Wednesday, January 27, 2016


From Foreign Policy magazine…

Continental drift. Deterring Vladimir Putin is job No. 1 in U.S. European Command (Eucom), according to its latest theater strategy, but the combatant command says it’s having a few resource problems in the meantime. In the 12-page document, commander of Eucom and NATO forces Gen. Philip Breedlove laments that the 65,000 U.S. troops in Europe just aren’t enough to counter Russian aggression, and rotating more units in on a temporary basis to make up the shortfall doesn’t quite cut it.

“The size of the military presence requires difficult decisions on how best to use limited resources to assure, stabilize, and support the...mission in the new European security environment,” the paper says. Breedlove also calls for a “reformulation of the U.S. strategic calculus” on the continent.

Translated: NATO members are spending less and less (presumably the reduced spending is to use instead on domestic social programs).  If the US cannot carry the load should hostilities erupt, then do not bet on NATO as a whole to charge to the rescue. 

Russia is not what it once was during the Cold War.  And with the current Russian operations in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and now Syria, combined with the economic distress from revenue fall off from lowered oil prices, I think Russia is not likely to start something - now. 

My concern is that the bar is so incredibly low with conventional forces that the decision point to use nuclear forces (to counter a Russian campaign into NATO countries) is pulled too far forward in any potential conflict, for example should Russia decide to move on the Baltics or Poland. 

And current US political ‘leadership’ would not use nuclear forces to defend the Baltics (who are part of NATO).  With Poland however, this calculus is not so clear in this regard. 

During the Cold War, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) kept a metaphorical ‘doomsday clock' with the minute hand just a hair away from midnight, signifying Nuclear Armageddon.  When the Berlin wall came down, they should have moved the clock hands to 8:45 pm, but instead, have pivoted, and moved the clock back to three minutes to midnight because of… "Concerns amid continued lack of global political action to address global climate change…” among other “things” (I’m sure cisgendered heteronormative white privilege and rampant microagressions and hate speech are also indicated here). 

While I don't think the clock has any use today, it is moving closer to midnight, albeit not like the UCS say it is. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Davos, Switzerland

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, told the rich and influential in Davos Switzerland not to believe the negative "hype" from nay-sayers; the world is changing for the better!! 

Russia is pilfering territory, and the Baltics are next in their sights, should they decide to poke NATO in the eye.  

Non-US NATO (excluding Poland and the UK) is spending just north of 1% GDP on Defense, less than half of what is required for membership.  

China annexed the South China Sea, and is building a military to make that stick.  

Israel distrusts us - fully.  

Germans (not the German elites), but Germans are deeply distrustful of the US because of the unfettered SIGINT of all things in Germany (counter to strict German privacy laws).  

Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia do not see a steadfast ally in the US, and are moving to realign the tectonic power shift underway with an ascendant Iran / Hisbollah / Quod’s / Republican Guard.  

Iran has thumbs in both our eyes, and I just know they are no longer pursuing a nuclear bomb.  

There is a thing called a “Caliphate” in Iraq, Syria, and now about 10,000 ISIL jihadists in Libya.  

Africa and the Middle East are exporting millions of countrymen (not so many women) to the West.  

Our border control is a joke, and there are 22-25 million foreign citizens in the US (not the 11 million that is part of the Party Line).  

The morale of the military has substantially declined, as we convert it into l lean, green, lesbian non-white cis-hetero-patriarchal pajama boy collective.  

Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are unstable.  

We are fighting undeclared war “kinetic operations" in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Afghanistan, and Waziristan, using a thing called a “kill chain” and “special forces"  

Western Europe ingested a slug of jihadists that make it a tinder house for terrorism rivaling the 1970’s.  

We made “nice” with Cuba, and Cubans are fleeing for the US in droves; no one is asking whether the prison population on Cuba has suddenly gone to zero.  

California is on the verge of banning all semi-autoloading firearms.  

We are in the 8th year of stagnant growth.  

Our US Federal public debt load has doubled in four years while the Federal Reserve has printed trillions of dollars, prompting the other central banks to do the same.  

China pilfered most of our manufacturing jobs, and all of out trade secrets, intellectual property, and the classified personnel security records of everyone connected to the US Government.  

Yep.  Things are peachy there John.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Now, in the last year of the eight year 'Reign of Enlightened Socialist Truth’, Glorious Benevolent Imperial Maximum Dear Leader and the compliant servile DoD PowerPoint apparatchiks have concluded that the language, nomenclature, lexicon, titles and traditions used in the military are an anathema to Progressive Progress (also known as Прогрессивная Прогресс).  

Therefore, the services are under strict orders to enact Gleichschaltung across the military, and scour the language of non-compliant instances where there exists white supremacist cis-hetero-patriarchal imperialistic oppression, endemic in US society.  

The venerable term, Midshipman, in use since the 1600’s, is a wretched anachronism which harbors everything wrong with America.  The mere existence of the term Midshipman is a blight on the US Naval Service, and has been identified as derogatory to female service personnel (we can also no longer call these people "service members" as this term has phallic connotations, and is therefore a virtual-pejorative).

Further, non-white and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM service personnel see the oppression of the male-gender-normative titles and nomenclature, and are therefore in-turn "vicariously oppressed" (in sympathy), and thus this also interferes with their ability to self-actualize and professionally achieve in a diverse and inclusive work and social environment.  

The search for an androgynous replacement to the retrograde title ‘Midshipman' is now underway.  So, what are we to call Midshipmen now?  

Omnes Alienus? 

Gustatus Similis Pullus? 

I invite you to comment.  

Monday, January 11, 2016


6 Big Cities Find Out What Happens When You Hike Up the Minimum Wage 

FYI - Minimum wage in Wisconsin is a paltry $7.75 / hour - enough for a high school student to make some spending cash, but not a job for an adult of need.  The $7.75 / hour is commensurate with the costs locally - in more expensive markets (NYC, SFO) the Wisconsin minimum would not fly.  

This article calls to mind recent strikes and protests by worker’s unions and fast-food workers clamoring for a $15.00 / hour national “living wage.”  My local Dane County passed a referendum in 2014 asking for the State of Wisconsin to  move minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.  

Interestingly, Panera Breads locally is currently preparing to implement "ordering Kiosks” reportedly in anticipation that minimum wage will increase (which is not currently likely in Wisconsin), and to maintain the profit margins (and not to attempt a price increase to cover the looming increased labor costs) Panera's will apparently either axe employees or reduce current hourly employee's hours downward once the Kiosk’s are on-line.  

My take on the sudden appearances of Ordering Kiosk’s at chain restaurants:

The NLRB issued a controversial ruling in 2014 that makes independent franchisers for McDonalds subject to union organization (for example, by the SEIU) and other workplace rules through the new legal concept of “Joint Employment.”  How “Joint Employment” will work is still being litigated, and whether it will apply to large corporation’s exclusive supply chain partners is an open question.  

At the time of the ruling, McDonalds did not even know the names of the franchisee’s employees, and has been moving to comply with the NLRB FATWA, and is developing a system of record keeping of the franchisee’s employees, which will in-turn be made available to the SEIU when they file to organize McDonalds through the corporate entity.  

Like it or not, the market is like a balloon - you squeeze on one area, and it pops out the other side.  Raise food prices, loose revenue, layoff employees, close stores - or, put automation in to avoid the labor increase.  They are all interrelated, and people change their behavior accordingly as the market reprices products in response to regulatory changes.  

Everyone should read Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics.   

It’s a free country.  If $7.75 / hour workers can convince the legislature to raise minimum wage to $15.00 / hr (or more), then more power to them - but don’t be gobsmacked when the total number of jobs decrease (just blame it on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Halliburton, and 'alien probing').