George Bush

Oil spill illustrates the limits of government

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Suddenly, even the hardcore Obama acolytes are calling for the President’s head. The government should be doing more, they say.

It’s wholly unfair to Obama to blame any part of this spill on him, just as it was unfair to Bush to blame him for Katrina. The slow response after Katrina shows the fundamental problem with relying on governmental agencies to be quick and agile when disaster strikes. It is not that Big Government is evil on any metaphysical level. It is the fact that it is well, Big. The bigger an entity, the more ponderous it becomes.

The German army during WWII is commonly thought to have won its early battles because it had superior technology. Some think that its Panzer tanks were superior to English and French machines. In fact, the French possessed arguably the world’s strongest army and both Englisha nd Frech armor was better than Germany’s. It was the way the Germans employed those tanks that made the difference. After WWI, Germany carefully studied its failures and decided that increasing the decision making capabilities of its small unit leaders would make the German fighting force must more tactically flexible. Instead of a squad leader calling all the way up to higher headquarters merely to be told to execute a flanking maneuver, the squad leader was trained to recognize the situation in which the enemy’s flank appeared vulnerable and then flank and destroy him.

So the German Army, instead of being micro managed from a singular person who had no feel for the actual tactical situation, gave its NCOs vast powers. It also gave its officers the authority to disobey orders should a situation require it.

And so we find, that with any large, centralized government agencies, a slowness of movement. Too many moving parts. The entity, like Hannibal’s war elephants, is powerful when you can get it into the fight, it’s getting it there that presents the biggest problem. It’s not useless or evil unless we make it so. We must understand its limits and we must also know when to pare red tape when it hurts us. Some regulation is severely slowing the ability of foreign nations to help us in the cleanup effort.

If we know the limits of government, if we understand its tendency to grow itself, than we can make it better. If we continue to act like an artist who believes that making a sculpture means adding instead of carving away, we will limit our own government’s ability to serve its own people. And that’s the only reason for a government to exist.

Paul McCartney: Leave him aloone!!

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Here Paul McCartney delivers his support for Obama and admonition for President Obama’s critics:

Of course, Sir Paul also insinuated that  President Bush didn’t know what a library was. Mrs. Bush is a librarian….

Here, Sir Paul can be a seen in a very private moment, defending another intellectual giant: Britney Spears:

Paul, my advise to you? Let it be.

Super-Duper Secret plan aimed to–GASP!–kill people who were trying to kill us!

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Those bad, bad Neocons from the Bush administration were even worse than we suspected. Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein tell us so, and how could we not believe any of the words that pour from Pelosi’s botoxed face?

She just seems soooo happy, nowadays! Everyone’s forgotten the fact that Nancy likes to waterboard bad people–unless her new and shiny president doesn’t. And he doesn’t. So Nancy doesn’t, and never did.

HHHHHaaapy! Bush and Cheney....BBBaaadd!
HHHHHaaapy! Bush and Cheney....BBBaaadd!

An Ultra-Black Operation has recently been outed. And myyyy goodness it’s a whopper. Makes the US government’s use of biological weapons in mass experiments on American citizens look like paddy cake. Know what Cheney knew about, and didn’t even have the decency to tell Nancy? Huh? Can you guess? The US military was trying to kill Al-Qaeda’s leadership! The nerve!

Now, this super-secret plan didn’t actually manage to kill anyone. The US government decided that using Predator drones was better, quicker and safer. But still. Nancy should have been let in on everything that she could possibly use to take the heat off herself.

Now let’s take a look at the way our military is killing our enemies everyday. It’s the program that’s killed hundreds if not thousands of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, endorsed by Bush and Cheney. And Nancy knew about it, too! We need an investigation!

For some, reality is just too much

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Obama released the Bush administration’s “torture” memos.  Expect the ACLU to be in full sue-everyone mode. They can make a ton of money off this–and they will.

The memos outline aggressive techniques used by CIA interrogators, including the much publicized but little understood water-boarding technique.

Also touched on are things like stress positions and sleep deprivation–all of which every single US soldier has undergone in Basic Training. US Army Rangers are almost starved. According to the wikipedia entry on Ranger School, common maladies suffered by potential rangers in training are as follows:

It is not uncommon for soldiers to lose 20-40 pounds. Military folk wisdom has it that Ranger School’s physical toll is like years of natural aging; high levels of fight-or-flight stress hormones (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol), along with standard sleep deprivation and continual physical strain, inhibit full physical and mental recovery throughout the course.

Common maladies during the course include weight loss, dehydration, trench foot, heatstroke, frostbite, chilblains, fractures, tissue tears (ligaments, tendons, muscles), swollen hands, feet, knees, nerve damage, loss of limb sensitivity, cellulitis, contact dermatitis, cuts, and insect, spider, bee, and wildlife bites.

I was watching Keith Olberman the other day, not because I wanted to, but because all of the TVs in the chow hall had his disenchanted mug on them. He looked very distraught as he reported that Obama will not authorize prosecution of those named in the memos.

Keith needs to read about some of the things that happened while our SOG and SEAL guys were fighting the Vietcong in Vietnam. Keith thinks the Bush era is somehow comparable to Mao’s China or Stalin’s USSR. He really does.

See, I’m betting that Keith was one of the last guys picked for kickball in school. I’m betting he never played sports, despite being a former commentator for ESPN.

I think Keith would do well to experience the real world. Get out and smell some fresh air. Climb a mountain. Get attacked by an enraged chimpanzee, well fed on lobster and ice cream. Then, he’d know how tough things can be. He’d stop worrying about the CIA keeping Islamic assassins awake for 24 hrs.

He may even come to realize that US soldiers–teenagers many–put up with CIA “torture” techniques everyday.