Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. doesn’t say what sounds “close-air support overhead” resembles, probably on the assumption that his audience, readers of the American Forces Press Service, do not need a description. He does say that the sounds “are often referred to as “the sounds of freedom,”” although he doesn’t say . . . → Read More: From Newtown to Kabul, the sounds of freedom
I like to read the contract notices issued by the Pentagon. On a good day you can watch billions and billions of dollars go out the door in support of blowing various things and people up. Among the beneficiaries of today’s contracts is UNICOR, the government corporation that contracts prison labor to make stuff . . . → Read More: In which we use prison labor to make body armor to sell overseas
Not long after the big Republican win in the 2010 elections, the Obama administration’s best and brightest gave up on explaining that putting people to work is really good for both the economy and for people who need work. The concept was too complicated for voters, they thought, so instead the president went off to negotiate with a crew of irresolute drunks and psychotic killer termites over how best to tighten the belt of government around the necks of the poor, the sick, the old and the unemployed.
This is according to David Corn’s new book, Showdown, which is apparently meant as a generous portrait of the administration.
Continue reading An epitaph for Obama: “I think we’ve all learned a valuable lesson.”
I like to think of myself as a more than ordinarily empathetic guy, but this …
“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress.”
… smacks the gob in atomic fashion.
Schiff, 46, is facing another kind of jam this year: Paid a lower bonus, he said the $350,000 he earns, enough to . . . → Read More: What do you do when somebody begs to be hunted down by a pitchfork mob?
I can’t be the only person to notice this but I haven’t seen mention of it elsewhere, so: iTunes no longer issues an update every five minutes. After all this time, I finally know who was to blame for that incredibly irritating practice.
I didn’t get around to reading the State of the Union speech until this morning because the idiot White House didn’t post a transcript on their web site before I went to bed last night, and be damned if I’m going to subject myself to the audiovisual torment of a major political speech ever again. So I apologize to both of you for not responding immediately, as I hear that some malevolent homunculus from my former home state, Indiana, did.
The speech can be divided into two parts: the part that recognized and cashed in on all the pressure toward economic justice that Occupy created* during the past four months, and the part that didn’t.
Continue reading So Tu, Bluto?
I don’t know what to say about this other than that I thought it was a joke because I first saw it on America’s Third Finest News Source. Now it’s only sad.
Say goodbye to the United States of America. Say hello to “the United States of Awesome Possibilities” as it looks to visitors from abroad to help lift it out of the economic doldrums.
By soft-pedaling patriotism, the newly-formed US national tourism board tasked with getting more tourists — and their money — onto US soil is reinventing the nation as a hip new land of diversity and possibilities.
Continue reading “The United States of Awesome Possibilities”
I have nothing of interest to say today, so …
Once upon a time my blog got a lot of traffic, or at least it seemed like a lot to me. Then stuff happened and now most of my traffic comes from spammers trying to log into the site or leave comments or both.
One consequence of the spam is that when it gets really heavy, my little blog exceeds the amount of CPU time my web site host allows an individual site to use, so the server starts limiting my usage and access to the blog slows way down. This doesn’t discourage the spammers at all, they just keep banging away, but it does annoy actual people trying to read something.
Continue reading Customer service
In recent years, both the civilian government and the military leadership have made a serious effort to elevate the cultural station of military personnel from that of citizen soldiers to the loftier and more separatist “warrior.” They’re all warriors now, and heroes. The end result is that both soldiers and civilians increasingly view the former as a breed apart.
That’s not a good thing. For obvious democratic reasons, one wants the military to identify and empathize with the populations whence they spring. Identifying common experiences is one way to do that, and one experience a lot of military personnel have in common with a lot of civilians is that they’re making crap money and the people signing their paychecks don’t seem to care much about them. Another is that if they lose their jobs, they’re in deep trouble almost instantly.
I ran across a couple of items yesterday that suggest an avenue for amplifying the Occupy protests within the U.S. by involving military personnel. One was a comment by my pal Schmutzie over at his place about a plan announced by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain to inflict some serious Bad upon veterans benefits, and the other was the first truly useful Twitter message I’ve received during my limited relationship with the service.
Continue reading Occupy the Military