Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Political fallout from the Gifford's attack

Four days ago US Representative Gabrielle Giffords and nineteen other people were shot.  Six of them, including a nine year old girl and a federal judge, died.  In four days a moment of tragedy turned into a witch hunt, and yet another lecture about how the importance of civility in politics.  Four days is all it took for the same people who warned us to not "jump to conclusions" when an Army sergeant screamed "Allahu Akbar!" and opened fire on US military personnel to lay the blame for the attempt assassination of Giffords solely on the feet of Palin and the Tea Party.

And just four days is how long we had to wait to find out that Jared Loughner had no political motivations in his attempted assassination of Representative Giffords.

To suggest that the liberal opportunists who have attempted to use this tragedy to their own ends actually care about the truth - if it came in four minutes, hours, days, or years - is a comforting falsehood.  This was never about the truth, and it was never anything more than an attempt by a group of people who were either desperate or so separated from reality that, to them, there was no difference between the insanity Loughner spewed, and the rhetoric of their opposition.  The former have the capacity to recognize that what they are doing is disingenuous, while the latter are truly lost in their own delusion.  Discerning between the two is unnecessary as both are nothing more than the lowest form of scum.

Had anyone within the mainstream media cared for the truth it would of only taken a little patience to find evidence that Loughner wasn't completely there.  Within a few hours of the shooting his youtube channel was discovered.  By avoiding the videos for a moment and focusing on his list of favorite books you can discover that his favorite books include We The Living (by Ayn Rand), The Communist Manifesto, and Mein Kompf.  His videos provide no more clarity than his contradictory choice in books:

All of his videos that I saw stick to this same nonsensical, pseudo-philosophical, rambling, which is apparently the norm for this kid:

A former classmate of Loughner at Pima Community College said he was "obviously very disturbed."

"He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts," said Lynda Sorenson, who took a math class with Loughner last summer at Pima Community College's Northwest campus.

Sorenson doesn't recall if he ever made any threats or uttered political statements but he was very disruptive, she said. He was asked to leave the pre-algebra class several times and eventually was barred from class, said Sorenson, a Tucson resident.

Another Pima classmate, Lydian Ali, said Loughner would frequently laugh aloud to himself during the advanced-poetry class they attended. Only about 16 people were in the class, so Loughner's behavior stood out, Ali said.

I recommend reading the rest short article here as it provides some further insight into how insane this guy was.

It'd be too much to quote all the instances that either prove his insanity, or disprove his non-interest in politics, so here's a quick summary:

Jared Loughner was not driven to violence over politics.  He did not listen to Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and decide to go on a shooting rampage.  He was not an angry Tea Partier taking out his rage on a Democrat.  Jared Loughner is a nutcase, someone who obviously needed help and yet, for some reason, never received it.

Despite all the evidence that Loughner had nothing to do with the Tea Party, or anything conservative for that matter, the attacks have not stopped, and the liberal opportunists remain unapologetic (Read this for the clearest demonstration of this).  But how surprised can we be?  There was never any reason to think that the right had anything to do with this attack other then the woman who was attacked happened to have a D next to her name.  These are people who are blaming Palin because she posted this:

Gifford's name is fourth on the list.  How anyone seriously thinks that this posting lead to a deranged man attacking the Congresswoman is beyond me.

Meanwhile Newsweek is saying that the DHS warned us about right wing extremists, Slate is discussing how the hateful rhetoric of the Tea Party lead to this act of violence, Hillary Clinton is blaming the attack on extremists and the "crazy voices that sometimes get on tv", Bob Kerry is blaming the attack on the health-care bill, and Clyburn is claiming that the birther outburst during the reading of the constitution was the cause.  If you have a moment I suggest glancing through some of these links so you can truly experience just how surreal all of this is.

Palin supporters - and conservatives in general - are used to this kind of attack from the left, and it is no less insulting and enraging every time it happens.  To think that this thought is contained within the realm of the elite, political class, liberals would be foolish.  I've seen at least one person on facebook attack Palin over this posting, directly blaming her, and the note in question was filled with support.  If you head over to Yahoo you can see comments of people chastising Palin for defending herself (seemingly unaware that she was accused of anything), and others blaming her for the attack itself.

My friend posted a quote that sums up all of this pretty well.  I invite you to read her outrage over all this as well:

“Those who purport to care about the health of our political community demonstrate precious little actual concern for America’s political well-being when they seize on any pretext, however flimsy, to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.”

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reminder: Defense spending remains necessary

The war for Taiwan starts in the early morning. There are no naval bombardments or waves of bombers: That's how wars in the Pacific were fought 70 years ago. Instead, 1200 cruise and ballistic missiles rise from heavy vehicles on the Chinese mainland.

Taiwan's modest missile defense network—a scattered deployment of I-Hawk and Patriot interceptors—slams into dozens of incoming warheads. It's a futile gesture. The mass raid overwhelms the defenses as hundreds of Chinese warheads blast the island's military bases and airports. Taiwan's air force is grounded, and if China maintains air superiority over the Taiwan Strait, it can launch an invasion. Taiwanese troops mobilize in downtown Taipei and take up positions on the beaches facing China, just 100 miles to the west. But they know what the world knows: This is no longer Taiwan's fight. This is a battle between an old superpower and a new one. Ever since 1949, when Nationalist forces retreated to Taiwan following the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, Beijing has regarded the island as a renegade province of the People's Republic. Now, in 2015, only the United States can offer Taiwan protection from China's warplanes and invasion fleet.

The article, titled "What a war between China and the United States would look like", paints a vivid image of a war between the two powers over the Republic of China (Taiwan).  It describes how the Chinese, using a mixture of modern tactics and technology, surprise and defeat the United States in the Pacific and take control of Taiwan.  At the end of the article the US officers discuss and revise their strategy, and replay the simulation, this time managing to defeat the Chinese and save the tiny, island republic, but the disturbing feeling of a Chinese victory - and rise to superpower status - is not washed away.  And for good reason.

Ten years ago RAND published a study which showed to the United States winning an air war over Taiwan easily.  Today that battle would end in defeat according to the study, and since that study the Chinese have announced their newest weapon to counter America: Anti-carrier missiles.
Nothing projects U.S. global air and sea power more vividly than supercarriers. Bristling with fighter jets that can reach deep into even landlocked trouble zones, America's virtually invincible carrier fleet has long enforced its dominance of the high seas.

China may soon put an end to that.

U.S. naval planners are scrambling to deal with what analysts say is a game-changing weapon being developed by China — an unprecedented carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles).

While the United States flounders in areas of cyber warfare the Chinese are creating an army of hackers.  While Americans downplay the idea of any nation would dare think to challenge American military supremacy, both the Chinese rhetoric and actions continue to be both bold and disturbing.  And while America struggles with its own debt and tries to maintain it's superpower status, there is an effort to cut US military spending.
Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) are urging lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to push the President's Commission on Deficit Reduction for cuts in military spending, as they seek signatories to a letter  circulated Tuesday.


The commission released a report  in June, outlining how to cut $1 trillion in defense budget and reduce the deficit over the next decade, without compromising national security.
People like Barney Frank and Ron Paul represent the new American isolationism, a belief which paradoxically believes that we can maintain our level of prosperity while sacrificing the role in foreign affairs that has helped lead to it.  This isolationist view ignores a world full of dangers.  When North Korea attacked the South, their response was "Keep America out of it".  When Russia invaded Georgia, they wanted none of it.  And when China makes it's move for Taiwan, they will ask "Why should Americans die for Taiwan?  This is a Chinese dispute".  The isolationist ignores that these views have died repeated deaths over the last 70 years, as the world has shrunk and a world power (let alone the sole superpower) cannot ignore events that happen half way across the globe any more.

So is it any shock that they would buy into the belief that you could cut an average of 100 billion a year from defense - without compromising national security - when we've fallen behind with increased spending over the previous ten years?  For them the rise of China is a mere inconvenience, one they would either rather ignore, or pretend it does not hold negative consequences for America, but one the which cannot be allowed to stand in the way of their illogical ideology.

To be clear:  I most certainly believe that trimming the defense budget is necessary, and I also believe that we can maximize our money by reviewing what we're spending our defense dollars on, and adjusting it as necessary.  But ultimately I believe any mass cuts in defense spending should be reserved as an act of desperation.  Though such acts may save us from complete collapse, it would be a phyrric victory.  The United States that would remain would be a shadow of its former glory, and our age would truly be over.  The American people need to think hard about everything going on in the world today and ask themselves if they as individuals, and our nation, is ready to see massive cuts in defense spending.

For further reading I recommend this excellent article.