American Elephants

Add to the File on Explaining Obama: by The Elephant's Child

This post from Steven Den Beste in the Green Room at Hot Air, titled “The Paranoid Answer” is a delight.

Get out the tinfoil hats, folks, and let us delve into the realm of raving paranoia. Is there a different way to read the news lately?

The sane answer: they’re blithering incompetents. The paranoid answer: they’re doing it on purpose.

Glenn Reynolds asks, “Why is the Gulf cleanup so slow?”

The sane answer: because the Obama administration has sold its soul to the unions, and is reluctant to do anything that would make union leaders angry.

The raving paranoid answer: Because Obama wants this oil spill to be dreadfully harmful, because it will sour Americans on drilling in the ocean, and on oil (and other fossil fuels) in general. Never waste a crisis, my friends, and this crisis can help lead all the troglodytes (that’s you and me) away from their accustomed gas guzzlers and wasteful lifestyles towards the paradise of “green” energy and sustainable lifestyles.

Do read the whole thing, it’s worth your time.

To Boldly Go Where NASA Has Never Gone Before And Perform Strange New Tasks. by The Elephant's Child

NASA Chief Charles Bolden, an impressive former Marine Corps major general and astronaut, recently described the mission at the space agency that was entrusted to him by President Obama.  And it has quickly become a major news story for obvious reasons.  General Bolden said on al-Jazeera:

When I became the NASA administrator,[the President] charged me with three things: One,  he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.

This is our SPACE Agency. Created to let us go to the moon, and to put America into space.    As Victor Davis Hanson said: “The real problem with using NASA as an arm of the State Department’s current politically correct agenda is that it is supposed to have other things to do.”

Charles Krauthammer said “This is a new height in fatuousness.  NASA was established to get America into space and keep us there.  The idea of “the feel-good at their past scientific achievements” — it’s the worst combination of group-therapy psychobabble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.”

Elliott Abrams,  senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested that “A more serious task might be to make them feel terrible about the present level of education in Muslim lands, not least for women and girls, in the hope that we could spur them to reform and improvement….The space program is being transformed into a tool of Obama foreign policy, which views American national greatness as an anachronism.”

Daniel Pipes added:  “It is inordinately patronizing for Americans to make Muslims “feel good” about their medieval contributions to science. This will lead to more resentment than gratitude.  Muslims at present do lag in the sciences and the way to fix this is not condescension from NASA but some deep Muslim introspection. Put differently, accomplished scientists of Muslim origin — including NASA’s Farouk El-Baz, who is of Egyptian origins — do exist. The problem lies in societies, and include everything from insufficient resources to poor education to the ravages of Islamism.”

And:  “Just as soldiers are meant to fight, not carry out social programs, so scientists must work to expand the frontiers of knowledge, not to make select people “feel good.”

That pretty much covers it, doesn’t it?

Defense, Debts, Deficits and a Dangerous World. by The Elephant's Child

It remains a dangerous world out there.  Iran is developing nuclear weapons while our government yawns.  We just rolled up an 11 member Russian spy ring.  Russia is expanding its fighter forces more now than at any other time since the end of the Cold War.  They plan to field 300 Su-Fullback strike aircraft by 2022 and an additional 33 Sukhoi Pak fifth-generation fighters. China has ordered an estimated 76 Su-30MKK Flanker-Gs and can produce another 250 under license.

The reprehensible Representative Barney Frank’s “Sustainable Defense Task Force” issued a report in June titled “Debt, Deficits, and Defense; A Way Forward.” Designed by knowledgeable defense experts, leading minds from the military?  Not likely.  This is a pacifist manifesto designed by multiple representatives from the Project on Defense Alternatives, an envoy from Peace Action, and like-minded colleagues from the Center for American Progress, the Center for Arms Control and Non Proliferation, the New America Foundation, and according to Kevin Williamson of the Exchequer blog at National Review, a Professor Prasannan Parthasarathi of Boston College — an expert on the British empire and the author of a highly regarded history of cotton textiles.

The Obama administration intends to slash the defense budget because they would rather boost their spending on bailouts, “stimulus bills,” and support for unworkable “green” schemes — and other completely wasted uses of taxpayer funds.

— The Navy will be reduced to eight aircraft carriers (from a planned 12) and seven air wings.  Eight ballistic missile submarines will be cut from the planned force of 14, leaving only six. The fleet will be reduced to 230 combat ships, eliminating 57 vessels from a current force level of 287.  The new DDG-1000 destroyer program would be canceled.  And the four active guided missile submarines would be cut as well.

— The Air Force must retire six fighter air wings, and at the same time build 301 fewer F-35 fighters. The nuclear bomber force will be completely eliminated in the name of unilateral disarmament — the B-1, B-2 and B-52 and other bombers would still be able to drop bombs, but nuclear weapon wiring and controls will simply be removed.  The new refueling tanker and the C-17 cargo aircraft will be canceled. Advanced missile and space warfare defense projects will also be eliminated or curtailed.

— Active duty Army will be slashed from 562,400 to 360,000.  That’s elimination of about five active-component brigade combat teams.  Overseas bases would be cut.

— The Marine Corps would be cut by 30%, from 202,000 to 145,000, and other funding cuts mean the U.S. would not be able to mount a major amphibious landing on any hostile shore.

— Under “Resetting the calculation of military compensation and reforming the provision of military health care…” (bureaucratic obfuscation) the report shows a planned reduction of pay and benefits for the troops and their families to the tune of $120 billion.

Barney Frank has been working on this since October of 2008.  It’s a typical and very old Liberal agenda.  Higher taxes, weak National Defense, a tax-hike especially on the wealthy.  This “liberal renewal” has been eked out with party line votes with little effort at bipartisanship.

All this talk of change and newness is deceptive.  There is nothing new about the liberal agenda.  Though it has been a goal of the left for generations, it is only now that a dubious “right” to healthcare has been enshrined into law. Which is particularly stupid, since no one in America has gone without health care.

We have spent and spent and spent, most of the funds wasted.  Perhaps Keynesian economics is finally dead, far too late.  Just dumping money into the economy doesn’t seem to have much of a “multiplier effect.” Loan guarantees or grants for “green projects’ like ethanol pipelines, smart meters, smart grids, electric cars, high-speed rail, solar arrays, wind farms are simply waste.

They always overreach. They get excited about being able to tell people what to do, and intrude into private lives.  They’re sure that if they can just take enough money away from “the rich” then there won’t be any more poor.  They don’t like the military so they put that on the budget cutting block, and they give away our military secrets and  apologize to our enemies, and fail to understand when other countries take advantage of our apparent weakness.

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