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Was John F. Kennedy the flat-out absolute worst U.S. president of the 20th century?

July 15, 2011

Was John F. Kennedy the flat-out absolute worst U.S. president of the 20th century? – By Tom Ricks | The Best Defense.

Pretty interesting piece here.  I don’t have much to say about it, but here is the lede and you guys can read the rest:

As I studied the Vietnam war over the last 14 months, I began to think that John F. Kennedy probably was the worst American president of the previous century.

In retrospect, he spent his 35 months in the White House stumbling from crisis to fiasco. He came into office and okayed the Bay of Pigs invasion. Then he went to a Vienna summit conference and got his clock cleaned by Khrushchev. That led to, among other things, the Cuban missile crisis and a whiff of nuclear apocalypse.

Make sure to check out the comments, some very informative posts made by readers of that blog.

Check out the rest here.

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Last night’s links 7/15/2011

July 15, 2011

The best from my blogroll, perused, collated and disseminated so you don’t have to.

Post of the Day.  If you read only one, read this one!

Conservatives on Fire – Teens __ Victims of the Minimum Wage?

The Best of the Rest:

Adrienne’s Corner – Governor Moonbat 2.0, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, has given up…

Always on Watch – Later Than We Think

American and Proud – Note to the GOP

America’s Watchtower – Gunrunner: Allen West calls for Eric Holder to resign

Answering Muslims – Approval of U.S. among Arabs Lower under Obama Than under Bush

Blog de KingShamus – The Debt Ceiling Fight Can Be Won

Bunkerville – Reid says ‘visitors are smelly’ and ‘Cantor is Childish’

Capitol Commentary – Our Two Uncles

Conservative Hideout – Redefining Success

Conservative Outpost – Republicans Have This One Last Chance.

Creeping Sharia – Ground Zero: Mosque yes, memorial that actually memorializes 9/11 – hell no

Disrupt the Narrative – While Republicans are Battling to Save the Country from Financial Disaster…

Manhattan Infidel – Big Boobies! (Manhattan Infidel’s Got ‘Em)

Motorcity Times – Video: World’s only actual turbine powered Batmobile

Phoebe’s Detention Room – The Knockout Game: Racial Violence and the Conspicuous Silence of the Media

Political Realities – Why John Boehner Backed Off Debt Ceiling Deal

Questioning with Boldness –Video: Ron Paul Ad – Conviction

rjjrdq’s America II – SB 1070 Architect Faces Recall

Sentry Journal – Video: Change Direction 2

Edge of the Sandbox – It’s San Francisco: What Are We Banning Now?

Teresamerica – Ron Paul Confronts Ben Bernanke: Is Gold Money?

ThatMrgGuy’s Blog – Advanced Blog Whoring

The Bard of Murdock – The Styrofoam Siege

The Daley Gator – *VIDEO* It’s Andrew Klavan Thursday Again!

The People’s Cube – Desperate-for-Sales Newsweek Stoops to Palin Puffery

Zilla of the Resistance – Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan…

Over a fifth of Navy ships aren’t ready to fight

July 14, 2011

Over a Fifth of Navy Ships Aren’t Ready to Fight | Danger Room | Wired.com.

This is a very interesting article.  It details systemic problems within our Navy’s maintenance infrastructure that are only destined to get worse as the budgets of our forces have been cut over the next decade:

According to statistics released by Rep. Randy Forbes, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, 22 percent of Navy ships didn’t pass their inspections in 2011. In 2007, just 8 percent of ships were rated as carrying junk equipment or insufficient spare parts. And more than half the Navy’s deployed aircraft — the F/A-18 Hornets, the jamming EA-18G Growlers, the P-3C Orion surveillance plane — aren’t ready for combat.

Having served in the Army as a crew member of Bradley M2A2 IFV, I can tell you these aren’t little problems that are making these ships fail their inspections.  You can get by with quite a bit of components not working on a piece of machinery and still be considered “operationally ready” – these are serious problems these ships are facing.

Now, lets look at the results of this study in two lights, first from the sailor’s perspective.  They are serving on ships that can’t do their job, some of the deficiencies include:

…anti-air defenses, radar, satellite communications, or engines.

Our men and women are put in harm’s way because of this.

The second perspective is from the fleet level, or Carrier Group if you will.  If 1/5 of the ships in a Carrier Group are having issues with air-defense, radar, communications or engines, this puts EVERY ship in the Group at risk, even our most expensive ships in the fleet, the Carriers themselves!  Carrier Groups work together for mutual defense – as the saying goes, “you are only as strong as your weakest link.”

This is bad news folks.  I am the first to say there is room in the defense budget for cuts.  But they need to be based off commonsense, not some political motivation to “hit a number”.  Let’s stop wasting money on “Military Leadership Diversity Councils” and alternate engines for the F-35.  I even support bringing our boys and girls home from Europe, and after reading this NRO article, Ingratitude, bringing them home from South Korea.  But it makes no sense to spend billions (trillions in the case of a carrier) on ships and then to undercut their abilities and readiness by cutting the maintenance infrastructure that keeps them operating.

Read the rest here.

China’s Prize High-Speed Rail Line Plagued by Glitches

July 14, 2011

China’s Prize High-Speed Rail Line Plagued by Glitches – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

A sign of things to come?  My favorite part is right here:

“Due to malfunction of power supply infrastructure near Suzhou section of Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line, multiple trains were delayed. The breakdown was resolved after intensive repair.” [from the Chinese Ministry of Railways]

Can’t wait to see how our high-speed trains are gonna work with windmills powering them?

Here is the best line in the piece:

After all, a high-speed train isn’t any faster than a low-speed train when it’s standing still.

Read the rest here.

Last night’s links 7/14/2011

July 14, 2011

The best from my blogroll, perused, collated and disseminated so you don’t have to.

Post of the Day.  If you read only one, read this one!

Conservatives on Fire – Debt Ceiling Debate __ It’s High Stakes Poker

The Best of the Rest:

Adrienne’s Corner – Confused about McConnel’s debt ceiling proposal?…

AlinskyDefeater’s Blog – The Alinsky Tactics – Rule 9 – The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself

Always on Watch – FEATURED QUESTION: Michele Bachmann

America’s Watchtower – Mitch McConnell introduces a plan which would give Obama the power to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval

Be Sure You’re RIGHT, then Go Ahead – Faking It

Blog de KingShamus – Eric Holder-Loan Expert

Bread Upon the Waters – “When the going gets tough, the tough threaten defenseless little old people.”*

Bunkerville – Green card hopefuls sue US over lottery lapse

Capitol Commentary – Raising Taxes

COMMON CENTS – Video Clip: Double Rainbow viewed at Yosemite:

Conservative Hideout – Oh how the Narrative Changes: Social Security in Great Shape a few Weeks ago, Now on it’s Deathbed

Conservative Outpost – Would Obama Dump Biden for Pro-Abortion Sen. Kay Hagan?

Creeping Sharia – Dearborn: Teacher, in lawsuit claiming Arab Muslim harassment, is fired

Disrupt the Narrative – The Real Mission…Is to Protect a Climate Where People Can be Free to Reach Their Full Potential

Frankenstein Government – Precious Metals Going Supernova…

Manhattan Infidel – From the Manhattan Infidel Future Archives: July 12, 2012 – Director of EPA Dies of Mercury Poisoning

NoOneofAnyImport’s Blog – Some Remedial Instruction

Phoebe’s Detention Room – Police arrest mother who refuses TSA screening of her daughter

Political Clown Parade – Photoshop™ Of The Day: Eat Your Own Damn Peas

Political Realities – President Obama – Debt Ceiling Threatens Social Security

Questioning with Boldness –Video: China Debt ~ another Politizoid by RightChange

Republican Redefined – USA Wins!! Women’s National Team Advances to World Cup Final

Robbing America – Forced to Subsidize our own Demise

Sentry Journal – The Left Accuses the GOP of “Sabotaging” the Economy: Now, Obama Wants Them to Actually do it

The Swash – Dark Knight Rises Trailer Leaks, Catch It While You Can

ThatMrgGuy’s Blog – They Told Me If I Voted For McCain, Minorities Would Be Thrashed And Denied Justice, And They Were Right!

The Bard of Murdock – The Popes on the Potomac

The Daley Gator – Video-Your hateful Leftist/Islamist rant of the day

The People’s Cube – First Lady Enjoys Morning Snack

Zilla of the Resistance – Terror Strikes Mumbai – Again – UPDATED

Since when is lying considered rhetoric?

July 13, 2011

“…now you have the Republicans, who want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws” ~ Debbie Wasserman Shultz

“Now they’re here to kill women.” ~ Representative Louise Slaughter talking about Republican Congressman

“Republicans want to shut down the government because they think there’s nothing more important than keeping women from getting cancer screenings.” ~ Harry Reid

“The Republican health care plan: don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” ~ king douche Alan Grayson

At some point in my formative years, someone once told me, “gentleman don’t accuse people of lying”.  Hmm, maybe that’s not accurate.  Perhaps it was just a general concept I learned from watching Westerns – you call a man a “liar” in the Old West and you would be staring down the end of a Colt .45 in about 2 seconds.  Apparently, in politics the same holds true.  Calling someone a liar is ungentlemanly, uncivilized, and a practice that needs to begin post-haste.

Somehow, in our mixed up concept of civility, its okay to accuse someone of wanting to “kill women”, but its the height of barbarism to accuse them of lying.  Instead, we use fantastically inaccurate euphemisms like “untruths” or “rhetoric”.  The problem is, those euphemisms have actual definitions all by themselves.

An “untruth” is typically a falsity that was made accidentally.  Typically what we consider a “gaffe” nowadays is an untruth.  John Wayne was not from whatever the hell city in Iowa Michelle Bachman said he was from, certainly a gaffe, but also not true, but definitely not a lie.

“Rhetoric” is typically hyperbole to make your position better, or to degrade your opponent’s position.  There are many tricks to be had in the rhetorical toolbox, but lying is not typically one of them.  Take Obama for example, the king of the straw-man argument.  He loves to give two equally improbable outcomes to any opposition to his policies, but nevertheless, though improbable, the outcomes in some way are possible, hence not technically lying.  It’s just show-boating for the idiots who don’t know better.

But lying, that is a different ball of opprobrium all together – when someone lies they are attempting to cover up the truth.  It is not a mistake, it is totally intentional.  It is not an untruth, which is an accidental misunderstanding of the facts, it is a purposeful mischaracterization of facts.

Here is a great example of lying from our dear leader President Obama:

“My budget freezes spending for five years, and what that does is it solves the short-term problem by saying, we’re not going to spend any more money than we’re taking in.

This was him talking about the actual budget he proposed, not the second budget speech he likes to count as a proposal, and that was shot down in the Senate in an amazing display of bi-partisanship, 97-0.  Look at my emphasised, section.  Is that an “untruth”?  “Rhetoric”?  No, it’s a freaking bald-faced lie!

Evidence to the fact can be had in the White House’s own budget tables which show a deficit EVERY year.

So the President was outright lying, yet we are treated to characterizations of his intentional mischaracterization as being “loose rhetoric” or “literally not true”.  Hey folks, there is an easy word that describes those clumsy descriptions, it’s called freaking lying!

I understand the civilized concepts of giving someone the benefit of the doubt with regards to lying, it’s not cool to accuse someone of being dishonorable, but seriously folks, we are talking politics, honor went out the window with Julius Caesar.  If peeps can accuse me by extension of my position, of wanting to “kill women” and “push granny off a cliff”, then I think we can call a spade a spade.

Since the calls for civility following the Tucson Tragedy fell on predominantly progressive deaf ears, I think the right can stand to up the uncivility a bit and start calling Obama for what he is – liar, liar pants on fire!

The Missing Links: A Realistic Appraisal of the Iraqi Military

July 13, 2011

The Missing Links: A Realistic Appraisal of the Iraqi Military.

Pretty sweet little piece over at Defense Industry Daily for dorks like me who are into this sort of stuff.  I will give you the lede, and then the very accurate one-line conclusion:

Recently, I saw a comment that claimed the Iraqi Army (IA) is the best Arab army in the Mid-East. That it had been trained by the US in Corps- and Division- level operations, and thus was better than the rest of the Arab armies, since they effectively operate at only Brigade-level.

This is pure fantasy…

Indeed.  Read the rest if you want an actual assessment of Iraqi army capability as compared to its neighbors (most notably Iran who will definitely fill the hole we leave when we depart Iraq).  For those not up to snuff on military organizational jargon, feel free to post a questions in the comments below, I feel relatively assured I can answer them.

Oh, here is the conclusion:

Improvement is progressing almost on schedule, but the Iraqi military is not ready to stand alone – and never was planned to stand alone at this time. The 2012 date for U.S. withdrawal was a political date – not a realistic one.