Friday, April 22, 2011

The 'Predatory Advantage'

Today's decision by the U.S. to appropriate some of the new Predator drones to help aid reconnaissance may actually be the key note to help bring this new war in Libya to a quick end.

Predator drones are unmanned airplanes that are operated remotely by a user in a safe zone.  They are smaller, cheaper, and safer to use for the purpose of recon and locale mapping--and in fact, they do it far better, with more accurate information, due to their extremely tight turning circle, compared to the fighter jets usually assigned to the job.

And the purposing of these drones could not be better--the most effective device in our arsenal, actually, aiding the hodge-podge, loosely-organized and poorly-equipped rebels.  Using fighter jets to provide this data would have been a hopeless drain on the main military provider in this war--us.

Until now, Moammar Gadhafi has had all the tanks and military machines of the home team at his disposal, and using them against the hapless, hopelessly outnumbered rebels, who have literally been backward-engineering their weapons by disassembling the shooting mechanisms from any war machines (helicopters, tanks, even jets).

It really has been looking like some strange middle-eastern mixture of the A-Team, MacGyver, the Mythbusters, and some weird, backwoods twice-removed uncle whose mainstay is making PVC potato rifles on the weekend.

But another quality aspect of the Predator drones will prove to be their ability to be maneuvered into tighter, smaller, zones, and--by very nature of their size, plus the newer, higher-resolution imaging technology they provide--separate the most minute factions of bad guys from the good guys, fighters from civilians, right down to the individual.

The most inspiring insights into overall character of the anti-Gadhafi rebels comes when you make that final Quantum Leap and see how closely their general character actually resembles some other rebel forces we're all more than familiar with--those depicted by George Lucas in his classic Star Wars series.

This explains why this is such a good decision--actually, it may be one of the best decisions affecting our involvement in a mid-Eastern war made by any of our last five administrations--a quick, financially prudent, modern, and entirely uniquely effectual appropriation, exemplifying the term.

With real-time re-con data provided by these drones, any small band of rebels can have a well-deserved unfair advantage over an entire battalion of overly-equipped outgoing warmonger droids--and out him quickly, decisively, and to the benefit of all.

If he realized how impressive and useful this data will be, he might even surrender tomorrow.  When that reality is forced upon him in a few days, he will quickly see how useless his greater numbers and strengths are, and that he has one of two basic choices--to give up, or disappear completely.  If we continue to press on with this one, and especially if NATO does not screw matters up by politicizing control issues to an adverse degree, the Libyan revolt will end more decisively and quickly than even the recent Egyptian one.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords: A Real, True American

I'm finally posting this now, because--for some reason--I had not, when I originally wrote it.  I had saved it as a draft, even though it was, in retrospect, still timely, this message:

In contrast of Palin's utter lunacy fringe, click the title of this post to view video of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords reading of the first amendment, during the open of this past congressional session, prior to her injuries.

Note the comments on the FB page aimed at ridiculing the reading prior to the tragedy in Tuscon.  

Why?  Congress should read it every new session...someday they might get it right.  It's a simple refresher course in dedication and commitment to doing what they're paid to do in Washington.  

So why are we seeing them scramble for cover while Palin secretly incites random loons with false patriotism and her own social agenda?  Although I'd never even bothered to listen to Giffords at all, I can see nothing wrong with her.

We should realize that she was meeting at a public place, too, just as in her reading...and there weren't hundreds there--it was a tiny spot, in a parking lot, at what we'd call a Sav-a-Lot here in our area, and now she's in a hospital bed struggling for thoughts and words, barely functioning, while Palin is seeking national media attention to dissolve herself from any responsibility for her very own, custom-made, graphics, and more pointedly, her entire skewed view on what?  Our national agenda?  Life?  Politics?  No--politics was what Giffords was doing--pure, old-timey, OkeeDokee, small-town, people-fed politics.  Right out there, taking challenges in a parking lot where people probably split between buying name-brand soda and generics right down the middle.  Sounds more accountable than any politician I've ever witnessed in my 24 years of voting eligibility and political awareness.

Therefore, I'm left wishing we actually had more like Giffords, here, in lots of other places...I hope she does fully recover, including the full use of her language center, and eventually uses this experience to gain the Presidency herself.  I'd vote for her, even in a minutely diminished capacity.  

According to various neurological experts' reports she is doing remarkably well.

Maybe even her political career will survive and help save our country from Palin's ranting insanity, and the new nemeses we'd doubtless gain worldwide with Palin in office.  That act is pure comic farce.  I'm one who loves great comedians, but hates clowns all to hell.  Palin is even worse than a clown, in that she really seems to think she's saying something intelligent, moving, sincere, and enlightening, but it's really, truly mindless, ridiculous, party-fed, bile, and libelous drivel.

This said, my best to Giffords, a figure I'd never heard of, but am really pulling for, with her daunting challenges in a fledgling and earnestly sensible political career.  I really do pray she pulls through in flying colors--they really will be red, white and blue.


I surely must look like I love what I say--and SO I DO!

So, here's some stuff I just posted in answer to somebody's comment on a Daily News opinion letter concerning the possibility of a tax-hike for the wealthy (over $250,000):

First, here's the link to the original letter (while you still can).

And, since I'm not sticking around to come back here to edit this post when they do pull down that link, here's the original letter as printed in Friday's local Daily News:
Rich get mad because they have to pay more

Friday, April 15, 2011 11:20 AM CDT
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It’s really tough when you make over $250,000 a year.

It starts with the house. When you make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, you need a big house. And a big house comes with a big mortgage payment. I mean, nobody pays cash for a mansion, ever.

Then there’s the cars. Even if a couple of family members have to drive 4-year-old BMW clunkers, it still costs a lot to keep them serviced and insured and licensed. But what else can you do? You gotta drive something.

And vacations: it’s really expensive to fly to an island in the Caribbean or to Europe. Plus, the decline in the value of the dollar versus the euro really jacks up daily expenses. Sometimes, I’ll bet people making more than $250,000 feel like it would just be cheaper to have a second home, maybe in Florida or Arizona.

The list of problems is practically endless. Utility bills, clothes, shoes. Have you looked at what good shoes cost these days? Memberships in clubs, contributions to the Republican Party. It just goes on and on.

And lastly, taxes. After all these expenses, you have to pay taxes, too. Of course, federal income tax is only applied to adjusted gross income, so with itemized deductions and all, you really need to make over $300,000 to pay the top rate. Oh, and the top rate only applies to amounts over $250,000, not to the first $250,000, but still, you have to pay a lot of taxes on top of everything else.

Don’t you feel sorry for people who must deal with all of this?

Can’t you understand why they don’t want their taxes to go up? I sure can’t.

David Dickson

Bowling Green

Ok, so here's the comment that inspired this particular 'NowI'mReallyMad' rant:

novocainemind wrote on Apr 15, 2011 12:42 PM:
" You know what drive me crazy? Being penalized for working hard and being successful. I think Mr. Dickson sounds a little jealous.

Oh, yes he did.

Well, we've all been there...sitting around, computer in hand, nothing to do (Netflix account overdue, left World of Warcraft account password encryption keychain at 'new friends' house), "Hey, I think I'll pound on somebody for being ridiculously responsible and saying something smart in a printed, public letter" pops into your head.  Yours, maybe--mine's trolling the 'net looking for just such tripe to pone into my own canonical exegesis, my own hierarchical counter-thesis.

I'm looking on the internet for grandma-cellar-dwellers, to try and teach 'em some life lessons, is I guess what I'm trying to say in this ridiculous manner.

I made it mine.

Honesty and fairness should dictate our tax code--not our 'admiration' for the inordinately rich. We don't even know how they got that way.
Bernie Madoff work hard? nah.
Kenneth Lay (Enron?) surely must have burned the candle at both HE burns at both ends.
'ex' BP CEO Tony Hayward--that little pimp-- 'work hard'? Why, sure--since HE was rich enough to go on a genuinely idyllic yachting FANTASY during the spill., unless you count his insincere, pinched, facial expression during his public hearings--or when gave his infamous 'I just want my life back' speech. That was hard work--we ALL loved seeing that.
Some people are SO VERY FILTHY WEALTHY that they can't possibly live long enough to spend it all, or even SEE it spent. Let that set in.
Many 'six-figure earners' are 'oil-rich'--as always--while respectable, hardworking people are forced to line up at 'this end of the pump', only to 'take it in the end'.
Blind adulation of the rich is misguided.  Rest assured, people 'that rich' don't even care if they pay taxes at all...they're probably surprised anyone noticed, and that they'll have to start.

and, my 2nd post, hopefully appearing by this afternoon or better:
Even some currently-'successful' people are showing signs of becoming greed-mongering pestilences themselves (if they already aren't).
Look at tycoon Warren Buffet ('cause I can't--eeek, a p*nis!).  He really does schedule times to 'Buy stock on the day of the crash, yeah' (Pearl Jam quote).
Yet he doesn't answer that one--anymore.  Almost burned him in his quest to feel important'er when he gave--publicly as possible--the bulk of his $44 billion fortune to the Gates foundation (also a financially wealthy couple who've never worked a single day in their collective lives!)
So, how's that driving you crazy?
Don't know 'em well enough?
Wow--famine, disease, and poverty--now, those are things that really drive us ALL crazy.
I'm sure a percentage of fat doesn't hurt half as much as 100% of nothing.
I'd also bet (if I was crazy enough to be rich!) that, after you get to about 10% of 'as rich as you can get', everything you do to get any more is illegal, fraudulent, and maybe even personally damning.
Idunno, maybe we can ask the old owl (the IRS) many bites does it take to get to the end of a gain-centric world?
(for me--prob'ly ONE! Munch!)
I just love canonically 'exegesisizing' Grandma's boys.
Yet, somehow, I just can't see myself writing for John Stewart...not my milieu.
I write for 'whoever'.