February 26, 2013

The Last Line Of Defense

I was travelling last week and completely offline, which is the reason I hadn’t posted anything.

During that time I picked up a book recommended to me by one of my husband’s former comrades-in-arms, and found it a real must-read for anyone (read “younger American voters”) who are Constitutionally challenged, so to speak.

The book is called The Last Line Of Defense, and was written by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with Brian J. Gottstein.

Mr. Cuccinelli was one of the states’ attorney generals who sued the Obama Administration and the usual (Democrats, of course) suspects over Obamacare.

It’s a great and informative read, and as to my reference to younger voters, the bulk of whom seem to have voted for O, well, the early part of the book gives the historical reasons why the Constitution was written, the compromises between founding fathers(Patrick Henry/James Madison) that led to the Bill of Rights and full ratification of the greatest document for liberty in the history of the planet.

Perhaps if ALL Obama/Pelosi/Reid supporters read the book, learned what America is really all about and saw what these criminals are doing to our country, our liberty and our economy, with the exception of those who are socialists, communists, America haters, lowlifes who want to rob the hard working taxpayer via government handouts or simply very stupid people, they might revise their estimates of these dishonorable politicians.

I would call this book a must read and a worthy addition to the library of any American patriot.

February 15, 2013

Is the GOP finally getting off its derrier?

This question occurs to me after first learning that the House Republicans actually blocked a vote on Americans’ security being threatened by a Chuck Hagel appointment to the post of Secretary of Defense, (Whew, talk about close calls), and then the House Republicans foiling Obama and the Democrats’ ridiculous attempt to gain pay raises for the mostly useless, overbearing bureaucracy comprising the U.S. Government.

The House voted Friday to freeze the pay of federal workers for the third year in a row over the objections of congressional Democrats and the Obama administration.
Members voted 261-154 in favor of the bill, which would also lock in a pay freeze for members of Congress. It exempts people serving in the military.
The bill won significant support from Democrats — 43 voted for it — while 10 Republicans voted against it.
The legislation is an attempt to override President Obama’s executive order in December that seeks to give federal workers a 0.5 percent pay hike in late March. That order incensed congressional Republicans, who criticized it as an attempt to seize control of an issue that has been left to Congress.

House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said the bill is needed to control the costs of the federal government where possible, in order to pursue other objectives.

“It is a small price to pay, consistent with the President’s previous pay freeze, to hold pay increases of federal employees for one more year,” Issa said during debate.

“We could do this today, or we could cut the National Institutes of Health. We could do this today, or we could park two or three of our aircraft carriers and lay off the crews.”

Outstanding way of putting things!

The Obama administration on Wednesday said it opposes the bill, and that its proposed pay hike would “help ensure that the government remains competitive in attracting and retaining the Nationˈs best and brightest individuals for public service.”

That statement did not go so far as saying Obama would veto the bill. Such a threat is most likely not needed, as the Senate is not expected to consider the House bill.

However, House Republicans will likely have another chance to keep federal pay frozen. Congress is expected to consider another continuing spending resolution for the rest of 2013 before late March, when the current resolution expires.
As they did earlier in the week, Democrats charged Republicans with forcing federal workers to shoulder the costs of deficit reduction.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said federal workers have “already contributed more than $100 billion towards reducing the deficit and funding unemployment benefits for millions of American workers.”

“No other group of Americans have contributed more to reducing the deficit,” he said.

Issa rejected that assessment by noting that the $100 billion price tag on the pay freeze is over 10 years, and that it was less than $10 billion in the first year of the freeze. “Many of those sacrifices won’t occur because people aren’t necessarily be here for all ten years,” he added.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) said three years of a pay freeze is a “punishing cut in pay.”

“Federal employees have not asked for a pass,” she said. “But there is no way to justify singling them out as a solitary target, alone, repeatedly, picked out and picked on for cuts apart from the rest of the federal budget.”

But Issa rejected that as well, and criticized Democrats for calling “$274 a catastrophe for the federal workforce.” That’s the amount a worker earning about $55,000 a year would not be getting from the 0.5 percent pay hike if the bill became law.

Issa also argued that federal workers have seen pay increases, as they are given step increases within their pay grade, even though they have not been allowed to jump pay grades.

It’s funny that Democrats, who have historically been on the attack 24/7/365 against our security and intelligence services, hampering their very effort to do their jobs and slashing their budgets at very opportunity, now bring them up as though they were great supporters of said agencies.

Only two Republicans — Reps. Frank Wolf (Va.) and Frank LoBiondo (N.J.) — spoke against the bill during the debate. Both argued that FBI agents, CIA agents and other federal first responders should not have their pay frozen given that their work puts their lives at risk.

“I’ve talked to the CIA officers who are putting their lives on the line every single minute of every day,” LoBiondo said. “They don’t know when an attack is coming on them. They don’t know from which direction. And we are going to tell them that they should not get even a single dollar? Shame. That’s not what we should be about.”

And the surprising little detail is that the same Republicans who voted for the pay freeze are including themselves in it.

The legislation also freezes the pay of members of Congress. Democrats charged that Republicans included that language just to ensure support for the bill, and argued that there has been no threat to increasing the pay of members of Congress for the last few years.

Though, of course, the numbpeanut gallery weighs in…

On Thursday, however, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) argued that freezing the pay of members undermines the dignity of the job. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded,” she said.

Undermines the “dignity” of the job, indeed…. Most federal employees’ compensation, combined pay and benefit packages, are significantly higher than those of private sector employees doing similar jobs that, unlike government employment, require such items as accountability and a lot more bang for the buck.

Pelosi is, as always, full of that stuff we try to avoid stepping in wherever possible.

But then, since they sold out America to the far left, the same doo doo has been served up by the Democrats — unbelievably, as one would think given that they are supposed to be intelligent people representing the will of the people — on a regular basis.

Thank you, GOP, for at least getting, as Seth likes to put it, up on your hind legs for once and doing more than just the usual saber rattling.

by @ 12:18 pm. Filed under Congress

February 10, 2013

Somebody Has Grown A Brain!

This one’s right up Seth’s and Wolf’s alley, for sure…

From Thisismoney.co/uk

Private security group assembles first private navy since East India Company to protect Indian Ocean shipping convoys from Somali pirates

Piracy ain’t what it used to be. The days of salty sea dogs with a wooden leg and a garrulous parrot are long gone – if they ever existed – and the modern version is not quite so romantic.

Out in the Indian Ocean, armed Somali pirate gangs roam an area the size of North America, boarding trade vessels and demanding huge ransoms for the return of precious cargo and terrified crew.

Western navies are already incapable of policing such huge areas and find themselves more thinly spread than ever as defence cuts bite.

Last year, South Korea reportedly coughed up £16m to retrieve one of its vessels. And £263m was paid in ransoms between 2009 and 2010.

A cut of the cash, typically up to 50 per cent, ends up funding brutal terrorist groups such as Somalia’s al-Shabaab. Ransoms are not even the biggest cost.

Nervous shipping firms often divert cargo round the Cape of Good Hope or run at fuel-guzzling speeds in the hope of outrunning pirates, at a cost of about £1.9bn last year.

Companies will spend this money rather than face the six-to-nine month wait before a captured ship is returned, usually stripped of anything that made it seaworthy.

Insurance claims can take years to come through, if ever. All told, the cost to global trade is between £4.5bn and £7.6bn every year.

Anthony Sharp, chief executive of private security group Typhon, thinks he has the answer. He is assembling the first private navy since the East India Company some 220 years ago.

The operational hub is a control room in Dubai, from which Typhon monitors its clients’ vessels in the vast ungovernable expanse of the Indian Ocean.

‘It always starts with detect and avoid,’ says Sharp, who launched his own pubs business straight after school and made military contacts via polo. ‘We’re not interested in having a fight and we’ll walk away from it if we can.’

But the high seas are unpredictable and it isn’t always possible to divert ships away from danger. The alternative is the security afforded by Typhon’s convoy protection model.

At the heart of the convoy is a 130m-long ‘mothership’, carrying four fast patrol boats capable of up to 50 knots. Above the mothership flies an ‘Aerostat’ balloon, or potentially an unmanned drone, able to spot threats from 15 miles away.

Some 60 highly-trained former Royal Navy and Royal Marines – earning between $200 and $1200 a day – are aboard, armed to the teeth with state-of-the-art weaponry.

Ships in the convoy fly the Typhon flag, letting would-be ransom-hunters know who they are dealing with. ‘It’s a bit like the Queen’s motorcycle outriders,’ says Sharp. ‘They will think, “I know what that flag means and there are easier targets”. These are entrepreneurial criminals, it’s not for King and Country.’

But pirates do not always behave rationally. Should a suspect vessel be spotted speeding towards the convoy, a fast patrol boat will be deployed. The boat comes alongside possible pirates and advises them in no uncertain terms to sail out of a half-mile exclusion zone.

‘If they’re really intent, that would provoke them to raise a weapon and start firing at us. Thankfully we’ve got ballistic nylon everywhere so we can take shots,’ Sharp explains nonchalantly.

The next step, he says, is not ‘shoot to kill’ but rather one shot, with a .50 calibre M82 sniper rifle, through the hull of the offending vessel.

‘The Royal Marines we employ are highly trained and quite capable of doing that, even at speed. And your vessel will sink.’

Specialist lawyers offer advice to ensure Typhon follows the rules of engagement in international waters to the letter. For potential clients, the savings are obvious.

It is not just about ransoms and fuel costs, but also insurance premiums, which Sharp reckons can be cut by up to 80pc for firms that buy Typhon’s protection.

The business proposition has plenty of backing.

Glencore chairman Simon Murray, a former French legionnaire, chairs Typhon’s advisory board. His role at the commodities trader and on the board of Asian shipping companies, means business should not be too hard to come by.

The boardroom also boasts more medals than the Olympic Village, with ex-military directors including Lord Richard Dannatt, former chief of general staff in the Army.

The group’s first fund-raising round won around £13m of investment from Middle Eastern shipping magnates tired of losing cargos. A second round of debt finance is expected once the Typhon fleet has expanded from two ships at present to ten.

Sharp hopes to extend the service into other maritime trouble spots such as the Gulf of Guinea, where oil theft from Nigeria’s fields has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Contracts for ports, or even the military, could follow.

After that, Sharp would happy to sell up to a major security company, none of whom have a division quite like it.

Typhon’s first boats will put to sea in April. The 21st century incarnation of Long John Silver could be in for a rude awakening.

Go get ‘em!

by @ 9:46 am. Filed under Getting Something Right, Security

February 5, 2013

Scheherazade

Speaking of Renaissance, this one only displays their album cover, but it is their entire Scheherazade L.P., which includes three songs on the first side;

Trip To The Fair, Vultures Fly High and Ocean Gypsy

On the second side is The Song Of Scheherazade, Rimsky-Korsikof stand aside! :-)

A great listen,

Enjoy….

by @ 10:55 am. Filed under Music

February 2, 2013

More Renaissance

After watching (and of course listening to this one), I can understand why Renaissance, though disbanded years ago, has long been at the top of Seth’s list of favorite groups.

I found this one on You Tube, and between the composition, musicianship and the great Annie Haslam’s vocals (and use of her voice, also, as an instrument with the keyboards, drums and strings during instrumentals), I can understand why Seth went to so many of their concerts, they are divine. This one is quality enough to take to full screen, also.

by @ 10:35 am. Filed under Music, Music & Video, Video

Hollywood Gun Owners?

From the Washington Times:

Hollywood might be a liberal town, but there are plenty of celebrities who own guns — and they’re not afraid to use them.

An E! Online report quotes gun owner Angelina Jolie talking about her willingness to protect her family: “If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them.”

She isn’t alone. Whoopi Goldberg of “The View” and James Earl Jones are both NRA members. Even Donald Trump — who spoke exclusively to The Times in November on the issue — and “The Avengers” star Jeremy Renner admit to owning firearms.

“I own guns and I don’t think guns kill people, I think people kill people,” Mr. Renner said recently.

Jennifer Lopez and Robert DeNiro are among a group of stars whose official gun-owning status is unknown, but have applied for a license to carry one, E! reports.

It’s really good to know that even among all those ultra-lefty Hollywoodians, there are indeed some people who stand firmly behind the Second Amendment. Some of the names we already know are believers in our right to keep and bear arms, others are, at least to me, something of a surprise.

Wow, here are a few examples from the link just above…

Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry is pro-gun. He said, “I have always been fascinated with guns. I grew up in America so granted, it is part of our heritage and it is written into the laws of how this country is run.”

Perry adds, “I’ve been fascinated with all kinds of weapons my whole life. And as I have been able to afford to acquire pieces, here and there I started to collect.”

Bad girl Angelina Jolie has always enjoyed guns. She previously said, “I bought original, real guns of the type we used in “Tomb Raider” for security”.

The beautiful actress adds, “Brad and I are not against having a gun in the house, and we do have one. And yes, I’d be able to use it if I had to… If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I’ve no problem shooting them.”

Angelina Jolie’s fiance, Brad Pitt, said about guns, “America is a country founded on guns. It’s in our DNA. It’s very strange, but I feel better having a gun. I really do.

“I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel the house is completely safe, if I don’t have one hidden somewhere. That’s my thinking, right or wrong.”

In fact, Pitt gave Jolie a $400,000 shooting range as an engagement gift.

NRA member and actor James Earl Jones previously stated, “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.”

Popular 80s actor Christian Slater keeps things simple, saying, “It’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.”

Rapper/actor Ice-T, whose real name is Tracy Morrow, supports the second amendment.

Ice-T said, “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt.”

“Diehard” star Bruce Willis has very good points to make in support of guns. The action star previously said, “Everyone has a right to bear arms. If you take guns away from legal gun owners, then the only people who have guns are the bad guys.”

Shock jock Howard Stern may not seem like a pro-gun type of guy but admits, “I am licensed to own a gun and in fact I own several guns.”

Stern said, “While I’m not really a gun enthusiast, I believe that people who particularly live on The Island (Long Island) in a home should have a gun to protect it.”

Of course, there’s Clint,

We’ve heard actor Clint Eastwood say his catchphrase “Go ahead and make my day”, but seems to feel the same in real life. Eastwood said, “I have a very strict gun control policy: if there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.”

And, also a big of course:

We all know where rocker Ted Nugent stands on guns.

Nugent talked of other celebrity gun owners previously, saying, “The guys at Metallica support the Second Amendment … I just bought a number of guns for Joe Perry of Aerosmith. And when I performed in the Howard Stern movie, I was approached by Howard, who showed me his .32-caliber Seecamp pistol.

“I was approached by Ozzy Osbourne and talked about his German 9mm Luger. Everybody supports the common pulse of defending one’s self, which is why our founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment.”

It’s nice to know there are some people in the entertainment biz who, in support of our precious Second Amendment, aren’t part of the mad, hell bent for leather liberal rush to abolish the U.S. Constitution….

by @ 9:53 am. Filed under The Second Amendment, The U.S. Constitution