Friday, September 25, 2009

President Pantywaist

President Obama is acquiring a new nickname (as indicated) and, to me, this is not inappropriate. This morning he, with his typical cool, measured terms, spoke in Pittsburgh at the G20 meeting indicating that Iran has been building a secret second nuclear enrichment facility in direct violation on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement. His requested action item was that Iran needs to allow the UN's IAEA to inspect this facility in the near future. However he did not threaten additional near-term sanctions against Iran ... as did France's Sarkozy in more bellicose comments that followed Obama's. The informative moment in this revelation is that the U.S. has known for almost two years about the construction of this facility and, I'm sure Obama has also been informed of this for at least nine months.

Wow! Even with knowledge of this duplicity, Obama has still cozied up to Iran by his willingness to meet with them without preconditions ... and to wait days before he condemned, in the mildest terms, Iran's national election farce and its subsequent brutal crushing of the Iranian public demonstrations over the results. And he has canceled our stationing of anti-missile defenses in Eastern Europe much to Iran's glee. Obama's clearly new Downey-soft approach to international relations has, so far, produced little national benefit ... other than blown kisses to Obama from a raft of European appeasers. To me, Obama needs to cowboy up and start pursuing with more vigor the U.S.'s national interests ... even if this risks his rock-star image abroad.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swinging Gates

I have held Robert Gates to be one of President Obama's better Secretarial appointments. He was a Bush holdover who had done yeoman service under our previous President. He had overseen the successful Surge Strategy in Iraq and he seemed to be a straight shooter when it came to his congressional testimony over the Defense Department's budget appropriations. He often suggested the scrapping of wasteful defense systems that were nothing more than Congressional pork. But over the last week my approbation for Gates is rapidly turning to aversion.

Firstly, Gates shaded the facts surrounding Obama's decision to cut the legs out from under Poland and the Czech Republic over our commitment to install a missile defense shield on their territory. Gates's biggest fib was that Iran did not have a credible long-range missile capability. He conveniently overlooked the fact that Iran sent a satellite into space this past winter ... see Iran Space Shot. If Iran can boost a satellite into space, it can surely send an equivalent payload anywhere in the world.

Secondly, Gates is now rationalizing Obama's decision not to decide on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. If General McChrystal says he needs 40,000 more troops, Obama should either supply them or shut down the Afghan mission altogether. Obama's excuse for shushing McChrystal is that he wants to re-think his Afghan strategy (which he claimed he had decided last March). Obama's vacillating on this strategy in Afghanistan, after nine months in office, is, to me, unforgivable. We have service people losing their lives in this country with the potential that these sacrifices might well be in vain.

Step up Mr. Gates ... and encourage your boss to do his job one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Maxi Shield

The U.S. has once again dissed our friends to cuddle up to our antagonists. See: no missile defense. Eastern Europe (in particular Poland and the Czech Republic) have been left hanging out to dry by President Obama so he can appear to "change" the dynamics of the re-emerging cool war. He is canceling what was our former guarantee of an antimissile shield for these oft-trodden-upon countries ... so much for the word of an erstwhile great nation.
"New Europe," as Chaney dubbed them, is once again being kicked to the curb and is even more at the mercy of Putin's Russia and its retaliatory squeezing of natural gas and oil supplies. The old Warsaw Pact bloc has put its head on the block for us only to have it chopped off. They surely will be diminished even more now that they have been cut loose by our great appeaser in the "hope" of some will-o-the-wisp future help from the Big Bad Bear in taming Iran. This is head-hanging shameful on our part and, I predict, will not bring any of the expected benefit. But then again the American public did vote last year for "hope" and "change."

Friday, September 04, 2009

Bad Sports

Being that we now seem to be moving toward remaking the foundations of our society, I have another radical idea -- let's eliminate all professional sports. One has to admit that, in the United States, professional sports waste a lot of our spare time, use up much of our discretionary finances and sap our emotional reserves. These sports promote too many muscle-bound doofuses into positions of idolatry, encourage stupid superstitions and corrosive gambling, and fill the airways with meaningless sophistry and statistics from ex-jocks and jock sniffers. Plus, what were our erstwhile worthwhile amateur sports are rapidly transmogrifying themselves into big-money businesses. College coaches are now making multi-millions and more athletes are moving directly from high school into the professional ranks.
Therefore, I can see no real social benefit from our obsessions with these meaningless distractions ... perhaps other than they are oodles of fun and give men a reason to shirk their weekend chores.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

California Is Burning

It seems that every year now we have ruinous wildfires in California causing hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of property damage, untold firefighting expense from a state that can ill afford it, and often the tragic loss of human life. Why is this? Because there seems to be little if any effective anticipatory actions on the part of state and local governments. I have got to believe that this state has the knowledge, technology and the wherewithal to, during the off-seasons, cut back all the tinderbox underbrush in residential areas, establish early-warning fire-alarm stations, pre-stage fire retardant and water reservoirs, plant fire-resistant plants, pre-cut critical fire-breaks, and develop building/zoning codes that would ameliorate possible property losses and human suffering. If any of these actions are being done now, they are clearly not enough.

All this work could be done with a little government gumption ... and by utilizing out-of-work able-bodied men and women (many already on the public dole), making use of all the off-season fire-fighters, even conscripting many of California's street-gang members and convicts (much like Ho Chi Min conscripted the prostitutes in Hanoi to become public-health nurses.) I realize that this would be all too logical for this feel-good, manana-loving society ... but then again, it would be more practical and a lot cheaper than what the Governator has had to put up with each fall.