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um. You drive on any highways? You need a passport? You need to go through customs? You need a bank robbery investigated? You want your Social Security check? You want VA benefits? Cut any of the budget of the federal agencies that dole out these funds and you will wait longer for services.
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I would think the leaders on Kibutzim would fit into this category... Socialism, it seems, is generally capitalism, but with government service, not profits, as the way to become a part of the elite. My question for you is whether there has EVER been a government in which the people at the top didn't live at least as well as the plutocrats? But I guess in a capitalist society, at least, there is no hypocrisy when this happens.
Of course it begs the question you might pose: Many people would like a large non-government company to run the US mail service, yet it continues to struggle with the most mundane of tasks making copies at a location near its customer...
Prof B. I think I must have miscommunicated in my post. My intent was to say that the only presidents dating back to the beginning of the 20th century who did not screw up the war were Bush 41 (maybe) and FDR. We seem to be on the same page, FWIW. My point is that, no matter what Obama does, compared to a majority of his predecessors (especially Bush 43 and LBJ), he will have done well. Truman is a conundrum. The firing of McArthur was necessary, but it was a strain. And Truman had to make a choice, go with the Domino Theory and fight in S. Korea, or give up the peninsula and see if the Domino Theory was correct.
I do not agree with Mr. Kelleher that this is the first Shakespear anyone sees. I think Prof B made a fine choice, but it would not have been mine. IMHO, the greatest modern rendition of Shakespeare is Henry V with Kenneth Branaugh. His rendition of the "St. Crispin's Day" speech is one of the most incredible film moments ever. Henry V is much more engaging for teenagers. The war scenes are compelling. Whet the appetite with this one and then go to Richard III. For girls, I would start with Olivier and Leigh. On the other hand, if you want modern versions, without the language, "10 Things I Hate About You" is a good adaptation of Taming of the Shrew (admittedly, it is a bit juvenile).
OK. A query. Who was the last president to actually run a war well? My vote goes to FDR (maybe G.H.W. Bush). I believe that the US should get out of the war-fighting business, as it generally screws everything up when it gets there. Nominees: George W. Bush (Iraq/Afghanistan) George H.W. Bush (Iraq) LBJ (Vietnam) Truman (Korea) Roosevelt (WWII) Wilson (WWI) Yes, Clinton and Reagan had some small conflicts, but they were not wars. Nixon, Ford, and Eisenhower inherited their wars (as did Obama with Iraq and Afghanistan).
This is a British song, not an American song. Arguably, it is a Zimbabuaean song. It's not like they are playing Born in the USA or God Bless the USA. When they come for "Don't Stop Believing" or "Vacation," then we can become incensed. Next thing you know, you will be haranguing Al Quaeda's playing of "Give Peace a Chance".
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2011 on China to USA: We Will Rock You at BlackFive
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Prof B: I tend to agree with you. For electric cars to prevail in your scenario, they will have to have the advantages of gas cars, i.e., 1. Range of 300 miles or so on one charge. 2. Ability to have a pit stop of 10 minutes and go. If there were no gas stations on interstate highways, gas cars would not be as convenient as they are today. I would ask: if there was a place 1/2 way between LA And LV that could recharge your vehicle in 10 minutes (by swapping the battery, perhaps), would it be sufficient? Or would you have to get to LV on one charge and there is no substitute?
Obama has a long way to go to make Bush seem like an honest man. Frankly, no-one knows what is right here. Conservatives hate Qadaffi, but not as much as the Muslim Brotherhood. Which way to go? Supporting Qadaffi now is like supporting Pinochet 40 years ago. Situational ethics have always been the rule in diplomacy. I do not support the war, but I agree with Krauthammer, who advised that if one is going to start out to take Vienna, then take Vienna. Bush did not take Vienna. That is his legacy.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2011 on Obama's Libya Lies at
For the record, it is wrong to slash anyone's tires. It is not wrong to refuse service, I guess. But, these people are exercising their right to free speech and then being ostracized for it. Is that any different from being refused service while black? I served my country to protect these peoples' free speech rights even if the way they exercise their rights is repugnant.
Toggle Commented Nov 15, 2010 on Westboro wankers un-wheeled at BlackFive
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That's it. I will never NEVER go to the Marine Corps Museum. They just blew it with the truth. While it is true that the Army is the pre-eminent branch of the military, the Marines are cool and the blood stripe legend just adds the coolness. Also adding to the coolness is that there has to be a history of homosexuals in the Marines, don't ask, don't tell notwhithstanding. They are some badass mofos in the Marines, no doubt. The epitimy of warriors (and for the males, manliness). But don't tell me their dress uniforms (male and female) were designed by straight people. I wore the Army dress blues and they were definitely designed by straights (if you have any doubts, look at the female dress blues). But the dress uniforms are awesome. No way a straight guy or gal designed those. So, while the Marines lack the ... whatever the Army has ... there is no doubt they are the bomb. Screw the Marine museum. I don't care what they say, the legend is all that matters.
Toggle Commented Oct 23, 2010 on The Marines' Blood Stripe at BlackFive
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Ha. There is an Army regulation for almost everything. Where there is no regulation, there is a pamphlet. Where there is no pamphlet, there is a memorandum. So, from going to the latrine to invading a country, there is an Army way. Marriage certainly fits in there. And it should. I would argue that marriage can be more dangerous than firing a Howitzer, driving a tank, or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. I think having your CO sign off is a good thing. I would rather see a school, though.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2010 on Wedding Advice For my Friend TSO at BlackFive
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No Jefferson Davis? Al Capone? I think Nixon should be on there. His administration precipitated of the most serious constitutional crises in the 20th century. Joseph McCarthy. While he might have been right about some of the Communists, his tactics were disgusting. I might add Strom Thurmond to the list. His solitary filibuster in the 1950s was a singular shame. Bull Conner might go on there. While he was a local figure, what he did was representative of the ugly racism in the 1960s. I agree that most presidents and politicians should not be on the list. One may not agree with what Reagan, Clinton, Bush (II), and Obama do with the country, they generally did what they thought was best for the country, not what was best for themselves. Michael Moore is no more evil than Rush or Laura Ingraham. There is one media person, however, that should make your list: Father Charles Coughlin.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2010 on 20 Worst Americans at
I have a long list of disagreements with Bush's policies and actions. This is one act I commend, highly. He was not required to do this. Very nice.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2010 on A Few Hours Ago At the DFW U.S.O.... at BlackFive
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Best 10 minutes on Youtube ... ever. I will never get those 10 minutes back and I don't regret it one bit.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2010 on Surprise Homecomings at BlackFive
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I was just wondering. If OBL were to fly to DC and you (and/or some of your friends) were waiting for him, wouldn't that be a good thing?
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2010 on British Airways First Class Terrorist at BlackFive
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Marines are very useful. We send them into impossible situations, suicide missions, if you will, where everyone else would fail, or already failed. Somehow, they come out with a victory and with the pretty girl on their arm (mostly figurative, but sometimes literal). I could never be a Marine. I don't even know if I would want to be a Marine (I am damned sure the Marine Corps is glad I was not one). I am glad that we have young men and women who can be good Marines and make the choice to be.
Toggle Commented May 21, 2010 on Marinestan at BlackFive
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A couple of comments: 1. Don't ask, don't tell. 2. Where is the adult supervision? 3. I am a little disappointed, couldn't they have done this on a descent from a C130? These guys are pikers. On a serious note: this is great. Believe it or not, projects like this are what make the US armed forces the best in the world. Airborne, as it were.
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The Phelps clan was acting within their rights and they did have $16,000 in costs to fight a lawsuit that the Snyders could not win. But they are still scum. Sometimes the result mandated by our Constitution sucks. This is one of them. This is one losing battle worth fighting for. My only regret is that all or part of my donation will likely be going to the Phelps clan. My donation is made.
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2010 on WBC: So Much For My BP Meds at BlackFive
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Chuck, I do agree with you that the POTUS had the right to use the reserves the way he did. My point is that I don't think he SHOULD have done it the way he did. My choices, in that case, were to leave the Army altogether or go back on active duty. I did not (in my view) have the right to sit in the reserves and complain when I was called up.
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Tom, What do you mean that people put politics ahead of their country? There are many of us who firmly believe the war in Iraq was a catastrophic mistake. And we served in the military anyway. I did not quit the military because of the war in Iraq. I quit because Bush used the reserves in a way that I felt was inappropriate. He should have augmented the active forces and left the reserves for emergencies. At least that was my opinion. Most people in the military are there because they are patriotic. Most accept the fact that Bush had the authority to put us in war and, when he did, we had a duty to participate. Of course, there are those who did not want to go and cited the policies as a reason. And there are people on the right who do not want to go and cite specious reasons for that decision (such as claiming that Obama has no right to be president (birthers)). But that is no reason to slander the entire slate of right thinking Americans. Just a point of clarification: Bush was not un-American, his policies (such as some of the Patriot Act) were. I am convinced that he thought that everything he thought everything he did was best for the country. He was just mistaken, not un-American. You did not serve and that is a shame. Not a shame on you, but the country. Every able-bodied person should serve the country (either in the military or some other volunteer group). But that is another topic. From my experience, the military was very tolerant about people expressing their thoughts. So long as you did not express contempt for the president (a court-martial offense for officers) and followed orders, you were good to go.
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Well, damn. I told those conservative friends of mine that, if they voted for McCain, the targeted killings would continue. I guess I was right. For the record, I did not think that this would happen if my liberal friends voted for Obama. Overall, I agree with Uncle J's assessment.
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2010 on Targeted Killings & Assassination at BlackFive
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Tom W, I served from 2001 to 2006 under George Bush, even though I did not agree with his policies. I stayed in after 9/11 because I felt that I owed it to my country and the soldiers in my unit. When I was called up, I felt like I had done my duty. I think I am in the position to ask what duty you have done for your country. I am not calling you a chicken-hawk. For all I know, you could be a veteran of any number of wars. I do, however, take offense at your questioning my patriotism. I did not have to join the military (I did when a Republican was president), I did not have to join the ready reserve (I did that, too, when there was a Republican president), I could have stopped serving in the military when my 8 years were up (Clinton was president at the time). But I stuck with it. It was only when I thought the president was misusing the reserves that I resigned, which is the honorable thing to do when you disagree with your commander. I know dozens, maybe 100s, of soldiers who signed up for 3 years and did not re-enlist. I admire almost everyone for putting their butts on the line (there were some who just were not good soldiers). I did not go AWOL. I did not protest while in uniform. I did not refuse orders. My deal was to serve 8 years and that is what I did. By definition, that is honorable. I did believe, and I do believe, that the President misused the reserves. Either he should have withdrawn or he should have beefed up the active duty to run the war. The purpose of the reserves, IMHO, is to be there in emergencies. 7 years is not an emergency. Also, the one-year call up was hell on my family. The fact that Bush was a Republican had nothing to do with my decision. But the decisions that Bush made certainly made me a more resolute Democrat. By the way, conservatives do not use the chicken-hawk card because liberals who do not support wars do not join the military. Therefore, they are different from conservatives who support war and do not join the Army. The equivalent of chicken-hawks are those Democrats who support higher taxes and then cheat on their own. Allegations against Congressman Rangel come to mind.
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With all due respect. I have known my share of SF and Delta folks. I have never met a SEAL. The SF folks are the best soldiers I ever met and the most outstanding warriors. I cannot even imagine that the SEALS could hold their own on a battlefield with them, because they would have to be damn good. It befuddles my mind to think that the SEALS are better warriors. I am open to the possibility that SEALS could compete. However, that a bunch of squids could compare well with dogfaces is something that does not compute to this dogface. That said, I am glad the SEALS are on my side. Go Navy (except the last game of the football season).
Toggle Commented Mar 29, 2010 on Night at the Movies at BlackFive
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Please excuse me. I am a veteran with 14 years in service, including 7 years active duty and 1 of those years being called up from the ready reserve. I am also a Democrat with the utmost respect of veterans. I do agree with the Tea Party to a certain extent. I believe that both parties are wrong in this matter. The Republicans for fighting a war (actually 2) without funding it. The Democrats for participating in somewhat fiscally unsound programs. I am appalled both at the left wing for spitting on the troops (literally and figuratively) and the right wing for spitting on African-American politicians (literally and figuratively). I am not appalled at the left for opposing the wars (although I don't necessarily agree with them). I am not appalled at the right for opposing the health care bill (although I am certain they are wrong in their opposition). We need to fight for civility from both the right and left and fight for the right for each of them to express their ideals. That is why I spend 14 years in the military. As an addendum: I quit the military (after serving after 9/11) because I thought Bush was misusing the reserves. Never did I question Bush's right to make his decisions (although I did disagree with many of the decisions). I firmly believed that Bush's decisions were un-American. But I always believed that Bush was doing what he thought best for the country.
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