Monday, February 29, 2016

Climate Models Botch Another Prediction | RealClearScience

From the article: 
The scientific failure here isn't that models are inaccurate -- it's that the models are presented as undebatable apocalyptic predictors, harbingers of certain future catastrophe. Omens that compel us to rethink our lives. If we take issue with that, we're heretics.
Given how fallible climate models are, why shouldn't we be skeptical of the scary headlines? How good can your science be if you try to prove your point by ruining your detractors rather than through empirical success?

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2016/02/climate_models_botch_another_prediction.html

I have been skeptical of these apocalyptic forecasts and the "religious" fervor used by scientists with little regard to actual science.  

New Cyber Weapons Destroy ISIS On The Digital Battlefield | The Daily Caller

From the article: 
In addition to annihilating the Islamic State on the ground with bombs, U.S. forces are also taking the fight against ISIS online with new, top secret cyber weapons.
 
http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/29/secdef-us-military-hackers-are-limiting-isis-locally-and-tactically/

This sounds encouraging.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

APPARENTLY, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS SECURITY ANYMORE: Red flags in NAVSEA case

From the article: 
One big difference between this story and a spy novel: In spy novels, people are generally competent.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/227836/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+pjmedia%2Finstapundit+%28Instapundit%29

Well, this is a bit frustrating.  Is this PC behavior rearing its ugly head?  Were investigators incompetent, or influenced by the possibility they might be labelled racist or Islamophobe?

National Defense is a Biblical Concept | LifeZette

From the article: 
Fidelity to the Word of God does not mandate that we define "love" or "Christ-likeness" in terms of irresponsible, laissez faire leadership. National defense is a biblical concept, and our founders understood this.

http://www.lifezette.com/faithzette/national-defense-is-a-biblical-concept/

A bit of Sunday morning philosophy for you if you are interested.  I know the article is about Trump but try not to focus on Trump, but the question that is raised.  Is National Defense a biblical concept?  Is self defense a biblical concept?  Is "torture", used to prevent mass destruction, a biblical concept of self defense or does it " make me just like them"?

Mike Roark

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why We Still Need the Draft

From the article: 
But this outlook is deeply unhealthy for the nation. It is morally wrong to shift the nation's only exposure to large-scale mortal risk in defending our society onto only a handful of fellow citizens. That responsibility belongs to all of us. It is a fundamental tenet of the American experiment in democracy that all citizens share the burdens of defending the nation in times of crisis. We let that long-held touchstone of American citizenship disappear at great risk. Once gone, the will and ability to mobilize the larger nation to fight — even when necessary — would be immensely hard to resurrect, both practically and philosophically.

http://warontherocks.com/2016/02/why-we-still-need-the-draft/

This article raises some very interesting points about the growing divide between the Nation and its Military and how Selective Service plays a part in that.  I think SS plays a part in this but the problem seems more root to me.  It's about what it says in the paragraph above.  "That responsibility belongs to all of us. It is a fundamental tenet of the American experiment in democracy that all citizens share the burdens of defending the nation in times of crisis."  How and where do we teach this?  How do we instill in our citizens the desire to make this choice?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Transgender Beauty Queen Loses Title After Being Deemed 'Not Transgender Enough' | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/20/transgender-beauty-queen-loses-title-after-being-deemed-not-transgender-enough/

Pandora's box?  What is enough?  How do we measure?  What a mess we cause when we screw around with Mother Nature.

How far does Christian duty go?

From the article: 
So, how far does your obligation to help go, and to accept the stranger into your home? Does it extend to those who want to take over your dwelling?
I am not completely familiar with the tenets of Christianity, to be sure. But I can't imagine that it requires such self-destruction in the name of good. To me, it seems that limits are necessary, and the proper topic for debate is the question of where to draw those limits.

http://neoneocon.com/2016/02/20/how-far-does-christian-duty-go/

Fascinating article.  Well, I find if it fascinating because I agree.  Some others may not.  There is much to quote here so I picked just a small part.  Read the article to get everything.

This lady, is a Jew.  She was raised as an American Jew and lived in a very Liberal environment for much of her life.  Much of the American Jewish community is very Liberal and this surprises me, but a topic for some other discussion.  She eventually began to question some of the fundamental beliefs she had been taught and started to investigate Conservatism.  She began to shift and is now fairly conservative in her views.  You can read a lot more about her journey and her "conversion" if you are interested.  Go to to her website.  

So, she says limits are necessary, even when extending kindness.  Is Trump's wall a necessary limit or an act of bigotry?  I tend to the former.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Obama Gave Al Qaeda Their Newest Leader - Conservative News | Absolute Rights

From the article: 
When Ibrahim al Qosi was released from Guantanamo Bay in 2012, a lawyer for the former Usama bin Laden aide said he looked forward to living a life of peace in his native Sudan. 

http://absoluterights.com/obama-gave-al-qaeda-their-newest-leader/

How can we be this foolish and continue to be this foolish?  Some say this is not foolishness or incompetence on the administration's' part but a hidden agenda.  One does begin to wonder.


The Pope Vs. The Donald | The American Conservative

From the article: 
It is interesting to consider that Francis is all "who am I to judge?" when it comes to gays and lesbians, but is willing to read people out of Christianity for opposing open borders to immigration.
 
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-pope-vs-the-donald-trump-immigration/

This is getting pretty wild.  Who is a Catholic?  What do you think of this Pope and this statement about Trump? 

I don't profess to follow any religion.  I do believe in  the fundamental moral teachings of Judeo-Christian philosophy.  I believe there is a greater God, just not sure how to describe him in terms of any of today's active religions.  

I don't know for sure if Trump is a Christian or not.  Only Trump really knows.  But, for the Pope to pass this kind of judgement is really quite partisan and judgmental and maybe not Christian.  I think the Pope is quite out of line here.

Mike Roark

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden shocks host Stuart Varney when he shares THIS truth about women in combat | BizPac Review

From the article: 
"The tendency will be to lower the standards to try to get the politically correct thing going," he said.
 
http://www.bizpacreview.com/2016/02/17/navy-seal-who-shot-bin-laden-shocks-host-stuart-varney-when-he-shares-this-truth-about-women-in-combat-306935

Judge wants Apple to help hack into San Bernardino shooters’ phone. Tim Cook not a fan of the idea « Hot Air

From the article: 
Break out the Privacy vs Security bumper stickers, folks. The battle is on yet again and this time it's dragging some big players into the steel cage. Having failed to gain the needed information from the cell phone of the San Bernardino terrorists, a judge has ordered Apple to open up the phone for Uncle Sam and see what connections to other Islamic terrorists on American soil might be found inside.
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/17/judge-wants-apple-to-help-hack-into-san-bernardino-shooters-phone-tim-cook-not-a-fan-of-the-idea/

Pretty interesting stuff here.  Where is the line between protection of privacy and protection of the nation?  Difficult questions and no easy answers.  Always slippery slope considerations.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Google's secret 'lighter than air' material could ‘change how we interact with the sky’ | Daily Mail Online

Analysts Made Complaints to Intelligence Chief About Skewed ISIS Intel - Washington Free Beacon

From the article: 
U.S. military analysts reportedly made complaints to the office of the Director of National Intelligence last year that their superiors were skewing intelligence estimates on ISIS, which resulted in a more positive assessment of the U.S. campaign against the terror group.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/analysts-made-complaints-to-intelligence-chief-about-skewed-isis-intel/

Who were these "superiors".  Will they be held accountable?  

JAMES LYONS: Obama's climate change order makes war fighting harder - Washington Times

From the article: 
When you want to take a country down, the first thing you do is weaken its military. That's why "sequestration" turned out to be the perfect storm for the Obama administration. It provided the legal basis — actually, an excuse, as in "the budget made me do it" — for the unilateral disarmament of our military forces. Consequently, our forces have been degraded to levels not seen since prior to World War II, and in the Navy's case, not since before World War I. It should be remembered that sequestration was an Obama administration initiative.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/15/james-lyons-obamas-climate-change-order-makes-war-/#.VsM9iPZ_YDc.twitter

This is pretty to the point from someone who knows what he is talking about.

The Rise Of Crony Capitalism | Hoover Institution

From the article: 
A pernicious facet of wholesale crony capitalism is its susceptibility to being marketed as morally benign. Crony capitalists justify favoring certain groups, whether the Communist party in Vietnam, historically under-represented U.S. minority groups, or labor unions on the grounds that these groups are deserving of favoritism. The problem with that argument is that crony capitalism is deeply damaging to the economies that allow ordinary individuals to thrive. It has pernicious effects on incentives to invest in education and entrepreneurial activity because, under crony capitalism, connections lead to advancement, not educational achievement or entrepreneurial creativity.
 
http://www.hoover.org/research/rise-crony-capitalism

So, we are now 9 on the corruption scale?  

Congress Considering Fixing the VA Hospitals by Merging them with the Military - Eagle Rising

From the article: 
Congress is exploring a dramatic transformation of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals that would merge them with Department of Defense (DOD) facilities and treat active duty soldiers and veterans side by side.
Many veterans and lawmakers believe the VA healthcare system is in dire need of complete overhaul. The idea of simply using the VA's budget to put all veterans on private insurance has been widely touted. Congress has also been quietly exploring a change that would shake up the VA by taking it in the opposite direction of privatization — militarization.
 
http://eaglerising.com/30297/congress-considering-fixing-the-va-hospitals-by-merging-them-with-the-military/

This sounds interesting.  At least someone is thinking outside the box.  I've been wondering about just providing commercial insurance for a while.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Right Kind of Class Warfare: Workers vs. Looters | International Liberty

Commonsense & Wonder: The delegation of broad powers to the bureaucracy is now clearly out of hand.

From the article: 
Despite the fact that the Constitution sets forth three branches of government, each with discrete powers and limitations -- the executive, legislative, and judicial -- various agencies, boards, bureaus, departments that today make up the federal administrative state often render the roles and powers of those branches nugatory.
 
http://commonsensewonder.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-delegation-of-broad-powers-to.html

Nugatory is a new word for me.  I had to look it up.  It means what I suspected it did from the context of the sentence.

I stumbled across this article and it links to my comment in response to Tom Mannle where I said I was suspect of government organization and thought them to be pretty useless and rife for nannyism and control.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Feds Look to Own Your Children: Seek Home Visits and Consider Parents as “Equal Partners” with Feds in Raising Children - Freedom Outpost

From the article: 
As reported by Infowars.com, "the federal government is seeking to create a new bureaucracy that would intervene in family life and could even see state-appointed monitors conduct routine home visits to assess a child's well-being." The draft document published by the US Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services outlines a plan that creates families as "equal partners" in raising children. Let that sink in for a bit.

http://freedomoutpost.com/2016/02/feds-look-to-own-your-children-seek-home-visits-and-consider-parents-as-equal-partners-with-feds-in-raising-children/

Really?  The Feds are going to intervene in the family structure and parental rights?  

Friday, February 12, 2016

Liberty's Torch: The Personal Ethic And The Decline Of The West

From the article: 
Unfortunately, as has become all too evident, the personal ethics Americans once shared are no longer as uniform as they once were – and you cannot empower some lawbreakers without empowering all lawbreakers. That doesn't stop at those who smash windows, litter, and scrawl swastikas on church walls. It goes beyond them to highly placed political figures who use their offices to cheat, steal, oppress, protect other lawbreakers, and generally run roughshod over every defensible notion of justice. This does not bode well for the rule of law, nor for any form of government reminiscent of American Constitutionalism.
 
http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-personal-ethic-and-decline-of-west.html

So, what of the chicken and the egg?  What came first?  "Which is the cart and which is the horse? Did the corruption of law bring about the decline in personal ethics, or was it the other way around? It's extraordinarily difficult to tell."

Mike Roark

The Hard Questions About the Selective Service Have Nothing to Do With Women in Combat

From the article: 
Yet a much larger threat to an effective U.S. military is the influx of conscripts into the force. Let the progress provided by data-driven standards serve as a catalyst for the next iteration of a market revolution in military recruitment and personnel management, and take Selective Service off of the table.

http://warontherocks.com/2016/02/the-hard-questions-about-the-selective-service-have-nothing-to-do-with-women-in-combat/

Pretty good article.  The author alludes to the growing rift - "Proponents of the draft rightly highlight the growing divide between the nation and the force that defends it. This civil-military divide has pernicious effects on decisions regarding the use of military force."  This, I suspect, is an even more root problem than Selective Service.

Mike Roark


Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Clear-Eyed Focus on Our Interests: A Guide for the Next President

From the article: 
U.S. foreign policy needs to get back to basics. A smart national security strategy starts with three guiding principles and focuses on three key strategic challenges: Russia, China, and "black swan" threats comprised of biological, nuclear, and cyber dangers.
http://warontherocks.com/2016/02/a-clear-eyed-focus-on-our-interests-a-guide-for-the-next-president/

This guy makes a lot of sense.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Pentagon Hints at Stuffing B-52s With Lethal High-Tech Weapons | The National Interest Blog

From the article: 
It's a smart concept—it kills two birds with one stone. First, it solves a fundamental problem with stealth aircraft like the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35, which is that low observable aircraft tend to have relatively tiny payloads because of the need to carry weapons and fuel internally. Secondly, it solves the major problem that afflicts long-range stand-off weapons—which is targeting.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-pentagon-hints-stuffing-b-52s-lethal-high-tech-weapons-15118

Sounds pretty interesting.  Someone is thinking.  It might even be cost effective.

This Is How the Pentagon Wasted $17 Billion in Afghanistan | Americans for Tax Reform

From the article: 
$17 billion may not even be the full extent of the Pentagon's wasteful spending in Afghanistan. Last week, ATR reported on a failed $800 million Pentagon budget meant to produce growth and stabilization in the Middle Eastern country. This is why an audit of their books is more important than ever. Until the Pentagon and other agencies become transparent with their spending, the taxpayers will never know. 
 
http://www.atr.org/how-pentagon-wasted-17-billion-afghanistan

Why the heck is the DoD doing this kind of work?  This is mostly nation building.  It really should be an entirely different agency with their own budget.  The Military is not trained or designed to do this kind of work.  Not surprising we are really very bad at it.  

Mike Roark

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Absurdity of Regulation | FreedomWorks

From the article: 
When we allow black and white regulations to cover every aspect of life, whether or not an individual is subject to punishment or left alone becomes merely a matter of authorities' discretion, having very little to do with the individual's behavior or whether anyone has actually been harmed. This is why it's so important to hold regulatory agencies accountable and roll back some of the overcriminalization that is in danger of making us all guilty in the eyes of the law.

http://www.freedomworks.org/content/absurdity-regulation

Do regulatory agencies have too much power?  Does the government try to control too much of our lives?  

Mike Roark