Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gas Coupon

How's that " hopey/changey" thing working out for you ?

On the DEMS watch

Funny how when gas went up to $4 a Gallon in 2004 & 2005, the DEMS howled in protest and blamed Bush...NOW, Obama says that higher gas prices are not his fault.

Sorry, we (the American Consumer) know better than to believe the lies being put out by the DEMS. They have done little to increase domestic production and that is the one true " silver bullet" to getting us off of dependency to foreign oil.

Remember this when it comes time to vote in November. OMG - Obama Must Go.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

INCOMING - Obama plans 345% increase in healthcare costs for military

The battle of the budget is on and the feckless idiots in Washington have succeeded in spending our great-great-great grandkids and all the rest of us into a hole so deep they need to pipe light down to us at the bottom.

" Entitlements ' is the issue and who is entitled to what is the crux of the problem. Yes, we need to take care of the truly needy but the number of people who are officially listed as disabled has skyrocketed especially under Social Security. Many who now get a monthly check from Uncle Sam have never paid a nickel into the plan or seen the weekly deduction that is taken from those who work for a living.

Now, we get to the issue at hand, that the "Village Idiot from Chicago" has decided that after all the hard work the military has done for our country, they need to pay a higher premium for their healthcare. I understand that the cost of this program is not something that should be immune from adjustment but when they attempt to foist a 345% increase of the cost on the average military member/family, but at the same time not adjust the cost of the healthcare offered to UNION Government Civilian workers, we have a major problem.

This is par for the shiftless bastard in the White House. He has a life-long disdain for the military so he shafts them while giving preferential treatment to his Union Buddies. We need to send a message to the Idiot in Residence at the White House and send him out of there in November. While increases are needed, they should be shared across all areas and not just given to those who protect our country and serve in distant locations. Protecting Unionized Government workers who have done better than all other classes of workers is what was expected from the unethical poser in chief but now we can respond to this by voting him out of office.

OMG - Obama Must Go. Really.

Trashing Tricare - Obama to cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military
BY: Bill Gertz - Washington Free Beacon - February 27, 2012 3:36 pm

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.

Many in Congress are opposing the proposed changes, which would require the passage of new legislation before being put in place.

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

“When they talked to us, they did mention the option of healthcare exchanges under Obamacare. So it’s in their mind,” said a congressional aide involved in the issue.

Military personnel from several of the armed services voiced their opposition to a means-tested tier system for Tricare, prompting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to issue a statement Feb. 21.

Dempsey said the military is making tough choices in cutting defense spending. In addition to the $487 billion over 10 years, the Pentagon is facing automatic cuts that could push the total reductions to $1 trillion.

“I want those of you who serve and who have served to know that we’ve heard your concerns, in particular your concern about the tiered enrollment fee structure for Tricare in retirement,” Dempsey said. “You have our commitment that we will continue to review our health care system to make it as responsive, as affordable, and as equitable as possible.”

Under the new plan, the Pentagon would get the bulk of its savings by targeting under-65 and Medicare-eligible military retirees through a tiered increase in annual Tricare premiums that will be based on yearly retirement pay.

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.

The changes are worrying some in the Pentagon who fear it will severely impact efforts to recruit and maintain a high-quality all-volunteer military force. Such benefits have been a key tool for recruiting qualified people and keeping them in uniform.

“Would you stay with a car insurance company that raised your premiums by 345 percent in five years? Probably not,” said the congressional aide. “Would anybody accept their taxes being raised 345 percent in five years? Probably not.”

A second congressional aide said the administration’s approach to the cuts shows a double standard that hurts the military.

“We all recognize that we are in a time of austerity,” this aide said. “But defense has made up to this point 50 percent of deficit reduction cuts that we agreed to, but is only 20 percent of the budget.”

The administration is asking troops to get by without the equipment and force levels needed for global missions. “And now they are going to them again and asking them to pay more for their health care when you’ve held the civilian workforce at DoD and across the federal government virtually harmless in all of these cuts. And it just doesn’t seem fair,” the second aide said.

Spokesmen for the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Tricare increases.

The massive increases beginning next year appear timed to avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year, critics of the plan say.

Additionally, the critics said leaving civilian workers’ benefits unchanged while hitting the military reflect the administration’s effort to court labor unions, as government unions are the only segment of organized labor that has increased in recent years.

As part of the increased healthcare costs, the Pentagon also will impose an annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, a new program that all military retirees automatically must join at age 65. Currently, to enroll in Tricare for Life, retirees pay the equivalent of a monthly Medicare premium.

Under the proposed Pentagon plan, retirees will be hit with an additional annual enrollment fee on top of the monthly premium.

Congressional aides said that despite unanimous support among the military chiefs for the current healthcare changes, some senior officials in the Pentagon are opposing the reforms, in particular the tiered system of healthcare.

“It doesn’t matter what the benefit is, whether it’s commissary, PX, or healthcare, or whatever … under the rationale that if you raise your hand and sign up to serve, you earn a base set of benefits, and it should have nothing to do with your rank when you served, and how much you’re making when you retire,” the first aide said.

Military service organizations are opposing the healthcare changes and say the Pentagon is “means-testing” benefits for service personnel as if they were a social program, and not something earned with 20 or more years of military service.

Retired Navy Capt. Kathryn M. Beasley, of the Military Officers Association of America, said the Military Coalition, 32 military service and veterans groups with an estimated 5 million members, is fighting the proposed healthcare increases, specifically the use of mean-testing for cost increases.

“We think it’s absolutely wrong,” Beasley told the Free Beacon. “This is a breach of faith” for both the active duty and retiree communities.

Congressional hearings are set for next month.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars on Feb. 23 called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to block the healthcare increases.

“There is no military personnel issue more sacrosanct than pay and benefits,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, head of the 2 million-member VFW. “Any proposal that negatively impacts any quality of life program must be defeated, and that’s why the VFW is asking everyone to join the fight and send a united voice to Congress.”

Senior Air Force leaders are expected to be asked about the health care cost increases during a House Armed Services Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday.

Congress must pass all the proposed changes into law, as last year’s defense authorization bill preemptively limited how much the Pentagon could increase some Tricare fees, while other fees already were limited in law.

Tricare for Life, Tricare Prime, and Tricare Standard increases must be approved, as well as some of the pharmacy fee increases, congressional aides said.

Current law limits Tricare fee increases to cost of living increases in retirement pay.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Goal !!!

It's good to see that every once in a while, good things happen.....this is a classic.

To quote Bill Murray from Caddyshack:

Carl Spackler: Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

As the flood approaches....

Those in the "lifeboat" care very little about those who are not...All is well for them, so why should they concern themselves with the troubles of others?

Like in Massachusetts where the number of state employees earning over $100,000 a year has jumped 40% since Governor Deval " Cadillac " Patrick has taken office, with approximately 7000 state employees reaching this level of annual compensation.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Trying to have it both ways

The WSJ hits the nail on the head with this analysis of why the White House is all wet on the issue of Gas prices and a lack of action to help the average American.

We heard plenty of carping from the "loyal opposition" when prices spiked in the past. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, we hear that criticism of the President is unfair. It is unfair for Americans to get screwed over on inflated prices that the Administration could help if they weren't dedicated to raising the price of energy.

Unfair to the President? REALLY ?? Take your medicine Mr. President. You and your ilk don't have a clue and this is one of many of the reasons why you don't deserve another term. What has occurred over the 3 1/2 years of your term in office is wholly unfair to those of us who know that you need to go back to privtae life and stop impeding the success of our nation.

'Stupid' and Oil Prices
Obama's Forrest Gump analysis of rising gas prices..
Wall Street Journal

'The American people aren't stupid," thundered President Obama yesterday in Miami, ridiculing Republicans who are blaming him for rising gasoline prices. Let's hope he's right, because not even Forrest Gump could believe the logic of what Mr. Obama is trying to sell.

To wit, that a) gasoline prices are beyond his control, but b) to the extent oil and gas production is rising in America, his energy policies deserve all the credit, and c) higher prices are one more reason to raise taxes on oil and gas drillers while handing even more subsidies to his friends in green energy. Where to begin?

It's true enough that oil prices can't be commanded from the Oval Office, so in that sense Mr. Obama's disavowal of blame is a rare show of humility in the face of market forces. Would that he showed similar modesty in trying to command the tides of home prices, car sales ("cash for clunkers"), or the production of electric batteries.

The oil price surge has several likely sources. One is the turmoil in the Middle East, especially new fears of a supply shock from a conflict with Iran. But it's worth recalling that Mr. Obama also blamed the last oil-price surge, in spring 2011, on the Libyan uprising. Moammar Gadhafi is now gone and Libyan oil production is coming back on stream, yet oil prices dipped only briefly below $90 a barrel and have been rising since October. Something else must be going on.

Mr. Obama yesterday blamed rising demand from the likes of Brazil and China, and there is something to that as well. But this energy demand is also not new, and if anything Chinese and Brazilian economic growth has been slowing in recent months.

Another suspect—one Mr. Obama doesn't like to mention—is U.S. monetary policy. Oil is traded in dollars, and its price therefore rises when the value of the dollar falls, all else being equal. The Federal Reserve throughout Mr. Obama's term has pursued the easiest monetary policy in modern times, expressly to revive the housing market. It has done so with the private support and urging of the White House and through Mr. Obama's appointees who are now a majority on the Fed's Board of Governors.

Oil staged its last price surge along with other commodity prices when the Fed revved up its second burst of "quantitative easing" in 2010-2011. Prices stabilized when QE2 ended. But in recent months the Fed has again signaled its commitment to near-zero interest rates first through 2013, and recently through 2014. Commodity prices, including oil, have since begun another surge, and hedge funds have begun to bet on commodity plays again. John Paulson says he's betting on gold, the ultimate hedge against a falling dollar.

Fed officials and Mr. Obama want to take credit for easy money if stock-market and housing prices rise, but then deny any responsibility if commodity prices rise too, causing food and energy prices to soar for consumers. They can't have it both ways, as not-so-stupid Americans intuitively understand when they buy groceries or gas. This is the double-edged sword of an economic recovery "built to last" on easy money rather than on sound fiscal and regulatory policies.

As for domestic energy, Mr. Obama rightly points to the rising share of U.S. oil consumption now produced at home. But this trend began in the late Bush Administration, which opened up large new areas on and offshore for oil and gas drilling that are now coming on stream. Mr. Obama sneered at expanded drilling as a candidate in 2008 and for most of his term has done little to expand it.

In early 2010, he proposed to open some new areas to drilling but shut that down after the Gulf oil spill. According to the Greater New Orleans Gulf Permits Index for January 31, over the previous three months the feds issued an average of three deep-water drilling permits a month compared to the historical average of seven. Over the same three months, the feds approved an average of 4.7 shallow-water permits a month, compared to the historical average of 14.7.

Approval of an offshore drilling plan now takes 92 days, 31 more than the historical average. And so far in 2012, an average of 23% of all drilling plans have been approved, compared to the average of 73.4%.

Oh, and don't forget the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have increased the delivery of oil from Canada and North Dakota's Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refineries, replacing oil from Venezuela.

The reality is that most of the increase in U.S. oil and gas production has come despite the Obama Administration. It is flowing from the shale boom, which is the result of private technological advances and investment. Mr. Obama has seen the energy sun rise and is crowing like a rooster that he made it happen.

Mr. Obama yesterday also repeated his proposal that now is the time to raise taxes on oil and gas companies, as if doing so will make them more likely to drill. He must not believe the economic truism that when you tax something you get less of it, including fewer of the new jobs they've created.

We'd almost feel sorry for Mr. Obama's gas-price predicament if it weren't a case of rough justice. The President has deliberately sought to raise the price of energy throughout the economy via his cap-and-trade agenda. He is now getting his wish, albeit a little too overtly for political comfort. Mr. Obama has also spent three years blaming George W. Bush for every economic ill. If Mr. Obama now feels frustrated by economic events beyond his control, perhaps he should call Mr. Bush for consolation.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Know Your Labs...

Barrowed from another fine blogger and too funny not to share with you...

I Love My Black Lab " Dale "...He is a cool dog who just goes along with life and who loves his tennis ball and/or squeaky toys.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Double Talk on Gas Prices from a clueless President

Spin, spin, spin...It is unbelievable that the " Village Idiot From Chicago " thinks that people will believe his reasoning for why $4 a gallon gas is good for our country. It is not.

The American consumer is getting squeezed on all sides and the more that is spent for Oil & Gas means less to spend on the other needs of families like food, shelter and other necessities. His failure to understand how an issue like this impacts the average American is the hallmark of a failed Presidency.

It is time for a new leader and hopefully, one who understands that the citizens of our great nation deserve better. we have the ability to sustain our energy needs as long as we have a leader who will allow it. Obama is the main impediment we presently face to succeeding in this area.

Obama's Double Talk on Sky-High Gas Prices
Investors Business Daily

Posted 02/21/2012

When gas prices hit $4 a gallon in 2008, candidate Barack Obama said it was due to previous failed energy policies. Now that prices are heading still higher, President Obama calls it progress.

Already, pump prices are higher than they've been in previous years, suggesting they will top $4 soon and possibly reach an unprecedented $5 this summer.

President Obama is starting to notice the political implications. So he sent Robert Gibbs — now a top campaign adviser — out to tell the public not to worry.

"Just on Friday, the Department of the Interior issued permits that will expand our exploration in the Arctic," Gibbs said Sunday. "Our domestic oil production is at an eight-year high, and our use of foreign oil is at a 16-year low. So we're making progress."

"Progress" isn't exactly how Obama described the country's energy picture in 2008, when gas prices were closing in on $4 a gallon. Then, it was a clear sign of "Washington's failure to lead on energy," which was "turning the middle-class squeeze into a devastating vise-grip for millions of Americans."

"For the well-off in this country," Obama said in May 2008, "high gas prices are mostly an annoyance, but to most Americans they're a huge problem, bordering on a crisis."

In August that year, he declared rising energy costs to be "one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced" and that gas prices "are wiping out paychecks and straining businesses."

While Gibbs is right that domestic production has climbed in the past three years, Obama's policies had nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Subscribe to the IBD Editorials Podcast Oil coming from offshore wells was in the pipeline, so to speak, during the Clinton and Bush years, when those permits were issued. And the oil pouring out of North Dakota is the result of drilling on private lands.

Obama, in fact, has made it clear for years that he has no real interest in boosting domestic production.

When President Bush announced plans in 2008 to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling, Obama dismissed it, saying "it would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for 30 years."

"Offshore drilling," he said, "would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower gas prices next year and it would not lower gas prices five years from now."

In a big energy speech he gave in August 2008, Obama argued that "if we opened up and drilled on every single square inch of our land and our shores, we would still find only 3% of the world's oil reserves."

And while in office, Obama's done everything he can to limit production — slow-walking offshore permits, killing the Keystone XL pipeline, making it even harder to get oil out of federal lands.

Instead of aggressively expanding oil production, he offered a set of ridiculous alternatives — hugely wasteful "green" energy subsidies, a call for a million electric cars by 2014 and costly fuel economy mandates that won't make a dent in consumption for decades.

With gas prices up 93% since Obama took office, we're seeing just how well this approach works.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Unemployment is the key issue we presently face

On Presidents Day, many in the private sector are working. This is because this is one of the holidays that private companies don't offer, but rest assurred, your local, state & federal employees are enjoying a long weekend.

For others, it is just another day of looking for work. This is the defining issue of the upcoming election. Gay marriage,immigration and other issues are important, but until Americans can get back to work and at a good wage, there is no more pressing issue for deciding our next election.

CBO: U.S. enduring the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression
February 16, 2012

After three years with unemployment topping 8 percent, the U.S. has seen the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, the Congressional Budget Office noted in a report issued today.

And, despite some recent good news on the economic front, the CBO is still predicting that unemployment will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The report also notes that, including those who haven't sought work in the past four weeks and those who are working part-time but seeking full-time employment, the unemployment rate would be 15 percent.

The CBO made its comments in a report examining the long-term effects of joblessness, and possible policy options to boost employment, including unemployment insurance reforms and job training programs. The report came at the request of Democratic Michigan Rep. Sander Levin, but Republicans quickly jumped on the chance to bash President Obama's stimulus program, which is also reaching its three-year anniversary today.

"The stimulus is a stark reminder of how the president got the policies he wanted, and how those policies have failed the American people and are making things worse," said Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Saturday, February 18, 2012

An Anti American Energy Policy

Is it any wonder why people feel that the present administration is determined to ruin us and drive our economy into the ground ?? You'll be paying $4 a Gallon for gas very soon and that is over 100% more than when Obama took office in January 2009.

According to the Wall Street Journal, while speaking on “the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu had this gem when speaking about you, the American people, and your embrace of his green jobs and global warming agenda:

" The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren’t acting in a way that they should act. The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is."

Once again, the Obama Administration has decided to name call, condescend and demean the opposition rather than defend their policies which most Americans rightly understand would kill the economy, kill jobs and do nothing to help the environment.

If this isn't enough of a reason to vote out the present administration, I don't know what would be. This is the direct opposite of what our elected leaders should be doing as the extra $$$ spent on gasoline limits the ability of Americans to purchase the other things needed. This is what we get when we elect a candidate who should never been considered for the highest office in the land.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Obi-Wan: Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

Obi-Wan: For over a thousand generations, the Jedi knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic... before the dark times... before the Empire (and Obama)...

The fact that we will waste federal tax dollars on posting mile marker signs on roads ( which were unneeded) and making signs touting jobs created (making signs no less) and "green" programs that end up being unsuccessful, but will not fund the exploration of Mars which could benefit all mankind like the Moon exploration project did shows how short sighted the present administration is....We need to redirect our budget towards the right things and stop allowing it to be wasted for political purposes.

Think about how things have gone for the last 3+ years - $4 a gallon gas ? Unemployment ? People losing their homes ?? Are you really interested in 4 more years of that crap ?

The only way to correct this is easy to see......OMG - Obama Must Go.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Being raised right by our parents in the 20th century

This was sent along and while it is something you have likely seen before, I like to reinforce the message as it is truthful and is worth repeating.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats,
No booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.
We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar.
And, we weren't overweight.

Because we were always outside playing...that's why!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And, we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
And then ride them down the hill, only to find out
We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes
a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's and X-boxes.
There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable,
No video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's,
No cell phones,No personal computers, no Internet and no chat rooms.WE HAD FRIENDS
And we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth
And there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays,
Made up games with sticks and tennis balls and,
Although we were told it would happen,
We did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and
Knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just
Walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.
Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them?

CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others
who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the
lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives
for our own good.

The truth - Obama has failed and doesn't deserve re-election.

Earlier this morning, I thought there was nothing worth writing about this morning.

Guess I was wrong. Looks like the "Village Idiot from Chicago" gave me what I needed.
The President's re-election team has set up " truth teams ' to make sure the truth gets out about his record.

Here is the truth - He has been the worst President ever. We needed leadership and all we got was lefty looney politics. That's the truth. He has spent us into a larger hole and rewarded his political allies.

The truth - it hurts. I hope he gets that when he is voted out of office as the truth is no one needs another term from this poser.

OMG - Obama Must Go.

Feb 13, 2012
Obama campaign sets up 'Truth Team'

By David Jackson, USA TODAY
AP - President Obama's re-election team is seeking help from Internet and on-the-ground backers to spread the word about Obama's record in office, and to bash his Republican critics.

The purpose of the "Truth Team" is to "promote the President's achievements, respond to attacks on his record and hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable," said the announcement from the Obama re-election team.

I got nothing....Winter Doldrums

Spent some time this morning looking for the issue of the day to comment on.....and I got nothin'.

Yes, Obama's budget is out (more overspending with money we don't have), Whitney Houston died tragically ( and predictably based on her issues), the world is still making a mess of things and we are approaching an election cycle more divided than ever.

So what could I comment on ?? There is too much bad news and not enough news that makes it worthy to make note of.....Guess this is part of the winter doldrums. We see things through a wintry lense and have trouble being optimistic until Spring makes it entrance.

SPRING is on the way. That is the best thing I can offer today. About a month from now we will be well into mid-March. Can't come soon enough.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

US Navy and the World Wide Web....not always online

The US Navy focuses technology as it's strategic advantage, except if you want to connect with those on land. The Ship is a self contained world that manages information to allow it to carry out the mission. That works for the battlespace but not so much for those who want to get information from the World Wide Web.

Guess that really cuts into the Facebook time, eh? As the officers would tell you, the mission comes first.

I was always amazed at the technology we used as it seemed to be rooted in the past but part of that is because it has to be built to take a lot of abuse, especially in battle.

On Navy Warships, the Web Slows to a Crawl
By Spencer Ackerman -

ABOARD THE U.S.S. WASP — This 40,000-ton assault ship can launch deadly sea and air attacks against enemies ashore and afloat. Just don’t expect it to load a website in under three minutes.

The big-deck ship is a formidable floating base for sailors and Marines — who had better prefer to stay in limited contact with the outside world in their off-hours. The communications infrastructure onboard is a reminder that the Wasp began its service to the Navy in 1989: the flight control station has a big, black telephone with a big, black spiral cord attached. Marines temporarily stationed to the Wasp for this week’s giant Navy-Marine war game, known as Bold Alligator, sigh when they need to get online and say that the best way to get in touch with their comrades aboard is to walk the narrow metal halls until they physically find them.

But looks can be deceiving. The ship’s communications gear feels like a throwback to a pre-wired era, and it runs up against some serious bandwidth limits. But it’s also got advantages on civilian communications infrastructure: Iridium satellite hookups mean that the Wasp can sail around the globe and never encounter a dead zone.

The Wasp presents a microcosm of the strengths and the limitations of communications infrastructure aboard Navy ships. And to understand both, those serving aboard her say, it’s best to remember first what a ship is and isn’t.

The Wasp’s top communications officer, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Angela W. Elder, points out that her ship is a self-contained organism. Its on-board generators have to power everything from the communications gear to the propulsion systems to the navigation systems to the fluorescent lights. “It’s one system, and everything connects into it,” Elder says.

When we civilians on dry land make a cellphone call or send a text, we don’t have to worry about draining our car batteries. Navy ships don’t have that luxury.

That helps highlight the differences with the other military services. The Army has prioritized developing its data networks in the hope of rapidly getting tactical information down to low-ranking soldiers, possibly through smartphones in the future. The Air Force hearts bandwidth, in order to stream video captured by its family of surveillance tools, from drones to giant blimps to manned spy planes. All that is less feasible aboard a ship commissioned in the Reagan era.

Then there are the security restrictions. For most of Sunday, the Wasp switched off its internet access for hours as part of the Bold Alligator exercise, to simulate the precautions the ship would take in a real amphibious assault. “Sometimes we don’t want information to leave the ship,” Elder says, “so we’ll take down information that’s not vital to what’s going on. That impacts our NIPR net,” an unclassified military network.

If the unclassified web feels like a non-priority aboard, that’s because for the most part, it is. With limited bandwidth for voice, text and data — Elder won’t disclose specific connection speeds — the ship must prioritize the communications channels that sailors and Marines need to do their jobs. “This [ship] is designed to support the warfighter,” says Marine Maj. Robert Evans, the communications chief for Expeditionary Strike Group 2, which is headquartered on the Wasp for Bold Alligator. “Facebook, Twitter — that’s not taken into account.”

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the U.S. military extended enormous effort and treasure to allow troops could email at home. Even at the lonliest, tech-starved outposts, there was access to the unclassified internet. At sea, it’s a very different story.

There are exceptions, though. The Wasp rations access to the broader civilian web through judicious disbursement of logins. But Marines and sailors can relax or eat through their downtime by playing Call of Duty in the ship’s library computer lab.

Communications upgrades are a long time in coming, usually occurring during the six to nine months the Wasp spends in the shipyard between deployments. Patches are more typical than comprehensive upgrades. The last one aboard this ship occurred 18 months ago — and the Wasp has better bandwidth than many other ships, Elder and Evans say.

But don’t think for a second that the Wasp — which Evans calls a “giant floating tactical electromagnet” — is out of touch. The Navy needs very, very badly to stay in touch with the approximately hundred ships it always has deployed around the world. The satellite connections aboard the Wasp make sure that the ship is always communicating with the chain of command, absent a major power failure. “No dead zones. Ever,” says Evans.

Still, both Evans and Elder concede that bandwidth limitations are a challenge — especially as newer intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance gear comes online to give the fleet more persistent pictures of what’s over the horizon. The Navy’s Fire Scout drone is already used in Latin America to help spot drug-mule ships; more sea-based drones are on their way. “The ship is not equipped to receive full-motion video on demand,” Evans says. “I would think, eventually, that would need to change.”

But it’s not as if extracurricular web browsing is impossible. Login, click on Internet Explorer, and prepare to wait. “You may not hit the website you need on the first, second, third try,” Evans says, “but it’ll get done.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

US Navy SEALs police their own

Looks like the US Navy SEALs have started policing their own regarding the leaking of the info about ops recently conducted....I feel that this is as it should be as they should understand OPSEC is vital to their continued success...

I understand the need to salute these American Jedi Knights but their safety and the safety of those who support them is paramount to any PR campaign... The new movie " ACT OF VALOR " and other media shows have shown enough about what they can do when under duress without the divulging of more detailed info about specific operations IMHO.

Bravo Zulu to our US Navy SEALs. I salute you and appreciate all you do each day.

Navy SEAL Commander Advised to 'Get the Hell Out of the Media'
By Huma Khan ABC News

A retired general today assailed the commander of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden for drawing too much media attention to operations that he argued should be kept under wraps.

Special Operations Commander Adm. Bill McRaven was confronted by retired Lt. Gen. James Vaught, who said he didn't understand why the recent raids by the Navy SEALs, such as the one to kill Osama bin Laden or to rescue U.S. hostage Jessica Buchanan, were all over the media.

"Since the time when your wonderful team went and drug bin Laden out and got rid of him, and more recently when you went down and rescued the group in Somalia, or wherever the hell they were, they've been splashing all of this all over the media," Vaught, 85, said. "I flat don't understand that.

"Now back when my special operators extracted Saddam [Hussein] from the hole, we didn't say one damn word about it," he continued. "We turned him over to the local commander and told him to claim that his forces drug him out of the hole, and he did so. And we just faded away and kept our mouth shut.

"Now I'm going to tell you, one of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy's going to be there ready for you, and you're going to fly in and he's going to shoot down every damn helicopter and kill every one of your SEALs. Now, watch it happen. Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media," he concluded, as laughter broke out at a meeting of the National Defense Industrial Association in Washington, D.C.

Vaught commanded the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Iran in 1979. Eight service members died and four were injured in "Operation Eagle Claw" when the helicopters on the mission collided in the remote Iranian desert. Vaught, whose role made him the first commander of Delta Force, was not active duty during the Hussein raid, which was also conducted by the Delta Force, the secretive counterterrorism unit.

McRaven jokingly responded that he became a Navy SEAL because his sister was dating a special forces member and because he was infatuated with John Wayne's movie, "The Green Beret."

"The fact of the matter is, there have always been portrayals of SOF [Special Operations Forces] out in the mainstream media," he said. "We are in an environment today where we can't get away from it. It is not something that we actively pursue, as I think a number of the journalists here in the audience will confirm. But the fact of the matter is, with the social media being what it is today, with the press and the 24-hour news cycle, it's very difficult to get away from it."

He added that it was difficult to avoid media coverage in today's 24-hour news cycle and that it could actually help Navy SEALs do their job better.

"We have had a few failures. And I think having those failures exposed in the media also kind of helps focus our attention, helps us do a better job. So sometimes the criticism … the spotlight on us actually makes us better," McRaven said.

The Navy SEALs have received heavy media attention in the past year thanks to the bin Laden raid and the rescue in Somalia. A movie titled "Act for Valor" focusing on the elite special operations force is due for release next month and Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow is making a movie about the raid that killed the world's most wanted man.

McRaven was in Washington, D.C., today talking about an expansion in the role of special operations forces in Afghanistan. Special operations troops, McRaven said, would likely be the last to leave the country and the Pentagon is even considering a new special operations command, but that has not been decided yet.

"I have no doubt that special operations will be the last to leave Afghanistan," McRaven said. "As far as anything beyond that, we're exploring a lot of options."

ABC News' Meg Fowler contributed to this report.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

No Joy in Beantown - The Patriots come up short

With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer of the San Francisco Examiner -

Today's rendition of " Brady at the Ball "

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Patriots that day;
The score stood against them, with but one quarter more to play,
And then when Welker dropped the ball, and Gronk pulled up lame,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Brady could but get the ball across the line —
We'd put up even money now, with Brady on the drive."

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Brady, mighty Brady, was advancing down the field.

There was ease in Brady's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Brady's bearing and a smile lit Brady's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his helmet,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Brady.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing NY defensive line ground their cleats into the turf,
Defiance flashed in Brady's eye, a sneer curled Brady's lip.

The sneer has fled from Brady's lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounded with cruel violence his throw of the football.
And now the linesmen holds the line, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Brady's throw.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Beantown — mighty Brady & the Patriots have " struck out ".


It was a good season and The Patriots did their the end, it proved to come up short.

There is always next year. And the Patriots will be there on top in the AFC as expected.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Time for talking is over.....the NE PATRIOTS will win the Super Bowl

The two weeks of analyzing and such has been overdone ( as usual ). The PATRIOTS have endured the "pro-Giants" attitude of the media and others who want to see the PATRIOTS fall like they did in 2007.

NOT. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. The PATRIOTS are going to take NY down.

The Patriots were not favored to be here but earned a spot by being dominant. They earned the spot. NY got lucky. They were 9-7 this season and got to be here becuase other teams made serious mistakes.

The PATRIOTS dedicated their season to Myra Kraft as she was a very giving person and made other's lives better. Her role was to be the one who shared the Karft's success with those who needed help. Thanks Mrs. Kraft for all you did for those less fortunate.

Time to let the game be the measure of success. GO PATS ! We know you will bring the Lombardi Trophy home to FOXBORO.

Prediction is PATRIOTS 27 - NY 13.

If The Economy Is Improving….

Another week and the labor numbers were released. They "say" that unemployment went down but this is the number used to record who is on benefits. Those that fell off benefits after 26 weeks or more are not included.

These are some serious questions. Read through and see if you come to a conclusion.

If The Economy Is Improving….

Everywhere you turn these days, someone is proclaiming that the economy is improving. Barack Obama is endlessly touting the "improvement" in the economy, the mainstream media is constantly talking about "the economic recovery" and an increasing number of Americans seem to be buying into this line of thinking. A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe that the economy will improve over the next year, while only 17 percent of Americans believe that it will get worse. But is the economy actually improving? Not really. At the moment things are relatively stable. Some economic statistics are improving slightly and some continue to get even worse. However, it is very important to keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons why things have stabilized is because the federal government is pumping more than a trillion dollars a year into the economy that it does not have.

The Obama administration is engaging in a debt binge unlike anything America has ever seen before, and yet many economic indicators are still in decline. So what is going to happen when the federal government stops injecting gigantic waves of borrowed money into the economy? That is a frightening thing to think about. The best efforts of our "leaders" in Washington D.C. are not accomplishing a whole lot. The Federal Reserve has pushed interest rates as low as they can go and the federal government is spending unprecedented amounts of money. But even with the federal government and the Federal Reserve pushing the accelerator all the way to the floor, the economy is still not improving much at all. Millions upon millions of Americans out there are anticipating some sort of a "great economic recovery", and they are going to be bitterly disappointed.

But right now there are some "bright spots" in the economy, and you are bound to run into family and friends that will repeat to you the nonsense that they are hearing on the television about how the economy is recovering.

When they try to convince you that the economy is getting better, ask them these questions....

If the economy is getting better, then why did new home sales in the United States hit a brand new all-time record low during 2011?

If the economy is getting better, then why are there 6 million less jobs in America today than there were before the recession started?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the average duration of unemployment in this country close to an all-time record high?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of homeless female veterans more than doubled?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of Americans on food stamps increased by 3 million since this time last year and by more than 14 million since Barack Obama entered the White House?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of children living in poverty in America risen for four years in a row?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the percentage of Americans living in "extreme poverty" at an all-time high?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the Federal Housing Administration on the verge of a financial collapse?

If the economy is getting better, then why do only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012?

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of self-employed Americans fallen by more than 2 million since 2006?

If the economy is getting better, then why did an all-time record low percentage of U.S. teens have a job last summer?

If the economy is getting better, then why does median household income keep declining? Overall, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8% since December 2007 once you account for inflation.

If the economy is getting better, then why has the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by 10 million since 2006?

If the economy is getting better, then why is the average age of a vehicle in America now sitting at an all-time high?

If the economy is getting better, then why are 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida currently sitting vacant?

If the economy is getting better, then why are 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 living with their parents?

If the economy is getting better, then why does the number of "long-term unemployed workers" stay so high? When Barack Obama first took office, the number of "long-term unemployed workers" in the United States was approximately 2.6 million. Today, that number is sitting at 5.6 million.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

" Are you better off than you were 4 years ago ?"

Data from Gallup polling tells the tale of what the 2012 election scene looks like.

My daughter was asking questions about the election and I put this question to her:

" If you lost a job or your home over the last three years, or someone in your family or among your good friends lost a home or a job, would you vote for more of the same ?" It is as simple as that. For the past three years we have listened to the Simpleton from Chicago blame everybody else and not taken responsibility for his lack of ability to make a difference. Inflation is up and the cost of living is hurting a lot of people.

It comes down to the question Ronald Reagan put to the Voters:

" Are you better off than you were 4 years ago ?"

This polling gives you the answer.

Gallup state numbers predict huge Obama loss
by Conn Carroll Senior Editorial Writer
Washington Examiner

Gallup released their annual state-by-state presidential approval numbers yesterday, and the results should have 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue very worried. If President Obama carries only those states where he had a net positive approval rating in 2011 (e.g. Michigan where he is up 48 percent to 44 percent), Obama would lose the 2012 election to the Republican nominee 323 electoral votes to 215.

Gallup adds:

Overall, Obama averaged 44% job approval in his third year in office, down from 47% in his second year. His approval rating declined from 2010 to 2011 in most states, with Wyoming, Connecticut, and Maine showing a marginal increase, and Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New Jersey, Arizona, West Virginia, Michigan, and Georgia showing declines of less than a full percentage point. The greatest declines were in Hawaii, South Dakota, Nebraska, and New Mexico

OPSEC & Protecting our Warriors - Something lost on the President

Those who go in harm's way learn and understand the first lesson of how to stay safe - OPSEC. This is short for " Operational Security ". The need to keep all info about mission, operations and tactics secure and by doing so, not allow the enemy to gain intelligence.

Too bad this simple concept doesn't extend to the President or the Vice President who have been using the SEALs exploits for political gain. They are " users ' and use people like the SEALs for their own benefit. By doing so, they put these warriors at risk.

Don't take my word for it, read the enclosed written by a Navy SEAL who feels pretty upset by what the idiot in the White House has been doing.

Obama Exploits the Navy SEALs
There may be political value in detailing how our special forces hunted bin Laden, but doing so threatens troop safety and future missions
By LEIF BABIN - Wall Street Journal

America's premier Special Operations force is once again in the headlines after a team of Navy SEALs rescued two hostages from captivity in Somalia last week. Elite U.S. forces have carried out such operations periodically over the past decade, always with skill and bravery. The difference in recent months is that the details of their work haven't remained secret. On the contrary, government officials have revealed them for political gain—endangering our forces in the process.

The floodgates opened after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May, and the Obama administration's lack of discretion was on display again at last week's State of the Union address. As President Obama entered the House chamber, in full view of the cameras, he pointed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and exclaimed: "Good job tonight, good job tonight." Clearly something had happened that he wanted the world to know about.

After delivering his speech, which included multiple references to the bin Laden raid, the president again thanked Mr. Panetta. "That was a good thing tonight," he said as if to ensure that the viewing public, if they missed it initially, would get it a second time around.

Sure enough, shortly thereafter, the White House announced the successful rescue of the hostages in Somalia by U.S. Special Operations forces. Vice President Biden appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to highlight the success the next morning, and Mr. Panetta also publicly praised it. Then came the "anonymous U.S. officials" to provide extensive details of who conducted the raid and how. As with the bin Laden operation, the top-secret unit that carried it out was again front-page news, as were its methods and tactics.

Our special operators do not welcome this publicity. In fact, from conversations I've had in recent days, it's clear they are dismayed by it.

Adm. William H. McRaven, America's top special-operations commander, wrote in his 1996 book "Spec Ops" that there are six key principles of success in special operations. Of paramount importance—especially given the risk and sensitivity of the missions and the small units involved—is what the military calls "operational security," or maintaining secrecy. If the enemy learns details and can anticipate the manner and timing of an attack, the likelihood of success is significantly reduced and the risk to our forces is significantly increased.

This is why much of what our special-operators do is highly classified, and why military personnel cannot legally divulge it to the public. Yet virtually every detail of the bin Laden raid has appeared in news outlets across the globe—from the name of the highly classified unit to how the U.S. gathered intelligence, how many raiders were involved, how they entered the grounds, what aircraft they used, and how they moved through the compound. Such details were highly contained within the military and not shared even through classified channels. Yet now they are available to anyone with the click of a mouse.

It's difficult for military leaders to enforce strict standards of operational security on their personnel while the most senior political leadership is flooding the airwaves with secrets. The release of classified information has also opened a Pandora's box of former and retired SEALs, special operators, and military personnel who have chosen to violate their non-disclosure agreements and discuss intricate details of how such operations are planned and executed.

We've already begun seeing specific examples of strategic harm from the post-bin Laden leaks. In June, Pakistan arrested several individuals who allegedly provided information to the CIA in advance of the raid. One of those charged with treason was a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi. This Sunday, Mr. Panetta confirmed to "60 Minutes" that Dr. Afridi had provided "very helpful" intelligence to the CIA. That may have condemned Dr. Afridi to death or life imprisonment.

Such disclosures are catastrophic to U.S. intelligence networks, which often take years to develop. Recklessness not only puts lives at risk but could set U.S. intelligence-collection efforts back decades. Our ability to carry out future operations is significantly degraded—something not lost on Pakistan.

A week after the bin Laden raid, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed dismay about Washington's loose lips, telling a town hall meeting of U.S. Marines at Camp Lejeune: "Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday—the next day."

Do the president and his top political advisers understand what's at stake for the special-operations forces who carry out these dangerous operations, or the long-term strategic consequences of divulging information about our most highly classified military assets and intelligence capabilities? It is infuriating to see political gain put above the safety and security of our brave warriors and our long-term strategic goals. Loose lips sink ships.

Mr. Babin is a former Navy SEAL officer who served three tours in Iraq, earning a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He left active duty six months ago