 - Spotlighting Army Generals
One reason I pursue my base closure list is that I've been informed senior folks in DC read it. For example, two weeks ago I added Sembach to my base closure list, and noted that Army Generals have stalled base closures in Germany. I wrote:
"The Army says USAG Mannheim and USAG Heidelberg have closed as planned, but they actually combined and remain open under a new name USAG Baden-Wurttemberg. The Army claims this is just for "transformation", and this new garrison command will close in September 2014. That was the excuse given back in 2010, so civilian leaders must ensure that happens."
This Sept. 7, 2012 article indicates that someone just lit a fire under U.S. Army Europe to make sure this happens, sooner!
"HEIDELBERG, Germany — U.S. Army Garrison Baden-Württemberg and all its services will be closed next fall, a year sooner than most recently planned, officials said Friday."
President Bush had ordered U.S. Army bases in the Mannheim and Heidelberg region closed six years ago, yet the Army has yet to move most of these support units. The best solution is to simply deactivate them.
Sep 7, 2012 - Osprey Down
A V-22 was forced to land on a church lawn in Jacksonville NC after a hydraulic line burst and set an engine on fire. The engine was shut down and the V-22 was unable to continue back to its New River airbase only five minutes away. It brushed treetops and landed in a residential area. (pictured)
On July 9, a cross-shaft failure required a V-22 emergency landing at Wilmington NC, just one month after a CV-22 crashed in Florida.
Sep 4, 2012 - The Boys' War
One of my favorite authors, Paul Fussell, recently died. In his must read classic "Class" he noted that upper class Americans say someone died, while middle class folks are afraid of the word, and say passed away. Lower class Americans fear death even more, and say something even more vague, like: "has gone to a better place." I use his advice to appear upper class, like never wearing digital watches or ball caps or clothing with logos.
I just finished Fussell's short book "The Boys' Crusade", about our infantrymen fighting in Europe during World War II, where he served as a lieutenant. He noted many great books on the war, but wrote that all missed key elements, such as:
- Most fighting was done by American infantrymen, who were just out of high school. They were drafted and didn't want to be in the war or the army. The Army's official tally was 19,000 deserters in Europe.
- Self-inflicted wounds (a downward bullet wound to a leg or arm) were so common that the Army kept a tally and used it to measure of unit morale.
- When the U.S. Army's new 106th Infantry Division was attacked at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge, it didn't put up a fight. Its boys were so startled by the unexpected appearance of large numbers of German panzers that officers jumped into jeeps and fled while 8000 GIs threw up their hands and surrendered without firing a shot.
- The "platoon guide" was a junior sergeant added to each infantry platoon, whose duty was the trail the platoon and confront anyone who attempted to desert.
- During the Battle of the Bulge, the Germans sent 150 English speaking commandos dressed in U.S. Army uniforms to infiltrate American frontlines and cause chaos. They were quickly captured because American MPs guarded all roadways. Any healthy soldier heading toward the rear was presumed a deserter and arrested and interrogated.
Overall the book is good, but short.
Sep 2, 2012 - The Perfect Crime
In my March 24 blog, I highlighted the billion dollar heist at MF Global, and warned that international mob boss Jon Corzine may not be prosecuted because he is part of the syndicate who installed Obama as President. The New York Times just reported that no one at MF Global will be prosecuted by Obama's "Justice" Department, and the public told that all these elite bankers who earned millions of dollars a year in salary lost their customer's money because of sloppy accounting.
They didn't "lose" it because of bad investments, they stole over a billion dollars from customer accounts, and used it to gamble on Euro bonds. MF Global employees have even testified before Congress that Corzine personally directed one large transfer/theft, but that is not considered proof of a crime. Also note that the Wall Street mob directed their Republican branch to ignore this juicy political issue during the election.
Sep 1, 2012 - Eastwood Incoherent?
Clint Eastwood's odd speech at the Republican convention was widely covered, yet ignored and stamped "incoherent." He was very clear on one politically incorrect point, our occupation of Afghanistan is foolish. He noted that Obama has a lengthy withdrawal plan (Romney wants perpetual occupation), yet Eastwood clearly asked why not pull out all our troops tomorrow?
Our corporate press ignored that key part, as well as how openly undemocratic the process has become. As I noted in an earlier blog post, Ron Paul won Maine. This allows that delegation to formally nominate Paul at the convention, which would require a vote. Since Paul would win some votes, the party grandmasters refused to seat the Maine delegates, and replaced them. This should be a national outrage, but our corporate media chose to ignore it, even after the pro-Romney Republican Governor of Maine skipped the convention in protest.
Aug 25, 2012 - Romney Won't Say
"Politicians will say anything to get elected." That is not true. For example, Mitt Romney could win if he embraced old school Republican themes. He could denounce our pointless occupation of Afghanistan and promise to withdraw all forces within a year. He could attack Obama for wasting billions of dollars a year for outdated overseas military bases and promise to close half of them during his first four years. He could promise to reverse President Obama's dictate halting nearly all deportations. He could promise to increase the minimum wage to make up for inflation and pay poor Americans $10 a hour, to reward work over welfare.
If Romney campaigned on those themes he could win, since the vast majority of Americans agree. However, his corporate sponsors do not allow discussion of these popular issues.
Aug 22, 2012 - A Player in a Political Game
Readers may have noticed my odd infatuation with our overseas military bases. The reason is that I consider most of them a ridiculous waste of money, and it's a topic that my little blog can have a huge impact. Google "overseas bases" or whatever and the only detailed source of information about excess American military bases overseas is my list. Any reporter or think tanker or congressional staffer who takes an interest finds my list immediately; nothing else is out there on the net.
This gives me a role as a political player in a multi-billion dollar game, in contrast to just another blogger. I could write detailed articles about our pointless occupation of Afghanistan, but a thousand others have written about that topic, and none matter since neither Obama or Romney or Congress cares about that issue. If you wish to take part in this effort, print out an article or two from my list and snail mail it to your Congressman, e-mail does no good. This is a topic that both political parties in Congress agree upon, so providing them with specific information will have an impact.
Closing overseas bases has become a hot topic as the U.S. military downsizes after its occupation of Iraq. Civilian leaders have openly addressed the need to close more military bases, but Congress united and rejected the idea of another BRAC until our military closes the remainder of its outdated Cold War bases.
Our bases in Europe are a prime target, yet Army and Air Force Generals and their bureaucracies are masters of political games. There are hundreds of U.S. military installations scattered around Europe, and its very difficult to rate their value. Our Generals insist that large bases are vital, and offer to close small bases through consolidation, which means spending billions of dollars to expand other bases in Europe. It may seem like bases are being closed, but its mostly a shell game. The bases they now promise to close are bases that were slated for closure many years ago.
My list provides Congressmen and civilian leaders with hard information and good arguments about which large bases should be closed. I've spent hours reading about these bases, and always stumble across something new. My latest article is about the Army's covert plan to open a new base in Germany.
Close Sembach - Again! - the Army's newest base
Aug 18, 2012 - I Should be a Political Spinmaster
I agree the super wealthy should pay more taxes, but the Romney campaign is not spinning Obama's attacks very well. He should respond: "I pay ten times more federal taxes than President Obama does, so I don't understand why he wants me to pay even more." In 2010, the Obama's paid $453,000 compared to the Romney's $4,619,000.
And when the issue of past business deals comes up, Romney should say: "It's easy to cherry pick certain deals from my long business career to criticize, but take it look at President Obama's business deals. There are none, he's lived off of government checks his entire life!"
Aug 11, 2012 - Our Economic Stimulus Plan for Europe
I love surfing the internet to find information that government officials post for their own use, but do not want any publicity. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted details of their projects (large pdf file) in Europe, Africa, and Israel. Citizens would be outraged at the billions of taxpayer dollars flowing to foreign construction firms for dubious national security purposes.
When I've posted links to such info in the past, it quickly disappeared, so now I save a copy in G2mil.com.
Aug 6, 2012 - The Army Shell Game in Europe
Don't Save Baumholder - close it now
Aug 5, 2012 - Blatant Propaganda by ABC "News"
Few Americans know that thousands of people are employed to demonize potential national enemies. Much of this is done through fronts, called institutes or think tanks. Some is done directly by the Pentagon, CIA, and big military contractors. They have people planted at all major media outlets to drum up anger at nations like Iran, North Korea, and more recently Syria.
In the golden age of news reporting, the standard was that something was not reported as news unless verified by two credible sources. Nowadays, no sources are required. For example, this recent ABC news report was repeated by dozens of other news outlets for all Americans to read:
Since very few Olympians actually win a medal, I thought that must be false. If you read the article, near the end it says: "Rumors of athletes being sent directly to labor camps upon arriving home are not confirmed." So it's just a wild rumor in Seoul, yet the headline makes it a fact read by millions. No real journalist would write such an article, and no real editor would approve it. So how does such garbage find itself into our "news"?
An update on my July 21, 2012 "Real News" blog. I happened upon a short online article that reported missing FBI agent Stephen Ivens was found dead. No details, and no national news stories.
Aug 4, 2012 - Really Secure Messaging
I've read that the billions of dollars our NSA spends to flag and read all suspicious e-mail is useless for catching crafty spies and criminals. They open a free e-mail account and share the password. Then they use the account as a drop box, by saving messages as a draft, then the other reads it when they access the account. If you don't send email, no one can intercept it.
July 30, 2012 - V-22s in Japan
Two of my odd areas of interest have merged into a major political controversy in Japan; the V-22 and the need to close some overseas bases:
Jul 26, 2012 - His M-16 Jammed!
Ever since the M-16 automatic rifle was introduced four decades ago, GIs complained that its precision machinery jams after several dozen rounds are fired. I know that Army and Marine vets chuckled when they read the recent mass murder effort by a crazed clown in Colorado was thwarted when his AR-15 (aka M-16) jammed.
Jul 22, 2012 - A Racist Southwestern Sheriff?
We all know that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is an ignorant racist because countless corporate news stories told us this truth. You may be surprised to learn that Arpaio is not a local redneck. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, raised by his Italian immigrant parents. He served four years in the U.S. Army, and then as a police officer in Washington DC and later Las Vegas.
Arpaio joined the DEA and served 25 years, mostly overseas, including Latin America. He finished his career as the head of the DEA in Arizona. As an elected sheriff, he openly criticized the federal government for refusing to enforce immigration laws, something he witnessed as a federal agent. When democracy acted and Arizonans passed a law allowing its law enforcers to help enforce federal law, corporate America attacked. Everyone was told by the corporate media that only federal border agents have the special eyeglasses that allow them to identify illegal immigrants without racial profiling.
Our corporate TV teachers tell us that just because someone has no ID, no address, and doesn't speak much English, this doesn't mean their immigrant status should be checked by local police. For example, a drunk driver smashed his car into a truck in Phoenix just four days ago, killing its driver, but it was "racist" for the local police to check and learn he was here illegally.
Arpaio openly disagrees with our corporate masters, so we are told this Italian-American hates Latinos. Why are descendants of those who spoke Latin (Italians) not Latinos? If Arpaio hates immigrants, he must hate his parents, and must hate foreigners too, even though he lived in several foreign countries. In reality, Arpaio threatens to disrupt our modern form of slavery. Illegal immigrants are willing to work hard for little pay doing work American slaves once did. Since their children become Americans who expect a living wage and decent work conditions, an annual influx of a million new desperate illegals is desired by corporate America to maximize profits. Anyone who objects is called a racist, and may be subject to a federal investigation for "civil rights" violations, just like Sheriff Arpaio.
Note: The term illegals refers to people working in the USA illegally, which comes from the Mexican term for illegal immigrants "illegales." They are not animals, so don't call them "undocumented." If I work illegally in Japan, should I be offended if a Japanese citizen refers to me as an illegal? Anyone who supports illegal immigration is racist, because they think unemployed Americans are too damn lazy to work, so we must tolerate an endless invasion of superior foreign laborers.
Jul 21, 2012 - Real News
I often watch our corporate/government produced TV news to learn what I'm supposed to think. I've had to skip the last two days because of endless, pointless, and mindless stories about the Colorado shootings. News networks would draw larger audiences if they produced interesting news, although they are banned from covering many topics.
For example, recall the news stories last May about missing FBI agent Stephen Ivens in Los Angeles, assigned to counterterrorism. That story is ongoing, but was quickly dropped from our TV news, even when his family reports that missing Ivens "has grown a beard." Why? One must turn to the Internet for clues. Some theories would make great news stories. Was he a foreign spy who fled? Did he refuse to partake is an illegal "false flag" terrorism plot in the USA? Did he go crazy? Is he gay? This is a great missing person story, but our media has been instructed to ignore it.
This reminds me of senior FBI agent turned Soviet spy Robert Hanssen. The FBI team searching for this spy worked just one floor below Hanssen's FBI office. They had obtained a short voice recording of their wanted spy and kept replaying it because the voice sounded familiar. Finally, one of them said: "Hey, that's Bob Hanssen!"
In other news, I recently found an excellent independent internet news site that covers interesting topics: AllGov
Jul 14, 2012 - A 2006 Pentagon Budget "Catastrophe"
I'll just let Winslow Wheeler explain this:
An important and informative Tony Capaccio article (from Bloomberg; shown below) came out today. It summarizes (accurately) CBO's analysis of the budget effects of sequester: if sequester were to occur, the Pentagon's "base" (non-war) budget would be $469 billion for 2013. This is slightly above what was spent in 2006, and it is "larger than the average base budget during [the Reagan era of] the 1980s." (See page vi and the table on page 11 of the attached.) This amount is also significantly more than the Pentagon received, on average, during the Cold War, and it is multiples of the defense budgets of China, Russia, Iran, Syria, and North Korea--combined. This $469 billion is the same amount that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta calls "doomsday," that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) calls a "catastrophe" and that others, both Democrats and Republicans, want to rescue the Pentagon from--by adding money above the $469 billion level. These same people will likely argue that this new CBO report is a reason to spend more money, not less. The new report, "Long-Term Implications of the 2013 Future Years Defense Program," is CBO's annual update of its re-estimate of what it would actually cost to implement the Pentagon's programs in the "FYDP," in this case the 2013-2017 version. Basically, like its previous iterations, CBO says DOD would need $53 billion more than it received in 2012 for each of the next five years to accuratey fund all its programs, as currently planned and implemented. Ergo, the spending advocates will argue DOD needs more money, not less. Their logic is that nothing in the Pentagon should change--other than the amount of money it receives. How can it be that more money than Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush spent on defense, tens of billions more than spent all through the Cold War and multiples of what any conceivable combination of opponents spend on defense are all a catastrophe for the Pentagon? Such questions are prompted by Tony Capaccio's article and the new CBO report. When the House of Representatives debates the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for FY 2013 next week, will these basic questions to be asked, or will there be only more hysteria and table pounding for more money? Capaccio's interesting article follows; CBO's intriguing report is attached and at http://cbo.gov/publication/43428<http://cbo.gov/publication/43428>. +------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ Pentagon Would Keep 2006 Spending Power Under Cuts, CBO Finds 2012-07-12 05:30:00.6 GMT By Tony Capaccio July 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Pentagon's basic budget for next year will be larger than in 2006 when adjusted for inflation even if automatic budget cuts take effect, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Department of Defense's $526 billion request for fiscal 2013, not including war spending, reflects a reduction of $45 billion from previous plans. If automatic cuts known as sequestration take effect in January, the funding would be further reduced to $469 billion, the nonpartisan CBO said in a report released yesterday. "Accommodating those automatic reductions could be difficult for the department to manage because it would need to be achieved in only nine months -- between the cuts taking effect and the end of the fiscal year," the congressional budget analysts wrote. "Even with that cut, however, DoD's base budget in 2013 would still be larger than it was in 2006," when calculated in 2013 dollars. The CBO report buttresses the view of some independent budget analysts, such as Gordon Adams of the Stimson Center in Washington and Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, that sequestration wouldn't be the short- term budget disaster described by Pentagon and defense industry officials. The independent analysts said the automatic cuts would essentially reverse the buildup after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars that followed in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Even with the sequester, we will be going back to roughly 2007 levels of spending in defense dollars," Adams said last month at a defense conference sponsored by Bloomberg Government. "And while it's a very ugly way to get to that level, it is not the end of the world." Reagan-Era Buildup The Congressional Budget Office said defense spending in fiscal 2013 if the automatic cuts take effect also would remain "larger than the average base budget during the 1980s" in the Reagan-era defense buildup. The defense cuts are part of $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board reductions to domestic and national-security programs that will start in January if Congress and President Barack Obama don't act to avert them. The cuts were imposed after talks failed last year on a bipartisan plan to curb the nation's soaring debt. Even without sequestration, the Pentagon faces a shortfall in delivering on its announced plans, the CBO said. It estimated the Pentagon's program for fiscal 2013 to 2017 will cost $123 billion, or 5 percent more than planned, to execute. The costs of replacing and modernizing weapons systems "would grow sharply during the next several years, from $168 billion in 2013 to $212 billion in 2018" in inflation-adjusted terms, a 26 percent increase, the CBO found. To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio in Washington at +1-202-624-1911 or firstname.lastname@example.org<about:blank> _____________________________ Winslow T. Wheeler Director Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Jul 13, 2012 - Some Success
The tiny U.S. Army base at Schinnen on my overseas base closure list will be downsized, and eventually close. This was noted as a long term "enduring" post Cold war base, but the Army had been reconsidering its value, for the reasons I described.
Jul 10, 2012 - A Hollow Airbase
Closing Spangdahlem - only one squadron remains
Jul 8, 2012 - Who was James Tague?
You have probably read and seen a lot about the JFK assassination. Was Oswald the only shooter? The controversy focuses on disputes about rifle accuracy and other oddities. It is rare for anyone to mention hard proof, like James Tague, who was hit by concrete fragments from an unexplained stray bullet that hit a curb. There is even a photo of the damaged curb and that of a police officer handing the bullet to an FBI agent, then it disappeared.
Warren Commission lab tests indicated a different type of bullet residue on the curb than used by Oswald, and no one explained the odd next-day curb patch over. In rare cases when this "fourth bullet" issue is brought up, no one offers a reasonable explanation, yet the lone shooter story has become official "history."
Jul 5, 2012 - More V-22 "Issues"
I tired of numerous requests for information from the Japanese press, so I posted the facts for everyone to read:
Four Recent V-22 Mishaps - no mechanical failures or pilot errors
Jul 4, 2012 - Ever Higher Military Pay
Our military is downsizing even though its budgets will remain flat because our greedy Generals insist on more pay for all. I upset many GIs two years ago with my article: High Military Pay. It showed that GIs make much more than comparable civilians, and suggested freezing basic pay for a few years so force levels would not be cut. Each 1% basic pay increase for 1,500,000 active GIs requires the reduction of roughly 10,000 GIs from the active force. A recent Pentagon study confirms my conclusions and recommends a pay freeze, as this recent article explains:
Military Pay Higher Than Ever Compared to Civilian Wages
As private sector salaries flattened over the last decade, military pay climbed steadily, enough so that by 2009 pay and allowances for enlisted members exceeded the pay of 90 percent of private sector workers of similar age and education level.
That's one of the more significant findings of the 11th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation report released last week, given its potential to impact compensation decisions by the Department of Defense and Congress as they struggle to control military personnel costs.
And its 2012, so up that to 96% higher and climbing, while troops are forced out due to downsizing.
Jul 2, 2012 - Downsize Kadena
I recently stumbled across this new DoD website with great details on U.S. military installations around the world. I'm still working on my odd effort to highlight overseas bases that should close. If you google the issue, I have the only list and analysis on the entire Internet about his issue, which has interested most in Congress. Here is my latest addition:
Downsize Kadena - remember Clark Field!
I realize that most readers are not interested in this issue, but this article mostly addresses strategy and politics. For example, you may have read about the recent agreement to remove 9000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa, but no details were released. A few weeks later, it was quietly announced that only 5000 will depart. Around 15,000 Marines have been based on Okinawa this past decade, although facilities can accommodate up to 19,000. Generals will employ a shell game over the next two years by increasing the number of Marines to 19,000 before beginning the promised reduction of 9000, leaving 10,000 Marines, or 4000 more than the recent agreement implied. And there is this section about the wisdom of keeping aircraft parked in rows within easy range of a surprise enemy attack:
"At the beginning of our last major war, the USA had aircraft permanently based within easy striking range of a potential enemy. Here is a short account of what a happened to those aircraft on December 10, 1941 at Clark Field in the Philippines.
"At 12:35 P.M. a tight group of twenty-seven Japanese aircraft making a low moaning sound appeared suddenly from the Zambales Mountains and startled the Americans at their noon repast. American pilots scrambled to their planes, but it was too late -- the bombs were already falling. And the ground shook from the shock of the attack.
Some of the startled soldiers and airmen took potshots at the attackers with Springfield rifles, antiquated firearms from an earlier war. In a matter of minutes the diving, screaming attackers reduced the squadrons of planes at Clark to seven aircraft--seven!
A second wave of twenty-six Zeros followed, machine-gunning the field. By 1:37 P.M. the raid was over, and the once beautiful and tranquil Fort Stotsenberg and Clark Field were littered with shrapnel and thousands of pieces of mangled, twisted and burning aircraft. The oil dump was ablaze. The enlisted men's barracks, officers quarters, aircraft hangars and machine shops were leveled. A flash fire was raging in the tall grass around the perimeter. And everywhere, everywhere, lay the wounded, and the dead."
The attack on Clark occurred two days after Pearl Harbor. Our Generals knew we were at war, yet aircrews were caught by surprise. Those Japanese fighters flew from bases on Formosa, a longer raid than required for Chinese jet fighters to strike Okinawa! We have radar warning today, but China has missiles that can hit our bases within minutes. They would be quickly followed by hundreds of Chinese attack jets flying twice as fast as Japanese Zeros. Then we would face the crisis of over 30,000 American civilians and family members stranded on Okinawa. Over 5000 American civilians were captured and thousands killed in the Philippines in 1942 as American forces fled in disarray from indefensible forward military bases.
Should war erupt with China, our bases on Okinawa would get hammered and prove useless after just a couple hours. Yet we keep a squadron of 15 large KC-135 tankers parked at Kadena. It is obvious that we should move that squadron further away, along with their family members. There are also a couple large E-3 AWACs radar aircraft and several Air Force C-130s at Kadena, all parked in the open in neat rows."
Carlton Meyer editorG2mil@Gmail.com
2012 Blog (first half) - The Empire in Turmoil
2011 Blog (second half) - The Empire Retreats
2011 Blog (first half) - The Empire Retreats
2010 Blog - The Empire Crumbles
2009 Blog - The Bankrupt Empire
2008 Blog - The End of the Empire
2000-2008 - Monthly Editorials